Joined: April 17th, 2006, 10:37 pm

May 31st, 2012, 3:32 am #31

Good to "see" you too. =) I haven't been posting as much lately -- things are in flux at work, I am transitioning to a new position, and my mother has been quite ill (doing better now). Most of my limited posting time has been on a political board I found that is quite interesting. Most of the posters there are American and decidedly left-of-center (like me), but not a place to discuss religion, spirituality, or philosophy, and I do miss that.

Glad you are enjoying the sun. We've had a lengthy mild spring here, but the temperatures are heating up and it will be in the 90's F this week. Ack, too warm for me! But the wheel of the year is turning, and in just a few weeks it will be Litha/Summer Solstice, so that's as it should be. The extreme heat is hard for me, but it doesn't last forever, and I try to appreciate as many things about summer as I can. =)

What are you reading currently?
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Arthur Dent
Arthur Dent

June 2nd, 2012, 1:32 am #32

just curious why no religion there. Is it that left of centre is not so interested in superstition, its its thrust at that forum only political, or that your religion clashes with theirs?

I know that we rarely discuss religion at my work, possibly because the guys there dont like the thinking that accompanies the guys who want to think about it?

At my last university, I cant remember the topic ever being mentioned, Maybe the last guy who mentioned their christianity might have been 5 or 6 years ago at my current one, who just mentioned he was on some catholic committee, a conversation that petered out pretty quickly, and maybe my last hearing of god was a year or two ago from two muslims who were getting kicked out of their "prayer room" because the department needed the space. It was a meeting room just off the staff room where I come from, they had no hope of keeping it (we didnt even know what they were up to in there until then), just curious if it is in the case in the US often (that ones religion comes up in their every day conversation?

You know like the moslems always seem to insert "if god wills it..... god be praised.... god is greatest... instead of a full stop in every sentence)

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Joined: April 17th, 2006, 10:37 pm

June 2nd, 2012, 5:48 am #33

It's because the board topic specifies that is for political discussion. There are at least two atheists that post there, a couple of people that have identified as agnostics, I know there is one other guy who hasn't said, but from some of the things he has posted, I believe he is from a liberal denomination like me (United Methodist). And one other regular poster who mentioned something about being Methodist but she attends church with her husband who is Baptist (and there are some BIG doctrinal differences there, believe me LOL).

Religion typically doesn't get brought up, unless somehow it intersects with politics and current events. It's sometimes hard to not discuss religious beliefs at all when discussing politics, because at least some of our political views are affected by our religious beliefs and moral convictions. I strongly believe in social justice, aid to the poor, fairness to the working people, prison reform, the rights of women, minorities, and gays, that the wealthy should pay their fair share in taxes for the good of all, and shouldn't be able to avoid doing so through loophole laws and regulations, etc. All of those beliefs are rooted very deeply in my faith.

My workplace is very diverse, and I work with people of a lot of different faiths and cultures. Typically, conversations about religion and politics are avoided in the workplace to avoid stepping on anyone's toes, although some people might discuss things discreetly with co-workers they know are like-minded (so no one will take offense). But it's really best to avoid even that. One co-worker overheard me mention something about going to church to a friend, and took that as an invitation to start discussing religion with me -- and as an ultra-conservative Christian man, lecturing me about a woman's proper place, and submission to my husband, and....well, you can imagine, that didn't go over real well with me. LOL And unfortunately, I had to sit next to this guy, and it took several days of changing the subject and ignoring him before he figured out that I wasn't really interested in his opinions about a Christian woman's place and role. I could have complained to my supervisor, but didn't want the conflict and didn't really want to get the guy into trouble, so I just waited until he finally got the message. =) For some people their faith is evident in what they wear, like a Sikh co-worker wearing a turban, or my Wiccan friend who wears a pentacle necklace. I know I have Muslim co-workers, so I assume there is a place for them to pray at work, if they are observant of that, but they aren't rolling out prayer rugs in the middle of the office. There are no women wearing burqas, and no one would be allowed to cover their faces (I work for a local governmental agency, and we have to have security badges with our picture id's on them), but there are some women who cover their hair.
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Arthur Dent
Arthur Dent

June 2nd, 2012, 8:14 am #34

and some christian cults mandate it.

