Question for the Christians

(344 Posts)
hiddenhome Sat 31-Mar-12 17:35:32

Just wonderin' 'n' musin' like. Do you ever get fed up or feel uncomfortable with the amount of blasphemy on the main boards? I've been noticing it more and more recently. I don't know why people think that this isn't offensive or unpleasant. I don't think they'd do it to other religions sad Makes me wonder why people are so vehemently anti Christian, then keep making these references. Also, can't understand why people can't equate a religious person's love for God to an atheist's love for their family and children. They wouldn't like to be insulted over their love for their dcs, but quite happily take the pee and dish it out to the faith people. Sometimes they're even hostile and aggressive about it. I find the boards quite slack liberally minded, but don't know why they don't extend this liberalism to everyone. If you truly choose equality, doesn't it mean that the equality should extend to those you don't agree with and even actively dislike?

I know we're supposed to take it as part of being a Christian, but was just wondering how others felt really.

AKMD Sat 31-Mar-12 20:09:19

I don't like it and I wish people would have a bit more respect - not using the name of someone's God as a swear word would be a great start hmm but I think it is very reflective of British society in general. I make sure I tell the people I work and hang out with that I'm religious (not in a pushy way, just in conversation) and in general they tone down the language while I'm around. Some people though will always have the attitude that they can say whatever they like and it's up to religious folks to deal with it. I think that's exacerbated on an online forum where people say things to others that they wouldn't dream of saying in RL.

If people in RL choose to be deliberately offensive I tend to ignore and stay away from them because they tend to be not very nice in other respects as well.

MagsAloof Sat 31-Mar-12 20:11:13

Need specific examples to be able to comment.

ClaireAll Sat 31-Mar-12 20:21:53

It's part & parcel of being a Christian.

Christians have been persecuted for their faith for 2000 years. There is nothing new under the sun.

MagsAloof Sat 31-Mar-12 20:27:27

Christians have persecuted people, too. The 'victim mentality' is a bit weak.

I am genuinely interested to know what it is that you find offensive, OP?

hiddenhome Sat 31-Mar-12 20:51:33

People using JC and Christ and JFC and God in their posts and titles.

It's blasphemy to a Christian when these names are used in these contexts. I'm not being a 'victim', I'm genuinally interested to know if the other Christians find this offensive as well. I'm not personally responsible for the entire history of the church and I haven't personally persecuted anybody, so I think the 'Christians have persecuted people, too' a bit weak tbh hmm

MagsAloof Sat 31-Mar-12 20:58:39

I wasn't addressing you wit that comment, hiddenhome, I was talking to ClaireAll.

I suppose it depends on how seriously you take these things. My family are Irish Catholics, but say 'Jesus, Mary, Joseph', Jesus Christ!, FGS etc regularly. I haven't mixed with very religious Christians enough to know what they find offensive or don't, but if I was told by a Christian they were offended by me saying 'FGS', for example, I wouldnt use it.

I think in general, though, religious people get a very easy ride in this country and are prone to being over sensitive. Christians are NOT persecuted in Britain.

MagsAloof Sat 31-Mar-12 20:59:30

The other thing I would say is that you are easily offended, MN might not be the best place for you....wink

ethelb Sat 31-Mar-12 21:02:14

Do you mean people saying oh my God? Or do you mean people being offensive about people who are religious?

They are two different things.

OMG doesn't bother me.

The being offensive about religion thing is pretty trendy at the mo amoung badly theologically educated people, to make a sweeping generalisation ;-) but if they must follow the crowd they must.

MagsAloof Sat 31-Mar-12 21:08:20

See, I dont buy this ine trotted out that 'being horrioble about Christians is trendy'.

There have been some popular / populist books stating the case for atheism.Far more average Joes have a basic grasp of atheism now, and have some arguments 'against' God and religion.

I think it is very hard for religious people to be confronted with strident Atheism. I do understand that. It probably does come across as rude, but how do you say 'I dont believe a word of it - and you have no proof' politely? Really?

I dont agree with being deliberately offensive about religion for the sake of it, but sometimes the truth does hurt....

ethelb Sat 31-Mar-12 21:11:07

@MagsAloof My father is an atheist, my mother catholic and I am a Quaker (v recenlty converted)

I find the idea that I just 'can't handle the truth' as though no one has ever said that to me before more than a leetle patronising...

MagsAloof Sat 31-Mar-12 21:16:56

I dont believe in God. I find it patronising that anyone would think that Jesus an 'save' me...but hey ho.

Back to the point of the thread - I think phrases like 'Oh my god', 'For god's sake' etc have become so commonly used, they are almost meaningless to most of the people using them...but I appreciate that some people may be offended and I wouldt nwant to deliberately offend someone when I could just not use the phrase. That is in RL, though. On an interet forum, I think people have to be allowed to speak freely and anonymously, providing they arent discriminatory.

hiddenhome Sat 31-Mar-12 21:24:51

'the truth does hurt' But it's your truth, not ours. The thing is, nobody can prove anything either way, so we each have faith in whatever beliefs we have.

hiddenhome Sat 31-Mar-12 21:29:16

I believe in freedom of speech too, but they wouldn't come out with something about mohammed or something about the Hindu religion would they? It's quite common to openly insult and denigrate people who are Christians, whereas other faiths wouldn't receive the same treatment. Nobody really refers to Allah as an 'imaginary friend' for example. I'm just puzzled to know why Christianity comes in for such a hard time. It's part and parcel of the faith to come across people who have a go at us, but it's still hurtful. I would not say to somebody "you're crazy for loving your dh or ds, you must be misguided in your feelings, you must learn to accept the truth" etc.

hiddenhome Sat 31-Mar-12 21:34:44

Love is not a measurable quality for example. You can say you love someone or something, but that love doesn't exist in concrete form. You can try to prove it one way or another, but it's completely subjective to the person experiencing it. Telling someone they shouldn't love someone/thing is ridiculous and futile because you can't take it away from somebody. This is how people of faith feel about atheists telling us we're nuts or God can't be proven etc. etc. It doesn't mean anything to us, so they move on to the next step and begin the insults and denigration. That causes hurt and distrust, to what aim?

ethelb Sat 31-Mar-12 21:42:38

@Magsaloof, who has said that to you? I think all these shouty outy prostletysing christians are made up sometimes just to prove some kind of point.
I have only ever encountered one once.

MagsAloof Sat 31-Mar-12 22:37:26

<sigh> Yeah i made it up. there are absolutely NO Evangelical Christians near me. Nope. None at all.


VegimalStyle Sat 31-Mar-12 22:44:47

There used to be a street preacher in Cardiff who had a pie chart (single colour) to show the love of Jesus. He wouldn't reveal where he obtained this information. Don't think it was from the office for national statistics...

seeker Sat 31-Mar-12 22:49:55

I try not to blaspheme. And I stop my children doing it whenever I can.


It really annoys me when Christians in this country talk about being persecuted when what they actually mean is "no longer being given special privileges and being expected to adhere to the law of the land"

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 31-Mar-12 22:57:19

I'm a Christian. I regularly blaspheme. I sometimes like to mix blasphemy with profanity. I get that some people don't like it, but I don't live my life according to what some people don't like.

jjkm Sat 31-Mar-12 23:16:39

I dislike profanity and blasphemy, but I find most people are respectful not to use it around me because they notice I avoid it.

I think most people are normal. There are just a few out there that are so vocal and disrespectful that it makes everyone think they are being persecuted at some time or another. I've heard my beliefs disrespected, lied about, and horribly misunderstood more times than I can count, but haven't felt truly persecuted.

That said, persecution does exist. I've had at least one friend disowned by his family for converting.

hiddenhome Sat 31-Mar-12 23:30:50

seeker I haven't said anything about being persecuted. I wouldn't want special privileges either.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 31-Mar-12 23:41:22

I don't find 'OMG' or 'Jesus Christ!' etc particularly offensive personally and am guilty of using those phrases myself.

What does piss me off massively is people referring to God as 'so-and-so's imaginary friend' in a way that implies this POV is fact.

If people believe that there is no God - fine, that's their choice, but to be so mocking of someone else's beliefs, which they are equally entitled to and in such an offensive way really does get my back up.

I tend to have to step away from those threads very rapidly...

Housemum Sun 01-Apr-12 00:00:56

Just to clarify when you say OMG do you mean written as that, or the words said in full? In our house it is "oh my goodness" even though the majority of people don't use it as that, just a thought though as I use that term sometimes on Facebook and could easily use it here without meaning to blaspheme.

DumSpiroSpero Sun 01-Apr-12 00:04:04

It doesn't bother me either way. I do know people on here and in real life that would be hmm though so I re-phrase it to 'goodness' most of the time.

DoubleGlazing Sun 01-Apr-12 00:07:09

I dislike swearing in general and religious swearing in particular.

I realise there's little I can do about it though, apart from join the ranks of the minority <links arms>

madhairday Sun 01-Apr-12 16:36:45

I don't know hidden. The blasphemy thing I kind of just see and get past. I could go on other websites where there is less swearing and blasphemy and it is all nice and fluffy but I chose mumsnet for a reason. I like the gritty reality and honesty of it, and that includes people using these words/phrases often, and that's OK, it's up to them in a way. I find it more offensive if it's people who are Christians saying this stuff tbh - why do I have any right to tell people what kind of language to use? Saying that, people can be deliberately offensive and provocative - most of the time however it's just conversation.

The whole imaginary friend and Christians-are-thickos thing - hmmm. At first, in my early mumsnet days, I did get a little shocked and prickly about it all, but I soon decided this was daft. If they want to say this stuff, again, it's up to them - free country and all that. I don't think we know persecution in this country - dh has just returned from Sudan and believe me they know the meaning of the word far more than we do, and somebody calling us idiots or believers in Spaghetti Monsters comes nowhere close - so in this light, it really goes over my head now. I'm happy to engage in discussion and debate, and confess to smiling a little when I see certain posts of this nature (nothing new under the sun, and all that).

I think posting on this site means we need a certain level of live and let live and I'm happy to do that whilst retaining my own faith and my own certainty. Maybe I should be more bothered - I don' know.

seeker Mon 02-Apr-12 12:15:21

"seeker I haven't said anything about being persecuted. I wouldn't want special privileges either."

Interesting. Do you think not wanting people to blaspheme is asking for special privileges?

ethelb Mon 02-Apr-12 14:48:30

Not wanting people to do something is not asking for a privilege. It is having an opinion.

hiddenhome Mon 02-Apr-12 16:31:05

No, not special privileges, just some common courtesy would be nice. They wouldn't go around saying f****g mohammed or s**** krishna out of respect.

alemci Mon 02-Apr-12 16:39:44

I think you some make a fair points Hidden Home.

MrsMcCave Mon 02-Apr-12 20:39:14

I am genuinely curious how a Christian can square blasphemy with whichever-commandment-it-is that says dont. Surely this is one the bible is very specific on?

ethelb Mon 02-Apr-12 20:44:35

do not take the lord's name in vain.

It is one of the ten commandments.

seeker Mon 02-Apr-12 20:55:02

"No, not special privileges, just some common courtesy would be nice. They wouldn't go around saying f****g mohammed or s** krishna out of respect."

Well, my swear words come from my heritage, and that happens to be a Christian one. If I came from an Islamic or Buddhist background and those were the swear words of that culture, I would use them.

hiddenhome Mon 02-Apr-12 21:01:27

So, people are happy to use parts of their Christian heritage when it suits them? I would sooner they rejected it wholesale than use it as offensive language sad

seeker Mon 02-Apr-12 21:08:23

Absolutely. I said I do try not to blaspheme. But if I do, it's because those are the words that are part of my mental furniture. Mohammed isn't. It's nothing to do with me having more respect for Islam.

