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Aspergers and Religion

Discussion in 'Religion' started by reveric15, May 23, 2014.

  1. reveric15

    reveric15 UMC Pastor in North Carolina, USA

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    I have a question for you all! Since I have known only a handful of lovely ASD people, I am curious as to how ASD people deal with the issue of religion (Christianity or not; I am a Christian UMC pastor, but I'm not trying to evangelize here, simply interested since it's one of my biggest interests, obviously!). Did you grow up in a religious household? What role does religion play in your life? Do you regularly participate in religious life, and do you do so in community with other people or in a more solitary fashion? Have you been accepted by people of your faith, or largely rejected, or do they just find you "querky"? What do you think of NTs and religion versus ASDs and religion? Do you have any unconventional views--like maybe Jesus was an Aspie?! Any insights, ideas, observations, experiences or opinions are greatly appreciated!!!!
     
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  2. Brent

    Brent Administrator Staff Member Admin

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  3. reveric15

    reveric15 UMC Pastor in North Carolina, USA

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    Thank you Brent. I fully intend for this thread to be within the guidelines that AspiesCentral has set forth, and hope that others have read the guidelines as well and will be charitable.
     
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  4. Christy

    Christy Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    . Did you grow up in a religious household? Yes
    What role does religion play in your life? Large, although it comes and goes as a special interest.
    Do you regularly participate in religious life, and do you do so in community with other people or in a more solitary fashion? Yes, both. I finally found acceptance in a little home church (4 of us). They are what I consider serious Christians who have fewer inconsistencies than most.
    Have you been accepted by people of your faith, or largely rejected, or do they just find you "querky"? Ive been outright rejected. Although most churches sideline me rather than reject me. As a musician though, some will overlook other deficiencies in order to have access to my skill.
    What do you think of NTs and religion versus ASDs and religion? It perturbs me the focus placed on relationship with other people as a fundamental to being a Christian. The standard seems to be that you must be fully "connected" to people and yet there is far less focus on being connected to God. There are many examples in the bible of isolated people still loving God.
    Do you have any unconventional views--like maybe Jesus was an Aspie?! No, LOL but yes... But nothing I could describe so succinctly it fits here!
     
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  5. Ereth

    Ereth Well-Known Member

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    I am the child of a Jewish mother and a father who was raised as a Southern Baptist but is now, for all intents and purposes, atheist. I was raised in the Jewish faith, so I went to Hebrew school and had my bat mitzvah and all that. But I'm not very religious, and I don't really believe in a deity. I guess if you have to put a label on it, I'm an atheist Jew, or perhaps a culturally Jewish atheist. (My Jewish heritage is important to me, but I can't say I believe in God.)

    I have had no issues "fitting in" with my religious community, all things considered.
     
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  6. Loomis

    Loomis Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to Aspiecentral. I enjoyed reading your blog.

    I am a liberal Christian and prefer the Episcopal Church. That being said I do not like just any Episcopal Church as they differ greatly, one from another. The small town I live in has no Episcopal Church so I float around. Sometimes I go to an ELCA Lutheran Church because I like the pastor's sermons although I am not particularly attracted to Lutheran theology. Last week I attended the local Methodist Church and the service was all about the graduation of their teen members and as a result they deviated greatly from their standard liturgy. I will need to go back and try it again to get a sense of what they are about. Two weeks ago I attended a Messianic Christian service and was greatly impressed with their gracious hospitality. Also I was fascinated by their unique synthesis of Judaism and Christianity; the serman was on the zohar kabbalah. I also go to a bible study at the local Catholic Church because the people in the group are interesting and likeable; I am respectful to their Catholic ideas but do not embrace them.

    There is so much difference in the culture from one church to another that I find it incredibly difficult to find one where I am comfortable. I like unprogrammed Quaker meetings but they are as rare as hen's teeth.

    My ex-wife was an ordained minister and while she was working on her master of divinity I loved reading her texts and helping her with her papers. My favorite theologian is N.T Wright; I have twice read the first three volumes of his Christian Origins and the Question of God. His use of historical methodology and critical realism is refreshing and I look forward to reading the recently published volume four on Paul.
     
