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What is the lesson I can learn from this?

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#1
Many years ago I worked in a supermarket. This particular day I was working in the bottle redemption center room. An older man came up to the window. A customer I had serviced in the past not routinely but not rarely at all either. And as I was ringing in the order I asked him just out of the blue if he believed in God. He did not take kindly to the question at all. I don't remember exactly what his words were but they weren't kind ones. Anyway what are the lessons I can learn from this situation? Other than loose lips sink ships and minding ones business?
 
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#2
Some people just don't like to be asked or talk about their religious belief. Some feel it's an invasion of their privacy.
I generally never ask a person what their belief(s) are. I figure if they want to talk about it, they will be the first to say something.
If a person asks me what my belief is/are, I tell them and end the questioning. (Buddhism)
 
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#5
You're right but why you so harsh about it I didn't mean any harm about asking it.
The purpose of being harsh in my reply is to convey in no uncertain terms how much many people resent being asked about their religious beliefs.

And while you say you meant no harm (and I believe that), that seemingly innocuous question is frequently followed by proselytizing, which in and of itself IS harmful. People are comfortable in their religious beliefs, whatever they are, and no one goes into a conversation about religion wanting to get converted to someone else's religion.

So, merely asking can be a setup for a very unpleasant experience, as you found out. You may not have wanted to convert someone, but that conversation usually starts out with that question, and so some people are spring-loaded to bite the head off whatever clueless soul dares to ask if they believe in God.

How would you feel if a dark-skinned bearded stranger with a turban asked if you believe in Allah? A bit uncomfortable, perhaps? Well, there you go...

=)
 
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#6
The purpose of being harsh in my reply is to convey in no uncertain terms how much many people resent being asked about their religious beliefs.

And while you say you meant no harm (and I believe that), that seemingly innocuous question is frequently followed by proselytizing, which in and of itself IS harmful. People are comfortable in their religious beliefs, whatever they are, and no one goes into a conversation about religion wanting to get converted to someone else's religion.

So, merely asking can be a setup for a very unpleasant experience, as you found out. You may not have wanted to convert someone, but that conversation usually starts out with that question, and so some people are spring-loaded to bite the head off whatever clueless soul dares to ask if they believe in God.

How would you feel if a dark-skinned bearded stranger with a turban asked if you believe in Allah? A bit uncomfortable, perhaps? Well, there you go...
=)
Great points to be making all of it correct. I should have known better then asking such a very loaded question especially this particular kind of question. I will hopefully never ask again. It's never okay to do that. If I do ask again it will be my wrongheadedness.
 
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#8
The lesson that could be learned is that you never know what you may get when you ask that quesiton. And yes that man was upset with you. But if you asked another they may be happy that you asked. Ever one is different and has there own personal experiance. Dont let one experiance make you not to want to talk about God. I would be happy if any one from any faith ask me about God. But thats just me. I was not raised in a religious home but my life experience has pointed me to have a belief in God so im happy to talk.
 
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#9
Dont let one experiance make you not to want to talk about God.
If a conversation starts, and it evolves into religion, and the question becomes appropriate to the flow of the conversation, that's one thing. But many people think it's just bad form to start the conversation that way.

Your username is "babtistjcat"... can one presume from that, some particular religious persuasion? Perhaps you're not the 'random man on the street', but rather are predisposed to want to "spread the word", so to speak. In which case, the OP would be advised to not let one experience make him want to talk about God.

=)
 
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#10
Great points to be making all of it correct. I should have known better then asking such a very loaded question especially this particular kind of question. I will hopefully never ask again. It's never okay to do that. If I do ask again it will be my wrongheadedness.
Now, don't be too hard on yourself. If you're inclined to bring up the subject of God with a stranger, then it's apparent that you're a religious man. If that suits you, that's fine.

But most people want to keep their religion to themselves, and not share with strangers. And then there are many who are actively offended by the question, but religious, and non-religious people.

The reasons for wanting to keep it private are obvious if you pay attention to history. Different religions have been trying to annihilate each other for thousands of years. Damn straight I don't want some stranger asking me... I don't want that stranger to kill me if I give the wrong answer!

