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Old 03-26-2013, 01:09 PM   #76
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In today's internet culture, finding places to socialize face to face is really important. Church, just for that, isn't likely to go out of style anytime soon.
I feel this is the difference between 'The Church' as the formal rule-making organisation, and 'the church' as the building where the real people go to interact in whatever manner gives them fulfilment. It is the churches in my local diocese that have organised food banks for those families going hungry as a result of the recession, arranges social visits for the housebound elderly who are isolated from their families, etc. But the effort and intention of those kind of charitable acts goes totally unnoticed except for those involved.

On the extremely rare occasion that I discuss this with others, the immediate reaction is to bring up the (many) faults of the Church's approach to life and death, and I have to fend off the accusation that I am complicit with these faults, or that i must obviously agree with all the rules if I defend the church in any way. Understandable in a way, but frustrating at the same time.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:49 PM   #77
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I feel this is the difference between 'The Church' as the formal rule-making organisation, and 'the church' as the building where the real people go to interact in whatever manner gives them fulfilment. It is the churches in my local diocese that have organised food banks for those families going hungry as a result of the recession, arranges social visits for the housebound elderly who are isolated from their families, etc. But the effort and intention of those kind of charitable acts goes totally unnoticed except for those involved.

On the extremely rare occasion that I discuss this with others, the immediate reaction is to bring up the (many) faults of the Church's approach to life and death, and I have to fend off the accusation that I am complicit with these faults, or that i must obviously agree with all the rules if I defend the church in any way. Understandable in a way, but frustrating at the same time.
Yeah. That's the thing that I struggle with as a religious person I dealt with several times...the inability for some people to distinguish the church and The Church, and the faithful with The Crazy Ones.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:19 PM   #78
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Church isn't only a place where narrowminded people go to gossip about Teh Gheys and plan diabolical ways to ruin their lives. Most people that go to Church do so because it's a pleasant place to visit people that share their faith.
Fixed that for you.

And yanno, when people couch their homophobia in religious terms, they will bring it to church with them.

I've discussed very often, the feasibility of creating secular gathering organisations. They would include a weekly ritual of togetherness, a lot of song singing, because it really helps, and day care and support for mommies. Pressure on people to behave morally-- everything except The "God wants you to" message.
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:49 PM   #79
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And yanno, when people couch their homophobia in religious terms, they will bring it to church with them.
.
And those people who aren't homophobic but are still religious will take THAT to church with them, wont they? I wish I could convince you about what I have seen here in the UK, what I've heard people say and seen how they behave. It appears at total odds to your impression. One last thing if I may - one of the older priests I was talking to was discussing the Church's attitude to gay relationships. His words were that the way the Church treats gay people is essentially un-Christian and therefore he felt morally right in ignoring any of its teachings on the matter.
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:46 PM   #80
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Fixed that for you.

And yanno, when people couch their homophobia in religious terms, they will bring it to church with them.
...once again, this could be said of just about every unsavory belief in every venue in meatspace.

I would feel less alienated at Catholic mass than at a queer gathering. I feel less alienated navigating the vanilla world than I would any even remotely kink-oriented one. I feel less alienated living in a brown, first-generation immigrant community that suffers the occasional gunfight than upper-middle-class white suburbia.

And so on.

Each one has their shit, their identity-invalidating, their pros and their cons.

At least Christians and Catholics are fucking honest about who they exclude.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:01 PM   #81
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Fixed that for you.

And yanno, when people couch their homophobia in religious terms, they will bring it to church with them.

I've discussed very often, the feasibility of creating secular gathering organisations. They would include a weekly ritual of togetherness, a lot of song singing, because it really helps, and day care and support for mommies. Pressure on people to behave morally-- everything except The "God wants you to" message.
Thankfully, I've seen the number of homophobic religious people drop like stones in the last few years, so much so that many churches are openly supporting gay people. So like all human things, it'll continue to evolve and grow and become better, and the finger pointing can stop ON BOTH SIDES.
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Old 03-26-2013, 07:05 PM   #82
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Thankfully, I've seen the number of homophobic religious people drop like stones in the last few years, so much so that many churches are openly supporting gay people. So like all human things, it'll continue to evolve and grow and become better, and the finger pointing can stop ON BOTH SIDES.
I've never seen a post by this lady that I don't agree with, so yeah... What she said.

