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Subject: Do ALL religious people think atheists and bisexuals/gays are just confused...?? rss

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Mandiekinz
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Is this something that anyone else has come across?

I know someone who is religious (she hates when I call her that, but she is, she says, "I'm not religious, I have a relationship with God.")... and anytime I happen to mention something that reminds her I am bisexual or atheist, she just says, "No you're not, you just don't know it."

It is pretty disheartening to have someone I associate with who doesn't accept me for who I am and thinks I am just confused. I know who I am, I am happy with who I am. I just don't see how she can call herself my friend and then say hurtful things like that to me.

soblue

Has anyone else ever had similar situations or conversations in the past?

Do you "people who believe in a diety or dieties" find that you feel the same way she does?
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I'm fine with people believing whatever they want, but I cannot stand it when people dismiss the beliefs or feelings of others. The problem isn't that this woman is religious, it's that she's rude.
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Lots of religious people accept that other people aren't religious and lots of them accept that folks like us are genuinely GLBT.

For those that don't, I think it's often a natural consequence of their belief system. Some flavors of Christianity hold that God's existence is self-evident (derived from passages like the "no excuse" one) and that people who don't believe actually do believe but are engaged in willful self-deception. If you believe in God and the Bible and believe that that's what the Bible says, then it follows that you think atheists know God exists but are in denial.

WRT sexual orientation, if you think that homosexuality is sinful and you think that sin in general is a rebellion against God and against our perfected selves (and that Christ can perfect us) then it follows that the statement, "I really am {sin(x)}" is false regardless of what the sin is. If a person says, "I'm an alcoholic" we might accept this as a true statement about their vulnerability to alcohol but we might not accept it as an inevitable truth that the person will always drink. I think some Christians in particular see homosexuality as analogous to alcoholism.
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violintides wrote:
Is this something that anyone else has come across?

I know someone who is religious (she hates when I call her that, but she is, she says, "I'm not religious, I have a relationship with God.")... and anytime I happen to mention something that reminds her I am bisexual or atheist, she just says, "No you're not, you just don't know it."

It is pretty disheartening to have someone I associate with who doesn't accept me for who I am and thinks I am just confused. I know who I am, I am happy with who I am. I just don't see how she can call herself my friend and then say hurtful things like that to me.

soblue

Has anyone else ever had similar situations or conversations in the past?

Do you "people who believe in a diety or dieties" find that you feel the same way she does?

Actualy, a lot of religious people, including Christians, are completely fine with bi- and homosexuality
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That person would probably be an offensive jerk no matter what their beliefs were.

That kind of dismissive, petty intellectual arrogance isn't restricted to one belief system unfortunately.
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Seth Brown
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violintides wrote:

I know someone who is religious (she hates when I call her that, but she is, she says, "I'm not religious, I have a relationship with God.")... and anytime I happen to mention something that reminds her I am bisexual or atheist, she just says, "No you're not, you just don't know it."


Yes, it can be frustrating when people do not accept our self-identifications and insist on trying to impose their own labeling system instead... whistle
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Mandiekinz
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Osirus wrote:
violintides wrote:

I know someone who is religious (she hates when I call her that, but she is, she says, "I'm not religious, I have a relationship with God.")... and anytime I happen to mention something that reminds her I am bisexual or atheist, she just says, "No you're not, you just don't know it."


Yes, it can be frustrating when people do not accept our self-identifications and insist on trying to impose their own labeling system instead... whistle

Yes, haha, that's funny-- but come on, I am non-religious, she is religious. Why is that my own labeling system? It's the truth. She believes in a religion, in a form of theism. I do not. So how is that my own system when it's true?
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Clay
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violintides wrote:
Osirus wrote:
violintides wrote:

I know someone who is religious (she hates when I call her that, but she is, she says, "I'm not religious, I have a relationship with God.")... and anytime I happen to mention something that reminds her I am bisexual or atheist, she just says, "No you're not, you just don't know it."


