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#91 of 699 Old 09-09-2008, 01:53 PM
 
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My definitions I have used with my kids - I am an anthropologist so that definitely influences my definitions.

Church: a community of like minded people who gather to talk, celebrate, commiserate, etc. The building they gather in is also called a church - it can also be called a temple or other word. We go to church - our UU church.

God: the sense that there is something bigger and more important than us as individuals. We sometimes ask God for help, when we need something beyond what we feel we have internally. Sometimes God is portrayed as a person who can talk to you or who is watching your actions, but those are just stories. God is an idea, not a thing or person.

Jesus: a teacher who lived a long time ago who said many wise and important things to help us live our lives better. There are many stories told about Jesus, some of which are true and some of which aren't, which talk about his life and his good deeds.

I want to get across the idea that God is a metaphor for many important ideas and feelings we humans all share. God does not need to be literally true, and Jesus does not need to be the Christ, in order for some of the concepts and emotions in religion to be valid and helpful to us as ethical beings.

In addition, dh and I need standard definitions that resonate with our kids when they hear "God bless America" or "Thank you, Jesus!", which they do hear a lot ('tis an election season, after all...).

I look forward to hearing what others say.
I really like these, thanks!
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#92 of 699 Old 09-19-2008, 04:36 AM
 
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#93 of 699 Old 09-21-2008, 08:53 PM
 
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#94 of 699 Old 09-22-2008, 08:02 PM
 
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I'm still here!

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#95 of 699 Old 10-01-2008, 02:04 AM
 
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Anyone seen the trailers for "Religulus"???

If not search for it on Youtube. It's documentary on religion from an atheists point of view...or something along those lines, but as it's hosted by Bill Mahr and directed by the guy who directed "Borat", it'll be pretty funny.
I think it's coming out this October and IMHO it looks like it will be highly entertaining!

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#96 of 699 Old 10-01-2008, 04:10 AM
 
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Anyone seen the trailers for "Religulus"???

If not search for it on Youtube. It's documentary on religion from an atheists point of view...or something along those lines, but as it's hosted by Bill Mahr and directed by the guy who directed "Borat", it'll be pretty funny.
I think it's coming out this October and IMHO it looks like it will be highly entertaining!
I can't wait to see this! It comes out on Friday.

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#97 of 699 Old 10-01-2008, 01:49 PM
 
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Anyone seen the trailers for "Religulus"???

If not search for it on Youtube. It's documentary on religion from an atheists point of view...or something along those lines, but as it's hosted by Bill Mahr and directed by the guy who directed "Borat", it'll be pretty funny.
I think it's coming out this October and IMHO it looks like it will be highly entertaining!
Wow...sounds HIGHLY promising in the hilarious department.

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#98 of 699 Old 10-13-2008, 11:12 PM
 
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Saturday. Aww man...best movie of the year, maybe my life. It was so good. Can't wait to buy it when it's out on DVD. Can't wait till everyone here sees it!

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#99 of 699 Old 10-14-2008, 12:50 PM
 
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Charlie Rose interviewed them last night on his show. Very interesting all that he has to say about the movie, and his experience. As much as it is supposed to be funny and entertaining, I think he really was trying to say something here. He also made commentary about the current presidential elections, and that for the last ??? many presidents it was almost a "requirement" to talk about that aspect of your life to get that voting base behind you.

He also commented about the European Culture is different from our own. that 50% of Italy claims to be atheist.
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#100 of 699 Old 10-14-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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Wanted to check in say I'm still here.
I would like to go see Religulus, too. I somehow found a great atheist, liberal friend through a mainstream mom's group and it's been great to be able to openly discuss politics (which indeed have somehow become quite rapped up in religion) with someone other than my family. We're going to try and take our pregnant selves out to see that movie sometime next week.

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#101 of 699 Old 10-14-2008, 01:01 PM
 
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There is definitely a message in the movie. Yes, I laughed non-stop, but the message is very clear. As an atheist, it was the first time I've seen a movie relating to religion that spoke everything I believe. The whole time I kept going "yeah that" and "that's what I think, too." Sometimes it was like Bill Mahar was taking the words right out of my head. Very reaffirming.

