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Author Topic: Christian Sterotypes  (Read 2960 times)

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Offline FalcotTopic starter

Christian Sterotypes
« on: January 28, 2011, 11:04:05 PM »
This is to address a general opinion that doesn't particularly affect me since I am largely secular and practice and adore many aspects of many religions. but is a fundamental stepping stone in my war against ignorance This frustration applies to all religious denominations really but I am mentioning mainly the Christian aspect because of a lot of recent political and sexual controversies raised in recent threads.

Despite what the bible outlines (the bible does not condemn homosexuality only the sexual act) there is a general criterion with Judeo-Christians understanding of sex. Sex therefore according to the Judeo-Christian must be:
1. In love, between two people i.e. in a consummated marriage (which is being really conservative by the meaning), and
2. Open to procreation.

Now reason 1 is not gender biased unless you go by the archaic definition of marriage, but reason 2 is gender biased and not because homosexuality is wrong or socially corruptible but because that’s what sex is for; procreation. This criteria isn't just anti-homosexuality but also anti birth control etc (until a recent speech made by Benedict XVI in Africa) and as much as I am against anti-homosexuality I choose to say “OK, there is some merit to what is being argued”

Now where people begin to really grind me gears (keeping my comments PG13) is where people use other contextual references or say the bible 'condemns...' in that situation people are paraphrasing. The Christian standing against homosexuality is not personalized or soulless there is actual reason, that any evolutionary or modern thinker can understand (in the context I have laid out)

That being understood I hate these right wing evangelist preachers that idly condemn homosexuals and those of other religions and they are ignorant people who fail to understand (or choose to deliberately follow their own opinion on) dogma


but the point I've been wanting to make from the beginning is that: just as fundamentalist Muslims do not represent the majority and opinion of Islam, and that Americans are not predominantly rednecks and that we Canadians do not live in Igloos. These fundamentalist anti-homosexuals do not represent Christians in their entirety and most Christians do not hold personal or social grudges or plots against the homo's!

In conclusion those people who stereotype Christians as all being ignorant and intolerant, are just as bad as the people you are referring to from the news and TV. If there was a genuine Christian consensus against homosexuals then you wouldn't see the constant media attention homo-haters tend to receive since it would be (but shouldn’t) be the social norm.

In short… Don’t stereotype those of the same religion as the haters you see on TV



Hope to see your opinion!

Offline Jude

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2011, 01:06:23 AM »
42% of Protestants in America think homosexuality is morally acceptable and  62% of Catholics in America believe homosexuality is morally acceptable.  Protestants are 56% of America and Catholics are 22%, comprising a total 78% of America.  Thus roughly 28% of Christians in America are Catholic and 72% are Protestant.  Using these numbers we can calculate what percentage of Christians in America believe homosexuality is morally acceptable.

28% * 62% + 72%*42% = 17.36% + 30.24% = 47.6%

Thus the majority of Christians in America do not believe that homosexuality is morally acceptable (a slim majority I'll admit).  This kind of blows away your entire argument.  You're trying to downplay the numbers to make your point.  It's definitely quite true that not all Christians are opposed to homosexuality, but there's a reason that Christians are associated with this, and it's not unreasonable that they are.

sources:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/135764/Americans-Acceptance-Gay-Relations-Crosses-Threshold.aspx
http://www.gallup.com/poll/124793/This-Christmas-78-Americans-Identify-Christian.aspx

Offline Caehlim

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2011, 10:05:33 AM »
The Christian standing against homosexuality is not personalized or soulless there is actual reason, that any evolutionary or modern thinker can understand (in the context I have laid out)

The theory of evolution is descriptive, not prescriptive.


Offline Anithinum

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2011, 02:21:15 PM »
In theory, and I'm saying this from a completely neutral standpoint, I think that instead of focusing on what Christians are being stereotyped as, people need to look at the bigger picture.

a.) Homosexuality or not, according to the bible, all of us are going to hell...
b.) Even though back in the day the statements might have been able to be classed under; "Open to procreation", but as the world is evolving, we have to either adjust to that evolution or stand against it. Right now, the population of the planet is going out of control, the percentage of orphans or babies that never get adopted is ridiculous, where I can very openly say....in the 21st century, homosexuality may be a way to save thousands of children from growing up without a family....if religions (notice I'm not cornering one religion here) can't see that as a miracle, then that makes me question...if I adjust to their belief systems; who is the real sinner? The person falling in love with same sex and requesting the same thing we all do when we fall in love, or the person stopping that person from the one thing that may very well make the world better for countless children?

From what I've heard, every religion, apart from Buddhism strangely, is to some extent against homosexuality...homo-sexual marriage, Christianity is only being framed to a great extent because the majority of the world's population is Christian. Yes stereotype's suck, they're not true for the 100%, but they do tell a massive part of the truth, and if you look back on it...because Christianity is so international, the main religion who has a reputation against homosexual-marriage IS, like it or not, Christianity.

Offline Silk

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2011, 03:27:41 PM »

From what I've heard, every religion, apart from Buddhism strangely, is to some extent against homosexuality...homo-sexual marriage, Christianity is only being framed to a great extent because the majority of the world's population is Christian. Yes stereotype's suck, they're not true for the 100%, but they do tell a massive part of the truth, and if you look back on it...because Christianity is so international, the main religion who has a reputation against homosexual-marriage IS, like it or not, Christianity.

