First and foremost, there is no religion that could "SAVE". People who cares about religion are those who believe that salvation is only in their religion. For me this is not the right mentality since religion doesn't matter. Our personal encounter with God is still important. Though religion plays a major role, it is not the basis for salvation.
To me, your religion doesn't matter. It is the way you treat me that matter.
Well it could be one person invites a friend to dinner. He wants to make sure he does not prepare a meal that may have food that is offensive to the other. For ex. Jewish do not eat pork
People who are concerned about another individual's religion are either making sure they are the same as theirs or are just interested or curious to know of another religion.
It's relevant to today's society, even if its just linked by tradition. It is always accompanied by bigotry, judgement and at times condemnation for what you practice, how you practice or who you practice it with. Religion more often than not doesn't make anyone care about you any more or less. People are nosy and they want something to point at to make themselves feel better.
So true. Bigotry and judgement are a big factor, I think. They judge you by your religion, instead of who you truly are.
Cloverleaffarm even Christians are labeled as Bible Thumpers, Judgemental and such-not all of us are. The true Christians are the ones who know that they are not perfect-like me
I keep hearing 'true christian'. Christians are always in the way and hurting people. god isn't real, if god was real why would he even need you? Being imperfect is human, if we were perfect we wouldn't die. Its not spiritual, its a fact.
Well gabgirl12 maybe you associated with the wrong types of Christians. I did not say I was perfect far from it. God loves us that's why he needs us. I can't prove that he is real but you can't prove that he isn't.
Because in their own religion(s), it specifies that those who do not believe the same way they do will be subject to eternal torment in hell. Therefore, embedded within the text of their religious books are subconscious commands to go force everyone else to do and believe the way they do. This is why certain groups can be so overbearing at times... *cough* Westboro Baptist *cough cough*
Jared, Westboro is not a Church God would be pleased with. God is love. They are a church of hate.
Then I shall be subject to eternal torment...lol. I agree on the overbearing. I have come across many Christians who are like this...but not many from other religions. Probably just my experience.
cloverleaffarm were they actually Christians or from a certain denomination, for example Roman Catholic?
People don’t ‘care’ what religion others believe in.
There are those who are happy with their own belief, or non-belief, and there are those who want to impose their belief on others.
I do believe it is to impose their beliefs. Otherwise, why bring it up.
It can be to share something not always to push. If person does not want to listen subject is closed. What I do is set the sample-way I act and such-some people follow my sample
Religion like caste, creed and nationality gives us a label, by means of which we feel more comfortable with each other. It acts like an adhesive among the people. Sometimes this attitude becomes so strong that it makes us intolerant of the people of other religions. It is quite difficult to raise oneself above religion, caste, creed or nationality but there are people, who attach no importance to such labels.
As a matter of fact, this has no justification because there are people in every religion who will respect people of other religions and make them feel wanted. Everybody will feel comforable in the company of such people.
I will stress here that the Almighty God is one and only supreme force, which all religions accept unequevocally.
Great comment. i have no use 4 organized religion, and am called evil, athiest, bigot, etc., but with all that condemnation i am still a spiritual soul that is part of the whole (God).
I love your response here d.william - I couldnt' have said it better myself.
I don't believe we should label people. Not by color, religion, or any other. People are humans. They are either good, or bad. That is all I care about.
d.william, I am with you. I am not into organized religion, but I am still very spiritual person
I really agree with you - d.williams, christin S and cloverleaffarm. An atheist can be truly spiritual since spirituality is beyond religion. Only ignorant people attach importance to labels of religions. I believe we should not condemn any religion.
People may not realize, but those who are Christians are truly concerned about non-believers and what will happen to their soul after death. It is compassion that we are taught from the Bible to spread the word to the world.
It would be nice if Christian believers were more worried about fixing the BS and those who give them a bad name than trying to add non-believers (of christianity) to their numbers. Christianity isn't only religion on the planet.
Gab.....Christians are human. What they do should have no baring on giving God a bad name. It is not God's fault how other's may behave.
Thank you Lois!!
I never said 'god' had a bad name. Christians however do. We are all 'human' by the way.
Do these Christians realize they are putting off people by doing this? One does not have to believe in Christ. Most Christians don't even know their Bible to begin with, so how can they pass it on to someone else.
cloverleaffarm ......... How can you make this assumption about "most" Christians do not know the Bible?? Did you take a survey?