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#102 of 699 Old 10-15-2008, 01:36 AM
 
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ooh! I can't wait to see it!
The reviews I read a little while ago were pretty negative. But that's to be expected. It seems these days it's impossible to be even the least bit critical or questioning of mainstream religion in the media or in general society without being attacked.
DH and I were watching a re-run episode of Seinfeld the other day. In the show, Elaine was dating Putty and borrowed his car. She was surprised to find that all his radio stations were set to Christian stations and confronted him about it. Throughout the show there were funny pokes and jokes (nothing derogatory or hateful or anything like that, of course) about religious people AND non-religious people in the usual Seinfeld style. DH and I were commenting that this show aired originally about 10 years ago and if it were to air for the first time NOW I think people would be up in arms. It's interesting how things have changed.

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#103 of 699 Old 10-18-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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Just found this thread! yay!

I read somewhere recently that "spirituality" is a sense of connection with something -- could be other people, or nature, or the "divine" or whatever. I really liked that definition. I always was uncomfortable when people talked about spirituality, because I thought that it implied religion and so I thought I didn't have any, but this new definition made me realize that I am spiritual after all!

I told DS (2.5) that a church is a place where people go to meet, hear stories, and sing together. Not sure what I'll say when that isn't enough. I'm thinking of joining the UU church, though, because their religious education program seems to do a great job of introducing kids to all of the various ideas out there. I think he's too young to care much right now, but maybe when he gets a little older we'll try it out.
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#104 of 699 Old 10-21-2008, 01:05 AM
 
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#105 of 699 Old 11-03-2008, 03:38 PM
 
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Hi all. I was on the old thread. Glad to find the new one.
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#106 of 699 Old 11-04-2008, 05:13 AM
 
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Hi freethinking mamas.

I'm the world's biggest Bill Maher fan- I know a few people who run "in his circle" and I'm too starstruck to even ask for an introduction! I haven't seen Religulous yet- I can't leave the little one just yet.

I'm happy to be here.
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#107 of 699 Old 11-04-2008, 05:54 AM
 
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I'm subbing. I've been an Atheist for about a year now; hardcore Christian before that. I'm interested in seeing how other people deal with the Atheist life, so to speak, especially in the "buy-bull" belt.

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#108 of 699 Old 11-04-2008, 12:57 PM
 
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We saw Religulous this weekend, and it was different from what I was expecting. I think overall I liked it well enough, but there were a couple things that almost bothered me. Mostly I thought it would be funnier. There were funny parts, but really it seemed serious and almost angry/disgruntled. There were times when I thought Bill M went a little to far to antagonize someone he was interviewing--not all of the time, just a couple interviews. Also, it seemed to be highly edited, so I hope the interviews weren't over edited to enhance or create something that wasn't there. I was glad he was asking the questions, and bringing these ideas into "mainstream-ish" media. Perhaps some of his choices were to also make it entertaining, as well as a "documentary."
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#109 of 699 Old 11-07-2008, 05:59 AM
 
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Hey all
I haven't seen Religulous yet BUT I have watched some documentaries by Richard Dawkins that are great- you can see them on YouTube:
http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=X2epvSAGuLc
He is a British scientist and is very driven to promote reason in opposition to religion. Watch and tell me what you think!

Also, I watched this lecture on YouTube that Sam Harris gave at the NY Society for Ethical Culture. It's REALLY good much better than the Dawkins stuff- and I want to read his book now. http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=qCS1twX2i6s
I like lectures, but if you don't just bear through the monotony of one guy talking for an hour and listen to his great ideas and arguments!
Watch and tell me what you think!
There are maybe 6 or 7 parts- the link is to the first part and you can find the rest of it on youtube.

I've also been reading a lot about humanism lately and have been happy to discover that I really ascribe to humanistic beliefs in so many ways. I like the humanistic parents' quote "Our children are beyond belief."
I think humanists have some great ideas and methods for parents and families to approach morals, ethics, and beliefs. It's interesting stuff.

