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Pink Ink
07-02-2008, 11:23 PM
I'm working on a novel that has a Muslim protagonist who converts to Catholicism. Has this happened to you (Muslim to Catholic)? Do you know of anyone who has?

Thanks!!

Captshady
07-03-2008, 12:36 AM
Fatwah! Fatwah!

IceCreamEmpress
07-03-2008, 01:04 AM
Lamin Sanneh, a professor of divinity, was raised Muslim in The Gambia and converted to Catholicism. I recommend his book Whose Religion is Christianity? (http://www.journeywithjesus.net/BookNotes/Lamin_Sanneh.shtml); IIRC he does share some of his personal experiences there.

Skyraven
07-03-2008, 05:26 AM
As long as the individual goes to classes and does the sacraments, he/she is good to go. :)

Chameleon
07-03-2008, 08:35 AM
Fatwah! Fatwah!

LOL. I think you mean Apostate! Apostate!


Pink Ink, I've never heard of that. It's usually the opposite.

L M Ashton
07-03-2008, 06:49 PM
I don't know any Muslims who converted to Catholocism, but I do know some who've converted to various flavours of Christianity.

Pink Ink
07-03-2008, 10:06 PM
Yeah, I know it's rare. My book is set in 18th century Philippines, so the consequences of converting are probably different than today's. Thanks Empress for the lead. I tried googling, but except for a few big-name people who are now receiving death threats, I am finding nothing.

Keyan
07-04-2008, 06:05 AM
It's perfectly doable from the Catholic side, probably regarded in horror by the Muslim side. This kind of thing typically happens when someone marries a person of a different religion. At least the Philippines wasn't a Muslim nation where such conversion would be illegal.

I don't know what you need for your story, but be prepared for the character's family/ friends to be really angry and unable to understand, and perhaps abandoning him/ her. (Or if that's not what you need, they could have any reaction up to refusal to accept it happened, bored indifference, or secret curiosity.) On the incoming side, perhaps some suspicion because the person wouldn't have been raised in Cathloic traditions.

On the part of the character, some embarrassment at having to be baptized as an adult (usually done for infants), and an heightened awareness of what the words and rituals mean - an outsider's view.

AnnieColleen
07-04-2008, 07:17 AM
I'd imagine there would be a good amount of culture shock in unexpected areas, possibly well after the conversion. Statues/saints is one that comes to mind, since (as far as I know) images of living things are frowned on in Islam. Adjusting to a different religious language (Latin, at that time, instead of Arabic). (Though there are Catholic traditions that use Arabic, but not in the Phillipines, I would think.) Possibly tripping over similar-but-not-the-same beliefs or history, since the two faiths share a lot of background -- the story of Abraham, maybe, or the role of Mary. (Pure guesswork on the specifics there.)

Pink Ink
07-04-2008, 05:29 PM
Hey thanks. I appreciate your suggestions!

girlyswot
07-07-2008, 02:33 AM
See if you can get hold of 'I Dared to Call Him Father' which is one girl's account of her conversion from a Muslim background to Christianity.

Keyan
07-08-2008, 12:15 PM
Bear in mind, though, that Asian Islam would not have been identical to Arab Islam. Not sure what the Philippines was like, but in India, there was a rich Islamic culture including poetry, music - and painting, including paintings representing people.

Depending on where you're going with this, you may need to research Islam in the Philippines in the era you had in mind. You may (or may not) find differences in culture and clothing, which also the convert would have to adjust to.

Pink Ink
07-10-2008, 09:04 PM
See if you can get hold of 'I Dared to Call Him Father' which is one girl's account of her conversion from a Muslim background to Christianity.

Thanks, that sounds exactly like what I need...

Pink Ink
07-10-2008, 09:07 PM
Bear in mind, though, that Asian Islam would not have been identical to Arab Islam. Not sure what the Philippines was like, but in India, there was a rich Islamic culture including poetry, music - and painting, including paintings representing people.

Depending on where you're going with this, you may need to research Islam in the Philippines in the era you had in mind. You may (or may not) find differences in culture and clothing, which also the convert would have to adjust to.

There's not a whole lot of specifics, although historically, there have actually been Philippine-Muslim royalty converting to Catholicism. I agree, from what I've read so far, I have the impression Asian Islam is not as stringent.

Keyan
07-11-2008, 05:08 AM
Hmm. I could help on South Asian Islam, but it may not be the same thing. Perhaps you could ask someone with Phil expertise? Some Muslim groups there now are separatists, but going back to the 18th century, things might well have been different.

mewoone
08-03-2009, 09:12 PM
Muslim in Philippines, at the time you choose??!? if this thing happen my dear lady , he or she will not talk but keep her new religious in her/ his heart... and as one said put in you mind that the time you choose the Islamic countries were in their glory..

errantruth
08-03-2009, 11:28 PM
Plus family relations were likely very much tighter than they are today. Modernization in Western families has caused a loosening of ties which were once very much tighter.

Pink Ink
08-04-2009, 02:08 AM
You are right, Mewoone; I know of at least one situation in 18th c. history, where a Phil. sultan and his children converted to Catholicism, but for the most part commoners didn't bandy around their conversion.

Scrawler
08-04-2009, 08:45 AM
I know someone who was born & raised in a Muslim country (Iran), though his family was not particularly religious. (The mother was very religious but the rest of the family was not religious at all.) He came to the USA at age 18 and at age 39 became a Catholic.
This is something he has not told his mother about though.

Kurtz
08-04-2009, 03:11 PM
The Qur'an says that whoever picks a religion other than Islam is of the losers and will be an inhabitant of the Fire. The four schools of Islamic law (I only know about Sunni's so I'm not too sure on the Shi'a) regard apostasy as grounds for execution.

However, there are alternative views. My mother argues pretty strongly that:

-There is no temporal punishment mentioned in the Qur'an for apostasy, in the case of other crimes such as murder suitable punishment is given (varying degrees of as a matter of fact, not all cases of theft must end with a dudes hand being cut off).
-The word "Islam" means "submission to non other than Allah (God)", it does not neccesarily refer to the religion founded by Muhammad. Just like Abraham is not a Jew or Christian, (how could he have been?), he was a Muslim, the word meaning "That which submits to the will of God". As a result Christians, Jews, Bah'a'i could all be described as Muslims. The same is also true with Bhuddists, Hindus and Shintoists, pretty much all religions submit to some concept of God.
-In the Hadith there are accounts of Muhammad executing apostates, however, in these that was not the main cause. The main reason for their execution was that they had gone over to the pagans sides. In the early days, Islam was a religion, a state, an army, a way of life. They were active enemies of the Ummah and so the punishment was more political than anything.

