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Whatsupwityomamadat - Faith & Labels

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Just as promised, I changed my name to whatsupwityomamadat. Anyways, onto the post:

I absolutely cannot spell despise labels. I've always hated politics and political parties because it's nothing but a bunch of back-and-forth. Stereotypes are one of the deaths of humanity, as I've mentioned before. Having grown up in a Republican family, with Conservative friends in real life, and looking up to content creators who are Liberal, Progressive, or some other label, I see a lot of "the left is toxic because this" and "the right is stupid because of this," and it's honestly the dumbest and most aggravating thing ever. People in my school will harass you and assume harsh things about you if you associate yourself with a certain side, and it's ridiculous. From what I've heard, I fit in the Independent category, not really favoring or fitting in a certain side, but I don't even like considering myself that. I'd rather just be me. There are so many assumptions people make, like if you're a certain party that makes you less smart or kind of a person than if you were another party. But I don't really feel alone or like I'm the one who's missing out. It feels more like everyone else who buys into that sort of propaganda is just blind, because George Washington himself warned against political parties, claiming that they only cause divisions. Man, was he correct about that. It's more than just political parties, though. While I'm straight, I often find it aggravating how people get upset and even physically violent at people who claim to love the same gender, or those who wish they were of another gender. Things like that aren't a choice, there's psychology and science that go along with it, and even with that, it's not their decision to decide who that person can and can't love. It's surprising to me that there are people who don't see the parallels between what racism was and what the violence towards LGBTQ is. As for the people who are of certain religions and cultures and believe it to be a sin, it's still not right for them to enforce their beliefs on others. To clarify, I am completely fine with people who believe that it is a sin, however I do not think that necessarily justifies the right to discriminate against people who are or treat them like any less of a human. The forcing of beliefs on others is exactly what often steers people away from those exact beliefs. As a Christian who has lived in a very strictly Christian family, there are times where my family is so strict to the point where it's overly-religious. And yes, that's a thing; it's where you've become so religious that you start feeling as if your word is the word of God, claiming that others are going to Heaven or Hell for watching or doing certain things, and ignoring the context of those things. But that's not for them to decide, that's for God to decide. And religion is exactly the topic I wanted to get into. (That was a smooth transition, amiright?)

Now, I don't really know what branch of Christianity I am. I only know I believe in God and Jesus and the word of the Bible. I've talked to Hailey and she's of LDS, and I've read into it and am intrigued. I like the feeling I get when I read about it. It's of light. I've heard Ryan (and I don't know if this is true for Joe as well) say that he is Catholic. I have a few Catholics in my family, but the majority - especially the part I have to deal with daily - is Baptist. Apparently my mom has somewhat of a "disbelief" in Catholicism (I don't know if disbelief is the exact word I'm looking for, but she doesn't really like it is what I'm trying to say). But it gets really bad once you get to my mom's mother. She's the one that I'm talking about that's "overly-religious" to the point of claiming things as if her word is what's final. She doesn't have a bad intent, I know, but it's more of an unhealthy habit. Once you're around her, you'll really start asking, "whatsupwityomamadat?" She very much so dislikes Catholicism, and I'm not exactly sure why. I've tried researching into the differences between the two, but from what I've found there's not really anything too different or any reason for the overreactions they have. My mom and her mom do have really bad anxiety though, so that could very well be the reason why they're both very strict and overly-religious. While researching, however, I did find a quote that I absolutely loved about the subject, stating, "It’s faith in Jesus Christ that saves, not membership in a church or denomination. Salvation is not determined by church membership. Salvation is determined by personal faith in Jesus Christ."

Like I said, I am not sure about what I'd specify as, but I'd be very interested to hear your stances on this since I agree a lot with what you guys have to say about God. I don't quite like how judgmental they are and how they overreact.

Edited by whatsupwityomamadat

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@whatsupwityomamadat I'm not entirely sure that you had a question necessarily and while I hope that Joe and Ryan can give you a bit of guidance. I hope that you can read through your Bible and consider what it actually is that your concern is. If you were to take your entire statement that you have above and condense it down into a singular thought, what would that thought be? I ask this because it can be very helpful in taking the concerns that you have and answering them at least partially on your own. 

Before I begin, please note that I care greatly about your frustrations and difficulties as I have face a similar turmoil myself. Not just in this realm, but in others. When I had my question the other day where I asked about how to deal with having your decisions affect many other people. I spent the background of the post thinking over it and condensing it down to the main concern, which in turn allowed me a bit of time to confront my problem on my own to some extent which was very helpful. 