JThomp, I did not take a survey, but have had several conversations with many Christians. The ones I have met, take the Bible and twist it into what they need it to say to justify their actions in their life.
That is kind of not real fair of you when you started the thread by saying "but those who are Christian are truly concerned......." Did you take a poll? We are taught that some have the gift. Certainly someone lousy shouldn't. do it.
gabgirl, I so agree with you. It is not the only religion, and they should fix themselves before trying to "fix" someone else. This of course is for the ones that feel the need to prove their religion is the best religion.
Yet, the way in which many Christians go about it is more likely to turn them away. Telling someone who they are is wrong, and they should change + love God or go to Hell isn't going to convert any1, nor is it compassionate. Yet, many still do it.
cloveleaffarm Every time I read the Bible I learn new things,but I take everything I read as I read it. If I don't understand something, I will admit it and not twist it around. I attend Bible Studies to give deeper understanding of the Bible
We understand that, JT, but turn it around. What if those of us who are non-believers were concerned about what would happen to YOUR soul by believing and tried to convince YOU to convert. I respect your beliefs, but the world KNOWS the message.
Eric..... You mean to tell me that you are a Christian and you do not worry about the lost? This astounds me.
Yes, I am told not to. Too many verses to quote -- http://www.openbible.info/topics/worry
That stuff is not on me. If conversion happens because of me I would find that odd, unless it was by my example of how to live.
Eric.. All I can say is wow. You do not feel the need to lead those to Christ?
JThomp42, I had to meditate on this. And I find the answer most adamantly no. I do not even do the "knock the dirt from my scandals deal". I devote 20 hrs a week to ministry. I do what I can for widows, homeless and sick. I raise great children.
Not everyone witnesses the same way. I am shy when it comes talking face to face. My witnessing comes through my blogs and writings. Also comes from the sample I set.
Merely compare yours with their religion.Actually they want to know how you are different from them?
I do like to learn about other religions. What bothers me, is when they ask and then because you aren't "one of them", they feel they can't be friends with you.
Cloverleaffarm do you want friends like that. i have friends of many religions and nonbelievers as well
Wow what a great question. I figure most of these comments are right for most of the people, some of the time. I am a devout Christian. But I have no calling to convert others. God just did not wire me that way. Somehow I got different gifts. And one of those gifts is empathy. I am interested in others. I would just assume know what you ate for breakfast. I care if you are feeling poorly. I want to join in your happiness.
I am quite sure what religion you have and how you think about it, would be extremely interesting. I am sure you have much to teach me.
Here is an interesting fact, I care that you asked this question and what other people have to say about it. It will be fun to match that up to their religion. Look at members of the movement H.O.W. that was started here by Billybuc. It is just people caring about other people.
Thank you for not feeling you have to convert others. As a non-religious person I respect those who have faith but keep it by being kind to others, not seeking converts.
Yes, thank you for not feeling the need to convert. I am sure your friends appreciate this. You sound like a kind person, and that is truly the only thing that counts in the world.
There can be a wrong way to try to convert. A lady at work told a gay guy that he was going to go to hell if he didn't change. That was the wrong way. He was turned off. Usually I share with my writings. Agree great question cloverleaffarm
Because if they are religious themselves they believe they have found the truth and want to share it. Many religions encourage them to do so and to convert others. Their belief system may make them genuinely concerned for your spiritual well-being.
This is where people lose me. I have concern for others who eat junk food, but I don't feel I have to go preach to them why they should stop. Religion is a deeply personal thing I wish people would keep personal unless others specifically ask.
I agree with ChristinS. Christians do tend to stick their noses in everyone elses business and pass judgments easily on others whether they know what they are talking about or not.
d. william..... Do you think it to be easy to testify to anyone?? It is very hard to do, but God tells us in the Bible this is what we must do.
Thumbs up Christin S. I don't need someone telling me what to believe. I don't want to be saved. Saved from what?
All the Christians I know beat their kids, cheat on their wives, and lie like a rug. Is this what Christians call caring?
JT: God tells us nothing in the bible. Those are man's words. If you choose to believe them, you have that right, but you do not have any rights to judge others or preach you fairy tales as truth.
You agnostics kill me. You think you set on a high horse and can set back and dissect every move a Christian makes and label them. You are the most judgmental people in the world and you are calling Christians judgmental for trying 2 do what is right
So when you judge non-christians you're doing what's right and when they call you on it - then it's being judgmental. OK - got it now, thanks for clarifying. No pot calling kettle black at all.
