Debate and Discussion

Does Religion define a person?
Allan at 6:29PM, Aug. 3, 2007
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I would not consider myself a religious person at this point in my life, but I do believe I am a good person. A person who abides by the rules of society and a happy person. I get by just fine believing in the things I do and other people get by just fine believing in the things they do.

In previous relationships, I've dated people who were very religious-based and lived religious-based lives, which was fine with me, because I think religion is a healthy mindset to practice. It improves self-image and teaches people numerous good things about life.

So, as I was saying, in my previous relationships, my lack of religion (I wouldn't call myself an atheist as much as agnostic) pushed the girls away from me. I was fine with their choices, but they weren't fine with mine, which leads me to my topic of debate: Does Religion define you as a person?

For example: why not have a relationship with someone who's a healthy, smart, caring human being, even if they don't believe the same things you do? Can you really not appreciate your, or anyone else's life, if they don't believe the same things you do?

To conclude, in my opinion, I think we should take people as they are. If we like the person, we should enjoy the person, not really taking into account their beliefs unless they will harm you or the relationship.

So, what's your guys' and girls' take on this?
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
dueeast at 7:50PM, Aug. 3, 2007
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Tricky (and good) topic. I'll give it a try. :)

I have friends who are atheists, agnostics and of all different kinds of faiths. I don't let our variation in belief systems or faith interfere with friendships. I believe that one should not discriminate against someone else's belief system, period. That's what agreeing to disagree is all about, especially in friendships.

Dating is different because at some point, variations in something as personal as spirituality and belief systems can either draw (no art pun) people together or, as you mentioned, drive a wedge in-between two people. Differences in belief systems can lead to debating or attempts at persuading towards conversion and that can produce a lot of unwanted stress. Some people have been in interfaith relationships and made them work – more power to them – but all too often, it just doesn't work well.

How's that for a take on things?
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
Allan at 8:18PM, Aug. 3, 2007
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You're right about friendships. You could be a friend with a satanist and not even know it, while, if you're dating one, you'd better be sure to know who dat' is and who dat' believes. In fact, I don't know (or care) what half of my friends believe in.

The only problem I see is that why does it eventually come to conversion in a dating relationship? It's because one or the other side thinks that they are correct, and takes pity on the other side for not being “enlightened.” There'd be no unwanted stress if both sides accepted each other for who they are as people.

OK. You are who you are. I know that sounds redundant, but it's true. Everything about you makes you who you are, your religion, your upbringing, your family, your morals, your education, so, if you like this person, you should be willing to accept the person for who he or she is! If she's Christian and you're Buddhist, you should be able to know that being Christian has made her the way she is now, and go, “Wow, I sure am glad she's a Christian!”–not, “Man, she'd be so much better if she was a Buddhist.”

When I'm with a girl, I don't always think, “This person is a moron for thinking this way…” I think “Boy, this person is great.” I leave all the religion out of something that is completely nonreligious.

Heck, I've gone to church with my past relationships and not even judged a single one of them; religion is a really healthy and positive thing… yet people still judge others on what they believe.

But let alone relationships for a moment and take a look at things like Presidential Elections (in the US, because that's where I am) or even things as trivial as “American Idol.” Have you noticed how many times people have name-dropped things like “God,” “Jesus,” and “pray,” on there? Suppose people didn't care about these words, would people be who they really are without trying to win votes by occasionally lying about what they believe?

I'm not really answering any questions here, in fact, I seem to be making more, which is something I tend to do (most of the time I'll answer questions with questions). Anyway, the bible says not to judge, which is what I've been seeing a lot of lately. I guess I'll just have to deal with it for now.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
Aurora Moon at 8:41PM, Aug. 3, 2007
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You know something? I agree with you competely Allan.

However…I've had plenty of friends who were of all faiths, from all walks of life. and sometimes some certain people can really, really be annoying with their faith.

