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Do you essentially follow your parent's religion?
Yes 40%  40%  [ 12 ]
No 60%  60%  [ 18 ]
Total votes : 30
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:29 pm 
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My parents are Roman Catholics. My father received confirmation on his 68th birthday. Up until that point, he had simply been a Catholic in name only, having converted from CofE to marry my mother. My upbringing has been, perhaps consequently, rather secular. My father puts the lie to the idea that converts are the most pious! Or did. :D

As a child, I was consistently chastised by my father for jumping to conclusions. He is a scientist, in telecommunications, and his disdain for flights of fancy was something of a constant. He never managed to finish reading Lord of the Rings, and he despised Spielberg for needing aliens to tell human stories. I think he had a point, briefly!

I'm unsure now whether my father was ever an atheist. He was adamant that he would not religiously indoctrinate his children, although he has also said he regrets now not showing the importance of scriptural education. My response to him is that I have read more about religion from a secular perspective than I believe I ever would have done from religious instruction, but I think that, now, he would prefer I simply believed.

My mother is simple in her faith. People confuse simplicity with stupidity, betraying their own lack of understanding. Then again, my mother also prays often to St Jude with respect to me. Perhaps that means something? :scratch:

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:34 pm 
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[off-topic]
My mom's lurking habit is a great time saver sometimes. When something dramatic happens in my life and I post a big long description of the event on B77, and then she IMs me later that day- I can just link her to the post and save myself a LOT Of typing. Sometimes she's already read it by the time she IM's me, so she just pops on and asks for more details.

It's not a big deal, really. I've always assumed that anything I put online is completely public and could be read by anybody. Knowing my mom is reading some of what I write really doesn't bother me-- as long as I make sure I don't post anything derrogatory about her! ;) And since I have no complaints about my parents, I really don't have to hold anything back. I might be a tad squeamish if she got access to the TOE forum on B77- but only for a minute. What I wrote there is just as sincere as everything else I write. If what I wrote there interests her, she's welcome to read it.

My mom is OK, for an INTJ. She has her own online interests and doesn't stalk me. She just checks up once in a while on her way to whatever it is she does. Sometimes I'll mention something I posted about, and she missed it, so she's not obsessive about keeping up.

It's not awful, really!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:03 pm 
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of Vinyamar
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I was raised Catholic, stopped going to Mass in my late teens and only returned to church in recent years because I think the Church has valuable lessons for kids. I go to Mass to play in the Folk Group and to bring my kids, otherwise I probably wouldn't be there. And yet, I still identify as Catholic.

I suppose I'm allowing my kids the same opportunity afforded me. I raise them as I was raised, because I think kids need absolutes, and when they are old enough to question and reason for themselves, then they'll have something to rebel against. For all the faults of the Catholic Church, I still believe their teachings are for the most part justified in the broad sense. I believe them to be categorically wrong on the subjects of Homosexuality and Contraception, but I hold those to be political rather than religious beliefs. Luckily, priests and teachers here know better than to delve into such subjects when teaching kids, and I have never yet heard a priest denouncing homosexuality from the altar. If they did, I would probably leave.

The Catholic Church that I am a part of is deeply flawed, but populated by some very good people. Rome may issue decrees and proclamations, but the local priest who visits the sick and elderly is the heart of the church. And he's the guy who will never condemn homosexuality, or tell a woman with 6 kids to "accept with love the children God sends".

Rome can afford to be high minded and austere. Priests, for the most part, live in the real world.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:27 pm 
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I have no idea how to answer that question as my entire immediate family, taking their own individual paths, has essentially abandoned religion. I wavered one way or another for a long time, but the real clincher for me was my sister's third bout with adrenal cancer. May have been the same for some of them. I'm not sure. We've never had, as a group, a whole "Why and when I quit" conversation. But none of us are following what we grew up with.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:48 pm 
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I wish there had been more than simply "yes" or "no" to this poll.

I went with "yes" but with caveats.