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#110 of 699 Old 11-07-2008, 11:49 AM
 
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Just popping in to say Hi! Had a great chat with a friend the other week and we talked about our religious beliefs. I thought she knew mine and I assumed I knew hers. Turns out we're both on the same page. It's nice to have someone IRL (besides my dh) who feels the same way I do.
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#111 of 699 Old 11-07-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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One point of view that Religulous puts out there is that if all these people are expecting the story in Revelations to actually happen then maybe they would be less likely to do something to stop it... (ie. it's normal) Where as look around us, the world has been warring and stealing and vandalising for centuries. I don't think current times are worse off, except that there is the A-bomb. which is a pretty big exception

So all that to say that I want to be part of something that is about love, making the planet a better and safer place... And of course depending on your twisted sense of humor there are probably millions of groups that say that is what they are about! I have heard a little about humanism, and also tend to agree.

In case you haven't seen Religulous, it pretty much confronts all the absurdities of different religions/beliefs. And it presents counter arguments and other factual information... For instance, how many of you knew that the story of a virgin birth is FAR from an original story. Now, who's to say why someone picked this up and ran with it... But I would doubt many Christians know this. And it's interesting what gets perpetuated again and again to children.

On a side note, did any of you see the senate race with Elizabeth Dole? Where she accused her opponent of being a supporter of Godless Americans? And the opponent made an advertisement saying she believed in God and was a sunday school teacher... Ugh!

Even though an African American won the white house, I think there still remains heavy discrimination in this country. I suppose we should just be so lucky that we're note beheaded for it....
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#112 of 699 Old 11-07-2008, 10:06 PM
 
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Hi everyone! I just found this thread and wanted to say HI! I am still trying to figure out where I fit in with all this. But, I need some advice so I hope I am in the right place. I have come to the conclusion that I am at the very least agnostic and possibly atheist. It is hard to get over the label after growing up in the "Bible belt" and all that goes with that.

Anyway, we (my DH, 7 yo DS and myself) attended a church for about a year. It has been almost 2 years since we quit going. We had gone off and on for the first couple of years of DS's life, didn't go for a couple, went every Sunday for a year, then haven't been now for about 2. Clear as mud yet? All that to say, DS has been in Sunday school for about a year of his short life. But, apparently it was long enough. How do I undo what has been done? We (ds and I) were talking about Darwin the other day and he tells me he doesn't believe it, that God made everything. I asked him why he thought that and he starts telling me things that were said during Sunday school and how they told him if he didn't believe everything in the Bible he would be in big trouble with God and be punished.

I don't want to just run over him and try to force him to believe what I do, but I also don't want to reinforce what was taught in SS (based on fear). He was flipping through the cartoon channels the other day and came across this cartoon about different Saints. He watched some of it and came and asked me about it and said he really believed it and wanted to learn more. I am at a loss as to what to do. Can anyone help?

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#113 of 699 Old 11-10-2008, 09:16 PM
 
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I honestly don't think we can. I don't even know how to begin having this conversation without violating the UA in some way.

(am I the only person who reads "UA" as "urinalysis" instead of "user agreement?")
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#114 of 699 Old 11-11-2008, 02:18 AM
 
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I honestly don't think we can. I don't even know how to begin having this conversation without violating the UA in some way.
I'm not sure we would be violating the UA as long as we weren't being speaking in a disrespectful way about religion or another member. That's a really tough situation. Maybe you could start slow with some science books for kids about evolution, dinosaurs, stuff like that if he is interested. Approach things from a different angle without talking about what you believe about religion or god. Maybe after a while you could tell your son what you believe about how the world came to be and that you don't believe that you or anyone will be punished for having different beliefs. Maybe there are other ways to slowly expose him to new ideas. If he is interested in things like saints and bible stories, you could encourage his interest while reinforcing that they are stories- you could even mix in a few books about greek myths and gods, native american creation stories etc., and explain how you think they are all nice stories. Fear can run deep though and it might take him a while to get over it. But a year of sunday school is only one year- he is still young so yes, that's a big portion of his life. But you have many years to come to teach him how you understand things and for him to use all the information to make his own decisions (not based on fear!) about what to believe. Best of luck.