Muslims are getting pretty common around here, are they common in the USA, or is it that you are in a government department that affirmative action is getting them work?

We have a Malaysian and an Egyptian, who most certainly dont proselytise, but are very up to date on world events.

I'm afraid our token women (a PHd from the Nedalands) gave it up last year, and I only realised she was gone for good, about 3 weeks ago.

She was a shocking pedant, and wasnt really missed, although she had a heart of gold.

I wouldnt know what religions, if any, the rest of us have, but around here, its usually "who cares"?

I wonder why sharing religion is such a temptation? I suspect it gives the feeling that some arbitrary group of people have a certain shared something, that makes them special, even though as we see on the internet, what they assume they share seems rarely to actually exist when they actually get together and compare notes.

So maybe, often it doesnt matter what religion you adhere to, there are also subgroups of culture, politics, experiences, age and interests that also count, and may even be more important to some than their superstitious beliefs.

and of course some will never find peer connection with anyone especially if they are similar. (thinking of the guy who Jackie grabbed the baubles off.)

I do think that religion instructs your politics, or your politics steers your choice of religion most often.

or maybe your IQ qualifies what you believe as well. Are you a black and white rather than shades of grey person? What does that say about your politics/religion/cultural outlook?

So many dimensions of influences on us, why would we hope to all see the same things?



for instance, Sandy has seen Jesus. That must have influenced her profoundly, and yet it influences me not at all.


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Joined: April 17th, 2006, 10:37 pm

June 3rd, 2012, 7:23 am #35

I live in a pretty diverse city, and where I work is very progressive. I don't think Affirmative Action has anything to do with it, at least not at my workplace; the best qualified candidates get the jobs. But the fact that we are known to be progressive may encourage more multi-cultural people to apply? I don't really know. But we actually have an Office of Inclusion that plans activities, seminars, etc to make people more aware about diversity, more tolerant of our differences, and less likely to offend or step on someone else's toes.

Head coverings are common in many different religions and cultures -- turbans, scarves, etc. Covering one's face wouldn't be acceptable at my workplace because of our security requirements -- but if you think about it, the ultra-conservative branches of Islam that require women to wear a burqa or have their faces veiled don't typically encourage women to be independent, work full time outside the home, or even drive cars. I believe it's still against the law for women to drive in Saudi Arabia, and they are considered to be a fairly progressive Muslim nation, if I understand correctly.

I was kind of wondering when this might be brought up...why do people feel compelled to share their religion? Well, not everyone does. Some do, and some feel they are mandated or obligated to, and here is why:

There are essentially two broad types of religion in the world: one path or many paths. Those who adhere to the "many paths" philosophy feel that there are many different valid spiritual experiences, and someone else's path to God may be different than our own. They tend to be live and let live kind of folks. Those who believe there is only "one path" believe exactly that -- there is only one way to get to heaven/please God, and theirs is the only way -- everyone else is mistaken.

Of the "one path" believers (including Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, among others), there is again a split into two broad types: inclusive and exclusive. Exclusive believers think that they have the only true faith, but they don't search out converts. Judaism is a good example. It is very, very, difficult for a Gentile to convert to Judaism (although I know one family that did it). Some branches of Islam are the same way -- they have the only truth, and they aren't interested in converting others outside their culture.

Then there are the "one path, inclusive" believers -- they believe they are following the only true way, but they are more than willing to allow in converts and may actively proselytize.

And one last sub category: "one path, inclusive, and it's my responsibility to share this truth with everyone". That would be most Christians, especially the evangelical ones, and also including Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. I know they can be incredibly annoying (I used to be a Fundamentalist, although I was not very good at it). But please try to understand -- they share the gospel with you and try to tell you about Jesus because they truly believe it is their responsibility to do so and that you are lost and will be separated from God for all eternity if you don't believe. They truly do believe that it's their responsibility to warn you, and that they are disobeying God if they don't try to tell you.

Doesn't make it less annoying, but I hope that helps explain it a bit...

(edited to correct spelling)

Last edited by kateothelamp on June 3rd, 2012, 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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