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#465112 - 12/01/11 02:36 PM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: ElizabethC.]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11547
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: ElizabethC.
This is the reason I usually say I'm uninterested in religion. I live in a very religious part of the U.S. (the South) and if I said I was an atheist, most people would feel justified in jumping down my throat about Jeebus.

This goes back to what I said about "whether the person you're talking to can have an intelligent discussion" about religion. Some Christians can; many can't. It's the same with people and politics, for the same reasons. If a person has deep emotional convictions that get to myopic levels, and claim to know what precise rules are in every person's best interest, then the talk gets messy to say the least. You can't really discuss religion too intellectually with somebody who thinks "religious diversity" means having both Southern Baptist and American Baptist.

Quote:
Also, saying you're uninterested in religion drives Evangelicals crazy. It's so important! Everything is about God!

Actually in recent years I've seen born-agains and the like try to claim that they're really against religion too, under the argument that Christianity "isn't a religion" but rather a "relationship with Jesus". This is of course euphemistic bullshit, no different from advertisements that say things like "It's not soap -- it's Dove™!", even if a Dove Beauty Bar™ is visually indistinguishable from soap, is sold in the soap bar aisle, is used in the same exact way, and accomplishes the same task. These Christians secretly realize that calling Christianity a "religion" implies that it's just one choice among many, which it is.
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#465150 - 12/01/11 10:45 PM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: Alonocus Blight]
TrojZyr Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/25/01
Posts: 12990
Loc: The Solid State
I like to say I'm religious, just to rebel against the current trend of sanctimoniously referring to oneself as "spiritual," because it allows one to think/believe/pretend that they are morally superior to those rigid, boring, judgmental, orthodox "religious types."
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#465152 - 12/01/11 11:30 PM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: TrojZyr]
John Prophet Offline

CoS Member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 992
Loc: My suburban lair
Originally Posted By: TrojZyr
I like to say I'm religious, just to rebel against the current trend of sanctimoniously referring to oneself as "spiritual," because it allows one to think/believe/pretend that they are morally superior to those rigid, boring, judgmental, orthodox "religious types."

Yes.

True to its adversarial nature, Satanism can be seen as going in the opposite direction of this mentality of wanting to be “spiritual, but not religious”, that seems to have gained popularity in recent years. Satanism is unique in that it is a formalized religion with no need for spirituality.

I find this kind of divergence to be very interesting.
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#465179 - 12/02/11 10:16 AM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: Alonocus Blight]
TrojZyr Offline
CoS Witch

Registered: 07/25/01
Posts: 12990
Loc: The Solid State
Well, even the fundagelicals are having to concede now that religion has been responsible for many ills and evils over the millennia, because it's this very reputation for dogmatism and corruption that's causing their primary customer base to run away from them screaming when they approach bearing tracts and rubbery smiles.

But, you can't just concede that religion can be evil and call it a day, because then you have to concede that you have a capacity for evil, and we can't have that.

So, you do a little dance where you explain that those BAD people were RELIGIOUS, like the Pharisees, but you--you're SPIRITUAL, and therefore, nothing like those rogues, because your intentions are actually PURE, and you're actually really in contact with God this time, honest.

Well, and for everyone else, being "spiritual not religious" allows them to satisfy their needs for myth, magic, ritual, and cosmic connection, without having to conform to a particular structure, and especially, without having see oneself as belonging to the same species as the tyrants and dogmatists of ages past.

"Spiritual" has become good-guy badge, which is why I revel in the bad-guy badge of being "religious."


_________________________
"Gentlemen, the verdict is guilty, on all ten counts of first-degree stupidity. The penalty phase will now begin."--Divine, "Pink Flamingos."

"The strong rule the weak, and the cunning rule over all." HS!

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#465180 - 12/02/11 10:25 AM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: TrojZyr]
Bet'phage Offline


Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 194
Loc: Ohio
Best thing Satanism has ever done: allow us to indulge in religion and remain carnal!

