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Christians can PISS ME OFF

VagabondVagabond Explorer
edited September 2013 in General Banter
When it comes to God, I am an atheist. When it comes to Christianity, I'm an asshole. I can go on and on and on and on about how I absolutely hate people who thump the Bible, I can argue with them and point out a dozen contradictions, I can talk about about how stupid the dogma is, about how people quote Leviticus to say homosexuality is a sin, but then ignore the whole mixed-fabric clothing, or tattoos. I was wondering what you all think of this.
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Comments

  • I know it's not good and not very Buddha-like, but I am being honest with you guys. I believe they are very ignorant. They say "The LORD is my shepherd. Humans are like sheep, because they are dumb and will follow blindly, and need to be guided." And then they go on to tell me how they have everything in the universe figured out without a single shred of evidence. Talk about being a dumb sheep who blindly follows...Jesus Christ...
  • I know. My family (especially on my mom's side) are very religious and are Christian. The family on my mom's side come from the Azores Islands (part of Portugal, nine island archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic) and are Catholics. I love a lot of the culture and everything, but there is such a high percentage of things I can't believe that come from Christianity. THAT PART I'M COOL WITH. However, I will have a problem when people take these things that I CANNOT believe and try to force them on other people and try to talk with us like they're scientists and know what's best for everyone....cuz the Bible said so.
  • One must save themselves before they can even begin to save others... I fulling understand where you are coming from. But other people have the right to follow their own beliefs, their own paths. Learn not to judge others for the paths they have chosen and learn how to love unconditionally. Be the observer and build your wisdom on what you see, watch how the emotions arise within from external views and try to understand what it is from within that bring these emotions out. All our answers are already there inside us...

    Open your Heart and Free your mind and the TRUTH will be presented to you.
    Vagabond
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    When I once asked my Zen teacher about belief and hope, he suggested, "For the first four or five years [of Buddhist practice], belief and hope are necessary." And when I asked, "how about after that?" he replied, "After that they are not so necessary."

    What others believe and don't believe is their responsibility, not mine. Whether they are willing to shoulder that responsibility is their business, not mine. While it is true that true believers of any stripe are sometimes enough to piss off the pope, still god did invent television so that we all can watch a nice mindless sitcom instead of getting our knickers in a twist.
    I_AM_THATNirvanadhammachickCinorjer
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    Why does it matter to you what they do with their lives? Hating never gets anyone anywhere, neither does being an asshole. Just makes you look like an asshole. Let people live their lives, even if you don't approve. Live your life. Set examples in a positive manner that move the world (your closer world) towards less anger and hatred. Hating them and fighting with them doesn't help anyone, most especially you.

    I had a hard time with some of the comments from some Christians when we were debating the gay marriage law in my state. But in the end, what it came down to was, I could waste my time telling them how ignorant and unfair they were being and wallow in anger and suffering. Or I could work on what I could to change things in my state. I could communicate with the law makers, I could take part in campaigns. I could talk to people I knew I could have conversations with. It was better to spend the time and positive energy working towards something rather than forcefully work against something. It's mostly true in pretty much anything. Find something to work towards. Work for more peace, more compassion in your life, rather than directing frustration at them. They aren't ready to change and not a single thing you think, feel or say is going to make them. It's just going to make you suffer more.
    riverflowericcris10sendhammachick
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited September 2013
    Vagabond, I can really dig where you're coming from. I believe that you mentally put "Christians" in quotes. I, too, have little love or admiration lost on those who pick and choose a few choice segments of a religious culture and then oversimplify it to the extent that the original teaching is essentially destroyed or entombed. Oversimplification of a complex "Truth" is indeed a Falsification of It.

    Though I am myself an ecumenicist, I don't like it when people act and speak as though they or their group has some kind of special dispensation. As for Bible thumping, although steeped in the Christian tradition, I cannot tolerate this citing of chapter and verse by a preacher; chapter is all that one needs. To cite just a verse is to take it entirely out of its context. Talk about simple-mindedness.

    True, we should be respectful of the religions of others, but at the same time (as Buddha said somewhere) what could possibly be worse than a man teaching religion who had no understanding of it?

