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Old 02-29-2008, 08:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb Collecting survey data on religion, give your .02

Some of you know that I am a clergyman. I am preparing a series of messages for Easter and I am collecting some data from the general public to help illustrate my teaching. If you don't mind, I would welcome any feedback, and you can be completely honest, to this question:

From the lives of those people you personally know who call themselves by the name of "Christian", what association has that name come to mean to you?

I was pretty much a total heathen who'd never even been to a church for the first 19 years of my life, so don't worry about being offensive, I've seen it all.

Thanks,

Jeff
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I've seen so many different "Christians," it's like trying to list all of the associations I have for a person that calls themselves white. Here's a few that come to mind:

Loving
Judgemental
Hateful
Understanding
Offensive
Physically abusive
Prideful
Generous
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greentrees View Post
don't worry about being offensive, I've seen it all.
Should I stand by with a firehose? This is why we don't do political or religious topics here...
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiad7 View Post
Should I stand by with a firehose? This is why we don't do political or religious topics here...
I myself am nauseated by the hypocrisy in others and even more in myself. In the Bible Jesus doesn't mind telling a plastic church that they are vomit and vipers. My goal here is to show the people I am leading how we are sometimes perceived. Sometimes people's feedback can be a mirror in which we truly see ourselves and have an opportunity, if we are humble enough, to make changes. My goal has always been to break the religious beaurocracy side of my faith and move toward actually making a difference in people's lives by showing them kindness and truth.

If you want to close this thread b/c it's religious or political that's fine. I didn't think it would be a big deal since there's other volatile/questionable material sometimes offered. I've developed some equity here over the last year and felt like that was a safe platform from which to ask this stuff.

I really do want honest feedback. It won't be all bad - look at post #2!
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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We'll see how it goes. Carry on...
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiad7 View Post
We'll see how it goes. Carry on...
Super, feel free to close at any time, it's no big deal, I trust your judgment as a moderator of this site.
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Old 02-29-2008, 09:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Sorry to say, but of those who identify themselves purely as "Christians," the first word that comes to mind is "intolerant."
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Old 02-29-2008, 10:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a very good friend (born again...) who it took about a year for him to get over the fact that I am an athiest...so I know from both sides.

Pros
Blind Faith
Sense of Purpose
Perceived Morality
Giving for the right reasons

Cons
Blind Faith
Intolerance
Giving for the wrong reasons
Always wanting money...


My wife is a Catholic and I have worked very hard since birth to instill in our 2 boys (7 and 8) the value of choice. I have always respected my wifes views and have never marginilized them..even when pressed by our older son who is very curious. I have always stated that believing in God was a choice...much like a favorite color. You may or may not disagree with someones view but it is thiers and you have little or no chance of changing it (and why would you anyway?). They do attend CCD and I have never disagreed with the choice (just the overbearing nut case running the program who calls our house if they miss for something and basically reads us the riot act). I just wish they could be exposed to other religions and make an informed decision but that will not be an option until they are older.

My .02


I think we should talk about politics too!....

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Old 02-29-2008, 10:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Atheist here also. I really dislike how religion has become such a big part of politics. Separation of Church and State please! I will make my own decisons in life (with my own moral compass) and not live in fear of being judged in an afterlife that doesn't exist.

Greentree's I am the opposite of you...went to church for the 1st 19th years of life (raised in a Catholic family) and now will never attend. Too many things I don't agree with. But to each his own, unlike "god", I don't judge others.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:20 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Same here. Growing up in Utah I often felt ostrazied for not wanting anything to do with church. I had a hard time dating do to being shunned by my dates parents. Later in life my life I had to call off my wedding because of her parents and the pressure to have a LDS lifestyle. IMHO I feel that I can be a good person with morals and values and not be affiliated with any religion.
Thats my .02

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Sorry to say, but of those who identify themselves purely as "Christians," the first word that comes to mind is "intolerant."
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Several surveys have shown that over 70% of people who say they believe in God, believe "just in case". Doesn't sound like a very good reason to me.

I too am Atheist, but I say do whatever makes you happy. Just you don't expect other to believe or follow what you do, and respect that choice.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Arrogance and judgment on the part of the "believer" are the antithesis of what the Bible teaches.

Great stuff guys. Keep it coming.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Oh, and if it's needed for your data, I'm Episcopalian and do regularly attend services. I grew up without organized religion, came to it on my own terms.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I consider myself agnostic, leaning toward atheism as well. I don't really have any close friends who consider themselves "Christians", but my next door neighbor describes herself as a "born-again Christian". She's totally tolerant of my point of view however, and has never given me any grief or tried to convert me, even under the influence of wine. So she's cool in my book... as is anyone who has enough respect for their fellow human beings to not force their beliefs and perceived morals on others.

Aside from her and a few select others that I've had the pleasure to meet in the past, the associations that come to mind when I think of Christians in general are less flattering... judgmental, intolerant, hypocritical, ignorant, perception of moral superiority are some of them.

Another big pet peeve of mine is the heavy influence of religion in politics... I totally agree with chillyc on this.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:57 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Of the people that I know who identify themselves as Christians, there seems to be 3 types:
type 1. those who take advantage of people and use Christianity as an excuse. The word smug comes to mind.
type 2. those who think there is a propper way you need to act to be a Christian, and feel the need to inform/influence you of their ways. The word patronizing comes to mind.
type 3. those who are earnest good people, will go out of their way to make other's lives better without being patronizing. The word compasion comes to mind.

I refuse to be around "type 1" Christians
I tollerate "type 2" Christians
I am inspired by "type 3" Christians
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