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Unread 03-08-2009, 04:17 PM   #4201
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For my book club next month, the book is "Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography" by Sidney Poiter.

Interesting. It is not a "regular" autobiography by any means. Seems he was a very spiritual man, but not a religious one.
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Unread 03-08-2009, 05:23 PM   #4202
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For my book club next month, the book is "Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography" by Sidney Poiter.

Interesting. It is not a "regular" autobiography by any means. Seems he was a very spiritual man, but not a religious one.
You'll enjoy, it Marge. I have it in my library and have read it several times. Really very good for an elementary school dropout.

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Unread 03-08-2009, 09:01 PM   #4203
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Default Creamation remains.....

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We don't get a new body. That's why you should take care of this one.
You die and the worms crawl in and out.
The end.

I plan to be cremated, because it's way cheaper. I don't even want the pine coffin to be burned up in. A cardboard box is good enough.
Jumping in here......you do not get burned in a cardboard box.....you get put on a slab of sorts and slid into the oven where the creamtion happens. After the process is finished there are big pieces of bone remaining. The service folks pulverize those finer and put every bit of what is left of you into a plastic bag and then into a cardboard box.

Sorry...in my previous life I was married to a funeral director/embalmer.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 06:08 AM   #4204
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Jumping in here......you do not get burned in a cardboard box.....you get put on a slab of sorts and slid into the oven where the creamtion happens. After the process is finished there are big pieces of bone remaining. The service folks pulverize those finer and put every bit of what is left of you into a plastic bag and then into a cardboard box.

Sorry...in my previous life I was married to a funeral director/embalmer.
I think it must depend on location. I discussed cremation with a local funeral director and she indicated one could choose to have a memorial service utilizing a rented coffin and the least expensive container (cardboard) for the actual cremation, thus saving the family tons of money.

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Unread 03-09-2009, 06:16 AM   #4205
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Martha, I think he probably has a good idea. Me not going to church hardly ever for the last few years is a good indicator, as well as comments I've made. (Wow, that's grammatically incorrect, but I'm too lazy to fix it. )

So, he "knows" even though I haven't come right out and told him I'm agnostic.
Ahh! I see. It's one of those known unknowns?
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Unread 03-09-2009, 06:21 AM   #4206
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Ahh! I see. It's one of those known unknowns?
Right. LOL
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Unread 03-09-2009, 06:22 AM   #4207
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Having been a Catholic, I find the New Pope to be a major disappointment for the Catholic Church. Just the 2 bolded parts above anger me greatly. I think that a Pope or 2 worked very hard with their fellow Jews to come to some sort of peace regarding the Vatican hiding Nazis during/after the war. Then along comes Pope Benedict and he decides that the Bishop's remarks are not that important.

I wrote in CE about the 9 y/o and her family. What a slap in the face for that probably religious family in Brazil who may have saved the life of their daughter. There has to be a medical clause one would think, but nope. Let's just let the mother (child) die. Infuriating.

I am also guilty of not knowing much about other religions too. I need to start reading again.
Ok, wait. The Vatican was hiding Nazis? I thought the disagreement was just that the church didn't do anything to help the Jews during the holocaust. I didn't know about this.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 06:32 AM   #4208
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Hi everyone! Glad to see this thread again!

This January I went to visit my nephew (4 years old) and niece (2 years old). One of the first serious conversations of this trip that my nephew had with me was when he tried to get me to become a Christian! My sister (the mom) quickly intervened and explained to him that he should not continue to harass me as he did not like it when people harassed him.

I was very impressed by her handling of the situation. I also recognize my (old) self in my nephew - I used to be obsessed about who was going to hell and saving them (if I liked them). Only, I was eight years old before I ever harassed (witnessed to) anyone, so he is four years ahead of me already.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 06:39 AM   #4209
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Glad to see this thread resurrected. I have not posted here but I really enjoy reading it.

I suppose if I need a label I am agnostic. I do belong to a Catholic Church although I do not attend Mass regularly. We have batptised our kids, and made them attend religious instruction through Confirmation, which here is 8th grade. My last DS make his Conformation this week so that will be then end of it. After that we have given them the choice to attend Mass and/or continue instrucution. The other 2 have declined and I expect this one to decline also. We have mainly done this to placate out families.

I still entertain the idea that there may be a God but I pretty much doubt it. However, I very much admire folks with a strong belief system. What I don't admire is folks who believe their belief system is the only one and those of us who don't share it are less than human. That always seemed pretty un-Christian to me.