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#115 of 699 Old 11-12-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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I guess my concern (with the UA) is that the way I talk about religion to my child is bound to offend someone. I tell him things like "God is just pretend, like Santa Clause." We've talked about why you don't tell people Santa isn't real. We've talked about why you don't tell people that God isn't real, too. When he gets older, I'll deal with it differently, but for right now, it's pretty much the same thing.
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#116 of 699 Old 11-12-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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Speaking of what we tell our children about god, I haven't told mine anything yet. They are almost 6 and 3 1/2. I mentioned something to my dh the other night about the idea that maybe when they ask we can tell them that the bible is a story and god is a character/idea that some people think is real. Dh thinks that isn't the right thing to say, but isn't sure how we should approach it. I'd appreciate hearing other people's approaches.

Along those lines, it just generally seems hard to figure out what to say when we have opinions and ways of viewing things that would likely offend most of our children's friends and their families. My older son recently learned about Veteran's Day in school. He and my younger son are now both saying that when they get older they can fight in a war. I've been trying to tell them that I hope there won't be a war for them to fight in and that although many people in dh's family are veterans, I don't believe that war and armed services are the best answer for anything. And that I hope when they get older and understand it better, they will feel the same way. It is tough.

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#117 of 699 Old 11-13-2008, 04:34 AM
 
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I guess my concern (with the UA) is that the way I talk about religion to my child is bound to offend someone.
Yah, I understand about that. I'm a bit unclear about what would be a red flag in a forum like this, even after reading the UA many many times.

In general, and not only on MDC, I honestly do my best to try not to offend people with my opinions and beliefs and when I have kids I'll teach them to do the same (it's interesting to hear about how you taught your kids about what to say about god and santa claus to others).
I find with religion, it's often a real double-standard. It's offensive or disrespectful for me to say "I think religion and god are bunk and this is why I think so" to someone who may be religious, but it's perfectly fine for someone to say things that I find totally offensive and disrespectful like, "If you don't believe in my god or what I believe, you will burn in hell for eternity" etc. Just yesterday, I politely told a man on the street who handed me a pamphlet and warned me about my "burning soul" that I found it very rude and offensive for him to give me such a thing. *sigh* It's a tough situation and I usually find it bit unfair coming from the atheist's side.

I'm not sure exactly how those things work on MDC, there a quite a few active and zealous religious members and tribes- I think the moderators have a difficult job but just try their best to deal with such a diverse community.

I don't think people really think about how saying something they are taught in their religion may be offensive to others who are not part of that religious tradition. And it's generally acceptable in western society to use language entrenched in religious ideas- something I sometimes find offensive in casual use. (An interesting aside- recently, I was reading about the arabic language and you literally can't speak arabic without constantly making religious references to god etc., it is part of the language.)

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My older son recently learned about Veteran's Day in school. He and my younger son are now both saying that when they get older they can fight in a war. I've been trying to tell them that I hope there won't be a war for them to fight in and that although many people in dh's family are veterans, I don't believe that war and armed services are the best answer for anything. And that I hope when they get older and understand it better, they will feel the same way. It is tough.
Goodness...It sounds like you are saying/doing the best you can. I can't yet imagine how it will be when I have little ones coming home and springing things like that on me. If only there weren't things like wars and religion and politics...just my wishful thinking I get so many ideas from other mamas of how I might handle things when the time comes for me...It does sound tough!

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#118 of 699 Old 11-15-2008, 01:45 AM
 
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Hey, mamas. I was pointed to this thread because you were having some problems determining if you were within the UA. You're fine. If you have any questions, please feel free to PM a moderator or an admin. Thanks!

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#119 of 699 Old 11-19-2008, 02:35 AM
 
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just bumping us back to the first page!

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#120 of 699 Old 11-21-2008, 08:38 PM
 
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Speaking of what we tell our children about god, I haven't told mine anything yet.
Same here. I'll wait for their questions.

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