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How do you stay involved in an organization in a true and authentic way when much of that organization disagrees with you on fundamental issues?  As things get more polarized, and will only get worse as we near the election, how do you stay involved in any meaningful way?  Whether it be homeschool groups/ church / social clubs; anything that gathers on a regular basis and has a social component to it.  I see many posts here where people say they don't agree with their "____" but stay because of the great things it provides their family.  

If the organization is a group where I will spend significant time but there is significant "group think", I struggle with staying. I get exhausted being the one person who feels differently on significant issues and I end up just leaving so that I, or my family, don't have to fake it or hide what we believe. 

I've left several homeschool groups/social organizations over the years because of it. Haven't left my church yet, but that's because its generally big enough so it can house many trains of thought..and they are my employer 😉 

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I just shrug and don’t care. I’m a big believer in ‘live and let live’ and privately holding a different opinion or stance has rarely interferes with my enjoyment or useful of particular groups.  I just don’t poke at places we disagree. Why do they have to align with me for me to have fun it be involved? If I differ from the main group’s thinking, so what?

If it is so fundamental to the function of the group it can’t be ignored, I leave and look for a better fit. It’s not inherently a flaw with *them* that they might not match *me*. That’s just arrogant.

Edited by Bagels McGruffikin
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2 minutes ago, PerfectFifth said:

How do you stay involved in an organization in a true and authentic way when much of that organization disagrees with you on fundamental issues?  As things get more polarized, and will only get worse as we near the election, how do you stay involved in any meaningful way?  Whether it be homeschool groups/ church / social clubs; anything that gathers on a regular basis and has a social component to it.  I see many posts here where people say they don't agree with their "____" but stay because of the great things it provides their family.  

If the organization is a group where I will spend significant time but there is significant "group think", I struggle with staying. I get exhausted being the one person who feels differently on significant issues and I end up just leaving so that I, or my family, don't have to fake it or hide what we believe. 

I've left several homeschool groups/social organizations over the years because of it. Haven't left my church yet, but that's because its generally big enough so it can house many trains of thought..and they are my employer 😉 

This is pretty much why we left. It's never just masks. Why no masks? What does that tell you about them? 

I read some advice somewhere about staying in relationships with people who disagree with you about fundamental issues. Is give and take allowed? Or is it always one-sided? Is one person/side always asked to accommodate everyone else? 

What we discovered when all of this blew up for us was that it went way beyond COVID. 

 

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I don’t really have a lot of organizations that I participate in, but when I do participate in things, I tend to keep them separate.  

One example I can think of is GS.  My girls GS troop meets at a Catholic school. The girls that comprised most of the troop went to that school and when we joined they were working on a GS religious award.  (GS offers awards for a wide variety of religions.)

My family doesn’t go to church.  DH believes and the kids have all been baptized in a Catholic Church but since I don’t believe and it’s not terribly important to DH, my kids have no religious life. 

So we just skipped the award, ignore the fact that we meet at a church and go on about our business. I don’t need to mess with explaining church in order for my girls to learn how to camp or cook.  

(Or for them to be friends with the Bagels kids lol)

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I agree that faking one's opinion is exhausting. I refuse to do that and, like you, have left some organizations because of it--but, more commonly, just didn't join at all. I've been very selective where I join because that's not the kind of energy I want to expend, kwim? 

I'm always curious when people say they can't leave their church, for instance, but the disagree with almost everything being taught and represented. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

I just shrug and don’t care. I’m a big believer in ‘live and let live’ and privately holding a different opinion or stance has rarely interferes with my enjoyment or useful of particular groups.  I just don’t poke at places we disagree. Why do they have to align with me for me to have fun it be involved? If I differ from the main group’s thinking, so what?

If it is so fundamental to the function of the group it can’t be ignored, I leave and look for a better fit. It’s not inherently a flaw with *them* that they might not match *me*. That’s just arrogant.

I too have no interest in poking at the stuff I disagree with. I do enjoy meaningful understanding of both sides of ideas but I have not found that possible. Especially in areas involving Christianity. I can definitely do "live and let live" but increasingly find that the opposing thought doesn't want to do the same. They want people who thing the same way. Maybe I'm to old and just have no energy left for smiling and staying quiet...rinse and repeat. LOL I don't feel a need to change anyones mind but I don't like being constantly challenged or "shamed"

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Perhaps the issue isn’t the organization, it’s the people you are associating with.  When we joined the GS troop, we were asked about religion and I just said we don’t do the church thing and that was pretty much it.  There’s no pushing or anything.  

 

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1 minute ago, Dynamite5 said:

I'm always curious when people say they can't leave their church, for instance, but the disagree with almost everything being taught and represented. 

 

This is exactly what I have been trying to wrap my head around. It's sad but I am finding many groups are no longer looking for truth. They find their side and stick to it come hell or high water. Now that my kids are grown, this is no longer an issue. I just leave, but it was much harder when I was trying to find a home for my homeschooling family.