I went to Catholic school for 13 years. That pretty much did me in. I got tired of the double standard. My aunt couldn't receive Communion because she divorced an abusive husband even though she attended church regularly. However, the church deacon handed out Communion after having his marriage annulled despite 2 teenage kids. He distributed Communion while his pregnant girlfriend sat in the pew. They weren't married. I wanted to puke.

What really did me in was when our friend came forward about his molestation by a priest. He confronted this individual who denied it and blamed our friend. The pastor was aware of this priest but was so busy being a drunk he didn't care. We watched our friend suffer seizures and blackouts and no one could find a cause. Finally, a physician who had ruled out neurological causes broached the subject of an emotional cause and sent him for therapy. Then the memories came flooding back. I wish there was a hell so "Father" Bruno could rot in it. We have recetnly learned he also abused another friend's brother.

I simply can't get past all this.

Anyway, thanks for bumping the thread and letting me vent.

Sharon
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Unread 03-09-2009, 06:55 AM   #4210
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Glad to see this thread resurrected. I have not posted here but I really enjoy reading it.

I suppose if I need a label I am agnostic. I do belong to a Catholic Church although I do not attend Mass regularly. We have batptised our kids, and made them attend religious instruction through Confirmation, which here is 8th grade. My last DS make his Conformation this week so that will be then end of it. After that we have given them the choice to attend Mass and/or continue instrucution. The other 2 have declined and I expect this one to decline also. We have mainly done this to placate out families.

I still entertain the idea that there may be a God but I pretty much doubt it. However, I very much admire folks with a strong belief system. What I don't admire is folks who believe their belief system is the only one and those of us who don't share it are less than human. That always seemed pretty un-Christian to me.

I went to Catholic school for 13 years. That pretty much did me in. I got tired of the double standard. My aunt couldn't receive Communion because she divorced an abusive husband even though she attended church regularly. However, the church deacon handed out Communion after having his marriage annulled despite 2 teenage kids. He distributed Communion while his pregnant girlfriend sat in the pew. They weren't married. I wanted to puke.

What really did me in was when our friend came forward about his molestation by a priest. He confronted this individual who denied it and blamed our friend. The pastor was aware of this priest but was so busy being a drunk he didn't care. We watched our friend suffer seizures and blackouts and no one could find a cause. Finally, a physician who had ruled out neurological causes broached the subject of an emotional cause and sent him for therapy. Then the memories came flooding back. I wish there was a hell so "Father" Bruno could rot in it. We have recetnly learned he also abused another friend's brother.

I simply can't get past all this.

Anyway, thanks for bumping the thread and letting me vent.

Sharon
Sharon,

Venting is allowed and encouraged. It's a damn shame your friend had to go through that. That's what gets me too. That it was known and hidden. Then I heard a catholic writer on Booktv commenting on the lawsuits etc. He was almost threatening saying that if the church goes bankrupt from all these lawsuits, all these catholic charities and hospitals would cease to exist and how terrible that would be!

Also, not in the same category as your friends but it creeps me out to know my daughter was baptized by a guy later outed as a molester!
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Unread 03-09-2009, 06:59 AM   #4211
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Red face Funeral Practices

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Originally Posted by Rainsong View Post
I think it must depend on location. I discussed cremation with a local funeral director and she indicated one could choose to have a memorial service utilizing a rented coffin and the least expensive container (cardboard) for the actual cremation, thus saving the family tons of money.

Rainsong
Oh, sorry, must have mis-read what was written. Funeral practices are pretty standard all across the country....you can have a funeral with a rented casket (after the service, the body is taken to a creamatory and the casket is sent back to the manufacture to be cleaned and re-fitted with a new lining)...you may choose to have the cremation done prior to embalming (thus saving on more costs) and have a Memoral Service with an Urn, pictures of your loved one, flowers and the whole shebang. The cardboard containter is actually a coverered stryofoam.....unless things have changed in the last 14 years, which I am sure they have, that I am unaware of.

There are so many options for funerals.....but, one thing remains the same.....count on no matter what you choose it will cost you! And any of the caskets.....metal, wood or cardboard will be priced anywhere from 100-500% over what it costs the funeral director!

I do not want anything except cremation and a private service (to allow closure for family and friends) out on some hiking trail or mountain where I can be reunited with nature!

