Hello, can anyone help?

From: Reed Konsler (konslerr@mail.weston.org)
Date: Mon 24 Feb 2003 - 13:35:13 GMT

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    The first thing you should ask yourself is: "how much energy do I want to spend on this?" Given any reasonable level of commitment, it seems kind of futile to discuss your bosses beliefs in an adverserial way. It's just going to cause tension.

    If you can't find some way to change the subject when "getting saved" comes up, one thing I've found effective is to ask people about a specific positive event in their lives where they found their faith a rewarding addition. You can ask them about favorite passages and what they think they mean. Memorable sermons, and how they use that enlightenment in their daily lives.

    Usually, you can truthfully agree with people about what is ethical, moral, happy, good and so on. If someone pressures me with the idea that "you're going to hell", my response is that I'm not going to adhere to a religion becuase I'm scared or threatened. Certianly, no thoughtful Christian tries to make converts by focusing on punishments. Christ certianly didn't, from what I understand. Otherwise, why would his message be called "the Good News"?

    Anyway, the point is that "Baptist" is just a word, like "Democrat". I wouldn't tell your boss that. There are many different kinds of Democrats and they're always arguing over what their stand on any particular issue should be. You become a Democrat by filling out some forms, which isn't so very different from being baptised.

    If everyone around is a Baptist...why not? If it offends your sensibilities or makes you uncomfortable then deflect people into other conversations. Otherwise, what does it matter? You smile and nod about a million things at work don't you? Imagine the average staff meeting. How many times to you think "this is a dumb idea" and say "that's a great idea"? How many times do you go along with "the way we do things here" when it seems like a waste of time. It isn't like we all aren't presenting a social facade to smooth our relationships with each other already.

    There isn't anything that says a Baptist must be a creationist. Evolution is a scientific theory and Baptist is a religious denomination. They aren't in opposition, and allowing people to assert it sacrifices the flexibilty of thought that makes it possible to live life in a complex world. Again, it's not a subject you must argue about, unless it seems worth the time.

    I'm not advocating passivity, but introspection. I have a very short time on Earth and limited energy while I'm here. It's foolish to diffuse it into millions of anxieties and conflicts that don't advance my purpose. Actually, until I figured out what was important to me that I was just reacting to other people instead of doing what fulfilled me.

    There's an alternative way of looking a things.



    Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 09:56:26 -0500 From: "Martha Granger" <inthecorn@kconline.com> Subject: Hello, can anyone help?

    I joined this group a couple of months ago, and I am certainly no = expert, nor have I even studied memetics. I think I found this group = when I was searching for sites and information about how Christianity = started or evolved into what it has become because I am currently living = in such a "bible-istic" area.. although isn't most of the USA that way? = As a matter of fact, when I found your group was the moment I first = learned of the word "memetics." A lot of what I have read here in the = past has lead me to believe I in no way am qualified to belong here, a = lot of it seems over my head. I've remained enlisted in this group, but = have kept quiet until now.

    Recent postings have caught my attention, as they relate to religion.

    A few days ago, I got into a "discussion" with my boss (and friend) = regarding Christianity. He and his wife (his wife is also a boss of = mine in the small company I work for) are such the devout Baptists. JC, = the company president is quite the "know-it-all." They of course, want = me to be "saved" and seem to believe that if I would just read the = bible, that I would realize that it is indeed "the greatest book in the = world" and that I will become a Christian. Whatever.. He believes that = anyone who is not "saved" will go to "hell" (me), and he, of course, = will go to "heaven." He told me that he has read several books on = religion, including the Qurah (sp?) and translations of old original = texts and has come to this conclusion on his own that Christian is the = only way to be.

    However, my boss did make an offer that I just may take him up on! He = told me that he would read 10 books of my choosing if only I would read = the bible! Hmm... that would take quite a bit of patience on my part. = It also would be a big undertaking for me, as I would wish to point out = stupidity and errors of the bible and present him with a composition at = completion. I really don't know if it is worth all of that time on my = part, as he is such a strong believer. I think he could somehow "argue = away" any book I could happen to come up with for his reading.

    I would surely appreciate any insite that anyone here could provide to = me. It certainly seems that most or all who are part of this list are = quite studied and intelligent. Perhaps you can recommend books that I = can present to him? Or perhaps you will tell me it is of no use wasting = my time reading and studying the bible, as there is no way to convince = him of his brainwashing, no matter what books I give him. You may email = me directly if you believe this does not pertain to the purpose of the = list.

    Thank you in advance for any insite anyone can provide,

    Martha (a computer programmer/analyst in Bible-country, Indiana, U.S.A.)

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