Thursday, 29 July 2010

Religion is...

I believe that the only way to accept the differences in people is to understand them. Not to judge people outright on their actions, but to understand how those actions came to pass. My constant need for information, explanation, understanding and reasons may annoy or bore people. But it's through those things that I can become accepting of others.

I am not Christian. I consider myself Pagan, I follow nature and a vast array of Gods from many cultures to make a religion that fits for me, that makes sense to me. Some people don't understand it, or like it, but it's mine and they don't have to. But I'd like them to respect it.

I endlessly read as much as I can on other religions and belief systems so that I can understand why people believe what they do, understand their actions and reactions. I think that through knowledge and acceptance of our differences, we can all live together better, treat each other better. It shocks people that I read the bible and other Christian texts, that I read about voodoo (Not the Hollywood idea of voodoo) and Islam and Judaism. Cults fascinate me. I like to get into the heart of things and pick them apart so that I can understand how everything works.

A big debate happened on my friend Jons FB because of religion. A friend of ours posted a status being derogatory about a Christian handing out leaflets, so Jon (A Christian) wrote a similar status, but substituting Christian for ginger, as our friend is ginger, to point out how ridiculous it is. Thus began one of the most frustrating conversations about religion I have even been in. I will post it under a cut. Jon is in bold and our other friend Aaron is in italics, my parts are in regular type. What do you think of it all? *Warning!* It's LONG. And the beginning is missing because someone else was involved and she deleted her posts so it didn't make sense at all.

There are good and bad everywhere. I for one love open minded debate about religion, it's why I read the bible don'tcha know. The problem is not every person handing out leaflets are polite, just like every person turning those flyers down is. I've been stopped and harassed for HOURS by people before about converting there and then and my ex tried diligently to do so. The problem seems to be how people view others and their actions, and the assumptions they make based on religion.

No-one should be grouped just because of gender, race or religion. Period.

Beth and Aaron, are you aware that while the Christians ran a witch hunt that killed thousands, Pagans have also done exactly the same thing to Christians. There is no excuse for either groups action and it's that kind of bigotry that needs to be moved passed.

If they want to believe in that, then fine, but what makes them think they have to get everyone else to believe in it? Christianity has ALWAYS been the same, and they will not be content until the whole damn world is praising "God"s name. Which is not going to happen.

thank you sarah :) well put

you sound like you're trying to take over the world. You're being so hypocritical you group billions of people into one tidy title, say you hate them all then say that christians are close minded. You're such a hypocrite.

Generally, as a rule, most christians are close minded. I mean, you'd have to be, right? =D

Good to see that while you guys attack the Christian community about their witch hunt, you failed to acknowledge the Pagan equivalent.

I've met so many lovely Christians, and while I don't believe what they believe I'm glad they believe in something. The world is a worse place when you have nothing to cling to when times get tough.

While I agree that Paganism is one of the oldest religions, and that Christianity has a lot to thank them for, like the dates of their holidays and such, Christianity has as much of a place as anything.

Lots of people don't act in a very Christian manner sure, but there are lots of people out there giving Paganism an equally bad name. It's not just Christianity and the media that have lead it to be viewed as it is. Tirades about people doing what they think is right doesn't help. Sure it can be annoying, but they're just trying to save your immortal soul because they believe in their God and his love and want YOU to experience the joy that their beliefs bring to them.

Hypocrisy comes in many guises.

Aaron: You say most Christians are closed minded? Why? Because they don't believe what YOU do? Lots of Christians are also scientists, did you know that? And while I think some practices such as only teaching evolutionism and abstinence only sex education are wrong and can be harmful, not everyone thinks that way. Religion is what YOU make of it and how YOU interpret it, why do you think there are so many different types of bibles and Christians? As with everything, belief if open to debate and personal interpretation. Your way of defending yourself has just made you look like such a bigoted hypocrite. You attack them for their beliefs and actions, and then get up on your high horse that they do the same to you.

No sarah, im not attacking them for their beliefs, im attacking them for trying to force said beliefs on me, massive difference. Nothing at all bigoted or hypocritical about it.

