Talk:Cafeteria Christianity

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Interestingly, some pagans (myself included) like to talk about our religion as a salad bar: Take what you want, and leave the rest. (Yes, I stole the line, and bonus points to whoever recognizes it.) Researcher 12:35, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

Here's me in one of my few really pointed opinions about religion. I dislike the salad bar mentality. Religion and spirituality almost necessarily require sacrifice by the very definition of the concept religion. American neo-pagans, neo-buddhists, and generic new-agers tend to pick and choose -- and almost universally pick the more easy and dump the harder, sacrificial parts. Years of study replaced by "an idiots guide to"; high detailed, long term work on the subtle aspects of meditation given over in favor of "it's new buddhism for the busy person". Years of being a walk-a-bout following an elder replaced by "I was made a pipe carrier by this one guy". and the mixing of Celtic stories with Hindu meditation and Indian pipes and Greek goddesses. Drives me nuts. Oh well. To each his own. heh.  ;-)--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot""We are all born mad. Some remain so." 13:02, 29 September 2008 (EDT)
I do agree that there are too many who ignore the complexity behind the things they adopt for the easiest variant, but at the same time I like the ability to choose what fits my needs and what doesn't. Probably the same problem I have with actual salad bars and buffets: In theory, lots of choices of great foods, but in the end always catering to the lowest common denominator. Researcher 18:35, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

Cafeteria Christian: rule or exception?[edit]

In the broadest terms possible; are Cafeteria Christians the rule or the exception? My opinion would be that they are the rule in practice, but that people would not admit to such if asked. --Edgerunner76Your views are intriguing to me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter 13:33, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

My opinion is that the assumption behind this concept is fundamentally flawed: That there is one objectively correct definition of Christianity (usually a Conservative Evangelical one), and if you happen not to agree with it, you're a "Cafeteria Christian". Please don't give it credibility by taking it seriously. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 13:40, 29 September 2008 (EDT)
Indeed. Thinking for yourself is not a negative quality. New3.pngPink(Stupid signature.) 13:55, 29 September 2008 (EDT)
At AK, well, on a broader level, there are many more-or-less explicit dogmas, right? So "belonging" to one of the varieties of Christian church, that has a "dogma", but not following all the tenets (ie, Catholics using birth control) would fall under this rubric. However, it has a rather negative-sounding connotation, which conflicts with what Pink points out. However, from the "outside", the reason I see it as a problem is that, say, the RCC claims what, a billion members - but do they all toe the line? If a majority of them ignore some part of the dogma, surely that should affect the political "weight" of the RCC's pronouncements on issues that affect all of us? ħumanUser talk:Human 15:21, 29 September 2008 (EDT)
It only has a negative connotation if you let it; if you buy into the underlying assumptions, and by extention the discourse of those who coined the term - that because they're so much more intolerant holy than everyone else, they somehow have a right to decide who is and who isn't a real believer. I for one seem to remember reading about some guy who said something about not judging and taking beams out of your eyes.
As for the Catholics, of course they don't all toe the line. I'd be surprised if even a majority did. Even then, I don't know if you could say that this weakens the weight of the Church, because I think most Catholics would still consider e.g. the Pope or their local bishop a moral authority to at least some extent, even while they probably ignore 90% of what they say. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 19:10, 29 September 2008 (EDT)
Who coined the term, anyway? And that 90% thing made me chuckle. It's like for most people, religion is just a social club with some inspirational books on the shelf. At a not-too-silly level, I could easily be considered a cafeteria Christian - agreeing with the 10 or 15 or so most important things that the ex-carpenter said, and ignoring some of the less-likely doctrinal requirements (resurrection, being God, some of the miracles, etc.). Of course, I was raised to think those things ;) ħumanUser talk:Human 19:15, 29 September 2008 (EDT)
Pink sums it up so well. Thinking shouldn't be a bad thing. BUT when you want to control people and make them do such lovely things like give you 25% (I think that is the tithe sum?) of your salary, go to war for you, give up your beautiful daughters so the kings can have wives, etc., then you must hold them to "do as I say without question". I rather think it's time for people to stop being manipulated by religion and follow Pink into the world of thought. Out of the cave, all of you!--Sun mowse.pngEn attendant Godot""We are all born mad. Some remain so." 20:29, 29 September 2008 (EDT)
Was that a joke? I hope it was a joke. It's getting so difficult to tell anymore. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 04:32, 30 September 2008 (EDT)
Tithing is only 10%. At the same time, however, isn't something lost to the value of a label if you cannot expect it to mean 'some' kind of underlying meaning? If I were to claim to be Christian, for instance, but denied the validity of the Bible and the historicity of the Resurrection...what does it then mean for me to call myself Christian? (Mostly just playing Devil's Advocate, but I'm curious as to the answer.) Researcher 20:36, 29 September 2008 (EDT)
Obviously, there are some tenets that historically have formed the core of Christianity, and have been shared by virtually all Christians. For instance, being a Christian without believing at least in the divinity of Christ and in the Resurrection would seem somewhat absurd, just like being an economic liberal who doesn't believe in the market forces. It would also seem a little pointless.
Still, I don't think there can be any inherent, objective meaning in these labels, so if someone really wants to self-define as a Christian without holding these beliefs, I guess that's up to them. They just shouldn't expect the rest of us to recognize them as such. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 04:32, 30 September 2008 (EDT)

