Author Topic: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters  (Read 6244 times)

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kingsrings

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Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« on: October 04, 2007, 02:20:56 PM »
Those of you who are religious like me and very active in your respective churches probably occassionally encounter those who have appointed themselves God and feel the need to make comments about what other people do. "What an interesting assumption" is an excellent response when confronted yet again with, "Christians (or insert your religion) shouldn't do _____!". Firm and to the point, yet very polite and not attacking them. I can't wait to use it the next time I am confronted, although suffice it to say, it doesn't happen very often, fortunately.

lamorevincera

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2007, 04:05:07 PM »
Those of you who are religious like me and very active in your respective churches probably occassionally encounter those who have appointed themselves God and feel the need to make comments about what other people do. "What an interesting assumption" is an excellent response when confronted yet again with, "Christians (or insert your religion) shouldn't do _____!". Firm and to the point, yet very polite and not attacking them. I can't wait to use it the next time I am confronted, although suffice it to say, it doesn't happen very often, fortunately.

This works very well for the reverse, too. I am agnostic and live in the Bible belt. I get people assuming I go to church who start sounding off on agnostics and atheists, and it happens quite a bit. You're right; this line would work wonderfully.

Mr. Fed

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2007, 05:16:16 PM »
When I was Catholic as a youth, and even more snarky than I am now, I committed myself to E-hell with any number of responses to such rude statements.

I remember once someone lecturing me about how Catholics are wrong about XYZ.

I said:

"OH MY GOODNESS!  You are RIGHT!  I have to TELL SOMEONE!"  And ran across the room to a phone and snatched it up.  "GET ME THE POPE!"  I yelled.  Pause.  "I DON'T CARE WHO HE'S TALKING TO!"


baconsmom

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2007, 06:14:44 PM »
When I was Catholic as a youth, and even more snarky than I am now, I committed myself to E-hell with any number of responses to such rude statements.

I remember once someone lecturing me about how Catholics are wrong about XYZ.

I said:

"OH MY GOODNESS!  You are RIGHT!  I have to TELL SOMEONE!"  And ran across the room to a phone and snatched it up.  "GET ME THE POPE!"  I yelled.  Pause.  "I DON'T CARE WHO HE'S TALKING TO!"



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livluvlaf

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2007, 12:46:12 PM »
Sometimes people become so fanatic about their convictions (religious or otherwise) ... it takes a totally silly reaction to snap them back to the present.

Twik

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2007, 11:13:58 PM »
"OH MY GOODNESS!  You are RIGHT!  I have to TELL SOMEONE!"  And ran across the room to a phone and snatched it up.  "GET ME THE POPE!"  I yelled.  Pause.  "I DON'T CARE WHO HE'S TALKING TO!"

Um ... if he was talking to an elderly woman about Boy Scouts setting fire to her trees ... that's my great-aunt, and trust me, he'll be glad for the excuse to take another call....
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ZipTheWonder

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2007, 09:15:56 AM »
I don't think this line is particularly useful for people who have mistaken impressions about your religious (or other) beliefs.  (I actually don't think it has much use in polite discourse, period, but that's a post for another thread.)

If someone has a mistaken impression don't you want to correct it rather than leave it hanging?  I think a better response would be "Actually, as a _______, I believe ____________." 

Using "the line" leaves them to carry on with their mistaken impression, and it also leaves them with a pretty good sense that you are cold towards them or have some discomfort with your position.

Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2007, 09:33:39 AM »
I don't think this line is particularly useful for people who have mistaken impressions about your religious (or other) beliefs.  (I actually don't think it has much use in polite discourse, period, but that's a post for another thread.)

If someone has a mistaken impression don't you want to correct it rather than leave it hanging?  I think a better response would be "Actually, as a _______, I believe ____________." 

Using "the line" leaves them to carry on with their mistaken impression, and it also leaves them with a pretty good sense that you are cold towards them or have some discomfort with your position.

I can definitely see your point. Most times, though, I have found that no matter how politely (or not) you respond, they are going to continue to think what they think, regardless of what you respond with.  Generally people who say untrue or argumentative things about other religions are just looking for an argument anyway.

