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Anti-Religious on this board

Discussion in 'Empty Closets Help and Feedback' started by dano22, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. BudderMC

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    This is very true.

    But on the other hand, look at it this way. For the sake of equality, we could add Atheism into this theoretical religious section or whatever gets implemented... but none of us "Atheists" would ever post. We typically don't feel a need to declare our Atheism to the world. Nor are we really looking for support from other Atheists. Those who are religious though, are seeking people who they can relate to, because their beliefs are telling them that they, as human beings, are wrong in some way. By finding a support system, they can help to resolve some of those issues.

    Atheists, seeing as we don't believe in these things, feel there is nothing wrong with ourselves from that standpoint. We don't need a support system to sort these issues, because they simply aren't there. Relatively speaking, we're comfortable with being by ourselves.

    However, we chime in on religious threads. Why? Because, as humans, we feel the need to be right. I will stand by thinking I am right, but that isn't the purpose here. We also chime in as an attempt to help those who are struggling, by proposing they examine a solution that wasn't previously examined. It isn't necessarily to say that Atheism is right and religion is wrong, but more that "oh, you're religious? Have you considered Atheism? It may not be right for you, but at least look at your options."

    In the same way people convert to being religious, people can choose to become non-religious. No one is better than the other; they're just options. Some people neglect to look at all the choices because they are too caught up in their 'group' being right (but that's a social psychology issue).

    Providing opinions and viewpoints are what forums are for. Would a group of Atheists actively be starting threads about religion? No. But we would certainly chime in with our viewpoint, and hope it be respected, as much as we try and respect the religious viewpoints.
     
  2. Hot Pink

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    I see what you mean about religious people that may need help with dealing with their religion and their homosexuality when the religion often says it's wrong. That makes sense, but I have never tried to "convert" someone to atheism, nor would I try. Why? Atheism isn't like religion. We don't actively go out there and try to convince people that religion is wrong. If I implied that with my posts, I apologize, but that isn't me at all. On the other hand, I think that the Support & Advice forum would cover confusion of religion and sexual orientation just fine. I have seen threads about it in that forum in the past.
     
  3. Kerze

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    This. I tend to think of myself as being 'apatheist' rather than atheist because I really don't care or think about religion except when other people mention it. I think all people have the right to their beliefs, but I don't want to hear about it or have it forced on me and I won't force my views on you either. I consider pushy atheists like Richard Dawkins to be just as bad as pushy religious people. You religious views or lack thereof should in no way impact on my life.

    All in all, this sums up my views;

    [​IMG]
     
  4. BradThePug

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    I have been hurt by religion... but that being said I am still respectful of people's religions. I really am not sure of what my religion is at the moment. Just because I have been hurt by one religion does not mean that all parts of the religion are like that. Also, it does not mean that all religions are bad.

    I think that we all need to step back and look at this issue outside of the religion that we identify with.
     
  5. Alexandria

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    I absolutely agree; Further I am going to take it -- I see a LOT of complaints from the religious members here , about us 'evil atheists' (Granted not all of them say that but they imply it a LOT) being 'so hard on religious people and their beliefs'.

    I Call pure bunk on this. And fair warning - the sugar coating is washed RIGHT off for this one.

    Lets face it. Most of the members here are from the advanced first world countries - US, Europe, and the old British Commonwealth. We live in nations either with established LGBT rights, or nations working on establishing them.

    Well, guess what? When we look at nations within which that are working on establishing LGBT rights, what groups is it that we see are fighting tooth and nail to oppose simple, basic rights for ALL people?

    News flash - its the churches. Christianity, islam, catholism, and their blood brothers ALL work to fight us, and in the third world nations? Outright declare war on us. In multiple nations of Africa, people that come out as gay or lesbian or bi or trans are hunted down and murdered en masse.

    Why?

    Because those in control of the religions in those areas HATE us. Plain and simple here.

    And its not just the people within the faiths either; scriptures particularly in islam (less so but still present in the various bibles) state point blank, for us to be happy is an abomination and we are to be destroyed.

    We as LGBT Have to deal with this, CONSTANTLY.

    How many LGBT folk, particularly in the US, have been harassed or killed because we want to be ourselves within nations that have religion so dominant?

    Too damned many.

    Well, a lot of us, myself among them, have taken the time to analyze the problem, and guess what the source of this has been found to be?

    Yea. Organised mainstream religion; primarily Christianity, Islam, Catholism and its offshoots.

    No amount of sugar coating or misdirection will change this fact.