Just my 2 cents ;->
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Unread 03-09-2009, 07:02 AM   #4212
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Sharon,

Venting is allowed and encouraged. It's a damn shame your friend had to go through that. That's what gets me too. That it was known and hidden. Then I heard a catholic writer on Booktv commenting on the lawsuits etc. He was almost threatening saying that if the church goes bankrupt from all these lawsuits, all these catholic charities and hospitals would cease to exist and how terrible that would be!

Also, not in the same category as your friends but it creeps me out to know my daughter was baptized by a guy later outed as a molester!
Martha.

If they are so worried about charities and hospitals they could consider selling some of the Vatican treasures. The artwork is truly magnificent. We only saw a small portion as there are 2 miles (yes miles) of galleries.

The only thing that keeps me from being completely discouraged is DH's aunt, who is nun and college professor, and she is the most wonderful human being on the planet.

DH's uncle was a priest that left the priesthood at 41. He eventually married and had 2 children. His wife had nothing to do with this decision as he hadn't even met her at that point. He's a great "real world" guy, which may be why he left. My MIL says her biggest dissapointment in life was when her brother left the priesthood. DH's brother (her son) was a drug user and ended up in prison. And her brother leaving the priesthood is her biggest regret? Go figure.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 07:03 AM   #4213
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Oh, sorry, must have mis-read what was written. Funeral practices are pretty standard all across the country....you can have a funeral with a rented casket (after the service, the body is taken to a creamatory and the casket is sent back to the manufacture to be cleaned and re-fitted with a new lining)...you may choose to have the cremation done prior to embalming (thus saving on more costs) and have a Memoral Service with an Urn, pictures of your loved one, flowers and the whole shebang. The cardboard containter is actually a coverered stryofoam.....unless things have changed in the last 14 years, which I am sure they have, that I am unaware of.

There are so many options for funerals.....but, one thing remains the same.....count on no matter what you choose it will cost you! And any of the caskets.....metal, wood or cardboard will be priced anywhere from 100-500% over what it costs the funeral director!

I do not want anything except cremation and a private service (to allow closure for family and friends) out on some hiking trail or mountain where I can be reunited with nature!

Just my 2 cents ;->
I was thinking I'd like to have my ashes scattered in my stampin room or better yet, at Nordstroms!
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Unread 03-09-2009, 07:20 AM   #4214
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And any of the caskets.....metal, wood or cardboard will be priced anywhere from 100-500% over what it costs the funeral director!
Almost everything you buy has the same mark-up, especially in large chains. Because they buy in quantity, wholesalers give them major discounts. Sometimes they pass those discounts along to the consumer; other times, in order to make more profit, they don't.

Folks can buy their own caskets online and save a bundle, except for shipping, of course.

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Unread 03-09-2009, 07:33 AM   #4215
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Martha.

If they are so worried about charities and hospitals they could consider selling some of the Vatican treasures. The artwork is truly magnificent. We only saw a small portion as there are 2 miles (yes miles) of galleries.

The only thing that keeps me from being completely discouraged is DH's aunt, who is nun and college professor, and she is the most wonderful human being on the planet.

DH's uncle was a priest that left the priesthood at 41. He eventually married and had 2 children. His wife had nothing to do with this decision as he hadn't even met her at that point. He's a great "real world" guy, which may be why he left. My MIL says her biggest dissapointment in life was when her brother left the priesthood. DH's brother (her son) was a drug user and ended up in prison. And her brother leaving the priesthood is her biggest regret? Go figure.
Yeah, I'd say a few pieces of art could be quietly put on the market and rake in a billion or two to pay for the lawsuits. I don't know that the vatican wants to subsidize those unruly American churches though.

And yes there are some wonderful nonjudgmental real Christians out there. However, I am still stuck on Sam Harris' point that the liberal Christians acknowledgment of some Christian truth/dogma allows the fundies to exist.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 08:12 AM   #4216
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Ok, wait. The Vatican was hiding Nazis? I thought the disagreement was just that the church didn't do anything to help the Jews during the holocaust. I didn't know about this.
Well both I think. The U.S. has some dirty hands in this too for different reasons but both had to so with communism.