I have found that saying "Actually as a ________, I believe _______," makes them want get into a debate about it and we know how those usually go. No ones mind is going to be changed. I will just agree to disagree.

So I would rather just say 'the line' then try to 'correct' them.  What do I care what they think? I don't feel the need to defend myself. By using 'the line', I can politely end the conversation and then talk about the 'bean dip'.

ZipTheWonder

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2007, 09:43:47 AM »
My beliefs (religious and otherwise) are fundamental to who I am -- they define my moral code, and I don't want people to have a mistaken impression about that. If people are comfortable ascribing beliefs to me that aren't mine, I'm comfortable correcting it with a sentence or two. 

Even "No, actually, I don't believe that, but let's not get into an unpleasant discussion" is better for me than allowing someone to go on believing that I think the world is flat. 

Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2007, 01:19:19 PM »
My beliefs (religious and otherwise) are fundamental to who I am -- they define my moral code, and I don't want people to have a mistaken impression about that. If people are comfortable ascribing beliefs to me that aren't mine, I'm comfortable correcting it with a sentence or two. 

Even "No, actually, I don't believe that, but let's not get into an unpleasant discussion" is better for me than allowing someone to go on believing that I think the world is flat. 

I can understand that. I love that last line. I use that a lot.
But, may I ask who these people are? If they are friends who make an incorrect statement in passing conversation? Or are they total strangers or people you don't really socialize with who make this statement as a judgement?

I guess it depends on the people your dealing with and the circumstances that brought up the conversation. If it was a friend or someone you know who made a statement and was mistaken, I can understand the desire to correct it, and share you belief with them in a civil and polite way.

I personally don't waste my energy on people who make ignorant and uneducated  comments, especially people who aren't involved in my life. It is not going to change thier mind and I am secure enough in my belief to know the truth so what do I care if they think the world is flat? It won't be my problem when they fall off the edge.
In my experiance, I have found that correcting them, no matter how politley, just seems to invite conflict. But, I don't imagine that you are the type to associate with ignorant people either ZipTheWonder.

ZipTheWonder

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2007, 02:53:29 PM »
It is not going to change thier mind and I am secure enough in my belief to know the truth so what do I care if they think the world is flat?

I'm not trying to change their mind; I'm simply making my own case for my own beliefs rather than letting someone else ascribe them to me.  I care if people think I think the world is flat....and I am pretty secure in that belief.

My friends and close associates have never challenged me on my personal beliefs -- religious or otherwise -- so to answer your question about who does this -- strangers.  I really don't get into conflicts over it; I just don't allow "YOU believe THIS" to go unchallenged when "I believe THAT."

Sabbyfrog2

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2007, 04:28:15 PM »
  I really don't get into conflicts over it; I just don't allow "YOU believe THIS" to go unchallenged when "I believe THAT."

I think I see where you are coming from...

If they were spewing very untrue statements about it to ME directly and telling ME what I believe, then I am total agreement with you and in THAT case,  I love to say,"That is an interesting assumption. And where did you learn that?... Really? Because the I, as a follower of that religion/belief/political party/etc., believe this..."  Conversation usually ends pretty quickly...

If it is a general statement by a stranger about the religion in itself and not directed directly at me... I tend to leave it be. I will never see that stranger again, so if they want to believe the world is flat, fine. No skin off my back. It is when they tell me that I believe the world is flat and that is not true, that the gloves come off. That is where I agree with you.

ZipTheWonder

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2007, 06:57:47 PM »
Yes, that's exactly the kind of situation I'm talking about.  :)

kingsrings

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Re: Using it to defend yourself concerning religious matters
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2007, 01:09:23 PM »
It actually depends on the situation. If I am in a group setting and someone spouts off on me, I am not going to hijack the situation by getting into an argument with said idiot right in front of everyone and also thus turning attention away from the matter at hand. Plus, I also don't want to give the idiot the time of day or waste time and energy on them. That is why, "what an interesting assumption" is such a great line.