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Passions in Poetry

I Don't Get It

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kcsgrandma
Senior Member
since 09-24-2000
Posts 1526
Presque Isle, ME


0 posted 03-23-2001 12:41 PM       View Profile for kcsgrandma   Email kcsgrandma   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit kcsgrandma's Home Page   View IP for kcsgrandma

I've been trying to decide where to post this. Although I love Passions and the many wonderful things that go on here, there is something that has been bothering me for quite a while, and something has happened that makes it hard for me to remain silent about it. This happened in Spiritual, but it happens in other forums, too.

It is my understanding that tolerance for others' beliefs is one of the guiding principles of Passions. I know that can be difficult sometimes, but surely not impossible. I understand there are many Christians at Passions, and that's great. I am one myself. But I know there are poets of other faiths, and maybe even no faith, as well. I am not convinced that it is respectful of others' beliefs to make replies that tell them they are wrong, and I've seen that done several times here.

The particular incident that is prompting this is the posting of a poem in Spiritual which is clearly not Christian in tone. (Is it supposed to be Christian Spiritual Journeys?) I am aware of this because it deals with a concept that is of interest to me and I replied asking for clarification. That was okay, and I received what I considered to be a reasonable answer to my question, but since then, the thread has taken a nasty turn, and I see wrong on both sides.

Am I misunderstanding of the guidelines here? Is it all right to attack others' beliefs? I don't like to make trouble, but this kind of thing really disturbs me. Any thoughts?

To love another person is to see the face of God.
- Les Miserables

Marilyn

Allan Riverwood
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since 01-04-2001
Posts 4212
Winnipeg


1 posted 03-23-2001 01:03 PM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

I'm supposed to be doing homework. But this thread caught my eye.
This is something I see happening a LOT in PIP. I am a regular in Teen #4, and we all know that teens have a very wide variety of faiths these days. I'd estimate that less than fifty percent of the people there ARE Christians. There was a thread like that today, where the poet didn't even mention religion ONCE in her post. But one reply was advice in the form of "Gain comfort in God's love and put your faith in Him. Only He can help you."
Others gave advice in different forms, arguing that it was not necessary to resort to prayer if you had people to talk to. Yeah, I had a foot in that argument too. It wasn't really an angry or hostile one, as far as I could see, but rather a calm debate and a display of several points of view.
I have never been to Spiritual because I ~had~ assumed it would be a Christian forum. Being a non-Christian, no poetry I could write would fit the criteria, and no poetry in there that I read would have me as the target audience. So I just steer clear of the forum. I don't go in there and start debates on religion. That's what Philosophy 101 is for.
I really DO enjoy Teen #4, because we are an INCREDIBLY diverse crowd. Each of is is very individual, and I daresay that many of us have grown quite close. And we post poetry all the time that displays our spiritual beliefs. Sometimes we have friendly discussions and arguments, but nothing very bad, ever. (except that one time... )
I certainly hope that nobody takes these discussions the wrong way though... if I ever say anything like that, it is only MY opinion. I have no intentions of changing anyone's belief. I simply wish to be left with my own set of beliefs and leave them with theirs, and compare sometimes.
These are the people I love. And I sincerely hope that none of them are entirely too offended by me when I express my opinions in these matters.
~Allan


If I had your eyes, I'd be blind. For I can only see out of my own. ~~Carly Van Dort

[This message has been edited by Allan Riverwood (edited 03-23-2001).]

Poet deVine
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since 05-26-99
Posts 25869
Hurricane Alley


2 posted 03-23-2001 01:15 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

Could you give us the url to the post in question?

kcsgrandma
Senior Member
since 09-24-2000
Posts 1526
Presque Isle, ME


3 posted 03-23-2001 01:25 PM       View Profile for kcsgrandma   Email kcsgrandma   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit kcsgrandma's Home Page   View IP for kcsgrandma

Allan, I appreciate your thoughtful reply. I am not suggesting that we can't have differences, only that they should be stated in such a way that we don't step on each others' toes. That appears to be what you are doing, and I commend you for it. Now get back to that homework!

