Is this religiously offensive? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm in an online sociology class, and I have been really shocked by some of hte posts in the class. Justifying racism, freely judging other religions, etc. Some of these posts are followed up with biblical quotes and long statements about "accepting Jesus Christ into your heart". This class has no religious ties (public school), and no other religions have been presented. So I wrote this post, and am debating posting it in our "current events discussion" page. I'm not trying to offend, and it probably won't even phase any of the people saying that stuff, but I have trouble shutting my big mouth! Thoughts?

"As a non-Christian living in America, I think that I have cultivated a rather thick skin when it comes to religious discussions. I enjoy them and usually enjoy hearing others points of view. And I acknowledge that the majority of Americans are Christians, and they are a very powerful majority. Thankfully, I know many Christians who show that they can be the majority and they can be powerful and they can be secure in their faith without judging others and proselytizing and discounting any views other than their own. I greatly admire those people and think that they are doing a very good job of trying to follow Christ's word in their life. But once in awhile, I meet a different type of Christian. I meet a type who judges others freely, especially people of different religions. Or who feels that they are "ahead of the game" because they have Jesus on their side, and that gives them the right to scorn/judge/discount others. And it seems to me that behavior goes so far against what Jesus taught that I am greatly confused by it. For surely Jesus had respect for other religions. He was, in fact, Jewish. And surely Jesus taught that we should love those less fortunate than ourselves and help them. And I think he preached about not judging prostitutes, but loving them. And so I have to gather that Jesus was a big lover of people, all people, no matter what their religion and no matter how often they sinned. I also presume that there is something in the bible about spreading his word, and so I am sure that is what many Christians feel they are doing, but I doubt that his intention was for anyone's religion to be disrespected and discounted by his followers. But perhaps I am wrong.

I apologize if I distorted anyone's religious views here, that wasn't my intention. But I must admit that I have been rather shocked and concerned by some of the views expressed in the discussions, and I am just confused. I thought Jesus taught that above all, we should love EVERYONE."

(I didn't post this in the religion section because I was interested in opinions from religious as well as non-religious people, and didn't think I'd find the latter there.)
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#2 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 02:48 PM
 
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I've gotta head out but I do feel your pain. This is a huge source of contention for me (I'm Christian) b/c I do not understand why the Dobson-lovers and their ilk even call themselves Christians. All they care about is taking rights from gay families and being pro-life but then doing jack little about all the existing babies.

And yes, the hate and judgment regarding other religions and such gets on my LAST NERVE.

What you said about Jesus is how I try to think. And I honestly feel that some "Kristians" have it all wrong.
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#3 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 02:52 PM
 
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I think the letter is good. I'm a Christian but like you said, Jesus was about loving those who weren't "socially acceptable" and about loving ALL. Christianity isn't about just believing and accepting Christ, it's about loving his people. If you have love, you have nothing.

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#4 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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I think what you wrote is well thought out , thought provoking and non-offensive.
Where I live I come across a lot of those kind of christians. It's a shame some use religion as a justification to hate and when it's the majority religion it makes it scary (thankfully those kind seem to be the exception, a loud one though).

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#5 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 02:57 PM
 
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[QUOTE=weeirishlass;9831703]. I thought Jesus taught that above all, we should love EVERYONE."
QUOTE]

He did.

Not everyone seems to *get* that though.

Besides there is a whole entire crapload of other pages in the Bible to justify their poor behavior.

Sorry you are having to deal with Bible beaters! :
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#6 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 03:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by weeirishlass View Post

(I didn't post this in the religion section because I was interested in opinions from religious as well as non-religious people, and didn't think I'd find the latter there.)
There are non-religious people there

OK, I think the letter is good. I want to hear specifics about what they are talking about and the context and stuff. Just because I'm nosey.

Your letter doesn't come out sounding like it could be offensive at all.
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#7 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 03:13 PM
 
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I don't see it as offensive at all, but then I'm not really in the group who MIGHT take offense...haha I feel the same as you do about proseltyzing (sp??) and I always think, 'Man that must make Jesus feel SO sad'.

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#8 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 03:16 PM
 
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I like the message you've written.

How is the instructor in the class? Perhaps this might make for a good, and highly moderated, class discussion?

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#9 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 03:17 PM
 
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It sounds good. I would cut out the "perhaps I am wrong" because it sounds passive-aggressive.
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#10 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 03:24 PM
 
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I like your letter but as a pp said I am not in a group who would become offended easly (as I really have no religeous inclination at all)

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#11 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 04:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
I've gotta head out but I do feel your pain. This is a huge source of contention for me (I'm Christian) b/c I do not understand why the Dobson-lovers and their ilk even call themselves Christians. All they care about is taking rights from gay families and being pro-life but then doing jack little about all the existing babies.

And yes, the hate and judgment regarding other religions and such gets on my LAST NERVE.