While Vatican City and its many extraterritorial buildings in Rome turned into the protective semi-official refuge for hundreds of war criminals, the USA's State Department became busy integrating many of them within its multi-varied branched subterranean machinery, operating outside official officialdom."

http://www.srpska-mreza.com/Yugoslav...ing-Nazis.html



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Unread 03-09-2009, 08:48 AM   #4217
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I was thinking I'd like to have my ashes scattered in my stampin room or better yet, at Nordstroms!
LOL! I love your idea better.....wish I had said that!
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Unread 03-09-2009, 08:59 AM   #4218
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Well both I think. The U.S. has some dirty hands in this too for different reasons but both had to so with communism.

While Vatican City and its many extraterritorial buildings in Rome turned into the protective semi-official refuge for hundreds of war criminals, the USA's State Department became busy integrating many of them within its multi-varied branched subterranean machinery, operating outside official officialdom."

http://www.srpska-mreza.com/Yugoslav...ing-Nazis.html


I see. As is often the case there is much more to a story than what we read in the headlines, or in American headlines. I guess I shouldn't have said *just* that they didn't help the Jews.

Where is the great moral leadership the church should be exhibiting? Why aren't they as concerned about wars in Iraq and elsewhere as they are about abortions? They could be a great force for good. Why can't the church in the US be the rallying point for social justice and anti war activities just as the church in Poland was the rallying point for anti-communism? I will stop there before I write a novel.

Thanks for the link.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 11:14 AM   #4219
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More Americans say they have no religion

I found this article somewhat interesting...
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Unread 03-09-2009, 12:04 PM   #4220
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More Americans say they have no religion

I found this article somewhat interesting...
Yes, I saw it this morning. Also that many denominations are losing members.

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Unread 03-09-2009, 02:47 PM   #4221
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Yes, I saw it this morning. Also that many denominations are losing members.

Rainsong
I also heard this today. I think people are not going to church and are probably being more honest in how they are answering the questions about faith. To have 15% say they have no religion is really quite large. This has almost doubled in the last 18 years. It also seems that main line religions are losing the most. Very interesting Nadine. Thanks for the article.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 04:08 PM   #4222
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More Americans say they have no religion

I found this article somewhat interesting...
Not surprised that majority of Catholics are now to be found in the Southwest and California, with the rise in Hispanic populations in those areas. I don't think I realized until recently what a small proportion of the population is Jewish. I always pictured it as being much larger for some reason.

I think all these mainline religions ought to read John Shelby Spong's, Why Christianity Must Change or Die.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 04:47 PM   #4223
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Hello everyone! I'm a long-time lurker, I thought I'd finally check in. I'm not sure which I identify as, Atheist or Agnostic. I acknowledge that there may be some higher power or afterlife, but I seriously doubt it.

I haven't really given religion much thought in my life until having children in the last few years. That's forced my husband and I to really look at what our beliefs are.

My 3 year old is starting to ask questions about churches, death, and so on. Death is difficult to explain to someone that young without a comforting heaven story to go along with it, you know?

I look forward to chatting with this group!
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Unread 03-09-2009, 04:55 PM   #4224
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Hello everyone! I'm a long-time lurker, I thought I'd finally check in. I'm not sure which I identify as, Atheist or Agnostic. I acknowledge that there may be some higher power or afterlife, but I seriously doubt it.

I haven't really given religion much thought in my life until having children in the last few years. That's forced my husband and I to really look at what our beliefs are.

My 3 year old is starting to ask questions about churches, death, and so on. Death is difficult to explain to someone that young without a comforting heaven story to go along with it, you know?

I look forward to chatting with this group!

My dad died, wow, almost 6 years ago now. My oldest was almost 3yo at the time. We explained that he had lived a full life (it wasn't long enough for me, so I never used that adjective) and that sometimes people get really sick (he had cancer). She didn't quite get it, but the foundation helped later when it became more concrete. My father and step-mother are Catholic, so she explained that he was in heaven. We talked about it later how some folks find it easier to go on living thinking their loved ones are "safe in heaven".

