Should Christians be hated?

(434 Posts)
plaingirly Fri 05-Apr-13 19:50:08

Random question! I opened my Bible on Matthew 10 and verse 22 says :

And all nations will hate you because you are my followers. But everyone who endures to the end will be saved.

I think there is another verse similar but can't remember it.

So if someone is really a follower of Jesus will people hate them and if people don't hate them are they not strong enough in their faith?

I don't really want to be hated! smile Also at work we have to get along with people so having them hate us wouldn't be ideal. Unless the verses are more specific or maybe aimed at the disciples.

Personally I've never been rude to someone about their religion outside of a thread about it. Even then it's the religion I'm insulting by the mere fact of not believing it which upsets people. In a thread discussing religion people must expect to see people disagree.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 21-Apr-13 19:43:56

<<hastily picks plank from eye>>

EllieArroway Sun 21-Apr-13 20:36:07

I wonder why you atheists find it so hard to accept the truth of what Greenheart says?

Because we're socially aware and have never seen or heard of this "persecution" afflicting Christians all over the place.

Muslims? Yes. Black people? Yes. Gays? Yes. Christians - do me a favour.

No Christian in this country has the vaguest idea of what it's actually like to be persecuted or hated for their beliefs. So there are people who don't like your religion or anything it stands for (like me)? That's a shame - but I am mature enough to be able to dislike an ideology without expressing hatred for the people who hold it - unless they are behaving in ways that cause harm to others. Perhaps Christians should really just grow up a bit and stop being determined to feel offended all the time.

And, really, the whole...who does nicer stuff, Christians or atheists is simply fatuous. Clearly there are as many secular organisations and atheists being charitable as there are Christians. The difference is that we don't need the motivation of being "inspired" by our religion - we can see goodness for the sake of goodness. What a shame you Christians need God to tell you too?

backonlybriefly, you said The first thing you do is say that you're here to introduce new rules and sweep away the old.

Did you mean that was what Jesus did?

thegreenheartofmanyroundabouts I am so sorry to hear this, sad that people hate you in your dog collar. People hate others for all kinds of reasons. It is always sad when it happens.

Ellie I am genuinely surprised to hear you say you can’t believe that a woman in a dog collar might be hated in places! She might even be hated by Christians who don’t agree with women in ministry! I find it very easy (sadly) to think that all manner of people are hated in all manner of places for all manner of reasons. I also think Green did not say other people did not do kindly things, she was just talking about what she did.

If you look at the way the clergy are portrayed on telly they are shown as wimps, an old vicar eating a cucumber sandwich while exciting people eat spicy tacos etc! I don’t think the idea that clergy are always respected holds much water except in some places.

Of course, yes, pedro there are plenty of other people who are treated terribly for all kinds of reasons. And it is all totally unacceptable. No one said it was isolated to Christians. I don’t think anyone was suggesting that Christians get more abuse than anyone else.

backonlybriefly you asked re green, about her area do you live outside the UK or if you do live in the UK is it possible that you live in a predominantly Muslim area? I don't know where she works but I would just say that I think sometimes people of different faiths do respect each other. I am a Christian and recently visited a mosque on an organised visit. The people there were very pleasant and respectful of us, as we were of them. I do not know but I doubt that the looks of hatred are coming from Muslims. I have found that people who are religious may also be respectful of others religions, with the obvious exception of people who are fanatical, and this is not what I am talking about.

Pedro Good luck for your 24 hour cycle relay. smile

Ellie I said I would get back to you about L Ron Hubbard. I think someone else answered that one better than I could but just because I said I would reply .... you asked How do you explain the followers of L. Ron Hubbard or Joseph Smith - they believe all sorts of nonsense that we know didn't actually happen, but it doesn't stop them telling anyone who'll listen about it. Does this fact alone prove they're telling the truth? Nope.

I agree it does not prove they are telling the truth.

I believe the resurrection turned those scared disciples in an upper room into a fearless bunch.

I know you do not think that.

I don’t think anything about L Ron is similar to this.

However, of course there are those who are persecuted for all faiths (and none) so persecution does not prove faith is real or anything. I just find it amazing that the disciples were hiding and the resurrection made them willing to go to their deaths. I am sure others go to their deaths for their faiths, and that opens a bigger questions about other faiths and what it all means. I think I will wait for another thread and another time.

Sometimes it seems that these debates just get so angry and that seems very sad.

