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Lord Alexandor

Knight
Discord Manager








Since: 10-15-06
From: Dayton, OH

Since last post: 665 days
Last activity: 95 days
Posted on 02-14-13 11:14 PM Link | Quote
So, my wife wants me to help her with her church class homework, and I know some of you guys and gals are non-christian, so I agreed to post here. Basically, she just needs to know if you have any interesting cultural values that would be different from the average Christian and how you view Jesus (if you even believe). I've got her quote from Facebook below. Any answer (even if it is just a few words or a freakin novel) would help.

Originally posted by Lord Alex's Wife
To any non-Christians,
I have some homework for church I need help with and was wondering if you could answer a few questions. I need to know about your faith, values, customs, and how you view Jesus Christ. This is due on Monday, so I'd like an answer as soon as possible. Thanks for your help.


Thanks for helping! If this is the wrong place to post, I apologize. We can close this after Monday if you wish.
Elara

Divine Mamkute
Dark Elf Goddess
Chaos Imp
Penguins Fan

Ms. Invisable








Since: 08-15-04
From: Ferelden

Since last post: 59 days
Last activity: 59 days
Posted on 02-15-13 10:17 AM Link | Quote
Happy to help.

I am a Pagan. I suppose you could basically call me Wiccan... but I have moved away from that title after a bunch of poser teenagers tried to claim it as the new "It" thing. Pagan views are very eclectic, so mine might be more unique than others since I am a solitary practitioner (meaning I don't belong to a coven). Some of us follow only a Goddess, some a Goddess and a God, some entire Pantheons and others only a Higher Power. From all that I have noticed over the years we are no different than most Christians in terms of views like "Be nice to people" and "Don't kill, steal, etc"

Most Pagans, Wiccans especially, believe in the Rede, which states "And it harm none, do what thou will." Meaning that there is nothing wrong with doing something if it actually doesn't hurt someone else. You want to be a painter even though your dad wants you to be a lawyer? Do it. Follow your heart! It also means that we would never, ever, harm a living thing as part of our rituals. Ever.

For those tempted to bend the Rede to allow them to do things they shouldn't... we remind them of the Threefold Law, which is "That which you put out into the world returns to you threefold" (Karma, basically).

We value beauty of nature, the balance of harmony, and the mystery of that which we do not know. We also tend to laugh at witch jokes.

Views on Jesus vary from Pagan to Pagan. Some dismiss him outright, some hate him because of how his followers treat us, others try to blend the two together (yes, there are Christian Witches), and others just view him as a historical figure. I kinda fall into the last category...even though I currently don't know of any definitive proof in the archeological record that shows that the man exists, too much evidence from anecdotal sources indicates that some such figure did. He had many good ideas, and influenced many people. I just think it is a shame that so many of those people have done such horrible things over the years in his honor when it would seem that he would have been horrified by it.
Cteno

Super Shotgun
Moderator








Since: 01-11-05

Since last post: 1121 days
Last activity: 241 days
Posted on 02-15-13 07:11 PM Link | Quote
When I was a child, I was a devout Christian. However, as I became older, I noticed that the religion was being used to control people (I was one such person). That led me to questioning and further abandoning my belief and I began to look into other religions and finally I became atheist.

My reasoning for being atheist is this: it's not that I don't want to believe in an afterlife and deities and so on, it's that I don't need to constantly worship to find my happiness. I choose to live my life as a good person. I help strangers constantly and I give without asking anything in return. In some cases, I have been a martyr so that others could be given a second chance.

I do this not for recognition or personal gain, but because it makes me happy. I don't need religion. However, I would never deny religion to anyone who believes differently, one who finds power in looking up toward God or Odin or Buddha or Vishnu or Allah or the flying spaghetti monster. My only wish is that a person of one religion wouldn't hold prejudice over another based on what the obnoxious/murderous extremists do.

Live and let live, you know?
Astrophel
Fear will kill your mind and steal your love as sure as anything;
Fear will rob you blind and make you numb to others suffering









Since: 10-03-04
From: Azul Lux Orbital, Kirin Beta

Since last post: 1761 days
Last activity: 611 days
Posted on 02-15-13 09:57 PM Link | Quote
Atheist.

Originally posted by Elara
"And it harm none, do what thou will."


This was the one thing that stuck with me from my mother, though I don't believe as she did (she's now Christian). In the absence of a holy book or divine inspiration, I take my morality from a logical analysis - an action's morality is measured by its effects and intent. If it hurts no unwilling participants (gotta allow for some fun ), then there cannot be anything morally wrong with it.

Beyond that core principle, I very strongly believe in personal freedom. People should be free to do as they will (within the above rule), free to make mistakes and learn from them, and free to believe as they wish*.

* Except Scientology. Fuck Scientology.

On Jesus: He probably lived, said some stuff, died, and millions of people began arguing that their interpretation of his words was the only right one. Like with any religion, really. I have no opinion one way or the other on the man; if he lived, it was too long ago. His original words and intent are lost to time and repeated retranslation and (occasionally politically-motivated) reinterpretation.

On Christians, and those of other faiths: I don't care what you believe, and I mean that in the best possible way. It's your right to believe as you do, and my right to believe as I do. All I ask is the following: Don't use your religion as a tool of oppression (Uganda), don't use it as a justification for hate (WBC), don't use it to justify heinous attacks on others (do I need to cite examples?), and don't try to bring matters of faith into matters of science.