Death is definitely a hard life lesson. My daughter does not like death - hates to hear the word; but she also isn't scared of every illness (like I first thought she might be given our explanation). I've also told her that if it helps her to believe in heaven she may, but it is her choice. I honestly don't know if she does or not - we talk when she wants to and so far that hasn't been a topic.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 05:07 PM   #4225
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I have also been lurking around the thread for a while.
I totally admit that I am agnostic...I don't think I am atheist..as I am sometimes caught praying..to whom, I don't know. I guess I am a more spiritual person and don't conform to any religion.
I was raised Catholic...and was quite involved with the church until I was about 18. I realized that my church was really corrupt (like MUCH of the Catholic faith!) and I didn't feel like I was doing myself any good when I went there to worship. I thought it was sad that our pastor was more concerned about "being popular" than he was about really servicing the community.
My mother is great friends with a priest..and has known him since the late 60's. We followed him to the church we're at now. He has been nothing but absolutely wonderful to my family, and actually paid for my grandmothers funeral and let us use the church for the luncheon and wake purposes (he was the previous pastor and has much say in what goes on around our church). But, really he is the only reason why I would ever go BACK to church.
I work with a lady that constantly preaches to me...she tells me to wait to have sex until marriage, follow the lord, read the bible..etc. I think it's so funny because she had 3 children out of wedlock...and was with the father of those children for 17 years. How hypocritical can one get??

Just thought I'd throw in my two cents
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Unread 03-09-2009, 06:23 PM   #4226
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You'll enjoy, it Marge. I have it in my library and have read it several times. Really very good for an elementary school dropout.

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Pretty amazing, huh? He had very little formal schooling.
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Unread 03-09-2009, 11:58 PM   #4227
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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Interesting article about the drop in "religious."

I can't help but wonder if the world today has a big influence on that. Technology and the internet, for instance.... my DS apparently quit believing years ago and just never said anything.

I think it's harder to insist on dogma when people have access to so much in the world.

Is it confusing for children to hear about God and then see movies about Superheroes? What kinds of questions are being asked?

Is this why some people homeschool, and keep their children in cocoons as long as possible? They don't let them see many movies (only approved ones), read threatening books (like Harry Potter), or watch much TV.

I read somewhere that approximately half of children raised this way, end up leaving the fundamental beliefs of their family. I can only imagine that many are surprised that the world is not as closed-minded and all evil as they've been taught.

I recently discovered that one of my nieces is definitely agnostic, probably atheist. She seemed relieved that she could discuss it with me. She said she NEVER brings it up with my other sister - interestingly, they were very close when she was a child.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 04:59 AM   #4228
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Interesting article about the drop in "religious."

I can't help but wonder if the world today has a big influence on that. Technology and the internet, for instance.... my DS apparently quit believing years ago and just never said anything.

I think it's harder to insist on dogma when people have access to so much in the world.

Is it confusing for children to hear about God and then see movies about Superheroes? What kinds of questions are being asked?

Is this why some people homeschool, and keep their children in cocoons as long as possible? They don't let them see many movies (only approved ones), read threatening books (like Harry Potter), or watch much TV.

I read somewhere that approximately half of children raised this way, end up leaving the fundamental beliefs of their family. I can only imagine that many are surprised that the world is not as closed-minded and all evil as they've been taught.

I recently discovered that one of my nieces is definitely agnostic, probably atheist. She seemed relieved that she could discuss it with me. She said she NEVER brings it up with my other sister - interestingly, they were very close when she was a child.

I agree Wrose.
I don't have much religious experience - but from what I've seen, Religion thrives on tradition, ritual, and believing the teachings handed down.
The media and internet have opened up what once may have been sheltered and protected from new ideas or different perspectives.

Being raised as I was... the people I admired and respected and wished to emulate growing up were the thinkers, the open-minded, well-read, well-traveled, knowledgeable people I met. I wasn't around really "religious" people until I was a teenager... it was a shocking shift.
The falseness, superiority, sanctimoniousness (wow is that a word?) was a marked difference and just served to turn me off of religion entirely.

If I was a seriously religious person... I guess the world would be a threatening place. If I wanted my children to grow up to be just like me and if I believed in a higher power so much - I would want them to "go to heaven with me". I can totally see how some people would take it to the extreme and homeschool and isolate and censor.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 05:31 AM   #4229
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What makes things really difficult for me is the hypocrisy. We are friends with a couple here and the wife is all about her church and religion. As an aside, we all love him and no one can stand her. Not because of her religious bent but because she is lazy and generally a PIA. Her hubby is a great guy who does everything and she's never satisfied.

We were all at a local restaurant after a hockey game a few years back and the subject of heaven and hell came up. I said I don;t believe in an afterlife. I felt that once we die that's it. Well...she couldn't even believe I said this. She thought I was the most horrid being on the planet,

Fast forward to this past Fall. She takes up with her old HS boyfriend, dumps hubby even though he wants to try and work things out. Hubby doesn't even know why she wants out and doesn't find out until later.

