Religious transvestites?

Here’s a topic i am sure will get me into trouble:-) Got into a taxi the other day. The dashboard and front passenger seat were covered with crucifixes, signs about loving Jesus, and offering cups for the guy’s church. I was in no mood, so when he opened with “Are you a Christian?” I just said no, hoping to cut off the conversation. But he persisted, saying i wasn’t american if i did not love jesus and of course over and over again that i should not worry because jesus was coming.
I find more and more “Christians” in Taipei. Years ago seemed there were just a lot of Mormons boys running around, but now I am commonly asked by Taiwanese are you a christian? Does anyone else find this hard to answer and at times offensive? Being told i am not a christian by a taiwanese is in my mind kind of like a transvestite who was originally a man but is now a woman telling a woman that she, the transvestite is a real woman, if you can follow that. I mean I do not practice religion, but I grew up in a Christian culture, so naturally have unconsciously acquired many christian values/morals.
I remember talking to a guy once studying the spread of christianity in China. Must be an interesting thing - perhaps like democracy and human rights concepts which become transformed to fit other cultures. At times this ends up in two fundamentally distinct conceptions of a common concept. I guess in my mind in my mind the chinese culture has many values that don’t square easily with christian values, for example face (reputation) vs honesty. So, are taiwanese christians a type of religious transvestite, or am i lost here?

Quite a coincidence, as my boss asked me this morning if I am a Christian.

No, no, I said, only on airplanes.

Thank god, he, not unexpectedly, said “My god is money.”


I hear ya… I had some students once who said that they were Christians, however during “Ghost Month” here they were burning incense and doing all that stuff along with the others. Sure, if you want to do the traditional stuff that’s fine with me, but don’t say that you’re a “Christian” - sounds a little messed up when comparing their actions with “Christian” values.

I don’t know why, but somehow Taiwanese think westerners in general are Christian by virtue of growing up in a christian country. If I lived in McDonalds would that make me a hamburger or if I lived in a garage would I be a car, NO??? Then why say that growing up in a western country a Christian does make???

the old chinese joke is the best answer

ni xin shenme jiao?

wo xin shui jiao.

Bassman, the US is NOT a christian country.

Never said it was, INFACT the US is probably one of the least Christian countries and yet when it is convenient waves the christian flag. It’s president is a Free Mason for goodness sakes, and this guy pulls out the old “christian” flag to wave in times of trouble, eg Osama Do Him in. Oh and I am not an American

Sorry Bassman and Mother Teresa, but the facts just don’t support you. Only in Christian America would a school board ban the teaching of evolution in favor of creationism:

Wrong attachment. That article refers to the 9th Circuit’s correct decision ruling that it is unconsitutional to force school kids to pledge allegiance to God, and the views of some fools who feel that the court was wrong. Besides, I never said we don’t have fools in the US – hell, look at our president.

This statement is very profound. It occurs to me that what would be very helpful is for some interested person to come up with a TEN POINT QUIZ FOR TAIWANESE CHRISTIANS.

In line with the above, I suggest the following question as number one.

  1. Do you burn spirit money and incense to honor the dead at any time during the year?

Numbers 2 to 10 anyone?

  1. Do you believe that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven ?

[Administrator’s Note: The “eye of the needle” spoken of here is not what an ordinary person raised in a western environment normally thinks of. It has a special meaning in Arab culture. I forget the exact reference, but it was explained to me once …]

What’s a Free Mason?


A very interesting discussion of the transformation of Christianity as it spreads speedily around the globe can be found in the October 2002 copy of the Atlantic Monthly (found at Eslite and Fnac and the Taida library…)

As for people asking me about religion - I find it rather a personal and uncomfortable discussion topic as well. I usually answer honestly - that I think it is rude when strangers ask me about religion and I would rather not discuss it with them. That usually ends the conversation VERY quickly :smiley:

mrs. monk

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Mat. 19:24)

It was the expression used for the very narrow side gate near the principal gate in the East. The camel CAN go through this narrow gate, but difficult though.

Hartzell, your question number 1 has already touched the very bottom of all Chinese traditions, therefore, 1 question is enough… :wink:

by the time Christianity finds a true audience in the Far East, eg Japan China Korea Taiwan Thailand Vietnam, it will be so watered down that there will be no more camels, no more needles, no more messiahs. Just Jesus, the boy savior, no more Jewish than the Pope. By 2500, it will come full circle: Europe will be New Age, the Middle East will be Muslim, the USA will be agnostic and Asia will be Christianized.

I have no problem to disclose or discuss my religion (or rather lack of practising one) and wouldn’t know why this should be considered rude. Personal perhaps, but not incomfortable or rude for me. Though of course there are some situations when the religion should not be touched, say e.g. during a job interview.

However I found that for example Muslim (the ones I meet daily in Malaysia) are very sensitive about this topic and usually don’t want to discuss it - mainly for the reason that they think there is nothing to discuss about, i.e. once a muslim always a muslim and any other religion is not worth talking about. But ok, better not go there …

I also have been raised and educated as a Christian but later (as a kid I was forced to) stopped practising it, because I just don’t believe in god nor the bible - and no other religion either. No problem if someone subscribes to or practises a certain religion, but don’t try to convince me or force your views it upon me.
The same way I accept (respect) your view I expect than mine is also respected; you don’t need a religion to be a “good” person.

City gates used to have a small door in them. Big enough for humans and the odd donkey, but too small for anything but a very agile camel (Camels are taller than most people think). Those small doors in the gates were called “the eye of a needle”.

[quote=“jrc”]What’s a Free Mason?

Everything you want to know about freemasonry and yes George Bush jnr and snr are apparently both members and so have been most of the US presidents

question 3:
If given the coice, would you rather live on the 4th floor or the 13th floor?

Yes, I would.


Do you believe that only those who accept Jesus Christ as their savior will go to Heaven, and all others will burn in Hell?

[Don’t local heathens have to believe this rubbish in order to be welcomed into the fold as “true Christians”?]