Also not forgetting that the members of this forum are predominately European and American, what are the religions of flavor in those particular regions? Christianity is like 45% of european religion, and 77% of American religion, because of that, its quite natural for people to think christianity when people talk about religion. Because its just the larger and more familliar religion for those in question, After all its the "Church of England" Not the "Mosque of England"

Offline itsbeenfun2000

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2011, 06:22:09 PM »
42% of Protestants in America think homosexuality is morally acceptable and  62% of Catholics in America believe homosexuality is morally acceptable.  Protestants are 56% of America and Catholics are 22%, comprising a total 78% of America.  Thus roughly 28% of Christians in America are Catholic and 72% are Protestant.  Using these numbers we can calculate what percentage of Christians in America believe homosexuality is morally acceptable.

28% * 62% + 72%*42% = 17.36% + 30.24% = 47.6%

Thus the majority of Christians in America do not believe that homosexuality is morally acceptable (a slim majority I'll admit).  This kind of blows away your entire argument.  You're trying to downplay the numbers to make your point.  It's definitely quite true that not all Christians are opposed to homosexuality, but there's a reason that Christians are associated with this, and it's not unreasonable that they are.

sources:
http://www.gallup.com/poll/135764/Americans-Acceptance-Gay-Relations-Crosses-Threshold.aspx
http://www.gallup.com/poll/124793/This-Christmas-78-Americans-Identify-Christian.aspx

Jude this is bad statistics. That is only true if the size of the populations are equal.

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2011, 07:28:39 PM »
Okay.  Setting the population of America = 100%.
56% of Americans are Protestants.  42% of American Protestants think homosexuality is morally acceptable.  56%*42% = 23.52% of Americans are Protestants who think homosexuality is morally acceptable.
22% of Americans are Catholic.  62% of American Catholics think homosexuality is morally acceptable.  22%*62%=13.64% of Americans are Catholics who think homosexuality is morally acceptable.

23.52%+13.64% = 37.16% of Americans are Protestants or Catholics who think homosexuality is morally acceptable.
22% of Americans are neither Catholic nor Protestant.

That leaves 40.84% of Americans who are Protestants or Catholics who think homosexuality is not morally acceptable.  This is a higher proportion than 37.16%, meaning that a majority of Americans who are Protestants or Catholics fall into that category.


Offline Sandman02

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2011, 08:49:57 PM »
  Ho-hum. I've heard people argue points on both sides of the argument, but the most important part of the debate is what a person seeks to do as an end result of the argument. This is where I do have an issue with people on the right, for although it is certainly OK (and healthy) to disagree with others, it is not OK to seek to legislate your values and impose your view of morality on others. For the point of gay marriage, for example, it is unjust to deny the right to a civil union to a certain part of the population. Certain churches can refuse to conduct gay marriages, and that's their right as a private institution, but as for civil unions that are carried out by the state, those need to be available regardless of sexual orientation. Marriage is a way of defining a permanent union between two people in the legal system, and carries with it certain benefits. So for god's sake, let gay couples have their tax breaks if they want them!

  The only basis for restricting homosexuality in society is one where homosexual is established as a definite, causal link to dangerous behavior, and I have not met anyone brazen enough to make the claim. As for the arguments stemming from evolution and the whole "be fruitful and multiply" mentality, I would ask those people to check why those are compelling arguments. Should it not be a person's choice as to whether they wish to procreate or not, especially in a world that is rapidly heading into overpopulation with every passing year?
 

Offline Jude

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 04:04:34 AM »
Jude this is bad statistics. That is only true if the size of the populations are equal.
If there are errors in my mathematics could you point them out in greater degree?  I don't understand from your complaint where I assumed that the populations were equal (and which populations you were saying I made that claim about to begin with).

My results actually agree with Oniya's, it's simply that she's comparing Americans who are Christian that are for and those that are against in terms of a percentage of the whole, and I specifically redid my mathematics so that the percentage of Catholics & Protestants was adjusted to be that in terms of all Christians, not the nation.  And I can prove this:
Quote from: Oniya
That leaves 40.84% of Americans who are Protestants or Catholics who think homosexuality is not morally acceptable.  This is a higher proportion than 37.16%, meaning that a majority of Americans who are Protestants or Catholics fall into that category.
37.16 + 40.84 = 78% of Americans are Christian.

37.16% of Americans are Christians who approve of homosexuality / 78% Americans that are Christians = 47.6%, the exact percentage that my calculations predicted of American Christians who approve of homosexuality.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2011, 04:09:47 AM by Jude »

Offline Anithinum

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2011, 05:43:10 AM »
  Ho-hum. I've heard people argue points on both sides of the argument, but the most important part of the debate is what a person seeks to do as an end result of the argument. This is where I do have an issue with people on the right, for although it is certainly OK (and healthy) to disagree with others, it is not OK to seek to legislate your values and impose your view of morality on others. For the point of gay marriage, for example, it is unjust to deny the right to a civil union to a certain part of the population. Certain churches can refuse to conduct gay marriages, and that's their right as a private institution, but as for civil unions that are carried out by the state, those need to be available regardless of sexual orientation. Marriage is a way of defining a permanent union between two people in the legal system, and carries with it certain benefits. So for god's sake, let gay couples have their tax breaks if they want them!

  The only basis for restricting homosexuality in society is one where homosexual is established as a definite, causal link to dangerous behavior, and I have not met anyone brazen enough to make the claim. As for the arguments stemming from evolution and the whole "be fruitful and multiply" mentality, I would ask those people to check why those are compelling arguments. Should it not be a person's choice as to whether they wish to procreate or not, especially in a world that is rapidly heading into overpopulation with every passing year?
 

couldn't agree more.

Offline Silk

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2011, 10:17:53 AM »
Certain churches can refuse to conduct gay marriages, and that's their right as a private institution, but as for civil unions that are carried out by the state, those need to be available regardless of sexual orientation. Marriage is a way of defining a permanent union between two people in the legal system, and carries with it certain benefits. So for god's sake, let gay couples have their tax breaks if they want them!