To be more spefic….sometimes I love my friends but not the family or company they keep. Take one of my christain friends, for instance. She's a devot christain, and she's been my best friend ever snice elemary school. She doesn't try to push off her faith on others, or resort to quoting the bible to back up her beliefs. She is just simply a person who believes in God and heaven very strongly and keeps that in her life. I admire how she keeps her beliefs strong without feeling the need to valiatde it by forcing it on others. However…I can't say the same for her parents, ugh.
Her parents are what I reffer to as the “Borderline Annoying Fanatic” type. They'd say things like: “Are you sure you should be wearing black all the time? That seems so ungodly. you know, you should come to sunday school with our daughter sometimes, it would do you some good.” All the time.
They seem to think that I'm some kind of project where they “help” their daughter covert me into some pitious, god-worshipping perfect christain or something.
What's more, sometimes they actually resort to quoting the old testement , in a desperate attempt to ‘prove’ that homosexuality/not assocating with witches/whatever is against god. When it's supposed to have been labelled as invaild by Jesus himself snice he made it so that nobody would ever have to follow the old testment again as seeing those times when the old Testment was regarded as “law”, was much harsher and cruel.
And Jesus himself never said anything hateful against homosexuals, Witches or the like. In fact he reguarly hung out with such people. So I would actually respect her parents more if they would just be honest and say: “Homosexuality just freaks me out, it doesn't feel right to me at all… so I'm not at all for it.”

So I can see how that would play a part in friendship/choosing a “life mate”. After all, Having friends you love despite thier annoying parents is competely different than say, having those annoying parents as IN-LAWS!! *shivers*

After all, when you start conidsering if you want to be with a person forever, you want to be able to get along with her/his family, and at least some of her/his friends. Otherwise you'd proably be in for a diffcult time trying to get along with everyone as well as you do your girlfriend/boyfriend. espeically if your choosen “mate”'s family is the type who's close-knit, and is always visiting a lot. It might work better if they were the type to live far away, etc.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Gibson Twist at 9:37PM, Aug. 3, 2007
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I could go on ad nauseum about the difference between religion and faith, but since this is about how a person's religion/beliefs affect who they are, seemingly in a romantic relationship, I'll say that I understand why people look for someone of the same religion without agreeing with it.

I don't know if I could agree more with the notion that people should take their partners (and friends) as they are when it comes to their religious choices, at least in the sense that it contributes to the whole of “who they are”. That being said, though, there is always the aspect of whether the choices they make help them or hinder them as a person. After all, we all have friends who make poor choices despite being good people, and while we should take the flaws with the strengths, we all try to help our friends make better choices. The trick is in knowing when our versions of ‘poor choices’ are based in realism or whether they are the result of our own biases.

From what I see, the issue of religion…in terms of how we see ours vs. someone else's…is largely a matter of insecurity and arrogance smashing together, springing from the same thought. Most people believe that what they believe is right and anyone who doesn't believe it is wrong. It makes sense to think this way, otherwise your beliefs would be quite weak…however, there is a very real point that no one really knows the truth, even though we don't all admit it. By this, I mean that no matter what you believe or how strongly you believe it, there is a strong probability that what you believe is wrong, owing only to the fact that there is really no proof of any of it. People don't often want to entertain the idea that they are wrong about…well, anything, and I think the pushing away of people who believe differently is motivated by an unwillingness to have their ideals challenged.

As far as I can tell, there is a real attitude of strength-in-numbers when it comes to religion, and in relationships people will seek those of a like mind to reinforce their own beliefs. I can't say whether this is a good or bad thing, but I've always felt that a belief that can't stand up to disagreement is a weak one. In my opinion, religious differences are no different than political ones or musical tastes or whether you prefer Statler or Waldorf. People who can live (and perhaps thrive) in a relationship with someone who thinks differently than they do should have no issues being in one. Those who cannot, should not. The only things we need to figure out are whether we are those people, if the differences are too great to deal with, and whether the person with whom we want to be are on the same page.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:35PM
mapaghimagsik at 11:50PM, Aug. 3, 2007
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Religion only defines a person as much as they let themselves be defined by it. I tend to agree about religious tolerance until they force their religion on me, or try to blow up family planning clinics because “its what Jesus wants”

oy.
last edited on July 14, 2011 1:51PM
ZeroVX at 4:26AM, Aug. 4, 2007
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Let me think about this for a min-no. It doesn't, trust me.

There was this one guy in my music class who was an open Christan. You'd think that'd mean that he was a nice guy and all that, but no. He was a dick. He always insulted me for no reason whatsoever. I don't know what this guy had against me, but ever since the day we met, he's hated my guts.

So no, religion does not define anyone.
“If our own government was responsible for the deaths of almost 100,000 people…..would you really wanna know?”

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last edited on July 14, 2011 4:58PM
EmilyTheStrange at 5:50AM, Aug. 4, 2007
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I'm a practising Catholic and so far every guy I dated was aithiest. O_O

I really have no problem dating someone with different beliefs than my own because I don't push my religion down people's throats like some other christians do. I did have a boyfriend who told me that I was stupid for believeing in something I couldn't see and tried to push his beliefs on me and, needless to say, the relationship didn't last long.