    Which brings us to the original point of this topic - many of us here have already determined this problem, and its root cause; and when we see religious people questioning, we wind up doing anything from face-palms to out right losing our temper with people that claim to be educated, but do not grasp that what they believe in is EXACTLY what is causing them grief; hells, why they came to EC to start with.

    The problem comes when their faith in their religion clashes directly with who and what they are.

    Im not singling anyone out here, mind you - this is simply an observation of what I have seen repeated, here and in person, sooooooo many times. Many realize that this conflict is fruitless and pointless and deal with it.

    However, all too many become apologists to their faiths; turning a blind eye to the evils committed in the names of said faiths - and indeed, to themselves!!! - while working against those of us TRYING to improve our and everybody's lives.

    This becomes the direct cause of tension, here and abroad. And really? speaking for myself though I suspect the sentiment is shared, when we see people complain that their religion, with all the blood on its hands, is being persecuted? We tend to just get irritated to what amounts to being a lot of pointless butt-hurt-syndrome.

    Is it harsh sounding? Perhaps - but the darkest and nastiest of truths ALWAYS is.
     
  6. Tim

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    Am I the only one who realized that the original poster used an opinion as an example as to something that offended him... then asked that we respect his opinion?

    That's a double standard. >_>

    I for one don't really care. People will have their opinions on a subject.

    Religion in the GLBT is complicated, and you cannot deny that, this is why the mods are much stricter with this topic than other topics.

    However, if you want your opinion respected, you must first respect other's opinions. As Hot Pink said, you say your view on something, and when they responded about their views on the topic, they were told to watch it, because it could be offensive.

    Let's do this with a topic other than Religion, shall we?

    A: Hi, does anyone else like Cheese?
    B: Yes, cheese is awesome.
    C: No, I find cheese to smell bad.

    Now, are you going to rage at C because they disagreed with you? No. It's their opinion.

    Religion is no different, and if someone gives you their opinion, then that's just that. Respect it and move on. If it offends you for a reason other than their opinion, like they say something like "It's been proven cheese smells horrible." then you can say something.

    No one said something like "God has been proven not to exist." or anything of the sort.

    It is your right to believe it is your job to have a relationship with (a) God. It is other people's right to choose to believe what they want.

    If people can't have a civilized conversation about it, then the no religion forum was probably a good idea.

    We can have civilized conversations about LGBT news, and (when it happens on occasion when the mods allow it), politics. Why can't we have a civilized conversation about religion?

    I will say, half the time, it feels like if you aren't religious, you get attacked on here when you state your opinion... then they get in trouble because they "offended" the religious people.
     
    #26 Tim, Apr 14, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  7. Alexandria

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    :eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap
     
  8. dreamcatcher

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    Well, as a struggling gay Catholic, I definitely have made my fair share of threads on religion. And I have gotten all sorts of responses from people who are Atheists and those that are also gay and Christian. I actually appreciate that non-religious people comment on my posts on religion because it gives me a different point of view. Also, just because someone is not religious, that doesn't mean they can't relate or help you out with any religious dilemmas you may have. They may have been in your very position and decided to opt out of religion and may have a very good reason why.

    I do admit that sometimes people's comments can get way out of hand and someone may make some very rude remarks about religious people. But there are also other examples where people have been rude about other things such as politics or the infamous "effeminate gays post". But in that case, just ignore them or if you want, debate with them respectively.

    I have never felt uncomfortable making a post on religion and I have done quite a few, so if you feel uncomfortable speaking about your beliefs or struggles, don't because I think EC for the most part, is a very supportive environment. Also there are several Gay Christians on here and there are a lot of helpful posts on reconciling Christianity and homosexuality. In fact, I've seen a whole bunch in the past couple of weeks so there are always religious people around in these threads and if you feel like discussing an issue regarding your faith you can always message them or start a thread about it. There's definitely room for everyone here, whether they're religious, non religious or spiritual :slight_smile:
     
  9. dano22

    dano22 Guest

    You guys all inspire me and I appreciate all your perspectives on these issue. Some of your opinions may sadden me but everyone has a right to their opinion. I am now gonna do the impossible and this is not because of opinions on this forum or anything its because i feel in my heart its something I got to for the better of all. Just trust me in fifty years or less the conservative religious fundamentalist will be in the minority.
     
  10. dano22

    dano22 Guest

    I want people to know that religion has hurt me too in some aspects as much as it has helped get through things in life. If it wasn't for religion my some of my family members would not be so homophobic. Religion bigotry has no place in the gay community and being a member of the church i am going to do whatever I can in my life to stop it. I know you cannot change people i have learned that in life a lot and we all just have to learn to accept it.
     