Which then leads to the issue of those "private institutions" near on demanding that their private veiws be enforced pubically via law enforced mandates, or in another term, have their cake and eat it.

Offline Noelle

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 01:21:41 PM »
It is certainly OK (and healthy) to disagree with others, it is not OK to seek to legislate your values and impose your view of morality on others.

Mehhhhhhhhhhhh, this isn't quite true. If it were, we would have no law at all. Just because you think it's morally reprehensible to violently throttle people who walk slowly in the mall and take up all the space, doesn't mean I agree with you. And believe me, I'd love to introduce those slow-walking space-hogs to my fist, but the rule of law in the US has imposed that I can't do this without serious consequence. It's the whole reason people debate back and forth on things like abortion and gun laws -- pro-lifers think pro-choices are imposing their disgusting lack of morality on others by allowing murder. Pro-choicers think pro-lifers are imposing their religious and self-righteous laws to control a woman's body. People against gay marriage think those godless liberal heathens are imposing their godless liberal heathen law (this is probably an exaggeration, but you get what I mean), etc. And so it goes.

The issue isn't who is imposing on who -- we're always going to be imposing on someone. The tricky part is imposing what will uphold and even further the health (mentally/physically/etc) and safety of our society overall and not just for the benefit of one major group. That's why, for example, in the civil rights movement, despite blacks being the minority, it was decided that treating others like human beings and granting them basic dignity and respect was more important than the delicate sensibilities of the majority -- white people -- who were benefiting from their oppression. That's where you can also apply granting gays the right for a legal union, which you basically did anyway in your post. Yay!

At any rate, in terms of linking gays with "dangerous" behavior -- I'm almost certain you've already met people making that claim. They make it every day -- that children need to be raised by a man and woman (implying that being gay is unhealthy/unfit/will cause a child to grow up weird), that being gay stems from sexual abuse, that gays are child molesters and pedophiles. People who treat it like a 'choice' often treat it like it's a rebellious behavior the same way teens who drink and smoke and drive too fast are rebelling against their parents. Silliness at its finest.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2011, 02:53:43 PM »
From what I've heard, every religion, apart from Buddhism strangely, is to some extent against homosexuality...homo-sexual marriage...

I am certainly no expert on Daoism/Taoism, but I am not aware of any anti-homosexuality within its tenets.  I am pretty sure Wicca has nothing against homosexuality.  And I know many Native American cultures allowed men to live as women including marrying (although they could not be first wives because the first wife had the responsibility to give children).

Offline Oniya

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Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2011, 03:15:20 PM »
I am pretty sure Wicca has nothing against homosexuality.

I have to say that Paganism is all over the board on this.  There are Pagan groups specifically geared towards homosexuals, some that elevate one gender or the other (regardless of sexuality), some that are all about the male/female duality, and some that don't really get into it one way or the other.  I will also say that regardless of one's sexuality, there is most likely a Pagan group that is cool with it.

Of course, it is also said that if you put ten Pagans in one room, you'll get thirteen different explanations of Paganism.

Offline Brandon

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2011, 03:30:44 PM »
I am certainly no expert on Daoism/Taoism, but I am not aware of any anti-homosexuality within its tenets.  I am pretty sure Wicca has nothing against homosexuality.  And I know many Native American cultures allowed men to live as women including marrying (although they could not be first wives because the first wife had the responsibility to give children).

This is all correct and there are other sects of Christian and Protestant faith that have similar views. Also Hinduism (which is the 3rd largest faith in the world?) is also unsure of where to stand on whether or not homosexuality or the act of homosexual sex is right or wrong. Being unsure is the third basic camp. There are not just two ways of looking at the issue

I think this needs to be said, a long time ago Jude and Hairyheretic, and others but it was mainly Jude and Hairy, asked me to start making a distinction between Anti-theists and Athiests. I have been doing that for a long time but its always bugged me that the same care isnt paid toward the different faiths of the world. I think its about time I ask the same thing of the community who comes here to discuss these things.

Anyway, now I have to make a direct challenge to Jude with this question. Statistically speaking, when does a sterotype stop being a stereotype? I ask because of the utter arbitrary nature the statistic vs the stereotype seems to have.

Offline Jude

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2011, 05:56:00 PM »
I don't know.

What really baffles me about the various denominations of Christianity today is that historically when an important point of disagreement between followers of the same religious sect arose, that point became the basis of a schism that resulted in the birth of separate movement.  Lutheranism was born out of Catholicism in that way, which gave way to other denominations, and so on and so forth.  However, it wasn't just the sub-sects that changed as a result -- the original denomination eventually liberalized as well (in due time) to stay socially relevant.  The reformation and the counter-reformation were engines of religious and societal progress that helped set the stage for the enlightenment and moved Europe forward.  I think modern Christianity could easily benefit from more schisms.

I'd love to be able to point out a large sect of Christianity that is influential and has liberalized official dogmatic viewpoints during discussions like these.  It isn't that I doubt the existence of such congregations, it's just that they don't have the public presence and influence to make themselves a force in modern society the same way that Catholics and Mormons do.  What's even harder to comprehend is why the authoritative figures of Catholic Church refuse to deem homosexual relationships acceptable when the majority of practitioners of Catholicism have already.  Why do the majority of people supporting these authority figures with their tithes continue to do so while people like the Pope proclaim their opinions theologically incorrect as part of official church dogma?