I've seen people judge others not only on their lifestyle, but also the opinions that they perceive to go along with those choices. Can't we simple realise that everyone is a person with their own opinions and feelings?
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:13 PM   #83
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I've never seen a post by this lady that I don't agree with, so yeah... What she said.

I've seen people judge others not only on their lifestyle, but also the opinions that they perceive to go along with those choices. Can't we simple realise that everyone is a person with their own opinions and feelings?
I'm only saying this because someone else will so it might as well be me. Thanks for the kudos by the way!

There's absolutely nothing wrong with having opinions, it's only wrong when you start making laws based on beliefs that force other people to act like they share those beliefs. I think pretty much every thinking person regardless of belief thinks this, though.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:39 PM   #84
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I'm FB friends with a black gay comedian and he's posted often about how so many ministers spew anti-gay hate on Sunday and church members do nada.

Clearly it still happens but it is a changing world. Thankfully.

On another note.

Catholics - Honestly? When I pass a Catholic priest on the street with my son (happens often actually), my inside voice goes -- WALK ON BY, FUCKER. DO NOT LOOK TWICE AT MY SON OR I WILL FUCK YOU UP. We don't need to get into the rationality of this. I'm just saying, that's where my instinct goes.
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:53 PM   #85
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Thankfully, I've seen the number of homophobic religious people drop like stones in the last few years, so much so that many churches are openly supporting gay people. So like all human things, it'll continue to evolve and grow and become better, and the finger pointing can stop ON BOTH SIDES.
Oh believe me, I am working for the day when there is nothing for me to point to.

What did you think of my idea of secular fellowship congregations?

No?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KoPilot
At least Christians and Catholics are fucking honest about who they exclude.
And have more clout to make their exclusions into the law of the fucking land. As SatinDesire pointed out so beautifully above-- If they didn't have that power, I wouldn't give two shits about what people want to believe. I REALLY DON'T CARE if someone believes I am evil. I REALLY DON'T NEED to be part of groups that don't accept my kind. And there are pah-lenty of those around.

I REALLY FUCKING CARE if the quality of my life is impacted by beliefs I do not share because people BELIEVE THEY HAVE THE RIGHT to force their beliefs on me with laws.
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I've never seen a post by this lady that I don't agree with, so yeah... What she said.

I've seen people judge others not only on their lifestyle, but also the opinions that they perceive to go along with those choices. Can't we simple realise that everyone is a person with their own opinions and feelings?
You should go ask some church congregations that.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:01 PM   #86
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Oh believe me, I am working for the day when there is nothing for me to point to.

What did you think of my idea of secular fellowship congregations?

No?
There's one around here. Secular humanist Jewish. Or "Jewish"? I dunno but the focus is on doing good works and ethics rather than beliefs.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:07 PM   #87
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There's one around here. Secular humanist Jewish. Or "Jewish"? I dunno but the focus is on doing good works and ethics rather than beliefs.
Some Unitarian Universal congregations are like that too.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:08 PM   #88
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Oh believe me, I am working for the day when there is nothing for me to point to.

What did you think of my idea of secular fellowship congregations?

No?

And have more clout to make their exclusions into the law of the fucking land. As SatinDesire pointed out so beautifully above-- If they didn't have that power, I wouldn't give two shits about what people want to believe. I REALLY DON'T CARE if someone believes I am evil. I REALLY DON'T NEED to be part of groups that don't accept my kind. And there are pah-lenty of those around.

I REALLY FUCKING CARE if the quality of my life is impacted by beliefs I do not share because people BELIEVE THEY HAVE THE RIGHT to force their beliefs on me with laws.
You should go ask some church congregations that.
While I have had considerable vileness aimed at me from the religious types for various 'lifestyle choices' it's also come from those who do not appear to have a faith.