Your religious beliefes are very personal, so in a way they can define who you are. However, just because someone is Christian doesn't mean they are against abortion and gay marriage and think evolution is a crock. The same for aithiests, just because someone doesn't believe in a God it doesn't mean that they've evil or “going to hell.” Even in people who practise the same religion you will find varriations in the ways they worship and think things work (ie: Scientists who practise Christianity tend to believe in Evolution as well as what the bible teaches.) So, I feel a relatioship (as a friend or otherwise) can work with someone who believes differently than you. You just have to take that person's religious beliefs into account, not that person's religion's beliefs. ^_^
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:21PM
arteestx at 5:54AM, Aug. 4, 2007
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Allan
Why not have a relationship with someone who's a healthy, smart, caring human being, even if they don't believe the same things you do? Can you really not appreciate your, or anyone else's life, if they don't believe the same things you do?

First of all, human nature being what it is, no one is ever going to agree with you 100% on everything. So no one will ever believe all the same things you do. I think those differences can be healthy and invigorating to a relationship. Can be.

But I do think a similar worldview is important in a relationship. To me, the important worldviews come down to these: money, kids, religion, and politics. An open, tolerant Christian who does not take the bible literally could easily have a relationship with an open, tolerant Buddhist who is willing to explore other religions. It doesn't matter so much if someone believes “Jesus rode one donkey on palm sunday” and someone else says “Jesus rode two donkeys into palm sunday”. I do think someone who believes Jesus condemns homosexuals and someone who believes Jesus wasn't the Son of God are going to have significant problems.

Same with politics. Two people are not going to agree on everything. But a similar worldview is important. Two people who believe govt should be limited and small but disagree on a particular tax cut will get along much better than two people who fundamentally disagree about social issues…. ok, except for James Carville and Mary Maitlin, don't ask me to explain those two. But politics are an extension of what's important to you, whether it's abortion, gay rights, war, tax cuts, or whatever.

And I also think it's a matter of degree. Two people who agree on 90% of politics but disagree on one or two main topics is ok. Two people can fundamentaly disagree on gay rights but agree on war, abortion, economic policy, etc. can make it work. But if you disagree on three of those issues? Four? Five? Ten? I certainly can't say where the tipping point is, but I do think the more issues you fundamentally disagree on, the more problems you have. Disagreeing on whether Bush is literally stupid or incompetent isn't as important as disagreeing on Bush being the greatest or worst president ever.

Oh, the question was about religion. But it's the same thing. An athiest who is interested and open to religion can date a Christian who is interested and open to other religions. A devout athiest who thinks religion is a plague on humanity is probably going to have difficulty dating anyone remotely religious. It's about the overall worldview, moreso than both being Methodist or Buddhist or whatever. At least, that's been my experience.

Religion does not “define” you, but your religious views are extension of who you are, what's important to you, how you see others, how you act, etc. And those things, those worldviews, are important in a relationship.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:02AM
dueeast at 7:32AM, Aug. 4, 2007
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Sounds to me like the guy who hated your guts was a Christian In Name Only (CINO). If a person is gonna claim the term, his/her life ought to reflect it. Jesus told people to show love to one another, not to hate one another. Then again, I believe that's a large part of why many people dislike “Christians,” because they had a bad experience with a CINO (have I just coined a phrase?)

So you are right, a person defines themself.

ZeroVX
Let me think about this for a min-no. It doesn't, trust me.

There was this one guy in my music class who was an open Christan. You'd think that'd mean that he was a nice guy and all that, but no. He was a dick. He always insulted me for no reason whatsoever. I don't know what this guy had against me, but ever since the day we met, he's hated my guts.

So no, religion does not define anyone.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
MagickLorelai at 9:07AM, Aug. 4, 2007
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To a point, it does. Each religion tends to carry its own set of rules, though they can be similar. But, in many ways, people define THEMSELVES and choose a religion as part of how they define themselves. Religion is such a fundamental part of who we are, and what we believe reflects our personality.

For example, an atheist tends to be someone who considers him/herself intelligent, and the typical Wiccan crowd is comprised of young teens seeking a way to differentiate themselves from their surroundings(This is GROSSLY oversimplified, and I know there are people much older with and much more dignity in the religion).


last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
Allan at 1:45AM, Aug. 6, 2007
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MagickLorelai
To a point, it does. Each religion tends to carry its own set of rules, though they can be similar. But, in many ways, people define THEMSELVES and choose a religion as part of how they define themselves. Religion is such a fundamental part of who we are, and what we believe reflects our personality.