PdV - I purposely did not post the link, because I felt if the moderators did not have a problem with it, maybe I shouldn't draw attention to it. Nevertheless, here it is: http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum25/HTML/001984.html

To love another person is to see the face of God.
- Les Miserables

Marilyn

Greeneyes617
Member
since 11-22-2000
Posts 335
Arkansas


4 posted 03-23-2001 01:40 PM       View Profile for Greeneyes617   Email Greeneyes617   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Greeneyes617

Oh my...I read the link. kcsgrandma, I'm glad you mentioned it. I am a christian, although I have my flaws( like every other human being)....However, I agree with the fact that it is not impossibale to share your belives without making a huge fuss.. I have friends that I love to death, but they arem't christians. A lot of them don't even have a religon. A few of them post here on PIP. Plus I though there was guide lines agains stuff like this. Wouldn't something like this be considered a personal attack? I have never being in the fourm that this happened. I usually post in Teen #4 or the Alley Thanks for posting your complaint.

~*Malinda*~
serenity blaze
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since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


5 posted 03-23-2001 02:03 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

kc's grandma...thank you! I used to post in spiritual, but soon felt uncomfortable there. And no, not a problem with the moderators---White Dove and I became great friends discussing it, as a matter of fact. But my spiritual leanings are different, to say the least (wiccan/solitary eclectic) but I did get the uncomfortable feeling that my "offerings" describing some rituals could be misconstrued as an attack on Christianity, so I just post in open now. As I've told many here, I am not in the business of recruiting OR conversion--and? (if I may? I'd like to point out that I have never had an argument with Christianity---just Christians! ) But I do agree that when it comes to religion and politics, we should sometimes repectfully agree to disagree.
Dopey Dope
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since 08-30-2000
Posts 15536
San Juan, Puerto Rico


6 posted 03-23-2001 03:25 PM       View Profile for Dopey Dope   Email Dopey Dope   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dopey Dope

I'll be brief on this one:
We need to be open minded about everything and I disagree with criticizing somebody's beliefs.

I was born myself, raised myself, and will continue to be myself. The world will just have to adjust.

I'm in love with my shadow
I admire it daily

serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


7 posted 03-23-2001 03:53 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Please allow me to clarify, lest my earlier remark be misunderstood. I simply meant that I have no arguments with concepts, creeds, or beliefs. I argue with people...lol. But truly, as the good Dopes said, I respect everyone's right to believe as they so wish. So please do not send the moral majority knocking at my door. And speaking of that, I do wish the Jehovah Witness' would also quit knocking at my door. sigh...methinks I've become the target of a "Save The Witch" campaign!
Dee
Member Elite
since 08-19-2000
Posts 2361
Queensland, Australia


8 posted 03-23-2001 04:33 PM       View Profile for Dee   Email Dee   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Dee

I don't know if I should butt into this conversation or not but here goes...
I felt that no one actually attacked Marion's Lover. I think Marion's Lover may have felt uncomfortable with so many Christians around her, which I can understand. LOL And her defence was to attack first. It's a shame but I don't think anyone intended to hurt just discuss the differences.
That's just my opinion.
Dee

I wish you every happiness and may you always have the best of the good things in life. a brand

Severn
Member Rara Avis
since 07-17-99
Posts 8273


9 posted 03-23-2001 07:00 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Regardless of any contention between beliefs - it isn't appropriate for ANYONE to insult anyone else in these forums.

Discussion is fine - defamation is not.

Nan
Administrator
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since 05-20-99
Posts 24426
Cape Cod Massachusetts USA


10 posted 03-23-2001 07:05 PM       View Profile for Nan   Email Nan   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Nan's Home Page   View IP for Nan

I have directed the offender (a new member) in that thread to review the posting guidelines before posting any further in our forums. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, kcsg...
Ron
Administrator
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since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


11 posted 03-23-2001 07:06 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

There's a lot going on in this thread, and I personally feel mistakes were made all the way around. Mistakes that would inevitably lead to misunderstandings. Stephanos, for example, really didn't even comment on the poem or, even, the subject matter of the poem. Instead, he attached labels which may or may not have been reflected in the poem, and tried to "explain" concepts best left for Discussion forums. BloomingRose, as another example, stated beliefs as if they were incontrovertible facts, which by extension suggests that any other viewpoint must be wrong.

I think neither tactic shows true Respect and Tolerance, but they fall more under the umbrella of social graces than under our Guidelines. The subsequent posts by Marian's Lover, on the other hand, fall directly under our guidelines, blatantly crossing the line from disagreement to personal attack. "Ignorant fools" and "blind idiots" are phrases that have absolutely no place in these forums, and only serve to weaken (one might argue, even destroy) the points so beautifully made in the poem. Pity.