DoubleGlazing Mon 02-Apr-12 21:08:31

Agree hiddenhome. It's usually the same people who tell Christians off for "picking and choosing", too!

VegimalStyle Mon 02-Apr-12 21:45:34

I call for an immediate ban on the use of the words;

All blasphemous. Ban this sick filth.

ethelb Mon 02-Apr-12 22:22:02

@vegimal what point are you trying to make exactly. who has tried to 'ban' words on here?

hiddenhome Mon 02-Apr-12 22:24:50

I think Vegimal is being sarcastic, which is exactly the type of response I'm referring to. I suppose they never fail to come up with the goods. They're nothing if not reliable in that respect hmm

ethelb Mon 02-Apr-12 22:29:49

oh does she think she sounds uber trendy as she is giving all those god botherers a 'taste of their own medicine'?

oooooh. all makes sense now. wink

Seeing things that aren't there, that's a prime trait of those religious nutters isn't it @vegimal

philbee Mon 02-Apr-12 22:34:29

Culture is not religion. Our culture is predominantly Christian in Britain and there's no way to give that up, it's done. It's misguided to say we've only chosen part of it, none of us chose any of it but it's there and there's no escaping it. Christians have chosen to take on the part that has, thankfully from my pov, become culturally optional.

I say 'oh my god!' without believing in god. It's just words to me, but I wouldn't say it around Christian friends because I know it offends them because those words have other significance. There's a fair amount that's depressing and offensive in the public realm, but there's not much you can do except to point out examples as you come across them.

startail Mon 02-Apr-12 22:37:33

I'm an atheist and pretty strident at times, but I don't like OMG and Jesus Christ being used as expletives.

Certainly it causes needless offence to some older Christians and probably younger ones too.

We wouldn't blaspheme against other faiths, so why is it clever to do it against Christianity? I can only think it's rather childish rebellion because people feel a little bit guilty at not following the faith they culturally belong to.

However, little I believe in god, I'm still conditioned to the behaviours and morals of a Christian country.

startail Mon 02-Apr-12 22:39:23

philobee Xposted
You say it far better than me.grin

DoubleGlazing Mon 02-Apr-12 22:40:01

Thank you startail, that's a thoughtful and considerate post smile

GlendragonParade Mon 02-Apr-12 22:49:53

Although I'm an atheist I think it's valid to use words (should I choose to) which are simply part of my culture and language.

And I absolutely reserve the right to, having sat through hundreds of hours of enforced Christianity at school.

seeker Mon 02-Apr-12 23:20:00

I think I would only be picking andnchoosing bits of religion whenni said "oh my God!"!if I was actually appalling to God when I said it. I'm not. 8'm just, qs I said, using a word that's a bit of my mental furniture. I am happy to let Christians gt on with their lives so long as they don't intrude their blifsninto mine. Which, in my opinion, happens far too often"

hiddenhome Mon 02-Apr-12 23:26:18

I'm sorry to hear that you're being hassled by Christians seeker sad

seeker Mon 02-Apr-12 23:33:20

I'm not being hassled by individual Christians. But I object to compulsory Christianity in schools, to the automatic Chirstian presence in the House of Lords and therefore in law and policy making which has caused problems for example in schientific research. I an very worried about the rise of the Christian right in America and I am concerned that what happens in America is inclined to cross the Atlantic. And that's just for starters!

LineRunner Mon 02-Apr-12 23:43:50

Christian heritage is very long, varied, complex and culturally informed, though. A significant part of the NT is about the conroversy in the early church with allowing non-Jews to become Christians, for example. Are modern Christians always aware of this part of the Bible and Christian history?

greencolorpack Mon 02-Apr-12 23:53:34

I don't like it. On the internet, I have a famous atheist guy on my friends list and he occasionally says "Christ I only wish..." and to him it's obviously a dirty word, a word to use for emphasis, nothing more. I compose replies like "I wish you wouldn't blaspheme"... I write them out and then delete them cos he will be annoyed, all his other followers will be annoyed, and I'm not really engaging positively with him on any level... on the other hand, my Facebook wall is MY Facebook wall, why should I read blasphemy on it? It's like having a pretty garden and finding someone has pissed all over it. To me. So I'm conflicted. And he's not my "friend", I'm not that tragic as to think I'm friends with a famous person. So I feel I exist in an insecure place as a tolerated religious person, tolerable for as long as I don't tell off blasphemy.

In real life I also don't like it but I have a lovely friend who happens to blaspheme a lot and I just try and ignore it. I lead by example ie I hardly swear myself.

I'm probably a hypocrite when it comes to blasphemy, I love Frank Zappa's "Valley Girl" which is full of "Oh my God!" and Chemical Brothers "Do it Again", "Oh my God what have I done? All I wanted was a little fun" and I quote these quite happily. But I hate/resent people saying "Christ!" or "Jesus Christ!" cos it's like they're posturing idiots trying to sound cool by turning Jesus's name into a dirty word. It's like people smoking to look cool, it's not big, not clever and I'm not impressed. Jesus is my friend, it's horrible to hear someone you love's name being used as a swearword. I'd much rather people said "Fuck it!" The F word don't bother me in the slightest.

seeker Mon 02-Apr-12 23:57:42

" But I hate/resent people saying "Christ!" or "Jesus Christ!" cos it's like they're posturing idiots trying to sound cool by turning Jesus's name into a dirty word. It's like people smoking to look cool, it's not big, not clever"

It isn't you know. People don't even think about the words as being Jesus's name. Thy are just collections of letters - so far rmoved from religion that they no longr have any connection with it.

suzikettles Tue 03-Apr-12 00:03:41

No. Christians should probably try not to blaspheme (and I will admit to being a bad Christian in that respect, although I do try), but I don't really see why non Christians should take too much trouble over it.

And actually, we (culturally) do lots of things that other faiths/cultures wouldn't do but tend not to get our knickers in too much of a twist about it.

I have never seen an example of someone being disadvantaged because they were a Christian. We're a minority group these days but we are massively advantaged because the culture of this country is broadly Christian.

DioneTheDiabolist Tue 03-Apr-12 00:09:15

The pilgrims who settled America did not do so in search of religious freedom. They did so to escape from religious freedom and establish a more puritanical society. America has a history of right wing Christianity, it is nothing new.

Starwisher Tue 03-Apr-12 01:08:29

I don't understand some people attitude on here.

If you know someone finds something offensive then don't do it. There was lots of support a few months back when someone used the word "shyster" and people pulled the op up on it.

Have the same maturity and courtesy.

VegimalStyle Tue 03-Apr-12 05:09:26

My list of words last night all have their etymology in the words god and Jesus. They're seen as tame inoffensive words and have been used over the last 100 years to replace swear words in the media at times when it was banned or inappropriate.

Have you ever watched Scooby Doo? Were you offended by the continued and flagrant use of the words "jinkies" and "jeepers"?

Both of those words are derived alternatives to Jesus.

So, shall we stop using them? They were invented so that you didn't have to hear blasphemy on tv or in music, but are themselves blasphemous due to that.

Opinion please.

Btw I apologise for the sarcasm yesterday, I'd had a bad day and am in a lot of pain and tired.

VegimalStyle Tue 03-Apr-12 05:15:16

I suppose they never fail to come up with the goods. They're nothing if not reliable in that respect

hiddenhome don't demean yourself or your beliefs by using sweeping generalisations about non believers. I assume that's the "they" you're referring to? I'm sure you don't like it when people make sweeping generalisations about Christians.

VegimalStyle Tue 03-Apr-12 05:23:45

ethelb don't call yourself names or try to play the sympathy card by making me out to be the big bad wolf. I didn't call anyone a "god botherer" or say that you're "seeing things that aren't there" or call you a "religious nutter".

Please try not to demean yourself or your views by being so childish. Sorry no, that's offensive to children, so I won't tell you to grow up.

And finally, there's nothing trendy about my views. I simply believe what I believe. It's a matter of faith. Surely you understand that?

CheerfulYank Tue 03-Apr-12 05:56:45

Dione yes, but our founding fathers (who were not overly Puritanical) specifically spelled out that our congress was to make no laws establishing any sort of religion, and God and religion are not mentioned in our tax-funded scools at all.

I am a Christian, yet believe fully in the seperation of church and state. I will talk to my son about my beliefs at home.

As for thr original question, it doesn't bother me overmuch. I don't use Jesus Christ as a swear word, but do say jeepers so p'raps I'm just as bad. grin

Please excuse the possibly horrible spelling; I'm tapping this out on my phone.

Oh and Veg I hope you feel better soon.

VegimalStyle Tue 03-Apr-12 06:26:30

grin thanks cheerful

MrsMcCave Tue 03-Apr-12 06:40:06

there's a lot in what you say, vegimal.. are 'gosh' and others just as bad as the real thing? 'Touch wood' is another, which apparently is a reference to the cross. 'blimey' and 'crikey' are others.. my dear mother would be deeply shocked to hear any of these.

She's the person behind that well-known campaign to put plain packaging on Beano comics. grin

VegimalStyle Tue 03-Apr-12 07:06:18

Here's the etymology of gosh for you mrsmccave

Use the search bar to find the others too!

MrsMcCave Tue 03-Apr-12 07:21:29

Thanks.. its a bit early in the morning for me to attempt to spell 'etymological'

VegimalStyle Tue 03-Apr-12 07:26:00

Predictive text is a wonderful thing!

MrsMcCave Tue 03-Apr-12 07:30:57


CheerfulYank Tue 03-Apr-12 16:48:59

I also occasionally say "Sweet St Joseph in a side car." I have no idea why, it just flows off the tongue so well! smile blush

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 17:52:14

But Hidden, I love my husband because I can see him and speak to him and he treats me well and when we are together it generally releases oxytocin and other good chemicals that strengthen the bond, same as with our children. The science of love is very well researched and explained scientifically so I really don't see how you can regard love as something woo and inscrutable. If you asked me why I love my children it's because in evolutionary terms the parents whose brains released oxytocin when interacting with their children were naturally more likely to rear their offspring to childbearing age and in turn those offspring were more likely to again release an amount that made successful long term child rearing viable seeing as there was a genetic link.

jjkm Tue 03-Apr-12 18:25:46

I would add, I love my God because he is there when no one else is, or can be. He's been a part of my entire life, and has gotten me through problems even before I met my DH. Even I don't see him, for me, at least, he is very real part of my life.

I have no doubt that a tendency to love is chemical and natural, but it doesn't diminish the strong feeling and experiences I have that tell me there is a higher power who watches over us.

To be completely honest, again, I am not truly offended by the use of those words, but I have a great deal of respect for diety so I dislike hearing it. It is disappointing to hear someone else to use so lightly the name of someone that means a lot to you. And, again, I'm sure most people aren't intentionally trying to offend, they simply don't understand how others feel.

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 18:28:52

Hi jkm. But how do explain someone of a completely different faith maintaining the exact same strength of feeling for their god ?

jjkm Tue 03-Apr-12 18:33:42

Well, I personally believe that Muslims, Jews, and Christians all worship the same God, whether or not they realize it.

seeker Tue 03-Apr-12 18:35:56

I love my dp and my children and they love me back. I have never seen anything which persuades me that, if God exists, he loves anybody.