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Just now, happysmileylady said:

Perhaps the issue isn’t the organization, it’s the people you are associating with.  When we joined the GS troop, we were asked about religion and I just said we don’t do the church thing and that was pretty much it.  There’s no pushing or anything.  

 

This is how I wish it worked in my area, but it doesn't. Homeschooling for example, tends to be ultra religious or ultra political. LOL I am catholic but was never "christian" enough for the religious groups and I am liberal but Catholic so therefore it was assumed I wasn't liberal enough. How about just getting to know me and over time we can discuss where we stand on issues. Felt like there was always some litmus test. And people definitely judge you when you say you're Catholic but pro-choice and have a gay daughter 🤪

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It depends on the organization and the differences in beliefs. However, I live in CA and am of anything but the common political thought, so I just ignore it most times. There are certain organizations I won't have any part of because their platforms involve things that I find immoral and impossible to support, but most of the time I just stay quiet, don't say anything about disagreeing, and go with it.

If an organization is not OK with my religious beliefs, I won't join.

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10 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

I read some advice somewhere about staying in relationships with people who disagree with you about fundamental issues. Is give and take allowed? Or is it always one-sided? Is one person/side always asked to accommodate everyone else? 

What we discovered when all of this blew up for us was that it went way beyond COVID. 

 

Exactly. Covid has definitely exacerbated already existing issues. I don't need a lot of people in my life, just a few that are open to dialog. My husband and I have one couple friend who are diametrically opposed to us on most issues but they don't judge and we have dialogued but have plenty of things in common so it works. But I have not found a lot of people who can do that. My young adult kids are talking about the same issues. 

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3 minutes ago, PerfectFifth said:

This is how I wish it worked in my area, but it doesn't. Homeschooling for example, tends to be ultra religious or ultra political. LOL I am catholic but was never "christian" enough for the religious groups and I am liberal but Catholic so therefore it was assumed I wasn't liberal enough. How about just getting to know me and over time we can discuss where we stand on issues. Felt like there was always some litmus test. And people definitely judge you when you say you're Catholic but pro-choice and have a gay daughter 🤪

I dunno, I think an organization can still be ultra religious but not have people who are butt nuggests.  I have moved around quite a bit and haven’t a problem finding people who aren’t judge mental butt nuggets to associate with wherever I am.  

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12 minutes ago, happysmileylady said:

I don’t really have a lot of organizations that I participate in, but when I do participate in things, I tend to keep them separate.  

One example I can think of is GS.  My girls GS troop meets at a Catholic school. The girls that comprised most of the troop went to that school and when we joined they were working on a GS religious award.  (GS offers awards for a wide variety of religions.)

My family doesn’t go to church.  DH believes and the kids have all been baptized in a Catholic Church but since I don’t believe and it’s not terribly important to DH, my kids have no religious life. 

So we just skipped the award, ignore the fact that we meet at a church and go on about our business. I don’t need to mess with explaining church in order for my girls to learn how to camp or cook.  

(Or for them to be friends with the Bagels kids lol)

 

As kids, my sister and I went to a Catholic Girl Scout troop despite being Protestant and in a very anti-Catholic family. Anytime they did something religious, we just didn't participate. 

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2 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

It depends on the organization and the differences in beliefs. However, I live in CA and am of anything but the common political thought, so I just ignore it most times. There are certain organizations I won't have any part of because their platforms involve things that I find immoral and impossible to support, but most of the time I just stay quiet, don't say anything about disagreeing, and go with it.

If an organization is not OK with my religious beliefs, I won't join.

It's so interesting to me. I also live in CA and am more in line with common political thought but I am no where near the more "religious" thought in my area.

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1 minute ago, PerfectFifth said:

It's so interesting to me. I also live in CA and am more in line with common political thought but I am no where near the more "religious" thought in my area.

 

Where I live, most people are not religious, so I'm also not of the common "religious" thought. Honestly, it's just a whole lot of being quiet and ignoring what people say because it's blatantly obvious that dissenting opinions are not welcome. I don't belong to a lot of organizations, and this is one huge reason why. 

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2 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

Where I live, most people are not religious, so I'm also not of the common "religious" thought. Honestly, it's just a whole lot of being quiet and ignoring what people say because it's blatantly obvious that dissenting opinions are not welcome. I don't belong to a lot of organizations, and this is one huge reason why. 

I've always been a proponent of finding friends not organizations. I have no problems in dance studios or places where we have a common goal, but things like church or homeschool support groups have always been challenging. It seems to me that people used to be more open to different backgrounds or beliefs. Everything is so polarized now. How does that get fixed?

 

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When all of this blew up in my church, it made me understand how the sex abuse scandals in churches happened. 

Like I wrote, it's never just about masks. Masks are such a divisive issue because it's never just masks. It stands for something for the people choosing not to wear them. 

