Originally Posted by MrsDark
Whether Christians keep it on the down low or shout it from the rooftops, they have an advantage...and dare I say, a luxury(?)...your average non-believer doesn't in whether or not to do so. As non-believers we're being offensive when we question these people's beliefs, even though they influence everything in our lives on a daily basis. Outside of this forum and in the real world (at least where I'm from) I do not share the same freedom from being unfairly judged...having everything from my morals, my parenting ability and my entire worth as a human being called into question on account of my beliefs (or lack of) should I choose to make them publicly known. I think I take this pretty well, considering that in addition I am forced to endure an innundation of their beliefs on a constant basis in the form of prayers before little league games (where I must "bow" my head and appear to be with everyone else), door-to-door prostelysizing, being accosted in public places with my child present by people bearing leaflets or finding them left under my windshield wipers. At the very least, I am a "lost soul" when it's discovered that I don't belong to a particular church or espouse a set of religious beliefs...and at the very worst, reviled and someone to be avoided. So some religious person claiming to "pray for me" (unless they possess the assumption that I am a person as they for whom this would mean something) is as much of an arrogant and self-righteous put-down to me as my belief that religion is a "crutch" is to some of them. The only difference is that it is somehow honorable and noble that they would "pray for me". And be sure to let me know it.
Try "merely mentioning" that you are an atheist on for size sometime, should you want a taste of intolerance.
I'm not sure where you live, but it sounds like people are really "in your face" there. I know plenty of athiests, agnostics, and people of all different religions, and while I may totally disagree with their beliefs, I'm never mean to them because of it.
I think as far as raising kids goes, the ONLY time I feel perplexed is if the parents forbid the kid to go to churches with their friends. Because I do think each person should know enough about religion to stay away from groups like the Scientologists and to choose what they believe ultimately.
As far as bowing your head at little league, if others are praying they shouldn't notice if you do or don't bow your head. I think the problem is, I've seen people who totally go out of their way to make noise or make it obvious they are NOT praying. That seems to be rude to me. Otherwise I wouldn't care one way or the other. (why pray to a god you don't worship?)
As far as door-to-door visits. I do go out door to door to invite people to church, or to give them an informational flyer etc. (I'm not a jehovah witness), and let me tell ya, most people are polite even if they aren't interested which is nice, and I don't push I just say thanks for your time and walk to the next house. BUT every once in awhile you get people who have serious anger management problems!
I really do pray for people when I tell them I will. and I don't mean it as condescending or anything, I genuinly believe in a God who answers prayers. I only pray for good things for that person.
Originally Posted by sluce
you stated that Tom will NOT get into heaven with his current beliefs. How do you know?
For the record - I do subscribe to Christian beliefs but don't believe in a God that would exclude people from an afterlife because they didn't attend a church that man established.
So as a Christian, can you show me using the Bible where it is stated one can be a non-Christian to enter heaven? And I'm using church in the sense of the church of Jesus Christ, not a denomination or "man made" organization. I'm talking about someone who has obeyed the gospel as outlined in the Bible. (mods this can be moved to the religion forum if more appropriate than here).