On the flip side, I've found acceptance from many very religious people, as well as those who do not go to church (or temple or mosque).

I have to say in my experience, I've found no one group of people to be any more or less accepting of me and my sexuality. But I have found that people expect them to have certain opinions based on their faith, ethnic group, culture.

Perhaps my experience is unique to growing up in London, and things are likely very different elsewhere, but I try not to make assumptions about people when I meet them, and I usually find most of the people I meet are the same.
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Old 03-26-2013, 09:52 PM   #89
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I REALLY FUCKING CARE if the quality of my life is impacted by beliefs I do not share because people BELIEVE THEY HAVE THE RIGHT to force their beliefs on me with laws.
Like I said, this is an issue that's completely independent of religion. You want to talk about clout? Look to the secular fuckwads on Wall St. who get away with murder and don't even bother with silly things like laws half the time.

And I stand by what I said initially: If I'm going to excluded from a group, I'd rather know it upfront instead of being told I belong there and wind up getting erased, tokenized, and shoved to the side for the sake of someone else's agenda. (e.g. "Ohhh but marriage equality is really important, we'll get to your trans* rights later we promise")
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:21 PM   #90
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Like I said, this is an issue that's completely independent of religion. You want to talk about clout? Look to the secular fuckwads on Wall St. who get away with murder and don't even bother with silly things like laws half the time.
I do not like Wall Street fuckwads either. But we are not talking about that in this particular conversation. And the bad behavior of one group do not excuse the behavior of another.

Whether or not clout is indipendent of religion, it is far too easy for religion to abuse it.
Quote:

And I stand by what I said initially: If I'm going to excluded from a group, I'd rather know it upfront instead of being told I belong there and wind up getting erased, tokenized, and shoved to the side for the sake of someone else's agenda. (e.g. "Ohhh but marriage equality is really important, we'll get to your trans* rights later we promise")
Well... I guess you feel that way. Personally, I see that type of behavior of minority groups as being attributable to the battle they are fighting with the majority. Like how when someone is so deeply in debt that they can't possibly save any money for the future, and every extra penny they might find gets sucked into that black hole
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:32 AM   #91
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What did you think of my idea of secular fellowship congregations?

No?
I think it's a great idea, most of the time you can find things like that in clubs, maybe not so much on the singing though, unless it's a music/choir club.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:44 AM   #92
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Oh believe me, I am working for the day when there is nothing for me to point to.

What did you think of my idea of secular fellowship congregations?

No?

And have more clout to make their exclusions into the law of the fucking land. As SatinDesire pointed out so beautifully above-- If they didn't have that power, I wouldn't give two shits about what people want to believe. I REALLY DON'T CARE if someone believes I am evil. I REALLY DON'T NEED to be part of groups that don't accept my kind. And there are pah-lenty of those around.

I REALLY FUCKING CARE if the quality of my life is impacted by beliefs I do not share because people BELIEVE THEY HAVE THE RIGHT to force their beliefs on me with laws.
You should go ask some church congregations that.
Thanks, Stella, those are my thoughts exactly. I understand why people go to church, the community, the sense of belonging, helping others, that is a major need of people, it is something I have sought (and haven't really found what I was looking for).

There is another side to this, it is very easy to say that my church is a beautiful place, that the priest is cool, we don't hate anyone, we help people, and I hear that and appreciate it. The problem is, though, is that in doing so, the people there, probably without knowing it, are also supporting the hierarchy and their programs and such, that they probably disagree with. When you give your pledge to your local church, part of that money goes to to the diocese and in turn some of that is funelled to the national office and to the vatican (The US is the largest financial supporter of the Vatican).

Want to one not to secret thing? When Proposition 8 was on the ballot in California, the Bishops and Catholic groups sent almost 10 million dollars in the fight to get that passed, and some of that probably came from people like yourselves....the point is simply that it can be hard to separate 'the church' from 'The Church', and especially when you are on the other side of the gunsights of the Bishops and such. People have to do what is right for themselves, but they have to realize that in supporting their local church, they very well may be supporting things they themselves find repugnant.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:54 AM   #93
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Like I said, this is an issue that's completely independent of religion. You want to talk about clout? Look to the secular fuckwads on Wall St. who get away with murder and don't even bother with silly things like laws half the time.