I was raised Presbyterian, because both my parents were brought up in a Presbyterian Church. However, both had very different views on God and religion. My father was a church-goer - he didn't feel right if he didn't attend service on a Sunday and if there was no Presbyterian Church around, he felt very comfortable going to almost any other Protestant church. He was a very ecumenically-minded person; he went to Bible study at the local temple and was always interested in discussing different religious beliefs. He was a Christian and quite a Biblical scholar, but viewed the Bible as a metaphorical guide rather than the unedited Word of God.

My mother, I think, was more of a spiritualist. She attended both a Quaker high school and a college, although she was a member of the Presbyterian Church She became very devoted to the Virgin Mary in her older years, because she thought that God was male as so couldn't possibly understand a mother's issues. She did ask me once if I thought God minded or if He was hurt that she prayed to Mary instead of to Him. I assured her that God didn't mind.

I was brought up to be very open-minded and questioning and also non-judgmental about other people's religious beliefs. Like my father, I enjoy attending services. Like my mother, I am more of a spiritualist. I started attending Quaker Meeting after college and was a member of a Meeting for about 20 years...I still consider myself a Quaker more than anything else.

I will write more in the other thread.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:11 am 
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If you look at appearances only, then the answer is yes.

My parents, like you Alatar, went to Catholic mass every Sunday while we kids were in the house, in order to be a good example, but that was the extent of our Catholic activities. I never witnessed praying, holy pictures, Bible reading, etc. at home. Of course, I was raised with a Catholic ethic (and a big dose of Guilt) but it was not identified as Catholic per se. After I (the youngest) left, churchgoing petered out for all of us. I resumed going ten years later for the sake of my children, but it was always an awful experience because they were such wriggly little kids, that I soon gave up trying to take them. I went myself for a while, hoping it would be a good example, then gave it up completely.

So I'd say that I, and my parents, are now retired Catholics.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 5:58 am 
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My answer is 'no'. I no longer practice the faith of my father (or mother) or any faith at all.

I was raised Catholic. Both parents were Catholic and they had attended Catholic schools through high school. Until about 10 years ago I attended the Catholic church.. and was very involved. In liturgy, parish council, environment, in the school-volunteering as an art teacher.. you name it. I took years of bible study courses and attended/hosted small group bible studies.
(Jewel, as a child I was quite devoted to Mary.. and I think for much the same reason your mother stated. I was abused as a child and I could 'talk' to Mary--in ways I could not to Jesus & god ... who were male. Years later when a Lutheran friend of mine asked why Catholics prayed to Mary that is what I told her.. she knew my history.. and I told her it was the 'feminine' side to god, for those who felt god was male.) But that was long ago....

Then, several things happened.. it was certainly no one event or issue.. and they began to pile up, maybe had been piling up, since childhood. Mostly I would say it was the manipulation I saw in religion. The hatred. The 'holier-than-thou-ness' used to hate, to manipulate. The use of religion as a tool, political and otherwise, rather than a spiritual one. Many things. And I know many good people of faith.. but the bad that I saw was outweighing the good. The history of religion is so violent as well. So much hatred. So many religions divided because this one or that one is 'righteous' (making the others not so.) I studied a bit more about the history of religion. Religions morphing one into the other.. claiming another is obsolete (and wrong and hated) but borrowing so much from an older tradition. This isn't my feelings only on Christianity, but on religion as a whole, from the beginning of time.