Isn't boinkin' another guy when you're married a sin? Is that Christian? But she's proudly at church every week acting the part.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 06:06 AM   #4230
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This is a very interesting thread. I don't really label myself as anything in particular besides a human being. I do think that perhaps there is some kind of higher power since so many different religions are based on one or more higher powers. I do know that being a religious person does not necessarily make you a good person and not being religious does not make you bad. If you look at our world and the many wars many countries have endured, you'll see that they are often involving religions of some sort. I do like to believe that my spirit has some place to go when I die whether it is true or not. It makes the prospect of death less scarey. When my son was 4 he saw a cemetary and asked what it was. I told him that it is where you go when you die. Later, we were in a parking lot near a cemetary. There were houses near by. My son said, "Those people are lucky. They don't have very far to go when they die." I don't think he understands the concept of death because we have not had to deal with it yet. Not sure what I will d when the time comes. I may tell him that there is a palce called Heaven if it comforts him. I may not thoroughly believe it myself but I also don't believe in Santa but it makes my son happy.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 06:17 AM   #4231
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This is a very interesting thread. I don't really label myself as anything in particular besides a human being. I do think that perhaps there is some kind of higher power since so many different religions are based on one or more higher powers. I do know that being a religious person does not necessarily make you a good person and not being religious does not make you bad. If you look at our world and the many wars many countries have endured, you'll see that they are often involving religions of some sort. I do like to believe that my spirit has some place to go when I die whether it is true or not. It makes the prospect of death less scarey. When my son was 4 he saw a cemetary and asked what it was. I told him that it is where you go when you die. Later, we were in a parking lot near a cemetary. There were houses near by. My son said, "Those people are lucky. They don't have very far to go when they die." I don't think he understands the concept of death because we have not had to deal with it yet. Not sure what I will d when the time comes. I may tell him that there is a palce called Heaven if it comforts him. I may not thoroughly believe it myself but I also don't believe in Santa but it makes my son happy.
Kids say the darndest things! Your son is adorable!
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Unread 03-10-2009, 06:30 AM   #4232
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This is a very interesting thread. I don't really label myself as anything in particular besides a human being. I do think that perhaps there is some kind of higher power since so many different religions are based on one or more higher powers. I do know that being a religious person does not necessarily make you a good person and not being religious does not make you bad. If you look at our world and the many wars many countries have endured, you'll see that they are often involving religions of some sort. I do like to believe that my spirit has some place to go when I die whether it is true or not. It makes the prospect of death less scarey. When my son was 4 he saw a cemetary and asked what it was. I told him that it is where you go when you die. Later, we were in a parking lot near a cemetary. There were houses near by. My son said, "Those people are lucky. They don't have very far to go when they die." I don't think he understands the concept of death because we have not had to deal with it yet. Not sure what I will d when the time comes. I may tell him that there is a palce called Heaven if it comforts him. I may not thoroughly believe it myself but I also don't believe in Santa but it makes my son happy.
I actually find the idea of nothingness after death less scary. Leaving religion behind lifted the burden of thinking of myself as sinful. It also made me think that I don't have to worry about purgatory or heaven or hell. I have come to the conclusion that most of us do the best we can every day and thinking of yourself as bad and sinful does nothing to enhance how you interact with the world.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 06:59 AM   #4233
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I actually find the idea of nothingness after death less scary. Leaving religion behind lifted the burden of thinking of myself as sinful. It also made me think that I don't have to worry about purgatory or heaven or hell. I have come to the conclusion that most of us do the best we can every day and thinking of yourself as bad and sinful does nothing to enhance how you interact with the world.
Good morning. I agree fully with you Martha. The fear of dying and going to hell was something I lived with daily when in a Catholic grade school. I prayed every night that I wouldn't die and go to hell as the nuns said we all would unless we were 100% obedient. After I switched religions, the hell concept kind of left but we were told weekly that we were sinful people and bad. I was very involved in Church functions and I thought I was a good person doing the right thing. My DH and I really didn't think we were bad people. We helped the less fortunate, worked in food lines for those in shelters, cared for my parents and so much more.

We just got tired of hearing how bad we were - especially during lent. During the services, we read how bad and evil we were and I just had to stop feeling and thinking this way. We are good people. I am not hurting anyone that I know of and would help anyone at a moments notice and still do even if in pain.

