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What do you call yourself?
Topic Rating: +1 (1 votes) 
September 16, 2012
4:50 pm
Roeroe92
Oregon
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Hi all!

I'm new to the church and this will be my first post. 

I was just curious as to what everyone says when people ask "What religion are you?"

Since I was about 10 years old I would tell people simply that, "I am not religious, I am spiritual." and in Oregon, anyone I said that to would just nod their head and completely understand. 

Since moving to the south (NC) I have a very difficult time with the people here. If I tell them i'm spiritual they always say "What does that mean??" and look at me like I'm stupid. I'm tired of close-minded people acting like I don't matter because I don't believe the exact thing they do. (and usually telling me i'm going to hell)

So any help or advice would be great, and i'd love to hear what you all have to say! :) Thanks for reading

September 16, 2012
6:54 pm
ChrisBigunDouglass
Corpus Christi TX
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My suggestion would be to either tell them you attend a private non denominal church or if you wish to discuss religion with them explain how you see spirituality.

September 17, 2012
12:55 am
vampyremage
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I think one's religious or spiritual label is a very personal thing.  Personally, if asked the question I say that I consider myself to be a left hand path spiritualist and may or may not mention being a part of the CoBM.  How much I go into it depends on how well I know the individual and how comfortable I am with them in discussing my spiritual beliefs.

September 17, 2012
2:40 am
KristenAtkinson0
South Korea
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Usually I just go with "atheist," or "I don't subscribe to any belief system."

 

I don't usually discuss the CoBM, though I probably should. My close friends know about it.

September 17, 2012
5:39 am
KendrahLi
Los Angeles, CA -818
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What I refer to myself as depends greatly upon 1) who is asking and 2) what they asked.

For the first part, it really depends on how familiar I am with the person and their receptivity. If I'm in mixed company I may use my universalist ordination or occultist to label myself. If I'm among friends I'll say I'm draconian occultist. I am very wary of the stigma surrounding labels and am careful not to get myself branded as being a certain way because of it.

For the second question, if I'm asked what my religion is, refer above. If I'm asked what church I belong to, I can say CoBM or state I was thinking of forming my own church under my ordination but haven't gotten to it yet.This is something I'm really pondering over because I'm going to be meeting someone I'm interested in and the parents are very strictly christian and I don't want to offend them. A situation where choosing my words carefully will come into play.

My favourite thing to do with most of my family (who are very close to fundamentalist christian) is to grey area my answers since they don't ask for too many specifics. "Do you believe in god?" "yes (neglect to say they are dragon gods)", "do you attend church?" "yes (neglect to say I ran a clan, can run a universalist church or am now a member of CoBM)", "are you spiritual?" "yes (as I very much am)", etc.

-= www.khaotyk-artwerx.com =- Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras
September 17, 2012
7:31 am
Roeroe92
Oregon
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@KashakuTatsu. I agree with you on the stigma, and being in the south just makes it worse because everyone is VERY Christian and if you don't say the exact domination they are, they usually think of you as a devil worshiper. In the south, people think it is totally ok to just ask random strangers what they believe in… And people wonder why I keep to myself. 

I might just start telling them that it is none of their business and walk off. 

September 17, 2012
7:39 am
KendrahLi
Los Angeles, CA -818
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"I might just start telling them that it is none of their business and walk off. "

You know, that would not only be funny but be a good lesson in keeping their noses out of other people's private life!

-= www.khaotyk-artwerx.com =- Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras
September 17, 2012
11:27 am
Sommersett
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I'm from the "blue blooded South" just like my Mama and her Mama.  I'll protect our recipes from the bitterness of resentment and rude behavior.  I teach my children to say ma'am and sir.  It is true that our ways are different.  If you have any direct questions about culture or traditions you are dealing with, feel free to send me a message.

When people ask me what I believe in, I try my best to give them an honest answer….

I believe in kindness.

I believe in people doing the right thing even if it is difficult.

I believe in education.

I believe in laughing.

I believe in growing a garden.

I believe in patience.

I believe in freeing myself from labels.

I believe in clean water and air.

Try to think of things you may have in common with the person asking you.  I wouldn't assume someone is trying to be an asshole just because they are asking about what you think… actually just the opposite!!  If they didn't want to know, they'd say "kiss my grits" and not even bother with you. 

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
September 17, 2012
4:52 pm
KendrahLi
Los Angeles, CA -818
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That is a beautiful response sommersett

-= www.khaotyk-artwerx.com =- Ex Ignorantia Ad Sapientiam; E Luce Ad Tenebras
October 24, 2012
4:21 am
strommer
Portland,OR
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well your first problem was you moved from OregonWink people here are awesome and very open minded when ever i tell people about it i tend to be very vague cause i dont want to be preachy but if your in a area that people dont get you i would try to stay away from the topic i find that the 2 biggest fight starters are conversations about politics and religion 

October 24, 2012
4:45 pm
rumpusparable
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What I answer depends on my mood, who I'm talking to, and what aspect of religion we're talking about…

It varies from Christian, Buddhist, magick user, ordeal path, worshipper of Deity, polytheist, to universalist.