The thread is being closed and Marian's Lover suspended for a week. I hope the author returns with a better understanding of tolerance, or at least a better grasp of our Guidelines.


kcsgrandma
Senior Member
since 09-24-2000
Posts 1526
Presque Isle, ME


12 posted 03-23-2001 10:25 PM       View Profile for kcsgrandma   Email kcsgrandma   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit kcsgrandma's Home Page   View IP for kcsgrandma

I just wanted to thank those who responded to this thread. I appreciate all that you had to say, and yes, Dee, I think it was quite appropriate for you to respond. I especially appreciate Ron's response and his reasoning, and agree with him completely. Special thanks to him and the moderators for their attention. I do not like making a fuss, but I think the responses indicate others have felt this problem. I hope if we can talk about it reasonably, we can learn to disagree amicably.

To love another person is to see the face of God.
- Les Miserables

Marilyn

WhtDove
Member Rara Avis
since 07-22-99
Posts 9561
Illinois


13 posted 03-23-2001 11:05 PM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

I have an apology coming here. I hadn't checked back on that thread, and I was totally unaware this was going on.

I am in the midst of reading it all now, as I went there, but haven't read it in it's entirety.

KC, if you see a problem of this nature, I would truly appreciate you emailing me and making aware of it. I am glad that you did bring it up, as slamming someone is not tolerated within the forums.

I apologize for not catching this.
WhtDove
Member Rara Avis
since 07-22-99
Posts 9561
Illinois


14 posted 03-23-2001 11:38 PM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

Ok, now that I've read this and the other thread I'd like to clarify something.

The Spiritual forum is NOT just for Christians, it's for everyone to share their beliefs. It's funny, (not really), I just posted a comment days ago in the challenge thread about this very thing.

I think everyone has a right to their own belief, and they should be allowed to share that belief.

We do not have to agree with others beliefs, and those things can be shared, but attacking someone is just not tolerable.

If it's going to be a dispute, I will usually recommend that it be carried out in private email and not in the public forum.

You have to have an open mind when it comes to things like this. Not everyone believes the same way you do.

You have to remember, you believe what you do just as strongly as the other person believes in what they do. And those beliefs will not always be the same, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't respect that belief because it differs from our own.

I wasn't aware of this problem KC, so please email me and let me know. Please don't assume I'm aware of it, and not having a problem with this. I firmly believe in the policies that PIP upholds or I wouldn't be a Moderator. Like Ron has said before it's because of the guidelines that people stay here. There is no room for slamming another person, period. I popped in earlier and I didn't notice the replies to that thread.

My kids got out early from school (11:30), and I was down until recently with a really nasty headache. (in which seems determined to come back)

I would also like to apologize if anyone has felt uncomfortable (serentiy) in Spiritual. I truly wish you'd bring it to my attention.
These forums, all of them, are for everyone.
I don't want anyone to feel excluded within these "walls."

So I apologize for not catching this thread. Ron thank you for taking care of it for me!
I hope NO ONE will feel that they can't share their beliefs in Spiritual.

[This message has been edited by WhtDove (edited 03-23-2001).]

serenity blaze
Member Empyrean
since 02-02-2000
Posts 28839


15 posted 03-24-2001 01:57 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Dovie? There's no need to apologize. You have always done your job as moderator with a great deal of sensitivity and understanding. I do want to clarify that I personally never encountered discrimination in the Spiritual forum. I did, however feel uneasy about posting some work there, because of the tone of some of the replies to others. Admittedly, I am a bit hypersensitive, but as a practitioner of an alternative religion, one gets that way after encountering years of harassment, misunderstanding and even ridicule. (And I DO NOT mean here at Passions.) But YOU know some of the stories, because I've told you. As I mentioned earlier, every October Jehovah Witnesses began a DAILY trek to my house armed with tracts and their deep convictions that is was their responsiblity to save me from my errant ways. (I finally convinced the police it was THEIR responsibility to save me from the annoying JW's.) I've had crosses painted on my driveway. That stopped when they found out that with just a few quick strokes of a paintbrush, crosses quite easily become pentacles. And once, when a local church found the carcass of a burned cat on their lawn, they sent an emissary to ask ME who had done that. (shaking my head in disbelief...) I've had one woman tell me that my intellect was a demonic device of Satan designed to distract me from "true faith." I replied that it may well be true that I spent much time trying to increase the capacity of my intellect, but if she hung around long enough, she would see that I spend an equal amount of time trying to "get stupid." (that one flew right over her head.) So yes, prejudice and insensitivity are a very real problem. But I wish to clarify that it has NEVER been a problem HERE. I just feel more comfortable posting my little "chants" and descriptions of ritual in open, where some seem to enjoy them. No apologies necessary.
I think you and I have demonstrated that Christian and Wiccan and OTHERS can all get along as long as they are willing to keep the lines of communication open, and respect the personal dignity of one another regardless of their differences. Hugs to you. You do a great job, and I'm very confident that all are, and will continue to be welcome to express their spirituality and religious devotions without fear of harassment.