I think the underlying issue is "us versus them." People choose what media to trust and which authority figures to trust WRT masks. Why did they chose that person? Usually because of "us versus them." The people who agree with us about these social issues think this is a hoax so it's a hoax. That's the mentality that I saw over and over again. People who disagreed were "divisive" because it wasn't about masks; it was about who we were. 

When you're motivate by "us versus them" ideology, you excuse your own side. What was obvious to me about the organization I left is that if someone was on the right side, they would trust them, no matter what they did or said. It's a recipe for disaster if that person is a bad person. 

This is why churches overlook sexual abuse. And this is why victims of sexual abuse are criticized and punished within churches when they speak out. They're challenging the belief that "us" is good. 

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The polarization is here to stay, sadly, but I do think some groups have more or less of it. If they’re vocal about beating you into ideological submission that is an unloving and disrespectful position. It’s a little tougher in church because there are scriptural and doctrinal lines that can be defended and moving outside of those triggers the church’s responsibilities in discipleship, but there is STILL a way to talk about that which wouldn’t leave you feeling isolated and devalued, I think.

Finding the groups and people who are willing to talk and even passionately argue but can still be loving and fun at the end of the day is critical, and it sounds like you’re in some places where that isn’t the priority. That would probably trigger me to start shopping around, if only because it’s hard to be friends with someone who disdains you, you know? The disagreement is less of an issue than the piggish manners and lack of care.

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I always look at what the organization's stated goal and how much above their pay grade so to speak they try to extend their authority and power especially if they have a captive audience.

I go to church expecting a sermon about what is in the Bible. I do not expect to be told who to vote for or how to dress as it is "pleasing to God". Just like I do not like celebrities telling me who to vote or what to eat. I pay them to entertain me. So if I am expecting a sermon or watching a movie as part of a captive audience, I expect to be preached to or entertained. In both cases, do the job well and shut up. It is abhorrent to me and a power grab if people use their position in ways not designed for it.  They as individuals can say in their  own time who they support and why, not during a sermon or movie promo is what I mean. 

ETA: For me, it is values that we share. It goes beyond color, religion, ethnicity. I have never for instance found a place in American church because it fundamentally conflicted with my idea of what church should be when in theory it should be the easiest as I was raised in church as a child. So I chose to remove myself from it, but stayed a christian.

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13 minutes ago, PerfectFifth said:

I've always been a proponent of finding friends not organizations. I have no problems in dance studios or places where we have a common goal, but things like church or homeschool support groups have always been challenging. It seems to me that people used to be more open to different backgrounds or beliefs. Everything is so polarized now. How does that get fixed?

 

 

Honestly, I don't think there is a way to fix it in many places. It's actually really really bad, and until people don't fear losing their jobs or having their addresses published for having a dissenting view, nothing will change.

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Just now, kdsuomi said:

 

Honestly, I don't think there is a way to fix it in many places. It's actually really really bad, and until people don't fear losing their jobs or having their addresses published for having a dissenting view, nothing will change.

What is a dissenting view ? 

Is racism, misogyny, sexism, sexual harassment, discrimination a dissenting view ? Definitely not because it is used to oppress others and make policies and environments that do so.

People can have all the views they want and live in a bubble. The minute they try to impose that on somebody, oppress people because of those or make policy because of that is why the push back happens. Policies especially should be for the greater good of society, not a select few. That is what a democratic society looks like to me.

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All I can say is that we started "unjoining" things after 9/11. It seems to me that's when a lot (not all, not by a long shot) of the modern tribalism/us versus them stuff got started. And I just couldn't take it. I'm not a person who can deal with a lot of cognitive dissonance or feeling like I'm being a hypocrite. And that's exactly what I started feeling like attending church that was corporately kinda sorta making it's feelings known, and that I didn't agree with. I felt like my membership/attendance was endorsing that POV. I guess it came down to an integrity thing for me. I'm much more able to adopt a live and let attitude on a personal, individual level when I'm not associated with the group. FWIW, I even changed my political affiliation from a party to an independent during that time. And politically that's the best thing I've ever done.

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5 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

What is a dissenting view ? 

Is racism, misogyny, sexism, sexual harassment, discrimination a dissenting view ? Definitely not because it is used to oppress others and make policies and environments that do so.

People can have all the views they want and live in a bubble. The minute they try to impose that on somebody, oppress people because of those or make policy because of that is why the push back happens. Policies especially should be for the greater good of society, not a select few. That is what a democratic society looks like to me.

 

I like you Dreamergal. LOL. You caught on to the dynamics here very quickly.

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1 hour ago, PerfectFifth said:

How do you stay involved in an organization in a true and authentic way when much of that organization disagrees with you on fundamental issues?  As things get more polarized, and will only get worse as we near the election, how do you stay involved in any meaningful way?  Whether it be homeschool groups/ church / social clubs; anything that gathers on a regular basis and has a social component to it.  I see many posts here where people say they don't agree with their "____" but stay because of the great things it provides their family.  

