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Old 03-23-2010, 09:32 AM   #1
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I will try to explain this as best as I can. I am looking for some feedback.

I have been seeing someone for about 8 months now. Things have been going really well. She's been going through a LOT of life changes and personal changes and I have been there supporting her through all of this. We are well aware of each other's religious standpoints. She is Catholic, and well, I am not really religious at all.

For the most part, we kind of avoid getting into religion debates (for obvious reasons). However, lately, I've been thinking of trying to be more supportive of her beliefs (even though they're not mine). I went to a Sunday morning Mass with her one time. It was the first time either of us attended this particular church. This church was massive. I definitely felt out of place. I think it may have been a little over the top for me, if you will. I just couldn't get into it.

I told her that, and she felt pretty similar. She is used to smaller churches and prefers that. I almost think I could adjust better in that atmosphere as well.

After thinking a little more about this... should I attend church with her? Is it wrong attending because it's something that I don't fully believe in?

Any and all feedback (positive or negative) is welcome. I just want to get an idea of what you guys and gals think. What would you do in a similar situation?
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:42 AM   #2
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It's rather about time you sit down with her and explain in a calm and polite manner that god,santa, the tooth fairy and Frodo don't exist and all belong to kids stories. Then you can go on with your life live long and prosper.

Of course given the years of psychological manipulation and brainwashing religious families put their ofspings through it might take a tad longer than this. But if you care about her you HAVE to try.
Good luck.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:05 PM   #3
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I've been in a similar situation, I've wanted to sit in on services to see how I felt, but have never had the courage to go. A friend has offered to take me to her church, but I won't go to hers as the women are not allowed to speak and cannot show their hair, and that's not something I believe in.

Try it with the smaller church, see how you feel, if you still don't like it, let her know.

Honesty is the best policy. If your both good people, you can both learn to accept each other for how you are and let each other be. She can still go without you.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:22 PM   #4
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Sounds like your friends church is run by the word of man and not the word of God. If you go to a church where "they" know what is best for you then that is a sign to depart as quickly as possible.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by the-economist View Post
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It's rather about time you sit down with her and explain in a calm and polite manner that god,santa, the tooth fairy and Frodo don't exist and all belong to kids stories. Then you can go on with your life live long and prosper.

Of course given the years of psychological manipulation and brainwashing religious families put their ofspings through it might take a tad longer than this. But if you care about her you HAVE to try.
Good luck.
I cannot agree with your statement of "psychological manipulation and brainwashing" and find it very offensive. I happen to believe and it is not a result of brainwashing or whatever you call it.

I do however believe that everyone makes their own choice and will stay with that choice throughout eternity.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:37 PM   #6
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It's rather about time you sit down with her and explain in a calm and polite manner that god,santa, the tooth fairy and Frodo don't exist and all belong to kids stories. Then you can go on with your life live long and prosper.

Of course given the years of psychological manipulation and brainwashing religious families put their ofspings through it might take a tad longer than this. But if you care about her you HAVE to try.
Good luck.
I thought I would get an answer like this. I don't see how this would be supportive of her beliefs. It would be more of me pushing other beliefs onto her.

My question to you is, just because you don't believe in God and someone else does, what makes your belief right and theirs make-believe?

By telling someone that God isn't real, doesn't exist, and belongs in a children's book, how is that any different than "brainwashing" as a church allegedly does?

I am trying to go into this with an open mind. While I appreciate your feedback and views, I think it's a little one-sided.

I am not saying that your belief is right, or hers is right, because in the end, no one knows.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Noodle22 View Post
I've been in a similar situation, I've wanted to sit in on services to see how I felt, but have never had the courage to go. A friend has offered to take me to her church, but I won't go to hers as the women are not allowed to speak and cannot show their hair, and that's not something I believe in.

Try it with the smaller church, see how you feel, if you still don't like it, let her know.

Honesty is the best policy. If your both good people, you can both learn to accept each other for how you are and let each other be. She can still go without you.
That's another thing, I don't know too much about the religion, their policies, etc. So that doesn't help with the feeling out of place. They have a lot of prayers that she and the other members have memorized and I had no idea what they were. I would like to try going to a smaller church to see if that would be an easier pill to swallow, so to speak.

She definitely knows how I feel about it, and she continues to go alone. I would just like to show her that I can be supportive of her in other areas of her life, even if it's something that I don't fully understand.
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Old 03-23-2010, 03:44 PM   #8
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jsconyers, my opinion on couple of your questions:

Yes,you might end up "attending" services, for her. But in the long-run, I hope you will find a church and a congregation in which you feel comfortable to worship as you desire. You might start out doing it for her, but I think you will be unfulfilled and seeking more.

You're seeing a denomination steeped in tradition and rules and written prayers, and only certain people can have access to God. I threw all that off a few years ago upon understanding that God loves us all equally, and really all He wants is a relationship with us. So, in my opinion, what you are "seeing" is simple "religion" the mechanics and what man has made religion, and you're getting very little answer the questions you obviously have.