Of course, this is seen as a lunatic, fringe view within the conservative elements of Islam.

mewoone
08-04-2009, 04:37 PM
You are right, Mewoone; I know of at least one situation in 18th c. history, where a Phil. sultan and his children converted to Catholicism, but for the most part commoners didn't bandy around their conversion.

mmmmmm Sultan? I never heard about A phil Sultan?? Can you please give me more information. I am really confuse because to be Sultan you should be Muslim and if the Sultan become something else and the public knew he will be asked either to convert or to be killed (and historically I never hear such story) and if he converted secretly but the consult (Group of Showra) found they will ask the Sultan to step aside and put his son or brother or cousin in his place??!

mewoone
08-04-2009, 04:40 PM
I know someone who was born & raised in a Muslim country (Iran), though his family was not particularly religious. (The mother was very religious but the rest of the family was not religious at all.) He came to the USA at age 18 and at age 39 became a Catholic.
This is something he has not told his mother about though.

it happened today , and i notice it happened more for Shia but i rarely hear Snie people convert ..

Kurtz
08-04-2009, 06:40 PM
Fatwah! Fatwah!

This is like going to a white house meeting and screaming "POSITION PAPER! POSITION PAPER!".

The word is just an opinion of an Islamic scholar, usually (but not always, it seems) based on Qur'anic verses and other pieces of Islamic scripture (Hadith, or words of the Prophet, actions of the Prophet's companions, history or science). Most are really dry and boring, nitpicking over grammar of the Qur'an. Some demand the death of all Kafirs or say Pokemon is turning our children into Jews (seriously).

Of course, because they are similar to academic journal articles, the fact they are used to raise mobs is quite against the original concept.

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 02:30 AM
-The word "Islam" means "submission to non other than Allah (God)", it does not neccesarily refer to the religion founded by Muhammad. Just like Abraham is not a Jew or Christian, (how could he have been?), he was a Muslim, the word meaning "That which submits to the will of God". As a result Christians, Jews, Bah'a'i could all be described as Muslims. The same is also true with Bhuddists, Hindus and Shintoists, pretty much all religions submit to some concept of God.


That is false. Abraham, zt''l, was the first Jew. The Lord made a covenant between Himself and Avram, changing his name to Avraham; Avraham then circumcised himself at 99 years old. Although he is a convert--the original convert--he is, in fact, the first Jew.

The lack of calling him a "Jew" in the Bible is probably what threw you off. However, the term Jew is not used until 2 Kings 16:6 where it refers to the "Jews" or Yehudim, after Yehuda. Elsewhere in the Torah, we are referred to as Israelites or Sons of Israel. Avraham is referred to by another term used in the Torah known as Ivri, which means Hebrew. His grandchild, Jacob, has his named changed to Israel--hence, Sons of Israel, referring to our descent from Yaakov (Jacob).

Some Muslims will tell you Avraham was a Muslim. Now THAT is absurd, considering Islam was started by Ishmael, Avraham's other son.

errantruth
08-05-2009, 03:27 AM
There are different types of Muslims, tho. I know an interfaith couple in a VERY conservative society. A predominantly Muslim society. They did not have a religious home. Two of the children grew up and chose Islam and to live in a Muslim country. One grew up and took Christianity. Who knows what the future holds.

Just mentioning because ... there are different Muslims in different places. And, of course, different Islams.

Among which is the little known Alevi Islam, which is quite unusual and very much *not* what one expects of an Islamic stream.

mewoone
08-05-2009, 04:43 PM
That is false. Abraham, zt''l, was the first Jew. The Lord made a covenant between Himself and Avram, changing his name to Avraham; Avraham then circumcised himself at 99 years old. Although he is a convert--the original convert--he is, in fact, the first Jew.

The lack of calling him a "Jew" in the Bible is probably what threw you off. However, the term Jew is not used until 2 Kings 16:6 where it refers to the "Jews" or Yehudim, after Yehuda. Elsewhere in the Torah, we are referred to as Israelites or Sons of Israel. Avraham is referred to by another term used in the Torah known as Ivri, which means Hebrew. His grandchild, Jacob, has his named changed to Israel--hence, Sons of Israel, referring to our descent from Yaakov (Jacob).

Some Muslims will tell you Avraham was a Muslim. Now THAT is absurd, considering Islam was started by Ishmael, Avraham's other son.


Everybody has the right to believe whatever they want..^_^

No need to fight over something that we can't change now but we can try to understand

mewoone
08-05-2009, 04:46 PM
There are different types of Muslims, tho. I know an interfaith couple in a VERY conservative society. A predominantly Muslim society. They did not have a religious home. Two of the children grew up and chose Islam and to live in a Muslim country. One grew up and took Christianity. Who knows what the future holds.

Just mentioning because ... there are different Muslims in different places. And, of course, different Islams.

Among which is the little known Alevi Islam, which is quite unusual and very much *not* what one expects of an Islamic stream.



true.........

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 07:27 PM
Everybody has the right to believe whatever they want..^_^

No need to fight over something that we can't change now but we can try to understand

Sure, and you have the right to believe the moon is made of cheese. That doesn't make it true. The only way you could (logically) believe he was anything but a Jew is if you don't believe any of it ever happened.

Kurtz
08-05-2009, 08:03 PM
Sure, and you have the right to believe the moon is made of cheese. That doesn't make it true. The only way you could (logically) believe he was anything but a Jew is if you don't believe any of it ever happened.

I thought that Abraham was seen as the patriarch of all semitic peoples, the Jews descended from Isaac and the Muslims from Ishmael born to him through Hagar. If he could be seen to be the primogenitor of the Israelites, Ismaelites, Midianites and Edomites he couldn't really be described as being one or the other, rather the well from which they all sprang.

The covenants made with Abraham has been interpreted varingly by Jews, Muslims and Christians, as well are the weirder monothesitc religions in the region


Some Muslims will tell you Avraham was a Muslim. Now THAT is absurd, considering Islam was started by Ishmael, Avraham's other son.

No, it wasn't. According to the Muslim tradition the religion of Islam started with Adam, who was the first Prophet. Noah, Job, Abraham, Ezra, Jonah and Jesus, as well as other characters from the Bible and Jewish scriptures are all seen as Prophets of Islam, preaching the same message of total submission to God.

