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Author Topic: Discrimination and religious practice  (Read 7569 times)

Jainarayan

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2015, 12:13:11 pm »
Quote from: habbalah;169124
Hey Thorbjorn! Fancy meeting you here!

 
I know, I got kind of a head rush when I saw your name. It was like "whoa, where am I!?" :p

Kaio

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2015, 10:01:32 am »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.


 I face several forms of discrimination. I'm not even comfortable to write about this here, on the part of the forum that is open for everyone to see.
 I think the fact that I'm so different from the kyriarchical patterns may have influence on my religious practice in the future.
When in Rome do as the Romans do. (Ambrose)

Darkstone

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2015, 04:26:30 am »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.

 
I don't wear my religion openly, tho I won't lie if asked what it is.  I've only really had discriminatory/hateful things said twice.  Once by a born-again Christian coworker and another time by a rather narcissistic Rabbi.

rian

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2015, 06:47:25 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.

 
Hey Kaio,
I've definitely experienced discrimination in my adult life due to my religious beliefs and spiritual practices, but if I read your post correctly, you're wondering about discrimination that occurred prior to my religious belief/spiritual practice formation that impacted it in some way.

... that is a very thought provoking question.

The answer, for me, is unequivocally yes.  It is strikingly odd to me that I've never considered it before now.  To be entirely honest, looking back I'm not entirely sure why I was on the receiving end of discriminatory behaviour as a child/young adult.  I'm a reasonably attractive cis-gendered female with no obvious, identifiable "quirks" easily leading to discrimination... and yet.

Pre-puberty was a particularly weird time for me.  My family moved a lot, and I was therefore almost always the 'new girl'.  I had an active imagination (or something) that was strongly supported by my parents and adult extended family members.  It led to a particularly unreal experience as an 8-year-old, where I was accused by my best friend's mom and her friend (who was good friends with my mother) of communing with the devil and being a witch.  

They reacted to a "secret language" I'd invented (which was actually just symbols to substitute in for letters in English, and I'm embarrassed to admit I didn't offer any punctuation substitutions at all) and then taught to their kids - all between the ages of 5 and 10.  The two adult women were supervising an after-school 'playgroup' and saw a note one of the kids had written.  They believed it to be the work of the devil, and that I had "sold my soul" to him, and accused me of such, berating me and demanding to know when and where I'd met him, and how long I'd been teaching the "devil's language" to their children.

I suppose I'd been somewhat sheltered by my parents, and had no idea what they were blathering on about.  At the time, I'd never heard of "selling your soul to the devil", and I obviously didn't have 'good' answers to the questions, because ... I had made it up.  

I didn't go back to the playgroup (we fortunately moved again a mere month after this, for unrelated reasons).  I didn't tell my parents, and apparently the two women didn't tell my mom, although their friendship went oddly cold and she didn't really know for for years (I told my mom about it years later, as an adult).  I did, however, go look it all up in the library.  Witch, and selling souls, and a bunch of Inquisition insanity (I believe the local librarian was a bit concerned, and carefully selected what I read, as I don't remember having nightmares over it).  

Having read up on it, at 8, I was pretty clear that I'd never "communed with the devil" as described (vaguely) in any of those books.

But as an adult, I'll fight unendingly for the right to call myself a witch.  I'm not Wiccan, my introduction to neo-paganism wasn't through everyone's beloved SRW, and most of my initial training was in Core Shamanism... but I've held onto the "witch" word and refuse to let it go regardless of how appropriate it is or isn't to 'describe' what I 'do'.  

Looking back on it now, I can't really believe that my weird, ungrounded insistence on identifying as a witch is unrelated to that incident.  I've always been self-confident and self-reliant, and even as a kid was perfectly comfortable working out that these women were totally off-base (although at the time I was shocked and hideously embarrassed at being called out for something I didn't do in front of a bunch of my friends).  I don't know if I subconsciously adopted the word witch because these two women had identified it as something evil, and I was going with an 'enemy - of - my -enemy' kind of logic, or what.  But I gotta say... looking back, I'm pretty sure it had an impact.  :)

Cool question.  

rian

Caffeinated Autumn

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #34 on: February 02, 2015, 08:01:37 pm »
Quote from: Kaio;168417
Do you suffer from any form of discrimination? If yes, does/did it have any influence on your religious practice? For example, I'm thinking about someone choosing a religion or developing a religious practice because it's associated with the form of discrimination s/he suffers from.