Yes, it can be frustrating when people do not accept our self-identifications and insist on trying to impose their own labeling system instead... :whistle:

Yes, haha, that's funny-- but come on, I am non-religious, she is religious. Why is that my own labeling system? It's the truth. She believes in a religion, in a form of theism. I do not. So how is that my own system when it's true?


It's true only in light of a specific definition of religious that you accept but she does not. For what it's worth I agree with you, but the point is still quite valid. You're doing the same thing to her, which doesn't mean you're wrong but does mean she's probably just as frustrated.

Edit: To answer the actual topic, of course not. That's a massive group of individuals with extremely diverse ideas. That statement probably wouldn't even hold up if the question was about all the religious people in a particular building, let alone all of them in the world.
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Seth Brown
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violintides wrote:
Osirus wrote:
violintides wrote:

I know someone who is religious (she hates when I call her that, but she is, she says, "I'm not religious, I have a relationship with God.")... and anytime I happen to mention something that reminds her I am bisexual or atheist, she just says, "No you're not, you just don't know it."


Yes, it can be frustrating when people do not accept our self-identifications and insist on trying to impose their own labeling system instead... :whistle:

Yes, haha, that's funny-- but come on, I am non-religious, she is religious. Why is that my own labeling system? It's the truth. She believes in a religion, in a form of theism. I do not. So how is that my own system when it's true?


Some people might consider belief in a god without the trappings of organized religion to be "spirituality", rather than religion. Or some might dislike the term atheist, and simply consider them "non-religious agnostics". I think when discussing people's beliefs, there may oft be a semantic difference with regards to what labels one might apply. And while I'm happy to discuss with a friend why I might label the beliefs they present one way instead of another, I think my generally preferred course of action after a polite discussion is to defer to the person describing herself when it comes to labeling.

Conversely, if your disagreement is on a more fundamental level, then it is insulting to tell someone else they do not believe or feel what they believe or feel, as the frog mentions above.

chaendlmaier wrote:

Chad_Ellis wrote:
"I really am {sin(x)}" is false regardless of what the sin is.

But sin(x) changes with time. Are you constantly oscillating between homo- and heterosexuality, reaching bisexuality in between?


Let's not go off on a tangent.
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Clay
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Osirus wrote:


chaendlmaier wrote:

Chad_Ellis wrote:
"I really am {sin(x)}" is false regardless of what the sin is.

But sin(x) changes with time. Are you constantly oscillating between homo- and heterosexuality, reaching bisexuality in between?


Let's not go off on a tangent.


Hey, that's what we do.
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Mandiekinz
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chaendlmaier wrote:
Well, any faith is inherently right. So of course any faithful person must think of people following another or no faith as wrong or confused or doomed. However, many people don't mention this to your face as that would be rude. In addition, belief systems differ in various degrees, even within the same umbrella religion (e.g. Christianity) and also regarding whether homosexuality is a sin.

Chad_Ellis wrote:
"I really am {sin(x)}" is false regardless of what the sin is.

But sin(x) changes with time. Are you constantly oscillating between homo- and heterosexuality, reaching bisexuality in between?

I, and a rather large chunk of the informed intellectual majority, define bisexuality as being attracted to both men and women.

Which I am.

I've heard of people who define it as "I can have a boyfriend AND a girlfriend at the same time and it's not cheating" which is rather ... well, wrong, and also paints a very wrong light on bisexuals as a whole. What they are attempting is to be bisexual in many relationships ("poly"), not bisexuality in and of itself.
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Isaac Citrom
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It is the central tenet of toleration to be "tactful". Of course, my Muslim neighbour thinks my Christian neighbour is just plain worng, and vice versa. Of course, as an atheist I think religious people are confused. Every group of humans (culture, nationality, religious sect, etc., etc.) thinks they've got it down right and everyone else is wrong. Othewrwise, they'd be doing things differently. I can't really imagine a Christian saying, "well I think Jesus is the son of God, but I may be wrong.