For example, an atheist tends to be someone who considers him/herself intelligent, and the typical Wiccan crowd is comprised of young teens seeking a way to differentiate themselves from their surroundings(This is GROSSLY oversimplified, and I know there are people much older with and much more dignity in the religion).

Well then can you judge a person based solely on his/her religion, or even worse, can you cope to a person's behavior because he/she is of a certain religion?
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
ozoneocean at 4:04AM, Aug. 6, 2007
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Religion, lol!

This is an aspect of our culture. Of course people define themselves and are defined by the culture they grow up in or chose to be a part of. Forget the crap about morals, belief, faith, blah, blah… those might be part of your experience of religion or they might not be, what matters is that it's a part of your life and it affects your world view.

Are you individual enough to look past your cultural conditioning and accept people on their own terms? In my experience it seems that only about 20% of people can really do that (a very generous estimate), and religion is just part of it. This problem comes from the same place as all prejudice -things like racialism, chauvinism, nationalism… Oh, on the surface people are accepting, but underneath they're all “those ‘Asians’ are taking over”, “I just don't trust those Muslims” etc. Makes you feel a little sick when you come across it. :(
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:27PM
dueeast at 8:41AM, Aug. 6, 2007
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You're quite good at zooming in on interesting points about a conversation, OO.

“Groupthink” or cultural isolationism, whether religious-based, nation-based or race-based, has always been repulsive to me. Then again, I was always the “rebel” of my family and didn't really care what people thought about me. I guess I've mellowed a bit with age but I still despise that kind of isolationism. It's group-approved hate, as far as I'm concerned. “Our” group is better than yours nonsense.

ozoneocean
Religion, lol!

This is an aspect of our culture. Of course people define themselves and are defined by the culture they grow up in or chose to be a part of. Forget the crap about morals, belief, faith, blah, blah… those might be part of your experience of religion or they might not be, what matters is that it's a part of your life and it affects your world view.

Are you individual enough to look past your cultural conditioning and accept people on their own terms? In my experience it seems that only about 20% of people can really do that (a very generous estimate), and religion is just part of it. This problem comes from the same place as all prejudice -things like racialism, chauvinism, nationalism… Oh, on the surface people are accepting, but underneath they're all “those ‘Asians’ are taking over”, “I just don't trust those Muslims” etc. Makes you feel a little sick when you come across it. :(
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:17PM
Tantz Aerine at 12:09PM, Aug. 6, 2007
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I think we really should learn to discriminate between religiousness and religiosity. It's one thing to abide by your faith (there's no lukewarm way to do it- either you abide by it, in all aspects of your life, or you don't) and quite another to abide by the ceremony and peripheral things that have been cluttering over the centuries around said religion.

Religiosity is like picking a team, with the top dog priest as your leader and the one you follow- not God. It doesn't matter what you are or how you behave as long as you are part of that team, at least in the superficial behaviors (going to church, keeping anniversaries/holidays, that sort of thing) and etiquette. Religiosity is the one that inspires fanaticism and all sorts of behaviors that have been already mentioned regarding those so-called members of X or Y faith (though usually everyone just disses the Christians ;) ).

Religiousness is a completely private matter. It has nothing to do with being included in a team, at least on the primary, vital level. You are not a follower when you are religious, except a follower of God as you perceive Him. Everything is between you and God, and it is nobody else's business. Your religiousness reflects itself in the way you behave in your everyday life, and it is mostly the secular behavior that actually displays your true colours regarding your religion. It also tends to be (ironically so) both very liberal and rather strict on certain matters. It also is very low-tone. I have yet to see a truly religious person going out and causing trouble or judging other peoples' behavior, or acting as ‘holier than thou’ to others he/she perceives as not proper or not following the right path.

In that sense, religion does not define the person- the level of sincere religiousness does. So you may have a Buddhist that has a far more Christian outlook and behavior than one who calls him/herself Christian (or CINO as dueeast put it :) ) and you may have a Christian that is probably better off calling himself agnostic or atheist.

