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So tired of people assuming I am christian... :( - Page 2

post #21 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

 

That said....down south, I doubt I would be considered Christian enough.  My mom cannot wrap her head around it that I believe in Jesus, celebrate Christian holidays and baptize my kids.  I am Orthodox for crying out loud.  Its not like I fell off the edge of the world.  They are not just assuming you are Christian by a a generally accepted moderate definition but that you are Western Protestant Evangelical Christian who believes exactly what they do about politics .  So even a large chunk of Christians are subject to a) the visible shock and horror of finding out that someone is not an EveProt Christian (because if you are in the south and are Catholic or Orthodox you might as well be a Satanist) b) attempts to save us. 


I think it may be at least partly a denominational and/or regional thing. I get the same kind of reaction as Lilyka sometimes, and not from Roman Catholics, who are the largest Christian denomination around here, but from "EveProt" Christians. Some have been told I am "Christian" or "traditional Christian" and immediately made assumptions about my politics and family life. There seem to be a certain number of Christians who think of Christianity not as a doctrine but as a kind of lifestyle package deal. 

 

post #22 of 28

Tell me about it...I have family down south, and it's like they don't even believe that non-christians exist. I'm an atheist and the thought is positively horrifying to them.

 

I'm starting school at the University of Alabama in August, and they sent me a little card where I could mark my religious affiliation so that the local congregation could contact me. I tossed it out right away, but I recall there being no options other than different denominations of christianity.

post #23 of 28


 

Quote:
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Edited by Tradd - 7/4/11 at 7:26pm
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

From the beginning the church was very clear that to be a Christian meant believeing specific things about Christ and God the Father (and a little later The Holy Spirit).  They had no problem separating the real Christians from those people who were teaching false things about Christ.

 

That said....down south, I doubt I would be considered Christian enough.  My mom cannot wrap her head around it that I believe in Jesus, celebrate Christian holidays and baptize my kids.  I am Orthodox for crying out loud.  Its not like I fell off the edge of the world.  They are not just assuming you are Christian by a a generally accepted moderate definition but that you are Western Protestant Evangelical Christian who believes exactly what they do about politics .  So even a large chunk of Christians are subject to a) the visible shock and horror of finding out that someone is not an EveProt Christian (because if you are in the south and are Catholic or Orthodox you might as well be a Satanist) b) attempts to save us. 



There are lot of Catholics in the South. Especially in Texas and Louisiana. But also in Florida. Just because some evangelical protestants have problems with Catholics dont paint the whole South with that.

Also, there are quite a few pagans in the south too, Texas has a pretty active heathen community for instance.
post #25 of 28

Well I am a former Protestant evangelical, still identifying as a Christian, but if you chalk my "beliefs" up to any sect of accepted orthodoxy (Orthodox, Catholic or Protestant) they would label me a heretic. I was an evangelical missionary, so I know full well what "Christians" define "Christianity" as- for us evangelicals "Christ is my Savior and Lord".

 

But I've since learned there were hundreds of ideas and texts forming early Christianity, that orthodoxy prevailed for the most part sadly through persecution of others, I can't accept that "Christianity" is so easy to label. I mean, Gandhi was a Christian in my book, because he actually made Christ "Lord" of his life and obeyed His command of non-violence, when most branches of Christianity apart from Anabaptists accept violence.

 

For me the gospel is about the Kingdom of God, which cannot be contained, not salvation from a mythical hell by some magical sinner's prayer.

 

Anywho, I guess I am tired as well of being identified as something I am not as well, because I cannot explain how I am a Christian but not as you would define it without explaining all of the above =).

post #26 of 28


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by New_Natural_Mom View Post

 

I don't "do anything" that would lead anyone to assume I am christian.  It seems to be people's default setting.  I actually find it rather offensive. 

 


I think this is the heart of it. People also will always assume that someone is straight, white, able bodied, etc. unless otherwise proven. (For example, have you noticed in some books, that the person's skin color is only mentioned if they are non-white?) Setting the "norm" is part of how privileged groups maintain their privilege.

 

post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by New_Natural_Mom View Post


I don't "do anything" that would lead anyone to assume I am christian.  It seems to be people's default setting.  I actually find it rather offensive. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat13 View Post

I think this is the heart of it. People also will always assume that someone is straight, white, able bodied, etc. unless otherwise proven. (For example, have you noticed in some books, that the person's skin color is only mentioned if they are non-white?) Setting the "norm" is part of how privileged groups maintain their privilege.

 


True, the assumption can be part of belonging to a privileged category; but it can also be simply that one category is in the vast majority, or the majority in a particular setting. For example, DH and I have visited Greek or Russian Orthodox parishes, and parishoners always presumed at least one of us were of the same nationality before they even knew us. I used to belong to an Irish music and dance group, and had to keep telling people I was not Irish. I have had people take it for granted I was an atheist because everyone else at the gathering was atheist; and was once presumed to be Pagan when I attended a vegan food potluck. headscratch.gif It was not based on a feeling of privilege, just on statistics. The same could apply to a community which is almost entirely Christian (or whatever). People should certainly be aware of other religious beliefs, but the assumption is not necessarily hostile or arrogant.

 

post #28 of 28


I think you just make the decision to not let it bother you, and once you've made that decision then come up with concrete ways that you can apply when people are bugging you about your beliefs. it can even be just something as simple as a little mantra you repeat in your head while they are talking to you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by New_Natural_Mom View Post

That.  So tired of people just assuming I am christian, or if not christian then nothing, and then being sad for me because they think that.  I am tired of the subtle and not so subtle pressure to adhere to christian values and ideology when I don't believe in it at all.  I am tired of the proselytizing and bible quotes for people trying to prove I am "wrong".  I am tired of people wrapping christianity up within the context of being a good citizen or worthwhile person.  How do other non-christian mamas handle this? I want to be respectful of other people's beliefs, but it is so hard when I feel constantly disrespected.



 

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