Some random thoughts on differences
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17-02-2011, 01:54 PM
Some random thoughts on differences
Being norwegian, I sometimes ponder over the differences between how I perceive religious practice and culture between here (scandinavia) and other countries. Few countries influences us as much as the USA, especially through TV (i.e. Oprah, Ellen, Glee, Medium, CSI, House, and a lot of the "reality" shit). It is a huge difference in the way people use religious "talk" here and what I think is usual in the US. I have been to the US once, and I was stunned to experience those differences IRL. But off course, USA is big and diverse, so I may be wrong!

In Norway, or at least in my social sphere, people are careful to speak about God or their religion. It's almost like they are a little ashamed to admit their faith if they have one. I personally don't know many people (other than my newly converted boyfriend, cf my last post here...) who I think consider themselves religious. Hardly anyone I know, regardless of age, goes to church other than at weddings and funerals. Here are no megachurches or congregations with power over politics. I think there is one christian TV-channel, but through cable TV, one can buy them from abroad I guess. Hearing the word "God" on norwegian TV is seldom.

If someone said "god bless you" or "I'll pray for you" etc., I think most people would think they'd gone mad. Even in the Bible belt in the south I do not think this is "normal". Perhaps just inside the church?

Abortion is legal, no fuzz about it really. And about homosexuality, things are pretty easy here. Gays can marry since 1993. One of my gay friends said that he was against that law, explaining that if gays can marry, they are no longer "special" and "a minority", and that he didn't want to be amongst the ordinary. I think that's too late here. Wink I think it's more difficult if one is a gay muslim, but that's more inside muslim circles?

I don't know where I want with this really, I'm just rambling. I find it hard to talk to my american (all very religious) friends about stuff I wonder about - like politics, health care, art, the mysteries of life and love etc., they just go silent when I try to talk about things like that.

Well well. I'll stop talking now. (House is on tv...)

"Never underestimate how narrow-minded, petty and stupid people can be". Mark Fulton, forum member
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17-02-2011, 02:24 PM
RE: Some random thoughts on differences
No wonder other countries hate us. We are synonymous with reality tv shows and religious fanatics.

"Ain't got no last words to say, yellow streak right up my spine. The gun in my mouth was real and the taste blew my mind."

"We see you cry. We turn your head. Then we slap your face. We see you try. We see you fail. Some things never change."
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17-02-2011, 07:54 PM
 
RE: Some random thoughts on differences
I live in Canada, and I like to think it's a fairly balanced and accepting/tolerating country. US definitely seems much more pumped up on religion (just like how they are (arguably) over patriotic flag wavers).

Quote:If someone said "god bless you" or "I'll pray for you" etc., I think most people would think they'd gone mad. Even in the Bible belt in the south I do not think this is "normal". Perhaps just inside the church?

I think this is quite normal anywhere in North America. While it occurs less in my area, if you are hanging around Christians it's still "normal" and nobody would think you are mad (just might think it's a little funny of how much a "bible thumper" you are.) I would think in the southern US this would be quite normal on a daily basis kind of thing.


While I don't view religion as much of a problem in my area (more like an annoying insect that comes around once in a while) I think it would be so nice for Canada and US to be like the European countries.
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17-02-2011, 09:41 PM
RE: Some random thoughts on differences
(17-02-2011 02:24 PM)Buddy Christ Wrote:  No wonder other countries hate us. We are synonymous with reality tv shows and religious fanatics.

LOL, I've discussed this with my German husband on more than one occasion. Wink

To the OP:

Life in the US is very much dependent on where you live. I live in the bible belt now, but I grew up in the Northeast part of the country. In the Northeast, people are very much the way you describle Norway to be. I suppose there are plenty of people who are religious, but it just isn't something that's discussed. It's just not a part of polite discussion. People are very respectful of each other's beliefs and you really don't hear god or jesus mentioned all that much. It's quite peaceful, actually. Wink

Down here is a whole different story. I can't write about it without getting ragey. It's all you ever hear about. Here everyone assumes you've accepted jesus. It comes up for people in daily conversation. I can't really add anymore, except to say, all the stereotypes you've heard about are not only true, they are even more exaggerated in real life.