 
I sort of keep my beliefs and religion to myself. I say "sort of" because I do wear a pentacle around my neck most of the time. So people are free to ask what I'm wearing or what my religion is. The fact that I also don't go out of the house often (I should for other reasons) probably attributes to low discrimination.

I haven't had any real discrimination from anyone yet. My parents don't seem to ask much about what I believe. One guy did ask me one time at school if I was wearing the Star of David. I think maybe he couldn't see from where he was sitting or he genuinely didn't know. Either way, he wasn't rude about it. However, I do wonder about future discrimination when I start going to work.

Marjie

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #35 on: February 26, 2015, 05:15:46 pm »
Hi all! New member, so this seems like an appropriate place for a backstory.

Gender discrimination (and the existence of discrimination of all sorts in Christian communities) was one of the biggest things that influenced my religious choices. I'm like a lot of you, from a Christian family, and a fairly fundamentalist one at that.  Looking back on my life, I think the single most important moment in my religious path happened when I was about 10.  My dad was talking to me about how we didn't know much about how God actually looked or what his true nature was or something like that. I got really excited and I said, "Yeah, God could even be a girl!" But at that my dad said very firmly, no way.  It was basically then that I decided I disagreed, that not only could God be a girl, but she was a girl. I didn't find paganism until much later, but that seed had been planted for a long time.

Marjie

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #36 on: February 26, 2015, 05:20:29 pm »
Slight qualification of the above, I actually believe that "God" is genderless, but the temporary overcorrecting towards Goddess was important for constructing a more inclusive and neutral belief for me.

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #37 on: February 26, 2015, 06:58:15 pm »
Quote from: Marjie;171769


 
A Reminder:
Hi, Marjie,

Just a quick note:  Please remember to quote, even if you're just  replying to the first message in the thread.  It makes the discussion  easier to follow, and it's required by  our  rules. (If you're using tapatalk on a phone, please hold your finger down on the message you wish to reply to until the quote function pops up.)

This isn't a formal warning, just a reminder.  No  reply is necessary, but if you have questions or need clarification,  please feel free to contact a member of staff privately.

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Hieronymus

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #38 on: April 21, 2015, 10:17:05 am »
Quote from: Darkstone;169352
I don't wear my religion openly, tho I won't lie if asked what it is.  I've only really had discriminatory/hateful things said twice.  Once by a born-again Christian coworker and another time by a rather narcissistic Rabbi.

 
I'm with you there Darkstone. I don't really voice many of my thoughts to people. I will happily debate it, but I generally keep my personal belief to myself. I can be vague and generalized when talking to people. Since I subscribe to Pantheism, I have a lot of common ground with folks that I can focus on.
When i was younger and into Wicca, i faced quite a bit of discrimination. Some thought it almost laughable. It's made me much more guarded today.
However, today, I live in a small town and have a public job so the idea I'm into magick is nothing I'll share. It's sad I can't be open about it. But, I would rather live a private life in that respect, than risk some sort of close-minded, uninformed, ignorant repercussion.
The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.
- da Vinci

OrcaMoon

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Re: Discrimination and religious practice
« Reply #39 on: April 21, 2015, 05:41:50 pm »
Quote from: habbalah;168420
Homophobia and the fact that I'm queer is the big reason I walked away from Christianity in my teens. It's also what led me to being eclectic, rather than following a pre-formed path.


This is me, as well as the strong anti-woman message that comes across from the Abrahamic religions. It might work for some people but I always felt that it was pushing me to become something that I was not. I was raised Catholic and then was learning from a Jehovah's Witness as well as attending some of their meetings at a Kingdom Hall. It was just wrong for me and I wasn't into being made to feel like I was wrong or an abomination. Therefore I looked for other means to express myself and celebrate deity.

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