I'd go, just to learn more about them, and the people they probably have bonds with in their life through that church. I'd also promise to be openminded towards the religion aspect itself and take it in to see if it perhaps could be for me. At the same time, I'd expect that to be my choice and mine alone. No promises, no demands, no converting. Equal open-mindedness and respect. And then we see where we stand after that and go from there.
I would also expect my partner to respect my religious views. As it happens they differ significantly on the surface. He is Methodist, and I am Pagan. Our underlying thoughts on the nature of god and the universe and our purpose in life, etc. are not that far off, however, especially when it comes down to how we live our lives. We just come at it from very different perspectives. As for religious activities, he comes to circle with me, or helps host at our house, but rather than participate in ritual he helps wrangle any kids present which is much appreciated. I go to his church now and then, especially when it is an important holiday, or they need me to play music. So, it all works out for us.
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I have two personal rules that impact how I would feel about being with somebody religious.
1) I don't go to regularly planned religious services. The concept wigs me out, it's PTSD left over from my youth. It doesn't matter what the religion is, this is why I couldn't swing going to Zen meditation.
2) I'm not interested in anybody who's opinions and feelings are by default the same an external source. I can't deal with anybody who only knows what's good and what's bad because that's what they are told, or because they trust [whatever].
IME I like going to people's religious services - I find them interesting and usually enjoyable as long as it's not too much fire and brimstone - but I expect them to have a level of respect for my personal views (spiritual deist/pantheist) and understand that I'm not going because I'm interested in joining their church, but to support them personally. I've had friends try to sneakily convert me before, bad experiences.
To be fair, I've experienced the other side of it too. I like being a member of a UU congregation (it's all-religion inclusive and more of a philosophy), but my boyfriend's solidly atheist and very uninterested in anything religious. We don't live near a UU congregation now, so there has been no pressure from me, but I've voiced that at some point I would love for him to join me in attending a service. He said he'd try it but didn't sound excited. I understand, considering the other point of view, but it's also hard not to be excited about the prospect of sharing something that is deeply meaningful and fulfilling to me with someone who is very important to me.
So I can sort of feel both sides of this.
I think in general to be compatible you have to be respectful of one another's views, and to be okay with them as they are.
I wouldn't date someone that had a significantly different value system from my own, that wished to convert me, or genuinely believed that I was going to hell. In my opinion, the latter- to be in a relationship with someone who is sincerely convinced that you're going to hell (or that you think is going to hell) when you/ they die, is significantly harmful, regardless of how well you manage to compartmentalize. I also wouldn't convert just to keep a relationship going, even if the above was not an issue. That about sums up my view on the matter.
Jarlaxle: fact checking this thread makes me want to go all INFP on my wrists
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I think what worries me more than anything is that my husband could potentially become clergy. His degree is in Biblical studies and he had to drop out of seminary because I couldn't handle being impoverished students anymore. I am a Christian and I enjoy studying the Bible and religion, but church people . . .
My husband wouldn't pressure me, I don't think, but I'd want to be supportive. However, I just don't have a lot of patience for people's nonsense anymore. And I'm pretty bad at all of the SFJ stuff.
What's been pretty crazy for us is that we met at an Evangelical Bible college in 1991, so we were both pretty conservative. Over the years, we both have come to the conclusion that fiscal conservatism is complete BS and in opposition to Christ's teachings, so we don't consider ourselves conservatives anymore. I'm more socially liberal than he is, but we manage to respect each other. For example, I don't put pro-gay marriage stuff on the family van and he doesn't give me crap about paying extra to get pro-gay marriage license plates on the other vehicles, even though he is the sole family breadwinner.
His job interferes with attending religious services for the foreseeable future, but I think he might eventually like to go to church at least if circumstances allow. I don't think I can go to a church that is intolerant of same sex couples, etc more than just to visit once in awhile. Right now, I get roped into going to a conservative church because my brother is a pastor and my mom goes to his church, but even bribing myself with lunch out does not make it tolerable on a regular basis.
“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.” ~ John Rogers
To the OP, yes, I love sharing different religious views and fostering dialogue, etc. If it's a romantic interest, it's a bit more complicated...
Originally Posted by Nicodemus
Sure - once, as an observer. It is very unlikely that I would be in a relationship with someone who valued going to church, though.
I agree, the thing is that most people involve themselves in relationships and intimacy with people who share the values important to them. Religious beliefs or attitude towards them would be one of those. If your religious beliefs are important to you, don't you want someone who shares similar values? On the other hand, if your religious beliefs are not important to you, then this question is irrelevant anyway.
I'm not religious but one of my best friend's is and my mom is as well. And my friend is about to be chrismated so I'll probably go to support him, and that's it. I don't mind going if someone asks and it's important for them. Just don't make me convert, and we cool
If they want me to go as a potential convert, then no way. If it's so that we could learn more about each other, or to do something with them so they don't feel lonely doing the thing they love, or to meet their church friends, then ok. With the understanding that I'll be dragging their ass along to do the things I love too.
I think it would depend on whether or not I believed it was an attempt to convert me. If they just wanted me for company and to integrate me into their social group, I'd probably be willing to go along with that. If they were trying to fix or improve me, I think I would be resistant.
This. I would want to understand my partner's values/beliefs, and attending church with them would probably be helpful in this, hypothetically.
I've done this with friends, and could see its applicability for lovers.
However, that said, our core values/worldview would probably differ so much that there would be a lack of a certain deep intimacy I doubt could ever be surmounted (at least not to any degree I personally would be satisfied with), so my answering this is almost pointless, because religion is a dealbreaker to me in relationships. My beliefs would be viewed as inherently bad in the eyes of my partner. Their religion may dictate that my values have less worth, or might even be illustrated as evil in their religious doctrine. How is that sustainable? How deeply could someone truly love you- & be okay with the fact that their religion damns you to eternal pain after death? I think reconciling that would be extremely taxing on both sides, and quite possibly a fruitless endeavor.
03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
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03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!
04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy
02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack
03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.