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 18:40:07

But Jesus said no one comes
to the father but through him. Am I taking that verse out of context?

jjkm Tue 03-Apr-12 19:00:02

Well, I understand that no-one would be redeemed were it not for Jesus. That, to me, means that it is because of Christ that we can receive guidance, not that we have to necessarily believe in him to receive it. The ancient prophets in the Bible, before ever understanding who Christ was, spoke and received guidance from God.

The way I see it, if a God exists, and he is a loving God, and he sees one of his children, of any faith, calling him by any name, humbly seeking guidance, he would be inclined to hear them.

LineRunner Tue 03-Apr-12 19:18:44

The prophets understood the concept of the messiah very well. They also knew that their god was a vengeful god.

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 19:41:07

When you say he'd be inclined to hear them it sounds like he doesn't always hear them or is sometimes less keen than others. Why would that be. And if he hears everyone who calls out to him and guides people of all faiths how do you reconcile the hatred between the faiths. Why doesn't he 'guide' them to love each other. And even within the same faith there are big differences of doctrine. How does one explain that in light of your belief system?

LineRunner Tue 03-Apr-12 19:50:21

I studied the Old Testament prophets and one thing that came across quite quickly was a powerful sense of god's punishment schedule.

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 20:10:06

Well from reading on the boards here god isn't concerned with telling his believers about his punishment schedule anymore. It's more should they move to this church or that etc. Except he's simultaneously telling person a to go to church b and person b to go to church a.

LineRunner Tue 03-Apr-12 20:21:38

I can actually understand better the Old Testament Iron Age context of socially depleting wars, stratified societies and differential access to resources. You knew where you were with Isaiah.

DoubleGlazing Tue 03-Apr-12 20:42:42

"how do you reconcile the hatred between the faiths"

Some people use religion as an excuse to hide behind and twist its meaning. That says more about them than the religion though.

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 20:54:45

I was referring to jjkm saying that all faiths lead to god. The old testament paints a different picture though where genocide was everyday and people who even suggested they try out other faiths were put to death quickly. If god doesn't care what faith you follow to reach him why would he order the deaths of people of other religions?

Starwisher Tue 03-Apr-12 20:55:35

" I love my children it's because in evolutionary terms the parents whose brains released oxytocin when interacting with their children were naturally more likely to rear their offspring to childbearing age and in turn those offspring were more likely to again release an amount that made successful long term child rearing viable seeing as there was a genetic link."

So explain how people love children not related to them? Adopted, or fathers who believed a child was theirs when Infact the father was another man and so on, etc etc

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 20:57:48

Same thing, in evolutionary terms a society who gelled better had more chance
of survival.

Starwisher Tue 03-Apr-12 20:58:58

You said a genetic link released oxytocin

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 21:00:52

I didn't mean the the 'genetic link' comment in that they loved the child because it was related to them but that their children were genetically similar as in their levels of oxytocin

Starwisher Tue 03-Apr-12 21:02:10

An offsprings oxytocin level always matches the parents?

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 21:06:23

So in natural selection terms the ones with higher levels of oxytocin had more kids getting to have kids and then those kids were more likely to have the same propensity for producing a level of oxytocin to an equal level whereas those who had poor oxytocin levels had a poorer track record and any offspring of theirs that did survive would likely have the same lower level of oxytocin and so on so you can see how the picture spans out to naturally favour those who generally had the higher hormone level

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 21:08:11

Probably not always but enough to form a pattern Of course I assume a lot here from my scant knowledge of evolution and natural selection.

MrsMcCave Tue 03-Apr-12 21:32:12

Ah, mumsnet, how I've missed you. From blasphemy to oxytocin in 85 easy steps. <sighs blissfully>

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 21:34:43

Sorry. Maybe we can find a a way to link the two thus getting back to the actual topic? blush

IAmBooyhoo Tue 03-Apr-12 21:36:15

i'm an atheist.

i have in the past (and sometimes recently if i'm honest) have said things like "Jesus christ!" or "for god's sake" when exasperated. i think for me it is because growing up, these were the things that were said on such occasions so i never actually thought about the fact that they were associated with christianity. it was only really when i joined MN that i started thinking about what i was actually saying and how it could be offensive to others that i stopped doing it (mostly, sometimes i slip up). interestingly though, these words (used in the context of swearing and blaspheming) were all learned from the most religious person i know, my mum. she is devout roman catholic but these were her phrases of choice when she lost her temper with us.

i do agree with hiddenhome that i have never heard anyone use 'allah' or 'mohammed' or any other 'gods' in that way. perhaps though that is more to do with the fact that britain is a christian country and for many people, it wouldn't have been common or natural in their homes to have said "for mohammed's sake" as it wasn't a word in common usage (in their homes) just as it wasn't in mine but god was. if that makes sense.

headinhands Tue 03-Apr-12 21:53:58

It is interesting. I'm agnostic and I've never exclaimed 'Jesus Christ' but it's learnt behaviour from my church days. I do say oh god' though. I even said it out loud at a toddler group at a Baptist church by accident when I saw 1 year old ds knocked flying by a much older child. One of the helpers came over to check he was okay and I apologised for any rude words i might have uttered and she said the blasphemy bit was worse than the other word which was sh*t I think. blush

jjkm Wed 04-Apr-12 00:42:59

Sorry to switch back, but I feel the need to clarify because a part of my post was not understood as I meant it to be.

I don't believe all paths are equal. I believe in a single true church and true doctrine. I just believe that God is kind and hears and answers people of all faiths if they are trying to follow him, in the best way they know how. Their religious background is irrelevant in how much God answers them. It is their dedication to doing what is right that matters. Those people know that there is a God that answers them and that aspects of their faith are good because their faith brought them to that knowledge. Evil people use religion, and trusting people believe them.

Again, sorry for taking us back, but I didn't want to leave my beliefs misunderstood.

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 05:57:47

Hm, so what happens to someone who is interested in doing right just out of a basic sense of humanity but has no belief in god at all. Another point, you say god is kind and hears their prayers. How does that square with the 26'000 starving children?

mathanxiety Wed 04-Apr-12 06:11:20

"how do you reconcile the hatred between the faiths"

Because there will always be individuals of every creed and none with poles up their arses Because folks is folks.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 08:01:30

But why does God get the credit for the good stuff, but people get the blame for all the bad stuff?

jjkm Wed 04-Apr-12 08:53:55

head Those kids will be no worse off in the next life for it, but if one were to arrogantly assume God will just take care of them, and neglect to provide the help they are capable of giving, that person will eventually have to answer for it, and will sorely regret it. Given the choice between the two, I'd rather be the starving child, personally.

God allows inequality in this life, but he mends it in the next.

Matthew 21:28-31
28 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard.
29 He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went.
30 And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not.
31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

I believe an agnostic/atheist who does good will eventually be rewarded for that, and above a Christian that fails to do good. Ultimately, everything is fair in the next life.

Ephesians 4 is good for answering the prior question (about many faiths, winds of doctrine, where they come from, etc). link Specifically 5-7, and 11-14. There is only one true faith, and that faith provides true doctrine through God's servants.

mathanxiety put it way better than I did, and even with a crossed out replacement for an explicative (but no explicative, thankfully grin).

(hopes for forgiveness for staying off topic)

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 09:05:00

"head Those kids will be no worse off in the next life for it, but if one were to arrogantly assume God will just take care of them, and neglect to provide the help they are capable of giving, that person will eventually have to answer for it, and will sorely regret it. Given the choice between the two, I'd rather be the starving child, personally."

So even though there are thousands of good people working their arses off to try to make things better, it's not enough for God to step in and lend a hand.

jjkm Wed 04-Apr-12 09:22:17

I believe he does step in. Just not always in the way we'd expect.

jjkm Wed 04-Apr-12 09:24:30

I am, respectfully, bowing out of this topic, as I don't believe I have anything useful left to add.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 09:25:22

So how has he stepped in in Somalia, Darfur.....I could list the places, but I won't. How did he step in to protect the victims of child abuse by his priests? how did he step in to protect the children in that Belgian bus crash? Where was he during the Holocaust?

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 09:36:05

So it's another case of "well, if you don't understand it's no use me trying to explain it to you"?

This is the really big issue I believe most people have with Christianity- or with religion in general. If there really is an all knowing, all benevolent omnipotent all loving god, why does he treat the people who love him so badly?

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 10:23:34

But jjkm I didn't create the world knowing the suffering that would befall so many. And I'm not a supernatural being with the ability to create an entire universe with mere words. So whose more guilty?

I used to be a Christian. I believed god was all love and light. I had ways of justifying the irreconcilable differences but for me they stopped working. They stopped because I looked at them the same way you do every other area of your life. Logically.

Think about why you feel the need to back out of the conversation. Doesn't your discomfort suggest a
dissonance you owe it to yourself to analyse?

MrsMcCave Wed 04-Apr-12 11:09:19

God gave us free will. Therefore, bad things happen - because we make them happen. God doesn't treat people badly - we do.

Hope I haven't transgressed any "ignore seeker when she asks awkward questions" rule.

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 11:26:53

But don't miracles contravene free will? If god is so hands off why the admonishment to pray in the nt asking for everything a believer needs. And as for god not hurting people? Eh? The ot is positively sodden with the blood of nations that were slaughtered on gods command.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 11:55:14

"God gave us free will. Therefore, bad things happen - because we make them happen. God doesn't treat people badly - we do.

Hope I haven't transgressed any "ignore seeker when she asks awkward questions" rule."

No- but you've just reinforced my earlier point- anything good god did, everything bad, people did.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 11:57:27

And just one example of an answered prayer would do something to shake my skepticism. Just one. One that stands up to any sort of scientific analysis.

DoubleGlazing Wed 04-Apr-12 12:03:08

When did you last pray, seeker?

MrsMcCave Wed 04-Apr-12 12:04:17

Prayer, as I see it, is for intercession: that for me is saying " I've messed this up, can you help". I suppose the theory is that if we ask God's guidance for everything, we won't mess up.

And as for the bloody OT, that's why Jesus came. Without him, we deserve nothing.

Can you tell I'm new to this?

MrsMcCave Wed 04-Apr-12 12:07:35

Xposted! You can't blame the creator of the universe for indulging in the perfect catch-22, seeker. wink

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 12:15:45

So what you're saying is that the adults, kids and babies that were slaughtered in the ot deserved it as far as god was concerned, but somehow he didn't like killing them, or got fed up, so decided to come to earth and die on a cross so that somehow that meant he didn't need to kill anyone anymore but could just love everyone and never hurt anyone again. Really. I mean doesn't that just sound incredulous?

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 12:17:20

"When did you last pray, seeker?"


headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 12:21:51

You don't come across as
Wet behind the ears at all mrsmccave smile

What I like about debating here is being forced to check my assumptions for contradictions/fallacies which can only be a good thing for us.

DoubleGlazing Wed 04-Apr-12 12:47:32

"When did you last pray, seeker?"


You're looking for examples of answers to prayer. Best place to start is to try it yourself, IMHO. Perhaps more likely to bring you an answer than the places you're currently looking.

VegimalStyle Wed 04-Apr-12 12:54:19

Who should you pray to if you find it impossible to believe in a deity?

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 12:54:29

I'm looking on a thread with committed Christians on it. I would have thought that was the perfect place to look!

BonfireOfKleenex Wed 04-Apr-12 13:03:42

"Those kids will be no worse off in the next life for it, but if one were to arrogantly assume God will just take care of them, and neglect to provide the help they are capable of giving, that person will eventually have to answer for it, and will sorely regret it. Given the choice between the two, I'd rather be the starving child, personally."

