What's it Like to Live as an Agnostic Democrat in the Bible Belt?

  
By:  Trout Giggles  •  6 months ago  •  96 comments


What's it Like to Live as an Agnostic Democrat in the Bible Belt?
"Do you have a church home?"

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That quote is the quote I have heard from co-workers and neighbors since moving to the Bible Belt. I actually had a Lieutenant who was the OIC of our shop ask me that question. I knew it was going to be rough working there.

Then when we moved into the house we're living now the neighbor across the street comes over and those were the first words out of her mouth. Not, "Hi! Welcome to the neighborhood" while handing over a plate of cookies.She scurried away once we told her we were idol worshipping Catholics (she was a member of the Church of Christ...a scary bunch)

Everywhere I go I see Trump stickers, fuck Biden stickers, crosses, verses on the restaurant menu, Jesus fish on businesses, etc...

I was raised in rural PA. My folks were hardworking stock. Dad was a coal miner along with all of his brothers and his own father. Dad was a blue collar democrat, mom was a blue collar republican, but politics nor religion was spoken much of at home or at family gatherings. In the north where I grew up, politics and religion weren't spoken about much until it was election season. Even then, people kept their thoughts to themselves. Religion was pretty much kept quiet, too, except for the pushy evangelical churches who were always trying to get you to go their church. And they were kinda rare since there was a large Catholic presence in the area.

Maybe it's because the North Eastern states have been around longer than the rest of the country, the Revolutionary War is still remembered. The Civil War isn't talked about much even tho a lot of PA boys lost their lives in that silly war. There's still quite a few forts leftover from the French and Indian Wars which were seized by the British but then maintained by the colonials during the RW.

Anyway...I got off track. I call myself a hick, redneck, hillbilly. I still live in a rural area and I won't put my politics or religion on my bumper.


THAT VARMINT UP THERE IS THE INFAMOUS PUNXSYTAWNEY PHIL.


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Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1  author  Trout Giggles    6 months ago

We never got cookies

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @1    6 months ago

want to find the most reprehensible lowlife scum on the planet? go to an evangelical church.

 
 
 
Hallux
Junior Principal
1.2  Hallux  replied to  Trout Giggles @1    6 months ago

When I moved to Winston-Salem way back in 2001, I never went to any of the local churches and the locals ostracised me.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.2.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Hallux @1.2    6 months ago

Do they still drown witches there?

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
1.2.2  Gsquared  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.2.1    6 months ago

Are you thinking of the Salem witch trials?  That was Salem, Massachusetts, not Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  And, they didn't drown the alleged witches in Salem, they hung them.

Aside from that, the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem is one of the best museums I have ever been to, even though it is a small museum. The House of the Seven Gables (The Turner-Ingersoll Mansion) in Salem is historic and also very interesting.  Salem is a nice town with a beautiful harbor.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.2.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Gsquared @1.2.2    6 months ago

Oooops.  Never studied American geography - yes, I meant Salem, Mass.  Just recognized the name Salem.  Maybe it was overseas where they drowned the witches, with the concept that if they survived they were not witches, but none survived.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.3  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Trout Giggles @1    6 months ago

I'm absolutely comfortable here in China, where it's normal for people to ask where I come from, how old I am, or how much money I make, but nobody ever asks what religion I am, and I'm very happy that my wife and her family are Buddhists, and we have a small Buddhist shrine to Bodhisattva Guan Yin, Goddess of Mercy, in our home.  I would not want to live where you are.

 
 
 
evilgenius
PhD Guide
2  evilgenius    6 months ago

There are a lot of places where identity politics is the soup du jour every day. It's the sand they build their populist house of cards on. Yes, I'm mixing metaphors...

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     6 months ago

Lived in the Bible belt for 6 years, not interested in returning. Your experiences are much the same as mine were. It becomes more ''interesting'' if you're not white. 

