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This has always been an interesting subject for me. I was raised in a very Christian home. My parents were the kindest, most giving people I have ever known. I seldom see their brand of Christianity. Their faith was silent in words but large in action. I don’t see god in their way, I see the beauty of their life I have never felt that i had to believe in the same way that they did to be like them. I cherish their kindness, forgiveness and non judgement. I don’t believe that god or the promise heaven or whatever guides that or should. Those ideas should be self driven. I am comfortable with other people’s faith as long as it isn’t forced on me. I have no patience for those who hyjacked what they believe is religion into politics and use that as a measuring stick for everyone else’s morality. In my mind it you don’t do something or don’t do something because you will go to hell or because god does or doesn’t like it, your actions are false. Well, the start of a conversation smile001.gif

18 comments

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Nice post. Your parents would have thrived in secular countries such as those in Scandinavia who don't associate prosocial behavior with religion. I seriously doubt their faith had anything to do with their kindness, though they likely attributed it to their religion.

If Christianity was actually followed to a tee, as noted in the bible, believers would be required to sell everything, put the well being of their family on the back burner and make the great commission their main purpose. There are some upsides to cherry picking.

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Ive been lucky to have been exposed to the kind of xtians you describe, and not so much to the kinds that seem to be reviled here, on a regular basis. I admit the level of anti-theism i see here on this site, completely confuses me, because of people like your parents. I am really glad to see your post.

I'm the same way, have been surrounded by more good religious than bad religious, and, coincidentally, we see eye to eye on several things.

We had good experiences growing up, so we don't see it as evil.
Others have bad experiences, so they see it as evil

It'd be nice if were were devoid of anecdotal evidence for our beliefs but I guess that's impossible. I guess all that is possible is to be aware that we are biased for these reasons and work around/within/without said bias...

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I was raised in a small mining town. People were generous and kind and shared, even though there wasn't much to share. This seems to have somehow gotten lost. Was it the excesses in the 80's that turned people greedy? I wish I knew what caused this change. Even in politics, congress worked in a bi- partisan way across the aisles; no more.
I agree that compassion and equanimity should be self directed but even that has gotten tied in with religion and the outcome has been that the biggest proponents in judging others have become the most vocal of those claiming Christianity. Where do we go from here?

I don't know either. It may be one of the reasons I am here. The discussions areimportant to me, but difficult to find. I have left dating sites completely now. I do not want to stop dating, I am very clearly progressive and I can’t take another personal attack. I have been called a hypocrite, a bigot, closed minded all because I don’t support trump. With people I don’t know very well that’s all that I say. I blocked 3 people in one week. The response to such a short simple statement it ridiculous. It’s hurtful and hate filled and it has an affect on me. I feel like I am left with not engaging at all, BUT I feel passuonate about the subject matter and I feel like what people say is untrue and unfair

@Tinyhouset it is a tough world out there. My little bubble where I live is progressive but then I venture out and it is another world. I have never seen so many instances of people being rude and rant driven. It is now the norm. I barely involve myself in it. I do think that social media has made it easier to be nasty because you are hiding behind your keypad and not meeting face to face to talk. Also I do not discount the fact that people become more set in their ways as they age. Not to mention that the dating world has changed dramatically

@AmelieMatisse I don’t even know how to date. I have great conversations with people that just stop. I had one guys sister? and cancel our appointment ? Really you can’t just say I have met someone closer that You really like.

@Tinyhouset I totally get it.

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Good without god! smile001.gif

atheist Level 8 May 16, 2018
2

Awesome! Minnesotans are the most kind, compassionate people I know, like my parents. My dad became agnostic in Vietnam. My mom still thinks I need to get right with the lord but understands why both of her sons are atheist. My mom is cool.

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My parents were Christians but not so much in terms of church attendance and more in how they lived their lives. They were very loving people and also very giving. They expressed their love in their deeds and their deeds were always good and loving. I certainly miss them.

david7wk Level 6 May 16, 2018

I miss mine also. They died 10 months apart and even though I don’t believe in heaven, they did and it gave me great comfort to know that they believed that they would be together.

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I also grew up in a house like this and I explain my parents to people like, "they are the type of Christian the Bible says they should be". When I "came out" as Agnostic a few years ago, I wasnt that worried about what they would think but it still took me 5 years to tell them. Anyway, they thanked me for being honest and nothing has really changed in our relationship except my mom has stopped recommending single women from my old church that I should date. smile007.gif

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You have written MY story!!...I know exactly what you feel!