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  7. umbrellabeach

    umbrellabeach Well-Known Member

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    Did you grow up in a religious household? Oh yes. My dad was (and still sort of is) a pastor, and back then he had his own church. We're Christians but I don't consider Christianity a religion; it's more of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
    What role does religion play in your life? I don't know. I guess my life kind of revolves around it, though it's not one of my obsessions.
    Do you regularly participate in religious life, and do you do so in community with other people or in a more solitary fashion? Community, I guess. We go to church every Sunday. I hate it though.
    Have you been accepted by people of your faith, or largely rejected, or do they just find you "querky"? I feel rejected by most people regardless of anything. In reality they probably just think I'm quirky and don't know what to do with me, so they ignore me. (That's just my guess, though; they're too "polite" to actually tell me.) A few people accept me and become my friend, though that doesn't happen often.
    What do you think of NTs and religion versus ASDs and religion? I don't know. It seems most people are atheists these days. (Then again, I use the Internet a lot, and there are a lot of outspoken atheists on the Internet.)
    Do you have any unconventional views--like maybe Jesus was an Aspie?! Haha, I don't think Jesus is an Aspie, but I do believe that Christianity does not mean forcibly suppressing human nature (improvements in behavior and such are supposed to come [super]naturally through the Holy Spirit), and I think that's unconventional to think.
     
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  8. FlitterFlutter

    FlitterFlutter Active Member

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    -- Raised in a religious household? Sort of. My parents took us to church until I was 12, and then I walked to church and attended by myself for about 5 years. This is the short answer. It was really more complicated than that.

    -- Role of religion in my life? Big, and growing.
    -- Community or Solitary? I love being part of community, though it can be a struggle for me. I do try to participate in private prayer, worship, and Bible study also. But I really do better when I can participate in community.
    -- Rejected or Accepted? This has always varied a lot. The fact that my son has autism has greatly complicated the issue. Sometimes people find it easier to accept him than me, as his disability is obvious, but I come across as just plain weird. Sometimes people are sort of okay with me, but not my son. I don't feel comfortable posting in more detail than that on the public forum.
     
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  9. wyverary

    wyverary wyv (he/him) V.I.P Member

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    Did you grow up in a religious household? Mostly. My family were Catholic and we attended Mass every Sunday, and I went to parochial school through Grade 3...a lot has changed since then, though, as my father lost his faith completely (I think he had doubts all along and only several years ago was able to come to terms with it, having been raised strictly Catholic himself) and my mother is a lot more on the "liberal" side of Catholicism.
    What role does religion play in your life? Interesting question. I'm not religious anymore, but I work in an area that caters to a particular Christian sect (not saying which one), lots of pastors, which actually kind of saturates the town, so I pick up bits and pieces of theology and religious history. I find it interesting, even if I don't fully believe some of it.
    Do you regularly participate in religious life, and do you do so in community with other people or in a more solitary fashion? I guess you can't really call what I have now "religion," but I have a very spiritual, if secular, view of life, and it definitely works better for me all by my lonesome. I spend time in quiet meditation thinking how lucky I am to be here and how beautiful the universe is...essentially, to me, "thought" is a bit more important than "community" (though both have value).
    Have you been accepted by people of your faith, or largely rejected, or do they just find you "querky"? Per my response to the previous question, I suppose it's obvious. :)
    What do you think of NTs and religion versus ASDs and religion? Based on my time on this forum, I'd say there's almost no difference whatsoever, except perhaps in the various comfort levels people have with being part of a congregation/synagogue/Mosque/what-have-you.
    Do you have any unconventional views--like maybe Jesus was an Aspie?! It's hard to say what's "conventional" or "unconventional" these days. I suppose the faction of nonbelief with which I most identify is the more accepting, peace-loving, hippie-like ecumenical version, which I know is somewhat unpopular at least among the more vocal atheists.
     
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  10. Grumpy Cat

    Grumpy Cat Well-Known Member

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    Howdy! I have a Catholic Ma and a Protestant Pa and was raised Catholic. I have about 3 yrs ago stopped going to church and also asked my Ma not to go because she became ill to where being around crowds isn't a good idea with her WBC count. We both still pray on our own and discuss religious matters. I don't see myself as a Catholic because I have questioned some of the beliefs of the Church and have not received answers to my liking - both from parishioners, priests and nuns. I stopped confession a really long time ago - I didn't like professing my sins (prob my only sin was grumpiness and still is) to a human man who probably had sinned more than myself. And how did he know that my sins would be forgiven if I said so many Hail Mary's , Our Fathers and Act of Contrition's? (Just one of my many questions.) I have no interest in joining another organized religion and prefer to remain on my own as my faith is still as strong as it has ever been.

