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Do we have to hide in the closet about our beliefs today? It sure feels like it!
To have a belief or faith, is perfectly fine..it is to try to preach it and to convince others about it that bothers you..
Faith, perfected, requires no one else but the one who has it...............
I'm not sure what your beliefs are, Rod--guess you're into that closet--but a lot of people are pretty up-front with theirs--pushy, even. It doesn't seem to cause them any trouble.
If you do believe in God then you do not have to hide anything. Do not let your feelings get the best of you; do not let them conquer you. You can change your attitude on anything in life and your feelings will follow suit.
Preaching may be perceived as a personal insult, especially when the person you are preaching to is already ingrained in his/her own belief and spurned to believe others.
I have open discussion with friends who brought up the topic. I am neutral with all religions.
The clear fact about religion is teaching us to love one another and giving respect for each others. Therefore, it does not really matter what religion you believe in as it is for the good of mankind.
Edhan, thanks for that insightful answer and voted up. I voted up a lot of answers. I do agree with you a little. I think your religion can skew your view of what is good for mankind. Take the Extremists of religion, they kill to show their faith.
in a lot of cases we do. i own a construction company and if i was to let everyone know i was an atheist, i would be out of business in a year. it is absurd but such is life.
It certainly is more "dangerous" to display your beliefs. Ego abounds.
A generation ago, love of God and Christ were common things to see at football games. Now, Tebow gets ridiculed.
I saw a picture recently of early American astronauts sitting around a table, praying prior to their upcoming space mission. Now, there's no room for such things.
But love of God should be displayed often, not for our own sakes, but for merely showing by example how one can live their life in harmony with the source of all.
In America, especially since the internet has taken off in such a big way, it seems like ridicule is the main mode of communication about almost everything. It didn't used to be this way though. When I was growing up, polite people were more private about their religious and political beliefs and that was respected.
Today, I've had people of all persuasions demand right off the bat for me to state my religious perspective or lack of it and defend it. That's so rude. I started to just say things like, "That's very private. Why do you ask?" Most people get very uncomfortable then and back off--if it happens in person. On the net, all bets are off.
I think there's a BIG difference between secrecy and privacy. Keeping some things about yourself private is normal and makes for easier social relations. Secrets harm, privacy can help.
Beliefs can be expressed if the time, place and company is appropriate. If not, you can be labeled as a martyr or radical. You will miss your point.
Also, airing your beliefs doesn't mean shoving them down someones throat or telling them they are wrong if they don't see things your way. You have to be able to handle rejection because it will happen.
Some beliefs are hidden because society can be a very unfair place. Others are hidden because the person is ashamed of their belief such as superstitions, phobias, or even being gay. This person has to decide how important this belief is to them before deciding whether to express it or not.
I am a Catholic. I am no in the closet. I do get tired to trying to correct misconceptions that people have about the Catholic Church. I was raised as a Baptist and converted about 21 years ago, or eight years after my Catholic wife and I was married. I did not rush into the conversion. I can say I am a better Catholic than I was a Baptist.
There are practices and beliefs in the Catholic church that are not understood by people of other faiths--and the opposite is also true. However, there is so much common ground among the Christian faiths that it seems someone petty to argue about the differences.
I used to believe that I couldn't talk about my beliefs. Being agnostic/atheist is a difficult thing, and there is definitely a stigma attached to it. Most people will refuse to admit that they don't believe because religious people are so prejudiced against us. If someone isn't trying to convert me to their religion, they're assuming I'm a Satan worshiper or I eat babies for breakfast. When I tell someone after I've known them for some time, they are usually surprised. I get 'but you're so... nice!' I guess atheists represent the anti-Christ to the faithful. Like you can 'catch' atheism, or something. I read a poll once where people voted on which group they trust the least, and atheists were right at the top, ahead of politicians and child molesters. That made me sad.
For those of us who live in countries with freedom of speech, it is much more about how we express ourselves, and when, where, and to whom, than about hiding in the closet. Even people with views that very few accept (I've got a lot of those) can learn to listen first and speak in a loving and respectful way, and receiving a loving and respectful greeting in return.
Of course, there are those who will always be negative. But does their response matter?
There are many places in the world today where people can punished or imprisoned for their beliefs. Do you live in such a place? If not, are you grateful for that?
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