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Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Hiro Protagonist posted:

That's partially why I'm posting; I never felt I could talk with others about my crisis, and because of it, I feel I never gave Christianity a "proper chance."

Itís hard to believe because itís Something Awful and weíre goony-goons but these threads are, by and large, a safe space to talk about exactly those feelings and experiences. Every once in a awhile we get a jerk-poster, but honestly this community is great about meeting each other where we are. Unless youíre mean or mean-spirited we usually donít mind if you disagree with something weíve said. Iíve come here to talk about things I was afraid to talk to about because Iím proud and feared scandal. (Truth is Iím not that important to cause scandal in my community just because Iím having problems with the Churchís teaching on X.)

All that to say, welcome, and !

Thirteen Orphans fucked around with this message at 03:12 on Jan 14, 2021

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PurpleButterfly
Nov 5, 2012


Thirteen Orphans posted:

Itís hard to believe because itís Something Awful and weíre goony-goons but these threads are, by and large, a safe space to talk about exactly those feelings and experiences. Every once in a awhile we get a jerk-poster, but honestly this community is great about meeting each other where we are. Unless youíre mean or mean-spirited we usually donít mind if you disagree with something weíve said. Iíve come here to talk about things I was afraid to talk to about because Iím proud and feared scandal. (Truth is Iím not that important to cause scandal in my community just because I have problems with the Churchís teaching on X.)

This right here is exactly why I love this thread so much

I'm PurpleButterfly. I am a not-quite-cradle Episcopalian, in that my parents started off by sending me to our local church's preschool, then decided to become members of the church itself shortly after my sister was born (we're 5 years and 4 months apart in age). I have never stopped considering myself an Episcopalian, but I was involved in conservative-leaning campus ministries from junior high school through the end of college, so I can very much relate to Thirteen Orphan's post on the previous page about the conflict between conservative and liberal ways of thinking and doing things. I still struggle with that influence on my spiritual life to this day, but I fundamentally believe that all people deserve to have their basic needs met and to be treated with dignity, which puts me squarely on the left.

Currently, I drive down to my church roughly once or twice a month to run the video stream and do the lay readings for our virtual Morning Prayer services. The Episcopal Church in most places in the US has fully embraced the practice of safely gathering online for all group activities, for which I am profoundly grateful.

PurpleButterfly fucked around with this message at 04:34 on Jan 14, 2021

Captain von Trapp
Jan 22, 2006

I don't like it, and I'm sorry I ever had anything to do with it.

Hiro Protagonist posted:

Has anyone else had an experience where a deeper exploration of Christianity or Christian History challenged their beliefs?

Yes, to an extent. I was raised creationist, literalist, inerrant-ist, premillenial dispensationist, and so on. But I was also a very scientifically literate kid, and by the time college rolled around it became pretty clear that in fact the universe was old, life evolved, the archaeological record doesn't map well to things like the Exodus, and other issues. Since the typical authors in that particular Christian milieu tended to have a very binary "you have to choose our worldview or you might as well be an atheist" outlook, that was hard for me.

As I broadened my horizons though, I learned that Christianity was not new to these problems. Some of the theological issues like the age of the universe were thought about and discussed a thousand years before modern cosmology. In fact many of these seeming problems were artifacts of the particularly unusual strain of American Protestantism that I was raised in. Christianity can and should and often does have a symbiotic relationship with science.

All that said, I am if anything much more orthodox in a historical sense now than before. There are things that I strongly disagree with purely secular scholars about, and no doubt they will come up in this thread from time to time.

ThePopeOfFun
Feb 15, 2010


Introduction Edit:

I'm Presbyterian by chance. I don't really know what "my" beliefs are. A Presbyterian church happened to care well for me we I needed it. It had also intentionally brought on Black leadership to address racism. Hugely healing experience for me. Same pastor is responsible for keeping me in the church. I was ready to leave the faith when Trump was elected on the white Evangelical voted. But then that pastor came on and showed me a HUGE portion of Christians of Color in America have good answers to my questions about Evangelicalism.

I'm currently in church limbo.

Having moved, my new church was silent last summer. I haven't tuned in, but I imagine they remain silent. I'll check in with congregants and evaluate whether or not staying to interrupt a largely white space is worthwhile.




Captain von Trapp posted:

Some of the theological issues like the age of the universe were thought about and discussed a thousand years before modern cosmology.

I would like to read about this! What's your source(s) you're referring to?