However (and probably this is where people will attack me) there are some things that, however liberal or open-minded one can be, do define people within a religion, whether they are part of the ‘religion team’ or they are truly religious. There are some boundaries that are not crossed because they go completely against everything you believe- and if you cross those boundaries, then you end up condoning what you profess to reject as catastrophic for the soul of humans. So, for example, I would steer clear away from a satanist (I am an Orthodox Christian) the moment I realised it. I would not, however, persecute him/her or do anything to annihilate him/her. I would, however, explain why I would steer clear away from him/her if he/she asked me the reason why. And I would not feel bad about it at all.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 4:07PM
Hawk at 4:40PM, Aug. 6, 2007
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I think it's actions that define a person, so religion only defines a person if it has enough control over their actions.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:46PM
MagickLorelai at 7:29PM, Aug. 6, 2007
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Allan
Well then can you judge a person based solely on his/her religion, or even worse, can you cope to a person's behavior because he/she is of a certain religion?

Me personally, or “You” in general? Personally, I don't give a flying duck what your religion is, so long as you are a good person overall. But I don't think anyone should be based entirely on their religion, though I do feel there should be a few accommodations made for those who have a religious need that needs to be met.

last edited on July 14, 2011 1:50PM
patrickdevine at 1:54PM, Aug. 7, 2007
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Religion, like everything defines you if you let it. I've had friends that I've had despite religious dispute, and I've also had enemies because of religious dispute. I've even had people feel it was their duty to convert me. I think what it comes down to is are you a member of your religion before everything else? Well, I'm mostly parroting what due east said so I'll just leave it at that.
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:41PM
dgriff13 at 3:46PM, Aug. 7, 2007
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Religion comes into play more predominantly in long-term relationships than it does friendships… mostly because long-term relationships end up going through traditional ceremonial events like marriage, child birth, baptism, etc etc etc. Friendship, not so much. But it goes beyond the 2 people involved in the relationship- especially after marriage. Then it's a family issue too. For instance, my boyfriend and I are both ex-Catholic agnostics who aren't religious or even really “spiritual”. Both of our families are Catholic, my mother especially. We've talked about marriage and neither of us want a tradtional catholic wedding- we're thinking more.. um.. BBQ party. You can see where this is going… we match up together just fine, but religion will add a lot of stress to our lives anyway due to our families' religion. Then there's the issue if we ever have kids: will we baptize the child, will we raise him/her as a catholic… how will we explain “God”? Basically, how can we avoid being hypocritical, lying, and/or troubling our families all at the same time? It all becomes way too complicated, even for 2 very similar individuals.

And there are couples out there who come from completely different religious backgrounds with different traditions, a way more complicated situation than I'll be dealing with. It's amazing anyone can ever get along. All one can hope for is that others will see the INDIVIDUAL before their RELIGION… because it's the character and the goodness of the person that is most important— and I live my life hoping that I'm judged on that basis rather than a “label”. Not that I “believe” per say in a God, but I would think a “God” would be able to see through labels to the true character beneath.

Unfortunately, that's a lot to ask of most human beings. It'd be best if we all defined ourselves by character rather than any kind of label (“catholic”, “agnostic”, “black”, “white”, “woman”, “man”…). But that's just not the case a lot of the time.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
blntmaker at 1:52PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Hello Allan…

There is a phrase used in Christian circles - not sure if it's used in others - regarding the mismatched coupling of religious or non-religious people.

Being unequally yoked - Biblically speaking, if you're of a certain faith, you should ONLY seek dating/marriage relations with a person of the same faith. And that's NEW Testament (2 Corinthians I believe).

When you “missionary date” - You run the risk of compromising your own beliefs. It's a bittersweet moral code to follow, especially since you sometimes cannot help who you fall in love these days. Just watch the musical “Guys And Dolls”.

That word, religion, is a loaded word - many people here have already chimed in on the definition. A person's faith, or their belief system, should not deter the type of relationship you establish with them. I have co-workers who are agnostic, Mormon…even athiest - I still respect them as professionals and I'm happy to call them, FRIEND. The “private” matter of religion comes with the good thoughts or prayers you intercede for them. The actions and goodwill you display for a situation or for someone.

I teach at a school - so “religion” is a hot topic anyway, even among staff. A person doesn't have to know you're praying for peace in their life.

Just my $.02 - everyone seems to have great responses without the issue getting too hot.

last edited on July 14, 2011 11:26AM
Runosonta at 2:22PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Just pointing out; remember there's a HUGE differens between satanists and satan worshippers.


I don't care what my boyfriend believes in (though I've only dated atheists) as long as we're a good match.

The other one constantly judging you by his/hers ______ beliefs, demanding ______ weddings, or forcing you to celebrate ____ holidays etcetera.. that doesn't work.

last edited on July 14, 2011 3:12PM
Aurora Moon at 8:05PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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blntmaker
Being unequally yoked - Biblically speaking, if you're of a certain faith, you should ONLY seek dating/marriage relations with a person of the same faith. And that's NEW Testament (2 Corinthians I believe).