  11. BudderMC

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    I, personally, consider myself an Atheist. I have been an Atheist since I was about 13 (ironically, right after my Confirmation) for other reasons. I did not even consider being LGBT at that point in time. My religion just fell out of my life, as a result of a lack of interest and the corresponding lack of effort on my part. To me, it was a chore. It had nothing to do with my sexuality. If I believed tomorrow that a certain religion was right for me, I certainly wouldn't let my sexuality stand in the way of my identifying with it. It is also incredibly common knowledge that portions of religious texts and guidelines get lost in translation, and are not necessarily the "exact truth". Even more importantly, anyone who is remotely religious should know that the predominant ideal of identifying with a religion is the belief system that you and your God(s) share; all of the formalities are secondary.

    Your stance on this matter of religion causing tension for those who are LGBT is as though you're looking at it from only one perspective. It is very evident (and not worth debating) that someone who is religious and LGBT has inner conflict, and it is in fact due to the combination of those two things. Someone who is LGBT would be as fine as someone who is religious; just not together. But, from where you're looking at it, the solution to this is a binary one: either don't be LGBT, or don't be religious. The question I pose then becomes, why can't they be LGBT and religious?

    Religious LGBT claim that they can find peace and reconcile these two facets of their lives... and I believe them. Why? Because who am I to question what they believe? Faith is such a qualitative, non-factual, belief-based thing that there is no possible way that we can say with certainty what can and can't be done, as opposed to something more scientific (for example). What does it hurt you for them to find peace? And before someone goes on about how religious organizations are fundamentally against LGBT... it is their TEACHINGS that list these things. Personal faith is much different than organized religion; and religion is a subset of faith, not the other way around. This is a big misconception I keep seeing thrown around.

    The other thing is that when this conflict is brought up, the proposed solution is always "they should drop their religion, obviously IT is the bad one". Guaranteed if they asked the same question on a religious forum, the suggestion would be "they should stop pretending to be LGBT, THAT is the cause of your problems". The point I'm making here is that we (particularly if we want to be the 'better person' in all of this) cannot afford to be biased in our opinions. People come here looking for support. It is not our job to give them answers, but rather to give them constructive viewpoints and personal experiences to allow them to make the decision that is best for them. It is and should not be, under any means, be a battle between being LGBT and religious.

    All that being said, I understand many non-religious people here are as such because they have been hurt by religion in the past. I empathize; trust me, I really do. I can't even begin to imagine how that would affect my life if it happened to me. But at the end of the day, our personal experiences do not give us any right to be cynical towards those other people (particularly those who are new) who come to EC looking for support in finding an inner peace between their sexuality and their religion.
     
    #31 BudderMC, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  12. Alexandria

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    BudderMC -- I think you are actually trying to sidestep my point; in that it is mass, organized religion, PRIMARILY the judeoxtian cult and its offshoots, that present the problems LGBT face. I will grant there are religions and faiths that have no qualms with LGBT - but those are of the VERY small minority.

    Its a historically proven fact that the mainstream, well known religions, which are xtianity, catholism, islam, and its blood brothers, have long had issues with anyone being LGBT; and as i said have long tried to suppress and/or kill those that are LGBT. This fact is not debatable, it has and does happen. If we as LGBT do not accept this simple fact and work toward correcting it, we are *NEVER* going to be safe; we will *NEVER* be fully accepted. Hells, look in the southern states - how many of those 'good god fearing folk' are bent out of shape for the really idiotic reason of what color of skin their president is? Or better question -- How many people that disagree with a black man being president are not also 'good god fearing folk"? I bet that is a very short list. Can you imagine the uproar if a gay man took the oval office?

    One might find exceptions to that rule, sure, but the general rule is those that DO subscribe to the judeoxtian sect ARE generally the very same people that, if they are not engage in hateful acts themselves; then they SUPPORT those who ARE. They go to churches that support efforts like prop 8. They go to catholic functions which in turn support the single largest example of mans greed and corruption - the vatican. And lets not even GET into the crimes that the islamic faith commit against humanity every bloody day.

    To try and deny this simple reality is pure hogwash. And in my personal experience, I see many that try to deny it -- but when pushed, their true feelings come out. This is not me painting with a broad brush - this is me observing their own actions doing so.

    So lets bring this back into context of this board. The initial poster was upset that we dont respect his beliefs, and that we are persecuting his faith; or rather that it is allowed to happen here.

    I call bull pucky on the following grounds - that the major, main stream faiths (he may or may not be part of, I did not catch weather he specified which his was) have a historically proven, several MILLENIA history of persecuting US - and OTHERS. Christianity is GUILTY of persecution. Catholicism is GUILTY of persecution. Islam is GUILTY of persecution.

