insulting religions

(990 Posts)
IneedAgoldenNickname Mon 07-Jan-13 00:39:04

Hi, I've never posted on this topic before, I tend to hang out in aibu, but don't want to start a bun fight!

So, I am a liberal Christian. I firmly believe that everyone had to right to believe (or not) whatever they want, provided that belief doesn't hurt anyone else.

Earlier today I posted a lighthearted status on Facebook, which had led to me being called mindless, stupid, stuck up, thinking I'm better than everyone else. I've been told God is a c**t (sorry I hate that word so much I won't type it) and that the Bible is only God for loo roll!

I'm just really angry that people think its ok to insult me/my religion like that, when I haven't once preached or insulted others.

Obviously the easy solution would be to delete them off of Facebook, but they are people I get on with other wise.

Don't really know the point of my post, just hoping id feel better writing it down. grin

DadOnIce Thu 10-Jan-13 19:35:27

Why would having C of E connections necessarily make you "nicer"?

I don't think there should be any faith schools at all. They make about as much sense as schooling according to what football team the parents support.

sieglinde Thu 10-Jan-13 20:14:51

Ellie: minor matters African's dying of AIDS is a minor matter? Teenagers killing themselves is a minor matter? Gosh.

Me; I said 'MINOR TO ME, meaning me personally, meaning that the RC church's sexual teachings do not have a negative impact on me, personally.

I also fail to see why Africans dying of AIDS matter more to you than Africans dying of hunger. There are also fewer of them - 1.8 million (terrible, horrible number, far too many - and even one is too many) in 2010, as opposed to seriously hungry people in Africa alone (276 million in 2010) more than 1 in 5 of whom are children, and also the three million or so per year who die of malaria and of dysentery. ALL OF THESE PEOPLE MATTER, and all of these deaths are preventable. Why do you always focus only on AIDS?

And you are also wrong to suggest that Vatican theology of the body has a large effect on the AIDS death toll. Most HIV enters families in Africa through the husband's extramarital affairs, and there's little reason to suppose that all or even most African men would take precautions in those circumstances. Even if the Vatican changed its condom doctrine overnight, AS IN FACT IT DID, if you'd only noticed, it will/would have far less effect than if drug companies made their perfectly potent HIV treatment drugs available at prices the developing world can afford. Moreover, the HIV rate is actually lower in RC African countries than it is in other countries.

I asked: Are you for example at all interested in ANY other aspect of Catholic moral theology? In any way? Or in worship, or prayer, or the text of the Bible? Anything?

Ellie: (In her usual genial form) Interested? No. Nonsense doesn't interest me. Knowledgeable & aware, yes.

Me: Knowledgeable about theology? Really? Because you only seem interested in discussing sexual politics. Yes, Catholics talk about it, but not anything like as often as you do, or as obsessively.

Your courtroom analogy is bogus, because it begins by assuming rape is the accusation; what if the accusation is race hatred? Then rape becomes irrelevant and racism relevant.

My point is, why do you keep on criticising ONLY sexual politics? Which one of us is that about? Why not have a go at the way we used to kidnap Jewish children and take them into Christian homes, as recently as the 1880s? Go on... And what about our cute way of praying for the 'perfidous Jew' on Good Friday? I think that really stinks. You could have a shot at the Pius X Society particularly. Or the Vatican Red Cross guy who issued fake Red Cross passports to some of the very worst criminals of the Holocaust...

Those are the things that have sometimes made me want to leave the church. They still do, sometimes. But not, I'm afraid, its sexual politics; there are other far more potent causes of misery, injustice and wrong in the world.

EllieArroway Thu 10-Jan-13 21:00:16

Me; I said 'MINOR TO ME, meaning me personally, meaning that the RC church's sexual teachings do not have a negative impact on me, personally I'm alright Jack, eh?

I also fail to see why Africans dying of AIDS matter more to you than Africans dying of hunger When did I say that?

