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Unread 07-21-2008, 09:30 PM   #1
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stereotypes

This thread is directed at some comments Thrash made in the hair thread. I didn't want to respond to them there, since that would take the thread way off-topic, but I did want to address them. And while I'm obviously free to anyone responding to what I say, I can't promise I'll have the time to respond to everything here, and I'll definitely be giving priority to Thrash's responses.

Anyway, more to the point. Thrash, you said this:

Quote:
I'm sorry, but stereotypes are not there for a reason. Stereotypes are preconceived notions about someone or something usually done in an ignorant manner.
You have to realize something, though: you are making a stereotype here. Stereotypically, stereotypes are based on ignorance. Stereotypically, people who appeal to stereotypes make hasty judgments and don't let people prove those judgments wrong. Stereotypically, stereotypes are illegitimate.

This is not just a technical, logical nitpick, though. This illustrates a greater point, that stereotypes and generalizations are inescapable. Human beings look at the world in terms of categories. We classify things according to bigger groups of things. We talk about things like bats, couches, computers, and human beings, and these groups have certain attributes that identify them. Computers have hard drives, motherboards, and monitors. Couches have cushions. Human beings have two legs.

But another part of thinking is that these categories, these generalizations, have exceptions. Not every computer has a monitor attached. Sometimes a couch is missing a cushion. Sometimes a human being loses a leg. We classify things, and we also realize that there are exceptions.

Applying this to what you were talking about, people divide human beings into groups, based on all sorts of things. There are short people and tall people, dark-haired people and light-haired people, italian people and german people, engineers and novelists. All of these groups have certain generalizations about them. Some of them, as you pointed out, might be untrue, and based on ignorance. And some of them are not.

So, making generalizations is not bigotry and ignorance automatically. Bigotry is much more about making untrue generalizations and not allowing exceptions. If you start noticing that germans have light-hair, and leap from there to the claim that all germans have light-hair, and if someone has dark hair, he must not be a german, then you're being pretty stupid. And this goes further. If you notice that most business executives in big corporations are greedy and evil, meet one that isn't, and refuse to believe so, then you are being bigoted and mean-spirited. And if you find that most stereotypes are ignorant and bigoted, but refuse to admit that some of them might not be, then you are also being the same.

Now, I want to take this conversation further, but I first I want to stop here and see if we can come to an agreement about this before we move on, because in regards to the social generalizations you talked about, while I agree that there are exceptions, I dont object to the stereotypes either. Stereotypes exist for a reason, and usually because they are generally true. There are exceptions, of course, but social groupings and stereotypes are unavoidable, and I don't see why we have to decry them all as ignorant.

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Unread 07-21-2008, 09:55 PM   #2
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Stereotypes exist for a reason, and usually because they are generally true.
A lot of stereotypes regarding appearance aren't true today, BUT they were true not too long ago.
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Unread 07-21-2008, 10:09 PM   #3
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I'm not sure if this is what you're getting at or not, but we have to make assesments of people everyday and some times we don't have a lot of time. I'll make up a fictitional example.

My family is camping at a public camp ground with lots of other campers. My son who just turned 13 walks up to our campsite with a group of other kids and says "hey this is Bob, Jeff, Sue, etc. They're walking down to the beach, can I go?" I can take a few minutes and talk to these kids, but I've got to make a quick decision. One kids wearing a Korn t-shirt, one kids wearing a Fast times at Ridgemont High t-shirt and I recognize one of the kids from a campsite where I've seen the adults chugging beers, and some of the kids are smoking. I'm going to say no. Not every kid who's into Korn is a bad kid, not every kid who thinks Fast times is a cool cult classic smokes pot, not every kid whos parents drink heavy is an alcoholic. So by saying no, am I steryotyping?

