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4 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2010 - 9:22PM #21
Sacrificialgoddess
Posts: 9,496

Nov 8, 2010 -- 4:24PM, Andrewbowen wrote:


You're right. Which is why this is a learning process. Class time for all involved, my friend.


By the way, have you read/heard of "The Year of Living Biblically"? Here's the link. You might find some parallels there with what I'm doing. And it was a pretty good success. Also


Peace,


Andrew





Not the same thing at all.  For one, he took a year, didn't just half ass it into a single month.  For another, he was a man of Jewish decent, meaning this stuff came from stuff his family talked about, experienced.  In other words, he had frame of reference.


You don't. You could see something that one of these religions does as a matter of habit, and either not understand the reasoning behind the actions, or misinterpret the reason behind them entirely.  And the bad part of that is that while yes, your "mentors" might try to explain most things, the people reading your website know nothing about these mentors, so what gives them authority in the interpretation? Particularly in the Wiccan beliefs, while you and three other people might accept them as authorities in Wicca, the rest of the Wiccan religion might consider them to be full of crap. The Wiccan religion is so wide and free that it takes a hell of a bio to get someone to be accepted craft-wide.


And all of that isn't taking into account any assumptions on both sides that you not only understand exactly what is going on, but why it is happening.  Your mentor may have thought he/she/it/they explained they explained the whys and wherefores of ceremony x, and you may have thought you understood the whys and wherefores of ceremony x, but there still might be some disconnect that has you informing folks the wrong things about the wrong ceremony and giving the wrong reasons behind it. You have bitten off more than you can chew here.  As All has said, you cannot possibly deliver what you are promising.


 


And I am a little unclear as to the point. Since you brought up books, There are plenty of books out there that can help those actually interested in maybe converting to another religion. So, what can you provide to these people that the books can't provide to the interested?  Clarity?  Well, clearly from you discussions with All and Gorm, clarity isn't something you are interested in. Keeping "conversion" in the title because you think it sounds better isn't something done in the interest of clarity, since conversion is not what you are doing.  New information? As I have shown, any information they would want before talking to an actually practioner is out there. Information to promote tolerance? Well, you really don't appear to be doing that, either. And religioustolerance.org would provide most of the material you are delving into, anyway.


So, as I said, why are you doing this?  Why these religions? Why not others? Why should anyone care?

Dark Energy. It can be found in the observable Universe. Found in ratios of 75% more than any other substance. Dark Energy. It can be found in religious extremists, in cheerleaders. To come to the conclusion that Dark signifies mean and malevolent would define 75% of the Universe as an evil force. Alternatively, to think that some cheerleaders don't have razors in their snatch is to be foolishly unarmed.

-- Tori Amos
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4 years ago  ::  Nov 08, 2010 - 10:00PM #22
Andrewbowen
Posts: 40

Sacrificial,


I never expected everyone I came across to be on board with Project Conversion. This is a diverse world with millions of points of view. The difference though is that, while All and Gorm have been constructive in their criticism--much of which will enrich the initiative, you on the other hand have come across as highly derogatory and emotional. If you've had some negative experiences with faith, I am sorry and I hope that healing will someday soothe your thoughts.


But to address some of your points...I never said that my project and that of "A Year of Living Biblically" were the same. Please review the post. I suggested that All might find some parallels. And yes, I am doing this for a month per religion. Remember, this is an introduction, not an in-depth expose. If I had only selected one faith, then a year might be more suitable, but I love all faiths so how could I possibly select only one Laughing!?


You asked why these faiths. Excellent question! I chose most of these faiths because they are more recognizable and therefore easier to find Mentors/material on in these beginning stages. If Project Conversion is a success, then of course I can see this growing into the exploration of other faiths.