When you “missionary date” - You run the risk of compromising your own beliefs. It's a bittersweet moral code to follow, especially since you sometimes cannot help who you fall in love these days. Just watch the musical “Guys And Dolls”.

Compromising beliefs how? Basically, if the other person loved you enough not to even care about how you had certain things/or “quirks” according to your beliefs even though they didn't have the same belief set….then nothing would be compromised at all. For instance, if you dated an ahetist that didn't really trust churches but still loved you enough to get married inside a church and do the wedding your way…. no compromising there.

And if it was all about faith and belief being challenged… in the church my mother goes to, they have this saying: “It's good to have your faith tested and challenged, so that it may come out of the orderal very much stronger. For if it is not tested or challegned, the faith becomes weaker, and you take it for granted.”
That's how it goes, more or less. I think that's actually true. Snice I've seen too many kids who grew up into those “christians” and they were simply that way just because their fathers and mothers were christains. They didn't really believe in it, they just went to church and stuff because they grew up with it, and took it for granted. They didn't even question it or study it when they became old enough to start questioning…. so they weren't really “true” to the religion.

So in my opinion, having more diverse family members with different beliefs in a few things would most likely create future gerenations who would truly be intersted in the religions out there, and not just some kids who got spoonfed it, became used to doing it and kept on doing it without really thinking about it.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
blntmaker at 11:58PM, Aug. 9, 2007
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Aurora Moon
blntmaker
Being unequally yoked - Biblically speaking, if you're of a certain faith, you should ONLY seek dating/marriage relations with a person of the same faith. And that's NEW Testament (2 Corinthians I believe).

When you “missionary date” - You run the risk of compromising your own beliefs. It's a bittersweet moral code to follow, especially since you sometimes cannot help who you fall in love these days. Just watch the musical “Guys And Dolls”.

Aurora Moon
Compromising beliefs how? Basically, if the other person loved you enough not to even care about how you had certain things/or “quirks” according to your beliefs even though they didn't have the same belief set….then nothing would be compromised at all. For instance, if you dated an ahetist that didn't really trust churches but still loved you enough to get married inside a church and do the wedding your way…. no compromising there.

Well, here's an example - I had a friend who was in the ministry for seven years. She doesn't drink or smoke. In fact, she shunned that stuff because she was strict in her calling towards the ministry. SWORE she would never be with a man who drank or smoke either because of her calling - then one day she met a guy that she just fell for…

This guy, drank AND smoke - In time, she started keeping beers in her ‘fridge for him. Ah. Compromis. It’s like I said, love is a funny thing and you never know who you could fall for…But hey, we were still happy that she found love.

Still, by the standards of her religion it's fair to say she winded up compromising what she once held in strictest moral code - abstain for any substances that impair the body, and people who do the same. She left the ministry, remains a Christian (not a CINO) - Yet has married this man, whom she loves very much…

A debate on what scripture says is another topic for debate (LOL) - Still, these instances of “compromise” happen all the time - hence the “Guys & Dolls” reference. I don't believe it takes away from who you are as a person, but these things do happen. Religiously, her peers would call what she did…“the very appearance of evil” (1st Thessalonians I think). In the Bible, Paul writes a letter to the church of Thessalonica and cautions them that if they ARE to follow in the steps of Christianity, they should avoid all kinds of evil (This verse is a catch all for bad behavior). By that standard, ANYTHING could “appear” to be evil. Having a goatee, piercings, too much make up, riding a motorcycle, dating a man who drinks or smokes even if it's against your ministry…

It's a dynamic in Christianity - yet I'm sure MOST beliefs system have the same set of standards.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:26AM
Aurora Moon at 7:45AM, Aug. 10, 2007
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blntmaker
Well, here's an example - I had a friend who was in the ministry for seven years. She doesn't drink or smoke. In fact, she shunned that stuff because she was strict in her calling towards the ministry. SWORE she would never be with a man who drank or smoke either because of her calling - then one day she met a guy that she just fell for…

This guy, drank AND smoke - In time, she started keeping beers in her ‘fridge for him. Ah. Compromise. It’s like I said, love is a funny thing and you never know who you could fall for…But hey, we were still happy that she found love.