My oldest son used to tell me all the time "you can't judge a book by the cover", I would say "this is true, but if I know who wrote the book, read the forward, read some reviews, and look at the cover, I can get a pretty good idea about the content of the book." So to make an assesment simply by the lenth of someones hair would be foolish, but there may be other indicators of what this person might be like that you observe and it might not take long to determine that this is someone you don't want to hang with.
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Unread 07-21-2008, 11:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by +Donny View Post
This thread is directed at some comments Thrash made in the hair thread. I didn't want to respond to them there, since that would take the thread way off-topic, but I did want to address them. And while I'm obviously free to anyone responding to what I say, I can't promise I'll have the time to respond to everything here, and I'll definitely be giving priority to Thrash's responses.

Anyway, more to the point. Thrash, you said this:



You have to realize something, though: you are making a stereotype here. Stereotypically, stereotypes are based on ignorance. Stereotypically, people who appeal to stereotypes make hasty judgments and don't let people prove those judgments wrong. Stereotypically, stereotypes are illegitimate.

This is not just a technical, logical nitpick, though. This illustrates a greater point, that stereotypes and generalizations are inescapable. Human beings look at the world in terms of categories. We classify things according to bigger groups of things. We talk about things like bats, couches, computers, and human beings, and these groups have certain attributes that identify them. Computers have hard drives, motherboards, and monitors. Couches have cushions. Human beings have two legs.

But another part of thinking is that these categories, these generalizations, have exceptions. Not every computer has a monitor attached. Sometimes a couch is missing a cushion. Sometimes a human being loses a leg. We classify things, and we also realize that there are exceptions.

Applying this to what you were talking about, people divide human beings into groups, based on all sorts of things. There are short people and tall people, dark-haired people and light-haired people, italian people and german people, engineers and novelists. All of these groups have certain generalizations about them. Some of them, as you pointed out, might be untrue, and based on ignorance. And some of them are not.

So, making generalizations is not bigotry and ignorance automatically. Bigotry is much more about making untrue generalizations and not allowing exceptions. If you start noticing that germans have light-hair, and leap from there to the claim that all germans have light-hair, and if someone has dark hair, he must not be a german, then you're being pretty stupid. And this goes further. If you notice that most business executives in big corporations are greedy and evil, meet one that isn't, and refuse to believe so, then you are being bigoted and mean-spirited. And if you find that most stereotypes are ignorant and bigoted, but refuse to admit that some of them might not be, then you are also being the same.

Now, I want to take this conversation further, but I first I want to stop here and see if we can come to an agreement about this before we move on, because in regards to the social generalizations you talked about, while I agree that there are exceptions, I dont object to the stereotypes either. Stereotypes exist for a reason, and usually because they are generally true. There are exceptions, of course, but social groupings and stereotypes are unavoidable, and I don't see why we have to decry them all as ignorant.
I probably said something that was in that post hastily and, not to mention I was slightly offended by some of the comments made by TravisR about "emo" kids. So naturally, I said some things which probably did not make sense or whatever.
That line you quoted was just a little chunk of what I said and what I mainly wanted to get across to TravisR in the context of the Thread was that I kinda found it to be illogical to base every "emo" kid on pop cultures notions and the way society makes them out to be.
I don't know if you made this little thread to try to debase me or make me look like a fool (and granted, I probably said some foolish things). But I didn't really mean (after reflection on whatI wrote, as many time I will hastily write something and not think through every ramification of what I wrote. Sometimes I will use exaggeration, and I don't think I really meant that ALL STEREOTYPES ARE IGNORANT) that all stereotypes are ignorant (at least, as i said earlier, I doubt so after further reflection).
However, they can be harmful. While I think that in instances they can keep you from harm, I tink that we have to admit that stereotypes can harm others. Like you said, we categorize things,a dn if we are to it does make it dangerous to not subcategorize, especially with how complicated our culture has become.
At one time (I assume) most emo kids would've just been seen as emo kids. Christian music was just that. Now we have all sorts of things just oozing out and molding together.
While before the emo kids and hardcore kids and other "rejects" were just that, "rejects" who were "depressed" or cut themselves, or whatever, now we have Christian scene kids and Christian emo kids and hardcore kids who don't fit into that preconceived notion, they don't cut themselves. They use thier style, the image, their connections to reach out to others and help expand the kingdom.
I guess we could also use the example of African American slaves. At one time it would probably be safe to assume that African Americans were not intelligent in a bookish way. Of course, this was due to society, not to ability. However, now, you cannot say the same thing. Blacks are allowed just as mcuh freedom and rights as white people and can afford educations, are allowed to got to school. The view on these people has to change, the stereotype had ot adapt.

