[QUOTE=cruncan;1017542]I highly recommend the Unitarian Universalist Church for someone who would like the community aspect of religion but without the dogma. This may be what your gf needs. Ask.
[B]I live in Alabama and I bet there aren't any of those around here LOL If you know where I'm coming from. I am intrigued by this church though. Interesting. Thanks Paleo bird![/B][/QUOTE]
This will help you locate one in your area. [url=http://www.uua.org/directory/congregations/]UUA: Find a Congregation[/url] I'm not sure where Livingston is but there are several in Alabama. You can do a search by zip code.
There are people at the UU churches who are christians, atheist, jews, buddhists, muslims, humanists, wiccans and whatever else. Everybody gets along and works together. Those who are Christian tend to be more like Knifegill, open to and understanding of science while not having any conflict between that and their spiritual beliefs because they are not believing in fairy tales on a literal basis. There is no one set of "thou shalt believe this" dogma or else get out in a UU congregation.
I think you might fit in really well there. Perhaps it might even be a common ground that you and the gf could both agree on. Enough of a "church" for her but open minded enough for you.
I'm not Christian (or religious) but I believe I have high moral standards, many of which are aligned with the teaching of the church. I don't think being a good person and being Christian (or any other religion!) are mutually exclusive.
Honestly, your girlfriend's reasoning behind not wanting to marry you sounds like an excuse to me... If she didn't care before, it makes no sense that she cares so much now!
I actually find a lot of Christians far less moral in their behaviour than many non-Christians, so to me, being Christian or religious or not means very little about the core of a person!
I was born in a non-Christian country and religion has never been particularly significant in my culture. I still don't have much use for it now. I try to be a good person in life, if there is life after death or some kind of judgment I won't be too stressed about where I'm headed.
I think this is relevant to the no faith/UU discussion:
[url=http://bigthink.com/daylight-atheism/can-an-atheist-be-a-unitarian-universalist-part-1]Can an Atheist Be a Unitarian Universalist? (Part 1) | Daylight Atheism | Big Think[/url]
[QUOTE=mark h;1017865] I'm an atheist. I also like the Buddhist philosophy. [/QUOTE]
Same here. Parents tried a little baptist on me but I would have none of it from about age 8. Don't believe in magic...make that don't have faith in the supernatural. Wife is a non practicing catholic and shudders when I proclaim I am an atheist in mixed company. When I was a young pup I searched long and wide for enlightened truth only to find out no one [B][U]knew[/U][/B] the answer.
As Bob Dylan sang in one of his tunes: If god's a coming he shoulda been here by now?
Him, that was interesting reading. I'm surprised that a self proclaimed atheist (the author of the link) goes to a house of worship. I'm surprised that he is then surprised that any religion demonizes atheists.
Religion is pretty much about control. Be good (each religion has its definition of good) or you burn for eternity is a pretty good weapon if you can get people to believe it. Trouble with atheists is that we don't. If I live a moral life, it is because I have chosen to do so with no thought of after life reward. If I live an amoral life, I don't fear after life punishment. It's pretty hard to control people like that, and those that need to control others have to create myths about the uncontrollable folks that serve their own purposes.
It's hateful stuff like that that pushes non-judgemental believers out of organized religion.
Anyway, no houses of worship for me, which is why I thought the little quiz was funny. When I see beauty, I feel joy. When I see ugliness, I feel pain. I neither praise nor question a god as to why either exists. And I don't understand why any atheist would look for a place of worship, when for the most part, believing in a god isn't destructive, but the politics diguised as the word of God and the us-against-them components of organized religion often are.
I was raised Episcopalian/ Roman Catholic. I started asking questions and not getting answers I could swallow in my early teens. I bowed out of the church not long after my confirmation. I have since studied many religions in an attempt to find one that meshes with what I do believe. The closest I have found are paganism (some of humanity's older faiths especially) and Buddhism.
