Religions and Cults

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Postby sashimi » Mon May 18, 2009 4:23 pm

Alright.... I shall be the "bad guy" and say what others don't dare to say. :)

(The following are my personal, individual opinions).

Christians, specifically the kind who believe that:
- The Christian God is the only "true" god and all others are fake;
- If you don't worship the Christian God, you will suffer in hell forever; therefore it is the Christian "right" to "save" people by converting them;
- The bible is the only source of truth and all other religions/philosophies are bullshit/evil/wrong;
- Christians are "everywhere", so you can spout "God bless you!" to every person within earshot, unaware that you are being presumptious and disrespectful.

.... know this: you are being offensive, outdated, self-righteous and we are doing our best to tolerate you by keeping quiet. :)

Please may I politely ask you to back off - this is the 21st century; the individualist movement of modernism has been around for over a hundred years, society no longer works purely from an en masse perspective; every individual is morally, psychologically, culturally, legally entitled to his/her beliefs. Your circle is not necessarily my circle.

Attempts to convert and/or take over society at large with a limited set of beliefs by a limited group of people only shows how backward and intolerant these perpetrators are. Please note we do not need saving; the only saving we need is possibly from people who are (un)knowingly intolerant, self-righteous and who commit the ultimate crimes of forcibly burying their parents as false believers(!); and displacing children from their own parents.

Would a Christian like to be buried as a Taoist?

If by writing the above I have offended any Christian, then please accept my apologies AND please comprehend that that is exactly how we non-Christians feel when you do your thing to us, or worse, attempt to convert our children under our noses.

Please understand: Religion is a very personal thing. "Personal" means you believe what you believe in but don't expect/oblige/coerce/blackmail others to believe in your personal beliefs, especially young impressionable children. Children. Please respect personal rights of individuals. :)

Personally, IMHO, I would say: parents, don't make excuses as to why your children should not (indiscriminately) go to a church - or a temple, or a mosque, whatever. Be honest with them, both with your gut feelings and your moral philosophy. It is no different from trying to explain to a child why she should not smoke, or gamble, or what you feel about homosexuality, communism, capitalism, abortion, terrorism, euthanasia, extremist cults and life's numerous other dilemmas.

And of course: don't forget to teach them tolerance, understanding and humility. :)

sashimi
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Postby schellen » Mon May 18, 2009 5:11 pm

sashimi wrote:Christians, specifically the kind who believe that:
- The Christian God is the only "true" god and all others are fake;
- If you don't worship the Christian God, you will suffer in hell forever; therefore it is the Christian "right" to "save" people by converting them;
- The bible is the only source of truth and all other religions/philosophies are bullshit/evil/wrong;
- Christians are "everywhere", so you can spout "God bless you!" to every person within earshot, unaware that you are being presumptious and disrespectful.


To balance his post, I would like to state that we have Christian friends and the reason why we are friends (good friends some more, those that we invite into our homes and vice-versa) is because we respect that religion is very personal so we don't impose on them our views while they don't impose theirs on us, even if they believe in the above quote, we won't know cos they know we don't want to know. I have spent 2 years in a Christian school and although I have Christian friends there who welcome me regardless of belief, I have also encountered my worst discrimination there due to my beliefs. Yes, I know that every belief/religion has its black sheep but based on experience, sashimi and I have encountered most of them from Christianity, unfortunately.

My 2 worst encounters of discrimination:
1. The Chaplain of the school chapel always looked at me as if I was dirt beneath his feet every time I went near the school chapel. This is even when I went there to experience a bible study session at the invitation of my friends.
2. A 16/17 yo student told me to my face that I was immoral and had no moral compass because I had no religion or belief. He wasn't rude when he said it; he was just stating a "fact" that had been drummed into him since childhood. I gave up trying to get him to understand and ended up pitying him instead. I found out that he was a Christian.

I just wish that there were more tolerant and understanding people around, otherwise, so much for living harmoniously in a multi-cultural society.

schellen
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Postby kiasu_pig » Mon May 18, 2009 10:12 pm

schellen wrote:
sashimi wrote:Christians, specifically the kind who believe that:
- The Christian God is the only "true" god and all others are fake;
- If you don't worship the Christian God, you will suffer in hell forever; therefore it is the Christian "right" to "save" people by converting them;
- The bible is the only source of truth and all other religions/philosophies are bullshit/evil/wrong;
- Christians are "everywhere", so you can spout "God bless you!" to every person within earshot, unaware that you are being presumptious and disrespectful.



Religion is a very sensitive topic - World War III may just probably be triggered by a religious misunderstanding or belief.

