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2 Bumps

Representation of your faith

More from the ongoing debate on how paganism should be presented to outsiders and how to deal with all the faiths who don't want to be included in the description "pagan".

This one is making the point that it is her duty to represent all aspects of paganism (whether they want her to or not) when she is the token pagan invited to speak at interfaith events.  She also goes on to rehash the boring "which ones are REAL Wiccans" bs, which is a bit of infighting I couldn't care less about - the real conversation is happening in the comment section.

Do you expect anyone who is even tangentially associated with your beliefs to speak about them on your behalf?  Should a Baptist be prepared to address the viewpoint of Catholics, Amish and LDS when addressing a group on behalf of the Christian view?  When you hear someone speak as a Jew, do you presume they speak for all Christians and Muslims as well?  Does one atheist represent all atheists?

The bigger question - when someone who is not of your same faith takes it upon themselves to speak as if they are, are you better served by speaking up and saying they do not speak for you, or just assuming everyone will figure it out?

Answer Question

Asked by NotPanicking at 10:10 AM on Apr. 27, 2013 in Religious Debate

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • I don't feel anyone needs to speak for me. My beliefs are my own personal beliefs, and I don't expect (nor do I want) someone else to speak for me.

    But I don't generally feel the need to speak up when someone else spouts off what they think, either. Mainly because I don't really get into discussions of my religious beliefs. And I find that those who press are usually doing so just so they can argue with me, and I simply refuse to engage them.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 10:17 AM on Apr. 27, 2013

  • ALWAYS speak up. NEVER assume that "everyone will figure it out".

    Answer by MamaK88 at 10:30 AM on Apr. 27, 2013

  • My view is that if you do not belong to that faith you do not have a right to represent them even in the smallest way. A baptist speaking as if they know what there is to know about Catholics is inherently going to represent that faith with at least some or all misconceptions. The same with any faiths, IMO. You just do not have the knowledge of that faith as it is today, even if you were once of that faith or raised that way. Depends on the situation but yes in most cases I think it is better to speak up and say something, even if it is to say that the information is incorrect. Misconception, distrust and suspicion.  Frankly our world would be better off if people kept thir mouths shut about things they do not kow, but then humans, especially those with an audience, are more interested in being thought of as the most (insert word) in the group.  It is ego.


    Answer by Dardenella at 10:47 AM on Apr. 27, 2013

  • No, I don't feel that it's anyone else's responsibility to represent my version of faith, outside of those of us who claim it directly - meaning specifically this version of Christianity, and not just other Christians in general. Sure, it helps when someone can speak from an unbiased place and at least admit that other kinds of Christians exist outside of their own direct affiliation, but that doesn't really go any further than admitting that theirs is but one in the conversation, as opposed to expecting them to speak for me as well as themselves. I mean this, of course, in comparison to those who speak of how the "true" Christians believe xyz, and outright attempt to invalidate other Christians, giving the impression that they speak for ("true") Christians as a whole, as opposed to merely their brand of Christian faith, if you get what I mean ;)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 11:49 AM on Apr. 27, 2013

  • Now, if someone is educated enough on another faith or another version of the faith they follow, like a Baptist being educated on Catholicism or a Christian on Islam, to be able to speak out against misinformation or so forth, then I don't think there's any reason for them not to. I mean, if someone CAN add to the conversation, I don't feel that they shouldn't or couldn't just because they don't follow a certain faith, at least when trying to help explain or defend it. Obviously going around and spreading misinformation or stereotype against other faiths should never be encouraged/condoned, but I'm speaking more about someone standing up for other faiths in face of that, lol. We can admit that since we're not of whatever faith is being discussed we're not experts, but that what we've been taught/told/read/etc, such misinformation doesn't sound right :)

    Answer by bandgeek521 at 11:53 AM on Apr. 27, 2013

  • No one speaks for me, maybe only my DH. That's it.

    Answer by louise2 at 12:14 PM on Apr. 27, 2013

  • Trying to speak for "all" Christians or "all" Muslims or"all" of anybody seems silly to me. There are some commonalities, but Christians can vary in their worldview and actions from Mother Teresa to Westboro, and a whole lot in between, and they all seem to believe they're right. So beyond saying that Christians believe in the death and rising of Jesus Christ, there's not much of a way to lump them all together under one way of belief.

    Answer by Ballad at 1:09 PM on Apr. 27, 2013

  • I personally, wouldn't want anyone speaking about my path, unless they are of the same path. Even then, generalized terms are good, right? Reminds me of Silver Ravenwolf attempting to speak for all Pagans. (I really don't want her representing me.. )
    If the information is bad or wrong.. yes, it is good to speak up. If you don't, it could go horribly wrong in the future

    Answer by Sekirei at 10:05 AM on Apr. 28, 2013

  • in our beliefs we all agree and are united, so it doesn't bother me cause it all comes from the Bible anyway , but yes if someone just likes to make jabs at someone and they are clueless or lying on other religious beliefs i don't like it but can't stop it , so i move on . I stopped taking it personally like in my ministry and accepted it for what it really is, they are not accepting Jehovah, nothing to do with me personally

    Answer by at 1:24 PM on Apr. 29, 2013

  • I dont speak for anyone elses faith and I dont want anyone to speak for mine.....I do not believe in religion I believe in having a one on one personal relationship with God through Jesus christ and I am secure enough in my faith that I dont need to argue with someone else about it.

    Answer by Fairymom32 at 10:27 AM on May. 3, 2013

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