    To sum up, I believe that certain pig-headed doctrinaires deserve at least an occasional confrontation with the viewpoints of others. Best to do it with laughter and a smile, though. It may even be Metta practice to engage in this sort of potentially expansive dialogue; of course it won't have immediate consequences (as people are pretty much caught up in their own momentum) but long-term, who knows?
    riverflowdhammachick
  • TheEccentricTheEccentric South east, UK Veteran
    Neither can I.

    I don't understand why so many other Buddhists seem to have the need to kiss Christianity's feet and sugar coat it so much. Impho there is nothing positive about Christianity from a Buddhist perspective.
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    @Nirvana have you ever had a confrontation with one of the "pig headed" people who hold those viewpoints? Have you ever *once* changed their mind on a topic as a result? Now, I think there are certain times those conversations can happen, for example when the pig headed person is your sibling or best friend. Then maybe it might do good to challenge them and try to encourage them to look at something from another point of view. But most of the time, the pig headed people we choose to engage with are strangers on the internet or people at rallies and so on, in which case our opinion has no bearing on them, and vice versa.
    CittaThinGentlement
  • Neither can I.

    I don't understand why so many other Buddhists seem to have the need to kiss Christianity's feet and sugar coat it so much. Impho there is nothing positive about Christianity from a Buddhist perspective.

    A whole raft of Buddhist teachers would disagree with you.
    Particularly the ones who have either worked through their aversion ( Ajahn Sumedho Ajahn Munindo for example ) or were born into a different culture and so never aquired aversion. ( The Dalai Lama, Sogyal Rinpoche for example ).
    Western Buddhism as a rejection of Christianity is a shallow thing with shallow roots.
    riverflow
  • NirvanaNirvana aka BUBBA   `     `     ` `     ` Outa Range Fridays thru Sundays South Carolina, USA Veteran
    edited September 2013
    Well I don't know how laughter or a smile can be conveyed over the Internet. I'm over 50 and was referring to one's daily life in ones own community.

    And no, by "confrontation" I mean confronting reality, not some unpleasant argument. Hence the smiles and some laughter and friendly attitude.

    It should be talk about ideas, not positions. Once it's about positions people start taking stances. Keep it friendly. No accusing, demanding or complaining.

  • Thich Naht Hahn wrote a good book called Living Buddha Living Christ comparing the teachings of both:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Living-Buddha-Christ-Thich-Nhat/dp/0712672818/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1378481096&sr=1-1&keywords=living+buddha+living+christ

    I think if you know what you're looking for, there's a lot of similarities between Buddhism and Christianity. Christian mystics don't have an idea of God being a He either. The Kingdom of God (is within you) could be Nirvana?

    But yes, Bible literalists - such as a JW friend I have - can be annoying. They hold so tightly to their beliefs that it leaves them very little room for debate.
    CittariverflowdhammachickSilouan
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Yes, Tosh, that is an excellent book.
    riverflow
  • CittaCitta Veteran
    edited September 2013
    Yes I thought about TNH after I posted my reply.
    Talking of literalists I once read through a thread on Dharma Wheel where Buddhist literalists seriously put forward the view that there was a giant mountain in the middle of the Universe and that earthquakes were caused by the birth of Buddhas into different realms..because the Pali Canon says so.
    riverflow
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    There are some amazing teachings in Christianity. It took a lot for me to let go of the difficult aspects of my Christian upbringing. But in time I came to realize that I was taught from the perception of my Christian teachers and my fearful parents and grandparents. It was their fear and perceptions that I needed to let go of, not throw the baby out with the bathwater and consider Christianity as a whole invalid.