I can't answer your question with the degree of specificity that you'd like, but I can tell you when people will stop thinking of Christians as anti-gay:  when a large group of Christians comes out united against theological opposition to the natural orientation of homosexuals, and actually does something about that difference of opinion other than talk.  I hear, "I disagree, but I'm going to remain part of the church" so often.  Usually it's given under the justification of "and I plan to reform things from within," however I can't really take that seriously unless the person saying it is a Cardinal in the line of Papal succession (or an analogous position for Mormons, for example).  To me it's basically saying, "their disapproval of homosexuality isn't important enough to leave over."

I could be wrong about that, but if it is so very important, why not follow the tried and true historically proven method of forming your own denomination?  Do that and the stereotype will, in time, come to apply only to the groups which gay-accepting Christians have left, and not Christians as a whole.

Not to say the stereotype is 100% fair, but to say it's completely unfounded is outright false.  Stereotypes should never form a universal basis of judgment, they merely serve as a tool with which to draw inferences from about a person before you know them.  Statistics are best-guesses at situations in abstraction, not on a case-by-case level.  If someone was to deem all Christians to be anti-gay even when presented with knowledge to the contrary, that's an example of bigotry, I'd say.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2011, 06:00:58 PM by Jude »

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Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2011, 07:39:41 AM »
I can't answer your question with the degree of specificity that you'd like, but I can tell you when people will stop thinking of Christians as anti-gay:  when a large group of Christians comes out united against theological opposition to the natural orientation of homosexuals, and actually does something about that difference of opinion other than talk.  I hear, "I disagree, but I'm going to remain part of the church" so often.  Usually it's given under the justification of "and I plan to reform things from within," however I can't really take that seriously unless the person saying it is a Cardinal in the line of Papal succession (or an analogous position for Mormons, for example).  To me it's basically saying, "their disapproval of homosexuality isn't important enough to leave over."

Quote
Do that and the stereotype will, in time, come to apply only to the groups which gay-accepting Christians have left, and not Christians as a whole.

I have to agree with that point. Were that to happen I'd be far more willing to let go of my prejudice for the religion. Christianity hasn't exactly proved itself to have stellar followers in my mind as they are the majority of people you'll run into, and many are furthering this stereotype. You give me a time when I can run into someone whom I find out is Christian and not go "shit, let's play Russian Roulette and see if I'm hell bound, vile or just a fag." When I no longer have to emotionally hesitate the moment I hear their religion, then I suppose a great amount of progress.

Also the irony of Christian Stereotypes and how hard they are on the group is not lost on me. No, stereotypes are not fun, they suck big time. But nevertheless they form and maintain for a reason, and I would love to see that change as a matter of fact. I'm all for that, it's a bit awkward to meet someone whom is Christian and take 10 times longer to warm up to them because I subconsciously pull back from them emotionally.

/twocents

Offline Brandon

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2011, 05:25:26 PM »
I don't know.

What really baffles me about the various denominations of Christianity today is that historically when an important point of disagreement between followers of the same religious sect arose, that point became the basis of a schism that resulted in the birth of separate movement.  Lutheranism was born out of Catholicism in that way, which gave way to other denominations, and so on and so forth.  However, it wasn't just the sub-sects that changed as a result -- the original denomination eventually liberalized as well (in due time) to stay socially relevant.  The reformation and the counter-reformation were engines of religious and societal progress that helped set the stage for the enlightenment and moved Europe forward.  I think modern Christianity could easily benefit from more schisms.

I'd love to be able to point out a large sect of Christianity that is influential and has liberalized official dogmatic viewpoints during discussions like these.  It isn't that I doubt the existence of such congregations, it's just that they don't have the public presence and influence to make themselves a force in modern society the same way that Catholics and Mormons do.  What's even harder to comprehend is why the authoritative figures of Catholic Church refuse to deem homosexual relationships acceptable when the majority of practitioners of Catholicism have already.  Why do the majority of people supporting these authority figures with their tithes continue to do so while people like the Pope proclaim their opinions theologically incorrect as part of official church dogma?

I can't answer your question with the degree of specificity that you'd like, but I can tell you when people will stop thinking of Christians as anti-gay:  when a large group of Christians comes out united against theological opposition to the natural orientation of homosexuals, and actually does something about that difference of opinion other than talk.  I hear, "I disagree, but I'm going to remain part of the church" so often.  Usually it's given under the justification of "and I plan to reform things from within," however I can't really take that seriously unless the person saying it is a Cardinal in the line of Papal succession (or an analogous position for Mormons, for example).  To me it's basically saying, "their disapproval of homosexuality isn't important enough to leave over."

I could be wrong about that, but if it is so very important, why not follow the tried and true historically proven method of forming your own denomination?  Do that and the stereotype will, in time, come to apply only to the groups which gay-accepting Christians have left, and not Christians as a whole.

Not to say the stereotype is 100% fair, but to say it's completely unfounded is outright false.  Stereotypes should never form a universal basis of judgment, they merely serve as a tool with which to draw inferences from about a person before you know them.  Statistics are best-guesses at situations in abstraction, not on a case-by-case level.  If someone was to deem all Christians to be anti-gay even when presented with knowledge to the contrary, that's an example of bigotry, I'd say.

There is a large difference between differences in ideological focus and irreconcilable differences. For me, the differences have not yet reached irreconcilable and I doubt they ever will. The turning point for me would likely be the vatican, pope, or diocese actively promoting violence against any group that has done nothing to us (and before anyone jumps on the crusades/inquisition band wagon Ill point out that no such event has happened in my lifetime).

If everyone leaves a group everytime an ideaolgical difference comes up there wont be any groups for long. Think about it, should I have just left Elliquiy when I felt that cliques were impeding my ability to socialize with other members or when I felt theocism had gotten so out of control I felt discriminated against? I hope you would agree with me that the answer is no. It doesnt matter if its Elliquiy, my friends, or the Catholic church. The best weapon we have to promote change for the better is words, spoken as a member of the group.