Ah…. buying beer and storing it for somebody else is not the same as actually drinking and smoking. If she continues to NOT drink or smoke, she's still true to herself, even though she may love somebody who's the opposite to her on that. So I still don't see how any of that was a compromise. After all, it's not like she's enabling a violent, out of control acholohic.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 11:10AM
Rori at 9:33AM, Aug. 10, 2007
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I'm not sure that that was so much compromising her faith rather than an evolution in her beliefs…especially if she feels differently about them now due to life experience. It's hard to say not knowing her. I've known plenty of people, of all types, with really strong beliefs who might appear to have softened over the years. Their beliefs haven't been weakened (some have gotten stronger, some have changed completely) but they've grown to realize that you can't convert everyone, and a program of aggression and shunning does nothing to help your cause. Still a few have retreated into their little worlds; I miss them.

Directly on topic: It's a matter of pride and what you're most proud of. For some it's ethnicity, for some religion, for some whatever scene they're a part of, and so on. So no, not always, but something always does.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:11PM
dgriff13 at 12:20PM, Aug. 10, 2007
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On compromising beliefs, etc… I think the biggest concept to keep in mind is that your way/religion/lifestyle is not the ONLY way. It is not the CORRECT way and everyone elses' is WRONG. It is YOUR way, YOUR religion, YOUR decision. It works for you, and that's great. Doesn't mean it'll work for everyone else in the world, or that if they aren't already following your “way”, they're disillusioned or in need of some direction. Keeping beer that you won't drink due to morals/beliefs in your fridge is just that– allowing space to be taken up in your fridge. It is considerate of a spouse with a different lifestyle, which is nice… and should be part of a marriage for it to work. He should also be considerate and not make life hard for her because she doesn't drink.

I think this philosophy goes for a lot more than religion. Just mind your own business, don't try to change people- they can only change themselves, be considerate of others and have enough of an open mind to know different does NOT equal wrong. And we'd all get along just fine.

last edited on July 14, 2011 12:10PM
blntmaker at 1:08PM, Aug. 10, 2007
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Aurora Moon
Ah…. buying beer and storing it for somebody else is not the same as actually drinking and smoking. If she continues to NOT drink or smoke, she's still true to herself, even though she may love somebody who's the opposite to her on that. So I still don't see how any of that was a compromise. After all, it's not like she's enabling a violent, out of control acholohic.

Maybe I'm not making myself clear on the idea of unequally yoked

The compromise was that she stayed with him and even married him - EVEN THOUGH, her ministry requires that she abstain from alcohol and tobacco AND avoid being unequally yoked with anyone who is partial to alcohol and tobacco. But see, she keeps HIM…but as a result - she had to LEAVE that level of ministry. She could no longer be a layperson. She could not be a minister because:

A ) She was single anyway and married a non-endoctrinated person.

B ) The person she married had no interest in being endoctrinated, moreover, he drinks and smokes.

Some religions have a strict guideline against consuming alcohol or tobacco - sometimes even caffeine. Hey folks, it's religion…there are rules.

That's the idea of being unequally yoked. If you live by that standard (If you're strict in your ministry), you NEVER engage a person who does not believe what you believe. Sure, you can be their friend, socialize…but you do not pursue a relationship of an intimate nature with them. I've met people in the same exact ministry as my friend who were like, “Yeah, he's a nice guy, but he wants to have sex with me…I cannot do that, gotta cut him loose - I'm down for my ministry”. Yes, people do choose their MINISTRY over a possible relationship because by those standards, there is NO COMPROMISE.

To do so, would be making a choice…a compromise so to speak. Most ministries are like that, people.

I never said she wasn't true to herself. I clearly stated she remains a STEADFAST Christian and continues to minister to others. But see, the call to a higher ministry is just that - A CALL. Not everyone is called to do that work. So when a person drops out of the ministry they were called to and finds love, it changes the dynamic a bit. You see? Never said that was right or wrong - it IS what it IS.

This call requires that you reserve yourself in many areas socially…for many ministries, it means abstaining from sex even.

For many, a calling to ministry IS a way of life. Not necessarily the “right” or “wrong” way. Sort of like being “called” to be a cop because you believe in the law…But when you find grey areas in the law and the lines start to blur…if a person decides certain laws are bendable, then it compromises the oath they took to uphold the law. In which case, they leave the force.

I hope this is clearer. Religion has no room for grey areas…It's often times black and white.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:26AM
tiirikka at 2:23PM, Aug. 11, 2007
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Well… I would consider myself as religious person in someway. about 80% of my friends are atheists thought, including my boyfriend who I live with and I have been with him for 4 years. It's never been a problem to me, I mean, I love him and my friends in the way there are. But, there is a problem, which I have desited to ignore, but which makes so many people who believe in some kind of deity to stop.