How does this make any sense at all confused You could say that just about everyone (for example) in the Western world is neglecting to provide all the help they are capable of giving - so are we all going to hell?

At what point is 'the help they are capable of giving' enough? A £10 direct debit per month? A £50 one? Your entire salary? Or would only actually going over there and personally looking after the starving children be good enough? It just makes no sense.

DoubleGlazing Wed 04-Apr-12 13:45:03

Vegima you can still pray to God anyway if you don't believe in him/her. Even the apostles didn't even have faith as large as a mustard seed, apparently! grin

Seeker no, I'm afraid here is not the perfect place to look. You can only view our relationships with God from the outside. That's so different to having your own. What is it that you're seeking, BTW? smile

VegimalStyle Wed 04-Apr-12 13:54:24

But doubleglazing what is the point if you don't believe? Surely you need faith to make it work? Who are you praying to if you don't believe that anyone will hear?

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 14:00:05

Double. I was a Christian. I thought I had a relationship with god. I prayed. The whole shebang. I have seen it from the inside. But then went on to look at it in its entirety applying the very same reasoning skills that I do for everything else in my life. All of the good feelings I had while a Christian can be explained in psychological terms. The fact that I was a Christian was mere geography. I never saw one verifiable miracle in mine or anyone else's life. I still see no evidence of a deity who is remotely interested in earth. Or maybe I wasn't a true Christian. grin

DoubleGlazing Wed 04-Apr-12 14:05:53

I'd say that taking the step to pray at all Vegimal was a symbol of an open mind, not ruling out the possibility that the God you're praying to is real.

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 14:06:38

I'm with you Bonfire on the 'their next life will be better'. If Christians really believed that then why do things to prolong anyone's life? I cant imagine that a Christian in this country would starve themselves to death to get to heaven quicker because it would be so much better. It's such a grotesque excuse.

BonfireOfKleenex Wed 04-Apr-12 14:07:43

See I can sort of understand Christianity if you look at it only in the context of 'the teachings of Jesus'. So you are following a philosophy if you like - looking at situations in life and saying 'what would Jesus do'.

THEN it makes sense to say 'look inside yourself and the answers will be revealed'.

I can even see that it might help to imagine/believe that you are having a 'discussion' with God / Jesus as part of this process.

But it loses me when Christians start talking about another entity actually listening. And creating the earth, and waiting for us on judgement day etc.

DoubleGlazing Wed 04-Apr-12 14:09:18

headinhands thank you for your post. I agree that religion can be shaped by geography and if I'd been born elsewhere then my spirituality might have taken some other form. That doesn't bother me or detract from my faith though, as I hope I am a Christian of the liberal variety. Out of interest what sort of church did you go to?

VegimalStyle Wed 04-Apr-12 14:11:42

Problem is I'm an empiricist and have a mind for science. I'm willing to believe in the possibility of a god, but as yet have seen no evidence of such. Therefore I cannot currently believe, worship or pray to a god. If I had some hard evidence I would as a good scientist adhere to it, but this once again bypasses the faith requirement.

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 14:22:28

Just about every one going double. I was a denominational tart.

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 14:26:43

I don't understand how believers of yahweh have gone from the veritable hi jinx of the ot to Christian liberalism. When you read the bible it doesn't exactly read like the manifesto for the lib dems.

DoubleGlazing Wed 04-Apr-12 14:27:17

grin at denominational tart

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 14:56:14

So nobody can give me an example of an answered prayer.

ethelb Wed 04-Apr-12 14:57:59

I prayed I woud pass my driving test and I did. Not an example of an answered prayer necessarily, but you asked for one.

Peachy Wed 04-Apr-12 15:02:38

Blasphemy from non beleivers doesn;t bother me- it would if they beleived but they don't so it is meaningless.

Bonfire that is largely it for me- from a Quaker persuasion. Prayer is in many ways like a meditation in my thinking (I am a fan of Vivekananda's writings) and whilst I ask for things they tend to be more like strength, which might work as either a request or a meditation but does work for me.

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 15:22:16

I didn't pray that I'd pass and I still passed. grin]

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 15:27:35

Ethelb, I assume you had been practicing for a while? Now, get a 13 year old to sit the test who is blind and has no prior experience and pass and then we might have something to talk about.

ethelb Wed 04-Apr-12 15:28:49

i was being tongue in cheek.

of course it was to do with practice.

( I thought you meant practicing catholocism for a while there rather than practicing driving grin)

Starwisher Wed 04-Apr-12 15:29:48

I prayed to be released from panic attacks, anxiety and agoraphobia

MrsMcCave Wed 04-Apr-12 15:57:11

I think God looks at the bigger picture and knows better than we do what it is that we need. So if the hypothetical 13yo were to pray for a driving license, maybe what she wants is confidence. Or transp

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 16:01:03

Loving the 'bigger picture' mantra. Is a bit like sudocreme, comes out of the cupboard for so many things from unanswered prayer to god ordained mass murder.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 16:07:28

God doesn't answer prayers in the way people expect Him to. Prayer isn't a magic trick or a list of things a person desires. I never pray for myself, only for other people. People have also prayed for me and I have felt their prayers being answered.

Several very strange things have happened to me in the course of my life that cannot easily be explained. The person that I am today cannot be easily explained that I believe that God has led me to where I am.

I don't know why there is so much suffering in the world, but most of it is directly down to the action/inaction of our fellow human beings. If we all sought a less selfish, holy life and truly loved one another there would be no starvation, violence, rape, child abuse etc. Natural disasters would still occur because that's how the natural world functions, but we would be able to help each other to relieve the pain.

KalSkirata Wed 04-Apr-12 16:18:58

when I was doing my O levels way back when if you blasphemed the teacher sent you out of the class (6th form college). At any one time half the class would be having fun in the corridor or a ciggie outside.
I'm religious. Blasphemey neither affects my faith nor God so I dont give a crap about it. But religious people like that teacher can be dicks.

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 16:24:47

But hidden, you still have to accept that your god of love is watching 26000 children die everyday due to no fault of their own and while watching that horror passively he is also healing someone's back pain in Slough and helping someone pass a driving test in Edinburgh? Really? Straight up?

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 16:31:22

No, I don't believe that He answers prayers in that way. I believe that we're supposed to help the starving people in the world. If we all did that, there would be no starving people. I never pray for trivial things. I pray for my family, friends and the wider world. I try to make a difference to peoples lives through my job and through giving to charity.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 16:37:10

I believe that we're all capable of feeling and carrying God's love into the world and using it for the good of everyone else. Not everyone chooses to do this and some people are selfish and destructive. We can all be selfish at times, but if we follow God's plan for each and every one of us, we can ease each others' pain. I know some will argue that the love comes from within and that it's in our genes, but I believe that it comes from the entity known as God.

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 16:44:42

What, like 'the Force'?

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 17:06:44

No, not quite hmm Can't you go and take the piss elsewhere? Like in Chat?

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 17:16:11

No, I'll debate where I like, but thank you for asking.

Metaphors seem to play a key role in religious belief and explanations of relgious beliefs.

Jesus didn't literally mean a 'cup' in the Garden of Gethsemane, for example.

MrsMcCave Wed 04-Apr-12 17:38:40

Naturally it follows that metaphor has to be used to make us ignoramuses understand and retain what god is saying. What is your point, linerunner?

MrsMcCave Wed 04-Apr-12 17:39:36

I meant, metaphors are needed for things that are by definition invisible,

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 17:47:53

So there is nothing anyone can tell me that shows me that there is any such thing as the power of prayer?

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 17:54:28

At what point in our evolution did god put his love in our genes? At what point did he think we were ready. Imagine what we'd be like without it. Funny thing is primates display morality and empathy too. Maybe a little bit spilled into them?

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 18:15:31

How else can human ideas about the nature of god be described, except by metaphor? The prophets did it (and I find reference to 'the bloody OT' a bit odd btw), Jesus did it, Paul did it.

MrsMcCave Wed 04-Apr-12 18:41:56

I meant literally bloody. Sorry to offend.

Can you explain what you meant about metaphors? A large percentage of the bible is metaphor, certainly

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 18:51:07

Metaphors are our only way of explaining and sharing complex ideas. From early humans' placement of flowers in burials, to Richard Dawkins' reference to The Selfish Gene, we are made powerful but yet limited by symbols and language.

I cannot imagine a pure knowledge of God. Some religious worshippers have been able to yearn for or perhaps imagine more than me.

I can however imagine the evolution of religious beliefs along with evolution of symbolic thinking and language.

Maybe that's my loss. But I have a brain and I like thinking with it.

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 19:06:13

I may of course be talking utter crap. smile

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 19:06:22

Still waiting for a single example of an answered prayer.

BonfireOfKleenex Wed 04-Apr-12 19:25:43

MrsMcCave - "I think God looks at the bigger picture and knows better than we do what it is that we need."

But what do you mean by that? The concept of the bigger picture can be explained by just 'life' really, can't it? The 5 yo who wishes for chocolate at every meal won't have their wish granted as they (hopefully) have parents who sort out an alternative which is better for them. The teenager who wants total independence is over-ruled by their more responsible parents. The airhead 20-something who thinks the world will just provide for them gets a rude awakening when they realise they have to earn a living.

Yes you could use a metaphorical god-figure looking down and 'guiding' people through their follies, or you could explain it just by the fact that some things are just a stupid idea in the first place and the protagonist was fairly unlikely to get their way anyway.

Do you really imagine there is an entity who is sorting the whole thing out on a case-by-case basis?

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 19:27:31

"Do you really imagine there is an entity who is sorting the whole thing out on a case-by-case basis?"

And if there is, what has he got against babies in sub Saharan Africa?

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 19:52:17

seeker nobody can possibly prove that a prayer has been answered hmm It's all down to interpretation as any atheist knows full well. What is an answered prayer for one person, is just good fortune or luck or just a random event to another.

BonfireOfKleenex Wed 04-Apr-12 19:57:42

And yes, sadly you can extrapolate my examples of 'life' to the really shitty end of 'the bigger picture'.

Famine and disease don't need a god to explain them. It's also fairly obvious that the world is a better place when people are being kind to each other - again, you don't need a god to reach that conclusion.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:04:35

No, you don't need a god to reach that conclusion, but perhaps you do need God to help you reach out to others in love and kindness.

BonfireOfKleenex Wed 04-Apr-12 20:07:33

"No, you don't need a god to reach that conclusion, but perhaps you do need God to help you reach out to others in love and kindness."

But what does that mean - that only religious people reach out to others in love and kindness? I'm pretty sure that isn't what you meant as it's patently untrue. But if not then do you mean that some people are so inherently mean and unkind that only a belief in God can help them to be nice?

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 20:10:17

Well, surely at some time over the last 2000 years the would have been at least one prayer answering that would give me pause- that I would have to stop and think before I dismissed it?

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:15:04

You don't need to have faith in God to be nice, but if you notice, most organisations who respond to disasters tend to be faith based. You don't tend to find groups of atheists going around responding in the same way.

seeker I prayed that my husband would survive a major operation when his life was in danger. He did survive. That could be down to either God answering my prayer, or the skill of the doctors, or a combination of the two. Perhaps it was just luck. Take your pick. It's all down to interpretation as well you know. People don't go around advertising when they're prayers have been answered.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 20:18:34

"You don't need to have faith in God to be nice, but if you notice, most organisations who respond to disasters tend to be faith based. You don't tend to find groups of atheists going around responding in the same way. "

What, like Oxfam, the Red Cross and Medecin sans Frontiers?