I have to agree with that point. Were that to happen I'd be far more willing to let go of my prejudice for the religion. Christianity hasn't exactly proved itself to have stellar followers in my mind as they are the majority of people you'll run into, and many are furthering this stereotype. You give me a time when I can run into someone whom I find out is Christian and not go "shit, let's play Russian Roulette and see if I'm hell bound, vile or just a fag." When I no longer have to emotionally hesitate the moment I hear their religion, then I suppose a great amount of progress.

Also the irony of Christian Stereotypes and how hard they are on the group is not lost on me. No, stereotypes are not fun, they suck big time. But nevertheless they form and maintain for a reason, and I would love to see that change as a matter of fact. I'm all for that, it's a bit awkward to meet someone whom is Christian and take 10 times longer to warm up to them because I subconsciously pull back from them emotionally.

/twocents

Im about to summarize something Oniya said awhile back. Your view of a group of people is colored by the people you meet. If a persons exposure to christians is only from a family that is the very fire & brimestone kind of belief then that is the stereotype they walk away with and hold for a long time. Its part of human nature, likely going back to our more tribalistic mentality of sorting tribes into easy to understand summaries.

However while I would call it human nature, I can also say that it can be overcome with hard work and consistant exposure to people who dont ring true to the stereotype. It took me years to mentally condition myself to look at each person as an individual rather then a member of a racial, religious, political, or social group and even though I do have the occasional slip I believe it is possible to do away with the mentality altogether

Offline Braioch

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Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2011, 07:22:07 PM »
I'm about to summarize something Oniya said awhile back. Your view of a group of people is colored by the people you meet. If a persons exposure to Christians is only from a family that is the very fire & brimstone kind of belief then that is the stereotype they walk away with and hold for a long time. Its part of human nature, likely going back to our more tribalistic mentality of sorting tribes into easy to understand summaries.

However while I would call it human nature, I can also say that it can be overcome with hard work and consistent exposure to people who don't ring true to the stereotype. It took me years to mentally condition myself to look at each person as an individual rather then a member of a racial, religious, political, or social group and even though I do have the occasional slip I believe it is possible to do away with the mentality altogether

Actually the majority of people I have met that are Christian are not in fact of the fire and brimstone category. Many of those that I have met are much more subtle and in many ways for that reason, worse than the fire and brimstone. I've met far too many Christians who I thought were cool and said they were, only to spout off what they really thought when they thought no one would really care and I found out about it. I have found far too many to be judgmental and then unwilling to be honest about it because a good chunk of people wouldn't like them for it.

I do not judge the Christians that I meet, my first instinct is not that I'm going to be accosted, or that they must be a raving psychopathic asshole. No, my first reaction is immediate caution and a greater emotional distance than I would if I were to have not known or met someone else. So don't say that I lump them together immediately without any prior judgment. I give everyone a chance, even if I pull back from those people, I still give them a chance and if I didn't do that I wouldn't have some of the friends I do today.

Offline Noelle

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2011, 09:25:30 PM »
There is a large difference between differences in ideological focus and irreconcilable differences. For me, the differences have not yet reached irreconcilable and I doubt they ever will. The turning point for me would likely be the vatican, pope, or diocese actively promoting violence against any group that has done nothing to us (and before anyone jumps on the crusades/inquisition band wagon Ill point out that no such event has happened in my lifetime).

What constitutes a point of irreconcilability? Is turning a blind eye to the fact that your doctrine fuels things like bullying against gays simply an "ideological focus" (or the lack, thereof), or is it a sign of a troublesome trend that's been ongoing for some time now? How many centuries would you like an anti-gay sentiment to be rooted in the church before it's unsupportable? How long would you like the AIDS epidemic to go on, and how many people would you like to see suffer and die because the Pope is spreading lies about contraception to a group of people who listen to him before it goes from being a point of divergence on focus in ideology and becomes a legitimate problem? Not all devastation comes out and pops you in the nose, in fact, quite often, it doesn't. A lot of it is literally centuries in the making and most have grown too complacent to give enough of a damn to take any kind of substantial stand against it. Slacktivism in the form of "talking about it" and signing online petitions and making cute avatars and other things that make you feel good about it and never going beyond that is as useful as the color pink is for curing breast cancer. That is to say, it's not -- at least not on its own.

We can't all care about everything at once, there's too much in this world that needs curing or aiding or helping or worrying, but if it were any other movement -- any other movement or philosophy or religion at all that was only provoking the suffering of millions due to the spread of HIV/AIDS and whose ideas were being used to vindicate bullying and violence against gays (or any group, for that matter), it's pretty difficult to argue that anyone associate with said group would be horrified and would do what they could to distance themselves from any association with that group. And if suffering from a distance doesn't directly provoke you to any actual action (and let's be honest, it's easy to become only temporarily distracted by suffering that seems so distant from us), then just say so.

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If everyone leaves a group everytime an ideaolgical difference comes up there wont be any groups for long. Think about it, should I have just left Elliquiy when I felt that cliques were impeding my ability to socialize with other members or when I felt theocism had gotten so out of control I felt discriminated against? I hope you would agree with me that the answer is no. It doesnt matter if its Elliquiy, my friends, or the Catholic church. The best weapon we have to promote change for the better is words, spoken as a member of the group.