Jthomp42 what makes you think that Christians do what's right? History has proven that Christianity sits on the wrong side of the fence. Inquisitions, wars, civil rights. The right for a woman to terminate a pregnancy and vote and gay marriage.
gabs...... Not all of the things mentioned are right. Abortion and gay marriage being the case.
Christin.... get off of your soap box already.
JT.So 2 clarify: Christians can judge & criticize cause their instruction book says it is OK, when someone criticizes christians they R judgmental. If ignorance is bliss, U must be 1 happy dude.
If there was no god and no religion, there would be one less prejudice to deal with. Then again if God and Satan could just get on with each other what would there be to fight over?
11 states would disagree with you and so will I at every turn. You want to control the government and freedom. I always keep a firm grip on reality that who I am fighting are irrational people who believe in god and think they own other people.
lumen: cute.There certainly must B a higher power, but i will never believe that the higher power favors Christianity in all its faults, and falseness, that would make the higher power less than benevolent.
As I expected d. williams........ Name calling from a agnostic, how unusual. The Bible plainly says how God feels about these matters, like it or not, you are but a minuscule opinion in God's vast universe. So keep on with your lip service NO MATTER
jt: & as I expected. bigotry & name calling from a Christian. what God was supposed 2 have said in UR book of instr. came from the minds of people just like U. My sympathies 4 UR intense brainwashing
My true sympathies for your d. williams. The Bible is so vast and so intelligent the way it is written there is no way it could have been written without divine instruction. No matter how smart you think you are, the Bible is a true masterpiece of fa
Denounce the faith or belief of others and your faith and beliefs will leave you wanting.
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
True lumen......... All I am doing is spreading God's word and taking up for my Father. God says "If you deny me on earth, I will not acknowledge you in Heaven." We must stand our ground among st the pagans. This is the least we can do 4 wht he has d
JT: U R entitled 2 UR beliefs, but that does not make them real. Learn how the bible was created, & by whom. When 1 holds goverment created laws as gospel we all lose. God wrote nothing. Get real.
God didn't write it with his own hand. But, there was certainly divine intervention involved. Do you think all the prophecies that have come to fruition could have been predicted by man? No. By the way, have you read the number 1 book ever published?
JT, if I said I was happy in what I believe, would you still try and save me?
No, humans do not save anyone. If you would talk to me, I would tell you how you can be saved. One may think they are happy when there is a huge part of their life missing.
I'm on a soapbox? lol you make me smile. All I know is I live joyfully and fearlessly every day and I'll take that over my previous life any day. To each their own, we all learn in our own way.
Christin..... I'm so glad I make you happy. Now since you think you are right, stop responding.
JT, Thank you for not saving me, but you still say you can, and that my belief is wrong. And on that note, all I can say is that your beliefs have left you wanting.
at gabgirl12 where did you hear that Christians are for abortions and Gay marriage? One is murder and the other goes against what the Bible says in regard to murder. Sry if I misunderstood the comment
UR bible is only relevant 2 those who believe it is. Quoting from it serves no purpose.Neither does UR need 2 'save' others who R probably way more spiritual than any christian will ever B.
d. william.... Your arrogance will be your downfall.
JT. Ur ignorance wil B urs. Govrnmnt. created RCC=christianity +a book of rules.then declared them all 2 B holy amen.Ur ? did i read #1book-if U refer to the bible.I was brought up in the RCC & read it several times. Great but fairy tale morals
You misunderstood Lois. Christians are against abortions and the civil rights for gays and lesbians. And that is wrong. Again, you can't control people by saying its 'gods' will jthomp42. If god exists, let god do the talking and get out of the way.
Excuse me d. william...... If you consider the Bible a fairy tale then I'm afraid you are very ignorant along with your arrogance which will get you no where when you "DO" have to meet your maker. "Do not feed your pearls 2 swine." I'm done w/you.
thanks for clarifying that. There's nothing wrong to be against abortions. I don't, however, like the protests at clinics because they can be violent. While homosexuality is a sin in the Bible, I am friends with them at work.
Gab.... I agree, homosexuals should have the same rights as straight people. But not special rights. All rights should be equal to every American.
JT & DW, maybe you should take this to another forum. Take solace in the fact that what you believe as individuals is right.