Again...it has NOT happened to me--NOT at Passions!!!!

[This message has been edited by serenity (edited 03-24-2001).]

Sunshine
Administrator
Member Caelestus
since 06-25-99
Posts 67715
Listening to every heart


16 posted 03-24-2001 05:34 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

KCS, with indulgence and patience on your part, you bring to mind a piece I did almost a year ago when asked to co-moderate with Whtdove in Spiritual...so if I may...


Circle of Faith

I care that you believe
and would not ever leave
your choice of faith

For I have faith
in you
and what you do

and if you hear a call
to lead one and all
to yours

do it.

I care that you would trust
in my faith I do not rust
for I believe.

Now whether we are one
or whether we are another
I am sister to sister, brother to brother.

All I ask that if there be light
you be the candle so bright
to live, and love

A guiding light.


26 May 2000
İKRJ


Passions has room for all.....and the circle is ever widening.....
kcsgrandma
Senior Member
since 09-24-2000
Posts 1526
Presque Isle, ME


17 posted 03-24-2001 08:56 AM       View Profile for kcsgrandma   Email kcsgrandma   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit kcsgrandma's Home Page   View IP for kcsgrandma

WhtDove - Please believe it was never my intent to embarrass you or accuse you of not doing your job. If I did so, and made what sounds like an awful day worse, I am truly sorry. Your replies more than answer any concerns I may have had about your forum, and Ellie shared your wonderful e-mail with me this morning, as well.

Please understand, while the thread in Spiritual did upset me enough to say something here, I feel there is a broader issue, and it is not limited to Spiritual by any means. Ron's comment about social graces lies closer to what is bothering me. As I mentioned, I am Christian, but I try to be low-key about it for various reasons. One of these is that I have very dear friends who are Hindu and Muslim, a daughter who is interested in Wicca, and another who is interested in Buddhism. I do sometimes post things of a spiritual nature, but for the most part they are somewhat ambiguous about the exact nature of my beliefs. There are a very few at Passions who have some idea about where I am spiritually because we have talked outside these walls. So, for someone who does not know me to reply to a poem that is not in any way religious and is posted in another forum with spiritual advice, as has happened to me and others (see Allan Riverwood's comments), I feel is at the very least insensitive to what may or may not be our differences. As Ron says, it may not cross guidelines, but it does make others uncomfortable here, and that is what I object to.

serenity - Thank you for sharing that, and also for clarifying that you have felt accepted here at Passions. I was not aware of your beliefs or what you had experienced. It does reinforce my point that we need to be more sensitive to differences here.

Karilea, you sweetie - Thanks for sharing that poem. It is an ever-widening circle, and I am grateful there is room for all of us.

To love another person is to see the face of God.
- Les Miserables

Marilyn

WhtDove
Member Rara Avis
since 07-22-99
Posts 9561
Illinois


18 posted 03-24-2001 09:30 AM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

Serenity thank you sweetie, you made me feel better. ~hugs~

KC, no you didn't make my day worse by any means. I had this nagging feeling that I needed to get on here and check things out, and I finally threw my son off and came on late last night. I was surprised to find all this going on, and not to have an email about it. But it was taken care of, and that's what's important.

The only thing I can say right now (haven't had my coffee yet so forgive me), is that people might seem insensitive to spiritual things because they reply with what they believe.

For instance you have a wider knowledge of different beliefs than most. So you would tend to see things in a different light and reply accordingly.

I haven't searched, nor do I do know much about other religions outside of Christianity. My family was Catholic when I was small, so I know some of that, but tend not to agree with a lot of their beliefs.
When I read something vague, I do tend to put into my own catagory, in how I see God.

Though I don't always reply with that, if it be a vague piece. I try to stay neutral, because I did however make that mistake once in a reply and it really upset someone. I will not forgot that.

But we relate to things that we've learned, and we see them in light of our own lives and views.

I don't agree with all other religions of course, but I truly believe others have the right to believe what they will. I don't have to read it, nor do I have to reply to it, but I respect that belief.