If the organization is a group where I will spend significant time but there is significant "group think", I struggle with staying. I get exhausted being the one person who feels differently on significant issues and I end up just leaving so that I, or my family, don't have to fake it or hide what we believe. 

I've left several homeschool groups/social organizations over the years because of it. Haven't left my church yet, but that's because its generally big enough so it can house many trains of thought..and they are my employer 😉 

I'm of two minds about this issue. 

On the one hand, I think it is much, much better to leave peacefully, wishing others well as you go, than let it get to the point where real emotional and relational damage is done. 

On the other hand, maybe some self-reflection is in order.  Is the issue really as big as it feels?  Is it possible that two people can reasonably disagree (most issues: yes).  I think we should ask ourselves "Is this a hill worth dying on?"  If you have too many hills, you'll be left without community.  That's not what you want. Most of the stuff that feels big, and annoying, and frustrating isn't worth ending a relationship over.  I think there's real value in extending grace and remembering that they're not perfect, but neither am I.   

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

What is a dissenting view ? 

Is racism, misogyny, sexism, sexual harassment, discrimination a dissenting view ? Definitely not because it is used to oppress others and make policies and environments that do so.

People can have all the views they want and live in a bubble. The minute they try to impose that on somebody, oppress people because of those or make policy because of that is why the push back happens. Policies especially should be for the greater good of society, not a select few. That is what a democratic society looks like to me.

Amen to this! Bubbles are the way of life around here. It's ludicrous to me that we are having versions of the "world is flat" conversation over and over again. I still hear that sexism, sexual harassment, racism etc don't exist. It's never that blunt but they always side with the perpetrator and not the victim so as far as I am concerned they live in their own utopian bubble or they just don't give a darn. It's very hard to continue to claim I live in a democratic society. 

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1 hour ago, kdsuomi said:

It depends on the organization and the differences in beliefs. However, I live in CA and am of anything but the common political thought, so I just ignore it most times. There are certain organizations I won't have any part of because their platforms involve things that I find immoral and impossible to support, but most of the time I just stay quiet, don't say anything about disagreeing, and go with it.

If an organization is not OK with my religious beliefs, I won't join.

Yup.  Living in California, one learns to keep one's mouth shut in public... or else.  All the California "tolerance" has left me speechless. 😂

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3 minutes ago, shinyhappypeople said:

I'm of two minds about this issue. 

On the one hand, I think it is much, much better to leave peacefully, wishing others well as you go, than let it get to the point where real emotional and relational damage is done. 

On the other hand, maybe some self-reflection is in order.  Is the issue really as big as it feels?  Is it possible that two people can reasonably disagree (most issues: yes).  I think we should ask ourselves "Is this a hill worth dying on?"  If you have too many hills, you'll be left without community.  That's not what you want. Most of the stuff that feels big, and annoying, and frustrating isn't worth ending a relationship over.  I think there's real value in extending grace and remembering that they're not perfect, but neither am I.   

 

 

I agree with this. And i remain in relationship with several people because I love them even though I abhor them continually pushing their beliefs and belittling mine.I do this because they are my parents or long time family friends and I  have found balance. I take space when I need to and I help guide conversation away from landmines. I am not willing to do this with everyone. Not because I disagree with their beliefs but because they shove them down my throat. I have acquaintances and friends who have very different beliefs. I have a gay daughter and there is a possibility that some of these acquaintances think that she is going to hell...I don't know for sure and I may be pleasantly surprised but they have never said anything and treat her and me with respect so I can exist with them. 

I'm very sensitive, but I'm old and have finally learned to recognize in myself when things "feel big" versus "are big", so I've done the self-reflection and am only questioning the big stuff in this post. But self-reflection is always a good idea. 

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9 minutes ago, PerfectFifth said:

Amen to this! Bubbles are the way of life around here. It's ludicrous to me that we are having versions of the "world is flat" conversation over and over again. I still hear that sexism, sexual harassment, racism etc don't exist. It's never that blunt but they always side with the perpetrator and not the victim so as far as I am concerned they live in their own utopian bubble or they just don't give a darn. It's very hard to continue to claim I live in a democratic society. 

You cannot if you are a black or brown person in many cases even if you are an uneducated person because your own family history has anecdotal incidents that are handed down through the family about your ancestors. You cannot if you have unexplained European ancestry in your DNA as a large section of the world of brown and black people have which cannot be attributed to marriage or even a loving, romantic relationship. You cannot if you have "fair" skin and you come from darker color people because you wonder which ancestor gave it to you and how. 😢

It is easy to believe that if you don't have horrifying family history. 