    The more I study Buddhism, the more I can find the wisdom in Christianity. But unlike Buddhism, which IMO for the most part is pretty straight forward, Christianity is much trickier to learn. You have to read between the lines of the words of fearful men to come to the true meaning of the teachings. And when you can start to do that, you find Christianity and Buddhism are really quite alike. Every religion has negative dogma. Every one. Even Buddhism. Every religion has extremists and fundamentalists who skew things to meet their fears and needs. Even Buddhism. Many of the Christians (who I know at least) who are like the ones you described in the OP are very fearful people. It's really not a pleasant way to live, so it's a good reason to have compassion for them. They are very afraid, for themselves and for their fellow man. I personally think their fear is unfounded most of the time because of what it is based on, but it's fear that is very real to them, and very scary. They need compassion, too.
    vinlynriverflowdhammachickSilouan
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    edited September 2013
    Citta said:

    Yes I thought about TNH after I posted my reply.
    Talking of literalists I once read through a thread on Dharma Wheel where Buddhist literalists seriously put forward the view that there was a giant mountain in the middle of the Universe and that earthquakes were caused by the birth of Buddhas into different realms..because the Pali Canon says so.

    What???? There is no Mount Meru???? Guess I'd better get a refund on my upcoming Carnival cruise!

    Cittariverflow
  • Thanks everyone. A couple years back, I purchased a book called "Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings" It is just comparative quotes next to each other, really. I do want to look more into it and will have to buy TNH's book.

    And a couple weeks ago, I came to the conclusion that it will be good for me to go to at least one soup kitchen with a Christian church in my area. It is actually my old Catholic church from when i was a kid. I am not going to speak about religion, at least I will not try to do so. But I've always wanted to feed the homeless and speak with them, and hear their stories. I could do it with a Food Bank, where there would be no religious people running the thing, but I wanna do it differently. Not only am I interested in the lives and motivations of poor, homeless people, but also the Christians in my area. I think it will be good for me.
    vinlynriverflow
  • Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
  • Vagabond said:

    When it comes to God, I am an atheist. When it comes to Christianity, I'm an asshole. I can go on and on and on and on about how I absolutely hate people who thump the Bible, I can argue with them and point out a dozen contradictions, I can talk about about how stupid the dogma is, about how people quote Leviticus to say homosexuality is a sin, but then ignore the whole mixed-fabric clothing, or tattoos. I was wondering what you all think of this.

    I think you need not dwell on it or let it disturb your mind :)

    seeker242Silouan
  • this is a nice christian girl.
    will she piss you off?

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/deborah-13-servant-god/
  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran
    there is nothing positive about Christianity from a Buddhist perspective.
    @TheEccentric -- Interesting to note, perhaps, that the same might be said for Buddhism from a Buddhist perspective.
    riverflowdhammachick
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Neither can I.

    I don't understand why so many other Buddhists seem to have the need to kiss Christianity's feet and sugar coat it so much. Impho there is nothing positive about Christianity from a Buddhist perspective.

    Really? So compassion as taught by Christ is not positive?

    riverflow
  • Elaine Pagels writes some good books about Gnostic Christianity; and although it's debatable, but I think Gnostic Christianity is like Buddhism (IMO); or at least there's similarities.

    There's even a school of thought that Jesus was a Buddhist monk - that he studied Buddhism in his lost years - but I think that it's only really Buddhists who think this! :D

    BBC Documentary: Jesus was a Buddhist Monk:



    My own opinion is that mainstream Christianity could be so much more than what it is today, which is a shame.

    Oh, another good book is The Gospel of the Second Coming by Freke and Gandy:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Gospel-Second-Coming-Long-Awaited/dp/1401918395

    It's humorous, it's irreverent, but it gives a different view of Christianity as to how it could've been, what happened, and what would Jesus think of it (I think Jesus 'pisses his pants' at what he finds). It's worth a read.

    I would just like to add that my A.A. sponsor (my A.A. mentor) is a Christian and he practises compassion big style; I don't know any Buddhists who does as much as this bloke; he's an enigma. He describes God as a tool he uses for change; and that change is to become a more loving and compassionate person. He has never once tried to convert me; all he said was that if I was interested about his 'Higher Power' (God), to just ask him.