We co-exist because we don't blurt it out openly. So, out of friendliness, my Greek Orthodox neighbout buys us flowers on Passover, for example, and I'll buy gifts for my Roman Catholic neigbour's children for Christmas, as another example. And, it works the other way too. During Purim I brought a traditional holiday platter of fare to my Muslim neighbour, and so it all goes around and around.

But, inwardly, privately, we must be all thinking that everyone else is just plain ridiculous. It has to be that way. Why would you pray to a Hindu god if you thought the Muslims might actually be right.

Granted, some people are unsure about things, so they're neither here nor there. But, I mean, I, as an atheist for example, don't think I'm probably right. I'm sure I'm right. Otherwise, I'd be agnostic.

I find that a lot of people on the left think that toleration and co-existence means approval. It really doesn't. Toleration means you get along with people despite disagreeing with them.

FYI: Toleration has to do with living with the ways of others despite having the power to do something about it. Tolerance means giving one's approval for what someone does. Both terms share the verb tolerate, which can be confusing.


I believe that this notion, above all others, sets Western liberal democracy apart, and yes, above all other current forms of society.
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I am increasingly concerned over the trend in Liberal thought which feels the need to dismiss as 'irrational' any political/cultural/social position which is out of vogue at the moment.

I am disturbed that a system of thought predicated upon freedom of inquiry increasingly seems to be supporting the idea that certain ideas aren't just wrong, but out of bounds, and not even worthy of consideration.

Darilian
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isaacc wrote:
Tolerance means giving one's approval for what someone does.


yeah, pretty much every dictionary ever says you're wrong about this
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Those are intolerant dictionaries, at best.
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In short, no. As a religious person, I do not think atheists are confused, it's just they drew the wrong conclusion based on the evidence (which is understandable).

Bisexuals and gays may be confused, depending on what they are trying to understand at the moment. I am a bisexual, and I cannot understand how anybody finds the sport of soccer to be interesting, as I have tried many times to get into it to no avail. I am confused as to why it is so popular, so I am a confused bisexual.

Concerning God: God doesn't care who you fuck, so that doesn't relate to religion or religious confusion. God also doesn't care who you invite to prom, what types of food you eat, who or what you believe in, how many time you kneel when you see the sun disappearing behind the hills to the east, or how serious you act when you enter a man-made structure on a mutually agreed-upon worship day. God doesn't care what you do, because God is not your Mom. The sun will rise, time will continue to pass, and the natural system will survive regardless of what some animal decides to do with its genitals.
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You're free to dismiss their thought as you will, as an individual.

But they're still free to state their opinion.

Even Nazis have the right to free assembly, so long as they fill out the paperwork. At least in the US, they do. (Germany being a somewhat...odd...exception.)

Freedom of speech means that you always have the right to say what you want, even if the vast majority of people think you're wrong.

Darilian
 
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chaendlmaier wrote:
Darilian wrote:
Freedom of speech means that you always have the right to say what you want, even if the vast majority of people think you're wrong.

Ah, so freedom of speech does allow someone to deem certain ideas unworthy of consideration. In your comment above you almost made it sound like you had a problem with that.


You're free, as an individual, to be dismissive of other ideas. That's your loss.

True understanding and tolerance is rooted in acknowledging that one could be wrong. Rather than treating the opposing viewpoint as something to be dismissed or ignored, its seen as a challenge- an alternative that needs to be addressed and responded to.

What I'm mostly opposed to is the institutionalization of the idea that its ok to dismiss or ignore unpopular, minority opinions. Neither in the Academy, or in our Politics, or elsewhere in our civic discourse should even unpopular opinions be utterly ignored or discounted as not being worthy of consideration.

Enforcing a Hegemony of thought, even for the noblest of reasons, is never justified. And I fear that Liberals are increasingly succumbing to the temptation to try and enforce this hegemony by declaring certain opinions and trends of thought as not just 'wrong', but irrational- and therefore not deserving of serious consideration or respect.