    Are we seeing a trend here yet?

    So yes, for religious people come here and DEMAND to be respected, when WHAT THEY BELIEVE is the primary source for our serious issues as LGBT, I have no qualms on calling out that hypocrisy. How can we feel safe as LGBT when we have those which are part of that which wants to destroy us stalking us even here? Hells, when was the last time a gay person declared a holy war?

    I for one refuse to shy away from reality. I for one fully intend to stand my ground, back up my stance with logic, reason and proof, and call out the hypocrisy when it presents itself.

    You say I feel it is one or another. I state it is the faiths in question that makes that stance, and I recognize it. If a religion greets me in peace, I return it. If a religion demands I die because I happen to share my bed with another person I like, than it can get properly rebuked.
     
  13. Pseudojim

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    but we're not representative of the entirety of society here, we're in a little corner of the internet designed for support. Christianity doesn't post here, islam doesn't post here, but christians and muslims do. Religion may well be deserving of these accusations here and there, but in this little corner of the internet, a ceasefire from hostilities will be more conducive to helping everyone than pointing out the faults of certain creeds and decrying them as awful things. Also, if you truly do want to change people's minds, polarising won't do it - the soft sell is the way to go.

    You don't have to censor your opinions - no-one should ever have to. But if you cushion them with softer words, you not only won't start as many fights, you'll also be more likely to induce a change of mind in someone else by providing easily accessible and unobjectionable ideas which are contrary to theirs.
     
    #33 Pseudojim, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  14. Owen

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    You can't forget the subtleties of this issue (the devil is always in the details), and the subtleties are that for many people, their congregation is a community that they depend on for friendship and emotional support. It's easy for us non-religious people to ignore that side of the coin because the same probably isn't true for us, but that's a big part of why people can't just drop the religious part of their identity when they realize that they're GLBT and they see that their religion forbids that.

    The more important issue is that the people here aren't trying to push the homophobic agendas of these organized religions, but Pseudojim already pointed that out, so I'll defer to his post, especially his point about soft sells.

    That said...

    Religion has a lot of baggage, organized religion especially. The damage it has done to the world and our community is undeniable (I won't list it because it has already been outlined in this thread and elsewhere on the internet). The number of threads I have seen on this forum in my years here, threads started by people who were having trouble accepting themselves because the religion they grew up with says being queer is wrong, troubles me and saddens me greatly. When this one institution of society is causing so much grief in our community, it leaves me unable to give any respect the institution itself.

    Which leaves me in a tricky situation (I'm not going to claim I speak for all atheists, which is why I'll use the first-person). On the one hand, there's this institution that is very reason so many people need our support in the first place, because this belief system they grew up with says that who they are is wrong. On the other hand, these people cling to these belief systems because, putting aside the internalized homophobia religion causes, it brings something positive into the believer's life: a sense of hope, and sense of community, a sense of belonging. If religion did nothing for its followers, there would be no theistic GLBT people.

    So I see these threads, with people asking for advice reconciling their religious beliefs and their sexuality when it's their religious beliefs themselves that are causing them grief, and I see it like a depressed person asking for advice on how to avoid acting on their suicidal impulses while insisting that they aren't out to cure their depression, that their depression, in fact, is an important part of who they are and something they don't want to give up. Convincing them that difficulty they're having resisting their suicidal thoughts isn't the problem, that their depression itself is the problem, is often times a lost cause because they cling too desperately to it. And even though they would be better off in the long term if they gave up their faulty way of thinking, that's something they have to do on their own if the change is going to stick. Until they can make that change on their own, the best we can do is give them advice on coping with whatever problems they have right now.

    Maybe the solution for them will be to give up religion entirely. Maybe the solution will be to adopt a less literal interpretation of their religion's core belief structure. But those us of who are religion-free can't deny that when we see so many people struggle with accepting themselves because their beliefs (which seem entirely ridiculous to us) tell them there's something wrong with them, we can't help but point our fingers at religion itself as the problem.

    But that's the key: it's religion that's the problem, not faith. And while it's impossible to reconcile religions like Christianity with being gay (if you choose to not adopt a teaching of your religion, you're creating a new one; there's no two ways about it), it's not impossible to reconcile faith with being gay. As someone who doesn't believe in superstition of any kind, I can't say I understand the mechanics of faith, but I do know that it's an extremely personal thing, so I see no reason why it couldn't be reconciled with being gay.