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8 minutes ago, shinyhappypeople said:

Yup.  Living in California, one learns to keep one's mouth shut in public... or else.  All the California "tolerance" has left me speechless. 😂

I think this is at the heart of what I am talking about...or asking? I also live in California. I am more in line with what the ideas of majority of CA  but I live in an area that is predominantly of the minority thought and I too come up against California "tolerance" where I am left speechless. So it doesn't matter. We both still have to deal with "tolerance". That word cracks me up by the way. Thank you for my new favorite phrase.  The vast polarization  and intolerance seems so counterproductive. 

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47 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

When all of this blew up in my church, it made me understand how the sex abuse scandals in churches happened. 

Like I wrote, it's never just about masks. Masks are such a divisive issue because it's never just masks. It stands for something for the people choosing not to wear them. 

I think the underlying issue is "us versus them." People choose what media to trust and which authority figures to trust WRT masks. Why did they chose that person? Usually because of "us versus them." The people who agree with us about these social issues think this is a hoax so it's a hoax. That's the mentality that I saw over and over again. People who disagreed were "divisive" because it wasn't about masks; it was about who we were. 

When you're motivate by "us versus them" ideology, you excuse your own side. What was obvious to me about the organization I left is that if someone was on the right side, they would trust them, no matter what they did or said. It's a recipe for disaster if that person is a bad person. 

This is why churches overlook sexual abuse. And this is why victims of sexual abuse are criticized and punished within churches when they speak out. They're challenging the belief that "us" is good. 

I am struggling with "us vs. them" because I have seen a pattern where the this mentality is promoted at the seminary level in my denomination, and it seems to be the method new pastors use to gain power and steamroll churches. It's very methodical in its implementation, including how people are spoken to when there is a disagreement (or heck, even a question). This is something I've observed across four different situations whose only common denominator is whether the pastor/leader was trained in the denominational seminaries that teach this kind of stuff. It seems to be leaving a wake of broken and disillusioned people. 

Unfortunately, I feel as though I have to then create an opposing "us vs. them" stance in mind--as in, if our pastor retires, and they hire someone from a denominational seminary, I don't plan to stick around and watch everything go south. BTDT in another church. I have no idea how to counter this given that these seminaries even teach ways to dance around sensitive topics when a search committee asks certain questions of the pastoral candidates! So much for truth--let's dissemble during the interview, get everyone to like us by fixing some obvious problems, and then move in for the kill once we're sure of loyalty. Loyalty is a buzzword in this crowd.  If we're talking about an institution vs. a church, then the method is to slowly convert the board of governance over ahead of time, and then they install "their man," who has the backing to do what he pleases because his employment can't be touched. He then has one face for donors and another for dissenters.

So, is there recourse for such a situation without resorting to my own "us vs. them" stance? If there is no place to be sure I am getting real answers to questions ahead of time, I don't see how I can do anything other than say, "We're out if one of them is in." 

8 minutes ago, shinyhappypeople said:

I'm of two minds about this issue. 

On the one hand, I think it is much, much better to leave peacefully, wishing others well as you go, than let it get to the point where real emotional and relational damage is done. 

On the other hand, maybe some self-reflection is in order.  Is the issue really as big as it feels?  Is it possible that two people can reasonably disagree (most issues: yes).  I think we should ask ourselves "Is this a hill worth dying on?"  If you have too many hills, you'll be left without community.  That's not what you want. Most of the stuff that feels big, and annoying, and frustrating isn't worth ending a relationship over.  I think there's real value in extending grace and remembering that they're not perfect, but neither am I.   

This is how we've handled situations in the past--the leaving of the old (the one hand) and the embracing of the new (the other hand). But the new has some vocal people that I think are influential enough to sour the whole bunch. Sigh.

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3 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

You cannot if you are a black or brown person in many cases even if you are an uneducated person because your own family history has anecdotal incidents that are handed down through the family about your ancestors. You cannot if you have unexplained European ancestry in your DNA as a large section of the world of brown and black people have which cannot be attributed to marriage or even a loving, romantic relationship. You cannot if you have "fair" skin and you come from darker color people because you wonder which ancestor gave it to you and how. 😢

It is easy to believe that if you don't have horrifying family history. 

Thank you. I could never have said this so well. 

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3 minutes ago, PerfectFifth said:

Thank you. I could never have said this so well. 

It is my reality and it was hidden from me from a large part of my life because we don't talk about painful family history. But you just wonder and when you find out it hits you like a thunderbolt.

 I am still not able to speak about it in real life, but I am getting better at speaking about it. I hope to be brave to speak about it more and definitely tell my children. 

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6 hours ago, Dreamergal said:

What is a dissenting view ? 

Is racism, misogyny, sexism, sexual harassment, discrimination a dissenting view ? Definitely not because it is used to oppress others and make policies and environments that do so.

People can have all the views they want and live in a bubble. The minute they try to impose that on somebody, oppress people because of those or make policy because of that is why the push back happens. Policies especially should be for the greater good of society, not a select few. That is what a democratic society looks like to me.