Hell.

Yup, atleast in christian believe and in many other religions too there is a thing called hell, where all who live too badly and NON believers of that religion go.

Ok, here's a thing, let's asume my God is the real one for fun of it? Just for this question. Question is: What do you think it feels to know your going to live for ever in paradise after you die and those people you die are going to disapeare for ever? TYou get to heaven, you get to be part of being something larger than life but they will wipe to the dust, atop being for ever, you will never see them, speak to them, you're going to live eternally but they will all be gone?

How much does that suck?

I guess there's something wrong of me since I'm not worried about this, but thats the reson why it's so hard to many people. That's the whole reason why religionus activists where born. Because the system sucks. nonbelievers are lost and as human beings people tend to get this “it's all my fault”-additude and then they start to beat people with bible. Stupid, it doesn't change much of it, specially if you're accting like an ass, but thats how it all works.

Other thing is just the fact that it feels uncomfortable. You maybe ok to see you're friend praying, but s/he may start to feel that you think s/he is a looney because of it, you're just playing nice. It feels highly uncomfortable to tell people things which you fear them to think to be shit. It makes things odd. Even in my case sometimes, allthougt I mostly ignore that stuff.

So no, religion doesn't define a person, but it affects on our thinking and doings. there is so many things about people, it's just a small part of the human being. But for some people it's just that thing which makes everything difficult. Like someone can't stand chubby people. There's nothing wrong with chubby people, but still there is bunch of people who wouldn't never date one. It doesn't make bad as persons, it just makes other person uncomfortable.

Sorry for very odd reply… And all the tousand typos. -.-
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last edited on July 14, 2011 4:30PM
Loud_G at 11:20AM, Aug. 21, 2007
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This has been a very interesting discussion, and surprisingly unsinged. :D

No, religion does not define a person. Their beliefs do.
I've met good Catholics, bad Catholics, good Mormons, bad Mormons, good Protestants, bad Protestants, good pagans, bad pagans, good atheists, bad atheists. It is how each person lives out their personal beliefs that defines who they are.

You can be friends with anyone of any faith. It is very easy. Having an intimate relationship with someone of another faith is much more difficult. It can be done, as is evidenced every day, but there will be compromises made on both sides. Most intimate relationships tend toward marriage and family. It is for this reason that people tend to be pickier who they will date. Dating tends to lead to marriage. When I was dating, I made it a rule not to go on a second date with anyone to whom I could not see my self marrying. Sure it would have been fun to date some of the people I chose not to, but I knew some of the characteristics I was personally looking for.

Marriage is much easier when both people are of the same faith. Rearing children is one of the first problems that crops up in mixed faith households. Who's church will they go to? How will they be raised? These questions can potentially cause a lot of problems between a husband and wife. The only mixed faith relationships that I've seen that have worked exceedingly well (this is in my limited experience) are the ones where both parties either stopped going to church altogther, or one person joined their spouse's church.

Sure there are exceptions. And Love should be enough for anyone. But in the real world, love is often not enough for some people.

I married a woman of my own faith. She is a great strength to me. We share not only our intimate life not our spiritual life. It doesn't make married life simple, but it does make it a LOT simpler when the big questions of Life the Universe and Everything are agreed upon before-hand. :)

Also, to be noted, many churches frown on interfaith marriages. Some because of the strife that it introduces in the relationship and some because of the very nature of the family unit itself. In my own church we are merely recommended to seek out a same faith spouse.

A lifetime is a long time to be with someone with whom you disagree on a fundamental level. It can be done, but it is not often easy.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 1:45PM
crazyninny at 8:01PM, Aug. 21, 2007
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The answer is no.

What defines a person is how they act, and react in society.

Take me, I've been going to church since I was 4. You would think I would go to church and other christian groups, but I don't becuase I just don't want to. And I am suppose to preach the word of God to everyone, but I choice not to, becuase I'd rather let people discover a belife on there own.

But other people of my reiligion… Well… I don't think we need to go there.

But other people of other religions are just as the same as you and me. I've gotten along with Muslims and Buddist people while my other Christian friends wanted to burn them to the stake. But did I care what religion they had? No. All I judged was the character of hearts, and not their religion.

Religion dose not characterize on who you are, and who you will become. It is you who make you who you are. Religion is who you are, but it is how you take it that'll judge you.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:48AM

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