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How big a part of your life would religion be

if other people didn't insist on making it one for you? (this is another offshoot of a PoR class discussion)
Some of my classmates had trouble understanding why moving here was such a culture shock. They don't understand that it's not normal to have bible verses on on every corner, the main kids' sports programs in town to all be run by religious orgs, or for companies to lead their employees in prayer. It's what they've always seen growing up so to them, that's normal. They even think we're a "diverse" community. I'm not sure how when over half the local colleges & unis are also Christian entities, but that's their story and they're sticking to it. Maybe they mean because all Christian denoms are here? I mean, we even have an Amish theme park!
If you lived alone, isolated from your current community, would you spend nearly as much time/energy on religion in general (meaning not just your own)?


Asked by NotPanicking at 9:04 AM on Sep. 3, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 51 (421,174 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • Yeah, that's the key phrase... "if other people didn't insist on making it one" LOL :) If it weren't for other people taking it so seriously, I wouldn't have a religion or give a crap about it at all. In fact I wouldn't be a Satanist either, because there would be no need for that to even exist if the religions we are against didn't cause so much damage to society. Sorry for those who are religious, but it's the same concept as "hate the sin, love the sinner"...except it's "hate the religion, love the person" :) Some beliefs don't bother me as much, because the belief involves free-thinking and questioning...but others are just dangerous no matter how "loving" the person is who practices it. As long as the people of *a certain religion* constantly threaten to insert their beliefs in this country's government, I am going to be fighting it.

    Answer by metalcowgirl34 at 9:39 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I like to think that I don't spend any time on religion.

    I have a personal relationship with God. I don't follow religious obligations and rituals because I believe they aren't necessary. I align myself with organizations who do good towards others and when it happens to be a Christian organization, I'm not there because of a religious obligation or to win points towards my faith. My beliefs are about my lifestyle. Everything I do is to give honor to God. Everything I do should be interlaced with the spiritual gifts he has given me and the motivation to please him and do as he asks. I don't spend all day talking about God; in my profession, that's not appropriate. I do spend all day acting as I feel God leads me and trying to be a living example of His Word.

    It wouldn't matter how much "religion' was or wasn't around me, my beliefs and lifestyle would be no different (cont).

    Answer by NovemberLove at 9:20 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I grew up in a town that is heavily represented by multiple religions and they all equally advertised themselves all over the place like the town you're describing :-) (yes, we even have local covens active in the community :-) ). So I guess I am used to actual diversity and can't necessarily empathize with someone who has grown up surrounded by just one religion or no religion at all. Honestly, when I see a University that's been founded in the name of religion, as someone who has to drive 90 minutes to school (round trip), I'm thankful that at least the education opportunity is there (I know that wasn't your point but that's what popped into my head when I read your question).

    Answer by NovemberLove at 9:24 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • And see, I'm not asking about practicing your own faith. I'm talking about wondering why other people behave the way they do, or if something is or is not offensive to one group or another. Things like the take the religious references out of the pledge or off money, if they should allow Wiccan headstones at Arlington, how other denoms handle their baptisms or the fights over gay marriage - would you spend as much time contemplating them if you didn't have other people around constantly bringing it up? Is it your own natural curiosity or one that is born out of hearing things you disagree with on a regular basis?

    Answer by NotPanicking at 9:28 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • Oh, I know it wasn't about practicing faith :-) I was more or less trying to clarify how I would spend and do spend as much time on my "religion" regardless of how much religious influence is or isn't around me.

    To be honest with you, if I hadn't grown up in an inter-denominational school with every denom you can imagine, I wouldn't know as much as I do about the broad spectrum of Christian beliefs. At that age, I might not have chosen to learn all of that on my own, no (although now, I am not regretful of it). In a profession (and academic setting as well) that require me to remain religiously neutral in my work/school setting as well as living in a town that really only represents religion if you see a steeple here or there, I can tell you that my personal study and interest in religions (other than my own) is because I enjoy it and because it helps me better reach those I serve.

    Answer by NovemberLove at 9:39 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • of course, religion and relationship are different, as many have always said. religion is an organization of thoughts/beliefs/practices..obviously, to attract like-minded peoples. religion isn't a bit thing to me..God is, and how my relationship with Him continues, is the big thing.
    the things you've mentioned that are argued on a regular basis? no...actually, i don't usually spend much time concerned about any of fact, the only time i've devoted to gay marriage, or baptisms or removal of rel. references is when i've got something to say here on CM. and it usually is of an apathetic none of the 'usual' arguments hold water for me, or my relationship to my God. most arguments are man-made, just like religion. (i'm not sure i explained myself well.)

    Answer by thehairnazi at 9:40 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • I spend more time avoiding religion....

    Answer by drpepper73 at 9:50 AM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • A lot of people have that experience when they first move away from home.

    I know I did when I left a quiet suburb for UC Berkeley. I know I struggled with some of the finer details of following my faith then. But it really just made me question my own strength, not the validity of my faith.

    But overall, I stuck to it. Still went to church every week and read my scriptures every day...and now that we're facing career changes that may move us out of our quiet neighborhood again, I feel quite ready to face it and excited to find the local congregation wherever we go.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:05 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • That's one reason why I don't go to church -

    To much emphasis on who's right or wrong, who's going to hell or who's saved . . .

    If it wasn't a big deal would I worry about it so much? Well, probably not, really.

    Answer by jennijune_21 at 1:16 PM on Sep. 3, 2009

  • That town sounds awfully familiar (except for the amish theme park!) I might live in it's sister city. I believe that living somewhere like this has helped me explore my spirituality & religion in general more, but at the same time hampered me because I am unable to interact directly with people with similar beliefs on a regular basis. I think that mythology, philosophy, & religion are just areas that interest me so I would probably be as interested as I am in any situation. However, I am sure it has influenced how I see religion.

    Answer by nysa00 at 1:43 PM on Sep. 3, 2009