Don't flame me hor - :pray:

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Postby ChiefKiasu » Mon May 18, 2009 10:45 pm

Personally, I think all humans are worshipping different versions of the same God or Gods. All orthodox religions preach brotherly love amongst each other. Most make it a sin to cause harm to a fellow being.

Religious strife is much more due to human politics (my God is better than your God) than reason. So when we find ourselves fighting over religion, it is more to justify our plain dislike for each other, rather than because of the fundamental teachings of the religions. History has documented scores of crusades and jihads started by leaders hungry for land, power, or revenge, while the killing is all done in the name of God. I think that should be the worst sin of all.

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Postby sunflower » Tue May 19, 2009 2:38 am

sashimi wrote: therefore it is the Christian "right" to "save" people by converting them;

Actually, I don’t want to say anything in this thread initially, as it touches on the very sensitive issue of religion, which is a very personal choice. I do understand where you’re coming from, as I didn’t start out as a Christian. Anyway, just like to clarify some common misconceptions abt Christianity.

1. It’s not actually a Christian’s “right” but we do have a “burden” to share the good news. Like in this forum, we share freely with everyone the things/advice that we thought are good and which will benefit people according to what we believe in, whether they’re being agreed by others or not.

2. It’s actually not us who “convert”. We don’t believe that human beings can force or convert the beliefs of another. Rather, Christians believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work. Christians just do their part by sharing the good news (gospel) because we care for and love the people around us. To do that, we really have to summon great courage to overcome the thoughts of facing hostility and take the risks of being “outcast” by them.

Unfortunately, just like any other religions, there’re also “black sheep” among Christians (eg. those who are self-righteous). Some Christians, who in their zeal to share the gospel, may over-do it and give people the wrong ideas/ impressions, but this is not really what Christianity is all about. JMHO :D

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Postby jedamum » Tue May 19, 2009 9:30 am

sunflower wrote:Like in this forum, we share freely with everyone the things/advice that we thought are good and which will benefit people according to what we believe in, whether they’re being agreed by others or not.

Erm..just want to add that there is a slight difference in using this forum as an analogy....
while we share information/advice openly in this forum, unless people in other forum seek information that only our 'kiasu portal' can provide, we usually don't see us kiasu parents advertising this forum openly in other forum's platform. it is almost akin to if people seek information regarding the religion (or going into the church compound per se), that the believers openly share what they share. we also introduce the goodness of this portal only to our good/close friends whom we think will benefit from our discussion, instead of acquaintances in other portals when they are not in anyway interested in being labeled as Kiasu.

sunflower wrote:2. It’s actually not us who “convert”. We don’t believe that human beings can force or convert the beliefs of another.

We have to remember that young minds are very easily influenced.

I think most of the people are pretty ok when certain religious groups spread their joy/beliefs in a subtle way and only detests those aggressive types. I do have a couple of friends, that if they don't mention, we don't even know that they go to church every sunday - they are just contented giving their blessings or saying prayers for us (during hard times) in private.

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Postby sashimi » Tue May 19, 2009 9:37 am

Actually, in posting here, I have a very specific point in mind, and I hope you all get it. I'm not here to attack Christians specifically.

Here is my point:

- Families should not be divided because of religion, including cult religions.
- Children should not alienate their parents because of religion.
- Parents do have a right to guide their children's moral/religious/philosophical growth. (If the parents neglect to or fail to guide their children, then that's another story).
- Children should not bury their parents as false believers. This is the ultimate betrayal.
- Deliberate, esp. covert attempts to convert people are offensive. In particular: evangelists who target youth and children are no better than drug peddlers.

I can go on and on and argue why this is bad, and show why nobody, including Christians, would want the same done to their children, but I hope I've made my point.

To fellow parents who are Christians: please ensure your children do not go around casually inviting non-Christians to church. They (both your children and their friends) are not aware what they are doing. Some churches, as we all know, have agendas. It does not befit civil society to allow children to be manipulated to further hidden agendas perpetrated by dubious adults.

sunflower, thank you for your thoughts. :) Misconceptions or not, perhaps the issue is that these black sheep that you speak also happen to be the loudest ones in society; it is because of them that Christianity sometimes has a bad name. These black sheep have done a lot of damage to Christians' reputation. Truly, if Christians wish to portray a better image, it would be in everybody's benefit if these black sheep be shut up permanently! :)

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Postby ZacK » Tue May 19, 2009 9:51 am

sunflower wrote:Actually, I don’t want to say anything in this thread initially, as it touches on the very sensitive issue of religion, which is a very personal choice. I do understand where you’re coming from, as I didn’t start out as a Christian. Anyway, just like to clarify some common misconceptions abt Christianity.