Should you have? That's not really a fair question, is it? If I were in your position and I felt so horribly discriminated against while amongst peers I voluntarily associate with, of course I would leave, why wouldn't I? My time is better spent elsewhere if it's really so disabling and if I'm feeling that offended and outcast from a group that clearly has a different view. You make the mistake of assuming that leaving one group means that others don't exist. Groups are going to form everywhere, it's even already predicted for you in tribalistic human nature, which means there is a group you could feel better suited to if another one was that horrible to you. But that is, after all, just what I would do, and is the danger of using your own choices as an assumption of what others would choose.

And really, I have to disagree with your last statement; the best weapon you have to promote change is to take initiative and show you're willing to actually do something to provoke change, even if it is difficult (as true, long-lasting, powerful change often is). Example: Let's say you're standing on a stage facing a group of people who are against people who kick puppies. You're looking out at those people and you're swearing up and down that they don't kick puppies and that things will get better, but what you can't see is that the audience is looking behind where you're standing, to where members of your group are...kicking puppies. And if you glance over your shoulder and see that and still swear you're not a puppy-kicker, what speaks louder? Your words or what people you freely associate with are doing in spite of those words? What are those words doing to change the minds of the puppy-kickers -- do they even care?

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Im about to summarize something Oniya said awhile back. Your view of a group of people is colored by the people you meet. If a persons exposure to christians is only from a family that is the very fire & brimestone kind of belief then that is the stereotype they walk away with and hold for a long time. Its part of human nature, likely going back to our more tribalistic mentality of sorting tribes into easy to understand summaries.

However while I would call it human nature, I can also say that it can be overcome with hard work and consistant exposure to people who dont ring true to the stereotype. It took me years to mentally condition myself to look at each person as an individual rather then a member of a racial, religious, political, or social group and even though I do have the occasional slip I believe it is possible to do away with the mentality altogether

So how many people do I have to meet that aren't the typical puppy-kicker fire-and-brimstone Christian before they become more than just an exception to the rule? It's human nature to categorize because it's easy and helps us not only predict, but appropriately adjust our own behavior in response; it's not just a matter of a caveman-like "THIS PERSON IS CHRISTIAN, CHRISTIAN BAAAAD". If I meet someone new who seems like they're very conservative, I'm probably not going to bring up certain topics I think will upset them or start unnecessary controversy as a matter of courtesy. Your speech patterns and behavior naturally shift with anyone you meet, whether or not you're consciously thinking DON'T JUDGE THIS PERSON THEY ARE AN INDIVIDUAL and I'm pretty sure that no amount of purposeful conditioning will breed that out of you or any other human being.

Hell, you can even look at it as basic Pavlovian conditioning, if you'd like. If I meet 100 Christians and 98 of them don't believe in contraception, think homosexuality is the equivalent of pedophilia, and that all non-believers are going to suffer unspeakable pain in an eternity of damnation, then there's a pretty good chance I'm going to associate most Christians with Things I Don't Like. Ring a bell, and the dog salivates as it associates that sound with food -- Ring the Christian bell, and I'm probably going to get a bad taste in my mouth from all the negative experiences I've ever had with them.

As Braioch mentioned, and in an addendum to my aforementioned 'matter of courtesy' piece, that judgment does not necessitate that said judged person is automatically going to be treated like shit, merely with caution in respect to what has happened in past encounters. Sometimes you don't even notice that caution. Maybe it's not fair to that person if they're genuinely not like the others, but that only makes them an exception to the more general rule. Ten dogs bite you and you're going to be cautious about approaching the eleventh.

Offline Jude

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2011, 10:13:01 PM »
Every disagreement is not reason enough to leave, but to me you're basically saying "the anti-gay position of the Catholic Church is not reason enough for me to find another group that is more progressive towards homosexuals."  Your continuing membership in a faction that officially denounces homosexual behavior as unacceptable is pretty much saying "that issue isn't important enough to me to cause me to leave."

I have to respectfully say that thinking you can reform the Catholic Church as a layperson is horribly mistaken.  The Church's Hierarchy is designed (and has been throughout history) so that the members of the church have no input on the theological practices of the Church.  It isn't a Democratic institution:  the Vatican is an old-school theological dictatorship with the "Divine Right of Kings" embodied in the Pope.  It's middle-ages thinking and not particularly amenable to reform.

Offline Brandon

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2011, 10:52:57 PM »
What constitutes a point of irreconcilability? Is turning a blind eye to the fact that your doctrine fuels things like bullying against gays simply an "ideological focus" (or the lack, thereof), or is it a sign of a troublesome trend that's been ongoing for some time now? How many centuries would you like an anti-gay sentiment to be rooted in the church before it's unsupportable? How long would you like the AIDS epidemic to go on, and how many people would you like to see suffer and die because the Pope is spreading lies about contraception to a group of people who listen to him before it goes from being a point of divergence on focus in ideology and becomes a legitimate problem? Not all devastation comes out and pops you in the nose, in fact, quite often, it doesn't. A lot of it is literally centuries in the making and most have grown too complacent to give enough of a damn to take any kind of substantial stand against it. Slacktivism in the form of "talking about it" and signing online petitions and making cute avatars and other things that make you feel good about it and never going beyond that is as useful as the color pink is for curing breast cancer. That is to say, it's not -- at least not on its own.

irreconcilability is subjective. What I find irreconcilable will not be the same for everyone else.

The purpose of your other questions seems to either be goad me into an emotionally driven state so you can later report me to the staff or to try and embarrass me in some way. I've fallen for those traps before and I wont be doing it again.

