Christianity and other religions

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Christianity and other religions

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:31 pm

Forgive me if I come unglued here, but this has been bothering me for sometime. There is a woman who I work with who is extremely Christian. Extremely. I'm really not sure what kind of Christianity it is, beyond extreme. Anyway, she wasn't all that in your face about it, until she found out I was pagan.

Now it seems to be all that she can talk about. Half the time she comes across like "you know I'm Christian, right? I have to remind you that I am Christian." The rest of the time it comes off as "you're not really pagan; you just think you are. You're really Christian."

So here's the question for you. The rest of us pretty much all have to work with Christians. So we don't treat Christians like Christians; we treat them like people. We treat them just like everyone else, and for the most part, don't get in their face about our religious beliefs. So why are the Christians out there who see us differently. She sees me as a Pagan first and foremost, rather than as a person she knows who happens to be pagan. So what is the deal with those people? Blow Up If this keeps up, I'm going to have to drop her from my Facebook.





No, I don't want to help you spread the word of Jesus to the masses. Rolling Eyes
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by Mintie on Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:21 pm

I've really only had to deal with someone that extreme for a short time...That person was laid-off because of work harassment (yes it is harassment).

I can't talk for them but I really think they must be really insecure in their person as a whole to try to bully everyone they encounter into their becoming a Christian according to their description.

IMO SG, it's very sad that she can't seem to connect to you because you're Pagan. She could learn a lot from you
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:39 pm

And you know, I thought we were friends when she was assuming I was a Christian!
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by Kartari on Sun Apr 26, 2009 6:59 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Forgive me if I come unglued here, but this has been bothering me for sometime. There is a woman who I work with who is extremely Christian. Extremely. I'm really not sure what kind of Christianity it is, beyond extreme. Anyway, she wasn't all that in your face about it, until she found out I was pagan.

Now it seems to be all that she can talk about. Half the time she comes across like "you know I'm Christian, right? I have to remind you that I am Christian." The rest of the time it comes off as "you're not really pagan; you just think you are. You're really Christian."

So here's the question for you. The rest of us pretty much all have to work with Christians. So we don't treat Christians like Christians; we treat them like people. We treat them just like everyone else, and for the most part, don't get in their face about our religious beliefs. So why are the Christians out there who see us differently. She sees me as a Pagan first and foremost, rather than as a person she knows who happens to be pagan. So what is the deal with those people? Blow Up If this keeps up, I'm going to have to drop her from my Facebook.

No, I don't want to help you spread the word of Jesus to the masses. Rolling Eyes

Some Christians see it as their moral duty to try to convert others to Christianity. The claim is that only through JC (or the belief in him as the only son of God and so forth) can anyone be saved from sin and eternal damnation. Speaking about Jesus to you might, in this woman's view, be likened to forcibly removing you from a burning building; she may so strongly believe you are damned unless you accept the same religious point of view as she does. Some Christians whom I've debated the merits of evangelism with, or lack thereof, have said as much. One said to me that she sees this as a sign that Christianity is "right" (and all other faiths are "wrong").

I see it not as a sign of correctness but as a sign of arrogance and immaturity. Perhaps the believer is not arrogant or immature in other ways so much, but the organized churches themselves so often water the seeds of such arrogance and immaturity. I do not believe it is generally possible to dissuade one so carried away with their faith as to harass others with it. Debate is futile, in some cases the stout believer will reject any and all logic if need be, in order to stubbornly hold onto their fantasies of being "chosen" or "correct". It would be more effective to debate a brick wall.

I believe that if she does not let up, you will be forced to either put up with it or speak to her about it. You could tell her that you are happy with your own beliefs and really are not interested in Christianity at all. If this is not enough to dissuade her, you may unfortunately be forced to speak to a supervisor about her harassment (as Mintie seems to have been forced to do).
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by Kartari on Sun Apr 26, 2009 7:05 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:And you know, I thought we were friends when she was assuming I was a Christian!

She may likely see it the same way. Unfortunately, Christianity can sometimes manifest as a disease that affects sociability... not that other religions can be cancerous as well, but Christians seem to have the gold star when it comes to religious intolerance. Maybe Islam is the only other religion in the world that can compete with it in this regard.
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by Chiyo on Tue May 05, 2009 11:40 am

Kartari wrote:Christianity can sometimes manifest as a disease that affects sociability... not that other religions can be cancerous as well, but Christians seem to have the gold star when it comes to religious intolerance. Maybe Islam is the only other religion in the world that can compete with it in this regard.