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:28:29

Oxfam started out as a Christian charity, as did The Red Cross. The only secular one is Medicin sans Frontiers.

BonfireOfKleenex Wed 04-Apr-12 20:32:57

There are plenty of people working for charitable organisations of all sorts who aren't devout, or even practising Christians.

You could possibly even argue that these people are somehow more Christian, as they aren't doing it with any idea of rewards in heaven.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 20:38:38

Oxfam was, I think, started by a vicar. But not as a Christian organisation. The red cross has, I think, always been secular.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:39:32

I wasn't thinking of the people who are working there, but the spirit in which many of these organisations were set up with. Many of the original people and ideas were Christian. Would these organisations have been set up in the first place without the faith of their founders? Who knows.

Why are you all so uncomfortable with the idea of faith? You all seem very defensive. It's a shame. Are we really so unpleasant and worthless?

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:40:14

The people who started The Red Cross were Calvanists.

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 20:43:08

Oxfam was always secular. It was intended to drive food through a political blockade during the war, as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief.

Quakers were an instrumental part of this amazing movement.

Just as they are now, in saying that they will marry gay couples in their places of worship.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:46:10

Oxfam began as a church affiliated food programme.

These organisations have their roots in faith even if they are classed as secular now.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 20:46:41

Dunant and Moynier were Calvinists. but the organisation was was never ever a Christian organisation.

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 20:47:09

Hidden, I'm very glad to hear your dh pulled through the op. How is he? But if god could supernaturally guide the hands of the already highly trained surgeons why didn't he just heal your dh without the need for an op? And what about in previous times before there were operations? Did god just say 'no way buster, I'm not going in there without a surgeon?'.

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 20:48:59

But my 'roots are in faith'. I believe many things.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 20:50:35

"Oxfam began as a church affiliated food programme."

Sorry- but no it wasn't- it was started as a pressure group to get supplies into war torn Greece through a blockade.

MrsMcCave Wed 04-Apr-12 20:50:52

Lay down your fleece, seeker. I was just a cultural Christian until a whole chain of odd coincidences convinced me that someone was looking after me.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:50:56

seeker yes, I know that it wasn't a Christian organisation, but the people who began it were Christians. What do you think motivated them in the first place?

The Quakers began as a faith group. I don't know what they believe in now.

My dh pulled through the op, yes. I don't know why he survived. You obviously have your beliefs and I have mine.

OhdearNigel Wed 04-Apr-12 20:52:08

I find it quite annoying, offensive and hypocritical as I often wonder how many posters would be so freely abusive to a Muslim poster

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:53:01

'Oxfam ("Oxford Committee for Famine Relief") originated with a Christian group called the Quakers in 1942 in Oxford, England. Now, the charity is secular.'

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 20:53:11

Quakers are still Quakers.

OhdearNigel Wed 04-Apr-12 20:54:05

Hiddenhome - I have a friend who is a Quaker. They are more generally known as the Society of Friends now but they are still a faith group and worship God. They also have very strong views on freedom of expression, liberty and state intervention in peoples lives.

OhdearNigel Wed 04-Apr-12 20:54:21
hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:55:01

These organisations may be secular now, but the people who started them had a faith based mindset and probably a faith based motivation to help others. What they are or what they do now is up to them, I'm only referring to their origins.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 20:55:24

So are you saying that only Christians have humanitarian impulses?

Most people at the time these organisations were set up were at least cultural Christians. It is special pleading of the most extreme sort to call them Christian organisations!

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 20:55:45

Quakers are admirable.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 20:56:50

I find it quite annoying, offensive and hypocritical as I often wonder how many posters would be so freely abusive to a Muslim poster"

Don't understand.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:57:06

You don't have to believe in God to be a Quaker now. My music teacher is a Quaker, but we don't talk about it very much. I know she was learning New Testament Greek last year. I think she's a Christian.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 20:59:18

No, seeker I'm not saying that only Christians have humanitarian impulses, you're manipulating what it is I'm saying hmm What I said was that many aid organisations have their origins or current practises in faith and that is what motivates them.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 21:00:53

And you have been proved wrong.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 21:01:46

I am not calling Oxfam or The Red Cross Christian organisations. The people who began them were Christians. It is impossible to say what type of Christians they were, or whether they just went for the coffee, but those are the values they started with.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 21:02:45

proved wrong in what?

It really kills you people to think that Christians might actually be helping people out there. This is very sad.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 21:03:40

Quakers weren't 'cultural Christians' either hmm

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 21:04:18

You are implying that if they hadn't been Christians then they wouldn't have started thaws organisations. Which is illogical. In the extreme. To say the least.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 21:06:12

It really kills you people to think that Christians might actually be helping "people out there. This is very sad."

No- I am delighted that people do good and help people. I am outraged by the suggestion that only Christians do this.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 21:06:24

They were Quakers and they wouldn't have started their organisation if they had not been motivated by that faith. This is what the Quakers used to do and how they lived their lives - by helping others less fortunate. How is that illogical?

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 21:07:41

Where have I written that only Christians help people? Medicine sans Frontiers aren't Christian hmm

What I said is that many aid organisations are Christian or began as Christian and this is what motivates them.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 21:09:27

I think that you're believing what you want to believe and you're outraging yourself? What I find strange is why somebody would want to do that. Before I was a believer I wasn't outraged by people of faith. I just shrugged and left them to it. Why all the anger?

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 21:13:50

Actually, what I can say is that all the people on these boards who are the most hostile and unpleasant happen to be atheist. Not all atheist, but the faith people are far more polite and certainly less nasty and hostile. It's like a personal affront to you that people do believe. I can't understand that. Didn't bother me in the slightest when I was without faith. It's infuriating that all these 'god botherers' are out there....still alive and still polluting the world with their ridiculous beliefs hmm

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 21:16:40

I really wish you could meet dh and his family. They're all Christian and they're the most lovely people you could wish to meet. Even the probate lawyer commented on it when they were sorting out FIL's will and probate stuff. No arguing, money grabbing, bitterness, nothing. Total mutual respect and co-operation. Nice people. Far nicer than me. If that's what Christianity is, then I can live with that smile

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 21:27:59

Christians are very often lovely people! But atheists are very often lovely people too.

You said that most aid organisations are faith based. I listed 3 major ones that aren't. Then we got locked into a tussle about what faith based means. You said that some of the people who were involved in the setting up of Oxfam and The Red Cross were Christians therefore they are faith based organisations. Which is patently wrong. Lord sainsbury is a Christian- Sainsbury's is not therefore a faith based supermarket.

And then you started talking about Christians being lovely and atheists being rude and things like that. Which is what Christians always say when atheists challenge them even slightly.

KalSkirata Wed 04-Apr-12 21:41:52

'I find it quite annoying, offensive and hypocritical as I often wonder how many posters would be so freely abusive to a Muslim poster'

an equal number. Ive seen it happen many times on mumsnet.

dont think anyone is saying all christians are nasty. Of course there are nice ones. But right now the loud shouty ones are oppressing women's rights across the Atlantic (and here). Tends to stand out this week.

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 21:49:28

Whoa whoa whoa I thought we were having a genuine hearty debate. Hope I haven't offended anyone personally. I guess its likely that counter argument might seem a bit abrasive at times but I've not seen a personal attack on here yet.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 21:52:23

'And then you started talking about Christians being lovely and atheists being rude and things like that. Which is what Christians always say when atheists challenge them even slightly.'

I didn't say that all atheists are rude and unpleasant, only that the people who are rude and unpleasant are, more often than not, atheist. I have yet to see a Christian poster being similiarly rude and unpleasant.

You do twist things seeker. I don't think you're getting what it is I'm saying. Perhaps I'm not putting it across very well. You seem very defensive whilst attacking me, then getting all huffy when I try and answer. You can't have it all ways.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 21:56:50

I don't see any point in continuing this anyway. I started the thread as a genuine question for fellow Christians and now it's just descended into the usual unpleasant, polarised positions that always happens and it's just silly because we're never going to agree. None of this bears any relation to my original question and I can't even remember what it was I was asking anyway, so I've had to re-read my thread.

Let's just agree to disagree.

Starwisher Wed 04-Apr-12 22:00:02

Add message | Report | Message poster seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 19:06:22
Still waiting for a single example of an answered prayer.

I gave you one at 15.29

headinhands Wed 04-Apr-12 22:01:22

Agreeing to disagree would make for a quiet MN though! grin

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 22:04:02

I appreciate that headinhands, but I started this thread to try and find out how the other Christians on the boards were feeling about stuff and, whilst I appreciate that anybody is welcome to post on any thread, I didn't intend for it to descend into this. I genuinally wanted to know what the others thought about some issues, but there's only a few here anyway.

hiddenhome Wed 04-Apr-12 22:05:53

Perhaps my original question wasn't phrased properly and has attracted undue attention. I think I was just putting my thoughts down.

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 22:09:47

Was I rude and unpleasant?

And what did I twist?

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 22:12:57

I do apologise if I was rude and unpleasant- I though I was just debating.

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 22:33:45

I thought I was just debating and got asked to 'go and take the piss' on Chat.

Starwisher Wed 04-Apr-12 22:36:21 we go

Gang up and attack the lone Christian on the thread and when they point out how hostie you are and claim you were "only debating" and how really they were bullying you... Yeah, yeah some things never change.

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 22:39:34

Oh, ok. I'll leave now, as you want me to?

LineRunner Wed 04-Apr-12 22:43:28

Bye, OP.

MrsMcCave Wed 04-Apr-12 22:46:16

Did I miss something?

seeker Wed 04-Apr-12 23:15:34

"Gang up and attack the lone Christian on the thread and when they point out how hostie you are and claim you were "only debating" and how really they were bullying you... Yeah, yeah some things never change."

I honestly don't understand. I wasn't ganging up. Or attacking. And I didn't accuse anyone of bullying. I was questioning and challenging- is that a problem?

MrsMcCave Wed 04-Apr-12 23:58:48

Any time, seeker. I love a frank exchange of ideas. Makes a nice change from chicken pox. wink.

Anyway, where's the lone Christian? Which of us doesn't count?

seeker Thu 05-Apr-12 00:29:31

Thank you, Mrs C! It does annoy me when Christians behave as if they should't be questioned or challenged, and any disagreement is an attack.

jjkm Thu 05-Apr-12 00:45:06

I've been following, even though I haven't been commenting.

I popped out because this is a sensitive topic that I don't believe can be resolved through debate. I will always believe in God because, when it comes down to it, my belief in God is based on personal experience, not logic or debate.

jjkm Thu 05-Apr-12 00:51:13

If I get time I might try to compose a full explanation of my beliefs and why I believe suffering is necessary, but that will be another day. I hope it would be different than other arguments you've heard.

jjkm I think that would help some of us to hear your view. Often in these threads people ask for explanations, especially those of us who don't have faith, and then posters disappear claiming an attack on their religion.

I post on the religion forums (previously on here as vegimalstyle) in order to try and further my understanding, but sometimes I ask tricky/sensitive questions. I do not do this to stir up trouble, I do it because I genuinely do not understand something, often due to my lack of religion/faith/belief.

I understand people are defensive about their beliefs and may have been attacked about them, but please don't treat every person who asks something difficult as an enemy. Some of us want to understand.

