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Author Topic: Explaining one's religion politely  (Read 2335 times)

veggiewolf

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #15 on: November 02, 2012, 01:04:34 pm »
Quote from: Sage;79308
...Hinduism has this too; you have ancient Vedic practices right next to the Dalit (former Untouchable caste) veneration of a "new" goddess of learning English....

 
I missed this story when it came out last year - thanks for the link!
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Sage

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #16 on: November 02, 2012, 01:13:41 pm »
Quote from: veggiewolf;79321
I missed this story when it came out last year - thanks for the link!

 
Religion is so cooooool.
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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Nyktelios

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2012, 08:45:18 pm »
Quote from: Snowdrop;78855
What I'm wondering is: how do you (in a polite, socially acceptable, non-evangelizing way) explain what your religion is to people who may know very little about pagan religions?  (Or may be gravely misinformed about them.)


I usually don't go into specifics if a person I'm talking to is unfamiliar with alternative religions. I try to avoid the subject altogether with people I don't know very well, but if it comes up, I just explain that I'm not a Christian, and I don't really believe in organized religion, blah blah blah. Even with friends I don't go into too much detail, since even the most open-minded tend to give me strange looks when I mention following Egyptian and Greek deities. It often leads to weird questions like, "so you believe in Greek mythology?" For me it's enough to just let people know I don't follow one of the major religions, if it becomes an issue at all.

Queen of Wands

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2012, 10:47:04 am »
Quote from: Snowdrop;78855
(Or, in other words, help!)  

 

I worked on a show this past summer for my theatre which involved the word "Wiccan" in it's title. A surprising number of audience members didn't know what "Wiccan" was (this being a predominately Catholic town...) and I often would explain it to them.

The key was, keeping as neutral as possible, so they could approach the idea more open-minded. I wouldn't say "Oh, it's my religion, we wear this pentacle that you've probably seen in every devil-worshipping movie and I worship the Gods by sacrificing toads and practice witchcraft!" but I'd say things like, "It's a religion that believes in there being a God and a Goddess." Keep it simple, keep it honest, keep it casual. Just the facts, ma'am.

Vale

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #19 on: November 08, 2012, 03:01:26 pm »
Quote from: Snowdrop;78855


What I'm wondering is: how do you (in a polite, socially acceptable, non-evangelizing way) explain what your religion is to people who may know very little about pagan religions?  (Or may be gravely misinformed about them.)  ?


Short answer is I  don't.  Unless someone specifically asks then then I don't mention it.

If I'm asked then it depends on whether it is someone I am prepared to discuss it with or not. If I really don't want to, which is most of the time,  they get a mostly truthful but totally facetious answer which kills the subject there and then.

If  someone is seriously interested then they'll get a very basic and usually somewhat sanitised explanation. Even in pagan company I'm guarded in what I reveal.

Sarkana-night

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2012, 04:37:59 pm »
Quote from: Snowdrop;78855
(Or, in other words, help!)  

 
I tend to keep my mouth shut unless asked. The reaction I get after that depends
on the person. Most people, even people in the pagan community, don't seem to take me that seriously, and that's fine with me. It's none of their business, anyway.

Jabberwocky

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2012, 10:16:35 am »
Quote from: Sophia Catherine;79277

But mostly, it's pretty safe to tell people here in the UK. A lot of my colleagues know that I'm Pagan (mostly no more detail than that), and think its either cute or weird. I try to work people out a bit before I talk about it, though.

 
Yeah, that's my experience as well.  Although I suspect I'd be a bit more cautious if I lived in Belfast or certain parts of Scotland.  (Although, in Belfast, there's at least an odds on chance the next question would be "yeah, but are you a Catholic Pagan or a Protestant Pagan?"

Actually, the group that I've heard of people having the most problems with are the kind of new atheists who've just read Dawkins and are keen to tell everyone about it.  (I don't really get a problem there, because most of them can deal with someone who mostly deals with magic as metaphor, but some of my more pagany friends have).  That tends to just be mockery or at worst insults though.  That crowd are tiresome, not threatening.
Your heart is a muscle as big as your fist.