Relationships come and go, but plastination is forever.
October 24, 2012
8:58 pm
Roeroe92
Oregon
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@ Strommer, It wasn't my choice to move from Oregon. My family moved us to NC and I was 13. It was my only option. :/ And now i'm in nursing school and can't leave for another 3 years unless I want to start all over again. I also don't have the money for that. lol

October 25, 2012
4:55 am
Oakbear
UK
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My stance has shifted a bit over time regards what i say.

 

If directly asked what religion i 'am', i used to say 'pagan' as a catch all for some of the beliefs i had, which gave someone with a little education a rough idea. If asked more i could give detail about my beliefs, or engage in some discussion. People i encountered, especially work colleges seemed more comfortable with the label as part explanation and platform to enquire more. That sometimes led to discussion about modifications and spirituality.

 

While it is of course personal, i enjoy talking about religion and beliefs, and accept human's are curious or a bit frightened about difference, so don't mind a degree of invasiveness if it helps then understand or broaden their horizons. I am quite good at avoiding conflict in discussions, so that hasn't really been a problem for me.

 

Pagan seemed less suited to me over time, not because i wouldn't fit into that broad description, but that i moved from some of my past Wiccan practice, and incorporated more Hindu philosophy into my beliefs as i learnt more. I wouldn't class myself as Hindu, so when i asked i tended to say 'i follow my own beliefs' or 'i make it up as i go along!'. More discussion or questioning might illicit more information, but people tend not to ask so much.

 

More recently some people at my work have discovered the existence of the CoBM and my involvement in it, and various rumours have reached me about what people might think. People were already aware i'm quite visibly modified, and that it was related to 'religion', so it seems to make sense to people. While i have never hidden my involvement i don't tend to wear my beliefs as a badge or preach, so it felt a little invasive to be 'outed'. I've always remained polite and honest though.

 

Now i feel a bit more comfortable about people knowing this before i have discussed it with them. It's actually made me more comfortable to answer the what religion are you question with 'I'm a Minister with the Church of Body Modification'. People invariably know little about it, so often ask. It has meant i can discuss what the CoBM is, and isn't, as well as my personal beliefs should the conversation turn to it.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
October 25, 2012
6:36 pm
Roeroe92
Oregon
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I like to ask people just to see what their beliefs are. I like to learn new things about people and how they act/feel/think and how they see the world. 

The only way I don't inquire more about people's beliefs are if they say "I'm christian." Because so is my mom and I already know about it. 

I love Hinduism!!

October 30, 2012
4:52 am
SasQuatch9585
USA
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I usually say I'm a Buddhist and a member of CoBM.  Most people don't know too much about Buddhism and have never even heard of CoBM, so this response usually leads to quite a few questions, which I do my best to answer patiently.

Sommersett, it's not the part about asking what religion someone is that makes them an asshole.  It's the part where they tell you you're going to hell.

I recommend anyone who isn't some type of Christian should be very concerned with self-defense.  Pepper spray, tazer, hockey stick, pistol, martial arts…whatever you're comfortable with.  There is no shortage of crazy people in the world, and many of them are more than willing to try to send you to hell for not being Christian.

I know it's not all Christians, but I've had to defend myself from people like this on too many occasions to think that it isn't wide-spread, at least in Arizona.  The more belligerent someone is, the more I would worry.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
October 30, 2012
9:51 pm
DutchessOfNill
Wenatchee, WA
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SasQuatch9585 said
I recommend anyone who isn't some type of Christian should be very concerned with self-defense.  Pepper spray, tazer, hockey stick, pistol, martial arts…whatever you're comfortable with.

 

Hahaha!! Good advice! :)

November 2, 2012
12:53 am
SasQuatch9585
USA
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It is good advise, but there's nothing ha-ha about it.  I can't stress this enough.  The only reason I'm alive today is because I am capable of defending myself.  People have tried to murder me.

M-U-R-D-E-R

I am not joking.

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
November 28, 2012
12:52 am
London Hernandez
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I alway tell people about the CoBM and what it means to me, and how they can learn about it. Most of time people just want to hear something and don't care about any thing else,because if you don't believe in the same thing they do your wrong or crazy.

December 16, 2012
12:31 pm
Phoenix6435
San Antonio Texas
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I tend to tailor my answer depending on who is asking and why they want to know. I usually tell them that I see organized religion as a form of mind control and that any religion that teaches belief in a God but not a Goddess as well is halfway to athiesm anyway. I tell them that I believe in Karma. And make it clear than I am not a Christian and don't believe in a plan of salvation based on the exclusionary precepts set forth by men. (Because the last thing I want is for anyone to try to draw me into a conversation with Jesus being brought un 20 times in ten minutes…we've all run into "that" person and if you haven't you might BE "that" person). I am very outspoken. But I don't set out to start a fight. I also let them know that I will respect their beliefs as long as they don't seek to convert me and I will return the favor. I won't try to punch holes in their beliefs. Agree to disagree and find other things to talk about if they are at odds.

December 20, 2012
2:31 am
link9454
Colorado
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I usually say I am agnostic so to take the fallback position and avoid confrontation. Confrontation, which I have received in the past.

Forward though the dark uncertain, Or back though the thorns with your bare flesh, It is your choice how to live, between the truth and the lie.
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