ThePopeOfFun fucked around with this message at 04:34 on Jan 14, 2021

PurpleButterfly
Nov 5, 2012


Haven't had a "quote != edit" moment in a while.

GreyjoyBastard
Mar 28, 2010


I've made a huge mistake.



I am, as far as I know, our only Hindugoon. Hindoon. Raised Episcopalian, can still argue that I'm a moderately heretical Episcopalian despite primarily worshipping Kali, which might itself be a sign my Episcopalian upbringing was pretty good.

specifically, loosely aligned with the teachings of a very, very strange man who was more or less one of the early Unitarians and also the product of a long-rear end tradition of Bengali goddess-worship - Sri Ramakrishna, which is incidentally also a silly name for a shakta guru / saint / whatever, what with being Vishnu's two most famous manifestations* mashed together

GreyjoyBastard fucked around with this message at 04:44 on Jan 14, 2021

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019

... of course!

what even is hinduism anyway

(I am led to believe this is a genuine non-shitpost theological question within hinduism writ large)

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 04:43 on Jan 14, 2021

GreyjoyBastard
Mar 28, 2010


I've made a huge mistake.



Fritz the Horse posted:

what even is hinduism anyway

(I am led to believe this is a genuine non-shitpost theological question within hinduism writ large)

A gigantic syncretic mess designed to knit together many, many, many, many, many different sub-religions, even if you can loosely group a lot of their current versions under three popular deity-concepts. There are a lot of me-adjacent people who make a point of saying they're not Hindu because they dislike some prominent characteristics of historical Hinduism (most notably, but not limited to, the caste system) and they have a perfectly valid viewpoint.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Hello again, religionthread! Progressive lapsed Catholic raised in a family that was half Catholic and half United Methodist, which led to really interesting family holidays sometimes, although we could all agree on the common bonds of hotdish and church basements.

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019

... of course!

ahem

casserole


edit:

exhibit A: green bean casserole

exhibit B: tater tot casserole

and whatever lil' smokeys sausages are, they've been the new hotness in church basement food since I dunno, the 90s

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 05:22 on Jan 14, 2021

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Either works, I just tend to use casserole to refer to the baking dish as opposed to the food it contains.

Gaius Marius
Oct 9, 2012



If you dump a can of cream of mushroom, a can of tuna, some velveeta, and some green peas over some noodles. Then bake it at 350° for twenty minutes you've made a hotdish.

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019

... of course!

Our differences in fairly terrible Midwestern US after-church potluck terminology are irreconcilable.

I propose we schism.

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




I mean we could, but you know it's going to take forty-five minutes and another cup of coffee before anyone can talk themselves around to trying to leave.

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019

... of course!

I believe now is the point I remind the thread that the Lutheran Insulter exists and is extremely fun: https://ergofabulous.org/luther/

quote:

You are like the frogs of old who could not put up with a log for lord; instead they got a stork that pecked their heads and devoured them. You are a desperate, accursed thing.

From Whether Soldiers, too, can be Saved, pg. 112 of Luther's Works, Vol. 46


Liquid Communism posted:

I mean we could, but you know it's going to take forty-five minutes and another cup of coffee before anyone can talk themselves around to trying to leave.

Okay but, who gets the organist? There is only one person in town who can play our organ. My recipes are obviously superior and I claim the organist.

(my dad does an awesome Reuben casserole, all homemade. homemade corned beef, saeurkraut, dill pickles, etc)




edit: a large proportion of Religionthread posters are from the upper midwest. I do not have a good explanation for this phenomenon other than green-bean and tater-tot casseroles when well-executed are actually quite good.

Fritz the Horse fucked around with this message at 05:34 on Jan 14, 2021

Liquid Communism
Mar 9, 2004


Out here, everything hurts.




Fritz the Horse posted:

(my dad does an awesome Reuben casserole, all homemade. homemade corned beef, saeurkraut, dill pickles, etc)

Ground beef, sliced potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, carrots, celery, onion, and sour cream was the thing here. With biscuits on top.

Fritz the Horse
Dec 26, 2019

... of course!

Liquid Communism posted:

Ground beef, sliced potatoes, cream of mushroom soup, carrots, celery, onion, and sour cream was the thing here. With biscuits on top.

Think what you will, so make in your pants, hang it round your neck, then make a jelly of it and eat it like the vulgar sows and asses you are!

From Against Hanswurst, pg. 187 of Luther's Works, Vol. 41

Nth Doctor
Sep 7, 2010

Darkrai used Dream Eater!
It's super effective!