“Some people speak because they have something to say, others speak because they want to say something”
lumen: i agree. my apologies to the host (cloverleaffarm). The righteous will still judge those who disagree with them - both directions. Thanx for pointing this out.
I agree with equal right for homosexuals. They should have allowed them to join the military years before they did.
In my experience, people want to know what religion you are so they can try to convert you to their religion, or atleast spread their religion or religious views onto you and in their view, to try and 'save' you. They often 'witness' to you, sharing with you what their religion has done for them, etc. I think they do it to try and earn rewards in Heaven or to be a 'good' representation of their faith to you.
Also, I think they care so much because, from my experience, they are told they are supposed to go out witness to others, they see it as their duty to try and recruit you or bring you to their faith.
I think they see it as trying to help others, for the most part anyway. I'm sure there are some that care just so they can condemn others to make themselves and/or their religion feel/seem superior to you/yours. Some people really get a kick out of that stuff.
This is just my experience/opinion, of course.
All religions teach their sheep that theirs is the only right path to salvation.
We know that is an outright lie, and yet those sheep still believe they are the chosen people. They are not concerned about what another person's religion stands for, they are more concerned with spreading their own brand of misinformation and delusional beliefs.
The evils of organized religion far outweigh the little good that some of them may do.
In an ideal world it shouldn't matter. People should love and understand others for who they are, not what they believe (or don't believe for that matter). I cringe when people feel the need to convert others. That is not a call from God, it is a call from the ego to make them feel important. If there was only one true religion, then there wouldn't be billions of people on this planet who all believe different things. I struggle to find respect for those who feel they have to convert other people, regardless of whether they feel their intentions are noble.
I think we are growing gradually into an age where we can start to get to know individuals for who they are and to love and respect them regardless of what they believe. It has been a LONG time since anyone asked me about what religion I am - thankfully, and I live in a very religious area. a lot of people who do know I'm not religious avoid me like the plague and gossip about us and our family, but those are the kind of people I would never associate with anyway and frankly, they talk bad about people all the time except on Sunday for a few hours while they go pretend they are better than everyone else. Not all church goers here are like that of course . Most are great people. Our best friends are Baptists who could care less that we are not religious lol.
for the most part, people around us are good and believe in "live and let live" so those are the people I choose to associate with . As for the others, perhaps they want to know what "club" you're in so they know if you will fit in with them. I avoid that too.
I certainly hope you are right. I want the age where it doesn't matter what you are, but rather who (or how you act) are. How you treat me is all I care about. I have several friends who are Baptist, and they don't seem to care what I am.
Well said, Christin. Since moving to Southern California, I feel more isolated from my friends who are religious. Maybe it's age. I LOVE them DEARLY, but simply can't share the deepest parts of my soul with them.
Sorry ChristinS that people treat you and your family like that. That's why I do most of my Bible Study at home and don't belong to an organized religion.
People who care about religion want to know your religion so they can categorize you and decide whether they want to be your friend or not based on no other criterion than your religious beliefs, which they usually don't ask about in any detail. This is how Jews got stereotyped and ordinary Muslims get called terrorists. Sometimes institutions want to know your religion (like hospitals and funeral directors) so they can perform for you spiritual services aligned with your beliefs.
So true. After the Boston Bombing, I was inundated with hate feeds from facebook. I couldn't believe that people would hate a whole "race" from one persons actions. I do agree with the hospital asking. That is a totally different ball game.
I agree cloverleaf-you can't blame Russians or Muslims for what happened in Boston-I have friends who are Muslims and most of them are peaceful
Why? So that they can convert you, or ridicule you, as does the Atheist.
Atheism, which is really Agnosticism waiting to become Theism, is the dumbest of all religions. The rank and file Atheist doesn't even understand that he/she is part of a religion, and that he/she is actually not an Atheist, but an Agnostic.
The Atheist will continue to argue with the Theist for thousands of more years if the hairless ape survives. This is because of emotional attachment to one's beliefs, and the need to be right.
Existence of a god, or gods, IS NOT a matter of religion, or belief, but of science and of physics. As long as the debate revolves around what is 'true' or 'right', and therefore based on opinion and religion, there will never be resolution. The instant one defines the word 'exist' in an unambiguous, non-circular, non-synonymous way, that person understands if there is, or, is not a god. End of discussion!
The belief in anything is the creation of the human mind manipulated over thousands of years until it is accepted as truth. This includes religion, science, physics and mathematics.
