What do you think people look down more on, Witnesses or New Age thinking?

by free2beme 8 Replies latest jw friends

  • free2beme

    My sister last night was talking to me and saying, "You need to be careful that your son does not repeat the things you say about the new age thinking, Wicca*, etc. As most people are scared of that stuff and he will get looked down upon by others." I thought about this all day, and was thinking about something. I talk to people all the time about different "taboo" subject. We talk about Tarot cards, Spirits, the afterlife, Ritual, etc. I find people are very open to this and it is more of something that comes up, then Christianity. In my post Witness life, I have found little to no criticism about from people from me being in New Age thinking. I don't exactly go around saying, "I practice what some have labeled as Witchcraft." As I am a private person and do not like others to know the personal details of my life. At the same time, I don't really talk about it to my son at all. He sees we have Dragon statues, posters and a few pentagrams hanging around. We do not do rituals like dancing naked in the moon light, and for the most part I know that someone would be hard pressed to examine my world and figure out what the hell was in my head. Most people always think we are still Christians. So here is the thing, do you think if my son was in school (as he will be one day) and someone asked him, "Are you Christian?" and he said "No", that would end his friendships and cause him to be an outcast? I know what it felt like to be an outcast as a child, I was a Witnesses who could not celebrate holidays and could not do any Birthday parties. My son does them all, to the max level and we look normal, dress normal, talk normal and so on. So I have a hard time thinking that my paranoid sister is right. I think the big difference is she lives in a small town of about 1200 people in the mountains and I live in an area with a university, community college and about a half million people. I just never thought about it that way, until last night and with almost ten years of this life style and my Witness background, you would like I would notice any looking down on me by others. What are your thoughts?

    *to make something clear. I say I am Wicca, but study all sorts of new age thinking and only put that label on myself as it is the closest description to my thinking of any religion I have run across.

  • AuldSoul

    New Age. I don't think JWs cross most people's minds all that often.

  • cognizant dissident
    cognizant dissident

    I believe the kinds of people who look down on things they don't understand or know much about would look down on both equally and anything else they were unfamiliar with. I have found the "worldly" people I've met more open-minded to new or different beliefs than any of the JW's I know. People who are respectful to others beliefs would probably be respectful to both even if they didn't agree with them.


  • SirNose586

    My guess--people from a conservative Christian background are more likely to look down (or be frightened) by New Age thinking, and educated metropolitan people would be more likely to look down on dubs.

  • Arthur
    "You need to be careful that your son does not repeat the things you say about the new age thinking, Wicca*, etc. As most people are scared of that

    Well, if he was a little Witness child, he would be going aroung telling kids that they were going to be destroyed at Armageddon for celebrating Valentine's Day. I don't see how your son talking about crystals or energy meridians would have any more harm on others.

  • Mysterious

    I think some people find New Age thinking to be silly to them, but I think they find the witnesses annoying. As with anything things people don't understand they will find strange. Personally I think younger children would be curious about what your son is saying, especially since children love things that are magical or mystical sounding. I find most witness children have trouble discussing what they believe or are embarassed to do so and are ostracized more as a result. Anyone that would only be your son's friend if he was christian wasn't a very good friend in the first place!

  • serendipity

    I live in a suburb of the Dallas area, with colleges and a large, diverse population. Here, if a person spoke of new age beliefs, crystals and pentagrams, those around them would politely change the subject to something less 'out there'. Many people here scorn that stuff.

    I think you've already figured out the differences: acceptance is contextual. There's a time and place for discussions of Religion/spirituality and we need to use our discretion.

    The good news is that the younger generation seems to be a lot more tolerant. My daughter (17) has not been ridiculed by her peers for being a JW.

  • gaiagirl

    As far as answering the question "Are you a Christian", there are several responses. One might reply "I believe there is a thread of truth in many of the worlds religions", or "God is too big to fit in one religion". If you wanted to engage in a dialog, you might ask the questioner "I believe some of the teachings of Jesus, which ones do YOU feel are most important?" or perhaps something such as "I probably believe different things about Jesus than you do. How do YOU define being a Christian?" Responses such as this are accepted a lot more easily than just saying "No, I don't believe".

  • free2beme

    I agree, and i think that is why I always keep my thinking low key to a great degree, when it comes to public life. However, I remember losing so many friends to Christian families who heard I was a Witnesses and I had a couple friends who were basically raised as Atheist and in one case a Buddhist, who received nothing to any scorning by the masses. With this in mind, I will always be mindful of my child and how he communicates, which was the plan all along. If something is said to us like, "Are you Christians?", I have always answered, "I don't like labels, we are who we are by our actions and labels are nothing more then what we wish people thought of us, without having to actually be what the name entailed."

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