I also wonder if Greenheart lives in a particularly nasty area or something. I despise superstition; I think it's probably one of the most harmful influences/factors there is. All these organisations with imaginary friends blocking human progress and denying other people their rights; starting wars, condoning abuse, reinforcing misogyny, homophobia and racism... At the same time I know quite a few people who subscribe to one of the major myth brands and are basically nice people with a harmless quirk.

I certainly wouldn't be rude to a passing stranger just because s/he was displaying religious insignia of any kind. Greenheart, does your particular branch of Christianity involve active evangelising eg do you yourself knock on people's doors, hand out literature or stand in the middle of the high street yelling about your imaginary friend and plucking at people's sleeves as they pass? That might explain hostility (to the extent of nasty looks) from other people. It's also probable that some people might look on you with disapproval if they are misogynistic Christians and therefore angry that a mere subhuman woman is in a position of authority. Other explanations might include that you are of a different ethnic group or social class to the people you live and work among and that's what they dislike.

Or, for all I know, you just smell.

Mind you, it's also possible that, if you are overworked, underappreciated, tired and stressed out, that you are percieving strangers' behaviour towards you as a sign that they hate you or hate what you stand for when they are actually thinking about stuff like what to have for tea or how cross they are with their DP for not putting the bins out, and have barely noticed that you are there at all. While I have heard from time to time about Muslim women being attacked in the street (either verbally or sometimes physically) for being Muslims eg for wearing hijab, most of the stories of 'persecuted Christians' that have taken place in the UK have turned out to be cases of whiny-self-obsessed Christian pests who consider being treated like everyone else to be some kind of 'persecution', and who are demanding privileges for themselves and their imaginary friend.

Did you mean that was what Jesus did?

Christians are always telling me that this is what Jesus did. Usually when I mention the harsh god of the old testament. There is much discussion about how he fulfilled the law and so on.

The Christian religion is not the same as Judaism is it even though it's supposed to be the same god.

As for me asking where Green lived it could make a big difference (she could have been posting from Saudi). She describes 'hatred and disgust' and those are unusually strong emotions to feel about a member of the clergy in the UK whom you've never met.

If she were a man then people might be thinking about the child abuse and that might explain it happening sometimes, but a woman wouldn't be associated with that in most people's minds.

On the other hand for some religious people the idea of a woman priest would be deeply offensive. That could include Christians and Muslims, but it seems to me that on average in the UK Muslims are more likely to take their strictures that seriously. Also a devout Muslim might have two reasons to be offended by a woman Christian priest.

Atheists on the other hand would have no reason at all for 'hatred and disgust' I am about as opposed to organised religion as it is possible to be, but I don't feel sickened by the sight of a Female Christian. That would be just weird.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Sun 21-Apr-13 21:56:44

Did you mean that was what Jesus did?

Jesus didn't invent Christianity, that would be like blaming the Thetons for Scientology.

True, though I think it may be the official position that he did.

and lol @ thetons

backonlybriefly, yes it could make a difference where green lives. I did not mean to discount what you said, I am sorry if I gave that impression. I just meant that Muslims may well be respectful of Christians. I was just sharing my very limited experience. smile

I don't think Jesus swept away all the 'old stuff', he fulfilled it. It's a huge theological debate and I think there is enough on here with all the 'hate' discussions but just because I wanted to reply to you backonlybriefly. I don't think Jesus started a new religion in the strict 'let's start something new' sense, I think he came and fulfilled all the Old Testament.

EllieArroway Mon 22-Apr-13 05:47:47

I'm not willing to pick apart what Green said to try and decide what she actually meant - I took it as seen. She did not say that any hatred was because she was a woman wearing a dog collar - that would make a little more sense.

No - she said she was hated because she was a Christian, identifiable by a dog collar. I'm afraid I struggle to believe that - there's more to it than that.

Nobody, but nobody, should be hated just because of their beliefs. That's an ignorant and a shameful way to carry on. I stood behind a lady vicar in WH Smiths a week or so ago and we discussed the annoying habit they have in there of trying to flog you chocolate at the checkout. No "hatred" from me - why ever would there be? I also regularly pass the vicar (male) from the church up the road from me walking his dog. His dog is incredibly cute and I often stop to say hello to him (the dog) & have a quick chat about the weather with the vicar. Again, no hatred at all from me.

Anyway - the answer to the question raised by the OP, though, surely is "Yes". That IS what the Bible teaches, right? So, based on the Bible - should Christians be hated? Yes. Are they actually hated in this country? Generally - no. Thanks to our modern, secularist way of going about things as a society.

