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Have you ever stopped reading a book, listening to a song, or watching a show because it added religion into the mix?

As I read informational books, sometimes authors like to throw religion in where it doesn't belong. Recently, I was reading a book about Blue Zones... where people are happiest. I stopped reading when I got to a certain bit of advice...

People may be happiest when they go to church, but I didn't like this advice that said if you don't go to church, you should try out different places of worship. This bothered me, as I don't believe it is necessarily the religion that is helping people. It's the community. I think you could get the same benefit in places other than church.

It's not just this book. I was disappointed in one copy of the Tao te Ching that my husband gave me. He didn't know it when he bought it... but for some reason, the author decided to add some Jesus and church stuff in the beginning of the book. It absolutely did not belong in that book-- as it is unrelated to the original content. That book got returned and I found a different translation. I was incredibly irritated, because anyone reading it for the first time would probably be mislead into thinking there was a relationship between the Tao and Christianity.

Have you experienced this in books, movies, music-- in a way that caused you to totally disregard the work?

silvereyes 8 Feb 10

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0

It's been far too long to remember any titles, most were very generic, but when I was immersed in the studies of philosophies and religions (c.70-80) there were a tremendous amount of xian propaganda books masquerading as such in our local library.

Usually in the first chapter you would be introduced to "this belief is disproven by the buybull..." and a further scan showed these books just another vehicle for xian indoctrination.

No, thank you. "Care of the Soul" by Thomas Moore is one of my all time favorite books but any mention of xianity is made from a philosophical standpoint with those of many other mythologies given equal standing.

13

I learned long ago not to sweat the small stuff, so, no, it doesn't bother me enough to do something like that. When it turns into an overriding theme, then, yes, I'm gone. I have no need to suffer the bullshit, but if it's just a touch in passing, I'm fine.

FFRF once gave a lecture about sweating the small stuff. Small stuff often turns into big stuff.

@JackPedigo -- in the public arena, yes. I am just as put off by overbearing atheists as I am by overbearing religitards. Here we are not talking about the government, legal system, or education. I have invented religious concepts as literary devices to carry or advance plot lines or support tangents in some of my works because it is part of a reality. So, as I said, if it is approaching thematic, I won't continue to read or watch or listen, but if it is in passing, it is small stuff and not worth expending any energy over.

@SACatWalker The problem is, is that many people do believe the brainless stuff because they want to believe it.

Totally concur! 🙂

@SACatWalker .. and since 1956 we have "in god we trust" as an official USA motto, and the Supreme Court basically said that the motto has no theological or ritualistic impact. They talked about the "motto's secular purpose and effect". I call BS!

8

Use what you want, disregard the rest.
Same with things (music, movie, activity, etc.) that remind you of an ex.
Why should they hold power over something I enjoy? They shouldn't!

8

Yes, I have dropped books, stopped listening to music and stopped conversations when religion got inserted inappropriately. It appears to me that these sad creatures are desperately looking for other insecure suckers to bolster their own beliefs by joining into the sheep population. I find it offensive.

I agree with your term inappropriately, because I have seen some writings and heard some music where the theme has nothing to do with religion and suddenly, it does... but I have no problem with hearing religious- themed music as many religions have beautiful music and I don't discount beautiful things simply for their subject matter. (I don't like spiders, but have seen some beautiful photos of spiderwebs with their inhabitants.)

7

Warhammer 40K has a great deal of religious overtones, but I still enjoy it. It's only unappealing if it's out of context.

Religion shouldn't be grounds for automatically rejecting a work of literature or art, but it can be if used as a bully pulpit.

Do you paint your own miniatures?

@Donotbelieve I don't play the wargame, just read the novels and play the PC games.

7

More so in the last year, but yes. Nothign ruins a goood story like inserting religion into it.

I do make exceptions for books written long ago, as it was just product of their times. But modern books, I pretty much stop reding them.

6

The addition of religious themes and iconography in of itself does not bother me in media provided it serves as some point. Religion can still provide much artistic inspiration and can serve a greater anthropological perspective if it's used in a smart way.

What is terrible is when it gets preachy and in your face about it. When it starts to be overly religious without a hint of introspection is when things start to slide.

5

I stop reading, listening, watching, giving any of my attention when it becomes religious, bigotted, hateful, etc. I do not invite that garbage into my mind and my life.

4

Having lived in the midwest most of my adult life, there have been more times than I can count when I'm trapped driving on a road trip and going through station and after station of people yelling about Jesus. Inevitably, I'll land on a song with a tolerable tune after searching and searching. I listen for a minute only to discover it's "Christian rock." I hate it when that happens. LOL

4

(There's a Life of Pi spoiler alert below.)

Yup. But not so much as walk out of a movie. I didn't know anything about "Life of Pi". I watched the movie with a friend and I was shocked, not at the reveal that the animals in the lifeboat were actually people, but of the religious message at the end of the movie. I can't even remember what that message was. I only remember being surprised at it.

4

I had an awesome experience long ago when Mormons came to my door and asked me to believe that their god was better than your common or garden god...I invited them in and they tried to convince me that their Mr Smith had got these golden tablets from angels which were the new commandments....and when I asked what happened to these golden tablets they said that the angels had taken them for safekeeping to some volcano....I laughed so hard and told them to leave and sadly they never came back...Am I bad...think it was Mormons though could be wrong though....but still funny...