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
4  XXJefferson51    6 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5  CB     6 months ago

I gather you are saying, you and Mr. Giggles are subtly or forcefully confronted for being pagan? It's like being an eligible bachelor and bachelorette or "virgin territory": you are untapped raw materials (to be brought into the fold)!

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5.1  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  CB @5    6 months ago

We're not pagans but we were practicing Catholics. Here in the Bible Belt there aren't many Catholics especially in the rural areas. In my small town of approx 30K there are numerous baptist, church of christ, pentecostal, etc that I don't anything to do with

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.1  CB   replied to  Trout Giggles @5.1    6 months ago

I original now. Just so you know I have some Pentecostal "holiness" roaming around in me and I love it!  Born and raised in a Baptist church family, but departed the faith, returned Pentecostal! Now, full of the spirit but non-church affiliated. But I can feel your 'concern.' If the Bible belt is one thing: it's judgemental. (Or, at least it used to be.)

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
5.1.2  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  CB @5.1.1    6 months ago

It's just that I have some doctrinal concerns/differences with the Pentecostals. I don't like Baptists because they don't dance. The Church of Christ doesn't dance, doesn't drink, and doesn't like music!

And yes, they are judgemental. But they are no match for me. I sit in judgement every day on the holier than thous

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.3  CB   replied to  Trout Giggles @5.1.2    6 months ago

Understood. I have heard the critique of the Church of God in Christ. But I can't contest that God 'dropped' me into their midst in the early 90's. And I have a 'ball' with them despite the doctrinal matters. As you point out other churches are similarly positioned for their doctrinal stances: Lutherans (are a very quiet church). And yes, I once was interested in the Church of Christ until I heard they have a problem with music.

It's weird to me, because after all there is a book of Psalms in the Bible and it features King David throughout. And David danced before God so much so that his own wife despised him for it! (King David must have been "showing out" as the old folks would say.)

 
 
 
MonsterMash
Sophomore Participates
5.1.4  MonsterMash  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.1    6 months ago
We're not pagans but we were practicing Catholics. Here in the Bible Belt there aren't many Catholics especially in the rural areas. In my small town of approx 30K there are numerous baptist, church of christ, pentecostal, etc that I don't anything to do with

I live in Fort Smith, AR there are a lot of Catholics here I'm friendly with. They don't go to my church, and I don't go to theirs, but that doesn't stop us from being friends.  

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
5.1.5  cjcold  replied to  Trout Giggles @5.1.2    6 months ago

Baptists don't have sex standing up because it could lead to dancing.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.6  CB   replied to  cjcold @5.1.5    6 months ago

I think you have that inverted. jrSmiley_40_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Thomas
Sophomore Guide
5.1.7  Thomas  replied to  MonsterMash @5.1.4    6 months ago

From my experience in the Fort Smith area, the religious folk there just want one to attend church. Preferably it will be the church that they attend, I don't know, I guess they get brownie points or something like that. But as long as one is following some branch of religion, it is viewed as a plus on some people's checklist. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
6  sandy-2021492    6 months ago

Yup.  I don't think it's quite as bad as that in rural Virginia, but I did get a lot of "Where do you to to church?" when I first got here.  And at that time, I was actually a believer, but some of the churches - wow.  Internal fighting, general snarkiness, etc.  No, thanks.  And some of the "churchier" people were just so over-the-top in their beliefs.  I heard one woman call a pastor who had a glass of wine at a wedding he officiated an "alcoholic".  Now, I grew up in churches where drinking was forbidden, but we knew the difference between "a guy having a glass of wine" and an "alcoholic".

So I just started deflecting those questions, eventually just stopped believing, and now rarely discuss religion with anybody.  Nor my politics, as my county is bright red and I'm more purple.

Live and let live, sez I.  But bring on the cookies!