Italian Yes, I know that you "believe" Jesus was raised and that makes all the difference to you. I don't believe that, so I can't see any difference between Christians and their beliefs and any or all other groups of believers. If other people can base a belief on something that actually didn't happen, then why can't Christians?

I would also add that, personally, I think the very fact that Christianity survived at all is good evidence that Jesus never really existed as a man. Other Messiah claimants were around at that time with their groups of followers (loads and loads) and they tended to get disillusioned and give up when their leader died and didn't come back. Christians invariably take that to mean that, in their case, Jesus really did come back. That's one way to see it - but a more likely explanation (bearing in mind that the LEAST likely of all explanations is a miracle) is that he never actually existed in reality, so couldn't die and disappoint people. The myth just continued to grow and be added to by people as myths had a habit of doing.

EllieArroway Mon 22-Apr-13 06:57:20

And also, if I wanted to devote my life selflessly to the sick and bereaved - I'd be a nurse or something and you know actually help them, instead of sitting by their bedside reading out myths from an old book, promising them things that can't possibly be substantiated.

I find this whole "I'm doing this terrible stuff that other people won't" is frankly repellent given that our entire health service is devoted to just that. How disrespectful to medical professionals is that?

sieglinde Mon 22-Apr-13 10:13:58

I see things have moved on.

I understand both views on the 'Christians-are-hated' side. I am sometimes puzzled by the way that the fact that we FEEL hated isn't enough.

What would be? Legal/workplace discrimination? Well, anyone not C of E will have had that in respect of holy days (Moslems have to work through Ramadan, Catholics through Holy Week, Eastern orthodox through their Easter, and Jews through Yom Kippur, while C of Es get Easter weekend off, inclujding Easter Monday, bizarrely). So too anyone liable to wearing religious insignia -presumably Sikh turbans are ok with those of you who dislike the hijab and the crucifix and indeed the Jewish headcovering.

The 'it's ok as long as it stays in the sacristy/in secret' default setting is troubling, though so too is Jesus Army-style invasions of people's privacy, unsought, and I also dislike cold-calling Jehovahs and Mormons, especially since both think I'm in league with Satan as an RC. Where i think some dis-ease is justified is that the notion of where the sacristy door lies has now moved so that ANY public display of faith - including those not intended to proselytse -is now seen as invasive. That does present problems, including moral ones.

Siegelinde: some people have to work on bank holidays, religious or not - the emergency services, for instance. But most workplaces allow people to take holidays at a time of their own choosing so those whose important festivals are not state holidays in the UK can surely arrange their rotas and/or trade with colleagues so they get the time off they want. That's not persecution or hatred.

As to wearing symbols of superstition - again, either everyone should allowed to wear what they like or all symbols are banned. For instance, if a uniform-wearing rule is 'no jewellery' for practical/hygiene reasons then exceptions should be made on grounds of size/discretion not particular superstition ie if people are allowed to wear a small religious medallion on a chain around their necks then they should equally be allowed to wear any kind of small pendant or medallion that's important to them.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Mon 22-Apr-13 10:32:48

I think UK public holidays are hardly workplace discrimination.

They are the days the UK has off. Yes, some of them fall on Christian holidays, but most don't, and they're not Christian holidays historically anyway, but there's a good reason for that. How would you have it? Every religious person gets their own holidays off work? Everyone gets all the religious holidays off? Both would be ludicrous options.

Would you expect to live in a Muslim country and get Christian holidays off work?

There's a lot more to UK public holidays than religion. I wouldn't expect any religion to be given favourable rules just because of the religion itself. If the rule is no headgear, then that's the rule for everyone. If the rule is no jewellery, that's the rule for everyone.

Italiangreyhound, Yeah fair enough. That would be a huge discussion on its own. As for Muslims being respectful of other religions I'm sure that is often true. I've said before that when some imam starts yelling about Sharia law a lot of ordinary Muslims must be horrified and embarrassed.The main thing on most people's minds if asked is not Allah or Jesus, but the mortgage payments.

Sieglinde, the funny thing is that as an atheist I don't really mind religious symbols providing as others have said they don't clash with rules meant to protect everyone. If anything it should be other religious people who find them upsetting.

We do have to draw lines though and it's tricky at times. I think the Sikh turban looks fine, but non-sikhs on a motorbike would be required by law to wear a helmet. We shouldn't be making some people exempt from laws. If they can't remove the turban then they should get a bus instead.

The face mask thing is another one. It may be a religious symbol, but it has more far reaching and practical effects and I'd ban that. Or rather I'd ban all methods of masking your face in public which would include that.