Gold tablets were basically foundin a peat bog.....ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

4

Do friends' Facebook feeds count?

Other than that, I try to appreciate the author/creator's context. Game of Thrones has religion mixed in everywhere and that doesn't affect me. The TV show Vikings uses Christianity and Norse gods. The context is informed by assumptions characters make. The "realism" of the religion in question is irrelevant, because none of it is real lol.

In the context of a self help book, I'd also just use it to inform context. Not everything in any self help book is supposed to help everyone. The good ones will throw out an array of ideas and some will work for some.

4

Most of the time it's FB posts or coments that I will stop reading.

4

I wouldn't stop reading a book or hearing a song merely because they inserted religion anymore than I would stop because they inserted atheism. Several times it's part of the story or e message the author is trying to promote.

For example, if a book had the cure to cancer but the person providing the cure claimed that his cure inspired by god, I would still read the book. Given that 51 percent of scientists believe in God, I certainly won't stop reading their science if they mention religion in their writing, like Francis Collins and human genomes. Nor would I not read the cure to cancer if the person said that their unbelief in god was critical to their discovery,.

Don't throw the baby out with the bath water as it were...

@silvereyes

And it is in that wonderment that your critical reasoning skills come into play. People are rarely 100% correct or rational when they put forth an idea and it is up to the listener to use their skills to separate the chaff from the wheat. For example, newton said "In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence". If you were to "stop reading" newton based on that quote, you would miss his three laws of motion and all the other contributions he made. In effect, it's up to us to consider if the thumb alone is enough proof for god's existence and if not, if there is wisdom in his three laws; simply because he said the former doesn't automatically dismiss the latter in other words.

@SACatWalker

By by all means, when you figure out which logical fallacy I've committed, please do share. 😉

@silvereyes

And don't get me wrong, I take your meaning as well: if a book digresses into a long winded, off-topic diatribe about religion and what you are reading or listening to isn't about religion, then the meaning behind what you are reading or listening to is diluted.

Your example about the Tao te Ching is a good example of this. if a translator is going to open up with religious content, then it's likely going to affect and color their translation and thus you'd be better served with another one if that religious content is not to your liking.

I was only commenting on the scenario where you quit if you encounter a passing reference to religion.

4

Bram stoker's Dracula. I had never read the book, and I actively try to read classics, but I made it about halfway through before I got so disgusted with his rants about the purity of the soul that I put it. Seriously dude, after like 1 or maybe 2 of those I've got the point, let's move along with the plot, 'kay? On the other hand there are some books by religious authors that I have found a great connection with, like the space trilogy by C.S. Lewis.

4

Usually not, but I do loathe obvious and complete snake-oil like the Rapture industry (Left Behind, etc ...) or that fuckknuckle in KY that built his toy ark with public funds. Times like that I wish tarring and feathering was still an acceptable form of public discourse. There would be a lot of very cold birds.

4

This may sound bad... but I was loving The Vikings when they mostly had pagan stuff on. As soon as christianity started becoming a major theme in the show, I couldn't stomach it.

4

Damn straight and I did even more. My favorite classical radio station played a lot of religious music (the type with words) over the holidays. I wrote them and told them how disappointed I was and that I had lowered my giving (it has turned into a public funded station). I also said if it happens next year I will withhold all my funding. I received a reply saying they were listening (but I'm not holding my breath). The Canadian station, CBC2, also plays religious classical music but it is usually the music and no words.

FFRF has a movement that touts "sweat the small stuff" and I take it seriously.

4

Yes! Especially, some tv movies around the holidays but I've gotten books at the library, where I just scanned the story and when I started reading it realized this was a book where belief in God played a big part. Returned unread.

4

I've never read a book that really brought religion into it. I like non-fiction and if I know the topic is religion I tend to steer away from it. I have however listened to music and watched movies that either made me stop listening/watching or be turned off because religion was brought into it. If it's a good song or movie then I will bite the bullet and push through to enjoy the other content. There have been songs I shut off because it was too religious AND "bad", but others that I liked. One movie I remember that was full of religious undertones and overtones was Hacksaw Ridge. I sat through it because it was ridiculous and funny at times.

3

I listen a lot to instrumental piano or new age music on Pandora, and sometimes it's an old hymn or contemporary Christian piece. I always down vote or skip if I can, because even though the music is good, I know the words behind it.

3

If I'm enjoying a movie and then start noticing some religious stuff, I don't care unless the premise is to convert the audience to that religion.
Think "Sister Act"..great movie, with religion, but secular nonetheless.

2

If it's not that central to the story no but the 'Battlestar Galactica reboot got way too religious for me. I did make it through the whole thing but I'm not going to watch it again. 'Lost' also got way too pseudo-sciency and pan-religious: especially in the last season.

1

Usually an eye roll is the only reaction, but it depends on the message. If it's just some soft "God is looking out for you" bullshit I'll sneer and still finish the story. If it's one of those "You shouldn't be taking your meds because God will heal you" themes I get too angry to finish.

If I can imagine influence from the piece doing real harm, I can't finish it.

1

I had been enjoying the rebooted Battlestar Galacyica until it got into heavy religious fields.

1

I am a star trek fan, I loved everything about it until the deep space nine series. Went to far in to the religion crap. Dont know why but they did. Stopped watching that series.

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