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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Opposing Views

I wanted to clarify for a moment what I said in the last post. I am not criticizing Christianity here at all, I was criticizing the idea that if something is good for your baby, it would be in the Bible.

Therefore, anything not in the Bible must be bad for your baby...?

I mean, if you follow that logic, you shouldn't use strollers, cribs, or bottles because none of those things are in the Bible. Right?

It leads me to a question about accepting different viewpoints. The GIRL in this scenario and the WOMAN are my Facebook friends, I do not know MAN at all. I have since removed WOMAN as my Facebook friend because her status updates are always prayers. As in: "Dear Lord Father, I would like this and this to happen. In Jesus name." Not even "In Jesus' name" or "In Jesus's name," no "In Jesus name." So I started not seeing much point in keeping in touch with her (I worked with her during my two month stay in Arkansas).

But part of me feels like it's wrong to silence someone for having another viewpoint.

Not that I'm preventing her from saying whatever she wants, I'm just removing myself from a place where I have to hear it.

I know some people who purposely read and listen to the media produced by the "other side" in order to either get better perspective or to find better arguments against them, but I just can't do it.

As I've said before, I have a hard time with Christianity intruding on my life as it is, so is it wrong to eliminate the sources where I can?

Do I have a duty to continue to keep avenues open to hear things that upset me? I don't think I'm strong enough to. I just get so frustrated and upset and it sticks with me all day, wishing I could find some way to communicate why "If it were good for your baby, it would be in the Bible" doesn't make any sense!

I don't like feeling this way. I think I am going to try not to put myself into situations where I am likely to hear things that will bother me.

But will I grow and learn if I shut out opposition?

I welcome opinions on this...


  1. Isn't there an "ignore" button on Facebook where you can still have them in your friends listing but don't have to listen to their inane drivel? I'd do that.

    I don't think you're "shutting out the opposition" as much as refusing to be part of someone wanting to argue for arguments sake. There's a difference between a debate where people give and take information and what these people are doing. Knowledge is found in debates - frustration is found in arguments.

    I should mention for the sake of your last post that here in Georgia there is a woman who teaches "Christian Yoga" -- she recites bible passages and calls the poses by American names. Its completely sanitized and bizarre.

  2. I would agree with what Mouse says, there is no point in getting into an argument when someone won't listen and will just keep repeating their position. If there is a chance of others listening to and learning from what you say then it would be worth staying, but really if they don't want to discuss things what can you learn from them?

  3. I think there's a feature where you can exclude said persons status updates from featuring on your news feed. I've done that a number of times to some people. It can become very frustrating when the news feed wall gets clogged up with prayer items.

    I echo the same sentiments as Mouse and Tandava. No point arguing with empty vessels. They'll do everything they can to make it seem as though they are right and we are wrong.

  4. Removing yourself from a place where you will have to hear it is the right thing to do.
    Having said that it is essential to experience contrast. Contrast serves you in identifying what you want or like from what you don't want or don't like, thereby helping you to focus on what you want or like and letting go of what you don't.So appreciate the contrast(though not that you don't want).weird i know.. hope you find it helpful.

  5. I believe arguing over the internet is almost entirely futile, especially in such situations as this. WOMAN's statement was so ignorant of reality as to indicate an intellect incapable of sensible discussion. I myself would have ignored it.

    In regards to shutting yourself off from Christian perspectives, or from perspectives that offend or upset you, there is logic in this. Until we are firm in our faith and understanding, until we have developed our security and the patience that comes with it, we are like saplings. We have the potential to grow into splendid, strong spiritual beings, but at the start we are fragile. A sapling might need to be roped to a stiff stake to keep it upright, or be fenced off to prevent damage from grazing animals or reckless children at play. But as it grows taller and stronger, as its roots go deeper and its trunk more sturdy, we can gradually remove the protection and begin to let it fend for itself.

    But don't take my word for it:

  6. Thanks, guys.

    I think that I will try to ignore feeds from some people so I don't have to see it, that sounds wise.

    To get various perspectives, I will look for places where I can have a real discussion, with the give and take like Mouse was talking about. The Internet is not usually a good place for that!

    I end up so upset by these things that I ruminate on it all day and have trouble sleeping at night.

    I think it is better to avoid doing that to myself, as me seeing and debating these things is not doing anyone any good.

  7. I think that's a wise conclusion, Aamba.

    I know you're familiar with Sri Eknath Easwaran. Consider taking up his program of passage meditation. It has helped me immensely with such issues as these. If you don't want to commit to the entire program, consider just using the Mantram as he describes here:

    Over the past year, my use of the mantram has helped me deal effectively with anger, frustration and the tendency to ruminate.

  8. Religion is a morphine for the masses-Marx.. what ever be the religion. Religion makes you forget about your contribution to the society and think about a imaginary friend.

    All the major religions today were introduced to bring about order in society may be except for Buddhism. But now we have governments. Now religions are doing more harm than good. We should only the take the good points like not to steal, help others etc and forget the BS like chant the holy name 10 times a day/ pray 5 times a day/ or believing whatever crap is written in a book is true.. So any arguments based on religion is more like arguing my imaginary friend is better than yours..

    Lets all come out of this mess and contribute scientifically to the betterment of out planet..

  9. Well, Anonymous, I can see the point that it is a problem if we focus so much on our chanting that we don't contribute to the world in a positive way, but I consider myself a deeply religious person and this blog is really about how important religion is to me and my life. I hope that my practice of religion helps me to do good in the world and helping the planet.

  10. Hi Aamba, i am not the same anonymous as the one who has pointed out that chanting is BS.if you notice i have mentioned my email in my comment..just pointing out so as to avoid confusion...saleel.

  11. ...and this is why I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook, and haven't visited there for several weeks.

    At times I find myself getting too easily offended by certain things that people put in their status updates. Sometimes I can't seem to distance myself from political, religious or social opinions. I never engage in debate when it comes to core beliefs, as I learned of the futility of it a very long time ago.

    So I take a break, until I feel that I'm in a frame of my where I CAN distance myself.

    No, you are not duty bound to subject yourself knowingly to frustration. I am not a believer in constantly having to hear the "other side of the story".

    Do what you need to do for your spirit.

  12. Hey, Saleel, it's no problem. I allow anonymous posts here, so I know there are a variety of people posting as that! If I start getting any nasty anonymous quotes I might have to turn that off, but so far so good.

    Thanks, Franny, I really have to let go of that need to always jump in and defend my ideas! People are not on Facebook because they're in the frame of mind to consider other points of view. And that's fine. It really doesn't seem like a good place for debate at all. I'll try to stick to my games and keep the highly controversial links off my wall (and stop commenting on other people's controversial links so much!)

  13. Perhaps if governments had shown themselves capable of instilling moral values in their people, of protecting the innocent, of fostering goodwill among enemies, of caring for the people they represent in a meaningful way, of leading people away from the destructive materialistic philosophies such as consumerism, there would be some reason to have faith in them on par with one's religious faith.

    Of course, nothing remotely like that has happened in this world.