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 08:39 PM
I thought that Abraham was seen as the patriarch of all semitic peoples, the Jews descended from Isaac and the Muslims from Ishmael born to him through Hagar. If he could be seen to be the primogenitor of the Israelites, Ismaelites, Midianites and Edomites he couldn't really be described as being one or the other, rather the well from which they all sprang.

The covenants made with Abraham has been interpreted varingly by Jews, Muslims and Christians, as well are the weirder monothesitc religions in the region


He is the forefather of all monotheistic religions. That doesn't change the fact that he was a Jew. Considering the Bible calls him a Hebrew, I'd say it's pretty clear on the subject. We denote our lineage through Yaakov, Avraham's grandson; however, that does not mean Avraham, zt''l, wasn't a Jew. He is one of the Patriarchs, and his covenant with G-d is the same one G-d has with the Jewish people today. Avraham kept the Torah and all G-d's commandments. He circumcised himself and kept the covenant. He was a Jew.




No, it wasn't. According to the Muslim tradition the religion of Islam started with Adam, who was the first Prophet. Noah, Job, Abraham, Ezra, Jonah and Jesus, as well as other characters from the Bible and Jewish scriptures are all seen as Prophets of Islam, preaching the same message of total submission to God.

Exactly. So you're telling me that it makes sense that all the JEWISH people in history were really just Muslim prophets, even though they spoke exclusively of the JEWISH G-d as the only G-d, and that the focal point of CHR-STIANITY was really a Muslim prophet as well? That makes perfect sense.

The Chr-stians do the same thing, claiming that all the Jewish prophets were really just talking about Jes-s. It's called replacement theology, hence "Old Testament" and "New Testament." You have to go with logic here, and that ain't it. Believe in Jes-s if you want, but don't try to tell me that the Jewish people were really Islamic or Chr-stian prophets. That makes absolutely no sense.

Kurtz
08-05-2009, 08:59 PM
Exactly. So you're telling me that it makes sense that all the JEWISH people in history were really just Muslim prophets, even though they spoke exclusively of the JEWISH G-d as the only G-d, and that the focal point of CHR-STIANITY was really a Muslim prophet as well? That makes perfect sense.

The Chr-stians do the same thing, claiming that all the Jewish prophets were really just talking about Jes-s. It's called replacement theology, hence "Old Testament" and "New Testament." You have to go with logic here, and that ain't it. Believe in Jes-s if you want, but don't try to tell me that the Jewish people were really Islamic or Chr-stian prophets. That makes absolutely no sense.

Jews, Christians, Muslims and Bah'ai all worship the same god. Being a Prophet one one religion does not neccesarily preclude one from being a Prophet of another.

EDIT- Also if you claim Abraham as the first Jew, then Adam and all the other Antidiluvean Patriarchs including Noah could not have been Jews. They were believers in God, and the Arabic word for believer in God is Muslim.

This is a good example of the pointless and neverending debates about religion that would ensue if a Muslim decided to convert to Roman Catholicism.

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 09:10 PM
Jews, Christians, Muslims and Bah'ai all worship the same god. Being a Prophet one one religion does not neccesarily preclude one from being a Prophet of another.

That's actually not true. Chr-stians and Muslims may think they worship the same G-d I do, but their gods are not the G-d I know. They may have at some point, but the entity they worship is vastly different now. In addition, Xtians also worship a man as a god, which is FAR from the concept of the Jewish G-d.



EDIT- Also if you claim Abraham as the first Jew, then Adam and all the other Antidiluvean Patriarchs including Noah could not have been Jews. They were believers in God, and the Arabic word for believer in God is Muslim.

This is a good example of the pointless and neverending debates about religion that would ensue if a Muslim decided to convert to Roman Catholicism.

Adam and Noah were not Jews, and I never said they were. Hence, they were not required to, nor did they keep the Torah. In fact, the Laws concerning Gentiles were given to Adam and Noah exactly because they weren't Jews--hence, the Seven Noahide Laws.

DavidZahir
08-05-2009, 09:24 PM
Some Muslims will tell you Avraham was a Muslim. Now THAT is absurd, considering Islam was started by Ishmael, Avraham's other son.
Actually, no. Islam holds that Avraham was a prophet of Allah, hence (in that sense) a Muslim, whose message became distorted over time. The belief is that Ishmael is the founder/ancestor of the Arab nation.

One should also recall that in Islam both Christians and Jews are considered "People of the Book" that is, people whose religious beliefs are a diluted form of the truth as revealed by Allah through his prophets. Thus at least officially they are supposed to receive special consideration as opposed to, say, Hindus.

In the real world, things get much much more complicated. And the historical accuracy of any of the above is not what I am discussing. Being Eastern Orthodox myself, none of this really touches on my faith that much.

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 09:29 PM
Actually, no. Islam holds that Avraham was a prophet of Allah, hence (in that sense) a Muslim, whose message became distorted over time. The belief is that Ishmael is the founder/ancestor of the Arab nation.

Actually yes. Please re-read what I wrote. I did NOT say that ISLAM HOLDS he was a Muslim. I said SOME MUSLIMS believe that.

I also meant to say that Ishmael is the founder of the Arab nation. I may have said Islam or something, but that's what I meant. Sorry for the confusion about that part. Say what you mean, mean what you say and all.



One should also recall that in Islam both Christians and Jews are considered "People of the Book" that is, people whose religious beliefs are a diluted form of the truth as revealed by Allah through his prophets. Thus at least officially they are supposed to receive special consideration as opposed to, say, Hindus.

That's lovely. It still doesn't make any sense.

As a side note, many of my close friends are Muslim, so there is certainly no hatred here. My mother is a practicing Catholic as well, so it's not that I'm not exposed to these religions. I'm just logical, and there doesn't seem to be much logic involved in them.



In the real world, things get much much more complicated. And the historical accuracy of any of the above is not what I am discussing. Being Eastern Orthodox myself, none of this really touches on my faith that much.

Things are only complicated because people make them that way. I also have no idea what Eastern Orthodox is. Sorry. I've never been exposed to it.

Kurtz
08-05-2009, 09:36 PM
Things are only complicated because people make them that way. I also have no idea what Eastern Orthodox is. Sorry. I've never been exposed to it.

Catholicism with more beards and better hats.

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 09:38 PM
Catholicism with more beards and better hats.

Nice. Hats and beards = awesome.

johnnysannie
08-05-2009, 09:40 PM
[QUOTE=Kurtz;3888346]Jews, Christians, Muslims and Bah'ai all worship the same god. QUOTE]

No, actually, they don't. That is a very common misconception but it is not true. Believing something doesn't make it so.

