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Stereotypes?


Beautiful_Dreamer
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What are the worst or most annoying stereotypes you have encountered? Here are some of mine (this is a bit of a rant):

 

-That I am not really a Christian at all because I am not an evangelical;

-For being a Christian, that I am easy to offend and quick to judge;

-That people like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell speak for me on every issue;

-That I do not know how to have fun :angry:

 

So what are some of yours? What are the most annoying stereotypes you have had applied to you?

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First off: Whoo hoo, whoo hoo, whoo hoo! I'm so glad you came!  :D OK, done jumping up and down now.

 

I'd have to say that it's the "You're not a Christian" stereotype. "Heretic" follows a close second and "You must be a YE creationist then" is the third.  :rolleyes:

 

I haven't heard the YE one yet. I guess I should count myself lucky. :)

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My personal (un)favorite is that you can't be a christian if you don't agree with Bush. /off on screaming rant, blood pressure through the roof.

 

 

deep breath...

 

Then trying to explain why, perhaps, Bush et al would make Jesus spit and really don't represent christianity if you've ever, say, done something extreme like read the gospels. :blink::D

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My personal (un)favorite is that you can't be a christian if you don't agree with Bush.  /off on screaming rant, blood pressure through the roof.

 

 

deep breath...

 

Then trying to explain why, perhaps, Bush et al would make Jesus spit and really don't represent christianity if you've ever, say, done something extreme like read the gospels.    :blink:  :D

 

I know what you mean. I live in the south and I see this all the time. It isn't unusual to see 'We support president Bush' on a church sign. I think this sort of thing has no place in a church. I don't like religion and politics being linked at all, but I hear them being put together a lot here. One only need look at the Taliban to see what can happen when religion and politics are too closely linked.

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The progressive and liberal Christian movement has been big on trying to balance the conservative voice in politics with a more liberal one. I admit that I stay out of it altogether, left and right. Not to say that I don't vote. I do. I just don't know that any political candidate should be espousing a religious cause as their platform. Of course, individuals like Jim Wallis would probably disagree.

 

I hate to say that I'm a cynic and believe it's never going to change. :( There is no politics without people, and most people have an ideology that is going to play a part in their politics. Even atheists have a worldview that will come into play. Think Russia and China.

 

But yeah, ideally, I wish the two could remain completely seperate. How does that happen though?

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-That I am not really a Christian at all because I am not an evangelical;

 

I would not say that you are a Christian because you are not evangelical, but I have said that I think that all Christians should be evangelical. However, I have stripped some baggage from the definition of evangelical. Being evangelical means being filled with the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ. The additional baggage that I think is improperly attached to the word is being conversion motivated and being attached to a conservative social agenda.

 

Thus, I think that you might be an evangelical, like me: a progressive evangelical. I would encourage you to identify yourself as an evangelical and be outspoken about your progressive views.

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One of my favorite authors has this to say about "being evangelical."

 

"Big E" Evangelical, as some use the term, increasingly refers to "the Religious Right." That group would probably not want me in their company, and I can 't blame them, as I'd be nothing but trouble, asking pesky questions that they don't have time for.

 

When I say I cherish an evangelical identity ("little e"), I mean something beyond a belief system or doctrinal array or even a practice. I mean an attitude - an attitude toward God and our neighbor and our mission that is passionate. When evangelicals (at their best) sing, they SING. When evangelicals pray, they PRAY. When evangelicals preach, they PREACH. When evangelicals decide something is worth doing, they DO it. They don't tend to establish committees to study the feasibility of doing it. They don't ask permission from the bureaucracy to do it. They don't get a degree that qualifies them to do it. They JUST DO IT - and with passion.

 

True, this evangelical passion gets them into trouble from time to time. Passionate can easily degenerate into sentimental or cheesy or hotheaded or hardheaded or softheaded, and it has too often done so. But if I have a choice between the kind of trouble that comes from too much passion or the kind that comes from too little, my choice will be easy.

 

Sure, I think Evangelicals (big e) have painted themselves into a lot of corners - theologically, politically, socially. But evangelical passion for spiritual experience, for spiritual understanding, for mission, is precious. If it could be bottled, one quart of it would be worth five libraries of religious books (including mine) ...

 

I realize that this understanding of evangelical differs from what many people think of when they hear the word. That's why my friend Dave Tomlinson uses the term "post-evangelical" instead. It means coming from, emerging from, growing from, and emphasizes both continuity and discontinuity.

 

At the end of the day, I hope evangelical can become an inclusive and positive term, rather than a sectarian and restrictive one ...

Edited by AletheiaRivers
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I always tell my fundie/Evangelical (with a capital E) sister than I don't accept George W. Bush as my Lord and Savior. :-) I've wondered aloud why it is that some Evangelics have bought into the entire Conservative/ Republican party agenda hook line and sinker in a way that liberals never bought into Democratic party. (Regardless of the good that Johnson did in pushing the Civil Rights bill, he was still pretty much pushed out of office for the war in Vietnam).

