How do you answer people who try to convert you?

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theanarchist
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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by theanarchist » Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:28 pm

Maybe when confronted with zealot Christians who ask what your belief is, tell them you are a satanist. Then they are so shocked that they leave you in peace. :mrgreen:

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Matt J
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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by Matt J » Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:32 pm

Hmm, wasn't Garab Dorje also known as the Joyful Zombie?
Malcolm wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:It's a little weird when Christians insist Buddha didn't rise from the dead, therefore Buddhism must be a false religion...
Buddha never died. Who wants to follow a religion that idolizes a revenant?
"The essence of meditation practice is to let go of all your expectations about meditation. All the qualities of your natural mind -- peace, openness, relaxation, and clarity -- are present in your mind just as it is. You don't have to do anything different. You don't have to shift or change your awareness. All you have to do while observing your mind is to recognize the qualities it already has."
--- Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by Norwegian » Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:54 pm

When Garab Dorje was born, he was abandoned by his mother, who placed him in an ash pit at a charnel ground. He was discovered by another woman, who noticed that even though he was in a charnel ground all by himself, he was joyful. In addition his skin color was very pale, due to the ash of the ash pit. Thus the name "Vetalasukha" ("Rolang Dewa") or "Joyful Zombie".

He wasn't an actual zombie however... It was just a name.
"The Guru is the Buddha, the Guru is the Dharma,
The Guru is the Sangha too,
The Guru is Śrī Heruka.
The All-Creating King is the Guru."

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by Serenity509 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:44 pm

Urgyen Dorje wrote:When people come on with Jesus language, I respond in return.
This is expedient means in action.

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by Serenity509 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:45 pm

DGA wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:
No, but my wife is worried that our children will be treated differently in school if I raise them Buddhist.
They will be treated differently. That doesn't mean they will be treated badly, though--or much differently from the other kids.

Christianity is changing fast generationally--the far-right fundamentalist scene is dying a slow demographic death--so it's really hard to generalize how life will be for your children in that milieu in five or ten years. Who knows for sure? It's more important that you give them the most supportive, loving home you can, and if you think that's a Buddhist home, then make it a Buddhist home, even if your spouse fears the hypothetically real but statistically small possibility that your kids may get a sliver of trouble for it.
I know it happened in the Bible Belt, but did you hear this story? -

http://politix.topix.com/story/11004-yo ... xth-grader

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:04 pm

Serenity509 wrote:
DGA wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:
No, but my wife is worried that our children will be treated differently in school if I raise them Buddhist.
They will be treated differently. That doesn't mean they will be treated badly, though--or much differently from the other kids.

Christianity is changing fast generationally--the far-right fundamentalist scene is dying a slow demographic death--so it's really hard to generalize how life will be for your children in that milieu in five or ten years. Who knows for sure? It's more important that you give them the most supportive, loving home you can, and if you think that's a Buddhist home, then make it a Buddhist home, even if your spouse fears the hypothetically real but statistically small possibility that your kids may get a sliver of trouble for it.
I know it happened in the Bible Belt, but did you hear this story? -

http://politix.topix.com/story/11004-yo ... xth-grader
When I was in high school (and this the Southwest, not the BIble belt) we regularly had mandatory assemblies that were about "positivity" and a supposed anti-drug message etc., which were actually barely-veiled Chrisitan preaching sessions. Not only that but they were sessions that singled out certain students as "not positive" (code, obviously) Once I confronted my vice principal about them..and he says I quote "Oh it's ok, because there's no overt religious message."

So yeah, stuff like that happens, but a lot of it happens based on where you live, and thus the makeup of the School Board, type of folks who become teachers etc. The above would NEVER happen in my current town, and if it did people would be ina huge uproar. This is why I mentioned earlier, if you are in this kind of poisonous environment for Dharma, maybe leaving isn't an off the wall possibility. I know it seems defeatist, but if you want to raise your kids away from hostility toward being Buddhist, it might be worth considering.

In my current town, it's slightly different, but still somewhat isolating, being publicly Buddhist just makes people assume (I think) that you are an Asiaphile, or some kind of new age person, by and large the information our mainstream culture has about Buddhism is a mess, so you get weird reactions anywhere I think, though certainly not necessarily hostile.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by DGA » Thu Jul 30, 2015 12:36 am

Serenity509 wrote:
DGA wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:
No, but my wife is worried that our children will be treated differently in school if I raise them Buddhist.
They will be treated differently. That doesn't mean they will be treated badly, though--or much differently from the other kids.