Over a roughly 10 year period I went from 'needing a break from my parish' to dissatisfaction with religion in general .. but still finding 'spirituality' to be important.. to.. I am not sure what. I don't know that I would quite say that I am an atheist. But I definitely no longer believe in any sort of organized religion and definitely not any of it's man-made trappings. While I feel that *if* there is a god, a creator.. I cannot imagine it to be anything like what we humans have applied to it and have made requirements of. I think the only thing that I have left -spiritually speaking- is a feeling that we are more than just a physical body and that what we do -good or bad- does make a difference somehow, collectively. That is not to say I believe in a 'Heaven' or 'Hell'.. but I dunno. I do believe in personal responsibility. I do not believe anyone should force their beliefs on another. *shrug*


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 1:49 pm 
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I voted "no" because my parents, although not practising at all still believe in some kind of God and my father wanted a christian funeral which would be horrible for me. I am a complete atheist. No God at all. But in every day life, it comes down to pretty much the same as never going to church.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 8:08 pm 
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My Mum and Dad were not religious at all. My Mum sometimes says, rather defensively, that she "has her own ideas" and I guess she does.

My paternal grandparents were not religious either, although my paternal grandfather hated the Catholic church as only an Orangeman of his era could.

But my maternal grandfather came from a line of Lutheran bishops, if you can actually "come from a line of Lutheran bishops". Pretty big stuff, in Norway, at any rate.

My grandpa offended in some way, undoubtedly over a woman, and was booted out of the church and home. He never went back. Yet I have no clue if he was ever a believer or stopped, or anything else. He never went to church, at any rate, and my Mum had no religious education whatsover.

I have never had any religious inclinations at all. It has remained a mystery to me. But now and again I make a pronouncement on the subject and I am generally sorry I did. I said in another thread that I regard all religion as superstitious nonsense and I amend that to thinking of it as " longing for it to be true."

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:44 am 
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vison, you are the most astonishing woman. :love:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:32 am 
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There's a new book out, written by Michael Krasny, with the intriguing title "Spiritual Envy." I haven't read it yet, but I heard an interview with the author that gave me a taste of its approach. He's an agnostic who (from what I gathered in the interview) appreciates what religion has to offer but just can't bring himself to believe it. It's supposed to be an honest appraisal of faith from an outsider -- and it doesn't end with a conversion, either.

I thought it might be an interesting read.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:43 am 
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That does sound like an interesting book, Wampus, considering that it pretty much mirrors my attitude towards religion. :)

I wasn't quite sure what to put for the answer to the poll, because, to be honest, I'm not entirely certain what my parents' religious beliefs are. I grew up going to church because they were both church musicians (at a United Methodist congregation), but I think they mostly just did it because churches tend to be steady employers of musicians. After they both stopped doing playing at the church, my mom attended Unitarian services a couple of times, but my dad never went back to church. I think they would probably both be considered deists, but we don't talk about religious beliefs very often.

Because I went to church and Sunday school every week when I was growing up, I considered myself a Methodist until I was (I think) 13. And at that point I kind of just stopped believing in God. I didn't have any particular experiences that led me to that point, I guess I just realized that I didn't see God the way others in my church saw God. In fact, I didn't see that there could be a God at all. I loved the social aspect of church, particularly my youth group, so I kept attending services and events until I finished high school. I tend to think that the social aspect is the main purpose of organized religion. I haven't been to my old church for many years, because I feel a bit like a fraud going to church when I don't believe in the religion. But I really miss the strong social outlet that my church provided. Often I think about going back or going to a new church just to get that, but I've never actually done so because I don't want to be hypocritical, or lie about my beliefs.

I wouldn't consider myself a devout atheist, but I tend not to think that any God or God-like force exists. I often wish I was a strong believer in some sort of deity, but I guess you can't force yourself to believe in something that you just don't believe in.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:50 am 
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vison IS an astonishing woman, isn't she?

I know, for a long while after we stopped going to church it seemed something was missing (and.. in a smaller way, even so today) but it wasn't god. It was the community. I wish our community had more to offer in the way of family oriented groups.. it's a great way to meet people.. for your children to meet others their age, and be involved.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:00 am 
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I'm quite happy to be thought of as "astonishing". I guess . . . :scratch: Or maybe I'm like the dancing dog? :D

I think that for people in the past, their church was about the only social outlet most of them had. There were no movies, no restaurants, no sports teams. And only at church were most common people going to hear beautiful music and see beautiful things. Vestments and chalices and stained glass windows. And, of course, most of our ancestors lived dreadful squalidly poor lives and the prospect of heaven meant more to them than it might to us now. Maybe.