 

I think when religion gets too close to politics it lacks it edge to ever criticise it.

 

 

--des

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I actually don't mind being called a "heretic" -- some of our most radical saints were accused of being heretics! (And wasn't Jesus accused of blasphemy?)

 

Stereotypes from agnostic liberals include: that I'm narrowminded, prudish or repressed, judgmental, with a simplistic pie-in-the-sky belief system, and that I think non-Christians are going to hell.

 

Stereotypes from conservative Christians include: that I believe in "anything goes," that I am not serious about my faith, that I'm really a new-ager . . .

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I actually don't mind being called a "heretic" -- some of our most radical saints were accused of being heretics! (And wasn't Jesus accused of blasphemy?)

 

Being a heretic simply means you are ahead of your time ;)

 

Stereotypes from agnostic liberals include: that I'm narrowminded, prudish or repressed, judgmental, with a simplistic pie-in-the-sky belief system, and that I think non-Christians are going to hell.

 

Understandably so considering who speaks for Christians. I'm very hesitant to identify myself as a Christian because I don't like people grouping me with those who the stereotype is based on. Unfortunately, unlike most stereotypes, the one you suffer from being accused of is true of those with the biggest mouths in the United States. *sigh*

 

Stereotypes from conservative Christians include: that I believe in "anything goes," that I am not serious about my faith, that I'm really a new-ager . . .

 

yup, again why I don't tend to identify myself as a Christian with most people. Because Liberals and Progressives tend to come from such a different stand point I've found it very difficult to have any kind of rational conversation about theology with Conservatives/Fundamentalists. I choose to avoid the discussion entirely with them.

Edited by October's Autumn
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The progressive and liberal Christian movement has been big on trying to balance the conservative voice in politics with a more liberal one. I admit that I stay out of it altogether, left and right. Not to say that I don't vote. I do. I just don't know that any political candidate should be espousing a religious cause as their platform. Of course, individuals like Jim Wallis would probably disagree.

 

I hate to say that I'm a cynic and believe it's never going to change.  :(  There is no politics without people, and most people have an ideology that is going to play a part in their politics. Even atheists have a worldview that will come into play. Think Russia and China.

 

But yeah, ideally, I wish the two could remain completely seperate. How does that happen though?

 

Gandhi and Martin Luther King come to mind quickly. Like it or not, politics is an essential responsibility for people of faith. Gandhi said something like religion without politics is empty and I agree. But we bring something to politics which is subversive and mysterious and challenging. Read Jeremiah!

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I always tell my fundie/Evangelical (with a capital E) sister than I don't accept George W. Bush as my Lord and Savior. :-) I've wondered aloud why it is that some Evangelics have bought into the entire Conservative/ Republican party agenda hook line and sinker in a way that liberals never bought into Democratic party. (Regardless of the good that Johnson did in pushing the Civil Rights bill, he was still pretty much pushed out of office for the war in  Vietnam).

 

I think when religion gets too close to politics it lacks it edge to ever criticise it.

 

 

--des

 

I agree. "Do not put your trust in human leaders."

 

It is tempting to support Democrats these days because the Republicans have gone so far to the Right. But we must be prophetic challengers of all politicians. And we must be there in that political arena challenging and encouraging at all times because creating heaven on earth is something we are called to do even though we know it can't be done by us, only by God.

 

Maybe we need to stop believing in a Democrat Messiah and start believing that Republican politicians can be transformed if challenged and encouraged with our love. Miracles happen.

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Those are very good points des and mystictrek.

 

This makes me think of a concept explored by Peter Gomes in one of his books.

He was talking about the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness. In one of the temptations Jesus is taken by Satan up on a hill and shown all the kingdoms of the world. Satan tells him that "these are all mine and I will give them to you , if you worship me". Many think this is a call for Jesus to become a warlock and Satan worshipper. It is much more subtle than that. Gomes states that people of faith are often frustrated because thet don't seem to have a power that the world respects. So they start to fantasize about all the good they could do if they only had the power.

 

I suspect that some (not all) on the Christian Right thought that if they could elect an evangelical as president, they would have a Christian with the powers of the United States presidency i.e. military might , bombs, wealth ,influence ,the media etc. The next thing you know (when you fall for this temptation) is that you're doing Satan work in the world ,spreading death, disease and destruction throughout the world.

 

It is a subtle temptation and one that those of us on the Left must be wary of as well.

 

MOW

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... It is much more subtle than that. Gomes states that people of faith are often frustrated because thet don't seem to have a power that the world respects. So they start to  fantasize about all the good they could do if they only had the power.

Yes! Lord of the Rings, in a nutshell. Power is always frought with ambiguity, even when we genuinely have the best of intentions. Apparently this is why political rhetoric has to be so unambiguous.