I think you're still seeking. Keep at it.

But I have to say as opposed to one not knowing in the end, rather -- in the end, we will ALL know.

For your relationship? I'll tell you this: One day she is going to look to you for leadership on the matter. It is your place, when you get married, to provide that, and I'm guessing if it is important to her now, it will be then.

Last edited by JSanders; 03-23-2010 at 03:51 PM..
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:10 PM   #9
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I thought I would get an answer like this. I don't see how this would be supportive of her beliefs. It would be more of me pushing other beliefs onto her.
You don't need to be supportive, you need to be rational.
Quote:
My question to you is, just because you don't believe in God and someone else does, what makes your belief right and theirs make-believe?
Probably the fact that i don't talk to non existent entities and i don't have imaginary friends. And my point only becomes stronger when i lookup psychosis under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV)
Quote:
By telling someone that God isn't real, doesn't exist, and belongs in a children's book, how is that any different than "brainwashing" as a church allegedly does?
It really isn't. The only difference being you're basing it on science and not dogma. Any form of religion would eventually die out. At least in the educated nations.

February 16, 1600. The Roman Catholic Church that your partner participates in orders the execution of Giordano Bruno. An italian scientist. He is burnt alive for the crime of heresy. Do you know what constituted heresy in the 1600s for the Catholic Church? Defending the Copernican system of astronomy. He lost his life set to fire alive with his tongue tight in a knot so he couldn't address the public. He died defending the same principles with Galileo. Do you know WHEN the Chrurch released a statement accepting Galileo's teachings about stelar objects? In 1993! People born in 1993 are still in the education system today. So when they were born, those scientists of today, the church wanted to burn them alive.

In the middle ages they used to burn alive people with blue eyes because they supposedly were witches and wizards. And although if i tell you today that someone is a witch because of blue eyes you gonna ROTFL, how many people even today believe in superstition, not crossing the path of cats, not walking under stairs, pulling their eyebrows and making wishes. Where do you think all this crap comes from? Middle ages, some 350 years ago.

Christmas eve of 1968 the Apollo 8 mission took a pic of the planet now known as Earthrise. Do you know what happened next? People started posting in papers disputing NOT the mission, but the SHAPE of the earth. It was 1968, some aeons after the Greeks,after Galileo, some centuries after Newton, and people posted whole articles claiming the picture was fake because the earth is really FLAT! 1968! 40 years ago.

So if your partner shared ANY of the above "truths of the era" would you feel the need to be supportive or rational? If she was afraid to go out at night with you because she was brainwashed to believe in Bigfoot, the Yeti, or the Chupacambra what would you do? Be supportive and acceptive of the Yeti's existance, or be rational and disproof all stupidity to kingdom come (sic).

Just hold her tight, tell her that they've been messing with her brains, and you both don't give a flying toss if god exists or not. You got each other. Make sure to extend the message to your children when the time comes.

Last edited by the-economist; 03-23-2010 at 05:21 PM..
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Old 03-23-2010, 05:49 PM   #10
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And, with such as he stated, the-economist is espousing his form of beliefs.

But I don't think this thread was intended as a debate over whether or not God exists or the horrible circumstances surrounding (any and all) religions over the years, was it?
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:04 PM   #11
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Yeah, pretty much i did. And that's because i got the feeling from his post that he actually CARES about that woman.

If he was just trying to sleep with her my advice would probably be to tell her that Santa Maria dia St Agapius of Citra revealed Themselves to him in his sleep in ALL Their Glory and instructed him to procreate asap so to prepare The Army of Jesus for His Second Coming. The church has been exploiting fear of god for millennia. I see nothing wrong scoring a bit of strange out of it.

But i don't believe that to be the case herein.

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Old 03-23-2010, 06:16 PM   #12
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I cannot agree with your statement of "psychological manipulation and brainwashing" and find it very offensive. I happen to believe and it is not a result of brainwashing or whatever you call it.

I do however believe that everyone makes their own choice and will stay with that choice throughout eternity.
Taking offence is expected. It just proves my point.

By the way "throughout eternity" exists as a phrase ONLY in kid's stories, in cheap romance novels and religious doctrines. Nowhere else.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:33 PM   #13
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Gosh, it looks like someone found out about Santa not being real the wrong way. I don't believe I've ever seen someone so seemingly bitter and angry towards something that others believe in. Do we really need this debated?

I am NOT religious, but I do believe in keeping an open mind about what could be. And yes, that does mean I think it is possible there are Yeti's that exist. There's so much for us to learn, so much left unexplored in the world, almost nothing is conclusive.

Call me crazy, but I'm not about to doubt something that could be. We could easily say, "Where's the proof there is a God?" and "Where is the proof there is no God?"

