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Non-Believers Can't Love


ax345
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Hello,

 

This is my first time posting here.  I was brought up nominally Catholic (Eastern rite) with no pressure from my parents to be devout.  However, I suddenly dove headlong into Catholicism on my own in college through friends who were part of prayer groups and communities in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.  I stayed very religious for several years afterwards, then gradually lost it all.  I still feel open to belief in something divine, but the fact that divinity is, by definition, not measurable or provable, means I will probably never fully believe again.  I can't just bypass all reason and say, "Screw it, I believe", or something similar...ha ha!

 

One lousy aspect of being in the rigidly Catholic circles I was in was the way that non-believers were always seen as unable to genuinely love because they were operating on their own power, and not seeking God's grace.  I felt a definite fear of leaving the support of fellow Catholics and Christians, as if I would fall into an abyss of selfish, life-wasting behavior.  As if it's all God or NOTHING.

 

Granted, I actually matured a good bit in my Catholic days, and I did learn some good things about looking around at the needs of others.  But this insular idea of saying, "We are the only ones living life the way it's meant to be" was pure crock, and dangerous crock at that.  And I could have learned the same lessons of maturity without the attachment to faith. 

 

Now that I am on my own, spiritually, I am open to not just seeing goodness in everybody (thankfully, Catholicism didn't erase that), but also to believing that people can be as good as they are meant to be without religion.  In other words, a life of "sin" doesn't necessarily disable a person from being a force of good for those around them.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome to the forums. I, too, used to be a judgmental person. I would usually think I had a person figured out within the first five minutes of knowing them and would decide I either liked them or didn't. I missed out on knowing a lot of good people as a result; a fact which is proven by the good people I now know due to being open-minded.

 

First impressions are lasting impressions; so take your time in forming them.

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Yes indeed!  For example, I would have missed out on my girlfriend, who is a soul mate, if ever such a thing existed.

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I've heard this, too.  Non-believers don't truly love or have real peace.  "Even if they SEEM to be good, loving, peaceful people they truly are not" -- I've heard that in sermons.  Wow!  

 

The only decent and meaningful thing I ever heard in a youth group was once when a leader said, "I don't even know why I do half the things I do, so I don't want to assume I know why others do what they do."  I only ever heard that viewpoint once, but it impressed me (obviously, since I remember it from 30 years ago!) and I try to live by it myself.  I don't know why I do half of what I do so I do give people the benefit of the doubt, and I'm gentle with myself, too.

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 ...Non-believers don't truly love or have real peace.  "Even if they SEEM to be good, loving, peaceful people they truly are not" ...

 

... "I don't even know why I do half the things I do, so I don't want to assume I know why others do what they do."  ...

Wow, the first is exactly the kind of brainwashing BS I'm talking about.  I prefer the second (honest) one. :)

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I believed this, but ironically an experience changed my life forever. An atheist girl was the first person outside my family to show me kindness and affection. It perplexed me, but I realized that they can love. Non-Christians are as rare as unicorns where I live, but I know a few and find love in them. I've met Christians who didn't want to even befriend me. My church hated me because of my Tourette's. I found love and hate don't come from religious belief alone. 

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Hell, I've felt more love and support from the people on this website since I joined last fall than I ever felt in thirty years of church.

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One lousy aspect of being in the rigidly Catholic circles I was in was the way that non-believers were always seen as unable to genuinely love because they were operating on their own power, and not seeking God's grace.

… 

Well, this in those "rigidly Catholic circles" are wrong about who is able to "genuinely love".  Many religions encourage and promote xenophobia.  This is a good example.

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Religions that insist on their own exclusive "rightness" can do no other than see all other ways of life as substandard.

 

Those who believe this do so because of the conditioning that forces them to equate their fuzzy religiosity with happiness - even to the point that, in the midst of their own self-hating misery - they proclaim their "joy" and "peace" in god.

 

Today, I have numerous Christian acquaintances, but I'd hesitate to call any of them friends.  Their "love" for me is a sham that will be exposed the day I tell them what I really think of their god.  I conceive of my wife as being one of the very few Christians who shows me real love - and that is not the result of her christianity.  Outside of that relationship, my closest friends are - in one sense or another - heathens.

 

So much for Christian love.

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Yeah I hate how Christians make it seem like people who don't have a "relationship with god" can't love fully.

 

Seems like in reality it is christians who are short on love for other humans as they are giving a good portion to their imaginary boss in space.

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