Religious Deception?

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07 Jun 2016 03:16 #243712 by Leah Starspectre
So here's my problem. Well, it's not a problem as such, but something I'm already struggling with right from the get-go.

I was invited to what was described to me as a weekly woman's support group with a Biblical focus. Her words were "We get together to support each other, because it's not easy being a woman, and to discuss the Word."

Now, I grew up Christian, and have maintained a fairly deep understanding and respect for the faith, even if I left the Church and Faith over a decade ago. Plus, I find religious study to be fascinating and believe there are always lessons to be leaned from different kinds of worship. So I accepted the invitation and attended.

But it wasn't just "discussing the Word" it was a fully-developed Church cell, with angry-preaching, speaking in tongues, a collection, and a lot of testifying and talking about the blood of Jesus. Plus I was the only white person, which wouldn't have been an issue if the leader of the cell hasn't made a prolonged and impassioned "They're keeping the black man down" speech, then reached over to me saying "No offense...."

But extreme practices aside, I'm mostly concerned that by "playing along," I'm being deceptive. I pray with them and speak of "God" because it's the language of their faith, and one I happen to be fluent in. But it got to the point where I had to either fudge truth (like when they asked about the IVF egg donation I did, but I conveniently withheld the fact that it was for a gay couple), or I hold my tongue completely (like about Jediism, or the reasons for my defection from the Church)

They enjoyed having me there in sisterhood, and they were all very very nice. AND I got to eat delicious Haitian food and cake afterwards, ha ha! Despite my discomfort at time, it was a fascinating and overall enjoyable experience. But am I deceiving them by "pretending" that I'm Christian, even if in my heart, I know I'm merely seeing it as another path to the same Truth I have? Should I bother trying to express my own beliefs in the face of such intense and deep faith? I'm more accustomed to philosophical, academic religion, not this passionate elemental kind....

It's something that's been bothering me since the meeting last week, especially knowing I'll be expected back again this week.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Or even have some insight to offer? Like Moses, I feel as if "I have been a stranger in a strange land." ;)
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07 Jun 2016 03:23 #243713 by CableSteele
Replied by CableSteele on topic Religious Deception?
That sounds like an awesome group. If you feel a connection with them, I think it would be nice to be able to be open and honest with them. If you just bear your soul and tell them what you just told us, I can't help but believe that they would accept you and honor your honesty. Of course they will no doubt try to convince you that your are wrong, but if you demonstrate your sincerity by seeking their input, you will, at the very least, have a great opportunity to practice the tolerance and understanding of a Jedi. Just a thought.

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07 Jun 2016 03:25 - 07 Jun 2016 03:25 #243715 by Leah Starspectre
I'm just afraid they'll think I tricked or was dishonest to them because I'm not *actually* Christian - or at least, haven't been for many years.
Last edit: 07 Jun 2016 03:25 by Leah Starspectre.
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07 Jun 2016 03:30 - 07 Jun 2016 03:37 #243718 by Jestor
Replied by Jestor on topic Religious Deception?
Who was it that said;

yes, when I drink wine, I drink wine, and when I abstain, I abstain...


Meaning, its fine to be polite, and go along one time for manners sake...

But, to continue beyond that, is deception...

You tried it, found it not to your liking...

Your friend understated it, there's no shame in saying "it was interesting, im happy it works for you, but, I am not interested in continuing attending..."

That's my thoughts... lol...

Sith ain't Evil...
Jedi ain't Saints....


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Last edit: 07 Jun 2016 03:37 by Jestor.
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07 Jun 2016 04:16 #243724 by Adder
Replied by Adder on topic Religious Deception?
Is censoring your thoughts counter-productive to you? If not then I'd probably draw the line there and, while I would not lie, I would be ok to leave out irrelevant information unless directly asked. That is, unless I thought what I was with-holding would be counter-productive to them and their activities - in which case it would seem inappropriate to me to continue as it would be like I was letting them operate with incorrect assumptions (about me). Otherwise they can assume what they like about me, but as a group activity I think it should be more about its purpose and less about the individuals that it constitutes. The former should inherently allow some variability, and the later would depend on truth, again all just IMO. And I'd try to be mindful about the impact my actions might have for the friend who may wish to continue going. I'd just try to keep my nose clean and offer what I can. The truth is so much easier IMO, and the more of it the more myself I can be. Good luck!!