That being said, I think we should stay on topic, this is about jsconyers specific issue.
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Old 03-23-2010, 06:54 PM   #14
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We are 100% on topic. jsconyers feels out of place in church but he can't quite yet put his finger on WHY.

When he's able to smell the BS, he'll know how to approach his partner and explain the "all eternity truths" about yetis and chupacambras and gods and daemons and tooth fairies and santa and the big bad woolf.
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Old 03-23-2010, 07:20 PM   #15
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jsconyers I commend for having an open enough mind to go and see what it is she is into!
I have been in a similar circumstance where I practiced religion in my own way!
I met someone who believed the guidance of her church while practicing her beliefs! She asked me to attend with her so that I could see what it was to her. I in turn asked her to go about it once my way!
I say go experience it with her. I'd suggest a smaller church! Go to different churches until you find one you are comfortable! Give it an honest effort you may continue to go or you may decide it isn't for you! If you both care for one another you should be able to respect one anothers differences and still carry on your relationship
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:25 PM   #16
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I do not remember who said this but the guy was a genius:

Religion is good, Religions are bad, very bad.

I have gone through various feelings about churches over my life. I married, had kids and then had them go through confirmation and such. We had rather lengthy conversations about faith, belief and finally what the bible actually was saying. I have done a lot of study and come to the conclusion that there is a big difference between what was written and how it is interpeted. In general, the magical is presented and the political downplayed or ignored.

How many of you are aware of the 6 AD rebellion and the term thieves? How many of you have read the Dead Sea Scrolls? This completely changes how you view the story of Jesus feeding the multitude. Do you understand the term "Babes in Christ"? Hopefully some of you have ears that hear.

Back to js and his question. If your girlfriend views are set in stone then you will have problems at some point. If she is truly searching for answers then it can be a journey that is worthwhile. You are aware that the Roman Catholic church has classes for those who marry. I suggest you investigate that first.

For those who wonder I am a member of a conservative church in the United Church of Christ which is rather liberal.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:50 PM   #17
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Taking offence is expected. It just proves my point.

By the way "throughout eternity" exists as a phrase ONLY in kid's stories, in cheap romance novels and religious doctrines. Nowhere else.
I respect your right to have your own beliefs about religion or lack thereof, but it appears to me you don't give others that respect if they disagree with you.

Furthermore, you are hijacking this thread, and not in a nice way.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:03 PM   #18
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js, I think you are to be commended for being willing to experience church with your girlfriend even though you don't share her beliefs. I agree with others that the experience would very likely be a lot different and less intimidating in a smaller church. I am not Catholic, but I've had Catholic friends and been to church with some of them. There's a wide variety of styles of services, from very formal services where Mass is said in Latin, to comtemporary services where people go in shorts or jeans, and they have pop to rock type music by a live band. If you find a style of service that is comfortable to you, then you can focus more on what is actually happening. You may find that you like or, or not, but at least you've taken the time to explore and that in itself is supportive to her.
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Old 03-24-2010, 05:14 AM   #19
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I respect your right to have your own beliefs about religion or lack thereof, but it appears to me you don't give others that respect if they disagree with you.
Has nothing to do with respect. If you walk into a medical practice with a gangrene infected arm and claim that god has given you the "stigmata" to suffer for all humanity the medical professional would have to ignore your "beliefs" and try to save your delusional ass. You may of course find that highly disrespectful that he doesn't recognise your one god and saviour and doesn't participate with you celebrating the revelation of the uber being, but although he's in full knowledge that the gene pool is going to suffer your future contributions, he still has to keep you alive. You know why? Because he's a scientist and can exercise rational thinking.

If you walk into a church and present the same arm and claim again suspected theistic interaction they would start singing "praise the lord".

I hope with all my heart that if someone you care about comes to you with a "divine revelation" you take them through a hospital door and not a congregation.
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Old 03-24-2010, 08:54 AM   #20
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@ez & Daphne, Thanks for your advice. I agree with what you said about the small church. I shad a conversation with her about this last night, telling her that I would like to regularly start attending church with her. I mentioned that I think we need to find another (smaller) church as I didn't feel comfortable at the one we went to originally. She agreed, and we will see how things go.

@the-economist, I see your points, and I can't say that I fully agree or disagree with you. When it comes to religion, I try to keep an open mind. There are a lot of religions and a lot of beliefs out there. My issue is when people try to force their religion or beliefs onto others. For me, it pushes me away from that or belief. That and when people put other religions and beliefs down because they differ from theirs. That theirs is superior.

The great thing about America (I know you're not in America) is that we have the freedom of religion. We are free to believe or not believe in any religion of our choice. I agree with what Daphne stated, you don't seem open to accepting other's beliefs. It's fine if you don't believe, or you think it is a fairy tale, that's your belief. But it's not fine to tell someone else their belief is incorrect just because your opinion differs.
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