I wasn't raised an atheist, but I've always been the type to question things. I cannot accept "that's how it is" as an answer, and faith relies too much on that. If I were conclusively proven wrong, then I would believe - because it would then be a matter of fact, not faith. One could say that I lean agnostic, but I'm pretty sure of my belief in the absence of a god.


(Last edited by Astrophel on 02-15-13 09:59 PM)
Xeoman

Ball and Chain Trooper
Administrator








Since: 08-14-04
From: 255

Since last post: 56 days
Last activity: 51 days
Posted on 02-23-13 09:14 PM Link | Quote
Show her this article. It accurately sums up most of my childhood and where I'm at now.

I consider myself agnostic at this point, I guess. I'm just really apathetic about it in general. Maybe there's something out there, maybe not, but I'm not interested in thinking about it. I think I place faith/happiness above the belief in a God or higher being. Faith and happiness, being in tune with yourself and being the best you can be, is more important to me. I went through a group therapy thing a few years ago I talked a bit about around here, faith was attached to it but I'd hardly call it religious, yet, it was an experience that was at least 20x better than anything I had ever been through with church (not that that's hard, I never liked church). One of my favorite bits I pulled from it was after one session where we did talk a bit about God and Jesus, we sat down with others and talked about how we viewed the message. One of my partners there summed it up perfectly to me, God loved Jesus because Jesus was 100% Jesus, himself, the very best he could be. God doesn't want you to be Jesus, he wants you to be you, 100% you, happy as you, the best you can be, the way you were made and meant to be. I thought that was neat. People get too caught up in trying to be someone they aren't.

Frankly at this point I feel flat out uncomfortable in any church. I do not like the atmosphere, the practices, the sermons condemning our people and governments... "I won't waste my time going to Sesame Street Sunday mornings" was how my roommate recently put it. "Turn around and give someone a hug", why? We don't know these people, etc. He's in a similar boat, definitely seems a bit more cautious about it all, but yeah. Just going back to the article above there...

My parents are quite young. To think that they were early 20's, younger than I am at this point, when they were incredibly overly religious and controlling, kind of cracks me up and perplexes me. Fast forward to nowadays, my dad regrets most of it and has become pretty liberal and open. His grandpa who we lost a few years ago was not "saved", I don't think, but my dad was at peace with it and knew he'd see him again. He was content, happy, and believed what he believed. I think those are big things that really matter. My mom is still more conservative and has stronger morals attached to Christian beliefs, but yeah. She always jokes how her Catholic friends are the most normal people she knows, and the heaviest drinkers.

I don't practice anything or attend a church, and don't ever see that changing. The only good time I had with a church was when I was in high school and had access to my own car, so I was allowed to go to youth group to a different church where some of my friends went. No, I do not believe every single church out there is bad, or filled with fake people, and creating "community" isn't a bad thing at all, but I went through dozens growing up and want nothing to do with "going through the motions" like that ever again. I never fit in and was never happy. It was a consistent trend church after church.

So perhaps it's religion myself that I don't like at all thesedays, but I still believe to an extent that there can be some kind of spiritual journey, and real unexplainable faith that can be placed in things. But that also said, I firmly believe these things should be, a personal journey. Who are we to judge? If I am to ever take up an interest in such things again, I will not waste my time listening to some random pastor giving me his own interpretation of whatever passages or whatnot, I would look into things myself and be my own judge.

I've never read much of the New Testament, nor the entirety of the Old. But I'm just logical with some of these things as well. The Bible to me is a book, 90% of copies we see in our lives nowadays were probably typed up by Billy Bob. A large chunk of it just sounds like flat out fantasy / fiction to me, and it's just realistic to me to know that if it's really been maintained throughout these years... how many times has it been revised, altered, edited, etc?

For awhile there, it used to bug me how "Christians" would get slammed and I still think it's silly, on either end of the spectrum. Again, not all churches or people that attend them are bad people, nor are atheists, and others that practice other beliefs. But I guess it did irk me for awhile since I was a part of that growing up, but I think I'm past that point and it triggers nothing for me now.

Harsh, but truly sums up some of my feelings on some of these things. If there's genuine Christians out there who are happy and not hiding behind the name of God or putting up masks, that is great and I am completely happy for them. Same goes for any other person with any other belief. Let's stop pointing fingers and be our own judge, seek answers for our own journeys living to the fullest. Be yourself and be real.

So yeah, all that and I think I resonate with most of what Astro said. I guess I just consider agnostic before atheist, at the same time, I believe we write our own fate and the future has never been written (an interesting message from the Xeno games that I love, haha). So, I think there could be a God out there, but I think he's pretty laid back and letting us do what we want.


(Last edited by X on 02-23-13 09:19 PM)
Cteno

Super Shotgun
Moderator








Since: 01-11-05

Since last post: 1121 days
Last activity: 241 days
Posted on 02-24-13 12:49 AM Link | Quote
Also relevant. This song seems as though it is slamming on religion until the last line, pretty much saying, "Woah woah, you just have it all wrong." That last line is basically what I believe.
Lord Alexandor

Knight
Discord Manager








Since: 10-15-06
From: Dayton, OH

Since last post: 665 days
Last activity: 95 days
Posted on 02-24-13 11:32 AM Link | Quote
Thanks for all the responses! She is thrilled to have such a variety of answers between here and Facebook. She turned in her paper last Monday. Feel free to continue to discuss or whatever. I'll try to get her to sign up and join in on the conversation.
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