What’s Underappreciated About Your Tradition? [2015 ITT]

What’s Underappreciated About Your Tradition? [2015 ITT] April 17, 2015

This is part of the 2015 Ideological Turing Test series, where Christians and non-Christians test how well they understand one another.  

In this first round, Christians answer the prompts honestly, and atheists try to answer them as they expect the Christians to.  Your job is to see if you can spot the difference.  You can find all posts about the 2015 Ideological Turing Test here.

turing mask christian 

Below are answers to the question: What is an element of your tradition that is underappreciated by your fellow believers?

You can make your guesses about whether each entry was written by an honest Christian or a shamming non-Christian here.

Just make sure you fill out the quiz before you look at the comments!  They’re open for speculation and discussion of the clues you think you’ve spotted.

Each contestant’s entry is followed by their bio, hidden by rot13.


1) Music. Modern Catholic hymns are just awful, and they’re especially depressing when you realize how many truly BEAUTIFUL pieces of music (including many hymns) were inspired by the faith in the past.

V’z n Pngubyvp. V’z n whavbe va pbyyrtr fghqlvat Pevzvany Whfgvpr naq Plorefrphevgl. V yvxr gb nethr. 


2) I like to tell people about “Creatureliness”. It’s the idea that we should be grateful we humans are not in the role of God, with all the burden that managing the physical and moral substance of the universe entails. We should recognize that we humans are closer to nature – subject to the universe – than we are to God – agent of the universe. It’s our imperfections that enable us to strive to be holy and our passivity that enables us to receive God.

V nz na ngurvfg. V jnf envfrq aba-qrabzvangvba Puevfgvna naq ybfg zl snvgu fbzrgvzr va zvqqyr fpubby. V jnf pybfrgrq sbe frireny lrnef orsber pbzvat bhg gb zl fhecevfvatyl fhccbegvir snzvyl. V nz n juvgr znyr va n CuQ cebtenz sbe culfvpf naq V nafjre dhrfgvbaf nobhg ngurvfz sbe n jrofvgr pnyyrq NyyRkcregf.


3) My tradition really values silence and contemplative prayer. This is where I have most fully experienced the “refiner’s fire,” where I’ve felt my faults most fully laid bare and my soul uplifted. Contemplation: not for the faint of heart! I think my tradition’s emphasis on this is something we can offer to other traditions.

V nz n yvoreny Dhnxre jub jnf obea naq envfrq Pngubyvp. V nz n cnffvbangr ernqre naq n ybire bs cbrgel. V graq gb hfr zrgubqf bs yvgrenel nanylfvf gb nccebnpu zl snvgu.


4) Elements that have been greatly downplayed with the rise of classical liberal and Enlightenment values are the ideas sacrifice and forgiveness. We are called to be truly selfless in spite of our human tendencies towards greed and selfishness.

Frphyne uhznavfg bs Wrjvfu qrfprag, fpvrapr/ratvarrevat onpxtebhaq, rkvfgragvnyvfg, pbafrdhragvnyvfg, naq pbzcngvovyvfg.


5) Jesus was quick to forgive even when the sinner wouldn’t forgive himself. There is too much mutual condemnation going around in our community, too much splinter-pointing, and not enough self-examination, not enough compassion and forgiveness.

V oryvrir va n qrgrezvavfgvp, aba-gryrbybtvpny havirefr. V svaq nyy sbezf bs gur naguebcvp nethzrag vapbafrdhragvny. V flzcnguvmr jvgu Ohqquvfg rguvpf.


6) The physicality of it. Man has become abstracted from himself, C.S. Lewis’ “Chestless Man.” Greater reflection on the Real Presence (and even concern for things like relics, statues, and sacred sites) would alleviate much human angst.

V nz na nqhyg pbaireg gb Pngubyvpvfz.


7) Fellow believers do not keep the sabbath holy, they work when they should rest.

Sbezre Puevfgvna, orpnzr ntabfgvp ngurvfg ng ntr 14. Rk-zvyvgnel, ratvarre,  vaibyirq va engvbanyvgl naq rssrpgvir nygehvfz tebhcf.


Go on and make your guesses!  Which of these were written in earnest, and which were someone’s best approximation of how someone across the religious divide would answer?

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