Hence, dear Lumen, belief has nothing to do with reality (what exists). The moon exists by definition. It is something somewhere, and was something somewhere long before a single human lived to believe in it.
The first two paragraphs are condescending and mean-spirited. The last one is interesting. Atheism is a defense against religion because 'spirituality' is still a concept relevant to society even when no one manages to come back from the 'dead'.
Spirituality is only relevant to society because it is irrational.
Psychiatry may be of help if one is seeing disembodied spirits or zero dimensional particles.
Yes, but we can't commit all of those who practice Islam, Christianity and any of the other religious entities that have survived over millienia now can we?
I like this concept. Because Monkeymind cannot grasp or understand something that is not presented to the senses he is aware of, it does not exist. So that means that If I cannot understand what love is, it does not exist. I like it.
@Eric: I also can not "grasp" square circles, because it is an irrational concept.
Love may be used as a verb or a noun in ordinary language (syntactical grammar), however, for purposes of science love can not be a noun. Love can not move mountains.
If the only way of knowing that something exists is by what we are told by another person, either verbaly or in historic written words, how do we know it to be true? By believing in words?
Love is a feeling, it is not hard to believe in love.
@Lumen: There is only possible, or not possible. One comes to THEIR conclusion because an explanation is either rational, or not rational.
My wife understands that I love her because of what I DO. Whatever her belief is not for me to decide.
Thank you monkeyminds for the clarification. Your quote is regarding moving obstacles out of the way. My love can do that. Mountains is a metaphor. But you knew that. So the statement becomes true. Because we all know it means obstacles. And love can
Love is something we do, facilitated by something we feel.
There are words that represent objects and words that represent concepts. All words resolve to one or the other. Is love an object or is love a concept?
Right on question. Same for God -- object or concept?
I suppose as a Christian you might say God is love. However, it is clear from certain biblical texts that god is an object: So which is it, Christian?
I think you are mistaken about the bible directing that God is an object. I think it clear that we call Him that because we have no other frame of reference as to what He is. Just like my silliness in calling Him a Him. Or a boat a she ;-)
There is no third category. Is God an object or concept?
You said mountain is a metaphor (concept) and that your love can move obstacles (concept).
You are confused between objects and concepts, nouns and verbs, syntax and context.
I do believe it is sometimes to convert you. Others, I think it is to prove they are better than you. I find this true with many Christians.
Philippians 2:6 -- ”Who, being in the FORM of God..."
Numbers 12:8 -- “With him I speak face to face..."
Job 4:15-17 -- “... A FORM stood before my eyes..."
Clearly God of the bible is an object. However, let's not confuse objecthood with existence.
No. Your citations are how God appeared to people. Not his essence. Of course He can take any form. God exists but He is not an object, just like our love example.
If God is not an object, as you claim, then God is a concept. If god is a concept than he does not exist. IOW, is not something somewhere.
object: that which has shape
concept: the relation between objects
There is no third category.
"If God is not an object the He is a concept". Those are my only two options?. How about --- God is a God. Gods are neither wholly concept nor wholly object. Kind of like a plant that can walk around. (note the wholly whollies here ;-)
God=God is not a definition, that is a synonym. What have we learned?
If you can't even define God, what exactly is it you do believe in?
Good luck with that, Eric.
Come on Monkeyminds that is an easy one. I believe in that which I can define .................. And that which I cannot define. How many failed poets tried to define love? How many succeeded but were different. Define beauty or pornography.
species of palm tree that has been known to walk as far as 20 meters.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r-SeU5VIXYs
Still, a walking plant is at least conceivable, whereas a half concept, half object, is not.
Monkey - you speak of the atheist in this as though they are the ONLY people to try and convert people to their way of thinking, yet do not make mention of those of religion doing just that - even door knocking to find converts.
Disagreeing on definitions is NOT the same thing as understanding the difference between an object and a concept. Believing in something that you can not define, or understand is a shaky foundation on which to build a world view.
M, hear you. However, there is a group in between. I call them "Apathetic" but that doesn't catch on. I use it to descirbe those of us who feel the concept of god is so beyond our level of comprehension that it's disrespectful to waste time trying.
This last comment reminds me of all the cop shows; The hero always catches the bad guy based on a "hunch". Yes it may be a shaky foundation but it works every time in the movies. I reckon faith is kind of like that. Not knowledge but a hunch.