As a Catholic (thus a Christian) with very strong Jewish family roots, there is a major difference.

DavidZahir
08-05-2009, 09:48 PM
The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian Denomination on Earth -- although technically the term should be the Christian Orthodox Churches. There are about fifteen that are independent but "in communion" which is to say they agree totally on all points of dogma. Therefore if you are baptized in one, you may take communion in any of the others. Each is headed by a Bishop (sometimes called a Patriarch or Metropolitan or some-such) and they are all equals. None are considered infallible. Ever. Some churches (such as the Orthodox Church in America) are in dispute over degrees or nature of autonomy, but are still held in communion because the matters being debated are administrative, not theological.

In our view, the Roman Catholic Church broke away from us over a variety of issues, not least was the idea of Papal Primacy (to us, he was just the Patriarch of Rome). They of course see it differently. The two branches approach faith in a fundamentally different way. Roman Catholicism (and to some extent the vast majority of Protestant Churches) see salvation as centered around sin -- forgiveness, atonement, definition, etc. We view salvation as a matter of one's relationship with God. There is no question that God already loves everyone -- without condition or limit. It is beyond the power of any human being to impact God's love of them in any manner whatsoever. Our worship is an attempt to accept that love, to learn to love God in the some semblance of the same way. From this, we believe, virtue flows.

Mind you, the above is my interpretation. For the record, while I don't agree with the Muslim interpretation of the "People of the Book", as an idea it seems to make sense. If in fact Christians and Jews practice a religion that is an historical distortion of the original True Faith, then it makes sense that they would be viewed in a different light than those who practice something in no way related to the genuine article. As I said, I do not agree. But as an idea, it is self-consistent and logical.

Edited to add: The Orthodox and Catholic Churches, btw, are really extremely different. For example, we do not believe in Original Sin (as the Catholics teach it, i.e. a state in which people are born) nor do we practice Confession as a sacrament (there is no formalized ritual of confession). We hold no one to be infallible, nor do we believe in a created Hell (Hell is the experience of God's Love to those who have not opened their hearts to it). There are lots and lots of other differences but those are some fundamentals.

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 09:48 PM
[quote=Kurtz;3888346]Jews, Christians, Muslims and Bah'ai all worship the same god. QUOTE]

No, actually, they don't. That is a very common misconception but it is not true. Believing something doesn't make it so.

As a Catholic (thus a Christian) with very strong Jewish family roots, there is a major difference.

Exactly. Glad someone is here to back me up. It is a VERY common belief.

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 09:52 PM
The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian Denomination on Earth -- although technically the term should be the Christian Orthodox Churches. There are about fifteen that are independent but "in communion" which is to say they agree totally on all points of dogma. Therefore if you are baptized in one, you may take communion in any of the others. Each is headed by a Bishop (sometimes called a Patriarch or Metropolitan or some-such) and they are all equals. None are considered infallible. Ever. Some churches (such as the Orthodox Church in America) are in dispute over degrees or nature of autonomy, but are still held in communion because the matters being debated are administrative, not theological.

In our view, the Roman Catholic Church broke away from us over a variety of issues, not least was the idea of Papal Primacy (to us, he was just the Patriarch of Rome). They of course see it differently. The two branches approach faith in a fundamentally different way. Roman Catholicism (and to some extent the vast majority of Protestant Churches) see salvation as centered around sin -- forgiveness, atonement, definition, etc. We view salvation as a matter of one's relationship with God. There is no question that God already loves everyone -- without condition or limit. It is beyond the power of any human being to impact God's love of them in any manner whatsoever. Our worship is an attempt to accept that love, to learn to love God in the some semblance of the same way. From this, we believe, virtue flows.

Thanks for the info. :)



Mind you, the above is my interpretation. For the record, while I don't agree with the Muslim interpretation of the "People of the Book", as an idea it seems to make sense. If in fact Christians and Jews practice a religion that is an historical distortion of the original True Faith, then it makes sense that they would be viewed in a different light than those who practice something in no way related to the genuine article. As I said, I do not agree. But as an idea, it is self-consistent and logical.

It is only "logical" if you accept an illogical premise. You'd have to accept that the revelation given directly to 3,000,000 million Jews simultaneously at Mt. Sinai was somehow either NOT the true faith (which then means that G-d is capable of making mistakes), or you would have to argue that they somehow got it wrong, even though they were doing G-d's will--which also makes no sense.

I know you don't agree with that premise, so I'm not arguing with you. It just makes no sense.

DavidZahir
08-05-2009, 10:11 PM
Thanks for the info.You are more than welcome. Truth is, I find matters of faith a genuinely interesting subject.


It is only "logical" if you accept an illogical premise. You'd have to accept that the revelation given directly to 3,000,000 million Jews simultaneously at Mt. Sinai was somehow either NOT the true faith (which then means that G-d is capable of making mistakes), or you would have to argue that they somehow got it wrong, even though they were doing G-d's will--which also makes no sense. (emphasis added)Or you would have to believe that the revelation's message has been distorted by human beings over the course of many centuries, and that God allowed these same human beings to make errors. Since Islam holds that "free will" is the special gift by Allah to human beings (and to djinn), this is not a difficult argument to make.

Your claim that God would not allow his message to be distorted in any way makes neither more nor less sense than the Muslim premise that God had to allow it because that is what free will is all about.

Both are logical, but rest upon unproven (and unprovable) premises.

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 10:16 PM
You are more than welcome. Truth is, I find matters of faith a genuinely interesting subject.

You and me both.



Or you would have to believe that the revelation's message has been distorted by human beings over the course of many centuries, and that God allowed these same human beings to make errors. Since Islam holds that "free will" is the special gift by Allah to human beings (and to djinn), this is not a difficult argument to make.

Right, except that the Bible was written by G-d and given down to the generations. For example, the Judaism practiced today by Reform and Conservative Jews--if you can call them that--has been grossly distorted. However, the Judaism practiced today by Orthodox Jews is essentially the same as it was 3,000 years ago. We just have to deal with cars and computers and the like now. The Torahs have remained unchanged, and our faith is based on them. And so, to claim that Orthodox Judaism is a distortion of G-d's word is to say that G-d's word is a distortion of His word--which makes no sense.

ETA: Mind you, I'm not saying that means everyone is supposed to be Jewish. The Torah is specifically for the Jews. Everyone is supposed to believe in G-d and only G-d, as well as follow the 7 Noahide Laws, but the other nations of the world are free to practice whatever they want without fear of punishment.