There are also fewer of them - 1.8 million (terrible, horrible number, far too many - and even one is too many) in 2010, as opposed to seriously hungry people in Africa alone (276 million in 2010) more than 1 in 5 of whom are children, and also the three million or so per year who die of malaria and of dysentery. ALL OF THESE PEOPLE MATTER, and all of these deaths are preventable. Why do you always focus only on AIDS?

I had to read this through a couple of times to be sure that you actually said all that. Honestly, sieglinde this is my face right now ------.> shock

Firstly, stop telling me what I ALWAYS do - we have never encountered each other before have we? So how do you know what I ALWAYS do? If by "you" you mean all atheists then you are guilty of exactly the thing you accuse me of - making unwarranted assumptions & generalising.

The problems in Africa are immense and diverse, you are right. ONE of those problems (and I refuse to play the kind of numbers game that you're trying to) is AIDS - and it's serious. The Catholic Church is not to blame for the AIDS epidemic in Africa, let's be clear - but it's certainly not helping is it? Lying to the most vulnerable people on earth that condoms will GIVE YOU AIDS is unforgivable. Absolutely 100% unforgivable. These people do not have access to the kind of information you and I have and have no option but to believe what they are told by people that they trust as they desperately try to protect themselves and their families. On this basis alone the Pope should be arrested for crimes against humanity, in my opinion. He has blood on his hands angry

Yes, maybe more people are dying of other things - but so what? That does not lessen the tragedy one iota for those babies & children who have lost both of their parents to AIDS, does it?

I don't ALWAYS focus on AIDS. This is a discussion about the harm Catholicism is causing and, sorry, whether you like it or you don't, Catholicism is playing a role in that. If it's not - why would I bring it up in the discussion?

Knowledgeable about theology? Really? Because you only seem interested in discussing sexual politics. Yes, Catholics talk about it, but not anything like as often as you do, or as obsessively Yes, really. I've talked about sex & catholicism once on one thread on Mumsnet - and this is "obsessive"? You're starting to sound faintly ridiculous & a little desperate, tbh.

And I am staggered that you would consider the rape of children "sexual politics"!!!

Your courtroom analogy is bogus, because it begins by assuming rape is the accusation; what if the accusation is race hatred? Then rape becomes irrelevant and racism relevant Pardon? It's my analogy and I made it up. Er...the accusation is rape. Trust me!

Yes, Catholicism has a bloody and shameful history (as do all religions). We could sit and go on about that till the cows come home, but I would think it more helpful to address the issues that are actually causing real harm TODAY. And what might they be.......? Yep, ya guessed it! Lying about condoms, trying to prevent life saving abortions, rape of children etc etc. If you can think of a way in which the Catholic Church is directly harming people TODAY that doesn't have a basis in sex, then I'd sure like to hear it.

I am no more obsessed with sex than the average, red-blooded woman (and I have my moments wink) but I don't have anything like the fixation on it that you've decided I do.

And finally - and I will probably get flamed by all sorts of people for this - but frankly, sieglende you are BETTER than the church you subscribe to. You are MORE moral than the people you're supposed to be looking up to. Most catholics are.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 10-Jan-13 22:39:14

>Too much sherry before tea I fear (is that allowed?)

I think wine is the tipple of choice but...not advisable. I think I'll be nice to you and not tear that post to pieces.

sieg... you sound awfully angry with your church. With reason... I'm a bit baffled why you stay with it - there are other ways to be a Christian.

One of my FB friends has posted a picture of a starving African child with some appalling strap-line about how god sees and loves and takes care of everyone. Can she not see the fucking irony of that? A child starving to death, but it's okay because god loves her, and is apparently taking care of her during her short and miserable existence? Grrrr, finding it hard to keep my NY resolution.

Avuncular Thu 10-Jan-13 23:26:42

Grimma quite right - very wise

Save your ammunition for when I'm wobbling along in a straight line - much easier target and I'll try to produce something big enough to hit fair and square

It was less than one glass, officer .... honest

AIBU to be offended that everyone is being so nice to me ; some lovely definitions of nice

Don't answer that ....

Dad I'm inclined to agree with you about faith schools, though I'm not sure what one does if the general population in an area has behaviour patterns which make it difficult for both teachers and the more aspiring pupils. Should like-minded parents club together to form a new school for their children?