    So in the end, I can't say I respect religion in its entirety, and I can't honestly advocate for full tolerance of it, on this board or anywhere. But I can say that you should pick your battles. Criticize the dogma inherent in religion, not the faith. It's dogma, not faith, that says that being gay is an abomination. It's dogma that leads to persecution of our community. It's dogma, when another person implores you to accept their faith as true without any evidence, that is not worthy of total tolerance. So (constructively) criticize the dogma of a religion when someone is trying reconcile their religion with their sexuality, because dogma deserves to be scrutinized just like any information that others implore you to accept.

    Faith though? You don't need to belong to a religion to be faithful, and there are many people who have full faith in some kind of deity or power that don't belong to any organized religion. So when someone is trying to reconcile their faith and their sexuality, don't say, "It's Christianity that's making you think you aren't okay the way you are. You'd be happier if you dropped those beliefs." Say, "It's Christianity that's making you think you aren't okay the way you are. Try finding a more personal relationship with God, one based on what you think is right and what you think a just, fair, good God would want, not based on what your elders tell you is right."

    Just my two cents (maybe 200, considering how long this is).
     
  15. Alexandria

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    I do agree with most of what you say, but I think you make a crucial mistake, Owen - the dogma IS the faith for those that would take away our rights - and really, our LIVES, if given the chance. There IS no difference for them. They place their blind faith in the dogma which is designed to inspire hatred and breed violence - and for those that grow up caught between the two, much internal strife.

    I was fortunate enough to not be raised religious myself; but one of my parents WAS, and that dogma is still stuck with him today; which is why I dare not come out to him. I recognize this, and recognize that because of the decades of dogma he was put through, I will have a near impossible time of correcting that. However, IF I and others can expose the DOGMA, the FAITH, for the ill it is, maybe we can get people to finally start thinking for themselves.

    I will state I havent a lot of use for faith; Ive been screwed over by trying to have it far too many times. I prefer the proven.
     
  16. Witchcraft

    Witchcraft Guest

    omg I fail with these computer things, how can I switch this message to other thread, I had written a whole big thing for the religious forum thing but then I realized that I posted on this one, omg just everyone ignore this post
     
    #36 Witchcraft, Apr 15, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2012
  17. BudderMC

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    This pretty much sums up what I was thinking in response to the first post, Alexandria (I think anything else would just be rehashing what I already put). That, and I am certainly NOT trying to deny what you're saying. Obviously religion causes problems for LGBT. That's a fact. If I implied otherwise, then that's an error of my spewing all my thoughts out with less organization than intended.

    But the thing is, LGBT people are fine. Religious people are fine. It is only the people who are LGBT and religious that have problems, and it's due to a conflict of beliefs. Not that LGBT beliefs are right, and religious beliefs are wrong, but that they oppose one another. One is only "right" because it is deemed societally correct.

    Yes, the dogma is essentially the faith of those who would take away our rights.

    That group is a very, very small group. And certainly not inclusive of those people here, who we are really addressing this issue for; those who are LGBT and religious on EC. And it is this mentality - the one where all religious people are extremists - that is quite offensive to people. And quite possibly the thing that the OP is referencing when he mentions that everyone should have "respect".

    Surely respect includes not stereotyping all the religious people, right?

    Right. Dogma is bad. That's a given. The thing is, there's a large enough generational gap between when he was brought up and when we're being brought up that makes a huge difference. You think back in his day there would be LGBT-accepting churches?

    People (basically, the vast majority of society) are realizing more and more that a lot of the teachings in the various religious texts are incorrect or downright absurd. In this sense, religious people (LGBT or otherwise) are reconciling their beliefs. It is not strictly one's sexuality dictating the need to reconcile their beliefs; it just happens to be a big issue because questioning one's identity is more than just their sexuality... pretty much all the major facets of their life.
     
  18. dano22

    dano22 Guest

    Religion has caused a lot of problems for lgbt people I am not denying that I seen religious homophobia and I can understand how some people can be really affected by it. I lived with religious homophobes for a year and it affected me greatly. A lot of people that are religious are hypocritical there is no doubt about that. It is a very big problem in religious places and it sadly cannot be stopped. There have been murders of lgbt people that were caused by religion I will not deny that. I may be a gay christian but by being a gay christian I am not denying that religion has been involved in any wrongdoing.
     
  19. No One

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    :eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap:eusa_clap

    --------------------------------------------------------------​

    I will say that I have been told before by members of the staff when I first came to EC that strongly identifying myself as atheist during debates wouldn't be a good idea because it could offend certain people.
     
  20. dano22

    dano22 Guest

    I would not be offended by that at all being a christian every one has a right to their opinion what I have saying all along is sometimes opinions sound more stereotypical and offensive than normal.