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
6.1  XXJefferson51  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6    6 months ago

[deleted

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
6.1.1  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  XXJefferson51 @6.1    6 months ago

I doubt it since you don't have any problems spouting your bullshit everday

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
6.1.2  XXJefferson51  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1.1    6 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.3  Kavika   replied to  XXJefferson51 @6.1.2    6 months ago

And you're a supporter of the radical RW militia that are threatening people in Redding even republicans and trying to take over the council...

 
 
 
Hallux
Junior Principal
6.1.4  Hallux  replied to  XXJefferson51 @6.1.2    6 months ago

Yikes, you've turned into a 2nd coming ghost.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
6.1.5  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  Hallux @6.1.4    6 months ago

I guess you could say I ghosted him

 
 
 
Hallux
Junior Principal
6.1.6  Hallux  replied to  Trout Giggles @6.1.5    6 months ago

How Goulash of you. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
6.1.7  sandy-2021492  replied to  Hallux @6.1.6    6 months ago

It's like the Gazpacho police are moderating here.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
6.1.8  XXJefferson51  replied to  Kavika @6.1.3    6 months ago

That of course is a gross Mischaracterization of the situation

  [deleted]

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.9  Kavika   replied to  XXJefferson51 @6.1.8    6 months ago

BS XX 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.10  Kavika   replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.1.7    6 months ago

Gazpacho police, you mean like the ''Soup Nazi''?

FLL_lDQXwAkZ5PA?format=jpg&name=900x900

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
6.1.11  XXJefferson51  replied to  Kavika @6.1.9    6 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
6.1.12  XXJefferson51  replied to  Kavika @6.1.9    6 months ago

[deleted

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.13  Kavika   replied to  XXJefferson51 @6.1.11    6 months ago

Those that read the links I provided will see that your comment is mostly a cover-up of what is happening. This is about what is happening to the Board of Supervisors not the frickin school board.

REDDING, Calif. —   Shasta County Sheriff Michael Johnson has raised safety concerns about the number and ferocity of threats against some members of the Shasta County Board of Supervisors. "Specifically, Supervisors Baugh, Rickert and Moty have all related to me that they’ve been receiving threats and those threats recently have become more frequent, more specific and more intense and therefore sadly them themselves and their families are not feeling safe. So this evening I’ll be getting together with my Shasta County allied agency department heads. We’re gonna discuss the direction and the scope of the investigations into those threats," Johnson explained.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
6.1.14  XXJefferson51  replied to  Kavika @6.1.13    6 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
6.1.15  pat wilson  replied to  XXJefferson51 @6.1.14    6 months ago

REDDING, Calif. —  A new independent analysis on crime statistics lists the Redding area as having one of the highest violent crime rates in 2018 among 50 US cities.

According to the report, the Redding area, which includes all of Shasta County, is ranked the  31st most dangerous city  in the US in 2018 in terms of violent crimes. The analysis actually ranks the Redding area higher than LA and Bakersfield.

The report is based on data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program for 2018, the most recent year data is available. The FBI did not provide the rankings themselves.

"our family friendly local environment", LOL

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.16  Kavika   replied to  XXJefferson51 @6.1.14    6 months ago

Good to know that you support the nutcase militia that seem to be running Redding and Shasta county. 

Regardless, our economy and housing/commercial/jobs markets are booming and our population is growing as conservative people are attracted to  visitredding   and our family friendly local environment 

News flash, so are most other areas in the US growing, job markets, housing and commerical area are growing, the exception is that most areas isn't drawing people that favor making treats to get their way. Two of the three largest employers are government entities and the third is a medical center. Better hope that tourism is strong, if not your going to have a lot of businesses and people hurting.

As for ''family friendly'' the last stats from the FBI tell a very different story. 

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
6.1.17  XXJefferson51  replied to  pat wilson @6.1.15    6 months ago

It is   [deleted]   as well as the worst of the lawless element of the homeless problem since   [deleted

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
6.1.18  XXJefferson51  replied to  Kavika @6.1.16    6 months ago

Red areas are growing much better and faster than blue areas.