@ cloverleaffarm if a Christian believes he is better than u because u are not that is not a real Christian. A true Christian cares 4 u. And the same in any other religion
Your answer is so far off base from the original question. Why don't you create a hub?
I don't believe anyone should care what religion anyone is. It is no one's business and religion and spirituality should be something personal. We are suppose to have a separation of church and state in this country, but, sadly, people have forgotten that. Religion should not enter into politics or any decisions made in this country but that is not the case anymore. We are just as divided over religion as we are politics. I don't base my friendships on religion and I never inquire about someone's religion. If they want to tell me fine, if not that is fine also. Religion should be for moral and spiritual reasons and should not be divisive, but that is not what is happening today. Obviously, we are at war with the Islamists. War over religion is ridiculous and goes against all tenets of either Christianity and Islam. We are killing each other in the name of God? We have lost all sense of sanity!
Unfortunately this has gone on throughout history, every religion has killed others in the name of God. I do think we are evolving though, we don't feed people to lions anymore at least.
So true and wars will go to the end. Love your comment about the lions.
There is a big difference in belonging to a certain religion and haveing a personal relationship with God and Jesus. As a Christian I care about others because I want them to be saved and experience the joy that only God can provide
What do they need saving from? I am a good human being. Why do I "need" to be saved?
Saved so they get eternal salvation. Even if a good person does not believe God and believe that Jesus died on the cross they may not get eternal salvation.
Sigh... so all the billions of other people who have ever existed who were good people are doomed to eternal damnation for not believing in your religion? Ok, if you say so. smh
as one who understands the path to glory, I pray that everyone recognizes that Jesus died on the cross to provide a path to everlasting life.
ChristinS I go by what the Bible says but the Muslims are God's people too and they follow the Koran and The Jewish Follow Old Testament Law.
It's just one of the many pieces of information that they'll use to judge you. Either that, or they're just curious and making conversation.
I have to agree with the last part. And that is mainly because religion is part of our history. More and more people are looking to history to know its influence and be informed. This is why the internet is awesome.
Curious or making conversation I can deal with. It's the judging that I can't deal with.
People care about what religion you are, or why they should care, is so that they can respect your upbringing and beliefs. For example, suppose someone wants to perform a ritual that is strictly "Catholic" and you are a Methodist. If they do not inquire as to your religion first it is kind of against Religious Law. Others do, of course, inquire as to religion for the purpose of judging you without knowing who you really are. That is prejudice, which is also against Religious Law (I believe). Another example is marriage. A mixed couple can decide whether or not to convert to one religion for the sake of children or simply to more complete a union - but in either case, the respect of each other's religious beliefs and practices should be combined in order to make it a truly Holy Matrimony. Religious beliefs are up to an individual, regardless of Church.
Can they perform their ritual, and you perform yours? Does this mean one could not be friends, or perhaps marry? I know married couples that are not the same religion, and they have wonderful marriages. Children are usually the mother's religion.
Some churches might have rules. My sister couldn't get married in a Catholic church because her husband was divorced. I'm a Christian and my husband is not but he is sanctified through me because I am the believing spouse
Some people truly care but in my experience, sometimes it is simply because they are nosy or even pushy. Others may be trying to make conversation or convert you.
Sometimes people seek comfort in conformity and find validation through comparing their own beliefs with those of others. To wonder what religion they are practicing really categorizes them, to immediately associate them with others of the same religion. They might think that this helps to understand the person better. The truth seems to be that we cannot categorize people by comparing them to others of the same religion, ethnicity, career, etc.
I don't think knowing a persons religion will help me know them more. I have a good friend, and I still don't know what religion he is, but I do know he will help you in time of need, and is all around a good friend.
Cloverleaffarm, I agree. This is probably the best way to get to know a person and learn from them- by not associating them with religious or other groups.
Far as I can see for a few reasons.
To judge you, they want to give people the impression that they care about your well being while looking down at you for not believing in their religion. ( cares what others think, will always try to convert you in public or with an audience around, does not respect other peoples faiths, listens only to the sound of their own voice ) Common.
To help you, They honestly believe that they are on the right path and they care enough to want to share this knowledge with you. ( does not care what others think, will try to share in private, respects other peoples rights to choose their own religion, is willing to listen as well as talk ) a rarity.