My friends, casseroles and hot dishes are nice but can't we all agree that the pies made by the littlest and oldest ladies are the best thing on the 1970’s era card table over by the coffee urn?

Caustic Soda
Nov 1, 2010


Hey thread, long-time reader, rarely a poster. I'm a cradle atheist from a culturally lutheran country (Denmark). these threads were one of the first placed I encountered the concept of religious intellectual traditions. Before that my exposure to religion in general and christianity in particular had consisted of:

a) baptism-confirmation-marriage-burial religion, which is only kept around out of tradition but doesn't mean much in peoples everyday lives
b) the kind of religious people who get on the news, i.e. not the kind of people who seem reasonable or sensible
c) mormon missionaries, which seemed kind and likeable enough, but didn't exactly give me a reason to believe
d) some in hindsight very dated and protestant/atheist historiography, which had given me a mistaken impression along the lines of "during The Middle Ages THE CHURCH monopolized all truth and suppressed any opposition, but then The Reformation and more importantly THE ENLIGHTENMENT happened, and now people were capable of reasoning".

What I'm saying is, these threads have been an eye-opening and very enjoyable set of experiences.

Zazz Razzamatazz
Apr 19, 2016

No hunks allowed, ya dangus

Fritz the Horse posted:

ahem

casserole

Uff da.

Worthleast
Nov 25, 2012

Possibly the only speedboat jumps I've planned



Nth Doctor posted:

My friends, casseroles and hot dishes are nice but can't we all agree that the pies made by the littlest and oldest ladies are the best thing on the 1970’s era card table over by the coffee urn?

The smell of stale coffee fills the church of God.

Nth Doctor
Sep 7, 2010

Darkrai used Dream Eater!
It's super effective!




Worthleast posted:

The smell of stale coffee fills the church of God.

It's a step up from the aroma of burnt offerings.

Sleng Teng
May 3, 2009



Like a few others I am a lurker without faith (raised Catholic) who enjoys reading these threads, so hello

Also according to my phone calendar it is Orthodox new year, so happy Orthodox new year everyone!

Sankta Lucia
Jan 3, 2013



Checking in. I'm a Catholic lurker who converted at 15 (just weeks after my Lutheran confirmation). I'm in a bit of a limbo and have been for a while due to an attachment to the Church and its traditions that I can't shake, despite being an out lesbian who plans to live my life in a committed monogamous relationship that probably won't be blessed by the Church in my lifetime. Since I'm not really involved in a faith community of any kind, this thread has become bit of a substitute for me

Hiro Protagonist
Oct 25, 2010

Last of the freelance hackers and
Greatest swordfighter in the world


How do people in this thread deal with the constructed nature of Christianity? So much of what Christians take for granted theologically is the result of centuries of discussion and argument from people who based their thoughts on their assumptions. While it was originally focused entirely on Jewish issues and identity, it quickly focused on Roman theological concerns and developed alongside that culture's assumptions, both logical and cosmic. If the Trinity and Jesus' relationship to God are both developed from a worldview we no longer agree with, can they still be valid?

Deteriorata
Feb 6, 2005

The general increasing love of athletics is benefiting our young men, and making their lives better and more worth the living.

Hiro Protagonist posted:

How do people in this thread deal with the constructed nature of Christianity? So much of what Christians take for granted theologically is the result of centuries of discussion and argument from people who based their thoughts on their assumptions. While it was originally focused entirely on Jewish issues and identity, it quickly focused on Roman theological concerns and developed alongside that culture's assumptions, both logical and cosmic. If the Trinity and Jesus' relationship to God are both developed from a worldview we no longer agree with, can they still be valid?

The universe did not change when the heliocentric model was developed, only our way of describing it. Reality is what it is regardless of us; we're all blind men trying to describe an elephant to each other.

Similarly, God did not change, only Man's attempt to describe him and our interactions with him. We've always been wrong in our attempts to use finite words and concepts to describe the infinite. I think we're less wrong than we used to be, but still struggling.

Hiro Protagonist
Oct 25, 2010

Last of the freelance hackers and
Greatest swordfighter in the world


I agree with that, but then why follow the Christian faith in particular? Why not UU, or deism, paganism? Just personal preference? I worry that, because I consider human attempts to comprehend the Divine to be inherently doomed to fail, you cannot make any meaningful statements about the Divine. It becomes like those centrists that say because both sides "have problems" they're both equally bad, and everything becomes a blurred mess with nothing defined.