Christianity is changing fast generationally--the far-right fundamentalist scene is dying a slow demographic death--so it's really hard to generalize how life will be for your children in that milieu in five or ten years. Who knows for sure? It's more important that you give them the most supportive, loving home you can, and if you think that's a Buddhist home, then make it a Buddhist home, even if your spouse fears the hypothetically real but statistically small possibility that your kids may get a sliver of trouble for it.
I know it happened in the Bible Belt, but did you hear this story? -

http://politix.topix.com/story/11004-yo ... xth-grader
Yes, it's true: there are incompetent teachers who do and say vile things to students who differ from them. And you can't predict which characteristic of any child will trigger whatever nonsense may be lurking under the happy facade of an adult who should not be in a position of responsibility, but is.

You can't prevent your kids from encountering the scabby aspects of life--poor teachers, shitty bosses, mean mothers-in-law--but you can teach them how to respond well, and how to respect themselves and others. It's up to you to consider how to do that.

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by KathyLauren » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:14 am

Serenity509 wrote:What do you do in a work environment where your coworkers are hostile or disparaging of your beliefs?
When I was working, I did not discuss religion (or politics) with my co-workers. It's not the appropriate time or place.

When confronted by holy-rollers, I have some guidelines that I try to follow:
1. I will not get defensive.
2. I will be truthful.
3. I am right; they are wrong. I will not rub this in their face. But I need to be confident of it within myself to avoid getting defensive.
4. I will not get angry.
5. When appropriate, I will firmly assert what I believe.
6. I will not disparage their religion, but I will not allow them to think that I accept any of it.
7. If possible, I will point out areas of common ground, without glossing over the differences.

Omn mani padme hum
Keith

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jul 30, 2015 2:30 am

KeithBC wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:What do you do in a work environment where your coworkers are hostile or disparaging of your beliefs?
When I was working, I did not discuss religion (or politics) with my co-workers. It's not the appropriate time or place.

When confronted by holy-rollers, I have some guidelines that I try to follow:
1. I will not get defensive.
2. I will be truthful.
3. I am right; they are wrong. I will not rub this in their face. But I need to be confident of it within myself to avoid getting defensive.
4. I will not get angry.
5. When appropriate, I will firmly assert what I believe.
6. I will not disparage their religion, but I will not allow them to think that I accept any of it.
7. If possible, I will point out areas of common ground, without glossing over the differences.

Omn mani padme hum
Keith
These are great rules, i'm adopting them.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Karma Dorje
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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by Karma Dorje » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:05 am

I just tell them that just like Christians, on Sunday we vajrayanists also worship evil, arrogant spirits that think they created the world.

Or depending on my mood, I introduce them to the good word of Cthulhu.

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by Urgyen Dorje » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:36 am

I'm curious where you live. In the Deep South that is a dangerous prescription. While we can say that there are anti-discrimination laws, I've been asked about religion in job interviews and when trying to mortgage or lease property. Once upon a time I took your approach, and I had my home ransacked and vandalized. I've also been physically assaulted and I've lost jobs.

I rejoice in your ability to make these guidelines part of your life. Please know that there is a certain privilege in that. I know this because I was lucky to meet some vajrayana practitioners who lived in Islamic countries and they are even more stealth than I.
KeithBC wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:What do you do in a work environment where your coworkers are hostile or disparaging of your beliefs?
When I was working, I did not discuss religion (or politics) with my co-workers. It's not the appropriate time or place.

When confronted by holy-rollers, I have some guidelines that I try to follow:
1. I will not get defensive.
2. I will be truthful.
3. I am right; they are wrong. I will not rub this in their face. But I need to be confident of it within myself to avoid getting defensive.
4. I will not get angry.
5. When appropriate, I will firmly assert what I believe.
6. I will not disparage their religion, but I will not allow them to think that I accept any of it.
7. If possible, I will point out areas of common ground, without glossing over the differences.