Should you have? That's not really a fair question, is it? If I were in your position and I felt so horribly discriminated against while amongst peers I voluntarily associate with, of course I would leave, why wouldn't I? My time is better spent elsewhere if it's really so disabling and if I'm feeling that offended and outcast from a group that clearly has a different view. You make the mistake of assuming that leaving one group means that others don't exist. Groups are going to form everywhere, it's even already predicted for you in tribalistic human nature, which means there is a group you could feel better suited to if another one was that horrible to you. But that is, after all, just what I would do, and is the danger of using your own choices as an assumption of what others would choose.

The answer to the question is completely subjective, there is no right or wrong answer so yes I think it is fair. By showing a parallel that others here can relate to it helps them look at it from my point of view rather then in a way they might not understand.

On that note, I never said that there were not other places to go or even that another place couldnt be created. What I commented on was if everyone was constantly leaving groups that they did not agree with the finite nature of said groups would form a problem as groups would be in constant flux, unable to really form a group for a length of time before everyone would move on to the next one

And really, I have to disagree with your last statement; the best weapon you have to promote change is to take initiative and show you're willing to actually do something to provoke change, even if it is difficult (as true, long-lasting, powerful change often is). Example: Let's say you're standing on a stage facing a group of people who are against people who kick puppies. You're looking out at those people and you're swearing up and down that they don't kick puppies and that things will get better, but what you can't see is that the audience is looking behind where you're standing, to where members of your group are...kicking puppies. And if you glance over your shoulder and see that and still swear you're not a puppy-kicker, what speaks louder? Your words or what people you freely associate with are doing in spite of those words? What are those words doing to change the minds of the puppy-kickers -- do they even care?

Fair enough, we can agree to disagree

So how many people do I have to meet that aren't the typical puppy-kicker fire-and-brimstone Christian before they become more than just an exception to the rule? It's human nature to categorize because it's easy and helps us not only predict, but appropriately adjust our own behavior in response; it's not just a matter of a caveman-like "THIS PERSON IS CHRISTIAN, CHRISTIAN BAAAAD". If I meet someone new who seems like they're very conservative, I'm probably not going to bring up certain topics I think will upset them or start unnecessary controversy as a matter of courtesy. Your speech patterns and behavior naturally shift with anyone you meet, whether or not you're consciously thinking DON'T JUDGE THIS PERSON THEY ARE AN INDIVIDUAL and I'm pretty sure that no amount of purposeful conditioning will breed that out of you or any other human being.

Its subjective. Again if a person never meets a more open minded christian like myself they tend to associate all people of said group with whatever stereotype they've formed in their mind. The moment they discover that people of said group arent all alike the seeds of doubt around the stereotype form but how many people that subject has to meet before the stereotype is broken is completely subjective

Every disagreement is not reason enough to leave, but to me you're basically saying "the anti-gay position of the Catholic Church is not reason enough for me to find another group that is more progressive towards homosexuals."  Your continuing membership in a faction that officially denounces homosexual behavior as unacceptable is pretty much saying "that issue isn't important enough to me to cause me to leave."

I have to respectfully say that thinking you can reform the Catholic Church as a layperson is horribly mistaken.  The Church's Hierarchy is designed (and has been throughout history) so that the members of the church have no input on the theological practices of the Church.  It isn't a Democratic institution:  the Vatican is an old-school theological dictatorship with the "Divine Right of Kings" embodied in the Pope.  It's middle-ages thinking and not particularly amenable to reform.

Again we will have to agree to disagree, I have already made visible changes in my state by talking to priests and the Bishop on a regular basis about my views on homosexuality and its role in nature. I might agree that geographically speaking Im limited in what I can do but the evidence Ive seen says the exact opposite of what history has shown.

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Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2011, 11:07:50 PM »
The purpose of your other questions seems to either be goad me into an emotionally driven state so you can later report me to the staff or to try and embarrass me in some way. I've fallen for those traps before and I wont be doing it again.

That's a bit of an unfair accusation dude, seeing as how this entire thread could be a basis for someone falling into an emotional state. As you have said repeatedly, that's subjective and accusing her because you think that's what she's trying to do isn't fair.

Which if I were to stretch a bit kinda falls under the point that's been underlined here. You've fallen for those traps before so now you stereotype anything that comes even remotely close to pulling an emotional reaction out of you, you treat it as an attack. I sincerely doubt that that is what she was trying to do because if you actually read what she was saying there, there is a strong argument there. Again subjective, but then again if you wanted to use that as an excuse, then nothing is really worth debating because just about everything is subjective.

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On that note, I never said that there were not other places to go or even that another place couldn't be created. What I commented on was if everyone was constantly leaving groups that they did not agree with the finite nature of said groups would form a problem as groups would be in constant flux, unable to really form a group for a length of time before everyone would move on to the next one

Again I have to wonder as Jude has, if you were truly bothered by something the group was doing, why would you stay in it? If they were doing something I disagreed with, and they wouldn't change, you wouldn't find me sticking with it. It's actually a lot like what Noelle said, if you're a part of a group that has a bad image based off of it's image, then you too are going to be labeled along with them, no matter how much you yourself do not stand for it.

Stereotypes exist for a reason as has been previously stated, it makes the world and people more easily compartmentalized in a mind. And they are generally formed either because of teaching, or because of experience. Most of the Christians I have met have left a bad taste in my mouth, not all, but most. And not only because of my homosexuality, but because of other views I have on the world. Not only that, but just how so many of them have acted. So yes, each new Christian I meet will instantly light up warning lights in my head, but you won't see me running or being rude.

As has been said, when I see a larger movement for changing the world in the Christian world that outgrows that of the ones who are ignorant and hurtful, then I'll be willing to let my stereotype slip away. But as it is, I have seen little changes in the Christian standpoint, except they change a bit here and there every couple hundred of years.

-shrug-


Offline Noelle

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2011, 11:35:37 PM »
irreconcilability is subjective. What I find irreconcilable will not be the same for everyone else.