Gilbride

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #22 on: November 17, 2012, 10:28:48 am »
Quote from: Snowdrop;78855
What I'm wondering is: how do you (in a polite, socially acceptable, non-evangelizing way) explain what your religion is to people who may know very little about pagan religions?


Try to make your eyes as dead as possible, then say "I serve the old gods, the gods of fire and blood." :eek:

Or, just say something like "I think there's some truth in all religions." Evangelicals, in my experience, will just assume you're a Unitarian if you say that.

Sage

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #23 on: November 17, 2012, 11:00:35 am »
Quote from: Gilbride;81333
Evangelicals, in my experience, will just assume you're a Unitarian if you say that.

 
Man, I wish the evangelicals around here knew what Unitarians were. :P I just say that I'm a very religious, active member of my church. Which I totally am. My Unitarian Universalist church, where we call about Paganism and queer rights. I've had entire religious conversations where, if I'm careful, I can technically be honest without the other person assuming I'm anything other than Christian. I consider it an art. :)
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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mlr52

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2012, 11:36:17 am »
Quote from: Sage;81339
Man, I wish the evangelicals around here knew what Unitarians were. :P I just say that I'm a very religious, active member of my church. Which I totally am. My Unitarian Universalist church, where we call about Paganism and queer rights. I've had entire religious conversations where, if I'm careful, I can technically be honest without the other person assuming I'm anything other than Christian. I consider it an art. :)

 
"I have heard that when the late Dana McLean Greeley, then president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, met with Pope John XXIII at the Second Vatican Council, the Pope said, with a twinkle in his eye, “You made a religion of all our heresies.” The Pope was right." From  http://www.uuworld.org/spirit/articles/186280.shtml Religious Rule Number 7: Heresy is bad. the Rev. Dr. Jane Rzepka
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Sage

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2012, 12:05:58 pm »
Quote from: mlr52;81343
"I have heard that when the late Dana McLean Greeley, then president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, met with Pope John XXIII at the Second Vatican Council, the Pope said, with a twinkle in his eye, “You made a religion of all our heresies.” The Pope was right."

 
What an absolutely beautiful quote. :)
Maker, though the darkness comes upon me,
I shall embrace the light. I shall weather the storm.
I shall endure.
What you have created, no one can tear asunder.

-Canticle of Trials 1:10

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Friday Otherfaith Blogging: last updated 2/27
Join the Emboatening Crew over on Kiva! Emboatening the boatless since Opet 2013.

Berserker

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Re: Explaining one's religion politely
« Reply #26 on: November 23, 2012, 12:01:15 am »
Quote from: Snowdrop;78855
(Or, in other words, help!)  

A lot of the discussion I've seen about people of various pagan religions/paths and how open they are about their religion seems to center on either when it is appropriate to be secretive or on how much openness constitutes being flashy and obnoxious.  (Hubcap pentacles, etc. . . . )  

What I'm wondering is: how do you (in a polite, socially acceptable, non-evangelizing way) explain what your religion is to people who may know very little about pagan religions?  (Or may be gravely misinformed about them.)  

My specific context for needing help with this: I'm a member of a book group which I was invited to by a really fantastic person.  Because I'm kind of ditzy at times, it wasn't until later that I realized that every other person in the group is a very enthusiastic (I think Evangelical?) Christian.  The religious aspect is hard to ignore because what we're reading has a theological theme.  

I think the reading is fascinating and the people are really wonderful, but . . . I find it really awkward to be in a situation where everyone else assumes that I have very different religious beliefs than I do.  I'm not sure how I should respond if we ever get onto the topic of my own beliefs, which, given the nature of the discussions, we probably will.  

I want to be honest without creating friction, and when it comes to religion that can often be so difficult to do.  Thoughts?

 
They already have a religion and you already have yours, and unless you are tring to convert them to yours, I don't see a point on discusing your believes with any of them. I would probably just say something like "My vews of God and the way I aproach my espirituality would probably deffere a little from yours. One of them would be the fact that I vew the espirituality of an individual as something very private and sacred; so I would preffere not to discuss it". Dont be quick to reveal your spirituality, especially to them who most likelly will not understand if you can avoid it. There is a place and time for everything.

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