I have found one thing, not to mention have learned a lot of others beliefs, is that I beleive what I have to be the truth.
I know also that what others believe, they believe to have the truth. You cannot change the mind, nor the belief, and they believe with all the strength in them it's true, just as I do. I respect that!

I don't want anyone forcing their religion upon me telling me it's the only way, nor do I want to do the same to anyone else, because I understand they believe what they do firmly.

People (I assume) are just replying from how they view their belief. Now I am not aware of the replies you are speaking of, haven't seen them. So I could be totally wrong here.
Some may maliciously reply in stating that what you're writing is totally wrong, and you shouldn't 'believe' that way. That however is wrong, considering everyone has the right to their own belief.

(I'm going to quit rambling now and drink my coffee)
kcsgrandma
Senior Member
since 09-24-2000
Posts 1526
Presque Isle, ME


19 posted 03-24-2001 11:44 AM       View Profile for kcsgrandma   Email kcsgrandma   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit kcsgrandma's Home Page   View IP for kcsgrandma

WhtDove - I appreciate the "ramblings". You make some good points, and some of them I should have thought of myself. Of course we all filter everything through our own experience and beliefs. But that's what's great about being in a diverse group like Passions - you get to expand your horizons. Have I ever been told I was wrong in my beliefs here? No, not directly, although I have occasionally seen replies to others' posts that I thought were borderline. (Again, this was NOT in Spiritual that it happened.) I'm only suggesting that if someone makes a religious reply to someone else's non-relighous post without being aware of that person's belief system, there is a high risk of offending. I am not suggesting that all mention of religion or spirituality be eliminated, either, only that we should try to be more aware of the diversity of belief that is here, and to respect those differences, or the possibility of them, when we reply.

Sorry for being a pain. Hope you enjoyed that coffee.

To love another person is to see the face of God.
- Les Miserables

Marilyn

WhtDove
Member Rara Avis
since 07-22-99
Posts 9561
Illinois


20 posted 03-24-2001 03:11 PM       View Profile for WhtDove   Email WhtDove   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit WhtDove's Home Page   View IP for WhtDove

My dear you are not a pain. That's what this place is all about, expressing your opinion.

We are a diverse group, and that's what makes it so wonderful here. "Religion" by any means will always bring controversy, because of so many diverse beliefs. It's sad, but a fact.

People should try to be aware when replying not to offend, but it does happen sometimes, and for the most part I don't think it's done intentionally. Things can always be discussed, and for the most part I agree with your statement above.

I did enjoy my coffee, thanks.
Have a great day!
dragonpoe
Senior Member
since 11-12-2000
Posts 617
Palm Bay, Florida


21 posted 03-27-2001 05:51 PM       View Profile for dragonpoe   Email dragonpoe   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for dragonpoe

I applaud you for posting this. I am not a Christian, in fact, I am one of those "no religion" types, however, I respect and have learned quite a lot from religious writers. I have posted a few poems in Spiritual, those of which I write when my spirit is floundering and I can use God as any Higher Power in relation and get a wider band of readers for the fact that it can relate to anyone.  I think that we do need to be open minded and no one can tell you that you are wrong.  It is all in interpretation of the poem and/or religion itself.  It was nice to read that the moderator of that section pointed the offense out and asked the member to review his or her words for future reference. I have seen one offender, though not on Spiritual and gladly see he is gone. That makes it more enjoyable to know that those who run this site protect the respect of all of us who participate. And we must speak out for ourselves and say it out loud if we have been offended.
Thanks again for speaking out.

With the word, I am mighty, with the pen I am free..
dragonpoe

Allan Riverwood
Deputy Moderator 1 TourDeputy Moderator 1 Tour
Member Elite
since 01-04-2001
Posts 4212
Winnipeg


22 posted 04-08-2001 03:08 PM       View Profile for Allan Riverwood   Email Allan Riverwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Allan Riverwood

I think people should read this... so I'm bumping it.  I really am enjoying my time in the Spiritual forum now that I've decided to go there (after reading WhtDove's explanation in this thread) and I encourage more people to do the same.  
I am probably one of the only people there who is not Christian, I think we should widen the circle a bit more, diversify a bit.  
And the reason we can't do this is because people have come to the same logic as had Serenity and I... that we wouldn't "fit in."  
Read this, people... it's important that we get a larger crowd in that forum to accentuate the fact that it's open to all faiths.  

The sun was born, so it shall die. ~VNV Nation, "Further"

[This message has been edited by Allan Riverwood (edited 04-08-2001).]

 
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