Starwisher Thu 05-Apr-12 10:19:57


No one minds sensible, polite posters who can display more maturity than an angsty 15 year old, which from this post you seem to be.

But trust me, spend long enough on these boards and you will see quite a core of vile posters.luckily on a handful, but they are drawn to any religious thread. In these past few days alone the faithful have been compared to psychotics, are feeble minded, "bucket heads", weak and generally stupid who believe in "utter horse shit". Now, try and convince me if you like but those are personal attacks.

They are not healthy debates, just nasty and snidely attacks and utterly futile.

MrsMcCave Thu 05-Apr-12 10:30:48

To be fair, I don't think any of those expressions have been used on this particular thread. As someone said earlier, its good to be challenged on your beliefs, to avoid glossing over the bits that aren't quite so easy to explain. If your faith is strong enough, it will always be worth defending.

Starwisher Thu 05-Apr-12 11:00:45

Yes, to be fair no one has quite sunk to those depths. Yet. But I still see no real healthy or useful debate either.

Anyway, I'll leave you too it mrscave, best of luck to you.

Let the debating commence...

TheGreatestmadhairDayinHistory Thu 05-Apr-12 11:45:25

Ouch, what happened to this thread? You ok hidden?

Seeker I have loads of times given egs to you of prayers being answered, not always how I think or would want them to be. I do feel that however many examples I give, nothing will resonate if it is unquantifiable in any sense - so the one where a girl I know was healed dramatically of a back problem will not stand up to your scrutiny because it's simply hearsay or not scientifically verified. I know it happened, but I realise it is not enough. I also know very well it often doesn't happen, as in my own case.

I do think sometimes we witter on too much about these answered prayers in the small things, as in the driving test/healed leg (me) and need to look more outwards at the questions seeker posed, as in the children in Africa. As hidden said, Christians often do something about this, as do non Christians (all in God's image and all that) grin but you're right, there should be more, which is something brought home to me recently since dh has been working in Sudan.

alemci Thu 05-Apr-12 11:49:00

I will try and answer. I definitely have a strong belief in christianity even though at times my personal circumstances seem bleak and I feel llike giving up.

I do believe that God is always there and wants to reach out to people.

I must admit it irks me when people refer to my imaginery friend.

It is difficult to get points across on a forum as we cannot see facial expressions etc.

Keep posting OP.

BonfireOfKleenex Thu 05-Apr-12 11:51:39

But the whole premise of the OP was pretty much 'aren't blasphemers awful, they have no respect - come and join me in slagging them off'. Was it not?

And implying that people deliberately only 'persecute' Christians when they wouldn't dream of persecuting other religions.

I don't think that the OP should be surprised if that attracts some comments from those with other viewpoints.

seeker Thu 05-Apr-12 11:56:33


No one minds sensible, polite posters who can display more maturity than an angsty 15 year old, which from this post you seem to be.

But trust me, spend long enough on these boards and you will see quite a core of vile posters.luckily on a handful, but they are drawn to any religious thread. In these past few days alone the faithful have been compared to psychotics, are feeble minded, "bucket heads", weak and generally stupid who believe in "utter horse shit". Now, try and convince me if you like but those are personal attacks.

They are not healthy debates, just nasty and snidely attacks and utterly futile."

But this thread isn't like that. So why characterise it that way?

Starwisher Thu 05-Apr-12 12:20:40

Seeker, I apologise for implying this thread was like that, but my point is a general basis a lot of religious threads do have those characteristics. Its often not healthy debate at all and it very unpleasant. If people stick around long enough or search old threads they will witness this for themselves.

On another note I have answered twice now about my answered prayer, just to let you know as you asking for examples of answered prayers.

ethelb Thu 05-Apr-12 12:46:31

@seeker the problem is this thread was about blasphemy. You turned it into a self-fulfilling thread where you asked about answered prayers.

You were given several examples and then ignored them.

I don't think you were particuarly rude, but it is downright near impossible to ask a thrological question on MN without it being turned into a 'why do you practice religion at all' thread.

I don't see why those questions can't be asked in separate threads.

It is also v apparant to many people here that many of the most vocally rude individuals have little to no theological understanding, and refuse to see why this is a problem in a 'debate' or acknowledge that some people DO KNOW MORE THAN THEM about certain theological points or respect that their opinion as at least an informed one.

Can you see why people are annoyed?

Peachy Thu 05-Apr-12 14:25:45

'ut hidden, you still have to accept that your god of love is watching 26000 children die everyday due to no fault of their own and while watching that horror passively

Quakers tend to come with a varying set of beleifs, ort sometimes even none.

Me, i think God gave us a planet able to sustain everyone in Sub Saharan Africa as well as those of us fortunate enough to be born elsewhere; it is OUR duty to ensure everyone is fed and clothed. We have suffient.

I am however not convinced my concept of God is as a person anyway, I do take a bit of Hinduism into my belief. I like their description of God as the absolute, or rather who God is NOT.

I can't expalin natural tragedies, I wish I could.

Peachy Thu 05-Apr-12 14:27:44

Oh and if Kal was in dislike of christians she hid it well when I saw her Tuesday wink

Starwisher Thu 05-Apr-12 15:10:47

There are a lot of decent and respectable atheists on this board who I hold in high esteem

Unfortunately there are a few bad apples who have strange intentions and ruin things for everyone

To be fair Boone on this thread, minus a slight sarcasm has been too bad at all but I could see things starting to go off kilter

Starwisher Thu 05-Apr-12 15:11:56

Boone?!No one

KalSkirata Thu 05-Apr-12 15:51:33

I like Christians.
On toast grin

Starwisher Thu 05-Apr-12 15:54:17


kal eats Christians for breakfast!

KalSkirata Thu 05-Apr-12 16:33:47

Peachy showed up way too late for breakfast. And brought welshcakes with her. So I ate those instead.
<stops derailing thread>
As a religious person I really dont care if people blaspheme. It doesnt affect my faith. Nor does it affect God. There's much more important things to get offended abut.

I love a good welsh cake! I don't live in wales anymore tho and miss the proper ones sad
Glanmors in Caerphilly has the best IMO.

tuffie Thu 05-Apr-12 23:10:55

Just read through this thread. As a Christian, I used to get upset about comments from non believers. Now, however, it doesn t bother me much, as I guess I am now just more intrigued than anything as to why our faith is constantly questioned by non believers. Believers on the other hand do not constantly ask atheists to give 101 reasons why they don t believe. That is their decision and one I totally respect. I have come to realise that the important thing is that my faith makes me very happy and allows me to lead a very fulfilling life. If non believers find their happiness and fulfillment elsewhere, I would never dream of grilling them about whether the source of their happiness is rational, or ridicule them about it. Let's all accept that we're all different and be friends !!

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 06:00:48

I hesitate to answer as apparently this thread was only supposed to be about blasphemy, but as I've derailed it already ( sorry, I though I ws broadening it out!sad) but here gores. I would agree with you 100% tuffie, if it wasn't for the fact that Christianity impinges on the ordinary life of th country so much. Live and let live is fine- but it has to work both ways!

CheerfulYank Fri 06-Apr-12 06:04:50

Live and let live for sure!

<is drunk>

tuffie the question of faith is constantly raised by those with as well as those without. Otherwise there would be no missionaries, and no one would knock at doors asking if you'd heard the good news. Please don't fool yourself that it is one way traffic.

What about those who deny evolution and block it from being taught on some American schools?

What about people who hear about something amazing and say "how can you not believe in god in light of this miracle/prayer being answered"?

There are lots of examples of religion questioning lack of faith, especially in history, but that tends to get quite unpleasant (eg Galileo).

Evening cheerful! What you drinking? wine

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 06:51:32

And I've never heard an atheist say "You're a Christian- you do realise that meansyou and your children are going the Heaven for eternity, don't you?" grin

CheerfulYank Fri 06-Apr-12 07:00:10

wine wine wine! 'Tis delish.

I just feel, sort of, like I always sassy

I mean say

On these threads

"It matters not whether my neighbor says there are ninety gods or no God, it neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket."

Thomas Jefferson said it first.

It's a good quote and a fine attitude!

I don't like the intolerance aspect of the threads, but I do feel the need to point out when people are talking from their arse. So when someone says, Christians never tell atheists their beliefs are wrong...

I have Christian friends of various denominations and we talk about religion and faith and lack of faith on a regular basis. This never becomes a name calling exercise and no one takes the piss. We all respect each others beliefs.

People just need to remember to respect each other and their beliefs on here and not to feel threatened when someone questions an aspect of that belief. We only learn by questioning the world around us.

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 07:52:02

Then problem is that in this country, Christians do pick my pocket! And in other countries they do even more.

If faith was a private matter then it would be nobody's else's business-although it would be an interesting debate. But sadly it isn't a private matter.

Faith is a private matter. It's up to you whether you reveal it to anyone. I think you mean religion. Religion is not a private matter but it's unlikely it ever will be.

headinhands Fri 06-Apr-12 08:16:01

I find it difficult to understand Christians who maintain that their beliefs are no one else's business in light of the great commission that Jesus called them to in Matthew 28. Further more bible believing Christians surely have to believe that atheists are going to hell? Shouldn't Christians be busting their necks trying to save us. Any other position appears to belie an astounding lack of conviction in the most fundamental elements of your chosen faith.

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 08:22:23

I could deal with Christians trying to convert me. That's their job. What I can't deal with is Christians having an automatic input into policy making and legislature.

CheerfulYank Fri 06-Apr-12 08:28:44

I don't agree with that either.

Church over here...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................State over here.

Convert anyone? Good God y'all, I'm Minnesotan! I apologize when someone bumps into me. I could never do something so ill-mannered! grin

But seeker everyone deserves input and to have their voice heard. That's called democracy!

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 08:51:38

Absolutely. And when there are 25 unelected Atheists in the House of Lords as of right, and when there are an equal number of secular as faith schools we might have made a good start........

You do realise you don't have to send your kids to faith schools? They tend to perform better so more people without faith send their kids there. This means that more get built and the standard of pupils can be lowered in state schools. This is more reflective of the problems in state schools than the problem of religious education.

As for the politics point... Go get the census data showing percentage breakdowns of religion and then get me the information about which political figures are followers of religions, then we can discuss it.

Informed debate only please!

CheerfulYank Fri 06-Apr-12 09:08:04

I totally agree. Of course I'm a now just slightly tipsy American and I have only a vague understanding of what the House of Lords really is.

I don't know as I like the sound of it, though. Same with faith schools. I would be utterly resplendent with rage if my taxes funded, for example, a school espousing the doctrine of the Westboro Baptist Church.

I'm quite devoutly Christian but I am also a staunch believer in freedom of speech and religio. I think that's the true way to peace.

CheerfulYank Fri 06-Apr-12 09:09:25

agree with Seeker, I meant smile

The majority of new faith schools are privately funded not state funded but are open to all and not fee paying.

I don't want my kids to go to a faith school, but I have other options in my area. Is not a problem.

Hol is like the upper house in the American system. They don't introduce laws or bills but they can block them. However this can be bypassed by the govt in certain situations anyway.

CheerfulYank Fri 06-Apr-12 09:21:00

Are they elected?

Nope. Members get chosen by the party in power, but remain ad infinitum.

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 12:15:29

I'm not talking about elected politicians. I'm taking about the Bishops in the House of Lords. And most state schools are state funded. And all stateschools whether faith or not have compusory Christian worship. And the study of RE is compulsory in state schools til 16.