[deleted]

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
6.1.19  Kavika   replied to  XXJefferson51 @6.1.18    6 months ago

The growth rate for Redding is 1.04% not anywhere close to the other cities in CA. 

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
6.1.20  pat wilson  replied to  XXJefferson51 @6.1.17    6 months ago

It's not working.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
6.2  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @6    6 months ago
I was actually a believer

Stop the presses!!! I remember in our baptist church when our pastor died and we needed to accept a new shepherd, the incoming pastor 'split' the church and some of the older 'heads' left because the incoming pastor was a smoker and he had the audacity to have an ashtray in his private office. (I know, because I as a child I assisted weekly church cleaning and would dump it.) . (Long time ago now, but I understand he is still pastor (near ninety) and I wonder if he still smokes?)

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
6.2.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  CB @6.2    6 months ago

The church I grew up in was the result of another church's congregation splitting.  Something about the pastor saying all women were "bitches".  Remarkably (or maybe not?) quite a few people stayed in the "Hey, did you know your mom, sisters, and daughters are bitches" church.

Then that church split.

We went to another church (my mom still goes there) that split over the pastor being forced out because his wife first dressed too conservatively, then gained weight, and their daughter, who is an absolutely gorgeous young woman who dressed in nice, but not revealing, clothes, had the temerity to grow boobs as a teenager that could only be hidden by wearing a potato sack.

They split again when the new pastor wasn't popular and a bunch of people invited the old pastor with the plump wife and stacked daughter to return.

The same people thought soap operas were sinful.  Except their own, of course.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
6.2.2  CB   replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.2.1    6 months ago

Oh my, say what?  The "B" word from a shepherd? Unacceptable. I would split too over it. And, I still think soap operas are the 'pits.' I mean really. Some of those character actors can watch 40 years of their looks on the 'small screen' and online. That's good or bad depending. . . . Smile.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
6.2.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  CB @6.2.2    6 months ago

That was the rumor, anyway, from several different sources.  I never went there.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
6.3  charger 383  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6    6 months ago

I just quit going to church when I passed Confirmation Class (almost 40 years ago) and don't get asked about it much.  On short street I am on out of 22 houses only at 2 are they regular church goers.  But there are a lot of  churches in towns and out in the country. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
6.3.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  charger 383 @6.3    6 months ago

It was more when I was a new transplant here.  It really doesn't happen anymore.  I did have one local preacher ask to play audio of himself preaching while I worked on his teeth, along with an invitation to visit his church that Sunday.  I told him I wasn't listening to sermons while I worked, and that was that.  That was several years ago.

My former neighbor who moved away a few months ago joked that the ladies at the Catholic outreach store were still trying to convert her, but weren't making any progress.  She volunteered at the outreach store, and I know her family went to church, but I don't know which one - just that it wasn't the Catholic church.

I think there are actually a lot fewer regular church-goers than when I arrived here.  I know one of my assistants was really active in her church for years, and quit going over one of those internal battles.  She no longer attends anywhere.  On my road, I think there is one family that goes pretty regularly that I know of.

There are some dentists around here who require their staff to attend Bible study or prayer meetings on work time.  I think that is ridiculous overreach by an employer.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
6.3.2  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6.3.1    6 months ago
some dentists around here who require their staff to attend Bible study or prayer meetings on work time

sounds like some slam dunk wrongful termination lawsuit possibilities.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
6.3.3  sandy-2021492  replied to  devangelical @6.3.2    6 months ago

One would think so.

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
6.3.4  cjcold  replied to  charger 383 @6.3    6 months ago

Grew up as an agnostic in a far right wing religious family. 

Seems I was the only one of us who was able to think for himself.

Was always the black sheep in a world of right wing fascists.

Mom and dad introduced me to a plethora of far right wing politicians and I refused to shake their hands. 

Dad would get pissed and mom would wink at me.

