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leopardgecko123's avatar

Would you be offended if somebody judged you on your faith?

Asked by leopardgecko123 (772 points ) May 4th, 2011

In class today we were talking about what numbers symbolize (don’t know why) and we were talking about how the number 2 symbolizes divinity and human. (Keep in mind this is a Catholic school and most everyone there is Catholic except a few people including me ‘cause I’m Baptist,) So the teacher asked the class who the number 2 describes, and I said Jesus and got it right. And the girl sitting next to me (who was my friend and I’m nice to!) was Catholic said “Wow and you’re not even Catholic.” She was trying to make it a joke but said it in a really mean and hurtful way. I said “I still believe in Jesus!” And she said “Yeah, but still.” And I said “I’m still Christian I’m just not the same denomination as you.” She said the same: “yeah, but still” Thankfully, my friend sitting in front of me joined in and said to her “Liz, that’s still really mean!” I was like Thank You! But of course I didn’t say that out loud but I’m just glad she tried to defend me and she’s Catholic. I don’t exactly know why but that offended me a lot! I’m almost crying as I write this. I told my best friend after school (who is Lutheran not Catholic) about it and she said something similar happened to her. See, she went to a Catholic elementary school with Liz and almost everyone else because the middle school I go to is like a sistering school to the elementary school she went to. Hope that makes sense. Anyway, she said that she didn’t do the sign of the cross since she’s not Catholic and Liz said “You have to do the sign of the cross!” And she said “But I’m not Catholic.” Liz said “You still have to do it!” I’m not saying I have a problem with Catholics and I don’t, but I think she’s just having a hard time excepting people who aren’t Catholic either. She judged me on my faith! I usually do not care if somebody says something like that about something else, but when somebody judges me and offends me about my faith, it hurts!! I almost cried!

I just want to know if some of you have been judged on your faith. How did you feel? And what did you do? Were you offended? This is the first time anyone has ever judged me on my faith (at least in front of my face) and I’m just praying that God will tell me what I’m supposed to do. It’s enough that I have to go to a Catholic school and learn about a bunch of things that I don’t believe in and do something that my faith does not require and put up with people being surprised and shocked every time I say I don’t know what a saint is or anything else that has to do with Catholicism that I don’t do, but now somebody has done a recap of all of it to my face in a real hurtful way!?! I can’t handle that! I can’t take it anymore! I don’t mean to offend any Catholics, I’m just not the same, and I don’t like it when people basically use my faith against me for bullying. I just want to know. Would you be offended if somebody judged you on your faith? Sorry there is so many details, it’s just easier for me to get stuff out in writing.

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33 Answers

thorninmud's avatar

You might want to point out to her that a whole lot of people criticized the way Jesus practiced his faith.

rock4ever's avatar

Don’t worry about it. A lot ( not all ) of religious people just have their head stuck in their butt and think that just because they believe it that means it’s true.
When someone mocks my religion I just say to them it’s what I believe and is none of your concern. I don’t get offended by that kind of stuff and I hope you will learn to be tolerant of their intolerance.

Cruiser's avatar

Water off ducks back for me and stuff like this merely exposes their ignorance and prejudices.

I was raised Catholic and can empathise with you as I went to a 93% Jewish High School and not a day went by that I wasn’t reminded I was not one of them and worse.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

A little bit, yes. I work with many Christians of different sects and though some know I’m not religious, most don’t. More than a few have said of others, “I hate people who don’t believe in gawd”. I didn’t feel it was place to peep up and declare my non believer status but I did feel a little sad they probably would think less of me as a person. It’s something I accept but I don’t have to like it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Wow. Sounds like everyone has totally lost sight of The Point.

KateTheGreat's avatar

If your beliefs are strong and you have a lot of faith, then you shouldn’t be bothered. People can say what they want, but you’ve got to stay strong.