Agreed! And agreed! 100%

It's crazy, but I'm reminded of a woman who had an obsessive-compulsive cleaning disorder. She was obsessed with filth and scrubbed tables, floors, countertops, etc. from dawn to dusk. Her elderly mother became incontinent, poor thing, and the "OCD" refused to touch her mother, refused to kiss her cheek, refused to hug her. In fact, OCD woman got to the point to where she had extreme difficulty even sitting in the same room as her diapered mother, when she was forced to sit in the same room with her mother she was cringing... This is what the "Christian" in SG's story reminds of, she reminds me of the OCD woman. Especially when she says;


Half the time she comes across like "you know I'm Christian, right? I have to remind you that I am Christian."

What I hear is; "you know I'm Clean, right? I have to remind you that I am Clean." (and you are not...) Rolling Eyes
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by Mintie on Tue May 05, 2009 11:44 am

So true Chiyo...
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by gillyflower on Tue May 05, 2009 11:57 am

Maybe I see it more than other people, due to where I work, but honestly a lot of truly mentally ill people grasp on to a religion (and Christianity is pushed and more accepted in this country and in my area) the way the above person grasped for dear life being clean. It is an acceptable place to be crazy. It's even encouraged if you find into the right Christian group. They can do all sorts of desperate and socially unacceptable things, spout ridiculous beliefs and say that God made you do it or you are doing it for God and people don't automatically say "This person is mentally ill."

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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by Kartari on Tue May 05, 2009 3:22 pm

gillyflower wrote:Maybe I see it more than other people, due to where I work, but honestly a lot of truly mentally ill people grasp on to a religion (and Christianity is pushed and more accepted in this country and in my area) the way the above person grasped for dear life being clean. It is an acceptable place to be crazy. It's even encouraged if you find into the right Christian group. They can do all sorts of desperate and socially unacceptable things, spout ridiculous beliefs and say that God made you do it or you are doing it for God and people don't automatically say "This person is mentally ill."

It only makes sense that those who are most disturbed would reach to religion (among many other things, like cleaning in Chiyo's example) out of either desperation for help or a vehicle to express their madness. I worked in a health food store for eight years, and it was the funniest thing. You'd expect intelligent and environmentally/health conscious people would be the big portion of customers. Instead, I often wondered if my job was more in line with mental hospital work than health food store work, with all the crazies we had to deal with! But it makes sense, as the nuts wanted help and sought supplements as a means of healing.
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Wed May 06, 2009 11:36 am

I feel I'm missing something here.

Do you consider this person a friend IRL, or is she just a co-worker? I only ask because it seems like you are hesitant to do something that may offend her. This is no way to live. Be strong. Stand up for your beliefs. Don't let her push you around.

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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by Kartari on Wed May 06, 2009 1:56 pm

allthegoodnamesweretaken wrote:I feel I'm missing something here.

Do you consider this person a friend IRL, or is she just a co-worker? I only ask because it seems like you are hesitant to do something that may offend her. This is no way to live. Be strong. Stand up for your beliefs. Don't let her push you around.

all

Right... it's not like she's highly concerned about not offending you, sg!
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Wed May 06, 2009 7:32 pm

I would like to think of her as a friend. We hung out quite a bit before religion entered into it.
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by allthegoodnamesweretaken on Thu May 07, 2009 5:45 pm

My advice then would be to try to find a way to remove religion from it.

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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by Sakhaiva on Thu May 07, 2009 6:39 pm

Kari, is she pulling away and using her Christian comments as a wall? IE, are her comments defensive in nature or is she trying to communicate.

If she is being defensive, I'd set 'friendship' off the plate as she is not emotionally available to really be a friend.

If you think there is something to salvage at this point, I'd ask her to lunch then explain that you respect her faith and would appreciate that same level of respect in turn. And if she doesn't go for it, you can leave her with the tab

Very Happy

Maybe ignore that last bit
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by sacrificialgoddess on Thu May 07, 2009 7:39 pm

I really don't know. I'm not one to bring up religious beliefs, which is why she didn't know I wasn't Christian for so long. My sister brought it up in passing (there was a connection in the conversation) which is how she found out. I don't hide my beliefs; but I don't go out of my way to let everyone know.

