I'm 60 something and a quilter. Also a former math teacher with a lot of other things that I enjoy. I belong to some online quilting groups that I enjoy as they give me information that I can't obtain anywhere else. HOWEVER, on one of my favorite groups someone has a tagline that reads "Life's biggest decision is what you do with Jesus." And now someone has replied " I love your line 'Life’s biggest decision is what you do with Jesus.' How true."
I see where this is going, having tried to join quilting groups where everyone asks me "what church do you belong to?". I'm ready to explode! I love this group but I wonder if I should:
a. Have a tagline of my own (suggestions?)
b. Just write that I wish we could be members of a wonderful quilting group such as this and leave religion at the door? I'm afraid that if I make this request I will be rejected and then will have to join as a new member keeping my real identity a secret.
What do you think I should do? I'm afraid of making the wrong decision and having to leave the group but on the other hand, I need to grow a pair (as they say) :) and tale a stand!
Please let me know what you think as I can't seem to decide.
No need to use the "A" word off the bat, merely say that you're secular, or a humanist, or that you escaped the clutches of religion. It's important to be honest for others who might be lurking, or wanting to be open about their own non-belief.
I can understand your reluctance to delve into the intellectual part of it, and I too find it frustrating. I feel forced to read the bible now (the Annotated version anyway!) in order to better arm myself against those who rely so heavily upon it. It's not so bad- if so many people use this book, I might as well get familiar with it.
And religious people are impressed when you can quote it, so they can't use the "But have you REALLY read the bible??" defense. Even funnier when you can quote stuff they're conveniently overlooked, or something that contradicts a quote they used.
My atheist co-worker asked me the other day, as he contemplated the vast amount of atheist information online and in book form, "So it really does seem like just another religion? Could that be true?" I told him no, it's simply a position of nonbelief and that's IT.
"Problem is, we're forced into this position of having to learn more so that we can defend ourselves better, rather than constantly hearing the same convoluted arguments and twisted logic. We need to educate the religious. It's more like a support group than a religion."
I do like your idea of being honest for others who might be lurking.
Frankly, the religious seem to have so many arguments that I don't think even a biblical scholar could answer enough for them to listen. They believe what they need and want to believe, devoid of reality, reason, or sanity. I'm spending my time on things that interest me. Their need to convert the world is not mine.
Thank you! Love this and will use it. Found a lot of negative references to it when checking online. It seems to be quite the beloved phrase (if you change reality to god, of course) among a certain group of people. But I liked it even before realizing its former use.
I like this, Loren. I'm going to steal it for my e-mail signature. Thanks!
Ceil, you may ultimately have to decide whether you'd rather belong to a religious group that quilts, or try to find a quilting group that doesn't require religious conformity. If you really think that your "coming out" would get you ejected, that would tell you the true focus of the members. It might almost be worth finding out -- but, as you are doing, consider the cost in your choice. Best wishes, and I'm glad you can come here and be yourself.
What's nice about posting online, rather than talking in person, is that you can take a deep breath and consider what you're going to say. In person, it's easy to blurt stuff out and become confrontational. But the best way to get religious people thinking, is to simply approach with curiosity.
If they get to talking about the J-Man, ask something like, "What is it about him that you like so much?" You'll get answers like "he's the prince of peace, he says be nice to everybody," etc.
"If he's the prince of peace, why did he say he comes with a sword? I've always wondered about that." Or, "If he's kind to everybody, why didn't he end slavery? In Matthew 5:17, he said he upholds the Old Testament. That's another thing that got me wondering."
"Well you just have to have faith," they'll say. You *could* remind them that faith is a belief despite lack of evidence, and that you have a hard time believing things without evidence, but you could let them have the last word at that point.
Freethinker, the Theists have no use for logical thinking. They believe not because a god seems logical to them but because they want or need to believe and nothing will change their minds. You could spend years in discussion with them and the result would be the same, I think. The irony is that they won't look back and see how foolish they were as they'll die in ignorance and then there is no looking back!
I would like to ask them who they think would get into their imagined heaven sooner, the person who lived a good life but did so only because of fear of damnation and who thought that if you didn't believe in god you'd not have to follow a moral code, or the person with the moral code who lived a good live because they freely chose to do so?
Who would their god fawn over?
They're not to be reasoned with because they don't seem capable of reason. Maybe another "prophet" will appear and tell them all to build spaceships and leave the earth, that god will intercept them and house them on new god-fearing planets. Then the rest of us can enjoy world peace!
Sorry that I'm so late to the party here, but I just joined the other day.
What is it about handicraft groups that pulls the crazy-religious, please-pray-for-my-carbuncle people out of the woodwork? I had the same problem with knitting and spinning, but Ravelry has an atheist group. I did a quick search for "non-religious quilting forums" and came up with quite a few hits. If nothing else, a lot of them state in their guidelines that religion is right out as a topic. Problem is, will they see "pray for blah" or "god has blessed me with the biggest pumpkins ever this year!!" as a discussion topic.
Take a look at a target forum's guidelines. If nothing else, you could report religious posts and, possibly, get a mod to make a "tone it down" statement and get to yanking offending posts. Good luck! I know it's frustrating.
ETA: typo hunting
I had one woman at my first and last Quilt Guild meeting ask me if I knew why it was okay to make a mistake in a quilt. I thought she was telling me a joke but she said that "only god is perfect". (She probably would have capitalized that.) When I smiled (keeping in what I would have liked to say) she went on to add that in the past women would make a mistake on purpose- something called a Humility Block. I decided then that I did not belong with that group because if I had to bit my tongue any longer, I was in danger of biting it off. :)
I later looked up Humility Block and found that it's considered a myth. If only I knew it then...