Like I said to babtisjcat, let the conversation evolve to that if that's where it wants to go. Start with the weather. See where it goes from there.
 
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#11
I hear what your saying zz0468. It can put you on the spot if a total stranger ask you a personal question out of the blue no matter what that question might be. People having very dogmatic positions on religious matters makes this topic uneasy at times. this has been going for thosands of years. Wars have been started over dogmatic fundamental belifs.
 
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#12
I have a sister-in-law that's Southern Baptist. One day many moons ago, she asked what I believed. I told her that I follow Buddhism. She went off the Richter Scale! I then told her that we live in the U.S. of A. and we may believe in what ever religion we like. That didn't appease her.
Now when some one asks that loaded question, I tell them and make sure they don't TREAD on my toes about it.
Every body has a right to believe what they want. Just don't try to convert ME to YOUR beliefs. Several religious groups are inclined to convert you to their beliefs.
 
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#13
I don't know why people get so worked about this. It's just a question. If the question is asked and someone doesn't want to discuss it, they can say so and all parties should be respectful and leave it alone. There's no reason for anyone on either side to get snide about it either.
 
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#14
I don't know why people get so worked about this. It's just a question. If the question is asked and someone doesn't want to discuss it, they can say so and all parties should be respectful and leave it alone. There's no reason for anyone on either side to get snide about it either.
The problem comes when the question is asked, it frequently is a prelude to aggressive proselytizing, which is very much not ok. And it happens often enough that when asked by a stranger out of the blue, I WON'T just let the conversation even start.
 
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#15
The problem comes when the question is asked, it frequently is a prelude to aggressive proselytizing, which is very much not ok. And it happens often enough that when asked by a stranger out of the blue, I WON'T just let the conversation even start.
I agree with you on the aggressive part. As one who is more than happy to share my faith, I don't find that there is any benefit to being aggressive. Some people are willing to talk "religion" others aren't. I think the concept parallels the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. One has the right to speak but no one need be compelled to listen. If one can't get an audience, move on to someone who is willing to listen.
 
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#16
I agree with you on the aggressive part. As one who is more than happy to share my faith, I don't find that there is any benefit to being aggressive. Some people are willing to talk "religion" others aren't. I think the concept parallels the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. One has the right to speak but no one need be compelled to listen. If one can't get an audience, move on to someone who is willing to listen.
Exactly. Just like many people go door to door trying to spread their religion. They knock on doors of complete strangers. Do I personally like that? No, but I am not going to grab my gun and threaten them to get off my property, and/or punch them in the face. I just politely decline, grab the watchtower and use it to start my campfires along with the rest of my junk mail/newspapers.

No big deal. Life goes on and they continue on with their right to religion.

People make this SUCH a big deal it's crazy. These are the same people who want to get rid of the pledge-of-allegiance.
 
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#17
Exactly. Just like many people go door to door trying to spread their religion. They knock on doors of complete strangers. Do I personally like that? No, but I am not going to grab my gun and threaten them to get off my property, and/or punch them in the face. I just politely decline, grab the watchtower and use it to start my campfires along with the rest of my junk mail/newspapers.

No big deal. Life goes on and they continue on with their right to religion.

People make this SUCH a big deal it's crazy. These are the same people who want to get rid of the pledge-of-allegiance.

Years ago I remember listening to a radio talk program and the subject came up regarding Jehovah witnesses coming to a mans house. The persons father answered the door and went ballistic on them. His father was obviously non-religious and the radio show host said bassicly that he learned a lesson of letting people believe what they wanted to believe. Even though he was a atheist he had no problem having conversations with others regarding religion. He learned from his fathers mistake.
 
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#19
His father made no mistake.

Why? As I mentioned before, I have no problem discussing my faith/religious beliefs. However, if someone comes to my door and I don't agree with what they have to say, I just bid them goodbye and close the door. No sense getting worked up about it as I've got better things to do. I pay them no more mind than someone selling cookies or vacuum cleaners.
 
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