She may think she needs a defense against by beliefs, but I really don't know why. I am willing to discuss religion with her, to explain what I believe, to let her explain what she believes. But I really don't want to get into a debate with her, you know?
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by Lolkat on Fri May 08, 2009 8:29 pm

Hi all, I appreciate the responses on this thread.

SG, I've had the same problem with some fundamentalist Christians myself! (I'm very intolerant of intolerance!) I stand up to all 'bullying' of the Christian kind.

The Greek words Pistou Christou have been traditionally translated as faith 'in' Christ. An equally valid translation is also faithfulness 'of' Christ as in 'we Christians are to have the faithfulness of Christ'. Jesus would have never said he was THE ONLY way! John put those words in his mouth! Way, 'the' way, and 'a' way all use the same exact Greek word! Many Christians would readily admit scripture contains a LOT of mistakes, problems, discrepancies, and inconsistancies......

And I would say i have to agree with Katari 100%. Fear, ignorance and insecurity cause people to do and say some pretty dumb things to others.

Gilly, our former Pastor always used to worry whenever his son started attending church again. The son was manic depressive and would stop taking his meds. Attending church and becoming fixated on 'religion' was a sure sign to his dad that he was in a 'manic' phase!

Namaste all,
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Odd...

Post by itty on Sat May 09, 2009 10:27 pm

This one is a bit odd. One the one hand she interjects her religion into a conversation. Is it any conversation? Is it every conversation? On the other hand you would like to continue the friendship.

Have you tried to ask her, in a non-threatening way, why she feels the need to keep reminding you that she is Christian. Could be defensive and could be a way to proselytize. It could also be a nervous reaction. I get that, SG. Not in a religious sense but in an oreintation sense. It could very well be that you are the first and only Pagan she has ever met IRL. If she has no understanding of being Pagan means that might be what is happening. I have had this happen more times than I can tell you, SG.

Sometimes, often times in my experience, the ending actually does have a reasonable one. I have several very dear friends who, when they realized I am a lesbian, backed away from me but wanted to try to find a way to be friends. It was from nerves and the fear of the unknown that we had issues.

I have also this turn out badly. It really depends on whether the woman is someone you do want to know. Can you, as tactfully as possible, ask her why she interjects her religious POV into the conversations you have?

This one isn't easy, SG. If this is someone you think is worth the work I'd certainly try to come to a resolution. If nothing else it may clear the air between you.
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by DeavonReye on Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:50 pm

Being around many very fundamentalistic Christians, I can say that when they find out the "direction of one's soul", they will do all they can to "win them for Christ". It is a way to "store up treasures in Heaven". You do that by winning people to Christ. That is the sole purpose and everything else is secondary, . . . including friendships. I doubt she will accept your path and will continually try to convert you. However, it isn't as though she is doing it out of anything but a caring for you. According to fundamentalist Christianity, you, sacrificialgoddess, are lost, deceived, and on your way to Hell, and this co-worker of yours doesn't want to see you go there. So, she's definitely not being mean.

I hope something can be worked out, though, between you two.
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by gillyflower on Mon Jun 15, 2009 5:46 pm

The thing is if someone came up to them and said they were going to hell and they needed to convert to the someone's god immediately, would they see that as love? The fundamentalists? I've personally seen that happen and it is funny but not a pretty sight as they both start screaming at each other. Usually they are both of the same religion, too. Smile

I think it has more to do with a very narrow belief system and experience with the world plus believing that their god cannot convert or appear to whomever he wishes or manifest his will in this world.

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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by John T Mainer on Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:01 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Forgive me if I come unglued here, but this has been bothering me for sometime. There is a woman who I work with who is extremely Christian. Extremely. I'm really not sure what kind of Christianity it is, beyond extreme. Anyway, she wasn't all that in your face about it, until she found out I was pagan.

Now it seems to be all that she can talk about. Half the time she comes across like "you know I'm Christian, right? I have to remind you that I am Christian." The rest of the time it comes off as "you're not really pagan; you just think you are. You're really Christian."