I looked at Bob Doles hand, shook my head and walked away. I was 14.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
Professor Guide
6.4  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  sandy-2021492 @6    6 months ago
I don't think it's quite as bad as that in rural Virginia, but I did get a lot of "Where do you to to church?" when I first got here.  And at that time, I was actually a believer, but some of the churches - wow.

Years ago, my father found out that he had a half-sister, Jane, who lived in Houston.  A couple of months later, we went to Houston and met Jane and her family at their club in River Oaks.  They were lovely and sweet people, but at one point, Jane's husband, a prominent lawyer, asked if we were believers.  There was a chorus of amens, sing it brothers, and other phrases that the judgmental populous used when confronted about religion. I was the only person at the table to ask, "In what?"  A nano-second later, I received a kick under the table that was so hard, it took weeks for the bruise to go away.  To this day, I'm not sure who did the kicking, but I suspect it was my mother, who proceeded to throw me a viscous stink-eye for the remainder of our visit.  Coincidentally the drive back to Dallas wasn't exactly a slice of Heaven.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
6.4.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @6.4    6 months ago

jrSmiley_91_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Thomas
Sophomore Guide
7  Thomas    6 months ago

When I moved to Arkansas (something that I had made the pledge to never do, but that is another, longer story), the first neighbor to welcome us was from out the road a li'lbit and introduced herself with a plate of cookies and a ," Would you like to come to our church?" It wasn't the first thing out of her mouth, but it was really close to it. I politely abstained. Throughout the time that I lived in Arkansas, I never did accept any of those offers, but neither did I receive any reactions that could be considered "off". 

There are good people all over the place and that seems to be forgotten in the artificially heated, socially stigmatizing world that appears to be working backwards from the impersonal internet to the actual lived lives that we have. This trend towards treating people in a black and white, us vs them way is becoming readily apparent in the lives of Americans. The problem is that (IMO) the politicians and the internet-media sphere have conquered our feelings of safety and replaced them with feelings that somebody is out to get us. Being from New York I have always been waiting for "the other shoe to drop", waiting to see just who is "behind the curtain", but, even for me, the intensity of the, I will euphemistically call it "chatter", has risen to new heights. 

Get out of your house. Meet your neighbors. Talk to people as people, not as a label that someone else has placed upon you or them. 

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
7.1  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  Thomas @7    6 months ago

Arkansas is not all bad. It's great outdoors. I like to fish and camp.

The first few years we lived here everyone belonged to the same church. Everytime we went for a walk we would come across another neighbor who always asked the same question. Now it's not like that. There's still a few. I live in a subdivision that has very large lots. No lot is smaller than 1.5 acres. We have 3, surrounded by trees, and don't see what our neighbors are doing.

 
 
 
Hallux
Junior Principal
7.1.1  Hallux  replied to  Trout Giggles @7.1    6 months ago

You need to better equip the squirrels in your yard:

256

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
7.1.2  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  Hallux @7.1.1    6 months ago

That's not a bad idea

 
 
 
Thomas
Sophomore Guide
7.1.3  Thomas  replied to  Trout Giggles @7.1    6 months ago

My grandmother was about five foot tall with curly red hair and she would walk up to anyone, I mean anyone, and strike up a conversation with them.

Personally, I have always been somewhat awed by this ability of hers. (I was always the "stand in the corner and hope to god no one noticed me because then I would actually have to speak and everyone would know that I was a non-human fraud." You might say I had some self-esteem issues.) It did not matter if it was a well dressed individual or someone who looked as if they had just crawled out of a dumpster, she would just walk up, introduce herself, and start what I called the "grand inquisition".

Amazingly enough, at least it seemed amazing at the time to me, if the person was forthcoming with answers and not too standoffish, she would generally walk away from the conversation having made a friend. To my knowledge, she never lead with church related questions but would work that way if the person seamed amenable. It should be noted that she was deeply religious, but I don't think that was the source of her curiosity. She did not approach someone (to my knowledge) with the intent of having them come to her church. She was genuinely interested in people and I think that it was that interest, as much as anything else, that made her interactions with people turn out so well. 