What you said about Jesus is how I try to think. And I honestly feel that some "Kristians" have it all wrong.
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#12 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 06:07 PM
 
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I agree with you.

And believe it or not, within Christianity there is a lot of judgement. For instance, according to some Christians, I am going straight to hell because I'm Catholic.

It is frustrating.
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#13 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 06:15 PM
 
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I have to wonder if any Christians in your "target audience" are going to take offense to your interpretation of what Jesus said and did. I think that if a non-Jew tried to tell me what Judaism was about, I'd be offended. But, if you DID describe Jesus' teaching accurately, then I can't see how it could be offensive.

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#14 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I have to wonder if any Christians in your "target audience" are going to take offense to your interpretation of what Jesus said and did. I think that if a non-Jew tried to tell me what Judaism was about, I'd be offended. But, if you DID describe Jesus' teaching accurately, then I can't see how it could be offensive.
I've been a Christian my whole life, and I can attest to the fact that her statements about what Jesus taught were right on. They are of course only a part of whole picture, but a part non the less that should be taken to heart.

To the OP, I feel your pain about Christians who judge others. It's part of the reason why I feel so many people get turned off to Christianity. Judging others and discrimination is NOT what Jesus taught.

Bethany, crunchy Christian mom to Destiny (11) Deanna (9), and Ethan (2)

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#15 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 06:22 PM
 
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I love what you wrote, although I would leave out the "But perhaps I am wrong" part because it seems a little passive-aggressive to me. Other than that, post it!
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#16 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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It sounds good. I would cut out the "perhaps I am wrong" because it sounds passive-aggressive.
Ha! Great minds think alike.
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#17 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 06:35 PM
 
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I have to wonder if any Christians in your "target audience" are going to take offense to your interpretation of what Jesus said and did. I think that if a non-Jew tried to tell me what Judaism was about, I'd be offended. But, if you DID describe Jesus' teaching accurately, then I can't see how it could be offensive.
I'm in agreement here. You really have no business saying "that behavior goes so far against what Jesus taught" and then later go on to say all of the things you "assume" or "think" He taught. Incidentally I subscribe in general to the "Jesus is a liberal" philosophy, but not all Christians do. You really can't argue against their view of Christianity if you're not well informed about the religion yourself. I think you'd be better off asking questions or starting with "I'm confused. I'm not Christian, but I have in previous conversations with Christians come to believe..." You really don't seem to know enough about Protestants to share your views of what our religion teaches (which is of course highly controversial even within denominational ranks).

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#18 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I have to wonder if any Christians in your "target audience" are going to take offense to your interpretation of what Jesus said and did. I think that if a non-Jew tried to tell me what Judaism was about, I'd be offended. But, if you DID describe Jesus' teaching accurately, then I can't see how it could be offensive.
From what I've seen, many Christian groups/individuals cannot seem to agree with each other on the interpretations of what Jesus's teachings were

I admire the OP courage to stand up for what she believes in, even if it risks offending.

The OP also mentions that it's an online Sociology class, it would be interesting to know what the debate is presently centered on and what has motivated the racism and judgement of other religions.



Peace
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#19 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 07:22 PM
 
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i like the letter.
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#20 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 07:45 PM
 
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I'm in agreement here. You really have no business saying "that behavior goes so far against what Jesus taught" and then later go on to say all of the things you "assume" or "think" He taught. Incidentally I subscribe in general to the "Jesus is a liberal" philosophy, but not all Christians do. You really can't argue against their view of Christianity if you're not well informed about the religion yourself. I think you'd be better off asking questions or starting with "I'm confused. I'm not Christian, but I have in previous conversations with Christians come to believe..." You really don't seem to know enough about Protestants to share your views of what our religion teaches (which is of course highly controversial even within denominational ranks).
I disagree, and think the post was smack on. I don't think that anyone can really disagree that that was one of Jesus' teachings. Maybe they can disagree on the importance of the teaching as compared to others (this is usually where denominational differences come in), but it's right there in the Christian Bible and I don't think any Christian who knows their Bible will try to tell you it isn't.

John 13:34-35
34:"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35:By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

OP, I think the post was great. In my opinion, people secure enough in their religion will love the challenge of debating over views of Christianity and will not be insulted, but will love the debate and/or the opportunity to educate you on their religion. If people do get offended by it, though, odds are, they don't really have a leg to stand on anyways and are just mad on principle. These kind of people shouldn't be debated with anyways. It's like repeatedly doing this to yourself ------->



Good luck! I hope this sparks some awesome discussions!

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#21 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 07:46 PM
 
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Hm - I certainly agree with your sentiments, but given the context I don't think I'd post it. It's a sociology class, right? There's no reason you should have to self-identify as non-Christian, or take on other people's interpretations of their religion. This isn't about 'what would Jesus do', it's about what kind of a learning environment they're creating.

