Billie Pagliolo profile image 60

Are you offened when someone asks if you're a "believer"?


Twice within the past two weeks I've had people ask me this question which I find terribly offensive. A darling young mother and neighbor, in front of her three children with lovely Old Testament names, blurted out at the end of our conversation, "Are you a believer?" Someone else asked me the next week if I was a Christian. I've had religious training since four years old and attended Catholic school until a junior in high school when I had contemplated joining the convent. I am on my own religious path. Do you find this ques. offensive as well?

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MizBejabbers profile image91

MizBejabbers says

4 years ago
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IDONO profile image83

IDONO says

4 years ago
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  • ReneeDC1979 profile image

    Renee' D. Campbell (ReneeDC1979) 4 years ago

    Great points IDONO - sometimes we do not realize the vibes we give off and people may misinterpret our actions, thoughts or words.

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Jacqui (jlpark) says

2 years ago
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StandingJaguar profile image95

Amy (StandingJaguar) says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    Thank you "SJ" You pinpointed exactly why I was offended. I had just met each of these people. We were having a casual first conversation in both cases. It certainly did feel like it was an inquiry as to whether I belonged to the "right camp".

calynbana profile image85

Christina (calynbana) says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    Calynbana , I like your approach. However, if you tell someone that it's personal the question is answered and judgment has been passed. Someone once told me "You don't have to understand WHY something offends someone; just accept that it does."


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LeslieAdrienne profile image82

Leslie A. Shields (LeslieAdrienne) says

3 years ago
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  • Billie Kelpin profile image

    Billie Kelpin 3 years ago

    Thank you, Leslie. I suppose the only way a believer might understand the insult in the story above is to imagine you're new to the neighborhood, I introduce myself to you and immediately ask you, in a self-righteous tone, "Are you an atheist?"

MickS profile image76

MickS says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    Sometimes it feels as rude as someone asking "Are you married?" "Are you a Democrat?" Right?

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P. Thorpe Christiansen (duffsmom) says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    Duffsmon, Thanks! I know what you mean. There's more behind the question than appears. It seems to be an attempt to convert one to the questioners own particular belief system. I wish I could come up with a really good answer for the next time:)


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ReneeDC1979 profile image80

Renee' D. Campbell (ReneeDC1979) says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    I really like that response. I'm going to use it! Thank you 'Renee'

Michelle Hawkins profile image60

Michelle Hawkins says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    Thanks Micelle, I think that direction should come from the people who share their belief system. I doubt if they'd find the direction they're looking for from me :)


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Bernard J. Toulgoat (austinhealy) says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    ah, yes.. What I mentioned above. There seems to be a new drive to evangelize. Again, I accept it, but I really don't like it. It makes me want to answer in the negative even if I wanted to answer in the positive.

Beata Stasak profile image84

Beata Stasak says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    Beata, I too was raised Catholic. I call myself "culturally Catholic" because I have roots in that religion. Your sentence would be a great retort to the people who ask that question. "Everyone is a believer in something!" I think I"ll use it! :)

TNSabrina profile image59

TNSabrina says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    TNSabrina, The self-righteous thing is exactly what bothers me, but you're a better person than I am to laugh it off. (Maybe when I was young I could do that, now I'm just old and cranky and too impatient.)

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Emily Sparks says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    Yes, I understand among Christians. This woman in my example had no idea of whether I was or not. I don't think I should be ashamed of my secular humanism, but I wouldn't presume to ask someone, "Are you a secular humanist?" "Are you an agnostic?"

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huckelbury says

4 years ago
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  • Billie Pagliolo profile image

    Billie Pagliolo 4 years ago

    Don't you think it has to do with the idea of that person feeling a calling to evangelize in his or her own way. I get it, but I don't like it.


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JThomp42 says

4 years ago
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