And I stand by what I said initially: If I'm going to excluded from a group, I'd rather know it upfront instead of being told I belong there and wind up getting erased, tokenized, and shoved to the side for the sake of someone else's agenda. (e.g. "Ohhh but marriage equality is really important, we'll get to your trans* rights later we promise")
I would tend to agree with you, and I have personal experience with the concepts you are talking about, of belonging but not belonging. I could give a shit less whether I am welcome at a Catholic Church or a bible thumping evangelical church, as you say, I know where I stand there. Speaking personally, I have in the past gotten some of my biggest support from people who didn't understand me, but felt it was their duty to love me as a person, because they knew me as a good person....

The problem is, though, when the exclusionary groups don't just want to exclude people from their little club, but want them excluded from society, too (and yes, there are non religious gay haters too, though to be honest, look at their reasons, and it always seems to point back to religious based arguments)....when people of faith think they have the right to determine other people's rights, like being able to legally get birth control or to marry, it is a lot more then their little clubhouse.

To give you an idea, several supreme court justices are probably going to reject the prop 8 appeal, on the grounds that the people supporting it don't have grounds to be in court with it (which means prop 8 will be invalidated, since the lower court ruling will stand). Some of the more liberal judges, Ginzburg, and Sotomayor, have asked whether this is the time to rule on the legality of banning same sex marriage in the court, that it is too fast, and they are worried about a backlash from same sex marriage opponents, similar to what happened with abortion. And where will this backlash come from? You got it, the churches, or rather their leaders and so forth. There is a constitutional issue here, a big one, and what they are saying is they fear the reaction of same sex marriage opponents, who overwhelmingly are driven by religious faith, and think that that outweighs the need to make the constitutional protections apply to all people.
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:54 AM   #94
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Thanks, Stella, those are my thoughts exactly. I understand why people go to church, the community, the sense of belonging, helping others, that is a major need of people, it is something I have sought (and haven't really found what I was looking for).

There is another side to this, it is very easy to say that my church is a beautiful place, that the priest is cool, we don't hate anyone, we help people, and I hear that and appreciate it. The problem is, though, is that in doing so, the people there, probably without knowing it, are also supporting the hierarchy and their programs and such, that they probably disagree with. When you give your pledge to your local church, part of that money goes to to the diocese and in turn some of that is funelled to the national office and to the vatican (The US is the largest financial supporter of the Vatican).

Want to one not to secret thing? When Proposition 8 was on the ballot in California, the Bishops and Catholic groups sent almost 10 million dollars in the fight to get that passed, and some of that probably came from people like yourselves....the point is simply that it can be hard to separate 'the church' from 'The Church', and especially when you are on the other side of the gunsights of the Bishops and such. People have to do what is right for themselves, but they have to realize that in supporting their local church, they very well may be supporting things they themselves find repugnant.
There are plenty of independent churches around that don't support any sort of hierarchy. And not all Churches are set up like the Catholic Church, in that everybody has to, or is supposed to have to, obey the proclamations that come down from on high.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:04 AM   #95
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There are plenty of independent churches around that don't support any sort of hierarchy. And not all Churches are set up like the Catholic Church, in that everybody has to, or is supposed to have to, obey the proclamations that come down from on high.
COE is one of those, as per our UK friends. But it was created specifically to get secular life away from the dicta of Catholic autocracy, as we all know...
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:43 AM   #96
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There are plenty of independent churches around that don't support any sort of hierarchy. And not all Churches are set up like the Catholic Church, in that everybody has to, or is supposed to have to, obey the proclamations that come down from on high.
Small non-denominational Churches are perfect for people that are looking for a place to worship without wanting to support hate and inequality. *nods*
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Old 03-27-2013, 04:14 AM   #97
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Churches in the UK are closing all the time due to falling attendance/reduced revenues and ageing buildings which are listed and therefore too expensive to repair. Perhaps they are sending funds to Rome and that's why.