Poor Pharisees, always getting the short end of the stick. It's a very interesting study to give the Pharisees the benefit of the doubt and understand how faithfulness to the Law of Moses propelled them to get rid of the "poser" Messiah.
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#465184 - 12/02/11 12:31 PM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: John Prophet]
Bill_M Offline
CoS Reverend

Registered: 07/28/01
Posts: 11547
Loc: New England, USA
Originally Posted By: John Prophet
True to its adversarial nature, Satanism can be seen as going in the opposite direction of this mentality of wanting to be “spiritual, but not religious”, that seems to have gained popularity in recent years.

I wrote an article about this topic for Not Like Most a few years ago, called "Religious, but not Spiritual". People use phrases like "I'm not religious, but I'm spiritual" because they think that this somehow puts them above the fray. It's right up there with claiming to be against "organized religion". Notice that they never bother to define what that even is. Is an "organized" religion just any religion that has a name and more than 5 practitioners? Does that leave everything else as "disorganized religion"?

And as I've already said, what's even more pathetic is that you see the Jesus freaks trying to get in on this. I have actually heard some of them say things like "I believe in God, the Bible, and Jesus as my personal savior, and I pray every day and go to a non-denominational church...but oh please, don't say I'm 'religious'! My relationship with Jesus isn't a 'religion'! Goodness no!" Sorry Sparky, but when you do all those sorts of things, that's called "religion". I guess some people think that religion is a label that only applies to other people.

Yet another phrase I hear is from people who claim to have "their own religion". I've noticed that most of the people who use phrases like this are just too disorganized and impatient to do most things, and have this fear-driven compulsion of never committing themselves to an idea for fear of it being some kind of conformity or sacrifice of individuality. Like LaVey said of pseudo-Buddhists, "no one can pin them down if there are no straight answers that can be given!"
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#465187 - 12/02/11 01:10 PM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: Bill_M]
Bet'phage Offline


Registered: 11/18/11
Posts: 194
Loc: Ohio
It would seem that most people who claim to be "spiritual" but not religious are shirking one very important aspect of most religions: the social aspect. Most religions have beliefs about the mystical unity and connectedness of their members, Christianity in particular.

[Edited: I'm assuming many of the non-religious people are such because of their dislike of organized religions. However, these "spiritual" people use the very same sacred books, doctrines, and practices of those organized religions they so detest. And being so "spiritual," how do they think their god feels about them neglecting fellowship with his other children?]

I remember when the whole trend of "religion=legalistic duty" vs. "spiritual= relationship" came about. People thought that if they claimed to be "religious," it was tantamount to a complete lack of personal acquaintance with the deity. For any self-respecting Christian this meant you were on the "outside" looking in.

To claim to be "spiritual" was to be a sincere believer who actually "loved" their god, rather than just demonstrating an "outward" (and hypocritical) show.

It seems to betray a basic misunderstanding of what the word "religion" means. But I guess that's how language evolves. In the 1800s, when a person was said to "have religion" it meant exactly what being "spiritual" means today.


Edited by Bet'phage (12/02/11 01:24 PM)
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#465190 - 12/02/11 01:53 PM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: Alonocus Blight]
Warlock Rikard Offline
CoS Warlock

Registered: 09/05/04
Posts: 248
Loc: NJ
Here in NJ, no one cares, and few ask. I can't even remember the last time someone asked me to be honest. When my Baphomet was visible people did ask on occasion, and when they did, I would mess with them and simply respond with, "If you have to ask, then you don't want to know"

My pendants and rings are no longer on public display, and I have not been asked once since.

Most everyone that knows me also knows that I have no belief in god. A choice few know a bit more.


Edited by Warlock Rikard (12/02/11 02:05 PM)
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#465233 - 12/03/11 03:59 AM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: Alonocus Blight]
Old_Pig Offline


Registered: 11/27/02
Posts: 3969
Loc: The Deep South
I'm rarely involved in situations where such question is made, but I usually put "none" when filling forms. It saves me time and explanations.