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07 Jun 2016 06:25 #243728 by x57z12
Replied by x57z12 on topic Religious Deception?
My answer will be based on a lot of assumptions (And my dad said: ‘Assume: making an a** out of u and me’) so take this with an extra grain of salt please.

You mentioned the race thing using the words ‘which wouldn’t have been an issue’ hinting that it was.

You used the phrase ‘playing along’ and even though you put that in quotation marks it feels like this is what you feel your interaction there is.

You fudged truth and withheld it in order to let them believe what they wanted. Not judging your intentions or motive I would answer yes, that is deception. Also it is what I would consider a white lie which still is a lie.

You asked whether you are deceiving them by pretending you are a Christian. Personal answer: Yes. From your description they sound very passionate about being Christian where you describe your relationship to it as defection.


To me it seems you did enjoy the community but felt uncomfortable and not only because you did not share their believes but also because you felt you couldn’t/shouldn’t voice yours or even disagree.
This part is up to everyone’s own interpretation of the doctrine but it actually states this directly in number 9 of the teachings:

9. Jedi have integrity. We are authentic to what we believe and are open, honest and true to our purpose and our minds. We remove all masks to reveal ourselves as courageous and noble of heart. We do not hide from fear of damage to our image because we know that our image cannot be blemished from the words and actions of others.

I’ll guess this would be my answer. Whether this means you act by sharing your views or whether you decide not to engage (Maxim: Courage and Maxim: Intervention respectively) is up to your judgement.



Lastly this may be entirely inappropriate but I’ll say this: You sound really concerned with not intruding on them, not deceiving them and not (I was going to say ‘confront’ here but felt this to be too negative, funnily enough thesaurus suggests ‘meet, encounter’ too so I guess that’s what I am going at). This in my eyes honors you. Yet it feels like you forget yourself in this: You’d deceive yourself too and you already know that, at least that’s what I make of the words you chose as mentioned above.
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07 Jun 2016 07:27 #243733 by Arkayik
Replied by Arkayik on topic Religious Deception?
Go, don't go.
Pray, don't pray.

It's your path.

If you're not yet certain where the limits of your civility lie, then you may not yet have reached a tipping point...
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07 Jun 2016 12:27 #243764 by Streen
Replied by Streen on topic Religious Deception?

Jestor wrote: Who was it that said;

yes, when I drink wine, I drink wine, and when I abstain, I abstain...

Meaning, its fine to be polite, and go along one time for manners sake...
But, to continue beyond that, is deception...
You tried it, found it not to your liking...
Your friend understated it, there's no shame in saying "it was interesting, im happy it works for you, but, I am not interested in continuing attending..."
That's my thoughts... lol...


My thoughts exactly :)

"The sage does little,
but leaves nothing undone."
—Lao Tzu
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07 Jun 2016 12:38 #243767 by User22414
Replied by User22414 on topic Religious Deception?
It can feel warm, it can feel comfortable , and then you arrive home and it feels very wrong , you feel like you have to keep secrets , you feel you dont really belong , but it feels warm and comfortable. Your feels are telling you you want to belong to something , or someont , nothing wrong with that , but when you get home and you feel all these mixed feels , maybe its not for you , maybe its like making love to this really nice beautifull man who promisses you the stars ..but in your hart you really want to stay single :whistle: so you get home and you feel ..well you get the picture by now

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07 Jun 2016 13:21 #243774 by Snowy Aftermath

Miss_Leah wrote: I'm just afraid they'll think I tricked or was dishonest to them because I'm not *actually* Christian - or at least, haven't been for many years.


They're likely to spend the rest of every time you're there trying to convert you constantly if you do. Ugh.

I had a group I went through a thing like this with a long time ago. In the end I just decided that I'd outgrown that phase of my life. There are lots of people around that you DON'T have to be fake for.

When you're writing, you're conjuring. It's a ritual, and you need to be brave and respectful and sometimes get out of the way of whatever it is that you're inviting into the room. - Tom Waits

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