Does this make sense or am I just blowing smoke? Do you agree that stereotypes have to adapt to remain effective, and after an amount of unspecified time will mot likey whither away and die, being replaced with a new, more "correct" stereotype?


I mean, I didn't write the posts I did on the "Hair" thread to start some big debate or whatever. I was just trying to show the guy that just because someone has long hair, or just because his won bro has changed does not mean he is goin down the wrong road.
I just wanted him and anyone eles to know that stereotypes CAN AFFECT YOU. I know how it feesl to have an elderly person or some redneckish looking dude look at me like I am some potsmoking little brat because I don't look like them. I hate it when some older gentleman comes in to pay his electricity bill where i work at and just stares at me while I am working. It hurts when I go to church or sponsor my youth at camo and people don't think I am a sponsor, or other sponsors look at me weird becasue I look different.
Of course, none of these people ever try to share the gospel with me, even though they seem to think I ma a hoodlum. In fact, that seems to me to be the downfall of some negative stereotypes held by Christians: that a lot of us won't go up to people because of the stereotypes we have of them.

While I don't consider myself to be a racist, and infact have quite a few black friends, I do find myself ( I am assuming because of what society and the "South" or whatever, has taught me) feeling scared around black people. Man! I am some little 5 foot 7 emo kid. I would be the perfect target to anybody! But, sometimes it just seems like I get these looks. But, the times when I have looked and stumbled past my stereotypes, everything has been ok. I wasn't shanked, or cussed, or beaten, etc...

ok. I am tired and I am rambling.
bye
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Unread 07-22-2008, 12:21 AM   #5
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^Thrash I get that you were bothered by my statement and I'm sorry because now I realize that it was a lot more generalized than I realized I was making it. I went specifically into the hair because of how it related to the scripture I had brought up, but in reality the things I were saying were based off of my brother and my perception of him which goes much deeper than just his hair. With him, the hair is just one thing. He changed his appearance with his hair and the clothes and I think I made it out to sound that my biggest problem was with that. Really, my problem is with the new friends he hangs around and the change in attitude, etc. that has accompanied his change in style. I understand that not everybody who has long "emo" hair fits into that. It's just an observation. A stereotype. And maybe some stereotypes do hurt some people. But it's probably not simply that we make stereotypes that hurts people... but how we use stereotypes that hurts people. And I'm sure that we can all use some help with that, so I am sorry for my part in it.
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Unread 07-22-2008, 05:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jthomas1600 View Post
I'm not sure if this is what you're getting at or not, but we have to make assesments of people everyday and some times we don't have a lot of time. I'll make up a fictitional example.

My family is camping at a public camp ground with lots of other campers. My son who just turned 13 walks up to our campsite with a group of other kids and says "hey this is Bob, Jeff, Sue, etc. They're walking down to the beach, can I go?" I can take a few minutes and talk to these kids, but I've got to make a quick decision. One kids wearing a Korn t-shirt, one kids wearing a Fast times at Ridgemont High t-shirt and I recognize one of the kids from a campsite where I've seen the adults chugging beers, and some of the kids are smoking. I'm going to say no. Not every kid who's into Korn is a bad kid, not every kid who thinks Fast times is a cool cult classic smokes pot, not every kid whos parents drink heavy is an alcoholic. So by saying no, am I steryotyping?