    I've never asked him.
    dhammachick
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited September 2013
    @Vagabond
    I am fortunate to have been brought up a not overly devout Christian. I nearly ended up going to a Catholic School, a fate worse than an eternity of incarnations . . .
    Fortunately I came across Gnosticism and some remarkable teachings about the time I started Buddhist practice. The essence of mysticism and dharma seemed similar.
    I do not often have to talk to Christians, unless they have converted to Buddhism. When I do meet them, they are easy to engage in as humans - not just as 'Christians'.
    You may be a little too much of an 'evangelical buddhist' for me . . . I would probably go find sanctuary in the nearest Church . . . ;)

    Christ be with you . . .
    [Oops]
    Buddha be with you . . . :wave:
    Vastmindriverflowdhammachick
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Good post, Lobster!
  • The self-righteous are unseemly no matter their point of view.
    vinlyndhammachick
  • You know what's crazy? A couple hours after I posted this, I left to do some errands, and when I came back, my mom was talking to some Jehova's Witness ladies that came by. Really nice old ladies. Didn't say anything to offend them.
    ToshlobsterInvincible_summerriverflow
  • :clap:
    Do you know Jehovah's Witnesses pay for the 'WatchTowers' they hand out? They are kindly people . . . Maybe you could interest them in Hendrix musical dharma . . .



    "No reason to get excited,"
    The thief, he kindly spoke
    "There are many here among us
    Who feel that life is but a joke
    But you and I, we've been through that
    And this is not our fate
    So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late"
    Invincible_summerMaryAnneriverflow
  • ^ @Lobster... you are a strange bir...crustacean... But I like how you think. ;)
    riverflow
  • @Vagabond - I sympathize. It isn't always easy. I've lived a good chunk of my life in the Bible Belt which presents quite a challenge! Of course, not all Christians are fundamentalists (and not all fundamentalists are Christians). For a few years I had negative feelings toward Christianity, even after knowing quite well the more compassionate side of the religion. Why should we allow a certain subset of people speak for a 2000 year old religion? There have been plenty other voices within Christianity that offer a different vision of the Christian faith.

    I always seek out common ground. That's the place to connect, and even to grow. We can be slaves to negativity or we can develop the courage to find common ground. No one person is ever completely alien to us. If God is love (I John) then the reverse is equally true: love is God. So God is a verb, not a noun. Here lies common ground. There may be differences in certain areas, and they may be insistent on it. But it is possible to connect-- keep honing in on the positive rather than the negative.

    Our world need less-- not more-- dotted lines to divide us. Why is it that we don't often let other differences get to us, but when it comes to religion, it gets under many people's skins?

    I like the honesty of your subject for the thread: "Christians CAN piss me off." You are at least AWARE of it as a possibility, but not in every single instance. They CAN piss you off, but not always. They CAN piss me off too, but at least if I can recognize my aversion, and where its coming from then I can investigate why I feel it-- it presents me with an opportunity to practice. We should not have aversion to our aversions!

    This doesn't mean that we willfully ignore the differences, but true dialogue can only be constructive, not destructive. Maybe the other person can't see that, but if YOU can, then somebody's got to break that ice, to reach out in compassion and recognize the one world that WE share together.
    Silouan
  • Vagabond said:

    When it comes to God, I am an atheist. When it comes to Christianity, I'm an asshole. I can go on and on and on and on about how I absolutely hate people who thump the Bible, I can argue with them and point out a dozen contradictions, I can talk about about how stupid the dogma is, about how people quote Leviticus to say homosexuality is a sin, but then ignore the whole mixed-fabric clothing, or tattoos. I was wondering what you all think of this.

    I think you are religionalist :D

    You have too much hate flowing through your veins and this hate will cause you as much suffering as those you project it on, some times more.
    riverflowcazdhammachick
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    Vagabond said:

    When it comes to God, I am an atheist. When it comes to Christianity, I'm an asshole. I can go on and on and on and on about how I absolutely hate people who thump the Bible, I can argue with them and point out a dozen contradictions, I can talk about about how stupid the dogma is, about how people quote Leviticus to say homosexuality is a sin, but then ignore the whole mixed-fabric clothing, or tattoos. I was wondering what you all think of this.

    Namaste,

    You're being an asshole to the wrong people. You realise that all the things pissing you off in Leviticus aren't from Christianity right? The Old Testament is a (sometimes mis)translation of the Torah. So you should be an asshole to Jews instead. Jews take it in their stride. Everyone hates us. So if you need to release some pent up asshattery, come at me instead, I'm used to it ;) Consider it my way of Tonglen.