I’m an atheist and I can compare my experience to yours a bit. My family is extremely religious and I was basically a black sheep because of my beliefs.

dabbler's avatar

I think it’s offensive and it can hurt, nobody likes being judged negatively for anything.
But I think it’s particularly frustrating with faith because there is no convincing possible. The other party must want to resonate with your faith concept, and do it, or they didn’t know what they’re talking about anyway. By the time the other bothers to do that we’ll be friends.
Most judgements on faith seem to me to be based on simply being different from the judger’s point of view and no effort made to understand or sympathize or just grok the other.
It can even seem like an expression of brain hurt that the other just can’t figure you out, and being negatory is a way of fixing the blame on you.

Rarebear's avatar

Growing up Jewish I got judged on my faith all the time. I was even told I killed Jesus. So yes, I am offended if someone judges me based upon my faith. (That said, although I’m still Jewish I have no “faith” anymore, but still the point stands.)

SavoirFaire's avatar

I get judged for my (lack of) faith all the time, but I just can’t bring myself to be concerned with it. Yes, the fact that you have friends who can’t see past such superficial labels is unfortunate. As this person is a Catholic, it is especially strange—Catholics often have to deal with ignorant questions from Protestants who think they aren’t Christians (as do Mormons). Perhaps you should remind your friend that there are plenty of people who think she worships Mary and not Jesus. This just might get her to see how rude such bizarre judgments can be.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That argument about the Jews killing Jesus has always hit me as the lamest thing ever in history. It misses THE ENTIRE POINT. It defeats the entire lesson.

I’m not judged on religion any more because people who do that get tired of the battle of the brains…. Boy, that sounded arrogant…

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Dutchess_III's avatar

@noelleptc ‘Cause see…they’re the ONLY ones who REALLY know.

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Dutchess_III's avatar

Don’t wish evil upon them! Turn the other cheek…be tolerant. Cause if you take all that seriously it will twist you up…

SABOTEUR's avatar

I never gave it much thought in my youth. I was raised a Baptist but it’s not like we were real religious. We went to church on Sunday…that kind of thing.

It wasn’t until I joined the Navy that I began questioning the way people practice their religion. A shipmate asked me if I “accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and savior”. The question made me uncomfortable, like he was trying to put me on the spot or something. I didn’t really understand the question and I disliked the way I was approached, so I told him “no”. He replies by telling me I was going to hell.

Now, this angered me and I told him that if going to heaven meant being with people like him, then I was probably headed for the right place.

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fundevogel's avatar

Depends on the sort of judging taking place. The judgments your classmates made of you were based on ignorance and prejudice. That’s not cool. But we can’t get around judging people, that’s how we choose our friends and avoid those we don’t get along with. As such I don’t see anything wrong with including religious factors when evaluating a person, especially when they are very important to the person in question. The important thing is avoid misinformation and over-simplification.

dabbler's avatar

@SABOTEUR oh yes the evangelists can be really determined to mess with your head. I was a lecture by Swami Dayanda at an ashram in Pennsylvania link who was on his way to the UN a few years ago as one of several representatives of Hinduism to meet with folks from all the religions who could afford to send someone. He said if he had one request for world peace it would be that all the proselytizing religions of the world cut it out.

WasCy's avatar

In certain parts of the country (USA) you can get your head handed to you if you say much in favor of atheism. When people seem to be upset that I’m an atheist, I just shrug and tell them, “That’s the way your god made me.”

At least it stops debate.

jasonwiese55's avatar

I enjoy debating, especially religion, so, far from being offended, I am enticed and sent into a frenzy of thought and competitiveness.

jerv's avatar

Like @SavoirFaire, I often get judged for my lack of faith. Personally, I like to leave religion out of it since I make enough enemies anyways without needing to be totally offensive by going after their core beliefs. I have done so, but never to anyone I intended to be even remotely friendly with again since I go for the throat and have enough theological knowledge to be dangerous.

I tend to make it clear that I have different beliefs and that I will respect their religion (and them) as long as they don’t make it an issue and try to be open-minded. And in the situation you described, I probably would’ve said a few nasty things by now if she didn’t stop after a couple of warnings and her them feel what it’s like to have her beliefs challenged/shredded.

Yes, I am a bit vindictive.

YoBob's avatar

I am not offended by those who judge my by my faith. I am, however, offended by those who assume my faith based on their perception of my perceived demographic.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Your story was sweet @leopardgecko123. Sad to hear you almost cried a couple of time over this. I can remember when things like this seemed so important. At the time, they were.