As far as keeping priests away from your kids, over here the priests are terrified of finding themselves on their own with a child for fear of the obvious (and I speak from personal experience here). The assumption is that all priests are paedophiles and should be treated accordingly. One trainee priest I know was working in a catholic school and in the staffroom, another teacher said he must obviously be a paedophile if he wanted to be a priest . When the trainee complained to the head teacher about how he was being treated, he was told that to keep quiet and get used to it, or leave. So he left.

I run a small manufacturing printing company in the UK and most of my staff are male, not well educated or well travelled. Apart from one, they're not religious either. Recently a female couple arrived to discuss with me a business they were trying to set up, designing and selling greetings cards for the gay community. They had noticed a gap in the market when they had got married themselves and none of their friends had been able to buy an appropriate card. Although my staff would not dare be anything other than polite to these girls's faces, their behaviour once they'd left the building was embarrassing and shameful. Their homophobia, racism and sexism is deeply ingrained and nothing I do or say makes any significant difference. As a female boss, they have to respect me, but it doesnt seem to have translated to their relationships with their wives, who they still treat as glorified servants in the main. Small town mentality. So I suppose what I am saying is that as 90% of my staff don't go to church and are homophobic etc, so how do we tackle that?
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Old 03-27-2013, 05:03 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by satindesire View Post
Yeah. That's the thing that I struggle with as a religious person I dealt with several times...the inability for some people to distinguish the church and The Church, and the faithful with The Crazy Ones.
To quote a well-known book, "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."

From my perspective, the problem is that The Church exerts a great deal of influence as a bloc, and that influence is used to push the official church line. If you're a progressive member of a conservative church, you run the risk that your membership will be used to increase the church's clout even when it's arguing for causes that you oppose.

Any time issues like birth control or same-sex marriage come up in public debate, I can expect to hear somebody like Cardinal Pell state that 26% of Australians are Catholic and their views should be respected. Pell is never going to acknowledge that many Catholics disagree with the Vatican position on such issues - so if they want to avoid being roped in as a "companion of fools", they need to be vocal in their dissent, and to think very carefully about what use is made of the money they drop in the donation plate.

Many of them are and do, FWIW; I have a lot of time for Father Bob Maguire, to name just one.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:32 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Bramblethorn View Post
To quote a well-known book, "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."

From my perspective, the problem is that The Church exerts a great deal of influence as a bloc, and that influence is used to push the official church line. If you're a progressive member of a conservative church, you run the risk that your membership will be used to increase the church's clout even when it's arguing for causes that you oppose.

Any time issues like birth control or same-sex marriage come up in public debate, I can expect to hear somebody like Cardinal Pell state that 26% of Australians are Catholic and their views should be respected. Pell is never going to acknowledge that many Catholics disagree with the Vatican position on such issues - so if they want to avoid being roped in as a "companion of fools", they need to be vocal in their dissent, and to think very carefully about what use is made of the money they drop in the donation plate.

Many of them are and do, FWIW; I have a lot of time for Father Bob Maguire, to name just one.
I'm praying for the day the Catholic church becomes progressive and humanist.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:36 PM   #100
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I do not like Wall Street fuckwads either. But we are not talking about that in this particular conversation. And the bad behavior of one group do not excuse the behavior of another.

Whether or not clout is indipendent of religion, it is far too easy for religion to abuse it. Well... I guess you feel that way. Personally, I see that type of behavior of minority groups as being attributable to the battle they are fighting with the majority. Like how when someone is so deeply in debt that they can't possibly save any money for the future, and every extra penny they might find gets sucked into that black hole
The point I'm trying to make is that religious institutions seem to get a disproportionate amount of hate and distrust from non-theists compared to other, secular ones. And I have a very hard time believing that it has nothing to do with their personal feelings.

Not making excuses for anybody. Religious institutions suck. But so do practically all the other ones.

tl;dr: I'd like to see you protest a play party's dress code that madates a suit-and-tie theme or a "back to school" one with the same vehemence as your Catholic opposition.
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