As for my Mentors, I understand your issue here, however think of it this way: many people come to a particular faith through friends, family, or even complete strangers (I'm sure there are many stories of people adopting a faith on Beliefnet because of someone they met or a post, etc.). Does one require a clergy member of a faith (remember, some faiths such as Sihkism, some sects of Islam, and the Bahai's have no organized clergy) in order to be taught about that faith or to be lead through conversion? Think about many Wiccans who are solitary practicioners. I'd say not. So I think it's unfair and insulting to deem the fine individuals who have stepped forward and volunteered as a Mentor as unfit to represent their interpretation of their faith. I would respectfully ask, who are you to decide who is fit to represent one's faith?


I can only work with those willing to work with me. This is a communal effort that relies on many individuals working together to make religious awareness/education an enjoyable reality. If you don't have anything better to offer compared to those who have stepped forward, then you have the freedom to not take part. The choice is yours, and I welcome all.


Peace,


Andrew


 

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4 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2010 - 11:49AM #23
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Andrew, 


 


SG's point and my point are very similar, at least the way I see them.  I'm usually a lot more abrasive then she is, so that you would use me as an example of "constructive critisism" is pretty funny. 


 


Anyway. 


 


I don't know what perspective that you are coming from.  I could guess, but where is the fun in that?  I do see the general pov emerging though.  It seems to be one of the docritrines and dogma are the important parts of a religion.  That people find interest in them, and learn about them, and decide to adopt them for themselves.  It's fine that you feel this way.  It is a very common perspective, and one that is promoted by or culture. 


 


There is a problem though.  While some of the religions that you have listed operate in exactly this way, some do not.  Whether you believe us or not, some of us feel that we have actually experienced our god/des/s.  The religion itself is secondary. 


 


When it comes to a person changing from one belief system to another, there is a reason.  People don't just go from Catholicism to Wicca because they like the teachings better, or if they do it doesn't stay.  Most people who convert to another belief structure, and I don't just mean another way of believing in the same deities, but a whole other belief structure, do so because of something earth shattering.  Something that has upended their whole way of looking at the world. 


 


It is this aspect that is seen by those here as being belittled.  It is this aspect that is seen as ignored. 


 


From my own perspective, I was raised Catholic.  My family is a very strict Catholic one.  I left the Catholic church when I got to college for two reasons.  One, it was the first chance I could, and two, I wasn't getting what I needed out of it. 


I just left.  I didn't leave for anything else.  Without a belief in some other deity, any ceremonies, or rites surrounding that belief would be empty. 


 


I would have been perfectly content remaining in an athiest/agnostic state.  Heck, even now I don't see anything expressly wrong with being in such a state, and I see it as a lot more honest then remaining in a religion because you were raised in it, or because others have told you to be there. 


 


It was because of events in my life, call them UPG, call them "clue by four" call them whatever you want that I went into Asatru, and I have to say, I went into it pretty blind.  I learned about aspects of it after I adopted it, and I'm still learning now.  The reason for this is because the attraction to the teachings was not the reason, nor did I talk to people I know, or strangers, or read about it on the internet, or in books. 


 


It's the difference between a revealed religion such as various doctrines of Christianity, where the teachings of the faith are revealed by study in the various texts and teachings, and an Experential religion where it is based on the personal experiences of the person themselves. 


 


The idea of learning what a convert goes through falls flat on its face for these.  You can learn teachings, and activities of daily life this way, but that's it, and that is a far cry from what they go through. 


 


That's what I think people are trying to tell you.  That without those, that no one expects you to have, any effort that you put into it is going to be like countless other sites and books out there. 


 


all

Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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4 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2010 - 12:10PM #24
Andrewbowen
Posts: 40

All,


You may be more abrasive elsewhere, but I haven't seen that here. I apologize for misreading you. Next time I'll be more careful with my assesments.


Again, I don't disagree with any of you. I've never claimed anything you accuse me off. I never said I would be or try to be a real convert. I never said I was trying to get folks to convert. Again, you've making mountains out of mole hills. I'm not sure how much clearer I can make this but I will try again because people deserve patentience and understanding.