You got stopped by someone offering you Christian information. Correct? In response to that you wrote a status where you ended it with "Christians piss me off." and then proceeded to say that most Christians are narrow minded. Quite the generalisation. What is it, other than the fact that they are Christian and you are pagan that annoyed you so much? That they stopped you to share their belief with you? Did he sit you down, condemn you for your religious beliefs, lecture you for hours and proclaim you Satan incarnate? Or, did he simply offer you a leaflet?

Would you post the same kind of status if a charity worker stopped to tell you about the work they were doing?

You use sweeping statements to sum up one of the largest and most diverse religious movements... Because they believe something different to you. And stopped you to tell you about what they believe.

There is nothing forceful about a leaflet.

Why go around offering people fucking leaflets? You see me waving a pentagram in his face? No. Every christian i have met has in some form or fashion tried to convince me that my beliefs are wrong and theirs is the only one that matters. Sorry, but what conclusion would you come to?

That their beliefs give them hope and joy and maybe that they want YOU to feel the same? That maybe they believe so fully that they DO think your beliefs are wrong... But isn't that what believing something is all about? Knowing in your heart of hearts that you are right and wanting other people to know the same? So what if they try and convince you that you're wrong? Are you telling me that you have never once told someone that THEIR beliefs are wrong? That you are so pure and wise that you've never once tried to tell someone that what they think is wrong and what you think is right because I don't think with any measure of honesty you can.

Who knows who is right? Maybe we all are in some way, or maybe none of us are. The whole point is to lead by example, to act like an adult and not throw your toys out of your pram just because some people want you to believe what they do.

You like a movie or a band, you tell people about it. If someone says it's crap you defend it. You tell them why they're wrong, why you believe that movie or band is awesome. That's what they're doing, just with religion.

Condemnation goes both ways and you don't even see that you're doing it.

They are going to go out of your way and preach on a street corner telling everybody that they are living their lives wrong. You see nothing at all fucked up about that? They should just stop forcing their shit down everyone else's throats. I didnt ask for it, and i dont need it. Sure, i love Marilyn Manson, but you know what, ive never stood on a corner preaching how amazing he is and that everybody should listen to his music.

You wear T-Shirts with his picture on them. That's known as stealth advertising. You listen to his music... Probably audible through headphones or maybe by being loud enough to leave the room you're in. So, yeah... In a way you are.

Every day we are confronted with images and sounds and information that we may not like or believe. You ignore billboards and adverts. You don't complain that a bus drives by with Lady Gaga plastered across the side. Treat this the same way. Just don't sit around bitching about it and painting every Christian with the same tainted brush.

Religion IS the worlds biggest fucking problem. And some of your arguments really dont make a whole lot of sense. It really isnt the same at all.

What I'm trying to say... Obviously not very well... Is that everyone's selling something, from religion to shampoo, and as evolved beings with minds of our own we can take and leave the adverts we don't like. If people want to stand and hand out leaflets let them. Just because they're religious ones doesn't make them any different to anything else people peddle. Don't want it? Don't take it, but don't act like everyone who believes the same thing as that person trying to sell you Christianity is some kind of closed minded moron out to rule the world.

Religion isn't a popularity contest. People who treat as such are wrong. It's a belief system to get you through. It's a way to make sense of the things that don't make sense. One way or another almost everyone wants people to believe what they do... Some people are just more active about it.

Sarah don't know what Aaron's talkin about your arguments make perfect sense, i think he probably realised he was being an idiot and had no idea how to redeem himself so he tried rubbishing you.
Aaron take a leaf from sarah's book, despite not being christian she is open minded about it, not hypocritical, and doesn't automatically group every christian as the same person. You'd be lucky to be half the person she is mate.

Had to like that... It said I win! Lmao. I thought my arguments made sense.

your arguments were intelligent, made sense, open minded, brilliant and above all else correct! I have a lot more respect for you than aaron because you AREN'T a christian yet you are willing to consider the possibility that christianity might at least in some part be correct, just as you are with any religion. You don't just shut out a belief you don't agree with, you will consider all the counter arguments. I think aaron has a lot of growing up to do. Just cos he doesn't believe in something he shouldn't get so angry about someone trying to educate him about what they may feel is correct. I'll bet that he's simply never considered it and knows very little about it. I like what you were saying about scientists because being a scientist myself ( lol ;) ) is one of the reasons i believe more. Having studied physics to a level where you ask questions and CANNOT be given an answer, and then have debates which get to the point where the teacher knows where it's going and cannot continue the discussion really makes you think. And honestly, even if it's not christianity that you believe in, i think only a fool would not admit that there is something else. Also at the end of the day if there is nothing else, what's the point? I'm well aware that being pagan means he believes in other things, that wasn't aimed at the ginger boy.