I still respect the faith of those who believe in an organized religion, even if I do not agree with it. I went through a harsh atheist phase in college, looking down my nose at those who "had religion" (I equated that with having some egregious disease.) After meeting good people who so happened to be religious and jerkwad atheists, my stance has evolved. Different strokes for different folks.
I would note that, while folks can make multifaith relationships and marriages work, that requires both partners to be open minded enough to accept someone not of their flock to be a mate. Many faiths actively discourage interfaith dating, or outright ban interfaith marriages. Many more have tenets of belief/ life structure disagreeable to the unwashed heathen. It takes work to make it work, which is why many simply say no. In my time as a harsh atheist, I tried dating a fundamentalist Southern Baptist (trust me, that relationship was a study in opposites in more ways than that.) We spent more time trying to convert one another than loving each other. It takes acceptance from both ends to make it work.
I have shied away from houses of worship since my early teens. I have been in twice once since then (a wedding and a memorial service.) Each time, I could feel the sacred space and holy energy, and also knew the deities called to sanctify that space were not my own. I love the look, especially the older Catholic and Episcopalian churches. I feel like a blasphemer and that I disrespect their space by bringing a separate faith in. It is more out of respect to those who worship there that I stay out. Kind of like a master chef not barging into the kitchen at a restaurant.
[QUOTE=JoanieL;1018067]Him, that was interesting reading. I'm surprised that a self proclaimed atheist (the author of the link) goes to a house of worship. I'm surprised that he is then surprised that any religion demonizes atheists.
I see two sides to it... I think a lot of atheists, especially those raised in church-going families, end up missing the social and perhaps ceremonial aspects of church. They want a place to go and talk and in general be among like-minded folk, they just don't want it dripping with god/christ references. My parents, especially my mother, were probably like that. Both raised in families that went to church because they had to (if you are a school administrator, school teacher, etc., in some parts of the US, you WILL go to church...or at least that was true in the 1940s thru '60s) and when my parents found themselves far removed from family and friends (they moved from the midwest to Washington DC, 1000+ miles from their social groups, just before getting married), UU was an easy social fit. So they hung out at a UU church, got married by a UU minister in that church, and in general thought positively about the UU church even though they had no religion to speak of.
I grew up as completely outside the church experience as is possible in the US. The first time I visited a church was when my school did a field trip to an old Spanish Mission in SoCal, which happens to include an active church. After that it was only passing contact. In the last 20 years I have been inside a church once, attending a wedding. Heathen borne and raised...but my mother has suggested I find a UU church and participate (probably mostly because I'm 37 and single). I bet there is a fair amount of that floating around...UU is a place that will let an atheist participate openly, vs. a lot of religions where you'd damned well better keep those sorts of views to yourself.
Nowadays there are a growing number of secular churches trying to address just that need. Around here there is the North Texas Church of Freethought, for example, which is styled as a church but is specifically by and for atheists. It is there because people feel a gap I guess, and the only name they have for that gap is, "church."
On the flip side, well, you said it and I agree 100%.
For myself... I can't stomach most of the fantasy aspects of religion. I looked at Buddhism, for example, but most forms are pretty aggressively "you must believe" about some pretty absurd notions. So I'm just not anything, and I'm OK with that.
I believe in Jesus, but I DON'T watch Fox News or vote republican. I believe in the Jesus who shared wealth and healed the hurting - you know, the one in the Bible! The modern church makes me ashamed of the Gospel.
Anyway, GO SCIENCE! And GO JESUS! And everywhere they intersect, I'm glad. :)[/QUOTE]
Woo! Chiming in to agree. That being said, most of my friends are agnostic or atheist or just don't care enough to even think about it. I couldn't be in a relationship with them, but we're still close friends.
I am an athiest and I am not afraid to tell people that, although the area I live in is very Christian and mostly Mormon/Catholic. I am a social worker and I see the lowest of the lows every day. I have also had problems with relationships who felt, if we were to have children, there would be too many issues because they were Christians. My philosophy is to treat others as you would like to be treated, don't sweat the small stuff, and don't let others control the way you feel. I don't know anyone personally who is Primal and I would love to meet others like myself also.