Just today some bible thumpers were at our door. They knocked a few times and my husband got up to answer (he thought it was me). He politely told them no, TWICE, and closed the door. They freaking knocked again, at which point he bellowed (he is good at this) GO AWAY!!!!

They do not get that NO MEANS NO. And they think everyone who doesn't think the way they do needs to be either saved or burned at the stake. Or both.

My eyes were opened here. I would have been happy keeping them shut!

My reason for being is to serve as a cat cushion. That is good enough for me. Wink
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18-02-2011, 12:10 AM
RE: Some random thoughts on differences
That's what the big difference was when I traveled to other countries? In Italy and Japan people just kind of let you be yourself, and I loved it as opposed to Missouri. So that's really a religion thing? Because I have to deal with religion all day everyday, but alot of my issues don't appear religious at first. And, when you're blasted by religion 24/7 you tend to try and sort out what is and isn't, so that you can at least say this guy hated me for something other than heathenism. Damn..... if all those arguments I have to deal with really are due to religious beliefs I will be a bit baffled. I seriously just felt that people in Missouri were complete assholes in general, and I've lived here my whole life.

I'm not a non believer, I believe in the possibility of anything. I just don't let the actuality of something be determined by a 3rd party.
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22-02-2011, 10:38 PM
 
RE: Some random thoughts on differences
I think I might enjoy living in a place where people seemed a little ashamed to admit their faith, if they had any.

Though I know some people who are respectful about keeping their faith private, they are far outnumbered by those I know or have met, or hell, even just happened to have passed on the street, who have no problem with working god and/or jesus into nearly every verbal exchange, even in their professional lives. They seem to take it as not only a duty, but a point of pride to do so. And to echo trillium13, it is automatically assumed that one is christian and is all right with it. Not only that, in most circumstances etiquette has made it taboo to complain or even respectfully ask someone to behave otherwise in your presence.
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03-08-2012, 09:17 PM
RE: Some random thoughts on differences
I really think we are the parody television show of a real country. We fight over something as simple as gay marriage while our infrastructure crumbles around us. I can see how it would be entertaining though, like a dark comedy similar to Weeds. I wonder what our TV name is though? Morons and Acrobats/ maybe Life's a Peach? I've gone to far with this line of thought I should probably stop now.

I don't have Attention Deficit Disorder. Your disorderly world has a deficit of things worth paying attention to. -Tj
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05-08-2012, 09:11 AM
RE: Some random thoughts on differences
It's true. The south is awful. If I told anyone I was an atheist, I'd be shunned. That is, right after they're done telling me that I have to repent and that they love me.

"Leave the atom alone."
-E.Y. Harburgh
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05-08-2012, 09:33 PM
RE: Some random thoughts on differences
I spent my first 26 years living in South Mississippi, thus deep in the Bible Belt. People were extremely open about their faith in God, so you heard "I'll pray for you!" or "God bless you!" quite often. I got particularly tired of hearing, "Have a blessed day!" Mostly because it seemed like people were expecting me to return this with some other religious farewell.
Once, I actually got ganged up on by my entire 9th grade algebra class because one of them had somehow figured out I didn't believe in God (though I tried to play along with the whole religion thing anyway to make my mother happy), and they told the rest of the class. I spent the hour trying to do my math work while the rest of the class was making nasty comments to me about how I was going to burn in Hell. The teacher didn't intervene because she was religious, too. She just turned a blind eye to it all...
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05-08-2012, 09:37 PM
RE: Some random thoughts on differences
(05-08-2012 09:33 PM)SlipStitch Wrote:  I spent my first 26 years living in South Mississippi, thus deep in the Bible Belt. People were extremely open about their faith in God, so you heard "I'll pray for you!" or "God bless you!" quite often. I got particularly tired of hearing, "Have a blessed day!" Mostly because it seemed like people were expecting me to return this with some other religious farewell.
Once, I actually got ganged up on by my entire 9th grade algebra class because one of them had somehow figured out I didn't believe in God (though I tried to play along with the whole religion thing anyway to make my mother happy), and they told the rest of the class. I spent the hour trying to do my math work while the rest of the class was making nasty comments to me about how I was going to burn in Hell. The teacher didn't intervene because she was religious, too. She just turned a blind eye to it all...

How very Christian of them. Yes

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