State education wasn't really around until the C19th and prior to that was available from the church. The state based their version of schools around the existing church template.

I agree about the worship thing. Should be replaced with something all encompassing.
As for RE what's the problem? Learning about other religions helps us better understand other people and cultures.

As for the house of lords thing... The church of England is still the biggest landowner in Britain. Should they not have a say over their interests?

Also, in the 2001 census, 42 million respondents listed themselves as Christians compared with 9 million who declared no religion. Does that sound like there should be an equal number of atheists to Christians in the HOL?

headinhands Fri 06-Apr-12 15:46:31

So that would be 1 atheist for every four Christians. Another problem is that some people are likely to put down CofE when they are agnostic and do not practice or exercise a belief in their life. It's seen as a default position by some.

That's very true. Many people admitted to ticking the Christian box because they were British!

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 16:24:57

Sbdm- I am assuming that you are playing devil's advocate here- you can't possibly actually believe what you are posting!

Why not? I'm a well educated atheist with a fair sense of democracy and knowledge of history. Does that cover everything I've posted about?

I believe in proportional representation as a fair means of govt. If that means a higher percentage of religious people were to be voted into govt, then so be it. They may not represent me, but may represent the majority. That is true democracy.

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 16:37:41

So you're happy for social and science policy to have an automatic Christian input? For many people to have no choice but a state funded faith school? For children to be allowed to drop history and all MFL but not RE?

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 16:39:22

But the bishops aren't voted in!

Of course there should be an alternative. 16 million in the 2001 census were not Christian. But if someone ticks a faith box they should be happy to use a faith school. I know people who say they're Christians but refuse to send their kids to a faith school hmm

I also know scientists who are Christian. They view science as a confirmation of God's wonder! Their contribution is no less than their atheist colleagues.

And when I was at school (state) you could drop RE once you got to yr10. I did! That was also the first chance I had to drop anything else too. Same for younger family members taking their options this year.

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 16:58:32

You are not answering my points. You can't have a proper discussion with somebody who has selective hearing.

I've been busy on here today, let me know what I've missed and I will endeavour to answer.

Artesia Fri 06-Apr-12 17:14:14

Might be a bit late to the party on this, but I am a bit bemused by people wanting "proof" of god/miracles/answered prayers on the basis that once they have proof, then they will believe.

Isn't the whole point of faith that you believe something without proof. There's nothing remarkable about believing things you know are fact, the amazing part is that so many people choose to have faith in something DESPITE the lack of hard evidence.

headinhands Fri 06-Apr-12 17:26:13

artesia Jesus apparently thought it fitting to do miracles to back up his claims. Thing is, no proof remains of the miracles he supposedly did then. In the great commission Jesus sends out his followers to do miraculous things in his name. How come there is no evidence of this occurring since then either?

LineRunner Fri 06-Apr-12 17:36:14

Doesn't the catholic church require proof of a miracle for the process of sainthood?

seeker Fri 06-Apr-12 17:43:20

Yes. Two- or possibly three properly attested miracles. JP2's so far are a dodgy back and somebody who may or may
not have had Parkinson's.

hiddenhome Fri 06-Apr-12 18:00:22

I shouldn't have started this thread. First, it was hijacked and now you're insulting Pope John Paul hmm

alemci Fri 06-Apr-12 18:26:42

I have worked in a secondary state school for over 5 years' and there was no compulsory christian worship. If anything there was more attention paid to other religions. I think the state schools don't bother with the compulsory christian element anymore.

We did do compulsory RE but it was studied from the perspective of both christianity and Islam

seeker questioning the world around you is a good thing. Questioning what you don't understand is a good thing. Open and honest debate is a good thing. Mockery is not.

Do you hate the term aggressive atheism? I do. That's because I'm not an aggressive atheist. I'm willing to listen to others and respect their beliefs no matter how strange they might appear to me.

LineRunner Fri 06-Apr-12 18:49:14

All I asked was, Doesn't the catholic church require proof of a miracle for the process of sainthood?

OliviaLMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 06-Apr-12 18:50:12

Good evening all
Just a reminder of our talk policy and particularly on a thread about religion, a gentle request to be civil to one another, especially this weekend.
Thanks M Towers

hiddenhome Fri 06-Apr-12 19:01:42

seeker is mocking John Paul the second. I don't find this funny sad

Thanks Olivia

Tbh this thread is way off topic and I was enjoying the debate up until the point at which people became deliberately provocative.

The phrase "You can't actually possibly believe what you are posting" has no place on a thread like this. I'm an atheist and I'm being attacked by another atheist because I'm tolerant towards Christianity. There's something wrong there.

I'd like to think I added something to this debate, answered a few questions, put in my tuppence and learned a few things too. Now I'm leaving the thread because intolerance and ignorance bore me.

LineRunner Fri 06-Apr-12 19:04:07

I'm not responsible for that.

BonfireOfKleenex Fri 06-Apr-12 19:08:11

Que? confused shock

Oh well, looks like this is a debate free zone then... happy Easter.

hiddenhome Fri 06-Apr-12 19:18:35

This thread has become ridiculous and I hope it dies a death. It was a thread aimed at other Christians who have been drowned out by all you people who keep demanding proof that God exists, yadda, yadda and it's just plain boring.

mathanxiety Fri 06-Apr-12 20:13:15

'The phrase "You can't actually possibly believe what you are posting" has no place on a thread like this. I'm an atheist and I'm being attacked by another atheist because I'm tolerant towards Christianity. There's something wrong there.'

Very well said, SBDman and I agree.

headinhands Fri 06-Apr-12 20:15:24

There's not much I find truly boring in life, other than housework, which is exactly why you won't find me in the housekeeping area of MN.

jjkm Fri 06-Apr-12 20:20:33

SillyBeardy, I would love to discuss with you at some point. I really do enjoy religious discussion when it helps me understand why other people believe what they do, and helps them understand my beliefs. I feel like a great deal is to be gained by understanding each other. I've left a lot of my less-relevant-to-this-topic beliefs half-way explained and not yet understood.

My belief in God is fundamentally extremely simple, and takes no more than 1-2 sentences to explain fully (which I've already done). Other beliefs, however, take a lot more time. I hope I get the chance to discuss with you (and the others, if curious), on another thread. But, I'm happy to let this one die.

Starwisher Fri 06-Apr-12 20:46:23

"The phrase "You can't actually possibly believe what you are posting" has no place on a thread like this. I'm an atheist and I'm being attacked by another atheist because I'm tolerant towards Christianity. There's something wrong there."

Sillybeardy I enjoyed reading your posts, but... Well I told you so sad I take no glee saying that

It's a shame you are leaving the thread, but who can blame you?

You know what, as quite a few people are starting to say they are sick of the attitudes maybe some people might start to consider there is a teeny tiny possibility that you need to look at your behaviour

Happy Easter

seeker Sat 07-Apr-12 08:59:34

If I offended anyone I'm sorry. I genuinely ddidn't intend to, and am actually amazed to come on here this morning and find that I had. SBDM- my incredulity was aroused because surely a thoughtful democrat must have an issue with 25 law makers being in place simply because they are Christians? I just don't see how questioning the place that Christianity takes in public life is intolerant. And that is all I am doing.

And I wasn't mocking John Paul 2. If anything, I was mocking the Vatican's process of canonisation. The two miracles attributed to him have been widely questioned, by people inside the Catholic Church as well as those outside.

I'm not sure which of my post was considered bad enough to be reported- but once again, I apologise. I'm baffled- but sorry!

seeker Sat 07-Apr-12 18:43:53

I was sort of hoping that somebody would come back and explain to me what I had said that was offensive enough to be reported, but hey ho...

alemci Sat 07-Apr-12 18:58:45

I don't know Seeker TBH. maybe it was to do with the catholic church.

jjkm Sat 07-Apr-12 19:07:09

I'm not catholic, but Pope John Paul 2 was one of the religious leaders I felt truly lived what he believed. Whether or not two miracles were appropriately attributed to him, I think he was an excellent pope.

Common atheist view: debate, logic
Common religious view: discuss, understand, feel

This is why it is so hard for us to communicate. I don't believe debate belongs in a religious discussion, and more especially between two religious people of different faiths.

jjkm Sat 07-Apr-12 19:37:37

And seeker, you haven't offended me.

LineRunner Sat 07-Apr-12 20:07:14

The debate had moved on to proof of miracles. I suggested that the catholic church had a process for investigation of miracles as part of the path to sainthood.

I have read a bit about and was under the impression that there is an established system of looking at evidence, taking witness statements, and examination. I thought that this was relevant and of interest.

I wasn't expecting such a negative reaction, to be honest. I would have thought it was clear that I find the history of christianity fascinating.

LineRunner Sat 07-Apr-12 20:17:43

And I'm sorry if I caused offence, too. I like discussion, not upset.

seeker Sat 07-Apr-12 20:33:13

"I have read a bit about and was under the impression that there is an established system of looking at evidence, taking witness statements, and examination. I thought that this was relevant and of interest."

There is. One that many Catholics find risible.

I made no comments about John Paul 2

hiddenhome Sat 07-Apr-12 23:00:05

'JP2's so far are a dodgy back and somebody who may or may
not have had Parkinson's.'

So, presumably this wasn't said with any intention to ridicule or be sarcastic? No, of course not hmm

PA or what? hmm

seeker Sat 07-Apr-12 23:35:44

But that is actually true! There are serious questions being asked about whether the nun in question actually had Parkinson's, and also about the severity of the back problem. Loads of Catholics find the process of canonization bizarre.

hiddenhome Sat 07-Apr-12 23:40:07

Do you ever go away?

seeker Sat 07-Apr-12 23:46:40

So is all questioning banned, then?

hiddenhome Sat 07-Apr-12 23:53:28

No, you're just getting on my nerves. We've already established that this thread has been hijacked for no good reason. You're just waffling on.

hiddenhome Sat 07-Apr-12 23:55:52

You're not worth bothering with, so this thread can just slide as far as I'm concerned hmm

BonfireOfKleenex Sat 07-Apr-12 23:58:31

I genuinely don't get it either Seeker. You have made no personal attacks that I can see confused I guess it can only be explained by the fact that it is inherently one of those 'Down With This Sort Of Thing' threads which is not actually about debate, full stop.

GrimmaTheNome Sat 07-Apr-12 23:59:08

' If you truly choose equality, doesn't it mean that the equality should extend to those you don't agree with and even actively dislike? '

I'd have thought so.

jjkm Sun 08-Apr-12 01:05:07

I'm kind of wishing I had stuck around a little longer in this thread before popping out. If any of you would like to continue certain portions of the discussion, we could start a new thread. As long as good feelings are preserved, I don't mind, and I do think you have a right to understand more about the beliefs of myself and others, if you wish to.

headinhands Sun 08-Apr-12 10:05:48

Even if we could quash the expression of a difference of opinion on one thread on one website what about all the other debates happening all over the world at any time online, in real life? If we say, 'other discussions are not my business' then we can only infer it has been reduced to a personal level where we do not wish to hear other peoples opinions but in turn wish to express our opinion unchallenged? If we feel unable to allow all possible opinions to be voice we may well assume that entering or even reading such dialogue is probably not going to be productive and enlightening for us.

seeker Sun 08-Apr-12 10:30:07

Jjkm- if the is such a thread, will questioning be allowed?