Your claim that God would not allow his message to be distorted in any way makes neither more nor less sense than the Muslim premise that God had to allow it because that is what free will is all about.

Both are logical, but rest upon unproven (and unprovable) premises.

I never said He would not allow it to become distorted. I simply said that His word cannot be distorted, otherwise you are calling G-d fallible.

StephanieFox
08-05-2009, 10:24 PM
That is false. Abraham, zt''l, was the first Jew. The Lord made a covenant between Himself and Avram, changing his name to Avraham; Avraham then circumcised himself at 99 years old. Although he is a convert--the original convert--he is, in fact, the first Jew.

The lack of calling him a "Jew" in the Bible is probably what threw you off. However, the term Jew is not used until 2 Kings 16:6 where it refers to the "Jews" or Yehudim, after Yehuda. Elsewhere in the Torah, we are referred to as Israelites or Sons of Israel. Avraham is referred to by another term used in the Torah known as Ivri, which means Hebrew. His grandchild, Jacob, has his named changed to Israel--hence, Sons of Israel, referring to our descent from Yaakov (Jacob).

Some Muslims will tell you Avraham was a Muslim. Now THAT is absurd, considering Islam was started by Ishmael, Avraham's other son.

Hebrews! It's Hebrews! A tribe of 12 sub-tribes on semi-monotheists from the ancient Near East.

From Semilargeintestine:
Right, except that the Bible was written by G-d and given down to the generations. For example, the Judaism practiced today by Reform and Conservative Jews--if you can call them that--has been grossly distorted. However, the Judaism practiced today by Orthodox Jews is essentially the same as it was 3,000 years ago. We just have to deal with cars and computers and the like now. The Torahs have remained unchanged, and our faith is based on them. And so, to claim that Orthodox Judaism is a distortion of G-d's word is to say that G-d's word is a distortion of His word--which makes no sense.

ETA: Mind you, I'm not saying that means everyone is supposed to be Jewish. The Torah is specifically for the Jews. Everyone is supposed to believe in G-d and only G-d, as well as follow the 7 Noahide Laws, but the other nations of the world are free to practice whatever they want without fear of punishment.

Yes, despite what you say, Reform, Conservative, Modern Orthodox and Reconstructionist Jews really do practice Judaism. NO ONE practices the religion as it was done 3,000 years ago, even some Judeo-Pagans who I know. I mean, really! Where's the temple? Where's the goat sacrifice and the measures of flour? Where's the priestly class? Beyond having to deal with cars and light bulbs and organ transplants, Jewish practice is entirely different than it was 3,000 years ago. We have rabbis now, in the synagogue and pray instead of sacrificing at the temple.

Oh, and the ill-fitting black hats weren't around much back then either. Feh!

semilargeintestine
08-05-2009, 10:26 PM
Um, okay...? I'm not sure I get the point of that. Are you agreeing with me? Disagreeing (although I'm not sure how, since you essentially said exactly what I did, albeit more enthusiastically)?

mewoone
08-05-2009, 11:33 PM
Sure, and you have the right to believe the moon is made of cheese. That doesn't make it true. The only way you could (logically) believe he was anything but a Jew is if you don't believe any of it ever happened.




Is it difficult to be polite in this world?.. i mean i could be like you and said the We Arab people don't consider all Jewish Semitic and we believe that many of them Europe so for that reason we don't take Jewish's references about Prophet Ibrahim. and i could fight and i could argue you but i don't believe that we should always fight!! even in place like this

Kurtz
08-05-2009, 11:54 PM
[quote=johnnysannie;3888542]

Exactly. Glad someone is here to back me up. It is a VERY common belief.

Okay, so Jews and Christians and Muslims all worship different gods. Seeing the huge gulfs of opinion in all three religions, different sects in all three are worshipping different gods as well. Compare the differences between the Orthodox Church and Roman Catholicism (and I didn't know those points on original sin, very illuminating), those differences are quite fundamental but compared to the divergent opinions within Christianity they are quite minor.

Compare the evangelicals in America to the Church of England, or the militant Islamists with pacifist Sufis. It's not a stretch to assume that each sect also worships a different god, with different commandments and different priorities of certain scriptures.

The number of gods increases and increases until there are infinities of One Gods. How can anyone make a decision into which one is right? The innerancy of scripture? Muslims, Jews and Christians all claim their scriptures as the Truth. Which would mean that everyone else apart from the followers of one sect are doomed to hellfire, or Gehenna or Jannanam.

Is this fair? Surely God (or Yahweh or the LORD or Allah, they all translate as God) has a more just plan than that? Surely God planned for the vast diffusion of different religions and creeds, with the aim of making everyone think a little and realising that more unites the religions than opposes them, and really it's a little silly to fight over the whole thing.

But, this is quite a tangent to the original discussion.

johnnysannie
08-06-2009, 12:47 AM
But, this is quite a tangent to the original discussion.

Yes, it is but I didn't take it there. Perception of God is a human invention so how He (or She) is viewed varies. But you're the one who went off tangent with the idea that the GOD worshipped by diverse religions is the same God.

semilargeintestine
08-06-2009, 12:54 AM
Hebrews! It's Hebrews! A tribe of 12 sub-tribes on semi-monotheists from the ancient Near East.

From Semilargeintestine:
Right, except that the Bible was written by G-d and given down to the generations. For example, the Judaism practiced today by Reform and Conservative Jews--if you can call them that--has been grossly distorted. However, the Judaism practiced today by Orthodox Jews is essentially the same as it was 3,000 years ago. We just have to deal with cars and computers and the like now. The Torahs have remained unchanged, and our faith is based on them. And so, to claim that Orthodox Judaism is a distortion of G-d's word is to say that G-d's word is a distortion of His word--which makes no sense.

ETA: Mind you, I'm not saying that means everyone is supposed to be Jewish. The Torah is specifically for the Jews. Everyone is supposed to believe in G-d and only G-d, as well as follow the 7 Noahide Laws, but the other nations of the world are free to practice whatever they want without fear of punishment.

Yes, despite what you say, Reform, Conservative, Modern Orthodox and Reconstructionist Jews really do practice Judaism. NO ONE practices the religion as it was done 3,000 years ago, even some Judeo-Pagans who I know. I mean, really! Where's the temple? Where's the goat sacrifice and the measures of flour? Where's the priestly class? Beyond having to deal with cars and light bulbs and organ transplants, Jewish practice is entirely different than it was 3,000 years ago. We have rabbis now, in the synagogue and pray instead of sacrificing at the temple.

Oh, and the ill-fitting black hats weren't around much back then either. Feh!

