This will be a meetup group for all who wish to cultivate the ability to communicate respectfully and effectively with others who disagree with them in matters of religion and spirituality.
The activity of this meetup group will be to bring together non-religious and religious people of all faiths, including and especially Christian people, and even people who dislike all religions, to use dispassionate, neutral, and in-depth analysis and sympathetic but critical study of the history of Christianity, including major portions of the Bible itself, in order to provide participants with information and tools needed to discuss the contents, meaning and authority of Christianity and the Bible, quietly and respectfully, with people who disagree about religion and spiritual beliefs. We will focus on Christianity because it is the professed belief of a plurality of people in North American society, if not a majority.
Caution! This is not a group that will attempt persuasion either for or against Christianity. This is not a group which assumes either that Christianity is a better way of life than the alternatives, nor does it assume that Christianity is an inferior approach to life. This will be a meetup group for you if you frequently feel surrounded by people who disagree with you about religion and spirituality, and often under siege by those who disagree with you. If you want to interact peacefully but feel surrounded, whether you are a Christian who works in an environment of co-workers hostile to Christianity, or if you and your spouse are non-Christian and your spouse’s family are all Christian, or even if you and your spouse were both adamantly non-Christian and now he/she announces that he/she has been born again and is determined to make you over as a Christian; whichever side you take, and whichever side they take, and whatever your reasons are for needing to maintain a relationship with people or a person with views opposed to yours, knowledge of the sources, history and issues is key to ongoing, non-confrontational communication. Whether you are motivated by deep love or feel entrapped by economic or social circumstances is none of our business. Your interactions are bound to improve if you can present your views concerning Christianity, the Bible, other religions, and religion and spirituality in general, to the people you care about in a calm, informed and intelligent manner.
(Whether you or they are believers or unbelievers, hidebound and vocally opinionated, convinced but quiet and shy, or a novice truth-seeker, let this have been this the last Christmas Season that you have to hush up awkwardly around your co-workers or in-laws or your parents or your children!)