 

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1 minute ago, Dreamergal said:

It is my reality and it was hidden from me from a large part of my life because we don't talk about painful family history. But you just wonder and when you find out it hits you like a thunderbolt.

 I am still not able to speak about it in real life, but I am getting better at speaking about it. I hope to be brave to speak about it more and definitely tell my children. 

You are are on the right track!!! Speaking our truth is so hard. Especially IRL. Places like this, even when they get intense, are a wonderful place to begin the process. You can speak your truth to me any time you want!!!!

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5 hours ago, kdsuomi said:

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First section deleted because it was in response to the deleted post.

I'm more speaking to the exchange between you and Dreamergal. Did we always assume that a comment or response had aggressive/passive aggressive undertones? I'm a lurker turned "putting my toe in poster" so I don't know all of the dynamics between people here, but as an "outsider" it seems like there is more jumping to conclusions and less asking for clarification. I'm not trying to be snarky or condescending..I'm really trying to understand. 

I don't know how you do add the highlighted name thing. LOL But I tried to add Dreamergal to this.

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13 minutes ago, Dreamergal said:

It is my reality and it was hidden from me from a large part of my life because we don't talk about painful family history. But you just wonder and when you find out it hits you like a thunderbolt.

 I am still not able to speak about it in real life, but I am getting better at speaking about it. I hope to be brave to speak about it more and definitely tell my children. 

In my own family history there is abuse, incest, murder, alcoholism, mental illness, ‘broken’ branches of the family tree forever cut off, you name it. And yes, some very painful history of oppression at the hands of others, primarily due to religion and ethnic identity.

The focus on all the wrongs and horribleness of the past does very little to benefit us in the future, especially people who are redeemed from precisely all those sins that haunt their history. As a Christian, I think it is explicit that we NOT dwell on the differences and wrongs but in unity in Christ. And there was plenty said about this throughout the new, developing church after Pentecost. Where slaves and their masters, people groups with profound violent histories, the marginalized, the purposefully separated, all came together under a banner of unity in mind and heart because it was Christ who created that in them. Allowed them to move beyond their pasts and hurts and become a new creation, with a new family and a shared hope that the world could not corrupt.

As a believer, this shouldn’t even really be debatable, honestly. The Word is very clear on what some of us once were, and who we are now as found in Christ.

Edited by Bagels McGruffikin
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5 hours ago, PerfectFifth said:

First section deleted because it was in response to the deleted post.

I don't think political talk in the work place is a good idea and you had the right to bring an opposing view. I'm more speaking to the exchange between you and Dreamgal. Did we always assume that a comment or response had aggressive/passive aggressive undertones? I'm a lurker turned "putting my toe in poster" so I don't know all of the dynamics between people here, but as an "outsider" it seems like there is more jumping to conclusions and less asking for clarification. I'm not trying to be snarky or condescending..I'm really trying to understand. 

 

When you say you have dissenting views and the poster automatically goes to sexism, racism, etc., those aren't undertones. This is why there is polarization because I say I have dissenting views from those in CA, and those are the labels automatically applied to me. There is also a very large swathe of posters here who do automatically assign those labels to those who are not extremely liberal in viewpoints, and it's caused a number of regular posters on this board to either leave entirely or not post. The Trump thing was just an example and something that regularly happens at workplaces here. 

Moderator: Don't use "Trump Things" as examples. It is not necessary and is not helpful.

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14 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

Just saying that I disagree with a person's tirade on Trump (Trump tirades happen all.the.time. at work places here) isn't trying to impose my views on anybody. I don't stand for any of the things you so nicely threw in there, and the fact that you automatically went to those is the problem and why we're here to stay with polarization. 

I agree that political tirades are tiring and we should be able to disagree on politics. But where should those tirades be ? 

But the things I threw in are my reality as a POC, as a person who comes from a history of colonization and a family history such as mine so I automatically go to that. 

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There are a great number of areas where live and let live works just fine for me.  Public school v private school b homeschool. Cloth v paper. Breast v bottle. Secular v faith-framed. Compost v pickup. Home cooking v takeout. Vegetarian v meateater. Homebaked v bakery. Instapot v crockpot v regular pots. Pilates v Pelaton v SoulCycle. Yoga v therapy. Birth control pills v IUD v natural planning v open to God's plan.

The world is full of evangelists enthusiasts who do not merely hold, but also *really really want to share* a particular POV about one or more of these things. And that is fine. No problem staying in organizations that have a handful of evangelists enthusiasts on any such subjects. (I am unlikely to become close friends with such folks: I am wearied by people who return overly often to a pitch that has already been not-taken-up.  But I am fully able to maintain a reasonable and productive working relationship in the shared effort of supporting a foodbank, with a person who goes on too long too often about, say, how vitamin supplements changed her life.  Roll the eyes and move on to the next thing that needs to be done.  *  )

And then there is a very short list of fundamentals which are, well, fundamental. I can't really see myself belonging to an *organization* that isn't more or less aligned on those fundamentals.  It's a short list. Most of the formal organizations I belong to (my synagogue, my town's interfaith steering committee, the regional interfaith service umbrella, the League of Women Voters) are pretty big tents with only a very few core organizational values.  But those organizational values do need to align with my own, or my membership really wouldn't make any sense.