1. It’s not actually a Christian’s “right” but we do have a “burden” to share the good news. Like in this forum, we share freely with everyone the things/advice that we thought are good and which will benefit people according to what we believe in, whether they’re being agreed by others or not.

2. It’s actually not us who “convert”. We don’t believe that human beings can force or convert the beliefs of another. Rather, Christians believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work. Christians just do their part by sharing the good news (gospel) because we care for and love the people around us. To do that, we really have to summon great courage to overcome the thoughts of facing hostility and take the risks of being “outcast” by them.

Unfortunately, just like any other religions, there’re also “black sheep” among Christians (eg. those who are self-righteous). Some Christians, who in their zeal to share the gospel, may over-do it and give people the wrong ideas/ impressions, but this is not really what Christianity is all about. JMHO :D


Thank you for posting your views sunflower ... I share your sentiments :D

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Postby ZacK » Tue May 19, 2009 11:52 am

sashimi wrote:Here is my point:

- Families should not be divided because of religion, including cult religions.
- Children should not alienate their parents because of religion.
- Parents do have a right to guide their children's moral/religious/philosophical growth. (If the parents neglect to or fail to guide their children, then that's another story).
- Children should not bury their parents as false believers. This is the ultimate betrayal.
- Deliberate, esp. covert attempts to convert people are offensive. In particular: evangelists who target youth and children are no better than drug peddlers.

I can understand your points of view, but just because of personal experiences, you seem to be using a single yard stick to measure every other sticks. While there is nothing wrong with that, but your yard stick that you use a basis should at least be the standard acceptable "measurement" so that it appears just and fair, unfortunately, I do not think that such a std measurement exists.

Just as you have your views, in the same light, I am sure we all also know of people who practice buddhism but are bad influences and give all buddhists a bad name. So how do you reconcile that?

And yes to liken christian evangelists to being drug pedlers is an insult. I have heard of stories of so called "evangelists" who evangelise in the name of God but are none other than cults. So I share your sentiments, as not only should non-christian parents be concerned, christian parents should be equally concerned for their kids, but what can we as parents do other than moving them to an isolated island away from the rest of the world? :roll:

Our kids are exposed to all types of risks, misinformation etc all the time, so what can parents do other than to go around and gripe about why such things exist? We can only control the things that we are in the position to influence/control. For me in relation to preventing my children from being "misguided" and deviating from our values, the option that I have taken that is within my ability is to be a friend to my children and to consciously make an effort to establish that relationship, understanding and comfort in them to tell the truth in any and everything that happened to them.

Kids have a fear of being punished/sanctioned for things they feel that their parents may not be happy about. That is why I consciously make a point not to flare up whenever my son makes a mistake or something that I may not be happy about. Many a times when I ask my son about something and he is not sure how I would react, his reply would be "I don't know...", if there is something that he has or has not done, then his reply should be a "Yes or No" instead of "I don't know...". In fact so far, when his act is unintentional or if he has spoken the truth, he gets away with just a reminder and gets a hug from me almost all the time. It is through such constant reinforcements that I hope the relationship and understanding may be established between us ie to always tell the truth with me. With this feedback loop as my only source of control measure, I would then be able to address anything that may deviate from our values or to correct any misinformation.

As with all things, nothing is really fail-safe... But this is the best I can do as a parent. When unexpected things crop up along the way, well... Will cross the bridge when I reach it lar :celebrate:

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Postby sashimi » Tue May 19, 2009 1:10 pm

ZacK wrote:
And yes to liken christian evangelists to being drug pedlers is an insult.


= equals =

insider wrote:My daughter gets very cynical when some of her Christian friends telling her that non-Christians will go to hell if they don’t believe in God.



Yes, exactly, so you do see my point, ZacK. :) I deliberately made that "insult" because I wanted to show everyone that one's personal beliefs, when forced upon others, is an insult to their own beliefs. insider's daughter's reaction is a common one. Children too have feelings. Thus, evangelism/cults in any form is an insult to non-Christians. So we should all agree that it is wrong, and cults are worse.

Alright. I'm done here. I don't wish to make things difficult for the Chief. I'm sure he's watching this discussion closely with trepidation. ;) I've made my points, and I won't belabour them anymore. Once again, if I have "insulted" anyone, please understand that it was not intended personally - I was illustrating a point. I apologize if I have bruised any feelings. :) I hope all our children grow up well, and never be divided from their parents.

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