Darilian
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chaendlmaier wrote:
Liberal thought is based on equality. It should therefore come as no surprise that opinions, which view certain people as inferior because of their religion (or lack thereof) and sexual orientation, are incompatible with liberalism.


Liberalism is based upon balancing Equality with Liberty.

I think, institutionally, people should have the right to marry who they choose. However, I also feel that the State cannot force the believers of any given faith that they have to sanction something that they feel to be immoral.

To wit-
You're free to marry who you want. But you don't have the right to force the Catholic Church to sanction what they feel is your immoral behavior.

Thus, equality of access to government protections of marriage are maintained, but the religious liberty of believers is ALSO protected.

Alas-
I see more and more on this issue the feeling that the opinions of those who gay marriage is 'immoral' are to just be discounted and ignored. This would be as far from Liberal thought imaginable, as Freedom of Religious Practice is a key centerpiece of Liberal thought.

I'm glad that people are increasingly able to marry who they want. However, what I don't want to see is a movement whereby religious groups are forced to kowtow to the State on issues that they feel are of the deepest, religious significance.

Equality AND Liberty. That is the goal of Liberal thought.

If we wanted mere Equality, in preference over Liberty, we'd be Marxist Socialists.

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I'm not concerned with the specifics of either opinion a or b.

I'm concerned when people who proclaim that their position is one of open minded 'tolerance' of ideas start to declare that their ideas should win out by fiat.

You don't get to win an argument by merely calling the opponent 'bigots', and then claiming victory. That's not how tolerance works.

It's the process, not the specific position.

Darilian
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isaacc wrote:

....
all other current forms of society.
.
There is a fuzzy truth to what you write.

And a fuzzy truth to it being incorrect as well.

Islam swept across a large section of the world.
Did it's total area at it's height exceed that of the Roman Empire? But it was big.
Spain through east to (oh damn off to Google) China?

The Christians and Jews that it over-ran survived in large populations until around the late 1800s. Then the politics of Islamic identity began to be used and the formerly large Jewish and Christian populations have been reducing rapidly since. (The political machinations they made for their survival have included support of political parties like Sadam's Bath party, the current Syrian rulers and the former Egyptian rulers.)

Jews and Christians were largely tolerated during this 1000 year period.

Not as well as in liberal western democracies?
Well if we include the 1920s-1945 fluctuations in Europe as part of Western liberal democracies then maybe better.
We might also add to the negatives for Western liberal democracies Bush's adventure in Iraq. Would a million deaths have been risked in a Christian country?
 
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Isaac Citrom
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mightygodking wrote:
isaacc wrote:
Tolerance means giving one's approval for what someone does.


yeah, pretty much every dictionary ever says you're wrong about this


Merriam Webster

2 a: sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own

Free Online Dictionary

1. The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.
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Chad_Ellis wrote:

WRT sexual orientation, if you think that homosexuality is sinful and you think that sin in general is a rebellion against God and against our perfected selves (and that Christ can perfect us) then it follows that the statement, "I really am {sin(x)}" is false regardless of what the sin is. If a person says, "I'm an alcoholic" we might accept this as a true statement about their vulnerability to alcohol but we might not accept it as an inevitable truth that the person will always drink. I think some Christians in particular see homosexuality as analogous to alcoholism.


This is pretty much my position. We all have our particular strongholds of sin that we may spend our whole lives trying to conquer. Some are even biological predispositions. The response of much of the church to homosexuality has been pretty poor though. Condemnation isn't an appropriate response if you really believe someone is in need of the love of Christ. Politically, there is no basis for discrimination on this front either.
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happyjosiah wrote:
... Politically, there is no basis for discrimination on this front either.
I'm thinking that one interpretation of the OT that I was exposed to had prophets warning Israel to turn from their wicked ways. And then after Israel had not turned fro it's wicked ways, God would send a disaster, in the form of a flood or an invasion to punish the Israelites.

If I saw this interpretation as valid and the message from the infallible word of God then I would seem to have a responsibility to act politically to keep people from furthering their wicked ways.
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Personally I think religious people are confused.
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