Since you edited in all that after my post, let me readdress it.

Reform and Conservative Jews do NOT practice Judaism. The Reform and Conservative "Movements" deny that the Torah was given by G-d, and thus that they do not need to follow the 613 mitzvot. That is vastly outside of Judaism.

I never said anything about Modern Orthodox. I started out that way, and most of my friends are Modern Orthodox. Just because I'm Chassidish doesn't mean I think everyone who isn't is a heathen.

As far as practicing the same Judaism, you are right and you are wrong. Jews 3,000 years ago kept all the mitzvot. Jews today keep all the mitzvot that are applicable to us. It is not a question of not wanting to keep some and wanting to keep others. G-d destroyed the Temple because of our own actions. When we warrant redemption from this galut, we will have the Third Temple and the Biblical Land of Israel, and all the mitzvot will be applicable again--and we will follow them.

Where is the priestly class? Ask a Kohen if he is not of the priestly class. They--as well as the Levi'im--have a less significant role in Jewish life now, but they still exist and are still important. The Kohanim are still the first ones to have an aliyah, they still recite the Birkat Kohanim, etc.

As far as Rabbis go, that is not a new phenomenon. We had rabbis 3,000 years ago. Why do you think Moshe is called Moshe Rabbeinu? We have always had to pray. Our official service now is prayer because we cannot offer a korban.

So yes, certain things are different. But when I wrap tefillin or put on my tallit gadol, or when a child has his bris, or when I do the myriad other things I do each day, they are being done in pretty much the same way they have been done for 3 millenia. Moshe, zt'll, put on his tefillin in the morning in 1300 BCE just as I did today in 2009 CE.

semilargeintestine
08-06-2009, 12:55 AM
Is it difficult to be polite in this world?.. i mean i could be like you and said the We Arab people don't consider all Jewish Semitic and we believe that many of them Europe so for that reason we don't take Jewish's references about Prophet Ibrahim. and i could fight and i could argue you but i don't believe that we should always fight!! even in place like this

Sorry if you took that as a personal attack. It wasn't meant to be. I was simply trying to say that just because someone says something doesn't make it true. People say the Holocaust never happened. Should we believe them just because they are adamant about it?

semilargeintestine
08-06-2009, 12:58 AM
[quote=semilargeintestine;3888588]

Okay, so Jews and Christians and Muslims all worship different gods. Seeing the huge gulfs of opinion in all three religions, different sects in all three are worshipping different gods as well. Compare the differences between the Orthodox Church and Roman Catholicism (and I didn't know those points on original sin, very illuminating), those differences are quite fundamental but compared to the divergent opinions within Christianity they are quite minor.

Compare the evangelicals in America to the Church of England, or the militant Islamists with pacifist Sufis. It's not a stretch to assume that each sect also worships a different god, with different commandments and different priorities of certain scriptures.

The number of gods increases and increases until there are infinities of One Gods. How can anyone make a decision into which one is right? The innerancy of scripture? Muslims, Jews and Christians all claim their scriptures as the Truth. Which would mean that everyone else apart from the followers of one sect are doomed to hellfire, or Gehenna or Jannanam.

Is this fair? Surely God (or Yahweh or the LORD or Allah, they all translate as God) has a more just plan than that? Surely God planned for the vast diffusion of different religions and creeds, with the aim of making everyone think a little and realising that more unites the religions than opposes them, and really it's a little silly to fight over the whole thing.

But, this is quite a tangent to the original discussion.

Actually, that's not true. At least not in Jewish faith. There is nothing in Judaism that says you go to Gehenna if you aren't Jewish. In fact, you are probably more likely to go to Gehenna if you are Jewish, since we are held to a higher standard. In Judaism, everyone but idol worshipers and the worst of the worst go to Heaven. And even then, we just assume (read: hope) that all idol worshipers see G-d before they die and repent.

Also, Gehenna isn't a place waiting for you so you can burn forever. It's just a cleansing process before you go to Heaven.

errantruth
08-06-2009, 01:55 PM
This discussion of "who is a Jew" is highly off-topic. There are loads more points of view and this isn't the place for them, considering the thread title.

So how about we continue discussing Muslim conversions to Christianity and how they would be greeted. :)

aruna
08-06-2009, 02:13 PM
Bear in mind, though, that Asian Islam would not have been identical to Arab Islam. Not sure what the Philippines was like, but in India, there was a rich Islamic culture including poetry, music - and painting, including paintings representing people.

.

And with the Emperor Akbar in the 16th century there was also an incredible opening up to other religions. Akbar - a Muslim - was fascinated by the basic unity and central message of al religions and had Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and even Jesuit priests in his court, and tried to get all the quarreling Muslim factions to discuss and come to an agreement. He had his own son raised as a Christian, but would not convert himself. He even founded his own religion which was supposed to being together the best of all religions.

He ended up rejecting Islam finally, though, as he could not win over the orthodox leaders to a more liberal interpretation. What a difference it would have made to world history, if he had! After him Islam closed up again.

StephanieFox
08-06-2009, 09:54 PM
Um, okay...? I'm not sure I get the point of that. Are you agreeing with me? Disagreeing (although I'm not sure how, since you essentially said exactly what I did, albeit more enthusiastically)?


I am agreeing that the term 'Jew' is not in the Torah. There's a lot of what you've said about Jewish tradition and religion with which I disagree.

The first time I went to Israel, in 1969, my father an I stood by the Wailing Wall and prayed together. Last year, I was shoved over to a tiny space by the wall to stand in line for a space to pray with the women. My husband was on the men's side, three times the space given to the women. There is a special section in the tunnel, close to the Holy of Holies, where women could pray while some piece-of-dreck ultra-Orthodox rabbi stood outside to rail in front of the TV cameras, against women being there. Women are unclean, you know.

For non-Jews, I'll explain that the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox (I know you don't like this term) are a minority with a lot of power. You don't like the other branches of our religious tradition, but we're here and we're not going away. There are fewer Orthodox than the other branches. The Orthodox and especially the Ultra-Orthodox (the guys in the black hats with the side curls) are Jewish fundamentalists, hence the idea that everyone else is wrong.

I will not insult your tradition, but I'm keeping mine. Thanks!

mewoone
08-07-2009, 12:34 AM
And with the Emperor Akbar in the 16th century there was also an incredible opening up to other religions. Akbar - a Muslim - was fascinated by the basic unity and central message of al religions and had Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and even Jesuit priests in his court, and tried to get all the quarreling Muslim factions to discuss and come to an agreement. He had his own son raised as a Christian, but would not convert himself. He even founded his own religion which was supposed to being together the best of all religions.