    As for Jesus being an Aspie, I would guess probably not as he was always around a bunch of crowds and never really had a problem conversing with anyone and in the Jesus movies He always looks people in the eyes. Granted, He did have a few "meltdowns", but I'm pretty sure those were warranted, don't you think?
     
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  11. StabatMater

    StabatMater Active Member

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    I am quite religious, and it's the only thing I can count on in this mad, unstable world. Other Catholics will recognize the source of my username. ;)

    Pax tecum!
     
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  12. Peter A.

    Peter A. Well-Known Member

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    Did you grow up in a religious household? Although our mother was to some extent 'religious' (Roman Catholic), the four of us (myself, sister and two brothers) didn't really care about religion at the time.

    What role does religion play in your life?
    I am neither a theist nor atheist, the closest label perhaps being something like 'agnostic deist', if that makes any sense. Since I just don't know whether there is or is not what could be called a G/god, I reserve judgement.

    Do you regularly participate in religious life, and do you do so in community with other people or in a more solitary fashion?
    No.

    Have you been accepted by people of your faith, or largely rejected, or do they just find you "querky"?
    Am without any faith.

    What do you think of NTs and religion versus ASDs and religion?
    I'm not sure what you mean by this question. Are you asking about how the two groups approach and/or understand theistic concepts, and the differences between their approaches? Is it really true that the percentage of atheists among those with A.S. tends to be much higher than in the general population overall?

    Do you have any unconventional views--like maybe Jesus was an Aspie?!
    Since he often used parables (i.e. metaphorical language) it seems to me unlikely.
     
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  13. Dark

    Dark Well-Known Member

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    Did you grow up in a religious household? I was, but my choice to follow God was very much my own. I've never been one to adopt someone else's beliefs simply because they say I should - not even my parents'.
    What role does religion play in your life? Religion plays a huge role in my life. Like Umbrellabeach said, it's something my life tends to revolve around. I have a minor (okay, major) interest in apologetics and theology/bibliology, and while my religious practices have been somewhat lacking lately due to the rest of my life getting in the way, I do try to make my spiritual walk a priority.
    Do you regularly participate in religious life, and do you do so in community with other people or in a more solitary fashion? I attend church and various church functions about twice to three times a week. Ironically, despite my difficulties with people, I find it much more helpful to walk with others in your faith than to be alone. It's good to have someone to keep you accountable and to help you navigate some of the more complicated situations that arise. I also enjoy teaching other people about what I've learned and what I believe.
    Have you been accepted by people of your faith, or largely rejected, or do they just find you "querky"? A lot of the people at my church are used to me and my various quirks, though I have been rejected in the past. I mostly just get left out of things, nowadays. There are definitely some scars there, but I'm doing my best to forgive and forget.
    What do you think of NTs and religion versus ASDs and religion? I find religious Aspies way more interesting to talk to. NTs just give you the standard social niceities and move on, but Aspies know how to have a conversation, and don't care as much about stepping on people's toes.
    Do you have any unconventional views--like maybe Jesus was an Aspie?! I dunno, that 40 days alone in the desert sounds pretty Aspie to me :p Honestly, I'm not sure I'd have very many unconventional views. I'm a huge advocate of science and philosophy alongside religion, and I'm also something of an evolutionist, but that's about as radical as I get.
     
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  14. Flinty

    Flinty Off Indefinite Hiatus, I Guess V.I.P Member

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    Did you grow up in a religious household? Not really. I was baptized, then it was another decade before I set foot in a church again. It probably had to do with the fact that I was baptized Anglican (Episcopalian for the Americans here) while my father is Lutheran.
    What role does religion play in your life? Very little.
    Do you regularly participate in religious life, and do you do so in community with other people or in a more solitary fashion? Not at all.
    Have you been accepted by people of your faith, or largely rejected, or do they just find you "querky"? People are aware of my thoughts on religion and generally don't bother me about it anymore. It's likely because I largely hang out with people younger than I.
    What do you think of NTs and religion versus ASDs and religion? I don't think about it at all.
    Do you have any unconventional views--like maybe Jesus was an Aspie?! Yes, but I don't care to share them here.
     
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  15. Loomis

    Loomis Well-Known Member

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    Peace be with you. Very cool avatar.
     
