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Lord Yupa

February 2010

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Lord Yupa

"Don't convert me!!!"

In all honesty, if someone came near me and proclaimed to be a devout Christian, I would prolly run the other direction. ;-)

In fact, the first thing Jehovah's Witnesses do when they catch you at home, is say that they're not here to try to convert you. Of course, they then harass you for the next three months attempting to convert you. (My apologies to any Jehovah's Witnesses, or anyone else I offend, as it's not intended. However, the situation described here isn't exactly uncommon, and I actually have a friend who was forced to get a restraining order to get a Jehovah's Witness to leave him alone. There's something seriously wrong with that.)

You are wise to be wary of someone like me. I may just be a snake oil salesman who has dedicated his life to converting everyone to Christianity.

Except, for one important thing...

I'm not. ;-)

I haven't given anyone much reason to believe that yet, though, so I don't expect the benefit of the doubt. I will say once again, though, that I truly am not here for that.

Most of the time, followers of non-traditional religious tend to be a great deal more fun to discuss religion with, because in my experience, they tend to be a more open minded, more open to discussion, and less likely to fall back on, "The [Insert Religious Text Here] says that so and so is true, so it is, and I'm not going to talk about it anymore."

And it is definitely important to remember that when people think they are right about something, it's hard for them not to be pushing beliefs. When discussing religion, you are quite often talking about things that most people have very strong beliefs about.

It's very easy for the discussion to become an argument, and I will readily admit that I'm as often at fault as not. I greatly enjoy religious and philosophical discussions and debates, and I love to challenge people, and their beliefs, as well as be challenged in mine. (Not so much to change their beliefs, but simply to try to understand why the follow it. I've found this a great way to learn and evolve my own belief system, as I can't count the number of times I challenged someone on a specific point of their faith, and received answer which then influenced me. ;-)

Comments

I think you're doing a very large injustice to Christians and to your own argument by lumping "Christians" into one mass.

Christianity is extremely diverse, and encompasses a diverse range of beliefs. To claim Christianity is something, and then to use Jehovah's Witness to try to illustrate an entire religion's behavior is...not quite kosher :)

Would I run from a devout Southern Baptist? Knowing the evangelistic nature, oh hell yes I'd run.

Would I run from a devout Quaker? Generally, no. In fact I admire Quakers, for various reasons.

Various sects of Christianity, from the Roman Catholic to the Orthodox Catholic to the Protestant are very different. And hold different beliefs about conversions and the existance of the personal truth. Christians differ by upbringing, by sect, by geography, by age, by influence, you name it. Most Roman Catholics I know haven't been to church in years, yet still considers themselves Christian.

And simply because someone calls him/herself a Christian does not mean they automatically follow every rule and take the most unbending interpretation of religious "law". Many a man and many a woman who don't identify as "straight" still are Christian, despite the official homophobic stances of several sects. Many Christians would refuse to participate in violence. Many sin and could care less. They're all still Christian.

With regards to "non-traditional" (albeit pop-culture tainted) religions, their members can be open-minded, yes. Unfortunately "other" religions have their bad apples also. I recall one of the worst cases of closed-minded bigotry I ever experienced was from a Wiccan girl. Many wiccans are just as quick, I've found, to shut non-Wiccans out as are some Christians to shut non-Christians out. It's an inherent flaw that comes with "religion". I've met some very evangelical (oh the irony of the term) pagans who I'd term as bad as the Episcopalian who told me in 6th grade that I was damned. "Non-traditional" practitioners in general won't read for dogma to support them, but they can be as pretentious as the stereotypical stick-up-the-ass Roman Catholic.

I don't belong to any sect of Christianity. And I've had my problems with pushy Christians from various sects. But I respect their diversity, and I respect the many, many Christians who are open-minded. Making sweeping statements about Christianity, I've found, do little but encourage those who are open to close back up.

Very true.

You are most definitely correct, and I agree with nearly everything you've said here. ;-)

I should have been more clear on all of these posts. . . they were cut and pasted from a discussion I was having earlier, so many of them are missing the context in which they are based.

For example, this entry here, was originally a comment about conservative right wing "Fundamendalist" Christians. Additionally, I was forced to cut out paragraphs from some of these entries in order to allow them to stand alone. In some cases, I may have been a bit zealous with my cutting. ;-)

In the context of the original comment, this was clear, however reposted here, it unfortunately appears much broader than it was intended.

I actually even made a post about how much variety there is, and how many differences there are, in Christianity. Although I don't know if it managed to get itself reposted as an entry here.

Thanks a lot for your comment. If I repost any more of my comments as entries, I'll try to pay closer attention to them, to ensure that they can stand completely alone, without external context, and still retain the meaning I wrote them with.

Jehovah's Witnesses?

I don't really understand the problem with Jehovah's Witnesses. I've only ever had them come to my door once. Late on a Saturday morning while I was still in bed. I heard the knocking and quicky threw on some jeans and ran to open the door. I didn't really have time to get a shirt on, so my nipple ring and tattoos were exposed. When I opened the door and greeted them they stood there silently for a moment and one of them just said, "I think we have the wrong house," and then turned to leave. They were carrying some literature with them, and I still didn't know who they were, so I demanded some of it. They kind of threw a pamphlet at me as they were leaving. This is how I knew they were Jehovah's Witnesses. The literature was quite interesting, not as extremist as I would've imagined.

Re: Jehovah's Witnesses?

That is amusing. ;-)

In all honesty, I don't think it's the specifics of the religious ideology that Jehovah's Witnesses follow that upsets people...

The thing is, part of the beliefs of Jehovah's Witnesses is that they must convert X number of people in order for them to receive 'salvation'. (I don't know the exact details, but it's something like this.)

For this reason, they're usually really pushy, and tend to visit people repeatedly in an attempt to convert them. It's really annoying to deal with them sometimes, as you really do have to be almost rude before they'll go away.

Either that, or show them tattoos and nipple rings, it seems. <g>