 

 

 

*  Eyerolling and moving on: does not get the acclaim it deserves as an utlimately adaptive behavior.

 

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7 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

In my own family history there is abuse, incest, murder, alcoholism, mental illness, ‘broken’ branches of the family tree forever cut off, you name it. And yes, some very painful history of oppression at the hands of others, primarily due to religion and ethnic identity.

The focus on all the wrongs and horribleness of the past does very little to benefit us in the future, especially people who are redeemed from precisely all those sins that haunt their history. As a Christian, I think it is explicit that we NOT dwell on the differences and wrongs but in unity in Christ. And there was plenty said about this throughout the new, developing church after Pentecost. Where slaves and their masters, people groups with profound violent histories, the marginalized, the purposefully separated, all came together under a banner of unity in mind and heart because it was Christ who created that in them. Allowed them to move beyond their pasts and hurts and become a new creation, with a new family and a shared hope that the world could not corrupt.

As a believer, this shouldn’t even really be debatable, honestly. The Word is very clear on what some of us once were, and who we are now as found in Christ.

I think that this is easy to say for those of us who have generally lived a life of privilege. I don't mean we are necessarily wealthy. And I don't mean that we haven't had our own horribly destructive history but if I was to say to someone "don't dwell on your past" and their past is continually brushed aside as in THE PAST, how are they expected to feel. And often times it is not their PAST it continues to be their PRESENT. I can not move forward until I have contended with things that negatively shaped me. I was raised in a family where you didn't talk about it, you didn't tell anyone about it and you moved on from it. It doesn't work. I believe in Christ and that belief and a lot of therapy has helped me heal from much of it,  but A) not everyone believes in Christ and that is ok with me and B) that doesn't mean we can just forget the past. 

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21 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

In my own family history there is abuse, incest, murder, alcoholism, mental illness, ‘broken’ branches of the family tree forever cut off, you name it. And yes, some very painful history of oppression at the hands of others, primarily due to religion and ethnic identity.

The focus on all the wrongs and horribleness of the past does very little to benefit us in the future, especially people who are redeemed from precisely all those sins that haunt their history. As a Christian, I think it is explicit that we NOT dwell on the differences and wrongs but in unity in Christ. And there was plenty said about this throughout the new, developing church after Pentecost. Where slaves and their masters, people groups with profound violent histories, the marginalized, the purposefully separated, all came together under a banner of unity in mind and heart because it was Christ who created that in them. Allowed them to move beyond their pasts and hurts and become a new creation, with a new family and a shared hope that the world could not corrupt.

As a believer, this shouldn’t even really be debatable, honestly. The Word is very clear on what some of us once were, and who we are now as found in Christ.


For many POC, the violence and systematic, enforced inequities are not in the past. They’re the living present.
And all too often, those experiences are dismissed by many as “does not exist”, “overblown”, etc. 

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2 minutes ago, PerfectFifth said:

I think that this is easy to say for those of us who have generally lived a life of privilege. I don't mean we are necessarily wealthy. And I don't mean that we haven't had our own horribly destructive history but if I was to say to someone "don't dwell on your past" and their past is continually brushed aside as in THE PAST, how are they expected to feel. And often times it is not their PAST it continues to be their PRESENT. I can not move forward until I have contended with things that negatively shaped me. I was raised in a family where you didn't talk about it, you didn't tell anyone about it and you moved on from it. It doesn't work. I believe in Christ and that belief and a lot of therapy has helped me heal from much of it,  but A) not everyone believes in Christ and that is ok with me and B) that doesn't mean we can just forget the past. 

Exactly. 

So often the Christian response is, "get over it" or "forgive and forget." It glosses over the need to heal and make things right. 

A Catholic priest explained purgatory to me this way. When we sin, we cause damage. We ask God for forgiveness and He forgives us but it does not fix the damage. 

I'm thinking of those Duggar girls who had to forgive their brother and keep living with him. 

There's something wrong with the idea that we forgive and "move on." 

Also, I think the decision to move on should be made by the victims. It's not up to me as a white person to say that African Americans should not dwell on the past. Their pain is not mine. 

And we're also assuming that absolution has been sought. Too often, when minorities are advised to "not dwell on the past," there hasn't been a request for forgiveness or an admission of guilt. 

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10 minutes ago, Ordinary Shoes said:

Exactly. 

So often the Christian response is, "get over it" or "forgive and forget." It glosses over the need to heal and make things right. 

A Catholic priest explained purgatory to me this way. When we sin, we cause damage. We ask God for forgiveness and He forgives us but it does not fix the damage. 