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  16. Sass

    Sass Well-Known Member

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    Did you grow up in a religious household? Nope, my Dad is agnostic. The only time we ever went to church was for weddings or funerals. I do love churches though, such peaceful places. I was also never christened or anything.

    What role does religion play in your life? Pretty much no role at all. I believe that everything is connected, but that doesn't come from religion for me.

    Do you regularly participate in religious life, and do you do so in community with other people or in a more solitary fashion? Never.

    Have you been accepted by people of your faith, or largely rejected, or do they just find you "quirky"? N/A

    What do you think of NTs and religion versus ASDs and religion? I think that NT and ASD people probably find the same thing within religion - peace of mind. I'm not religious but I don't begrudge anyone their faith, even if I don't agree with some of the things that have been done in the name of religion throughout history. The vast majority of people who are religious just want to have a good life and treat others well, as far as I see it.

    Do you have any unconventional views--like maybe Jesus was an Aspie?! Ha! While I'm not religious I'm sure Jesus existed, and was probably a good dude :)
     
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  17. Mary Lyn

    Mary Lyn Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Did you grow up in a religious household?

    Atheistic household.

    What role does religion play in your life?

    Massive.

    Do you regularly participate in religious life, and do you do so in community with other people or in a more solitary fashion?

    Mainly housebound due to ME and Lyme. Study mystical and traditional theology and pray a lot.

    Have you been accepted by people of your faith, or largely rejected, or do they just find you "querky"?

    Largely rejected.

    What do you think of NTs and religion versus ASDs and religion?

    I don't know to what extent my ASD has helped in seeing things others don't see in scriptures.

    Do you have any unconventional views--like maybe Jesus was an Aspie?!

    I do have some unconventional views regarding some interpretations of scripture and sometimes find them shared by others like recently saw something in St John of the Cross regarding when 'perfection' comes that is in agreement with my own understanding.
     
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  18. FlitterFlutter

    FlitterFlutter Active Member

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    Actually, if anyone in the New Testament makes me think "Aspie" it is John the Baptist.
     
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  19. Girl Anachronism

    Girl Anachronism Well-Known Member

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    My story is a bit...unusual.

    Growing Up
    Grew up in a non-denom, charismatic-style, evangelical church that my parents helped found along with the pastor and some laypeople. As time went on the pastor became more and more controlling and the church turned into a cult. My family was kicked out when I turned 18.
    Attendance, Community v Solitary
    I don't regularly attend church though my boyfriend's a Catholic so sometimes I go to Mass with him. My faith is more solitary as I am having a hard time finding a congregation where I can feel safe; my growing up years have made me somewhat tentative though I am looking into Catholicism a lot more now.
    Rejected, Accepted, Quirky?
    My family were rejected as a whole for openly questioning things. Myself, I found it difficult to make friends among my church-going peers though I did go out with one of the guys from my Youth Group for over a year (he was an aspie too). Mostly people were 'nice' to me but didn't really know what to do with me so never went out of their way to invite me to social things. Being a goth probably didn't help with their impression of me either. A majority of my friends now aren't Christian.
    NTs v AS
    Religious aspies tend to veer more towards the intellectual rather than the experiential hence why I found more aspies in Anglicanism, Lutheran, Orthodx, Catholic etc. I'm attracted to ritual and liturgy and I hated the loud cacophony of charismatic worship (tongues, shouting, loud music, flailing). A love of history among some aspies can help them understand the context of certain events within the scriptures and traditions which can help better understand their faith.
    Do you have unconventional views?
    Not really; I am quite scripturally conservative but I am somewhat socially progressive (contraception, gay rights, immigration etc) and among some Christian circles (OK, a lot) this is seen as contradictory. I don't see why as I believe the whole point of Christianity is love and one cannot be loving if they deprive people of freedoms.
     
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  20. Frostee

    Frostee Well-Known Member

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    Yes I 'grew' up in a Catholic household and I really REALLY hated it.

    My parents didn't make me pray or anything we just went to 'mass'. We weren't really that holy like we didn't follow all the holy days it was just that we were made attend church. I think i'd be better suited to some sort of a medium level Anglican church, simply because I feel that my views or more Protestant but with a Catholic influence. (it has rubbed off on me after all these years).

    I do still believe in god and sometimes pray. I don't feel that church is a requirement to get into heaven. I wouldn't class myself as religious.
     
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