My oldest son used to tell me all the time "you can't judge a book by the cover", I would say "this is true, but if I know who wrote the book, read the forward, read some reviews, and look at the cover, I can get a pretty good idea about the content of the book." So to make an assesment simply by the lenth of someones hair would be foolish, but there may be other indicators of what this person might be like that you observe and it might not take long to determine that this is someone you don't want to hang with.
Sounds like you're making the right choice to me.

I'm glad my education has lead me to not stereotype other races, but unfortunately I can't help feeling uncomfortable around the poor (homeless). Or maybe fortunately, I don't know...
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Unread 07-22-2008, 03:46 PM   #7
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Stereotypes and generalizations are not the same thing. Generalizations are uses of knowledge about people with characteristics XYZ to say that a person who has X and Y probably has Z as well. Stereotypes are when you make your judgements about a person based solely on generalizations.
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Unread 08-07-2008, 08:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrash View Post
I probably said something that was in that post hastily and, not to mention I was slightly offended by some of the comments made by TravisR about "emo" kids. So naturally, I said some things which probably did not make sense or whatever.
That line you quoted was just a little chunk of what I said and what I mainly wanted to get across to TravisR in the context of the Thread was that I kinda found it to be illogical to base every "emo" kid on pop cultures notions and the way society makes them out to be.
I don't know if you made this little thread to try to debase me or make me look like a fool (and granted, I probably said some foolish things). But I didn't really mean (after reflection on whatI wrote, as many time I will hastily write something and not think through every ramification of what I wrote. Sometimes I will use exaggeration, and I don't think I really meant that ALL STEREOTYPES ARE IGNORANT) that all stereotypes are ignorant (at least, as i said earlier, I doubt so after further reflection).
However, they can be harmful. While I think that in instances they can keep you from harm, I tink that we have to admit that stereotypes can harm others. Like you said, we categorize things,a dn if we are to it does make it dangerous to not subcategorize, especially with how complicated our culture has become.
At one time (I assume) most emo kids would've just been seen as emo kids. Christian music was just that. Now we have all sorts of things just oozing out and molding together.
While before the emo kids and hardcore kids and other "rejects" were just that, "rejects" who were "depressed" or cut themselves, or whatever, now we have Christian scene kids and Christian emo kids and hardcore kids who don't fit into that preconceived notion, they don't cut themselves. They use thier style, the image, their connections to reach out to others and help expand the kingdom.
I guess we could also use the example of African American slaves. At one time it would probably be safe to assume that African Americans were not intelligent in a bookish way. Of course, this was due to society, not to ability. However, now, you cannot say the same thing. Blacks are allowed just as mcuh freedom and rights as white people and can afford educations, are allowed to got to school. The view on these people has to change, the stereotype had ot adapt.

Does this make sense or am I just blowing smoke? Do you agree that stereotypes have to adapt to remain effective, and after an amount of unspecified time will mot likey whither away and die, being replaced with a new, more "correct" stereotype?


I mean, I didn't write the posts I did on the "Hair" thread to start some big debate or whatever. I was just trying to show the guy that just because someone has long hair, or just because his won bro has changed does not mean he is goin down the wrong road.
I just wanted him and anyone eles to know that stereotypes CAN AFFECT YOU. I know how it feesl to have an elderly person or some redneckish looking dude look at me like I am some potsmoking little brat because I don't look like them. I hate it when some older gentleman comes in to pay his electricity bill where i work at and just stares at me while I am working. It hurts when I go to church or sponsor my youth at camo and people don't think I am a sponsor, or other sponsors look at me weird becasue I look different.
Of course, none of these people ever try to share the gospel with me, even though they seem to think I ma a hoodlum. In fact, that seems to me to be the downfall of some negative stereotypes held by Christians: that a lot of us won't go up to people because of the stereotypes we have of them.