Omn mani padme hum
Keith

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by Ayu » Thu Jul 30, 2015 6:19 am

Since I once lead a discussion with two bapstists, I now refrain from any covincing discussion with christians.
That day they started this discussion with much joy and faith. They felt superior and blessed. After half an hour of discussion I had turned the tables with a line of argument. Then they were quite unsteady, because I proved them that their accusations against me were actually their own weaknesses in their faith. :( Sorry, I was young and stupid.

After seeing their faces, their loss and having no reasonable argument anymore, I felt ashamed about this victory and I promised myself to never lead such a discussion again.
Nowadays I just wish them well and don't take the baite for any discussion.
To Jehova's Wittnesses I only say: "Please take good care of yourself."
For the benefit and ease of all sentient beings. :heart:

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rory
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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by rory » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:54 am

Well say you're Jewish, most people will leave you alone. I've dealt with the obnoxious, educated people who know better, by taking out the big guns and discussing Prof. Peter Shaefer's "Jesus in the Talmud" (he's a prof of Judaic Studies, Princeton) I tell them how in the Babylonian Talmud the Rabbis have said Jesus is a bastard and God is now punishing him; he's burning in hell boiled in excrement! I helpfully give page and reference numbers. No one argues with the Babylonian Talmud;-)

.The other tactic which I've sprung is quite fun: ask them if they eat meat or milk and then sincerely and passionately advocate Veganism for all of God's creatures, keep some PETA brochures ready to press upon them...I've had people flee from me over this one. Still makes me laugh.
fun times
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Rory
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Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by WeiHan » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:12 am

Beside the various responses from these approaches from evangelists, I'll like to point out that their passion and working for their religion has really pay off. Every body know what christianity is losing ground in the west but the evagelist stands out as one group that has not even lose ground but has gain in the midst of receding tide. According to statistics, all mainline protestants, catholics etc are dropping in numbers and percentage term but only one, the evangelists stand out and gain in percentage. It is also this brand of christianity that gain much ground in asia and other part of the world.

So..it does pay off to engage with people and make yourselve visible and heard. If you are not heard, you will sure perish. but if you are heard, there is still chance.

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by joy&peace » Thu Jul 30, 2015 3:40 pm

Non-action, or wu-wei, is a good path. It is not precisely passivity, although maybe that is an arbitrary distinction. I rely on Buddha. An open heart grows stronger, while a closed one seems to miss out on this. This is the natural progression.

I rely on Thay, he shared, make yourself available by all means to those who are suffering, by visits, images, sounds - if you love someone but do not make yourself available, that is not true love, he said.

Also, he said we must love in such a way that the person we love feels free. Once again coming back to Buddha - Dhammapad, better is one word that brings peace.

Physical contact is one of the most transforming things, as it immediately creates many healing conditions within the heart; if it is done rightly.

So I would reply with a big hug, ideally - yet this is not common to many ; at least not here , so instead, a handshake may work just as fine. :)

There are a few, various physical manifestations of friendship and openness - raised eyebrows, relaxed facial muscles, smile, upright posture, relaxed posture,

'May all beings be upright,' Buddha once said, it is a fascinating wish that has stayed with me. . . May all beings be free of harm, and all sorrow ;

When I meet anyone it is always the same. I treat them the same, and I make no distinction. I know that all have the seed of everything within us, and which seeds we nurture and water, those are the ones that grow,

as Thay said, 'May our heart's garden of awakening bloom with hundreds of flowers.'

That brings healing, strength, peace, joy, and an end to all sorrow - that is easy. Buddha Dharma practice.


One must untie one's own hands before working to untie the hands of others - yet that is not done by any means other than patience, kindness, and simply sharing, 'I am here for you.'


Shantideva's verses on the value and benefit of Bodhicitta are well worth.


To let others know we are happy they are there - this is the greatest protection - for ourself, and for them.

Thay shared four gathas about this, I only remember two of them. 'I know you are there, and I am so glad;' is one of them.


'Not higher, not lower, not equal' is an interesting phrase from the sutras. . . I have meditated upon it many hours and days.

When back-and-forth ceases, what remains can be very useful. One good test of truth is time - what remains true over the years, and over the centuries.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by joy&peace » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:01 pm

As cats display various mannerisms to indicate happiness, joy, ease, gladness at seeing a friend - raised tail, slow-blinking, these are their communications in part, to indicate these things; humans have them as well.

Persuasion is a form of coercion and is not to be praised in itself. I have often felt, it should only be used a last resort - and then only to restore peace.