We had the opportunity of a 'faith' school, but on principle left our 4 DCs in the main educational streams of the town,
a) so that they were not too sheltered from the kind of rough and tumble to be experienced in the wider world e.g. in employment, MN or even FB, and
b) as a kind of 'leaven' within the schools (not intending to be 'goody goody' here - we just have the hereditary misfortune to be fairly bright as a family).

The teachers generally appreciated it. (Just been making similar point on the 'Public vs Private' thread which is still going strong I think.) Also saved a lot of money we didn't have.

Avuncular Thu 10-Jan-13 23:44:06

Annie
I suppose the line might be something like
well if you see this appalling situation and are stirred to do something about it, then you are actually becoming God's instrument of love to help this child.

Good Samaritan and all that.

(The point Jesus was making in that parable was that the Samaritans were the 'bad guys' ostracised by the mainstream 'church', Pharisees etc, but it was the Samaritan who acted out of compassion and basic human kindness. It was the 'mainstream church' which orchestrated Jesus' murder, partly because he was always taking them to task for their hypocrisy)

Himalaya Fri 11-Jan-13 08:05:42

Avuncular -

I think you are right CoE schools probably do attract more "nice" families (concerned about education, community minded, joiners, volunteering types etc..)

but if you had schools that are particulary welcoming for people with allotments, local government councillors, children who play musical instruments or take drama lessons, parents willing to coach sports or people who have a strong borrowing record at their local library you would also get more "nice" families. If the school is allowed to select and gives priority to families that turn up for some community activity 3 Sundays out of 4 that filters out the most chaotic families.

Religion in this case is just a proxy for "nice". But the thing is state schools are there to educate children from all different backgrounds.

HolofernesesHead Fri 11-Jan-13 09:22:07

Hi Himalaya! [waves]

Just a question for you and others who are interested: what would your ideal be for schools? If you were in charge smile would you want schools to address children's spirituality at all, or leave it out of school life? What would happen in assembly? Would you want any religious people involved in the life of your school? Would you accept any form of funding from religious groups (e.g. proceeeds from the church beetle drive going to your school's building project)? Would you want your governing body to all be non-religious? Would you be happy with, say, a secondary school Christian Union club happening in your school? Just curious, not combative...

Avuncular Fri 11-Jan-13 09:28:32

<Chuckles>

Yes Himalaya I suppose that's pretty near the truth. The CofE school I had in mind didn't actually select so far as I know. Maybe to be 'nice' all you have to do is be sufficiently concerned for the welfare of your chidden that you put some effort into choosing a school for them rather than packing them off into 'the system' and expecting it to get on with the job.

Avuncular Fri 11-Jan-13 09:30:44

chidden - should've gone to specsavers used DCs

Avuncular Fri 11-Jan-13 09:33:38

Oooh Yugh Holo what an excellent question - new thread maybe? smile grin smile flowers

Pan Fri 11-Jan-13 09:36:57

It's quite odd that so many 'non-believers' are so evangelical about telling believers that they are stupid and seeking an illusion. Ironic.

I'd suggest folks like Bunny have a quiet word with their own souls and discover what it is that they really want, rather then get busy insulting others.

CoteDAzur Fri 11-Jan-13 10:01:00

Yes, that's why those pesky atheists keep showing up at your doorstep, trying to convert you into their view of the world.

Pan Fri 11-Jan-13 10:07:49

maybe they detect that your soul particularly needs saving Cote!!

tbh I can't remember that last time a god-squady knocked on my door. Years ago prob.

Pan Fri 11-Jan-13 10:09:21

and the pesky atheists sneakily do their evangelising work by the internet.

ethelb Fri 11-Jan-13 10:10:24

@cote I have had one god squad turn up at my door, once in my life. They don't 'keep showing up at your doorstep'.

Pan Fri 11-Jan-13 10:17:16

Last time this happened iirc it was a Jehovah Witness couple, whilst I had the JCS album playing in the background entirely co-incidentally. They still didn't take the unintended hint.