 

Thanks for this observation.

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MT

 

Why do I like the word "subversive" so much ? I believe that it's because it stands for those who are for change, and change usually means progress over the long run.

 

People don't ask me very often "what" I am, or what I believe in. But when they do I simply tell them my belief that Jesus was a rebel and the ultimate anti-establishment advocate of all time.

 

So in that vein, I then tell them that I have worked thirty years, and continue to work, in small ways, towards the gradual, non-violent, yet certain, undermining of the existing social order simply because it demonstrably doesn't seem to be working very well anymore. That usually shuts them up and they often don't ask me anything else about my beliefs after that.

 

The point here is that peoples' beliefs are a very personal matter. When and if someone asks you about them I believe that you are entitled to challenge them in the same manner that you have been challenged. Chances are that you were asked about your beliefs because the asker is a judgemental personality. I choose to go over the top with my answer so that their unwelcome curiosity is fully satisfied and shocked into quietude.

 

flow.... :rolleyes:

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Those are very good points des and mystictrek.

 

This makes me think of a concept explored by Peter Gomes in one of his books.

He was talking about the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness. In one of the temptations Jesus is taken by Satan up on a hill and shown all the kingdoms of the world. Satan tells him that  "these are all mine and I will give them to you , if you worship me". Many think this is a call for Jesus to become a warlock and Satan worshipper. It is much more subtle than that. Gomes states that people of faith are often frustrated because thet don't seem to have a power that the world respects. So they start to  fantasize about all the good they could do if they only had the power.

 

I suspect that some (not all) on the Christian Right thought that if they could elect an evangelical as president, they would have a Christian with the powers of the United States presidency i.e. military might , bombs, wealth ,influence ,the media etc. The next thing you know (when you fall for this temptation) is that you're doing Satan work in the world ,spreading death, disease and destruction throughout the world.

 

  It is a subtle temptation and one that those of us on the Left must be wary of as well.

 

  MOW

 

I like to think of myself as a Centrist which means that I lean to the Left currently because the country is leaning to the Right. Surveys show that about 33 per cent call themselves Conservative, 22 per cent Liberal and 45 per cent Moderate.

 

I think that the Left and the Right both have good ideas, even some which are wait out there on the wings. We need to examine these ideas carefully and apply those we think will work carefully. Those who would exploit good ideas, good programs, good policies, come from all parts of the political spectrum. We need a system checks and balances that works well.

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I always tell my fundie/Evangelical (with a capital E) sister than I don't accept George W. Bush as my Lord and Savior. :-) I've wondered aloud why it is that some Evangelics have bought into the entire Conservative/ Republican party agenda hook line and sinker in a way that liberals never bought into Democratic party. (Regardless of the good that Johnson did in pushing the Civil Rights bill, he was still pretty much pushed out of office for the war in  Vietnam).

 

I agree. "Do not put your trust in human leaders."

I agree that we have to be equally challenging of Democrats as we are of Republicans.

I may be a Democrat in political perrsuasion, but political afflilation is one thing-- we can't

lose our prophetic vision by "hanging onto" either party (or the Greens for that matter).

 

--des

 

>It is tempting to support Democrats these days because the Republicans have gone so far to the Right. But we must be prophetic challengers of all politicians. And we must be there in that political arena challenging and encouraging at all times because creating heaven on earth is something we are called to do even though we know it can't be done by us, only by God.

 

Maybe we need to stop believing in a Democrat Messiah and start believing that Republican politicians can be transformed if challenged and encouraged with our love. Miracles happen.

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I agree.  "Do not put your trust in human leaders."

I agree that we have to be equally challenging of Democrats as we are of Republicans.

I may be a Democrat in political perrsuasion, but political afflilation is one thing-- we can't

lose our prophetic vision by "hanging onto" either party (or the Greens for that matter).

 

That is why I'm an independent "small i." Sometimes I think it is cynicism but then "they" go and do something stupid (like giving Bush power) and I realize that I'm just realistic!

 

I guess I *usually* see the Democrats as the lesser of the two evils is *most* elections.

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I think the greater issue in our political system has less to do with democrat verses republican and more to do with corporations with money verses the poor or middle class populations of our country. Our politicians are not servants of the people as much as they are slaves to thier contributors. Now, all politicians slip something in that is good for all people but for the most part, politicians have a job because of the money they recieved from corporate America. It is all about the money. Therefore, the power is not with the people on the right or the left but with banks, oil companies, etc...

 

Therefore, I think that Christians, and churches, should be more involved in politics. Not in the arena of democrat verses republican but as a place for those who do not have a voice anywhere else but in the church to speak out. I beleive in seperation of church and state as long as the state is doing their job for the all of God's creation.

 

Anyway, the stereotype that is most given to me is that I am not really a Christian but a humanist.

 

Ed

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