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Thread: Is proselytizing bullying, if it's done by the majority?

  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief View Post
    Probably not a good idea to start labeling every form of persuasion as some sort of bullying. I'd say no.
    That's not what I'm saying. At all. I'm talking about a very particular kind of persuasion. Like when the person next to you on an airplane "witnesses" to you for the whole flight. He HAS to, he says, because it's his obligation under his faith to tell you about the fact that there is one way to avoid everlasting hellfire. He MUST ask you to commit your life to Christ--right here and right now--or he will allow you to endure a horrid fate forever.
    Last edited by Rasselas; 5th July 2018 at 06:37 AM.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    There's another thread about bullying in schools and videos and such. Some people object to anti-bullying videos regarding gay people and want videos about not bullying Christians. I have another, more controversial question--is the Great Commission an instruction to bully others?

    Proselytizing means telling people about the Good News of Jesus, but it often (always?) comes with a both carrot and stick. Don't Christians regularly say "If you don't accept Jesus in your heart, you are an enemy of God and you're going to hell"?

    Is that bullying?
    It's bullying that's protected by the First Amendment, and the government has no business discouraging it.

    That said, I've seen how it can be bullying. My daughter is an atheist. A couple of her religious friends found out about that and, children being cruel, started picking on her about it -- insisting she was going to burn in Hell if she didn't follow Christ. My daughter's pretty self assured, so she basically just responded by bullying back.... telling her friends they were dumb to believe in fairy tales. But, I can imagine some other kids would have really taken it to heart.

  3. #53
    Penny for your thots Macduff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    There's another thread about bullying in schools and videos and such. Some people object to anti-bullying videos regarding gay people and want videos about not bullying Christians. I have another, more controversial question--is the Great Commission an instruction to bully others?

    Proselytizing means telling people about the Good News of Jesus, but it often (always?) comes with a both carrot and stick. Don't Christians regularly say "If you don't accept Jesus in your heart, you are an enemy of God and you're going to hell"?

    Is that bullying?
    Not really, no. Occasionally you'll have a street preacher or something like that. But for the most part, proselytizing takes the form of "Would you like to come to church with us on Sunday?"
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  4. #54
    Spock of Vulcan Ian Jeffrey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macduff View Post
    Not really, no. Occasionally you'll have a street preacher or something like that. But for the most part, proselytizing takes the form of "Would you like to come to church with us on Sunday?"
    I used to get the "going to hell" speech quite a bit, actually. Oh, it was delicately phrased, but that's what it came down to, especially after declining a church invitation.

  5. #55
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    I would call it fear mongering more than bullying and it exploits a fear of the unknown and any spiritual feel anyone might have about the unknown and a belief in god(s) as an easy answer and explanation for things that can't be explained or the contemplation of thoughts like infinity and what existed before existence......All that can lead one to existentialist stuff. Instead of torturing one's brain over what such things, it is easier to come up with, as they did when far fewer human discoveries of nature's or some god(s)'s divine engineering. Some of the dogma and some of the long held human "beliefs" become harder to sustain as discoveries and modern technology present plausible and more tangible answers, even if that are more complex that claiming someone's god(s) were either angry or pleased.

    Imagine living in the times of Galileo, Copernicus, Newton, Columbus and others before and after them with regard to how their science clashed with religious beliefs in their eras, many of them monarchies that included heavy political influence by various churches. Empires with shared power and many times struggles between the religious and the hereditary powers. The Founders of this nation were closer to those eras, studied them and saw some of it in their own times and wished to place the power in the hands of all people, regardless of their characteristics. There were also discoveries going on and many that had not yet occurred in those days too, as well as social progresses which were still in transition and seem quite archaic by today's standards even recognizing how far we still have to go.

    Many organized religions are losing some existing members and not finding many new ones. because they have tried to defy the interests of the Founders of this nation regarding the respecting of an establishment of religion. They wanted to remain neutral, perhaps more so regarding the bloody wars in Europe over which form of organized Christianity was going to dominate in any one monarchical empire and influence politics and law, not unlike theocracies. I don't believed they worried a great deal about clashes among different main branches of religion, but that was still a factor. A government of the people has to include all the people, not just those who are Protestant, Catholic (or any divisions thereof) Christian, but people of any faith or lack thereof. To me, this seems closer to the teachings of Christ than the dogma that some humans appear to have inserted into Christ's teachings. In any case, between inquisitions and intrafaith battles for dominance, the main theme of Christ's teachings seem to have gotten lost in the shuffle and even with scare tactics/fear mongering, many began to see more to fear from the hypocrisies of human run organized religion than from the wrath of God for not wanting to sign up for any sort of human organized attempt to speak for their god(s), many times in ways that defy their very own scripture and work to manipulate masses of people exploiting their faith in god(s) for political purposes.

    One should be able to see why the founders of this nation wanted a means to stay neutral and not allow their proposed government of the people, to become involved in religious disputes or have the government be involved with being aligned with any specific denomination of any one religion, much less any religion, because that would in of itself, specify a bias which could work against all others and could be said to be backed by a divine provenance, NOT unlike, so many centuries of conflict in Europe and England, leading some to come here solely in search of religious freedom. Some of them ironically, brought their own human based religious bigotry with them, claiming it was the same that brought them here, from where they came from. The persecuted, becoming the persecutors.