Me, I just stumble fuck around in verbal conversation and thank god for the keyboard because I can at least hopefully eek out a cogent conversation and get something like the point I was trying to make across....   What point was I trying to make...? (Stumbles away, shaking head in confusion....)

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
7.1.4  Kavika   replied to  Trout Giggles @7.1.2    6 months ago

Your squirrels should be armed and ready. 

512

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
7.1.5  CB   replied to  Thomas @7.1.3    6 months ago

Thomas, you make excellent points. I 'adore' your comments. Here is the thinking from a Christian's point of view:

Luke 15:8-10

8 . . . what woman, having ten valuable coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it? 9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the valuable coin that I had lost.' 10 Likewise, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Christians believe that Jesus is that 'thing' that must be shared. . .benefiting all who encounter him. Admittedly, I do see Jesus as a benefit to my life (of course!). The difference is I no longer 'lead' with God in discussion. Maturity in my faith means I don't have to. I simply let them see the "Jesus" in me and follow after according to their own timetable, if possible.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
7.1.6  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  Thomas @7.1.3    6 months ago

Your grandmother sounds like an amazing woman

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
7.1.7  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  Kavika @7.1.4    6 months ago

And then they turn that thing on me....

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
7.1.8  CB   replied to  Trout Giggles @7.1.7    6 months ago

Hey Lady! Bring 'em nuts out slowly, . . . and lay them where we can see 'em! jrSmiley_86_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Thomas
Sophomore Guide
7.1.9  Thomas  replied to  Trout Giggles @7.1.6    6 months ago

Thank you, Trout! She was pretty special to me, at least. And she made the best cinnamon rolls, amongst other things.

 
 
 
Thomas
Sophomore Guide
7.1.10  Thomas  replied to  CB @7.1.5    6 months ago

Personally, I consider myself agnostic, because I have no idea what is going on. More So as I grow older, I feel that anyone who makes claims to "knowing" is suspect. But that is just me. 

I simply let them see the "Jesus" in me and follow after according to their own timetable, if possible.

What? Leading by example? More people should do that. I fear that the emulation of hatred is what they are going for, though. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
7.1.11  TᵢG  replied to  Thomas @7.1.10    6 months ago
More So as I grow older, I feel that anyone who makes claims to "knowing" is suspect.

Agreed.   How could anyone possibly know if there is or is not a sentient creator?    It is unknowable.

However, one can know that anything defined as a contradiction does not exist (as defined).

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
7.1.12  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  CB @7.1.5    6 months ago
I simply let them see the "Jesus" in me and follow after according to their own timetable, if possible.

Yes, that's why I like you. You prefer to show your faith instead of blasting at everyone

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
7.1.13  CB   replied to  Trout Giggles @7.1.12    6 months ago

Aww shucks. (BTW, in my 'infancy' days (I don't write this lightly either that would be arrogance) I 'carried' the gospel on my back as a weighted blanket. Moreover, I handled the biblical text (old and new testaments) in a manner that was 'ever before my eyes':

Deuteronomy 6: 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is One. 5 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These words I am commanding you today are to be upon your hearts . 7 And you shall teach them diligently to your children and speak of them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up . 8 Tie them as reminders on your hands and bind them on your foreheads . 9 Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates .

So you see this methodology is a 'biblical' way of life for old and new testament followers of the two faiths. Until. . . something divergent occurred in the New Testament:

Hebrews 6: 1 Therefore let us move beyond the elementary [ milk ] teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity [ meat ] , not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2 instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And God permitting, we will do so.

Maturity gives the believer (license) to share his or her faith with others who want to hear about something good the believer once 'lost' has 'found'! It is word of mouth that utters 'forth' and moves unbelievers to want something from the believer. His or her example and modeling.