1) Offer and introduction in the faiths I will explore


2) Offer a brief, day-in-life experience as being a practicioner of said faith


3) Promote independent/corporal and civil discussion about faith


Of course there are other sources out there regarding exploration of faiths. But that is no reason to stop myself from contributing.


By practicing the tenents and superficial aspects of each faith, I am not degrading those who have a spiritual attachment to these faiths because 1) I've never claimed that I could emulate this and 2) the actual practice of faith and a learning experience about the faith are totally different.


It's unfortunate that you've taken offense to Project Conversion. By placing ourselves in the shoes of another, we glean a better understanding of them and are therefore better able to relate/communicate/compromise on issues that might otherwise present an impasse. That's all I am doing here: setting an example of placing myself in the shoes of another. To suggest that I plan to be the spiritual equal of these people is far-fetched and an unfair judgement. Of course, your opinion is yours and I respect that. The proof is in the pudding, as they say, and so far I've gotten a very positive response from supporters and Mentors. Perhaps seeing Project Conversion in action will alleviate some of your objections. However if not, then, well, to each their own.


Peace,


Andrew

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4 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2010 - 12:44PM #25
allthegoodnamesweretaken
Posts: 11,634

Andrew,


 


I'm not accusing you of trying to get anyone to convert. 


 


You did however say that you were going to show life from the perspective of the new convert. 


 


All that is really being said here is that those of us reading this and responding were converts ourselves, and we just know that if you're just doing this to show the differences and similarities of dogma and doctrine, you aren't going to show life from the perspective of the convert. 


 


That's really all I've got to say, and don't see any point wasting energy going over the same stuff again and again, so, unless you've got otherstuff that you want to go over......


 


all

Yesterday, in America, 100 million gun owners did nothing.
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4 years ago  ::  Nov 09, 2010 - 1:50PM #26
Andrewbowen
Posts: 40

All,


We've agreed all along. And I've come to understand that the terminology associated with "convert" has been misleading. Thus, I changed the language of my explaination on the site. See what the exchange of ideas between open minds can do? Now imagine this on a global scale?


At any rate, this thread is to bring attention to Project Conversion and initiate conversation about the initiative. That goal has been met many times over thus far and I hope that others with questions and comments will continue the dialogue here or by emailing me at abowen@projectconversion.com


Also, since you are a convert from what sounded like a pretty dynamic history with your Catholic upbringing, perhaps you'd be interested in sharing your story at Convert's Corner. I'm sure your experiences and insight would be a blessing to others. Of course, this invitation is open to all with a story of conversion or aposty.


Thank you all. I look forward to the insights of others.


Andrew Bowen

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4 years ago  ::  Nov 18, 2010 - 3:15PM #27
Andrewbowen
Posts: 40

*Update*


Hey everyone! A quick update about Project Conversion:


Since the last post on this thread, I have picked up a Mentor for the following religions: Mormonism, Islam, and Catholicism.


That only leaves for faiths left to find Mentors for! I'm currently working with a state-wide interfaith organization to help find Mentors for the remaining faiths, but that doesn't mean you cannot be involved. I'll need your persepectives and stories to make this a success and blessing to others.


The remaining faiths are:


Hinduism, Pastafarianism, Taoism, and Zoroastrianism


See the Project Conversion website for more details! Be sure to also "like" the page on Facebook and spread the word. You can read my blog here to find out about incentives for sharing Project Conversion with others.


Also, I've set up a Project Conversion group here at Beliefnet for all of you who are interested in joining in. You can visit the group and start chatting here.


Hope to hear from you soon!


Andrew Bowen

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4 years ago  ::  Jan 02, 2011 - 12:11PM #28
Andrewbowen
Posts: 40

Project Conversion is officially underway! The year begins with Hinduism, or Sanatana Dharma, and although there is much to learn about this rich and ancient faith, I'm having a good time with the process. Check the site for details about my first day.


Namaste,


Andrew Bowen

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