That's why I asked.

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The purpose of your other questions seems to either be goad me into an emotionally driven state so you can later report me to the staff or to try and embarrass me in some way. I've fallen for those traps before and I wont be doing it again.

Sorry, what? Maybe you could keep your personal issues out of this? I don't know what I've done to you here except engage you in debate, so if you don't want to talk to other people about the things you post, then don't post. There's no need to fling accusations where they haven't been provoked in any way. Please and thank you.

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The answer to the question is completely subjective, there is no right or wrong answer so yes I think it is fair. By showing a parallel that others here can relate to it helps them look at it from my point of view rather then in a way they might not understand.

Your tone implied otherwise, that you felt your solution was quite obvious. "I would hope" implies that any other answer would be absurd.

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On that note, I never said that there were not other places to go or even that another place couldnt be created. What I commented on was if everyone was constantly leaving groups that they did not agree with the finite nature of said groups would form a problem as groups would be in constant flux, unable to really form a group for a length of time before everyone would move on to the next one

Indeed, and I countered that there are always groups out there that will have more in common with you, which would imply that you would stay with that group and there would be other like-minded individuals that would do the same. It kind of already happens. People are free to come and go from social groups as they like, nothing is holding them back, and yet the fabric of society is still whole, thus making your theory kind of irrelevant. You can leave your religion any time you want -- anyone can, and would you look at that? Christianity has maintained its prominent status for centuries, anti-gay, anti-contraceptive views and all. Imagine if people who disagreed left and helped build a new group in that time...

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Its subjective. Again if a person never meets a more open minded christian like myself they tend to associate all people of said group with whatever stereotype they've formed in their mind. The moment they discover that people of said group arent all alike the seeds of doubt around the stereotype form but how many people that subject has to meet before the stereotype is broken is completely subjective

It's not subjective. You know how stereotypes start? A general observation about a group. Stereotypes don't usually start because only one or two people are doing something, they start because a visible majority of the people are doing it. It would be foolish to think that most people are going to reconsider their view of an entire group if there are only one or two sterling examples available to offset the more noticeable figures of idiocy.

When the larger figurehead of the Catholics (The Vatican/Pope) whistles and turns their head when it comes to their dogma being used to justify violence against gays, that is active -- they're actively ignoring a chance to speak out against bigotry and reach out to the victims. They're actively promoting ignorance by sending in a figure of authority they respect to tell them not to use condoms and practice safe sex, which in turn kills millions of people through the continued spread of HIV/AIDS, but because they aren't going out and culling the AIDS-infected population with their own hands, somehow that's reconcilable? These aren't questions that are made to embarrass you, Brandon, unless you embarrass yourself. If I'm going to try to understand your point of view (and I am), these are questions that inevitably come up when I read your opinions and try to piece together your logic. You can't control the questions other people are allowed to ask of your point of view. That's not how dialogue occurs.

I feel I should also mention before this spirals back into historic conversations on the subject, yes, I am aware of Christianity's positive contributions to the world, I don't think it's a major force of evil, I wouldn't want it to disappear off the face of the earth, blah blah, etc.

Offline Brandon

Re: Christian Sterotypes
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2011, 11:47:49 PM »
That's a bit of an unfair accusation dude, seeing as how this entire thread could be a basis for someone falling into an emotional state. As you have said repeatedly, that's subjective and accusing her because you think that's what she's trying to do isn't fair.

Which if I were to stretch a bit kinda falls under the point that's been underlined here. You've fallen for those traps before so now you stereotype anything that comes even remotely close to pulling an emotional reaction out of you, you treat it as an attack. I sincerely doubt that that is what she was trying to do because if you actually read what she was saying there, there is a strong argument there. Again subjective, but then again if you wanted to use that as an excuse, then nothing is really worth debating because just about everything is subjective.

I said "seems to be". I made sure to put that qualifier in there as I always do. Noelle has every right to assure me that that wasnt how she meant it

Everything would have been fine if she just asked "What is considered Irreconcilable?" but adding those questions while knowing my background and reputation for fierce defense of my faith seems like nothing more then an attempt to goad me.

Again I have to wonder as Jude has, if you were truly bothered by something the group was doing, why would you stay in it? If they were doing something I disagreed with, and they wouldn't change, you wouldn't find me sticking with it. It's actually a lot like what Noelle said, if you're a part of a group that has a bad image based off of it's image, then you too are going to be labeled along with them, no matter how much you yourself do not stand for it.

Stereotypes exist for a reason as has been previously stated, it makes the world and people more easily compartmentalized in a mind. And they are generally formed either because of teaching, or because of experience. Most of the Christians I have met have left a bad taste in my mouth, not all, but most. And not only because of my homosexuality, but because of other views I have on the world. Not only that, but just how so many of them have acted. So yes, each new Christian I meet will instantly light up warning lights in my head, but you won't see me running or being rude.

As has been said, when I see a larger movement for changing the world in the Christian world that outgrows that of the ones who are ignorant and hurtful, then I'll be willing to let my stereotype slip away. But as it is, I have seen little changes in the Christian standpoint, except they change a bit here and there every couple hundred of years.

-shrug-

Its obvious that we have different ways of thinking, influenced by our different pasts and lifestyles. You dont have to like or agree with me but that doesnt make me wrong either.

You mentioned not seeing change and this is probably the part where we differ, where you dont see change in the church I do. This makes me think youre looking at the church from the perspective of its leaders and not its people which is the exact opposite of how I look at it. For me a King is not the kingdom, a president is not a country, a guild is not the guild leader. It is the people that make up that group and keep its ideals alive, not the leaders