Not criticizing anyone's faith, of course, more working out my own stuff and how I consider one should relate to the Divine while being open minded.

ThePopeOfFun
Feb 15, 2010


Hiro Protagonist posted:

How do people in this thread deal with the constructed nature of Christianity? So much of what Christians take for granted theologically is the result of centuries of discussion and argument from people who based their thoughts on their assumptions. While it was originally focused entirely on Jewish issues and identity, it quickly focused on Roman theological concerns and developed alongside that culture's assumptions, both logical and cosmic. If the Trinity and Jesus' relationship to God are both developed from a worldview we no longer agree with, can they still be valid?

I think this comes down to Jesus' claims about himself, whether you believe them or not. While constructed, there is also consensus. I'm not sure we can expect a religion or system of belief to develop any other way than through the people who first received it. Paul agrees with you in part (to the Jew first, then to the Greek), of course. It HAS been a problem for me that the white US church has constructed a centuries old faith to justify and dance around confronting white supremacy/Christian nationalism. That's my primary concern at the moment.


EDIT: I think it's also practice. Christianity very much should be an active religion and understanding comes through practice.

ThePopeOfFun fucked around with this message at 16:17 on Jan 14, 2021

Nckdictator
Sep 8, 2006
Just..someone

Hi all! Former evangelical turned Friend/pseudo-Universalist here. Pretty left-wing politically but with a strict commitment to non-violence.

Thanks for whomever answered my question about online Quaker meetings in the last thread (I would quote you but I canít find the old thread now).

So, random thought Iíve been mulling recently: reading Tolstoy roughly a decade ago was a huge part of my spiritual journey and I found much value in his writings.. but recently I became aware of how he treated his wife, quite bluntly he raped her and used her as a ďbaby factoryĒ in a horrible form of abuse. I know we shouldnít put people on a pedestal but I think you can see why that was shocking to find out for me. Ultimately I figured it just loops back to what Fred Rogers said that ďthe people who are very, very good sometimes can also be very, very bad sometimesĒ but I wonder if Iím dismissing Sophia Tolstoyís suffering by thinking that.

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment




I think you can and must have a relationship with his writings and his works without having the same relationship with the man himself. I adore Dickens and he was a right poo poo to his wife too.

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Hiro Protagonist posted:

I agree with that, but then why follow the Christian faith in particular? Why not UU, or deism, paganism? Just personal preference? I worry that, because I consider human attempts to comprehend the Divine to be inherently doomed to fail, you cannot make any meaningful statements about the Divine. It becomes like those centrists that say because both sides "have problems" they're both equally bad, and everything becomes a blurred mess with nothing defined.

Not criticizing anyone's faith, of course, more working out my own stuff and how I consider one should relate to the Divine while being open minded.
One of the factors you have to consider is individual experience. I was pretty wideranging/agnostic until I had a personal event and resulting experience on the grounds of a nearby Buddhist temple, and now I am a Buddhist (if not of that temple's sect). I have no idea how common experiences such as this are, but when they happen to you it's very hard to argue with them. So this isn't always a process done by cost-benefit analysis, or based on philosophical comparison and contrast.

Sankta Lucia
Jan 3, 2013



Nessus posted:

One of the factors you have to consider is individual experience. I was pretty wideranging/agnostic until I had a personal event and resulting experience on the grounds of a nearby Buddhist temple, and now I am a Buddhist (if not of that temple's sect). I have no idea how common experiences such as this are, but when they happen to you it's very hard to argue with them. So this isn't always a process done by cost-benefit analysis, or based on philosophical comparison and contrast.

This. Religious experiences are strange, but so immensely powerful. For me, Christianity just feels right and makes sense for me. I can't explain it but my faith has persevered despite not nurturing it for long stretches of time. There's no alternative.

Lutha Mahtin
Oct 10, 2010

Your brokebrain sin is absolved...go and shitpost no more!


Fritz the Horse posted:

I believe now is the point I remind the thread that the Lutheran Insulter exists and is extremely fun: https://ergofabulous.org/luther/

it's important to acknowledge the man who was saying "much like your posting" over 500 years ago

Freudian
Mar 23, 2011

God Can't Hate Forever



Went to a Methodistish church when I was growing up, but it never really grabbed me and I slid into casual atheism - about five years ago I started finding myself connecting with Judaism, and now I'm a member of the UK movement of Liberal Judaism (roughly on par with the more progressive wing of American Reform, as I understand it). Still an atheist!