It is a voluntary act on the unbelievers part to participate. It is not the 'driver' of everything the believer is in public or private. Many believers fail to understand this and so they force people to choose between their way of life or being pushed away, softly or 'harshly.' If someone asks me for this understanding I have in Jesus Christ and my faith-I share that. If  not, I mutually share it with him or her. If they do not ask or indicate participation in Jesus-I live it up to God to 'manage.' After all, it's God's program of salvation—no mine.

Lastly, it is for thinking like the paragraph above that some believers are disdainfully and diminutively labeled: "Liberal Christians."

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
7.1.14  Gordy327  replied to  Kavika @7.1.4    6 months ago
 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
7.2  CB   replied to  Thomas @7    6 months ago

Good stuff, Thomas! Emphatically. Thank you. Somebody had to call us back to the 'center.' Because 'drift' creates its own inertia. I admit feeling sometimes feeling 'stuck' accenting one aspect of a discussion more than its center point where I have a 'home' too!

 
 
 
cjcold
Professor Quiet
7.3  cjcold  replied to  Thomas @7    6 months ago

Used to drive a semi OTR and met folk from all over the country. Folks are mostly good folk.

 
 
 
Thomas
Sophomore Guide
7.3.1  Thomas  replied to  cjcold @7.3    6 months ago

I have lived in many parts of the country and visited many more. I have found that most of the people are "good folk" as a rule.  

The sad part comes when we start defining each other based on a limited number of factors (that may or may not  be true) and extending that definition across the rest of the person. I think that is called prejudice. 

When I lived in Missouri, I went to church functions with family, largely because I was needing the social interaction. I didn't have any problems with anyone and I made some aquaintances and also some really good friends.  

 
 
 
Freefaller
Professor Participates
8  Freefaller    6 months ago

Sorry to hear about that.  I've lived coast to coast and north to south in Canada and by far and away neither politics or religion are discussed as most realize that that sort of thing is ones' own business and possible divisive and impolite

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
8.1  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  Freefaller @8    6 months ago

Religion is a polarizing force but the people here don't seem to realize that. They throw it in your face whenever they can

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
8.1.1  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @8.1    6 months ago

down in texas where I am, church serves two functions, fashion show and hangover club. so far the SBC and the regular baptist church has taken a run at me, both via FB. how they found out about me is a mystery. I declined both offers. prior to my 14th birthday we never missed a sunday, and when I was younger I was also subjected to the free day care and indoctrination service otherwise known as vacation bible school. I feel I've more than fulfilled my religious obligations and since I'm not a fucking scumbag in life, I don't feel the need to pay and be reminded weekly not to be one. I can count the number of times I've been in a church on 1 hand since then. I am very proud though of being instrumental in taking down an evangelical church based in a hotel conference room because the thumper pastor couldn't grasp the concept that door to door thumping was soliciting in my condo complex, and then he OD'd in the spirit when I would call the cops on his dumb ass. at least the LDS missionaries learned after 3 times.

 
 
 
MonsterMash
Sophomore Participates
8.1.2  MonsterMash  replied to  devangelical @8.1.1    6 months ago
deleted

Comments about other members (or the site) are always considered to be off topic & no value 

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
Professor Guide
8.1.3  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  devangelical @8.1.1    6 months ago
fashion show and hangover club.

Snort!!!

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
9  CB     6 months ago
Dad was a coal miner. . . .

You get this a lot, my friend?

I love this song and the movie. The great Loretta Lynn. Great lady.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
9.1  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  CB @9    6 months ago

Occasionally from Mr Giggles.

I love her, too.

 
 
 
MonsterMash
Sophomore Participates
9.2  MonsterMash  replied to  CB @9    6 months ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
10  JohnRussell    6 months ago

Religion shoud be live and let live. No one can "prove" anything. 

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
10.1  Gordy327  replied to  JohnRussell @10    6 months ago

As long as no one makes affirmative claims based on religion, then there's no problem.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
11  devangelical    6 months ago
The Civil War isn't talked about much even tho a lot of PA boys lost their lives in that silly war.

gettysburg triggered an ugly blood feud between the va and wv factions on one side of my family that lasted for 7 years after the end of the civil war. the US side won that feud too, but the goober side lost what was left of a revolutionary war GW land grant to the tax man.