To someone who is highly sensitive - taking in more of the world around one - such things do sometimes feel a little wrenching. . .

So I say, share the means to be free from persuasion, and to be healthy - as Buddha was - to do so, one must know them, first.

And aversion cannot be cured by more aversion - non-attachment is the central building stone of peace.

If someone comes and wishes to persuade me - which never happens, btw ;) hehe -

Well, the 8th bhumi, or ground, may be useful at that point. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodhisattva#Ten_grounds)


Also, if I am not attached to my self, then it is no disturbance.


To really relate to such people, who try to convert and persuade, non-attachment is very useful - I mean, non-craving and non-aversion.


The good and bad qualities of others are not of interest to me - cultivating Bodhicitta is. Good and bad qualities may all be used for awakening - yet they are not necessary; in other words, cessation of suffering is possible.


Simply letting others know I am a stable, peaceful person, by my actions as well as words, is the best way to share peace, I have generally found.












May all that happens be a support for awakening.











Peace.
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by Knotty Veneer » Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:24 pm

I have used:

"Be gone! The Lord Satan commands it!"

With some success.

Works best if done in a throaty growl while grimacing and rolling your eyes.

Alternatively, a simple "Sorry, not interested" is best. Whatever you do, do not engage. These folks are trained in sales techniques and will seek to prolong the conversation if you respond in any other way. Best just to shut them down straight away.
Don't let the President be worse than the problem.

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by steveb1 » Thu Jul 30, 2015 7:55 pm

Yeah, it's kind of a shame, but you're right that we have to shut them down immediately. I've noticed that LDS missionaries are amenable to discussion and they even sometimes conclude it with "let's see some points we agree on". But hard-core fundie-gelicals are, as you said, salespeople. They get a foot in the door and bombard you with a doctrinal tsunami. Best to disengage, but it's a shame as I said because you know that no real dialogue is possible.

As for the workplace, I think Christian witnessing is the height of rudeness, rude because they want to correct some sad deficiency ("lack of salvation/godliness" in their targets. I'd just tell them I'm secure in my own faith and lty to leave it at that.

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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by KathyLauren » Fri Jul 31, 2015 2:13 am

I live on the east coast of Canada.

I have a hard time understanding how my guidelines could cause offense. Mostly, they are about how I conduct myself, not about what I say to them. There is plenty of room for holding back if being totally open is going to get me in trouble. In a truly hostile environment, I can see the need for stealth. But if someone says to me, "Y'all do believe in God, don'tcha?", I am not going to lie about it. The answer is no.

But I am not in your situation and I don't live where you live. That is just one reason why I choose to live here, not there.
Urgyen Dorje wrote:I'm curious where you live. In the Deep South that is a dangerous prescription. While we can say that there are anti-discrimination laws, I've been asked about religion in job interviews and when trying to mortgage or lease property. Once upon a time I took your approach, and I had my home ransacked and vandalized. I've also been physically assaulted and I've lost jobs.

I rejoice in your ability to make these guidelines part of your life. Please know that there is a certain privilege in that. I know this because I was lucky to meet some vajrayana practitioners who lived in Islamic countries and they are even more stealth than I.
KeithBC wrote:
Serenity509 wrote:What do you do in a work environment where your coworkers are hostile or disparaging of your beliefs?
When I was working, I did not discuss religion (or politics) with my co-workers. It's not the appropriate time or place.

When confronted by holy-rollers, I have some guidelines that I try to follow:
1. I will not get defensive.
2. I will be truthful.
3. I am right; they are wrong. I will not rub this in their face. But I need to be confident of it within myself to avoid getting defensive.
4. I will not get angry.
5. When appropriate, I will firmly assert what I believe.
6. I will not disparage their religion, but I will not allow them to think that I accept any of it.
7. If possible, I will point out areas of common ground, without glossing over the differences.

Omn mani padme hum
Keith
Om mani padme hum
Keith

dreambow
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Re: How do you answer people who try to convert you?

Post by dreambow » Fri Jul 31, 2015 5:35 am

Simply not interested full stop! or.... As soon as you lay your hands on a conversation, to steer it, its not a conversation anymore, its a pitch! And you're not really interested in the person, its not even a faintly spiritual conversation, you're just a marketing rep.

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