To say yea or nay, they have a certain criteria for their friends, the same religion being one of those criteria ( just wants to know what your religion is, so they can decide if they still want to hang out with you, probably has other criteria, social standing, financial background, intolerant to anyone different from them ) fairly common.
extremely nosy , they not only want to know what religion you believe in, but will probably ask you all sorts of questions ranging from, when was your first time to who did you do it with last. ( suffers from incurable nosiness, lack of social graces and often there is a secondary symptom called foot in the mouth syndrome ) as common as ice in the north pole.
When a person brings up religion, am I compassionate, understanding, tolerant and openhearted towards them - staying in my center - or do I become as insensitive, opinionated, defensive, and clumsy towards them as I think they are being towards me?
Great Question: There are several possible reasons why we care about another's religion:
1. Knowing someone's religion immediately helps determine how close of a relationship we can have with that person. If, at the core of your being, you have a different purpose than I do, it limits my intimacy with you. We can talk about the weather, the kids, our travels, our favorite restaurant, but we can't talk soul to soul because we're going toward different goals. As a "born-again" non-believer, I love my friends who happen to be religious (and 85% of them are) BUT, they while we function similarily in the world; their motivation is not the same; I cannot get to a level of emotional intimacy with them because they are living their life with a different purpose and motivation than mine. It's as if we're doing comedy improv together. They identify an imaginary object on the stage as a feather. I respond by saying, "Wow, this is the heaviest feather I've ever seen," and proceed to lift it as if I'm lifting a load of bricks. They need to expend extra energy on conceiving of a heavy feather in the scene. If I AGREED that the imaginary object IS a feather, then we have the basis of a scene that can smoothly go some where. We'd work together in unison like a well-oiled machine.
2. Subconscious research might be another reason for caring what religion a person is. Some of us actually are not all that sure of what we DO believe. As a non-believer, am I 100% sure this is the right choice for me? Of course, I'm not, and I suspect that religious people have doubts as well. If we're honest with ourselves, we seek to discover what another believes to confirm our own beliefs and dispell our doubts. We do that in all aspects of our lives whether it's asking a friend about potty training or financial investment.
A corrolary to that reason is our attempt to see if there is actually something out there that we're missing. I have a student who studies Confusionism and her peaceful, loving manner makes me wonder if her belief system has something I should add to mine.
3. A more malicious reason we care is to be sure we don't corrupt our own beliefs by association.
4 Finally, we have a basic desire to share what we find helpful with another human being. If I find that my path AWAY from organized religion has made a positive difference in my life, of course I want to share it, JUST AS someone who loves his or her relgion wants to share beliefs that he loves..
A different purpose? One can be Hindu, and the other Jewish, but as long as they respect the others difference they can love each other. This is like saying a Catholic can't marry a Protestant, to me anyway.
Clover, I LOVE my friends!! DEARLY! But when my two friends talk about their Bible study together,they share something I cannot share with them. There's a connection that I just don't have with them in that way. That's all I'm saying.I accept that.
Billie, I enjoy your balanced and thoughtful answer as usual. I wonder, how many here would be asked 'what is your religion?' because others see something to be desired or admired in the way the respondent lives their life.
Emanate Prescence, I KNOW! You can't help but wonder, when you see someone you admire in the world, whether or not their belief system should be yours. Peace, bro...(I get to say that even though I'm 68, right?)
In many cases it boils down to old fashioned ideas of who should hang out with whom. The furvor gets to ridiculousness when you're talking in the romantic sense.
I grew up in a time and place where everyone knew everything about everyone. I believe today it is because people are naturally curious about others and so are interested in learning everything about that which they do not know. Friendly people are genuinely inquisitive and so open a conversation about religion to see what type of response they receive from someone that they do not know very well. Astute individuals easily learn much from this type of conversation. And, when meeting others who feel comfortable with such conversation they quickly know how the relationship will progress. Even with opposing beliefs, two people can still be friends if both are courteously truthful.
Two reasons and a half reasons:
1 - Humans for some reason like to put people into boxes - Christian, Muslim, Gay, Jewish, Straight, Buddhist, Black, Chinese, Tall, Short, Skinny, Fat, Ginger, Blonde...the list goes on.