    As mentioned earlier, most of the Christians I know, must have different bibles because they do not proselytize beyond letting the way they live speak for part of it that might be due to their religious beliefs. If they believe abortion is wrong, they don't have an abortion. If they believe homosexuality is wrong, they don't engage in homosexual relations. They are not running around trying to force their religion on others by cajoling or fear mongering. They have opinions for sure, but they don't try act as judge in place of God. They have faith that their God will judge taking their scripture into account.

    With regard to science and religion, I think many of them like the same line of thinking in the philosophy that Einstein had when it came to belief in a higher entity and why he may have felt it was difficult not to, in some small way, all based on his thought that the more one discovers about the universe and how things work, the more one realizes how one has only touched a minute portion of the surface of all there is to discover.

    "My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God."
    Albert Einstein and Religion

    MOTHER TERESA'S DOUBTS REVEAL A DEEP FAITH
    Mother Teresa's Doubts Reveal a Deep Faith


    I'm not sure why so many things are broken down in an either/or fashion that really do not have to be, other than some sort of safety in numbers......and a form of herd mentality or people that seek a means to control the masses with fear and oppression.

    I know faith in a powerful being and fear of making that being angry and fear of what comes after death, following the description and portrayal of "either/or" (which a sub option on the terrible side to something maybe a little less terrible), making someone believe something terrible is going to happen to them if they don't fly by the rules someone who claims to have a hotline to God says they need to fly by, is a POWERFUL thing and a perfect place for some who crave power over others and in some ways may even have a sick sadistic side in making someone tremble with fear and how they can manipulate people with fear of God.

    The Christians I mostly know and run into, don't like the idea of people coming to any faith in God based on fearing what will happen to them if they do not believe in God. They prefer people come to their faith because others genuinely see something good in it and want to follow it.

    In a way fear mongering could be called bullying as it's more about pushing people to a "faith" with fear, instead of getting them to follow, because they like what they see.

    If that makes any sense.
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  6. #56
    DEEP STATE CEO Blues63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    There's another thread about bullying in schools and videos and such. Some people object to anti-bullying videos regarding gay people and want videos about not bullying Christians. I have another, more controversial question--is the Great Commission an instruction to bully others?

    Proselytizing means telling people about the Good News of Jesus, but it often (always?) comes with a both carrot and stick. Don't Christians regularly say "If you don't accept Jesus in your heart, you are an enemy of God and you're going to hell"?

    Is that bullying?
    If bullying is to elicit a response based upon fear of reprisal, then perhaps proselytising to young children could be seen as such.

    I know the Penguins at my old school scared the absolute shit out of us with their irrational levels of violence, coupled with their damnation speeches if we didn't conform and accept the burdens of guilt.
    Last edited by Blues63; 5th July 2018 at 11:55 AM.

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkady View Post
    It's bullying that's protected by the First Amendment,
    Is it? Doesn't the person being talked to in my scenario have a right to freedom of association, including refusing to associate with people who harangue them about God?
    and the government has no business discouraging it.
    Does someone's right to practice their religion include the forced participation of people who do not subscribe to their faith?

    That said, I've seen how it can be bullying. My daughter is an atheist. A couple of her religious friends found out about that and, children being cruel, started picking on her about it -- insisting she was going to burn in Hell if she didn't follow Christ. My daughter's pretty self assured, so she basically just responded by bullying back.... telling her friends they were dumb to believe in fairy tales. But, I can imagine some other kids would have really taken it to heart.
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  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Jeffrey View Post
    I used to get the "going to hell" speech quite a bit, actually. Oh, it was delicately phrased, but that's what it came down to, especially after declining a church invitation.
    I was in Midtown on 46th Street between 5th and 6th when I was single leaning against an unused telephone booth smoking cigarettes and people watching looking for my future wife when suddenly I saw two fresh faces dressed in 'uniform' -- I knew right away it was religious. Then the question, "What is it that you are looking for in a church?"

    And I replied, "A strong non-prostelyzation policy" and I flicked my cigarette into the street and walked away from them.

    Now as a parent, I HAVE gotten the "subtle" invitation to go to a youth bible thingamajigger/retreat/event and my kids are 7.

    I just say no beyond that what else to do?
    Last edited by publius3; 10th July 2018 at 12:46 PM.
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  9. #59
    Member fenrir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    There's another thread about bullying in schools and videos and such. Some people object to anti-bullying videos regarding gay people and want videos about not bullying Christians. I have another, more controversial question--is the Great Commission an instruction to bully others?

    Proselytizing means telling people about the Good News of Jesus, but it often (always?) comes with a both carrot and stick. Don't Christians regularly say "If you don't accept Jesus in your heart, you are an enemy of God and you're going to hell"?

    Is that bullying?
    Nope.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rasselas View Post
    California is a really big state with large rural areas and vast differences in educational levels. The Bay Area is among the most educated parts of the nation. The Central Valley has college-degree rates similar to West Virginia or Mississippi.
    Excellent point. Sometimes many of us are guilty of defining an entire state or region by what a large segment or even the majority of the people there believe.
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