TheGreatestmadhairDayinHistory Sun 08-Apr-12 14:27:37

seeker, I'm always happy to discuss things with you, anytime, you know that. I haven't seen anything too offensive here but I am not catholic so perhaps cannot see what hidden can, I'm sorry things have gone like this though as I love a good discussion thread. So please do question anytime, and hidden hope you are OK.

Happy Easter everyone. smile

GinPalace Sun 08-Apr-12 14:30:50

I've never seen JC or JFC used in this site - <sheltered>

Hear it in real life plenty - it used to bother me but i've developed a deaf ear to it - I can't change it, so what else to do?

jjkm Sun 08-Apr-12 17:19:39

will questioning be allowed?
I'm willing to bend and let you debate as you wish to, now that I understand it isn't personal to you. Most of the real life "discussions" I've seen have been between people of faith, and I've found that debate doesn't work because it is so personal. Rather than bringing people together, I've seen it push them apart. That, really, is all I'm trying to avoid. As long as it is all friendly for you, I don't mind doing it your way, understanding that it isn't as personal for you.

PrincessPrecious Sun 15-Apr-12 22:17:06

I try not to use blasphemy myself and I don't like it when others use it. I am actually a lot more ok with normal swear words that do not relate to religion. I agree with the OP that people generally feel it is more Ok to mock Christianity in a way that they would never do with another faith. I think it is because Christians put up with it wheras Muslims for example would be very angry and cause a fuss. I am Christian (Catholic) and recently heard that some Muslims in France were demontrating about a play depicting Jesus Christ in a blasphemous way.....Muslims believe Jesus is a prophet though they don't believe he is the Son of God as christians do. i asked myself....why were there not more Christians demonstrating!!

GrimmaTheNome Tue 17-Apr-12 15:19:41

Did anyone query the OPs original assertion that there's a lot of blasphemy on MN? Swearing to be sure...but at this point on a thread of favourite swears, there's a lot of physical swearwords but not one single blasphemy (obviously I can't tell what else will appear there).

Abra1d Tue 29-Jan-13 17:20:38

There are several examples of (am posting on this old thread rather than start another one). Here's one from today:

'Oh my God' doesn't particularly bother me, but the insertion of 'fucking' does make it seem rather different.

Mumsnet doesn't delete for blasphemy.

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 14:45:44

Oh yes it really bothers me like someone fretting over their kids being taught bible stories yet being very receptive to Harry potter , halloween, aliens and other scary things.

abbeynationall Sun 03-Feb-13 16:01:18

"I believe an agnostic/atheist who does good will eventually be rewarded for that, and above a Christian that fails to do good. Ultimately, everything is fair in the next life".
I don't think there is a way for atheists and gnostics to get to heaven but for believing in Jesus- Not by good deeds not by anything. Logically speaking wouldn't you be forcing an atheist to go to heaven by supposing that their good deeds would get them to heaven?

jjkm Wed 06-Feb-13 10:35:04

I believe Jesus is the only way to heaven because of his atonement, and that we are saved by grace, after all we can do. However, I also believe that he cares about our hearts and actions, and that a loving and fair God would still have a place for the atheist who was good, but didn't believe. I don't believe they will live with God, and I don't believe they'll enjoy everything they could have, but I do believe they'll have a world of paradise "worth dying for".

I am sure we'll differ somewhat on this point, as I don't believe in the concept of being saved in God's kingdom by belief alone.

adkinsfamily Thu 07-Feb-13 15:20:01

the bible belief is prejudice to gay marriage and abortion, but yet the bible is for peace and unity. I would have to say that the christian belief or bible belief doesn't practice what it preaches.
the bible is hypicritical to the point of saying war brings peace yet peace is what we all preach while we allow our countries to go to war!

As for your original question, yes the blasphemy annoys me. And the fact that Christian's aren't allowed a view on homosexuality but everyone is allowed a view on Christianity makes me hmm But not as hmm as the fact that no-one seems to have noticed that Muslims are even more strict with their views about homosexuality but no-one says anything about that. In fact, I don't think I've seen Muslims being put down for their views, just an acceptance that they have a different view. Clearly Christians aren't allowed their own views or beliefs though.

But does any of this really get to me? No! It's just part of life as a Christian.

headinhands Fri 08-Feb-13 21:13:03

room I think the reason it seems people pull up Christianity more than Islam is largely to do with statistics i.e. most people on MN are probably white Europeans and more likely to have Christianity as the religion they were most exposed to. Clearly MN is a diverse community but the largest group is as above.

I don't just mean on MN though. How many headlines/news items have there been about 'the church' being against gay marriage? Loads! How many have there been about Islam's opposition to it? I don't think I've found one. I looked around for some because I wondered what their viewpoint was but didn't find any at the time.

headinhands Fri 08-Feb-13 21:52:23

Okay add to that the fact that the CofE seeks to actively limit the rights of gay couples. In the UK the CofE have seats in government, hence get to have a say on potential new legislation just because of their religion. That has a lot to do with the flack it gets re gay rights.

cjel Fri 08-Feb-13 21:53:33

I to get fed up with all the crap about me being against some people because I don't think that marriage is possible between two people of the same sex, or support people who don't want a same sex couple sharing a bed in their house.I know people who don't let unmarried people of whatever sex share a bed under their roofs, If we were truly an inclusive society as everyone proclaims we would allow people ALL people the right to their views. I am not anti gay or want to spoil their lives but they won't allow me my views either. It should work both ways and doesn't any more. As for being upset about blaspheming I don't think its necessary to express a view,it doesn't upset me as my god is big enough to cope with it but It is true that in general allah and other gods don't get the same disrespect.

headinhands Fri 08-Feb-13 21:57:39

You notice the disrespect of your god because you're a Christian. And because you're in the UK. Confirmation bias.

headinhands Fri 08-Feb-13 22:01:15

But isn't there a difference between an individual and the law. I don't like the smell of oily fish. I wouldn't like people to cook it in my kitchen if I could help it but to stop people cooking in any kitchen because I don't like it. Really? It sounds like you're upset that you're being discriminated against for discriminating. The government aren't going to force you into a same sex marriage are they.

headinhands Fri 08-Feb-13 22:04:18

Who has said you can't have your views? Your views should not be able to stop people doing what they want within the law of course, but when it comes to your views, fill your boots!

cjel Fri 08-Feb-13 22:27:11

the church states marriage is between a man and a woman. The law is now overruling the church. the government are forcing the church to change their meaning of marriage? I don't get heated one way or another but from the side of the church the christian views are slowly being erroded. We are being less and less allowed to hold our views, I see it as the government saying I can't cook oily fish in my church!!! Would they say that someone couldn't play golf at their golf club? Why should church not be allowed to do what they want in their church. As someone said before people seem afraid to speak out about muslim or hindu beliefs just look at all the councils who won't have christmas or easter. Why can't we have christmas, easter divali etc etc?

headinhands Fri 08-Feb-13 22:33:13

The church doesn't own marriage though.

headinhands Fri 08-Feb-13 22:35:06

You can still hold the same views. It just means gay couples can also marry. You can still go on not being chuffed and not being married to someone of the same sex

It's more that people are objecting to the fact that the church don't have to cook oily fish in their kitchen when they don't want to. They aren't stopping anyone else from cooking oily fish! It's less discriminating than the blanket flaming of all Christians for a personal view that they hold. As far as I'm concerned, it's between you and God what you believe. And if you don't believe in God then you can't be bothered about what God may think.

HouseOfTinsel Fri 08-Feb-13 22:47:03

"the government are forcing the church to change their meaning of marriage?"

How is the church being forced to do anything?

I thought the whole point of the new law was that the established church continues exactly as it has always done (ie they will be unable by law to marry same sex couples)?

HouseOfTinsel Fri 08-Feb-13 22:54:11

"It's less discriminating than the blanket flaming of all Christians for a personal view that they hold."

The thing is, the 'blanket flaming' has to do with politics. As long as the established church is intertwined with the politics of the nation, then it must accept that they will attract political criticism, just like any other politician or political party does.

cjel Fri 08-Feb-13 22:56:57

If thats the case then why make a law at all? The church doesn't own it and that is why you can get married outside of a church, The church just believes in a version of marriage that is between a man and a woman and the state has decided they have to try to change that

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 09-Feb-13 00:07:55

Cjel the law was not passed as an attack on you or the church. It was passed because it was the will of the people.

cjel Sat 09-Feb-13 10:26:45

Thank you Dione, I don't feel attacked but really not sure it was the will of the people!! Which people? It wasn't in manifesto and I missed the referendum. I haven't spoken to anyone straight or gay, christian or not who thought it was urgent. The view of 'the people'I meet at work, college etc is that they can't understand why its happened in such a rush without people pressure!!

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 09-Feb-13 13:16:42

Cjel, you are correct it wasn't in the manifesto and there was no referendum, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't the will of the people. Nor does it mean that legal process was not adhered to when passing the bill.

When Civil Partnerships were introduced many people thought that they afforded gay people the same rights under law as legal marriages. This was not the case and this legislation seeks to redress that. It was a free vote, therefore MPs were allowed to vote in accordance with their conscience and the will of their constituents, rather than be forced to vote in accordance with party principles.

Marriage in this country is a legal point, not a religious one. This law was passed because all people of the UK are subject to the law, therefore the law should apply to all citizens. If the law is to afford legal rights to all citizens regardless if colour, religious views, or sexual orientation. It is discriminatory to have one law for one group and another for a different group.

I take your point about it being rushed through and my personal opinion is that it has less to do with urgent need and more to do with a rather unpopular party trying to improve its image. Sooner or later this change would happen. It has just happened sooner.

cjel Sat 09-Feb-13 15:09:31

I think that the problem with the fact it was rushed through was exactly that although it was a free vote there was not time for mps to find out what the views of constituents are. Agree about all being under the law and as a christian it is part of my belief that I abide by the rules of law, I think it may have been better to amend the law on civil partnership because although marriage may be a legal not religious point it is seen as religious and even this law has discussed not making churches, mosques etc carry them out if they don't want. If it wasn't a religious point this would have been uneccessary. Also agree about unpopular party but that should have made more of before the vote and the reason for this haste explored more.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 09-Feb-13 18:19:48

Cjel, while it was rushed through in parliamentary time, in real time we have known about it for quite a while. It has been in the papers, on the news and in the pulpit. Religious leaders have given their thoughts on it and congregations have given it thought and made up their own minds. Anyone opposing this has had ample time to lodge their objections. There was no significant opposition to this law because the majority of the people don't oppose it. The majority of people in this country are fine with this.

What we are talking about is a legal contract under law. There is nothing forcing anyone to recognize it as approved by god. Civil Partnership is seen as legal marriage by the majority of the people, now it will be legal marriage.

David Cameron did this because he knew it would be an easy way to increase his ratings.

DioneTheDiabolist Sat 09-Feb-13 18:20:44

That's democracy.

cjel Sat 09-Feb-13 22:39:40

trouble is in prarice ther is no gurantee that churches won't be made to marry people against their wishes. Is the bold type shouty or intimidating I don't follow the need for it, the language speaks for itself. I read it all not just the bold. The emphasis seems a bit rude

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 10-Feb-13 01:45:43

Sorry if you find the bold a bit shouty.blush. I use it to emphasize. I thought that capitals meant shouting.blush. I certainly didn't mean to be rude.

I am sorry for any offense.

cjel Sun 10-Feb-13 11:05:57

Oh my goodness, please don't worry!! just not used to mumsnet etiquette and was trying in my clumsy stayed up too late again way to clarify, but just read what I wrote back and it does sound like a telling off. I'm sorry too.!!

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