By popular demand posted:

Some thoughts on Judaism:
Post WW2 and the founding of Israel Judaism is considered by many, possibly most Jews to be a matter of heritage at least as much as a faith system.
This outlook is well supported by tradition as a 'converted Jew' historically was the common way to refer to a person rather than acknowledging their new spiritual outlook and a new convert to Judaism is referred to as an ex-gentile.
some traditions call for honoring ex-gentiles as they came over by choice but there are of course dickheads who refuse to acknowledge a new convert and their offspring as proper Jews.

A bit from wikipedia


I have a love-hate relationship with my heritage, I despise this sort of regressive xenophobia especially in a faith which otherwise encourages debate and open-mindedness.
In a very real way modern Jewish thought just went to sleep and left the worst conservative shitheads to guard the gate.

that's enough for this post, please add your thoughts as jews or gentiles or whatever.

Speaking as a convert, or Jew by choice, or however you want to put it - like I say above, to a progressive movement - I was specifically told, again and again, "when you're a Jew, you're a Jew", and that to bring up someone's conversion as a mark against them was a sin in and of itself. I've known a number of Jews by choice, and they range the entire gamut of approaches to their Judaism, from people who came to shul once in a while, to people who kept asking questions even when the rabbi wanted to move on, to someone who if you cut him open would have the sh'ma written on the inside of his spine. It's incredibly shameful that even after a century such as the 20th, there are still people who think there is such a thing as "Jewish blood", rather than Jewish spirit. Points if you remember who else thought this, and how they put it into practice!

GreyjoyBastard posted:

I am, as far as I know, our only Hindugoon. Hindoon. Raised Episcopalian, can still argue that I'm a moderately heretical Episcopalian despite primarily worshipping Kali, which might itself be a sign my Episcopalian upbringing was pretty good.

specifically, loosely aligned with the teachings of a very, very strange man who was more or less one of the early Unitarians and also the product of a long-rear end tradition of Bengali goddess-worship - Sri Ramakrishna, which is incidentally also a silly name for a shakta guru / saint / whatever, what with being Vishnu's two most famous manifestations* mashed together

I would love to know more about Kali! I know extremely little about her, except that she's got what seems to be an incredibly unfair rap in Western circles, likely because of A) the Thuggee cult and British sentiments against it, B) that one Indiana Jones movie, and C) isn't she always depicted holding a severed head?

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Freudian posted:

C) isn't she always depicted holding a severed head?

And often standing on the dead body of Shiva!

Thirteen Orphans fucked around with this message at 20:57 on Jan 14, 2021

Freudian
Mar 23, 2011

God Can't Hate Forever



Thirteen Orphans posted:

And often standing on the dead body of Shiva!

People just can't handle a strong Hindupendent woman.

Thirteen Orphans
Dec 2, 2012

The principles expressed in the martial arts make up the backbone of my philosophy.

Freudian posted:

People just can't handle a strong Hindupendent woman.

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment




My old boss was a big fan of Kali as I recall, but my boss now is more into Shiva. I used to work with a young guy who had a little statue of Ganesha on his desk. Love the statue game in Hinduism!

BattyKiara
Mar 17, 2009


Nckdictator posted:

Hi all! Former evangelical turned Friend/pseudo-Universalist here. Pretty left-wing politically but with a strict commitment to non-violence.

Thanks for whomever answered my question about online Quaker meetings in the last thread (I would quote you but I canít find the old thread now).



That would be me, and you are still welcome to join any meeting. That goes for everyone here of course.

As for why Christianity? Well, as I see it, it is impossible for a human mind to fully comprehend God. We can only try to find our own path, and respectfully remember that your neighbour's path may be very different from your own path. God hears all prayers, if said in earnest. If you call your practice Hinduism, Christianity, or Purple Kitten living on an unknown planet in the Andromeda galaxy, is just details, that matter very little in the eyes of God. If your prayers or rituals are done in earnest belief, God accepts your faith, unconditionally.

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docbeard
Jul 18, 2011

Modern worldly poster

I was raised in the Mennonite Church, and wherever I may wander, I think that'll always be my home. My beliefs are what I would call a work in progress, even after 46 years on this rock hurtling through space and time, but they always do seem to come back to the primacy of love, with its twin faces: peace and justice. This makes me politically left-wing right now, and would probably make me a counter-revolutionary in another time and place.

I joke sometimes about the Munster Rebellion, I love the story of Jesus cursing the fig tree for reasons I can't quite articulate, I think impossible things are still worth trying, I do not live up to my ideals, but sometimes I get it right.

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