Chloe doesn't believe that Christians should be scientists because they will only prove to themselves that they are wrong. But look at all the things science has yet to prove. They happened some how. Granted, I truly can never believe that the heavens and the earth were created in seven days, maybe a small exaggeration? But I think religion and science can co-exist perfectly, each filling in the blanks the other leaves behind.

As a matter of fact Jon, i do know a fair bit about it. Just because i despise christianity in all forms, dosent mean i dont know anything about it. I grew up around very christian people.

... I'm not even going to touch this... You make it too easy...

Actually, I take that back... You despise Christianity in all forms? Even here ?

Do i really need to say it again?

You despise people who are helping the less fortunate purely on the basis of their religious beliefs?

I said i despise christianity.

Christianity created and fuels Habitat for Humanity... It's people who just happen to be Christian, and others who aren't, helping people. To say you despise Christianity in all forms you therefore despise Habitat for Humanity. It was created using Christian beliefs. Which makes you a cunt.

lmao, aaron you're an idiot. Completely and thoroughly. And sarah i see the 7 days thing as kind of a metaphor. I believe in everything science has proven including evolution, but i do believe it was all part of a design. Just cos i'm a scientist doesn't mean i can't believe in god, i just believe he made science this way if you catch my drift.

Someone once said that science was Gods way of giving people a way to understand his creation. I think, personally, the strongest person is one who can test one belief daily through another. Christianity through science.

Good to hear you believe in evolution... I just realised earlier I said evolutionism when I meant creationism. Dumbass. Lol! I cant get my head around a God who plants dino bones to test people... Seems kinda cruel. See Bill Hicks for clarification! Lol.

Who says you have to build a charitable cause on christian beliefs, Sarah? And i knew it wouldnt be long before the name calling started. Thats what religion does to people. And part of the reason why i hate it so.

I'm not saying you have to build one on Christian beliefs, I'm saying that you cant blanket despise Christianity, and in that fold Christians, when there are plenty of things out there based around Christianity that are doing GOOD. If you fail to see that it's because you're too clouded by your own hate.

And it's not religion that made me call you a cunt. It's the fact that you're acting like a cunt.

lmao *claps*

Thanks *Bows* I'm here all night folks!

lol aaron is gettin owned


Not at all!

Also, Aaron... I would like to point out your hypocrisy... I love doing this: "Generally, as a rule, most christians are close minded." vs "Just because i despise christianity in all forms, dosent mean i dont know anything about it." Uhhh...... Who's closed minded now?

Thanks Jon :oD

aaron no offense mate but you're doing a brilliant job of making yourself look like an idiot without sarah even needing to say anything! You're settin yourself up to look like a fool and all she's doing is pointing it out

Sarah if you look back CLOSER at the first comment you pointed out you will see it was just me being funny. Hence the smiley.

lmao so are you saying that every comment you have made was in jest then mate? Cos it doesn't have a smiley in all of them.

Ahhh... A joke! So hilarious! People put smiley faces on the end of things they mean all the time for just this eventuality. I know I do. So that when someone calls you on your shit you can pull out the "I was only joking! See Smiley face!" defence. Don't bullshit a bullshitter Aaron.

No Jon, im saying that comment was in jest. I have always been against christianity. Make of it what you will, many have before you.

Sarah, im afraid i dont do that. That, seems pretty pointless to me, and in fact as Jon pointed out, that was the only comment where i left a smiley.

I concede to that. Still... Don't say it in the middle of a religious debate if you don't mean it, because it will be used against you.

Aaron it's not that i have a problem with you not bein christian or even that you are pagan, as a wise person said to me recently that everyone is different and that's what is great about the world. My problem is that you're being a complete hypocrite and basically talkin out your arse. I'm also very worried that one day you might procreate thus making further incredibly stupid people just like you.