I think that it is comforting to many to think there is an afterlife rather than just nothing when they die. It doesn't bother me. I will live a good life and then if that it is, well so be it. If not, I am still a good person who thinks that organization religion is not healthy in many ways. People give so much money and a lot of it goes to salaries, mortgages and things that don't help the poor or those in need. Then they have to rebuild a better and bigger church and of course the people have to kick up their donations to pay for this huge building….and the poor continue to suffer.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 02:57 PM   #4234
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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I simply accepted the concept of God for so long, and never thought about it. I had spells of years of not going to church, but then I'd go back, albeit never as faithfully as when I was an unquestioning child. In fact, it was more for social reasons. In recent years, for various reasons, I stopped going again, stopped making the kids go (DH is a believer but was never religious), and simply didn't think about God much. I discovered that it made no difference in my life.

So I started thinking about it, about the possibility of a God like the one I'd hear about, who demanded worship and especially worship of only a certain kind, and a certain book.

It seemed to me that those beliefs simply made God small. And how on earth do WE purport to "know" what God wants or cares about? If God is everything he has to be to have created the universe, then how on earth can we be so presumptuous. The more I thought about it, the less real God seemed. I mean, as a person. If there is a God, it has to be some kind of huge general life force, and well, then it becomes not really a God, but more like The Force in Star Wars. Not something to waste money on, but rather why wouldn't we simply see our world as something to be taken care of, overall, because it was created for us?

Without religion, could people find a way to be kind to their fellow man? Of course. The more you think about it, the more you realize just how much religion is a construct by the powerful and intelligent of the past, to control the uneducated masses.

Ehh, my mind wanders so much sometimes, I just can't write it all down. It's boggling to me just how much people accept or explain away in the name of religious beliefs.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 04:18 PM   #4235
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I simply accepted the concept of God for so long, and never thought about it. I had spells of years of not going to church, but then I'd go back, albeit never as faithfully as when I was an unquestioning child. In fact, it was more for social reasons. In recent years, for various reasons, I stopped going again, stopped making the kids go (DH is a believer but was never religious), and simply didn't think about God much. I discovered that it made no difference in my life.

So I started thinking about it, about the possibility of a God like the one I'd hear about, who demanded worship and especially worship of only a certain kind, and a certain book.

It seemed to me that those beliefs simply made God small. And how on earth do WE purport to "know" what God wants or cares about? If God is everything he has to be to have created the universe, then how on earth can we be so presumptuous. The more I thought about it, the less real God seemed. I mean, as a person. If there is a God, it has to be some kind of huge general life force, and well, then it becomes not really a God, but more like The Force in Star Wars. Not something to waste money on, but rather why wouldn't we simply see our world as something to be taken care of, overall, because it was created for us?

Without religion, could people find a way to be kind to their fellow man? Of course. The more you think about it, the more you realize just how much religion is a construct by the powerful and intelligent of the past, to control the uneducated masses.

Ehh, my mind wanders so much sometimes, I just can't write it all down. It's boggling to me just how much people accept or explain away in the name of religious beliefs.

I started to question whether or not God was "real" when I was in middle school and things just started to click...I REALLY started to question my beliefs when I was a freshman in high school and I was introduced to the concept of evolution...it all started to make SENSE then..I guess I am just more convinced when they're are facts to back up opinions.
I was enlightened during a class I took in college which was about world religions. We only went over Christianity for about 2 days, which I thought was surprising because of the vast majority of Christians there are. It was really cool that our professor focused so much more on the other world religions-and really a lot of the concepts those religions teach are so much more feasible to me.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 04:32 PM   #4236
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I simply accepted the concept of God for so long, and never thought about it. I had spells of years of not going to church, but then I'd go back, albeit never as faithfully as when I was an unquestioning child. In fact, it was more for social reasons. In recent years, for various reasons, I stopped going again, stopped making the kids go (DH is a believer but was never religious), and simply didn't think about God much. I discovered that it made no difference in my life.

So I started thinking about it, about the possibility of a God like the one I'd hear about, who demanded worship and especially worship of only a certain kind, and a certain book.

It seemed to me that those beliefs simply made God small. And how on earth do WE purport to "know" what God wants or cares about? If God is everything he has to be to have created the universe, then how on earth can we be so presumptuous. The more I thought about it, the less real God seemed. I mean, as a person. If there is a God, it has to be some kind of huge general life force, and well, then it becomes not really a God, but more like The Force in Star Wars. Not something to waste money on, but rather why wouldn't we simply see our world as something to be taken care of, overall, because it was created for us?