So here's the question for you. The rest of us pretty much all have to work with Christians. So we don't treat Christians like Christians; we treat them like people. We treat them just like everyone else, and for the most part, don't get in their face about our religious beliefs. So why are the Christians out there who see us differently. She sees me as a Pagan first and foremost, rather than as a person she knows who happens to be pagan. So what is the deal with those people? Blow Up If this keeps up, I'm going to have to drop her from my Facebook.





No, I don't want to help you spread the word of Jesus to the masses. Rolling Eyes

Drop her. Honestly life is too short to deal with other peoples issues. It's a bit like having someone who begins each conversation with "All of those who believe as you do should be behind barbed wire, but I think you're just too stupid to know your aren't inherently dangerous and/or evil, and shouldn't be on the next boat to GITMO."

Wow. Either you are too stupid to know what you believe, or your beliefs are inherently sick and wrong. That clearly is a friendship worth Toilet. With friends like that who needs enemies? For that matter, how could you tell the difference?

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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by wmdkitty on Fri Jun 26, 2009 12:09 am

I'm with John. Drop the Jesus-junkie. Interact with her as you have to, but leave it at that.

Anyone else notice these people are like fuckin' drug pushers, only instead of crack or heroin, they're pushing Jesus?
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Re: Christianity and other religions

Post by Guest on Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:43 pm

sacrificialgoddess wrote:Forgive me if I come unglued here, but this has been bothering me for sometime. There is a woman who I work with who is extremely Christian. Extremely. I'm really not sure what kind of Christianity it is, beyond extreme. Anyway, she wasn't all that in your face about it, until she found out I was pagan.

Now it seems to be all that she can talk about. Half the time she comes across like "you know I'm Christian, right? I have to remind you that I am Christian." The rest of the time it comes off as "you're not really pagan; you just think you are. You're really Christian."

So here's the question for you. The rest of us pretty much all have to work with Christians. So we don't treat Christians like Christians; we treat them like people. We treat them just like everyone else, and for the most part, don't get in their face about our religious beliefs. So why are the Christians out there who see us differently. She sees me as a Pagan first and foremost, rather than as a person she knows who happens to be pagan. So what is the deal with those people? Blow Up If this keeps up, I'm going to have to drop her from my Facebook.

It's a two fold situation. First, you don't believe in Jesus, and you seem normal to them. Most Christians when they think of someone who identifies as Pagan believe you should be dressed Goth style and be unable to hold a civil conversation. The fact that you dress appropriately for work, and don't look like something from a cartoon show and can have intelligent conversation about such things a politics, the war, your family, is a concept foreign to everything they've been led to believe to be true about Pagans. Now because she has come to believe in a particular stereotype, she will refuse to believe you could be anything but Christian. Even a backsliding Christian to her, it seems is better than the idea of you being Pagan.

sacrificialgoddess wrote:No, I don't want to help you spread the word of Jesus to the masses. Rolling Eyes

I understand.

sacrificialgoddess wrote:And you know, I thought we were friends when she was assuming I was a Christian!
There you go..... thinking again. You know what they say happens when you assume.

I for one will avoid at all costs talking religion. I have encountered some uber Christians at work, and the best way to at least get them to stop and think for a moment is for me to, when the subject comes up, without giving up anything at all about me, simply ask them that as a Christian do they believe in the commandment against theft. I think it's a Thou shall not steal, to be specific. If they say yes, then ask them why they are stealing from the company. They are going to want to know what you mean, so you can explain it this way.... You an your coworker are being paid "X" amount of dollars to do work for "Y" company. "Y" company expects you to devote your time while on the clock to them. If you get involved in a lengthy religious debate, it is in fact theft of time against the company.

Now if you'd rather not alienate yourself from her, and have her angry at you, you might consider this; take her off to the side one day during your break period, and explain to her in a loving way how this change in her behavior has bothered you, and you feel it's damaging whatever friendly relationship the two of you may have. You've mentioned that she's on your friend's list on Facebook, so this tells me that you were at one time quite close. Tell her that you are well aware of her religious beliefs, and if it bothers her so much that you follow a different path, you may be forced to end your friendship. If she opts to end the friendship, she never was the friend you thought she was to begin with.

Just my thoughts on it.

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