DadOnIce Fri 11-Jan-13 10:20:02

I think because plenty of us in the UK will, I suspect, have grown up in the Church of England, and quite possibly with church-attending parents and grandparents, it's been a normal part of everyday life for us. It's so ingrained into the cultural (or culturally stereotyped) life of Britain too, especially if, like me, you grew up in a small town or village in the 1970s - church at the centre of the village, carol services, cake-stalls, Cubs/Brownies carrying the banner in church, Sunday school, the smiling vicar cycling along the street... Yes, it's a bit of a John Major "warm beer" vision of British life, but some of it isn't far off for a lot of us of a certain age.

If you had parents who grew up post-war in a small town or village it would have seemed odd not to go to church - it was just what you did. In some small communities that's still the case. It's possible that a lot of people in whom churchgoing is ingrained as a cultural practice (I'm thinking about people like my mother and her friends here) don't actually bother asking themselves any of the philosophical questions about theism versus atheism, have never stopped to ask if there is any evidence for God (it would not occur to them to do so), would never ask why the Judeo-Christian God isn't just one of many which the human imagination has come up with (again, why do so?) and indeed don't even know the Bible all that well. The huge shift away from active belief and participation in worship (as evidenced by the last census), is something which leaves churchgoers of a certain mindset a bit perplexed. Christianity is associated inextricably with rightness, righteousness, law-abiding and goodness - by extension, all that is bad, is wrong, is law-breaking, shows lack of moral fibre, etc. is associated with the decline in religious belief and attendance (even though there is no actual evidence for this being the case).

All this is a roundabout way of saying that Britons of my age and background have grown up with church and the Bible and God and faith schools as part of our cultural fabric, regardless of whether we were actually presented with any choice as to whether to believe in all of it. It's only once you take a step back from it all, and ask yourself whether any of it is actually necessary, or true in any sense beyond an interesting metaphor, that you start to ask yourself certain questions. It can be quite a shocking experience at first, as it feels as if you are actually casting off part of your heritage and cultural identity. But it's the experience I went through at the age of about 24, and it's ultimately been a liberating one.

CoteDAzur Fri 11-Jan-13 10:20:49

You people are on a thread about religions on a public forum. Of course there will be atheists telling you what they think. This is not atheists "evangelising".

If you don't like being told what they are saying, go to another thread. Or turn off the computer and talk to people in RL.

Avuncular Fri 11-Jan-13 10:22:24

Ethelb suggest you re-read Cotes message, then laugh smile smile

..... most of the 'atheists' I meet are out on the road, 'looking out for no 1'. They're failing miserably: they put the fear of God into me more with every near-miss I encounter

DadOnIce Fri 11-Jan-13 10:22:48

Yes, I agree that these discussions are a bit self-selecting in their catchment. I very rarely (if ever) see threads started by atheists.

CoteDAzur Fri 11-Jan-13 10:24:06

"most of the 'atheists' I meet are out on the road, 'looking out for no 1'."

"No 1"?

Are you talking about dog pee?

ethelb Fri 11-Jan-13 10:42:22

Yes I have read cotes message. My point was that I think the number of incidences of god squads turning up on peoples' doorsteps is massively overstated.

HolofernesesHead Fri 11-Jan-13 11:04:06

DadonIce, I recognise much in your post, and FWIW I like the fact that in many local areas, the C of E is a benign, happy part of the community. The thing is, from my POV, that your post seems to imply that people who are in the C of E nowadays are there because they haven't thought much, or examined their faith.

This is, to be blunt, inaccurate. I know many adult Christians (not all C of E!) who have thought deeply, pondered and questioned, and remained, or maybe even become convinced of the reality of God. My own church makes a pastime of examining our faith, asking the hard questions, and thinking things through, and it is no exception in doing this. Personally, I think hard about my faith a lot. To me, it's part of discipleship; 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your...mind.' For me, growing into a mature, nuanced and deeply grounded faith has been, and still is, incredibly liberating. So please don't assume that churchgoers are all leading unexamined lives. It's one of those typical things that gets said of Christians (a variation on the 'you're all thickos' argument), and the evidence of many lives simply doesn't bear out the hypothesis.

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