I congratulate you on your faith, and especially your patience with your friends. Your faith should encourage you to look upon them and their faults as Jesus would, in complete forgiveness and empathy, with a mature foresight that considers all points of ignorance, including our own.

The deeper your faith becomes, over time, you’ll understand that trivial persecution is common. What’s more common is to feel offended by it. It tempts us to judge others whilst complaining that they are judging us.

Know that persecutions, much greater than these, are sure to come your way in the future. The Christian, above all others is actually promised this. It’s easy for a new Christian to claim martyrdom. Not one of the disciples enjoyed a peaceful death, so the story is told. They were all persecuted beyond any measure that we could comprehend today. And their persecution unto death was even less than their master Christ. Persecution goes hand in hand with Christianity. Get over it, and remember the good advice in Romans 1:22 when dealing with those who persecute you… “Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools”.

Hibernate's avatar

I never minded to see others against me or my believes because I found what I needed in Christ.

They can say whatever they want .. I know others will judge me based on my believes so I do not care. My comfort is in Him and the Gospel reminds me that people will act like that.

SABOTEUR's avatar

@dabbler Think of how much healing would result from that one thing alone…!

mattbrowne's avatar

No. But sometimes I’m offended by generalizations.

We should not judge people. We only have a right to judge particular actions or particular statements. And we have to speak out when actions or statements cause harm or hurt people. In the language of Christians: ‘Reject the sin, but not the sinner’.

It was not “the Jews” who killed Jesus. It was people who feared revolutionary change.
It was not “the Christians” who killed Giordano Bruno. It was people who feared revolutionary change.

We should also not forget that most of Jesus’s initial followers and supporters were Jews. It was Jews who spread the word. The concept of a separate Christianity developed later. The same goes for Talmudic Judaism, which was a revolutionary change too.

kostaweb's avatar

@mattbrowne,

Once More we agree.

fundevogel's avatar

@mattbrowne I disagree, but I think it may just be a matter of semantics. You say:

“We should not judge people. We only have a right to judge particular actions or particular statements.”

But the natural consequence of judging actions is to analyze what those actions tell us about the person who took them. Otherwise you’re just gathering data and throwing it away. I can’t imagine condemning Hitler’s actions, but refusing to pass judgement on the man. It’s ludicrous. There is no reason we can’t or shouldn’t draw conclusions regarding Hitler the man based on his actions.

I maintain that you have to judge people if you recognize that people’s qualities are variable and some of them are more compatible with you than others.The problem is when people make judgements without sufficient data, draw erroneous conclusions from data or just plain use bad data. Those are the things that breed prejudice. Well that and socialized prejudice, but clearly that isn’t based any sort of critical judgment, flawed or not.

You’re condemning judgment, but what you’re actually describing is prejudice. They are not the same thing. To quote Bill Mahar, “I’m not pre-judging, I’m judging.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

@fundevogel I lost you. I agree with Matt that we should judge only particular actions or particular statements of individuals. (My italicized clarification, which I don’t think Matt would take issue with…..or we’ll just have to have it out!) I think that prejudice would be if Asian Man A said something anti-Semitic, and goes on to prove that he is, indeed, anti-Semitic, then when you meet Asian Man B you assume he’s also anti-Semitic.

fundevogel's avatar

@Dutchess_III I’m not sure what you mean as a response to what I said. I wasn’t defending prejudice, I was defending the idea that people’s actions and words can and should be used to judge their character.

I did this because it seems like people often say it’s wrong to judge people when they’re really just confusing judging people with pre-judging people. There’s a big difference. In your example it would be judging to conclude that Asian Man A is anti-Semitic and pre-judging to presume that Asian Man B is. Surely you don’t think there is any wrong with concluding Asian Man A is anti-Semitic?

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s what I said: “Asian Man A…goes on to prove that he is, indeed, anti-Semitic.” Wait…I understand what you’re saying! The person as a whole is going to be judged on his actions and statements.

fundevogel's avatar

Right, we weren’t really disagreeing at all.

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