As for online network profiles, I once made the mistake of putting "Atheist" and I had my mailbox flooded with all kind of invitations to join communist groups and requests for support/donations to every kind of politically correct masturbation circle. So now I go with "skeptic but not angry".
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#465845 - 12/11/11 10:57 AM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: Alonocus Blight]
One Man Army Offline


Registered: 12/11/11
Posts: 111
Loc: Beyond Understanding...
Most of the times I am asked for my religious preference it sounds with a glimpse of distrust or suspicion, which forces me to react with equal distrusting and makes me choose my words even wiser. Anyway, atheism is the common answer.
I do not fear standing up for my beliefs, but prefer to avoid this topic in an environment, where my words will sound more as an apology rather as an argument. With other words - if someone asks me about religion while lifting an eye-brow and looking at my pendant, I simply will joke about it or ignore it. Just a bit tired of wasting my time on explaining which idea stands behind the symbols I wear or clothes I like.
"It is better to maintain silence and make others think you are a fool, than opening your mouth and convincing others you are one."

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#465851 - 12/11/11 01:03 PM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: Alonocus Blight]
Janina Offline
CoS Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 1456
Loc: Center of my own Universe
I think this question is not so relevant in finnish cukture and we discuss about our religious view quite rarely.

Finland is mostly protestant Christian country where almost 70% of population belongs to church and other religioins (including atheism as a "choice") have the rest.

When I discuss about my religious views I normally would say something blurry like "I dont belong to christian church" if thats not enough for the asker (as it usually is) I can say I am a satanist or then just may tell that my religious view is atheistic and I dont worship any gods.

To me question about satanism is not any secret to hold, but I dont still feel much interest to talk about it to people, thats mostly just because I dont think that I should speak about this issue for somebody who doesnt know about philosophy of satanism and like to keep this off my normal discussions.

Still if someone asks I may tell or tell not depending my own feelings. Atheist is the most common answer when asked my religious view..
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#465859 - 12/11/11 03:28 PM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: Alonocus Blight]
ElizabethC. Offline


Registered: 10/31/11
Posts: 37
Anton LaVey said...somewhere, I can't find the exact quote--that he didn't like entertaining people. That, once they found out he was a Satanist, they wanted to talk about that and only that, which put him in the position of entertaining a person he had no interest in engaging with in the first place.

This is how I feel, as well. I don't want to get into a conversation of that depth with most people so I say I'm an atheist when conversing with the general population.

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#465881 - 12/12/11 04:48 AM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: ElizabethC.]
One Man Army Offline


Registered: 12/11/11
Posts: 111
Loc: Beyond Understanding...
Originally Posted By: ElizabethC.
Anton LaVey said...somewhere, I can't find the exact quote--that he didn't like entertaining people. That, once they found out he was a Satanist, they wanted to talk about that and only that, which put him in the position of entertaining a person he had no interest in engaging with in the first place.


I must admit, I noticed this too. It seems like people start thinking if you think different you also breathe or walk different and they have to approach you in a 'special' way. When they do that, I feel like a clown dancing before them, while my views cannot be called laughable. I think this is something all of us will have to deal with, sooner or later.
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#465916 - 12/12/11 03:24 PM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: Alonocus Blight]
Lilibeta Offline


Registered: 12/06/08
Posts: 157
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I try not to talk about it. Mostly because (as LaVey notes) most people don't know what a Satanist really is and once they meet one, that's all they want to talk about.

Religion is a topic that comes up at work a lot because we have a lot of muslims and they love to talk about Allah. When asked I just say that I'm "basically an atheist". The next question is usually "so you don't have a religion?" I like to counter with "I have a belief system but it's not anything that you are likely to be familiar with." That shuts most people down.

One or two of my co-workers have figured a few things out about me but they don't press the issue. I'll respond to just about any question that is posed to me but I won't necessarily answer it. In many areas of my life, I'm a private person.
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#465933 - 12/12/11 10:29 PM Re: "So, what's your religious preference?" [Re: Alonocus Blight]
misanthropichero Offline



Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 12
For me, this question only comes up at work.

I would say 98% of the people I work with are some form of christian, so when it is a serious situation I usually respond I am catholic, the conversation usually drops after that.

But When I am feeling playful, I tell them I am a rastafarian.
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