So Jon, because you didnt like what i had to say because it offended your religion is talking out of my ass? Yea ok man. *rolls eyes*

Awww Jon, you're talking about ME! Lmao. I'm so wise.

Aaron, if negative experiences have shaped your views then I'm sorry for that, but you can't assume that everyone that believes that is the same. If you reached out and maybe tried opening your mind you might see the good in Christianity. It may or may not be right, but regardless, not every Christian is wrong. A lot of Christians believe in the good parts of what the bible says, and follow it, reaching out and helping people. Which makes those Christians a damn sight better than a lot of people out there who aren't.

And he's saying you're talking out of your ass because your arguments are not only badly formed, biased and ridiculous, most of them are false and prove nothing except your hate and hypocrisy.

It saddens me that there are people who claim to be pagan who talk the way you do. You give the rest of us a bad name. Paganism is about love, nurturing, helping and being open minded and forgiving. "Harm none and do as ye will." You words or hate are hurtful. If you aren't open minded to other people, how can you ever expect them to be open minded towards you.

no i actually love people debating it and thinkin about it and challenging my beliefs i love religious debates i think they're amazing. I'm always very interested in what people believe. The fact you're talkin shit is why i said you're talkin out your arse.


‎"Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give."

"Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name, let love and light be our guides again."

"Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.
These Eight words the Rede fulfill: "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will""

you think pagans are above dislike or hate sarah?

I think pagans should follow what the Rede tells us... To enter everything with openness, love and respect. To treat people as we wish to be treated. To not judge people by their beliefs. Hate is such a strong word, and hate is what has caused some of the worlds greatest atrocities. Hate and fear.

You are arguing yourself in circles proving nothing Aaron. All you're doing is saying you despise, hate, dislike millions of people based on their beliefs, which is neither a charitable or pagan way of looking at things. It's actually a horrible way of looking at things.

look at what beth said earlier she hates noone. Pagans are supposed to be nice people you are talkin merely out of hate and acting in a very unpagan way slating a religion just cos it's not yours and then saying that you hate everyone from that religion because they don't like religions that aren't their own. When actually i am all for anything that makes people act kindly towards one another whether it is a different religion or not. I think you need to do more research into what you believe because you have chosen a religion to shock people but have chosen badly. I think you are more interested in devil worshiping and sadism etc

Or maybe you'd prefer to worship yourself... You seem to believe you're something special, akin maybe to a God, who is right always despite being full of hate. That's Satanism btw. The worshipping of oneself above a higher God.

Sarah i shall say this for the millionth time, i hate christianity, not christians. And i dont worship the devil, the devil is a christian concept. 80 comments later and what have we learned? That yes, religion does nothing but breed arguments, conflict and war.

so are you actually a pagan then aaron?

No... People like you filled with unnecessary hate breed arguments, conflict and war.

I think history would prove otherwise.

And yes

Religion is what people blame wars on because they refuse to acknowledge that their hate and the hate of others is what really causes it. Religion is a cover people use to fuel their hate. But religion isn't the problem, it's narrow minded ...people that are. If people listened to what their religious texts told them, 'religious' wars wouldn't happen. The Klu Klux Klan are a group of people who hate anyone who isn't white... So they use the bible as their cover and their reason for that. Hitler hated the Jews, and he used the fact that they were Jewish to cover for whatever his real reasons were.

People are the problem.

As a pagan I'd expect more love and compassion from you. Not narrow minded bile filled hatred.

aaron you're a fool. You are acting like an idiot seriously. You cannot possibly claim to be pagan and talk like this seriously. There is no good in you. No hope or want for a better world or spiritually healthier life.

Try reading a book Aaron. I recommend "What's so amazing about Grace?" by Philip Yancey.

The world would be a better place if not consumed by religion, because IT consumes people. Its has always been the same. And i don't see it changing. Call me a realist.

I'd rather be consumed by religion than spite and hate. I'd rather be consumed by something that gives me joy and hope than the need to insult others based on what they choose to believe and what gives them joy and hope.

as sarah said religion is just a useful excuse, if people were actually following the religion better they would not fight one another.

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