    On the whole Christians are most good people, usually harmless but do have the occasional clusterf**k of assholes. And that's ok, because so do Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and atheists.

    All jesting aside though, as was mentioned above, you really DO have to stop transferrance of anger onto others because of your narrow box of experience of Christianity growing up. The anger won't hurt anyone else but you, prevent good merit karmically and prolong the cycle of samsara. I don't personally know you, but I have grown fond of this site and its members and I'd hate to see you suffer.

    In metta,
    Raven

    PS - I was serious about venting at me though. I can handle it (oh yeah, did I mention Jews are stubborn too? ;) )
    vinlynlobstersndymornriverflow
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran

    Neither can I.

    I don't understand why so many other Buddhists seem to have the need to kiss Christianity's feet and sugar coat it so much. Impho there is nothing positive about Christianity from a Buddhist perspective.

    What about the "kissing of Muslim's feet"? or the other multitudes of religions that Buddhists try to accomodate as well?

    I'm no expert, but I believe it's called altruism. It's something the Buddha exhorted so maybe we should stop worrying about others and follow the Buddha's teachings, yes?
    lobsterriverflow
  • Everyone hates us.
    I don't
    but then I am not anyone . . .
    dhammachick
  • Anyone can piss me off, even my own Mother. But that is entirely about "me", not "them". More practice is necessary :)

    Yes @Vegabong let these Christians be your teachers, make them Ajahn Christian [insert name here]. In fact you don't even have to label them as Christian, that may help with your observations and learning, use what causes you to suffer in a positive way, make it a means of learning and practice.
    riverflowlobster
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Bunks said:

    Maybe it's just where I live or the people I associate with but I find Athiests far more outspoken and arrogant in their views than any Christian I've met!

    Yes, they do enjoy their hissy fits.

    riverflowCraig86lobster
  • betaboybetaboy Veteran
    edited September 2013
    One should not hate members of any religion - that goes without saying - but those who say Christianity and Buddhism are similar know neither Christianity nor Buddhism. In fact, it is offensive to Christians if one reduced their religion to the level of a pagan faith.
  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran
    Not a single one of my Christian friends ever calls Buddhism a Pagan religion.
  • misterCopemisterCope PA, USA Veteran
    I'm kind of surprised at the amount of generalization going on here.
    :-/
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator
    Buddhism isn't a generally considered pagan religion by anyone. Some Christians refer to anyone not Christian as heathens (which can sometimes be used interchangeably with pagans) but that doesn't make Buddhism a pagan faith.
    The teachings of Buddha and the teachings of Christ are quite parallel. It has nothing to do with the dogmas and details of either of the religions taken as a whole.
    There is a lot more within Buddhism than Buddha's teachings, although most will agree what he actually taught is what is the foundation, and the most important. It is the same with Christ's teachings and Christianity. Yes, there are fundamental difference in Buddhism and Christianity. But the foundation as far as a good way to live life, is pretty much the same.
    vinlyndhammachickriverflow
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    Bunks said:

    Maybe it's just where I live or the people I associate with but I find Athiests far more outspoken and arrogant in their views than any Christian I've met!

    Yep it's a southern Australian thing ;) Sydney and Canberra have their fundies in abundance :/
  • dhammachickdhammachick crazy Aussie BUJU Sydney, Australia Veteran
    In fact, it is offensive to Christians if one reduced their religion to the level of a pagan faith.
    Buddhism isn't a Pagan religion. Lots of Pagans may implement Buddhist practices in their path, or follow Buddhism concurrently with their Pagan path of choice (I did), but Buddhism is nontheistic hence not Pagan in any way.
  • Lincoln said:

    I find anger at Christians is a natural (and sometimes very long) stage in the process of recovering from Christianity. ;) This too shall pass.

    I agree with this in the sense that many many fundamentalist families inflict serious psychological damage upon their children, especially when they are conditioned to be intolerant. Hating homosexuals and believing that all other religions lead to hell.. these viewpoints are not even remotely conducive to psychological health and happiness...not to mention that aggressively programming a young child is being prohibitive of their later independent development and is absolutely wrong.

    riverflow
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