He ended up rejecting Islam finally, though, as he could not win over the orthodox leaders to a more liberal interpretation. What a difference it would have made to world history, if he had! After him Islam closed up again.


mmmm It recorded that most of Sultans (such as Iraq's sultan) gathered different religious men in their Majless. In our reference Akbar wasn't a good Muslim who served the Islam nation but i never heard that he went out of Islam or his son... and his great grandson consider to be in Islam the sexith Clifa (this is a very honor). First because the fourth Clifas were the direct Prophet's friends. And second he was not Arabic but an Great Muslim leader.

semilargeintestine
08-07-2009, 12:42 AM
I am agreeing that the term 'Jew' is not in the Torah. There's a lot of what you've said about Jewish tradition and religion with which I disagree.

The first time I went to Israel, in 1969, my father an I stood by the Wailing Wall and prayed together. Last year, I was shoved over to a tiny space by the wall to stand in line for a space to pray with the women. My husband was on the men's side, three times the space given to the women. There is a special section in the tunnel, close to the Holy of Holies, where women could pray while some piece-of-dreck ultra-Orthodox rabbi stood outside to rail in front of the TV cameras, against women being there. Women are unclean, you know.

For non-Jews, I'll explain that the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox (I know you don't like this term) are a minority with a lot of power. You don't like the other branches of our religious tradition, but we're here and we're not going away. There are fewer Orthodox than the other branches. The Orthodox and especially the Ultra-Orthodox (the guys in the black hats with the side curls) are Jewish fundamentalists, hence the idea that everyone else is wrong.

I will not insult your tradition, but I'm keeping mine. Thanks!

So you're another reform Jew who has a resentment against Orthodox Jews because we continue to keep our traditions alive and practice the Judaism that Jews have been practicing for thousands of years while your "movement" decries the Divine origin of the Torah because you want to drive on Saturdays and eat cheeseburgers.

If you want to argue about this, we can make another thread; however, just for everyone else's benefit, I'll correct your mistakes.

1. Women are NOT unclean. Women become unclean during menstruation, just like men become unclean when they have an ejaculation. It is not a "dirty" or "clean" thing in the way you are trying to make it seem. Unclean is not a negative thing in this sense.

2. Men are given a larger space in most synagogues (and yes, the Wailing Wall is an open air orthodox synagogue first, a tourist spot second) because men are REQUIRED to be in shul and praying/studying while women are NOT. It is also improper for a man to be able to see women while he is supposed to be focusing on G-d, since let's face it--men are visual, and even a nominally attractive girl sitting near him will distract him from complete attention.

3. The other branches of Judaism ARE wrong. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but it's true. The Torah was given to us by G-d with a fixed set of rules to follow, and the other branches barely follow any of them. In addition, they completely deny the origin of the Torah as being G-d-given. That is blasphemy and way outside of Judaism. Reform Judaism as a whole strives for assimilation and acceptance. It has done far more to rid the world of Jews than Hitler ever did.

When the Boss gives you a job description and you fail to follow the rules outlined by your Boss, you are in the wrong. It's as simple as that. My problem isn't with Reform Jews on an individual level, but with Reform Judaism as a movement, as it draws Jews away from Judaism and closer to atheism than any other religion.

That's all I'll say about this topic unless you want to start a Reform vs. Orthodox thread in the Judaism forum, which I would be happy to participate in without any ill will. Don't forget that you jumped on the defensive without me saying anything about you personally.

errantruth
08-07-2009, 01:18 AM
Stephanie, anyone else who's getting hot under the collar reading the above, let it go if you can.

These are just the words of someone who does not understand, respect or honor Judaism practiced, honored, loved, understood and observed by anyone other than his specific milieu.

It's not worth feeling angry about.

Anyway, this black/white ownership of truth is one aspect of what a person from a similarly conservative background would have to deal with in conversion.

Of course, the Muslim in question might not come from as fundamentalist a background. There are, as we've agreed, different Muslims. Just as there are different Jews.

And different everybodies. :)

semilargeintestine
08-07-2009, 01:21 AM
Actually, I grew up a Reform Jew. But thanks for your incorrect assumption. I understand perfectly how a person can love Judaism outside of Orthodox Judaism, and I'm glad they do. My problem is when they claim that Reform Judaism is just as legitimate as Orthodox Judaism. The majority of my life was spent in Reform, and it is NOT Judaism. It is a secular institution that injects spirituality by talking about G-d; however, they deny 10 of the 13 principles of faith required to be a devoted Jew. Reform Jews are Jews, but they are not practicing Judaism. Sorry.

Just to be somewhat on topic, it seems that there are two types of religious Muslims (obviously a generalization, but done on purpose to show my point). There are the ones who convert with the Western philosophy, and those who convert under the extremist philosophy. The Western philosophy takes the violence in the Koran and says that it is not required anymore unless Islam is under physical attack from another nation; in contrast, the extremists take the calls to violence as still binding, claiming that all non-Muslims must either convert or die, unless they are Christian or Jewish--in that case, they must submit to subservience and humiliation, convert, or die.

I have yet to meet a Muslim in America--even one that was born in a Muslim country--who follows the extremist view; however, there are many people who convert to Islam in America who take a fairly extremist view.

errantruth
08-07-2009, 01:35 AM
Apologies, I did assume you could not know anything but the world you were in for you to speak in so offensive away to everyone else. Now I know better.

I have met Muslims in the US who are as conservative as their religious counterparts elsewhere. Extremism unfortunately comes in all shapes and forms. Likewise, obviously, I've met less extreme folk too. Both here and there.

Alevi Islam is not an extremist stream of Islam, but its non-extremism is not in any way informed by a Western thought process. So I'd just stay away from that way of describing the different streams.

semilargeintestine
08-07-2009, 01:48 AM
Apologies, I did assume you could not know anything but the world you were in for you to speak in so offensive away to everyone else. Now I know better.

And all I know about you is that you make assumptions and talk poorly about people without knowing them. What I said is only offensive because it is the truth, and the truth hurts sometimes. I would accept your apology, but it was obviously only intended to mask the insult you threw out right behind it.



I have met Muslims in the US who are as conservative as their religious counterparts elsewhere. Extremism unfortunately comes in all shapes and forms. Likewise, obviously, I've met less extreme folk too. Both here and there.

Conservative and extremism are different, although it is a fine line. I've met people from the whole spectrum of Islam except for the extremists. They are all over the world unfortunately, but I've been fortunate enough to not run into any.