While I don't consider myself to be a racist, and infact have quite a few black friends, I do find myself ( I am assuming because of what society and the "South" or whatever, has taught me) feeling scared around black people. Man! I am some little 5 foot 7 emo kid. I would be the perfect target to anybody! But, sometimes it just seems like I get these looks. But, the times when I have looked and stumbled past my stereotypes, everything has been ok. I wasn't shanked, or cussed, or beaten, etc...

ok. I am tired and I am rambling.
bye
Sorry it took this long to respond. I think this pretty much makes sense. And no, I didn't make this thread so much to attack you publicly and make you look stupid; I did it in a thread instead of a pm because I know the issue is pretty common and figured other people would weigh in.

I do really appreciate how you qualified the statement, and I do apologize if the original post came across as harsh. I do have one other question (and this is an honest question; I'm not sure where I actually stand on the issue). When you align yourself with a certain group, aren't you taking on that group's reputation and stereotype? If it's an illegitimate stereotype, sure, work to correct it, but know that by aligning yourself with a certain group (by clothing, music, whatever), people will think that about you. Yeah, you can be frustrated when Christians are snobby and completely unloving about it, but it is still your obligation to bear with your brothers and know that you are taking on certain things, and that you will have to get over that stereotype with a lot of people.
Now, I'm not saying this as if anyone can avoid stereotypes completely; everyone is a member of some sort of social group, so this is a question everyone has to ask themselves, especially when the stereotype is true. If a Christian is aligning himself with a certain social group that is full of sin, how does he do that without aligning himself with sin?
Of course, some are unavoidable (your race or nationality), but some aren't, and I think this is complicated. Some social groups are really anti-Christian (certain gothic sub-cultures, for examples, and I'm sure some upper level corporate social groups, and others), and some aren't. Sometimes we join them out of evangelism, other times because we enjoy the same things they do. This is rambling, though, so I'll stop and just ask you personally about all these issues applied to being emo. There has to be a line somewhere (I'm definitely not saying you crossed it), so where do you think that is?
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Unread 08-07-2008, 10:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I do really appreciate how you qualified the statement, and I do apologize if the original post came across as harsh. I do have one other question (and this is an honest question; I'm not sure where I actually stand on the issue). When you align yourself with a certain group, aren't you taking on that group's reputation and stereotype? If it's an illegitimate stereotype, sure, work to correct it, but know that by aligning yourself with a certain group (by clothing, music, whatever), people will think that about you. Yeah, you can be frustrated when Christians are snobby and completely unloving about it, but it is still your obligation to bear with your brothers and know that you are taking on certain things, and that you will have to get over that stereotype with a lot of people.
Now, I'm not saying this as if anyone can avoid stereotypes completely; everyone is a member of some sort of social group, so this is a question everyone has to ask themselves, especially when the stereotype is true. If a Christian is aligning himself with a certain social group that is full of sin, how does he do that without aligning himself with sin?
Of course, some are unavoidable (your race or nationality), but some aren't, and I think this is complicated. Some social groups are really anti-Christian (certain gothic sub-cultures, for examples, and I'm sure some upper level corporate social groups, and others), and some aren't. Sometimes we join them out of evangelism, other times because we enjoy the same things they do. This is rambling, though, so I'll stop and just ask you personally about all these issues applied to being emo. There has to be a line somewhere (I'm definitely not saying you crossed it), so where do you think that is?
yes, I think that you do take on the stereotype to a degree, that is, when you specifically align yourself with a particular group or subculture.
If I hung out with gangbangers in an attempt to infiltrate and show love or evangelize, or whatever, it is undoubtable that someone will stereotype me as another gangbanger. Mainly that is because of the way I would choose to dress ( which would be, I guess, immersing myself in particular point in that certain stereotype of a subculture or group. By dressing like them, I suppose I have already admitted that they have a stereotype, and to fit in to their group I must adhere to their stereotype. By this, I guess they reinforce the outside world's perceptions of them, which, many times is the point (it seems to me) in a different group: to be noticed and identified, whether by others, or by people similar... does that make sense?????).
If someone wanted to minister to hardcore kids or goths they would have to immerse themselves in that culture to a degree, while still maintaining their faith and not falling into sin.
But, ultimately, as a Christian, that IS your identity: Christ.
My identity should not be based on a steretyope or mold, it should be based on my continuing journey to glorification.
Christianity is my identity. The world may label me as an "emo kid" or "hardcore kid" (is 19 still considered a kid? I am about to be a sophomore in college for CRYING OUT LOUD ARGH!!! I have to have my wisdom teeth taken out tomorrow..... does that mean I am wise??), but my label, and fellow Christians, should simply see me as another Follower.
I do not dress the way I do merely to be part of a group (particularly since there are no "groups" in my town, an dat my college I am the only of my kind... ), but because I like it and because it does help me be approachable to the kind of person I want to help, the kind of person I used to be.

