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  #1  
Old 03-01-2007
Mk23 Mk23 is offline
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Default Christian Fundamentalists... are nuts (personal experience)

This is a personal experience I've had in Taiwan just yesterday as of this writing. Now, as Christianity is the primary religion in the USA, even those that view it in a fundamentalist fashion are usually not hostile and argumentative, or at least not very often.

Unfortunately in Taiwan, the primary religion is Taosim, which also happens to be polytheistic. One of my aunts is the most fundamentalist Christian that I have ever seen. She lives with most of her siblings in the same apartment as her parents (not uncommon here, as any living space is at a premium on this tiny island)... it is a Taoist household. Right down to the shrine to the ancestors mounted on the wall with incense. So she also happens to be the most argumentative person that I have had the experience of knowing (PT and Bacon Guy do come close, but only when they're together ).

Now... I was eating dinner there, because I go there for dinner every day and chat with family and such. It's just 2 blocks from my apartment. I was mentioning that I was learning Zen as part of the martial arts classes I'm taking here. My Aunt stopped eating, got out of her chair, looked me right in the eye, and said:

"'Zen' means that a devil has taken the fire from your soul."


....

I immediately thought back to a Lewis Black routine I heard where somebody had walked up to him after an act and said 'Fossils are the handiwork of the devil.' and I was overwhelmed by the sudden realization:

'...These people really exist.'
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Old 03-01-2007
JCoyote JCoyote is offline
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Wow. Taoism notwithstanding, Zen is out of Buddhism. (Yeah I know there is some Taoist influence on it.) While I am definitely a Christian, I've been accused of being Buddhist and took that as a complement. I don't see Buddhism, in general, as inherently contradictory with Christianity. (Though certain specific sects I would, and some particular Tibetan groups I find disturbing in several ways.)

Just curious, what particular denomination does your aunt adhere to?

I will give your aunt a bit of understanding on all that though... she feels she is under siege. People who are the minority belief in a household can often go overboard because they feel they must just to get heard. I have friends who are neo-pagans amongst christian families who don't behave too differently from your aunt. Because of the beliefs in their household, and therefore their perception by others as a group, the minority believers can often feel their own personal identity gets ignored. Hence... if she had her own place, and some years to work out those issues, she probably wouldn't be nearly as obnoxious about it. But you never know.
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Old 03-01-2007
Mk23 Mk23 is offline
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Default Actually it gets worse than just minority religion in a household.

Have you ever heard about these people, where weird things just happen around them? And by weird, I mean 'minor supernatural'. I've actually found that these occurances are nowhere near uncommon, as most people I've talked to, if you ask them about it, they can name at least one thing.

Like, someone I know wears a silver cross necklace, and whenever a specific someone entered the same room with them, the cross would become hot to the touch. Or, in my own experience, someone I know in Alaska who whenever gets an illness, I show the same symptoms as them (not just sympathy pain or anything either, I'll show the symptoms before I even know they're sick), or even to the point we'll both feel sudden pains at the same time the other hurt themselves someway (stubbed toe, etc.)

My aunt is one of the most extreme cases of this that I know. It's not helped at all by the fact that she has actually performed exorcisms in the past, and still counsels people who have undergon exorcisms here in the neighborhood.

She really perceives a siege in more of a 'mortal world beseiged by demons' sort of way.
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Old 03-01-2007
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PT-The Italian Commie PT-The Italian Commie is offline
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Personal experience (from Italy, which is instead G*DDARN full of them 'cause of institutions like the Roman Church, Opus Dei, "Communion and Liberation", etc.): not only Christian fundamentalists -ARE- nuts, but the institution itself of the Roman Catholic Church is the biggest obstacle on humankind's path to progress.
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Old 03-12-2007
Mk23 Mk23 is offline
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Default Another experience (shows her in a better light, but still funny).

Now, I practice Zen as I told you before, but as I'm only a beginner, I soon came upon a stumbling block.

I had been going to the university here for just one WEEK and I was already burned out. I had just skipped my second day Monday. And I still have 9 /months/ of school in front of me. I was completely lost, I was searching for why I was so burned out, and it came to me: There's no energy.

I had no time for the online interactions, my friends here were in school full time, my family couldn't interact with me without trying to change me to fit their expectations (and thus draining my energy as I resist that)... There was no energy for me on this island! I was going to burn out, hit rock bottom, crash and burn, whatever you call it.

So I went to my aunt for help. Now she might be nuts, and say stupid things sometimes, but she is a real /MASTER/ at finding the truth. It's really exactly the same as Zen insights. Praying, and Zen, they feel exactly the same, only with Zen you /know/ the insights are coming from within. I didn't have anything left within.

So, she prayed, while I did Zen (but I told her I was praying, just... because she's her) meditation... and suddenly it came to me. There was TONS of energy around. There's energy EVERYWHERE. I had just locked myself into the mindset that unless energy was GIVEN to me by someone (through conversation, games, general friendship stuff), I had no right to use it. But this is the same principle as Qi Gong, the breathing exercises to get energy straight from the air...

So I grinned, looked at her, and said: '...God just taught me Qi Gong.'

And that small, but leather-bound (with a zipper to keep it closed for carrying!) bible of hers hit me across the face so fast that even my martial arts training couldn't prepare me for it.
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