Cael2727 Level 3 May 16, 2018
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I have many neighbors who are like your parents.

ProudMerry Level 7 May 16, 2018
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That’s a wonderful and warm relationship Tinyhouset. My parents were the very same, allowing us freedom of choice. Something they were never afforded growing up. I can see only now how much integrity they had.
The best really ⭐️

Storybook Level 5 May 16, 2018

I remember being very conflicted, very young. My dad would say “ If you never question your faith, get it right in your head, it’s never yours.” To me that meant If you don’t find the right place for it in your head or in your life, you are never living your own truth. As much as I don’t believe in a heaven or hell or a supreme being, there is an element of faith that belongs to me.

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Welcome and I like your view.

Hats off to your parents, as well.

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I find "Christians" today to be vulgar caricatures of one of the old mystic schools. I see intolerance, ignorance, hatred and stupidity. I am genuinely afraid of the "true believers" because that tells me they can justify murder, mayhem and any other vile criminal behavior in the name of their god. My grandmother was somewhat a devout church-going lady and she tried to live a good life, at least that is how she presented it. I stay away from those who are truly devout, because I will just piss them off. My atheist friends are the most caring, honest and in that sense moral people I know. Coming from a scientific community, we prefer the facts. The more you understand, the more you can see that good "moral" behavior is not due to religion, but is good overall for us in actual practice. As we say in the industry, it is good business, especially within interpersonal relationships. There is nothing inherently wrong with integrity, honesty and altruism.In the context of a religious belief system they are inherently incompatible. How can you have integrity and curiosity when you believe in lies? I don't associate with felons, because it is incompatible with my lifestyle and belief system (yes we all have one). Religious people cannot have true integrity because they close their mind to possibilities. It has set mankind back a thousand years, I have no patience nor tolerance for it whatsoever. It is a vile corrupt perversion that damages millions of people. We could eliminate religion in 1 generation with a simple rule, just like tobacco and alcohol, children may not be exposed to it until the age of majority. Stop letting them indoctrinate children and it will fade away faster than it already is.

dandadan Level 2 May 16, 2018

I will think about this for a while today

4

Well said.

SpikeTalon Level 8 May 16, 2018
3

In my experience there are 2 kinds of people when it comes to practicing faith. The cloak wearers and the club weilders.

The cloak wearers wrap themselves in their faith for protection and comfort. And while it's clear to anybody that bothers to look that they are wearing a cloak, it's mostly a personal matter and rarely trips anyone else up. And if they see someone in need of comforting they will offer to extend the cloaks protection to them and share in its warmth.

The club weilders see their faith as a weapon to be brought to bare at the slightest provocation. They never feel safe unless everyone else is cowering before their club. They bludgeon others into submission and never stop waving their club's around, oblivious to all the collateral damage their causing as the try and force others to follow their tenets.

It may seem that the club weilders are more numerous but I believe they're just louder. It's part of their nature to drown out others. The cloak wearers are out there, they're just less boastful, carrying on quietly. We need more people with this personal view of faith.

I like the way you explained that JeremyTaylor.

I love this!!

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My grandmother was the same way. She walked the walk.

Sticks48 Level 7 May 16, 2018

I found out after my parents died that the reason my mom work was so that they could help people. I am 58 and is wasn’t so common for women to have jobs then. My parents decided that it was a priority for them that they helped people in need. Walking the walk with such goodness is a beautiful thing.

@Tinyhouset Yes it is. ☺

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I am glad you had such awesome parents and that you appreciate them. My take is that they would have been the same regardless of what religion they did or did not follow.
You could say they were wonderful despite their beliefs rather than because of them?
I had a great Aunt and a Mother in Law who were just lovely, and very devout Christians.

Rugglesby Level 8 May 16, 2018
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Many religions can have a positive effect on how people live but when pushed that foundation of belief can be a little shaky.

kmdskit3 Level 8 May 16, 2018
3

My friend and I have discussed this. I don't think you have to be Christian to practice good citizenship in the community. People assume that because we're atheists or agnostics that we don't have a heart, or don't know how to love others. It sounds like you were raised by lovely people. I love giving back to my community. I do so in various ways. I think people have good hearts and don't need an organization to teach them right from wrong. That's just my opinion.

I share your opinion.

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