2 - 'To assume makes an Ass out of U and Me' - for some people, they do not wish to assume that you are Christian merely because you believe in God, or Muslim merely because you believe in Allah, etc. They wish to know so that they can be polite and not offend you unintentionally (UNintentionally being the key word)
2.5 - there are some (read: SOME not ALL) that want to know so that they can judge you on your religion or lack thereof. So they can hold you to THEIR ideals of what they think you should be or do, even if you don't believe in their God/s. An example is SOME of the people of certain religions (as there are several) and Marriage equality - these groups insist that people who don't believe in their God or Gods be held to the ideals of their God/s. (And vice versa)
Do I think 2.5 is a decent excuse - no. Which is why it's only half a reason!
Agreed, bottom line, they are human beings. Their gods reveal themselves only to them. Maybe they can call fire down like Elijah and mock and bully people. Islam will assault you for any offense. Either way, its just books and the follow it blindly.
they want to brainwash your head and join THEIR religion? Here in malaysia, the Christians became annoying bunch of people trying to brainwash buddhist, indian, catholics and etc to join their church. I had many friends complaining about their ways to get people in. They shouldn't keep pressing others. Just preach and let go. It is the people freedom to choose.
Why do people care what religion you are?
On Maui a few years ago, Kati and I were in the city for a day.
A young man who knew Kati from work came up and asked for a ride as his car had broken down. In the car, he asked, 'What religion are you?'
Kati, new to America, and not a native English speaker, framed her answer:
"We follow an inner religion. Only, it is not really a religion, and we don't really follow it."
To me, her answer was brilliant. And the young man didn't say another word about religion.
I don't know his motives but am guessing that he had observed Kati's behavior at work, and noticed something about us, and wanted to know where it came from.
The most memorable occasion when I asked someone about their religion, was when I'd just bought a van from an individual, on an 'as is' basis. He told me he was not aware of any issues. I didn't have it checked by a mechanic until a few days after the purchase.
The mechanic told me it had major problems and would be expensive to repair. I called the seller, just to know the history. He offered to split the cost of repair, without my asking. A few weeks later, more serious issues came to light. Again he offered to pay half which was several hundred dollars.
I asked, 'What you are doing seems very unusual to me. You know you have no legal obligation. Do you mind if I ask you what is behind your offering to help on the repairs? Is it your religion?'
He answered, 'Gary, the reason is golf. I am a simple man. When I play golf, I have to have a clear conscience to play my best game. That's all.'
In the responses here, d.william says, 'All religions teach their sheep that theirs is the only right path to salvation.'
Really? All religions? What about Bahá'í, which believes the crucial need facing humanity is to find a unifying vision of the nature and purpose of life and of the future of society? When you feel your own statement more deeply, d william, does it feel dogmatic to you?
And then there is monkeyminds, 'Is love an object or is love a concept?' who seems very certain that his or her view is absolute. 'object: that which has shape' and 'concept: the relation between objects'
Monkeyminds, are the wavicles of quantum mechanics objects or concepts? I like to be informed about such thing by those who have some knowing. As I understand, wavicles can be matter or energy according to the expectations of the observer. I say love is a wavicle.
If someone tells me if they have a certain religion (or don't believe) I will not talk much about my Christianity because thye are steadfast if their faith. But if they ask a question I will honestly answer
Love the stories! 'The reason is golf...' priceless. A clear consciience (based on an understanding of what how we would want another to behave toward us) is a joy forever. I've experienced this in my life. My mother an aunt were very much this way
People tend to want to hang around people of like minds, life styles and religion. Of course all of the religions wants more members and so we are told to spread our beliefs onto others so that our faith can grow and survive through time. I, myself have friends of many faiths and some that are atheists. I believe in agree to disagree. They know where I stand and I know where they stand, so we can get beyond the differences and enjoy the similarities.
Being asked your religious affiliation is almost always a lead into trying to convince you that their religion is truer or better.
I have never in my life been asked my religious belief by an atheist or agnostic.
When I lived in China it was very rare for a Buddhist to ask me, then it was most likely a curiosity due to me being a Westerner. Never did they follow up with any promotion or postulation of Buddhism.
Why do people care what religion you are? Emmmmmm, because they are busybody?. Because they want to recruit you to increase the number of followers of their religion? Because they think they will be rewarded in the Hereafter? Because they don't know what religion is all about? Maybe they think that religion is an end in itself, and not a means to an end (the end being, as far as I understand what religion is all about, to achieve higher spirituality).
Having said that, some people are well-meaning. They love their religion and they want to share it with you. Others are filled with hate for those who do not believe as they do. So there's no one correct answer to your question because it all depends on who you are referring to.
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