I used ot be dark, and into dark things. I hated God with a passion. I made fun of Christians, but I needed love. If some kid like I am not had been my friend and shown me I could be like I am and have my ultimate identity in Christ, I probably would've been more open. OK, enough rambling.

So, to your very last question: yes there is a line ( and no I have not crossed it). The line is sin. Or that seems to be the simple way to put it. ANd also, in hindsight ti what I just wrote, if I ever changed my identity to that of something other that who I am in Christ than that would def be crossing the line.

Anyway. I really don't know if I answered your questions well. I am feeling like crap. i have to have my wisdom teeth taken out tomorrow at 9am. They gave me some medicine today and I got really sick. I started feeling naseous and started shaling really bad. It was kinda scary. ANd tomorrow will be even scarier. so please pray for me!!!!!!!
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Unread 08-09-2008, 06:51 PM   #10
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Its not that bad. I had mine pulled last year. I'm surprised they gave you medicine the day before...they just gave me shots and I even drove home.
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Unread 08-10-2008, 11:39 AM   #11
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Its not that bad. I had mine pulled last year. I'm surprised they gave you medicine the day before...they just gave me shots and I even drove home.
They gave me ******** thursday to take to keep the inflammation down... I had a very bad reaction to ******** ad I started getting really queasy and I strted shaking.... it sucked.
the next day they took them out. I had all 4 taken. I was really loopy afterwards,GAH! I was laughing and taking pics with my cell.... yeah.

and my lips were all numb and droopy. The pain has left now, for the most part, but, gosh, yesterday it was unbearable. And i can still barely open my mouth very wide. They had to cut my jaw muscles to get to some of them.... ugh. it sucks. and my cheeks are the size of small balloons. I look like a little chipmunk!
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Unread 08-10-2008, 11:40 AM   #12
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what??? is c el e brex a bad word or somehting???

see! watch:

********

why the heck does it do that???
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Taylor, you just got drive-by theologied.
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Unread 08-10-2008, 05:19 PM   #13
A fan of the lemer[sic]
 
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If someone wanted to minister to hardcore kids or goths they would have to immerse themselves in that culture to a degree, while still maintaining their faith and not falling into sin.
But, ultimately, as a Christian, that IS your identity: Christ.
This is an interesting point if you follow it out, though. If Christianity is our identity, shouldn't this say something about the way we dress, and the music we listen to or create? How flexible is that? And what does the clothing and music of certain subcultures communicate about the people who participate in them?

When I got my wisdom teeth out, they gave be vicatin (however you spell that); I loved those pills so much... Good luck with your cheeks, though.
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Unread 08-11-2008, 07:24 PM   #14
Doot doot!!
 
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This is an interesting point if you follow it out, though. If Christianity is our identity, shouldn't this say something about the way we dress, and the music we listen to or create?
This whole topic is so subjective... but....

No, I don't believe it should too much. When you become a christian, repentance is to turn from your old ways. So to some degree, it will change us. But what it won't do (necessarily) is define my hairstyle or whether or not I like Radiohead or not. It might make me more aware of depressing or morally bankrupt lyrics in music and I may then choose not to listen to that type of music - but that won't necessarily exclude me from a certain genres of music.
Music genre =/= only good, or only bad lyrical content.

But if I adhere to the section of christianity that believes that listening to secular music in any form is sinful, then it will exclude me...
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