Where else were they going to go and what else were they going to do, on the one day of rest in their week?

Now religion has to compete with all the pleasures of a very wealthy society where even the commonest commoner can have luxuries undreamed of in the past.

If it comes down to sheer faith, that's a different thing. But for most of us nowadays it has to be faith that takes us to church because we can get everything else outside it.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:11 pm 
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vison wrote:
But for most of us nowadays it has to be faith that takes us to church because we can get everything else outside it.


That is a rather astute observation, I think.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:01 pm 
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It is. I think I started a thread about that somewhere once upon a time.

ETA: Oh yeah, here it is:

viewtopic.php?t=2648

Wampus, that book sounds interesting, somewhat similar to the book I'm currently reading. This one doesn't end with a conversion either. It's really interesting so far.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:15 pm 
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vison wrote:
... for most of us nowadays it has to be faith that takes us to church because we can get everything else outside it.


Speaking just for myself ... a lot of things, yes. Not everything, though. ;) (And I'm not talking about anything material.)

But I understand what you're saying.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:13 pm 
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Speaking for myself ...

Going to church (or Meeting, if I am being Quaker!) brings me two things:

The feeling of belonging to and being a part of a community
and
The chance to "center down" - a Quakerish sort of expression which means to empty your mind of daily bothers and open it up to the Divine.

Solitude/meditation can provide a sort of center, but it is different when done in a group.
And many groups can provide community, but it is a different kind of community when the purpose is to center down.

My faith doesn't really enter into my reasons for attendance at a church service.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:49 am 
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I voted no.

My parents were, and still are, nominally Lutheran, and I was raised the same. Our family never were active churchgoers though, and I think that especially my dad has stayed there just out of habit; my mom is probably more inclined to really be a believer.

Over the years, I rather became an agnostic, and left the church as an adult. "Spiritual Agnostic" perhaps best describes my current stance; there may or may not be a Higher Power, I've sometimes felt that not everything that has happened in my life has been just coincidence, but I don't have any idea what that Higher Power might be like, or if there even is one. In the last few years, the philosophy of Taoism has also resonated with me.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 4:19 pm 
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I answered yes. I was born a Roman Catholic will die a Roman Catholic, my grandfather always says. :)

When I was a kid I used to go to two churches RC in the evening, Baptist in the morning cause one of my Aunts who was studying for her PHD at UofT stayed with us for a few years. (Her father was RC but her mom was Baptist but they grew up Baptist.) My parents were happy that I spend my Sundays at two churches instead of staying at home on Sundays (after hockey practice/game in the afternoon). Plus, I get A+ in religion class at school (Catholic boys' school) because I learned everything in Baptist Sunday School. :D

I travel a few times a year for business and if I couldn't find a Catholic Church on Sundays or if I need to be alone with God I usually go in to any Christian Church in that city/town or country and attend their services. If there is no Christian Church in the vicinity like when I went to a small border town between Malaysia and Singapore I usually just bring my Sunday missal and read through it.

We've always brought the kids to church eversince they were babies. Most of the time they are well behaved, I just bring their magic slate and they just draw without bothering anybody. Our little boy is very attentive at mass, though, he would ask silly questions during communion rites or sing out loud (making up his own lyrics). I have told him many times to be quiet but he is as stubborn as I am. I set out rules before they go to church, if they misbehave no dollar store toy. I was upset with Princess one time since she insisted on buying our son a toy eventhough he was misbehaving. I go, No, he has to face the consequences and I don't care if he is having a tantrum. I was right he learned his lesson and never misbehaved in the church for a few months. :) The trouble with this rule is that everytime they did something I am proud of, the first words off their lips is "Daddy, can I buy a toy, please?" I go "Do I look like a piggy bank?" The little boy would ask "What's a piggy bank?"

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