One of the things that I would try to be careful of is looking down on people who are looking down on other people. A problem with moral relativism is that we take for granted certain principles in order to make it work. In your instance it might be homosexuality, but historically it has been other things. CS Lewis makes the case that before you confront these issues you must define where you and the other person are coming from. In Mere Christianity, he makes the case that we no longer burn witches and that people have made the argument that we are more moral now than before because of it. However, we must make the determination that truthfully, humanity has not significantly changed in the moral sphere, but in the knowledge sphere. Our decision to no longer burn witches is not predicated upon the fact that we don't kill people who cast spells on people to murder them, destroy their crops, and cause disease. It is predicated upon the fact that we don't believe that witches are actually capable of doing those things. I still highly recommend that you read the book as it gives some insight into some of the things that you are discussing. 

Here is the actual quote:

“Three hundred years ago people in England were putting witches to death. Was that what you call the 'Rule of Human Nature or Right Conduct?’ But surely the reason we do not execute witches is that we do not believe there are such things. If we did—if we really thought that there were people going about who had sold themselves to the devil and received supernatural powers from him in return and were using these powers to kill their neighbours or drive them mad or bring bad weather—surely we would all agree that if anyone deserved the death penalty, then these filthy quislings did? There is no difference of moral principle here: the difference is simply about matter of fact. It may be a great advance in knowledge not to believe in witches: there is no moral advance in not executing them when you do not think they are there. You would not call a man humane for ceasing to set mousetraps if he did so because he believed there were no mice in the house.”

From here I wanted to discuss what you state about LGBTQ persons. I do want to point out that at no point should anyone be violent or attack to people who are different than them. And forcing belief systems on others is something that I think we want to rally against, especially in the Christian faith where Jesus would confront sinners, but did not try to make them believe. I think this exemplifies the rest of the Bible, in that the Bible often refers to God's wrath as simply leaving people in their sin. That sin is in and of itself its own punishment. 

We do need to denote the fact that there is a difference between sexual preference and race. While their are people who face similar trials to those people who were mistreated due to their race. In the end sexuality inherently involves choice. If sexuality doesn't involve choice that is generally illegal and for good reason. Are there a number of psychological and biological issues at play? Certainly. But that doesn't prevent it from being a choice. 

This brings us to your actual consideration of faith and sin. It is important to note you have indicated that you feel people have become overly religious and believe that their word is the word of God, which can be a very dangerous thing. However, if you believe the Bible is the word of God, then what happens when they quote it? Are God's words not his own? Can he not speak through his creations? These are things to consider as you wrestle with these ideas. Since, there may be sometimes in which you are actually having difficulty with God's word, but are projecting your problem with it on your parents. (I do not know if this is the case, but I want you to consider that some of your disagreements may actually lie with God.) 

To your last point about Baptists vs Catholics. It would be important that I put myself more in the first category so that proper response can be had. Primarily Protestants (Baptists or otherwise) have had issues with the Catholic Church due to its focus on rules. Thus it brings into play the idea that you have to live up to a certain level to achieve salvation. Which I think we find to be untrue. The thief on the cross being one such example. (Ironic considering your plight above is that you have your parents making the same kind of remarks about others not living to a certain standard.) 

This is my understanding, it is not truth, nor is it perfectly created. It is simply from what I am able to grasp about the things that I am aware. I am sure that Hailey, Joe, and Ryan could give you a number of more nuanced perspectives with details that they are more privy to. I am glad that you reach outward to find additional understanding and hope that these words help to put a different perspective on the ideas that you are faced with. Feel free to ask questions, disagree, or anything else that helps you to understand. Understanding is truly somethings that will help to bring us together. 

 

Love,

 

Joseph Bohan

One of the Real Ones. 

 

 

 

 

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Funnily enough, about the politics section, my friends actually made a podcasty type thing on YouTube about this exact ordeal; how divided people are these days when it comes to politics. They're on the same page that it's possible to disagree while also respectfully having a conversation. They pointed out so many amazing points, such as that people often have the intent of going into a political conversation to change someone's stance on something, but that isn't a good approach. They also pointed out that it's not good to view one side as "stupid" or less-intelligent just because their view may be different or not be as factually sound, because they're human too and that everyone has moments where they'll say something untrue without knowing it's not true, so they shouldn't be faulted for it. They also pointed out many other things, such as the mentality of "safety in numbers," and in the end everyone has the same goal, just different ways on how to reach it, and that often people might think that they're the ones educating the other side on what's right instead of opening themselves up to new perspectives, which can be a toxic approach. Anyways, just thought I'd mention since I feel that they did an amazing job on covering that in a way that didn't shun either sides, despite them being very strongly conservative.

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