Without religion, could people find a way to be kind to their fellow man? Of course. The more you think about it, the more you realize just how much religion is a construct by the powerful and intelligent of the past, to control the uneducated masses.

Ehh, my mind wanders so much sometimes, I just can't write it all down. It's boggling to me just how much people accept or explain away in the name of religious beliefs.
I agee with you. I also believe that if there is a Heaven oand a God that when we die he's not going to look at us and say" Loving faithful wife, good mother, helped charities and the homeless, discovered a vaccination for cancer, rescued a baby from a burning building. Oh I see you didn't believe in me or worship me. Sorry you can't come in. But the next guy found me while he was doing time in prison for murder. CAn you please step aside so I can welcome him." I also think it's funny when you see people on reality shows praying to God to please help then succeed in this challenge so they can try to win the million $. I think that if there is a God, he has bigger things to think about then helping you win a game.
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Unread 03-10-2009, 04:59 PM   #4237
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I agee with you. I also believe that if there is a Heaven oand a God that when we die he's not going to look at us and say" Loving faithful wife, good mother, helped charities and the homeless, discovered a vaccination for cancer, rescued a baby from a burning building. Oh I see you didn't believe in me or worship me. Sorry you can't come in. But the next guy found me while he was doing time in prison for murder. CAn you please step aside so I can welcome him." I also think it's funny when you see people on reality shows praying to God to please help then succeed in this challenge so they can try to win the million $. I think that if there is a God, he has bigger things to think about then helping you win a game.
Totally agree. But we all know that a believer will tell us that we will rot in hell for not believing "for sure" or going to worship services. And the murderer and rapists who say they are sorry at the last minute will take our place behind the Pearly Gates. And we will be going to Rainsong's Hot Rock. I think if there is a hell, we are living it. And when I look at my beautiful grandkids, I believe that if there is a heaven, this is it. Interesting isn't it?
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Unread 03-10-2009, 06:59 PM   #4238
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There is no heaven or hell...that is something the church made up to keep the masses in line so they could control you. Your soul, it's okay if you don't believe in that...but, I do...is here on earth to learn what ever it is supposed to learn in the preagreement with other souls it will meet before it takes on the human body. When the body dies it continues on the another plane of space and time to resume what it needs to learn there.

These are not my ideas or ramblings but, those of people who have had near death experiences. My father has had one when he had heart surgery about 20 years ago.

What does an aethist or agnostic believe about life after death? Do you ever have Deja Vu? What do you think about paranormal experiences? How do you explain good people having bad things happen to them? What do you think about Karma? Can you tell I am very curious?

Just so you know I believe in a higher power...like the force in Star Wars....not sure it is a man in robes with a beard though and I am a recovering Catholic. According to my mother I am going to hell because I do not go to church....Mother's got to love them!
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Unread 03-10-2009, 07:53 PM   #4239
This reminds me of a Star Trek episode....
 
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I personally am not sure I even believe there's any spiritual thing after death. I think our brain's chemistry and neurons firing can certainly make near-death experiences that seem real.

Heck, I had a dream last night that I completely thought was real until I woke up. It was extremely real.

So - I dunno.

I just haven't seen any real evidence of anything, and not for lack of trying in the past. ha ha ha

(Does Ouija board count?)
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Unread 03-10-2009, 08:00 PM   #4240
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There is no heaven or hell...that is something the church made up to keep the masses in line so they could control you. Your soul, it's okay if you don't believe in that...but, I do...is here on earth to learn what ever it is supposed to learn in the preagreement with other souls it will meet before it takes on the human body. When the body dies it continues on the another plane of space and time to resume what it needs to learn there.

These are not my ideas or ramblings but, those of people who have had near death experiences. My father has had one when he had heart surgery about 20 years ago.

What does an aethist or agnostic believe about life after death? Do you ever have Deja Vu? What do you think about paranormal experiences? How do you explain good people having bad things happen to them? What do you think about Karma? Can you tell I am very curious?

Just so you know I believe in a higher power...like the force in Star Wars....not sure it is a man in robes with a beard though and I am a recovering Catholic. According to my mother I am going to hell because I do not go to church....Mother's got to love them!
My brother says that deja vu means that you are doing exactly what you are supposed to be doing. The more often you have deja vu, the more reassured you can be that this is exactly where and who you are supposed to be.
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