I'm thinking of those Duggar girls who had to forgive their brother and keep living with him. 

There's something wrong with the idea that we forgive and "move on." 

Also, I think the decision to move on should be made by the victims. It's not up to me as a white person to say that African Americans should not dwell on the past. Their pain is not mine. 

And we're also assuming that absolution has been sought. Too often, when minorities are advised to "not dwell on the past," there hasn't been a request for forgiveness or an admission of guilt. 

 

It is what Dietrich Bonhoeffer called..."cheap grace".

Edited by Sneezyone
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I didn’t say any of what you ladies just typed. My point was about personal identity and redemption in Christ as new creations, from a biblical perspective. Moving forward in Christian unity as a global church focused on Jesus is quite a lot different than ‘forgive and forget’. And if someone claims to mantle of Christ and does NOT believe they are a new creation, with a new heart, united  in fellowship with a new spiritual family and given grace and peace and perseverance for all manner of pain and trials, I’d very much question what the faith is actually built upon at all. This is my core rejection of critical race theory, especially in the church - there is no true redemption. No lasting salvation. No atonement that is actually complete.

I was specifically addressing @Dreamergal, but I think it is broadly applicable in the church right now. And it has nothing to do with ignoring current suffering and pain or sin, but how one frames the *solution* to those endemic problems of fallen man, whose heart is filled with division and hate. There are things to be done now in how to right ongoing wrongs, but that is never and can never be a final, lasting solution to a problem that is primarily in the hearts of all men. 
 

I’ll end the soap box, but if you think a Christian exhorting another Christian to redemption and love instead of the pains of the past is the problem, I really don’t think there is anything more to be said. Sigh.

 

Edited by Bagels McGruffikin
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32 minutes ago, Bagels McGruffikin said:

In my own family history there is abuse, incest, murder, alcoholism, mental illness, ‘broken’ branches of the family tree forever cut off, you name it. And yes, some very painful history of oppression at the hands of others, primarily due to religion and ethnic identity.

The focus on all the wrongs and horribleness of the past does very little to benefit us in the future, especially people who are redeemed from precisely all those sins that haunt their history. As a Christian, I think it is explicit that we NOT dwell on the differences and wrongs but in unity in Christ. And there was plenty said about this throughout the new, developing church after Pentecost. Where slaves and their masters, people groups with profound violent histories, the marginalized, the purposefully separated, all came together under a banner of unity in mind and heart because it was Christ who created that in them. Allowed them to move beyond their pasts and hurts and become a new creation, with a new family and a shared hope that the world could not corrupt.

As a believer, this shouldn’t even really be debatable, honestly. The Word is very clear on what some of us once were, and who we are now as found in Christ.

 

I hope we agree that abuse should be confronted and there is no expiry date on that when it comes to it and it applies across the board ? Would we apply we "should not dwell in the past" to child abuse, spousal abuse, incest, murder ? Would we say we should find "unity in Christ" to all these things ? Then why not atrocities committed in the name of the Bible and by the church in history ? Colonialism and slavery in America have direct roots in that per my knowledge of history. The church was very much involved in that else both the church of England and Southern Baptist would not have apologized for that.

Saying pentecost happened and we must absolve every abuse of church in fairly recent history does not fly with me. It is because of the grace of Christ I am still a christian and when I wandered in my faith because of the American church others pleaded that the Lord not leave me even when I left. I never even knew I was coming back for sure and it was because of what church was in my native country and the faith and prayers of my parents and pastor I am back in the faith.

I am part of a church, the living church, the broken, badly bruised bride of Christ in whose name atrocities have been committed over and over again where I find unity. I chose not to be part of a denomination or a physical building any more as I do not find that. My faith is ultimately between my God and me. It goes beyond family history and history itself and I had to find that out for myself. I chose my religion again, my God and my faith knowingly, willingly. It is despite everything I know about the Bible and church and how it was used when everything told me to walk away. 

For me to stay a christian, I cannot be part of any organized religion again right now. Perhaps later if by the grace of God I find some church which I keep praying for. But right now it is simply between my God and me, no one else in the middle. 

 

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IT IS NOT PAST. It is present. And keeping sweet isn’t going to dismantle the systems we’ve created to ensure the status quo is maintained in perpetuity. That same perseverance against all manner of trials is the one that has sustained the civil rights movement from beginning to end. That spiritual family can be a force for good, a force for change or it can be a force for maintaining an unequal system. Clearly many churches in America have chosen the latter. I come from a faith tradition that promotes the former.

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24 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:

IT IS NOT PAST. It is present. And keeping sweet isn’t going to dismantle the systems we’ve created to ensure the status quo is maintained in perpetuity. That same perseverance against all manner of trials is the one that has sustained the civil rights movement from beginning to end. That spiritual family can be a force for good, a force for change or it can be a force for maintaining an unequal system. Clearly many churches in America have chosen the latter. I come from a faith tradition that promotes the former.

Which systems?

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