If you don't draw lines then what do you do when someone with an obscure religion says they have to work behind the bakery counter naked on special days or they are not allowed to wash their hands for the duration of their holy week.

The whole keep-it-for-church thing is the only practical way to handle it as it's the only way to be fair to all. Religious people don't have to keep it a secret they are religious. They just can't reasonably expect everyone else to work around their rules and it will be completely impossible to do so when one religious rule conflicts with that of another religion.

EllieArroway Mon 22-Apr-13 11:44:17

If you don't draw lines then what do you do when someone with an obscure religion says they have to work behind the bakery counter naked on special days....

I'd visit that bakery.

.....or they are not allowed to wash their hands for the duration of their holy week

Maybe not.

sieglinde Mon 22-Apr-13 13:14:18

Just to clarify - I didn't say holidays were hate crimes, but they do discriminate in favour of the C of E. Orthodox Jews use up virtually their entire holiday allowance on religious holidays. Protestants don't have to. That's all I mean - simple stuff. But it does maybe work to make people feel that their views don't matter.

The whole keep-it-for-church thing is the only practical way to handle it as it's the only way to be fair to all. Religious people don't have to keep it a secret they are religious.

The problem here is the established church. That rule doesn't apply to them.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Mon 22-Apr-13 14:49:54

But it does maybe work to make people feel that their views don't matter.

And they'd be right when it comes to public holidays.

If we decided to move the Easter public holiday to a fixed date in early March and the Christmas and Boxing day holidays to late November then nobody would be getting their religious holidays. Perhaps that would be fairer.

On the subject of using up your holiday allowance for all your religious holidays, if you have that many religious holidays, then you really shouldn't be expecting to be given them all off for nothing. Otherwise I could wander in with my new religion which says I can't work on Fridays and take every Friday off.

If you choose to use your holiday allowance to satisfy your religion, that's entirely up to you.

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Mon 22-Apr-13 14:52:45

I didn't say holidays were hate crimes, but they do discriminate in favour of the C of E.

In this country, yes. But not everywhere. And only because Britain is a historically Christian country. That's just what you have to live with.

I wouldn't go to live in the States and complain that I didn't get May Day off.

The problem here is the established church. That rule doesn't apply to them.

We need to disestablish the church. All religions should be treated equally.

But that wouldn't change the holidays we have now. They are just the national holidays we are used to.

sieglinde Mon 22-Apr-13 18:38:52

Yes, backonly - that's exactly it. All religions should be treated equally. That's why I'm so keen on disestablishmentarianism.

Britain is NOT 'historically' a C of E country, by the way and RCs and Orthodox Christians are NOT included in C of E holiday dates/timings/events. The C of E is a lateish invention. You might reasonably say it was imposed by a tyrannical monarchy... smile

PedroYoniLikesCrisps Mon 22-Apr-13 18:59:28

There's two holidays in the UK related to Christian holidays. Easter and Christmas. These, as far as I can tell are common to all Christians.

Ellie the fact you don't hate vicars is not really evidence that vicars or indeed anyone anywhere is not hated by some. Yes, I get your point, about who belives things based on thing you did not think happened, I just ran out of stream to discuss it. I may well rally my steam but when things get a bit cross on hear it makes me so sad. I think we might find we all had a lot more in common if we were not trying to rattle each other's cages so much! wink

I would also add that, personally, I think the very fact that Christianity survived at all is good evidence that Jesus never really existed as a man. Other Messiah claimants were around at that time with their groups of followers (loads and loads) and they tended to get disillusioned and give up when their leader died and didn't come back. Christians invariably take that to mean that, in their case, Jesus really did come back. That's one way to see it - but a more likely explanation (bearing in mind that the LEAST likely of all explanations is a miracle) is that he never actually existed in reality, so couldn't die and disappoint people. The myth just continued to grow and be added to by people as myths had a habit of doing. that makes no sense at all to me. Maybe you are just trying to give me a taste of my own medicine! How can it not being true mean it is more likely to be around today!

I also think sick people get a lot of comfort from 'religion' and from people being near them and helping them and from the meaning of their religion in times of trouble. I heard one of the burns victims from the Kings Cross fire recounting how he recited the psalms in his terrible experience (the reunion on radio 4). Of course the medical profession (people of all faiths and none) do an amazing job and I don't think that many would be doubt that at all. But those who visit the sick are also very welcomed. I can only speak from my own experience of being one who has been visited when sick.

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