"Cafeteria Christianity" is a direct result of Post-Modernism mixing with religion; you no longer have to believe in the Church as the ultimate authority, but can still call yourself Christian.

Yeah, kind of like what I said above, sorta. ħumanUser talk:Human 01:59, 30 September 2008 (EDT)

Religion is evolving from its 2nd stage (where being religious means subscribing to a particular dogma, which is typically defined by an institutional power) to its 3rd stage, wherein religion becomes another form of identity—ideally not a casual one, but rather a form of identity as integral to oneself as, say, one's sexual orientation. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:39, 29 September 2008 (EDT)

And is that a good thing, or a clumsy crutch to form an identity? ħumanUser talk:Human 01:59, 30 September 2008 (EDT)
It's a good thing. Any other questions? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 04:33, 30 September 2008 (EDT)
Actually there (perhaps sadly) might be something to the idea that both our religious and political opinions may be shaped to an extent by our genes. religious genes and conservative genes.--Bobbing up 05:15, 30 September 2008 (EDT)

How Incusive Is the Term?[edit]

I ask because, for instance, my partner is a Catholic from India, where many of the big issues in the west simply go ignored. For instance, contraception and stem-cell research are a total non-issue for many Indian catholics, whilst abortion is still serious business. What I'm basically asking, is do syncretised, exported religions also come under the label "cafeteria Christianity"? Or is there a distinction?

New inclusions expanding this article[edit]

This article was rather tightly focused on the (made up) term Cafeteria Christian. now it's become "any Christian I want to put into this article". I'm going to remove all the crap in about an hour, in case anyone specifically wants to fix it first.--Green mowse.pngGodotWhen I graduated, Cognative Science of Religion didn't even exist! now it's everywhere 15:57, 5 June 2012 (UTC)


Someone keeps reverting to a version with errors. Biblical directives are primarily important for Protestant fundamentalists. Roman Catholics pay attention to church teachings and Ecclesiastical interpretations of the Bible. Also material about the, 'Call to Disobedience' was sourced. Spiegel is a good German magazine. Proxima Centauri (talk) 11:41, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes, but this is an example of disunion in the ranks, the derogatory label of "Cafeteria Catholic" is shoddily sourced. Captain Swing (bringer of nachos) 11:57, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
It's an example of a group of Roman Catholics deciding doctrine for themselves rather than accepting what the hierarchy teaches which is Cafeteria Catholicism. Proxima Centauri (talk) 12:11, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Well no, it isn't. but then again, ***there is no such thing as cafeteria Christians***.Green mowse.pngGodot The ablity to breath is such an overrated ability 13:04, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
By this argument Martin Luther was a Cafeteria Christian. SophieWilder 13:46, 3 April 2013 (UTC)