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
11.1  author  Trout Giggles  replied to  devangelical @11    6 months ago

You're not related to  the Hatfields or the McCoys are you?

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
11.1.1  devangelical  replied to  Trout Giggles @11.1    6 months ago

not that I know of, but it is the south...

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
12  Gsquared    6 months ago

Well, here in Southern California we have everything -- Catholics, Jews of all varieties, Moslems, various Buddhist sects, Hindus, every type of Protestant there is (I saw Michael Jackson walking door-to-door with a small group of Jehovah's Witnesses one time), Mormons, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, every kind of Orthodox, practitioners of Native American religions, Jains, Baha'is, Rastafarians, Zoroastrians, Satanists, atheists, agnostics...  I had clients recently who were Mandaeans, which is an ancient religion from Iran whose members are persecuted by the government there. 

A former co-worker and friend of mine died a few years ago and his funeral service was conducted at a Byzantine Ruthenian Church just a few miles from my house.  I didn't know it was there.   Apparently, it is associated with the Roman Catholic Church but uses certain Byzantine rituals.  It was interesting.

I must be missing a few.

For the most part, we all get along!

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
13  pat wilson    6 months ago

Just tell them you belong to the Unitarian Universalist Church. It's non-denominational so it shouldn't offend anyone (right ?).

 
 
 
Gsquared
Senior Expert
13.1  Gsquared  replied to  pat wilson @13    6 months ago

What about Quakers?

 
 
 
Freewill
Junior Participates
13.1.1  Freewill  replied to  Gsquared @13.1    6 months ago
What about Quakers?

I believe they are the ones who eat oats and/or like to live near tectonic shelfs or fault lines...jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
13.1.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  Freewill @13.1.1    6 months ago

Very punny.

 
 
 
epistte
Junior Principal
13.2  epistte  replied to  pat wilson @13    6 months ago

Depending on who is asking I tell people that I attend the UU church, which I do attend some functions there such as a discussion group. Other people, I admit that I am a Humanist.  If you manage to tell a Southern Baptist or another religious conservative that you are a Humanist you risk having your car vandalized or getting crank calls and hate mail.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
13.2.1  Gordy327  replied to  epistte @13.2    6 months ago
If you manage to tell a Southern Baptist or another religious conservative that you are a Humanist you risk having your car vandalized or getting crank calls and hate mail.

What would happen if I told them I was an atheist? Or even a Satanist? I might get burned at the stake. lol

 
 
 
epistte
Junior Principal
13.2.2  epistte  replied to  Gordy327 @13.2.1    6 months ago

likely a lot of door knockers and unsolicited letters. maybe a prayer group invites.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
13.2.3  Gordy327  replied to  epistte @13.2.2    6 months ago

Wow, talk about annoying.

 
 
 
epistte
Junior Principal
13.2.4  epistte  replied to  Gordy327 @13.2.3    6 months ago

 I have a small FSM decal (4x6") on my car as a way to laugh at them but 99.9% of them are too stupid that I am satirizing their idiocy. Once in a while, I get a thumbs up from someone, usually about the millennial age who understands the icon.

 I have a pair of gold Happy Human Humanist earrings that I received as a gift from an atheist SO, but they are usually hidden by my hair. I doubt that they would recognize their meaning anyhow.

 
 
 
Gordy327
Professor Principal
13.2.5  Gordy327  replied to  epistte @13.2.4    6 months ago

I like the FSM decal idea.

 
 
 
Thomas
Sophomore Guide
13.3  Thomas  replied to  pat wilson @13    6 months ago

A coworker of mine nearly had an apoplectic fit when I asked him, "What religion are you? Unitarian? "

This was in Fort Smith, Arkansas. ... hee hee 

 
 

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