Alevi Islam is not an extremist stream of Islam, but its non-extremism is not in any way informed by a Western thought process. So I'd just stay away from that way of describing the different streams.

Like I said, I generalized to show a point. I wasn't just assuming that there were only two classes of conservative Islam. I don't know the different branches, so I don't claim to be able to give an in-depth analysis of it.

errantruth
08-07-2009, 01:59 AM
You are right, there's a difference between conservatism and extremism. So to be more precise, I have met extremist Muslims here and moderates here. And extremists abroad and moderates abroad.

You are also right that my apology was backhanded. Not intended, however, to insult Lubavitch Judaism, nor Reform Judaism, nor those who practice/honor/believe in either. Really, I was pointing out that your words were extreme, regardless of your background.

And whereas truth hurts, what you posted is not The Truth. :)

More humility and you'll agree that no-one person can know The Truth. No "believer," at any rate, regardless of his or her religion.

God bless everyone. I'm not going to hijack this thread any further just to bandy words on a topic that's insulted by the very nature of this argument.

Adios.

errantruth
08-07-2009, 02:02 AM
I do, however, apologize for the backhanded apology. And despite our differences, I bear you no ill will.

semilargeintestine
08-07-2009, 03:20 AM
You are right, there's a difference between conservatism and extremism. So to be more precise, I have met extremist Muslims here and moderates here. And extremists abroad and moderates abroad.

You are also right that my apology was backhanded. Not intended, however, to insult Lubavitch Judaism, nor Reform Judaism, nor those who practice/honor/believe in either. Really, I was pointing out that your words were extreme, regardless of your background.

And whereas truth hurts, what you posted is not The Truth. :)

More humility and you'll agree that no-one person can know The Truth. No "believer," at any rate, regardless of his or her religion.

God bless everyone. I'm not going to hijack this thread any further just to bandy words on a topic that's insulted by the very nature of this argument.

Adios.

The truth is G-d's word, and if you aren't following G-d's word, you're not practicing Judaism the way He intended. But you're right that we shouldn't hijack it anymore.


I do, however, apologize for the backhanded apology. And despite our differences, I bear you no ill will.

Nor I you. :)

StephanieFox
08-07-2009, 03:35 AM
Stephanie, anyone else who's getting hot under the collar reading the above, let it go if you can.

These are just the words of someone who does not understand, respect or honor Judaism practiced, honored, loved, understood and observed by anyone other than his specific milieu.

It's not worth feeling angry about.

Anyway, this black/white ownership of truth is one aspect of what a person from a similarly conservative background would have to deal with in conversion.

Of course, the Muslim in question might not come from as fundamentalist a background. There are, as we've agreed, different Muslims. Just as there are different Jews.

And different everybodies. :)

Thanks! I'm not angry, but I did want to explain to non-Jews, who generally know very little about Judaism, that there are many ways of practicing the religion and that not every Jew agrees with semilargintestine about what God wants from us or even what God is. He can believe what he wants, and I don't begrudge him his ideas.

semilargeintestine
08-07-2009, 04:51 AM
Thanks! I'm not angry, but I did want to explain to non-Jews, who generally know very little about Judaism, that there are many ways of practicing the religion and that not every Jew agrees with semilargintestine about what God wants from us or even what God is. He can believe what he wants, and I don't begrudge him his ideas.

I believe what I believe, which is what Orthodox Judaism believes. Obviously you are free to believe what you want, and I am no one to tell you otherwise. Many of my friends are reform, and we get along fine (until they start with the horrible stereotypes like Orthodox Judaism is sexist).

Hope you have a good Shabbos. :)

Keyan
08-08-2009, 02:37 PM
Isn't it time this thread got moved to PCE or something?

The OP was considering a conversion from Islam to Catholicism in 18th century Philippines.

DavidZahir
08-08-2009, 04:59 PM
A lot of religious differences (methinks this can be viewed as On Topic) can be boiled down (at least intellectually) to how one views scripture.

If you see your Holy Book as more-or-less dictated by the Divine then held essentially inviolate, it is fairly logical to regard others as religious dilletantes <sp?> lacking the commitment of genuinely understanding fundamental truths.

If you see your Holy Book as an attempt by mortal human beings to put into mere human language their experience of the Divine, it is fairly logical to regard others as spiritual clerks treating contemplative works as they would stereo instructions.

Each will say the other doesn't get it. Each will claim legitimacy and deny the same to their opposite number. Each will vividly see the advantages and strengths of their own POV but deny the persuasiveness of the other.

Judaism, Islam, Christianity all have this divide (among many others) and to some extent such is the result of personality. An engineer I once knew enjoyed theatre quite a lot but was hopeless at trying to figure out what any particular play meant--and found unbelievable my statement that having actually studied theatre and done acting as well as directing I better understood the process of putting on a play than he did. When I compared this to my believing I knew how to build a bridge simply because I'd gone across so very many, he simply frowned and said the two were not equivalent. Likewise I currently have a dear friend who is very much "New Age-y" in her spiritual outlook and simply shuts down in denial if you even offer an alternate explanation for any of the phenomona she regards as "proof" of an afterlife, of personal guardian angels, etc. Neither of these people were/are bad or stupid, but both (like myself) approach the world through a specific lens. Not surprisingly, my engineer friend was not only an atheist but was certain religion would fade away like belief in faeries within another fifty years (he flatly didn't believe me when I pointed out people still do believe in faeries). Equally not surprisingly, my dancer friend has problems with communication because it is very difficult for her to understand on a visceral level how her words seem sometimes (while she herself very easily misunderstands/takes offense at others).

Me, I overanalyze everything to arrive at solutions most comfortable to my mixed linear/intuitive world view.

Which is another way of saying religious conversion will fundamentally depend on the individuals involved and their specific personalities. Another friend of mine, from a very conservative religious family, came "out" to her parents and siblings. Her strict, even fundamentalist parents kindly thanked her for being honest and made no big deal. Her rebellious little sister was furious, spitting "You're going to hell!" Evidence that folks will sometimes surprise you as well.

errantruth
08-09-2009, 02:14 PM
That's true. Also the variety of responses will be affected by the histories of each person in the family or group. Such as maybe someone else in the family once loved someone of a different religion but was coerced (by pressure, sense of obligation, whatever) not to marry them because of the religious divide. That person might feel either way about this person's conversion, and will probably feel whatever they feel very, very strongly, because it will seem personal to them.

ETc..

But, as Zahir says, people will surprise you. Including, of course, the people whose religion you're converting into.