I would probably prefer something along the lines of (loosely): "I feel that this discussion has been getting off track, in ways that are potentially hurtful to other members of this campus community, whether for reasons of race, religion, or sexual orientation. While I appreciate that some class members have strongly held religious views on the various topics we have been discussing, it is important that this discussion be welcoming to all students at this public institution. This college has a policy that states "[insert something from the discrimination policy, or something about being welcoming, etc]." Please keep that in mind."
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#22 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 07:48 PM
 
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Hm - I certainly agree with your sentiments, but given the context I don't think I'd post it. It's a sociology class, right? There's no reason you should have to self-identify as non-Christian, or take on other people's interpretations of their religion. This isn't about 'what would Jesus do', it's about what kind of a learning environment they're creating.

I would probably prefer something along the lines of (loosely): "I feel that this discussion has been getting off track, in ways that are potentially hurtful to other members of this campus community, whether for reasons of race, religion, or sexual orientation. While I appreciate that some class members have strongly held religious views on the various topics we have been discussing, it is important that this discussion be welcoming to all students at this public institution. This college has a policy that states "[insert something from the discrimination policy, or something about being welcoming, etc]." Please keep that in mind."
I think that's a great idea.

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#23 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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Hm - I certainly agree with your sentiments, but given the context I don't think I'd post it. It's a sociology class, right? There's no reason you should have to self-identify as non-Christian, or take on other people's interpretations of their religion. This isn't about 'what would Jesus do', it's about what kind of a learning environment they're creating.

I would probably prefer something along the lines of (loosely): "I feel that this discussion has been getting off track, in ways that are potentially hurtful to other members of this campus community, whether for reasons of race, religion, or sexual orientation. While I appreciate that some class members have strongly held religious views on the various topics we have been discussing, it is important that this discussion be welcoming to all students at this public institution. This college has a policy that states "[insert something from the discrimination policy, or something about being welcoming, etc]." Please keep that in mind."
:
OP, I love your letter but I'd rather not get into WWJD. Religious discussion has no place in a sociology class.

Or psychology. I remember just a couple of years ago, our Psych instructor asked us to write a paper on homosexuality based on some texts we read concerning language, for instance, why do ppl feel the need to say, "my gay friend" Or "SEth, who is gay, " etc. About a third of the class objected to even writing a paper on it and instead quoted scriptures condemning homosexuality. The teacher responded pretty much the way mamastar did.

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#24 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 08:55 PM
 
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Great letter!!

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#25 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 09:05 PM
 
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As someone who is in her third semester of mostly online classes, I feel your pain. I like your post, but maybe it would even better to say "what does proselytizing have to do with this sociology class?" Hee
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#26 of 41 Old 11-26-2007, 10:52 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
I'm in agreement here. You really have no business saying "that behavior goes so far against what Jesus taught" and then later go on to say all of the things you "assume" or "think" He taught. Incidentally I subscribe in general to the "Jesus is a liberal" philosophy, but not all Christians do. You really can't argue against their view of Christianity if you're not well informed about the religion yourself. I think you'd be better off asking questions or starting with "I'm confused. I'm not Christian, but I have in previous conversations with Christians come to believe..." You really don't seem to know enough about Protestants to share your views of what our religion teaches (which is of course highly controversial even within denominational ranks).
If they are "Bible Belivin" then they belive in being "called out" for innapropriate behavior. Its somewhere in there...NT....Corinthians? I have no clue where it is but I know I have read it in the NT!

Then again....there's that whole "Splinter in my eye" scripture.

Yeah, on matters of the Bible-I am pretty much stumped. :
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#27 of 41 Old 11-27-2007, 12:18 AM
 
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I really like your original post, but I wonder about how it would fit into a sociology class (as others have mentioned).

As a teacher of online courses myself, I think you'd do best to connect it back to whatever the original question was (or topic). I'm also wondering where your instructor is in all this: he/she should be making sure that the online space is a safe, open place to discuss things. If you don't post a statement like the one mamastar suggested, maybe you could gently request your instructor to do so.

Good luck! I hope you can help make that online space a "safe" one, if not open some minds too.

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#28 of 41 Old 11-27-2007, 12:48 AM
 
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I agree with mammastar2
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#29 of 41 Old 11-27-2007, 01:18 AM
 
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I like your original post, but I like the simple "what does proselytizing have to do with this sociology class?" from another poster, too. The things you described your classmates posting are far more offensive then your own post.

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#30 of 41 Old 11-27-2007, 01:37 AM
 
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Moving this from TAO to RS because I want all the goooooood threads in myyyyyyy forum! <maniacal laughter> laughup

No, really it's because this is properly a RS thread. OP, you may post in TAO asking people to come read this thread, with a link, if you wish.

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