Which faith community do you think is the most misrepresented and misunderstood?

Is it,

Jehovah’s Witnesses?
Latter–day Saints?
Orthodox Christians?

Feel free to give solid examples of misrepresentations and misunderstandings to support your opinion and perhaps even offer gentle correction to wayward ideas so as to provide an opportunity for us all to better understand one another.


The catholic church.

Would you care to state why?


While I’ll admit to not understanding the Shakers, I’d have to say the most misunderstood would have to be the Catholic Church. If everyone understood it, everyone would join it.

LOL, I believe I have a fair understanding of Catholic belief and understand pretty good what it is they believe…and I have no desire to be Catholic.

All can be misunderstood by another faith. I really believe strongly in learning about other faiths from those who live them. That way there is no misunderstandings.

I would have to say Catholic. We were at a festival in a nearby resort town last summer, and there were some evangelical Christians with bullhorns handing out anti-Catholic literature and ranting about how “they sit and play with their beads on the way to hell…”, etc. It shocks me that people run around with an organized opposition to and hatred for other Christians. I just don’t understand the mindset at all.

You could make an argument that anti-semitism is codified in certain Islamic governments, etc and therefore Jews received more institutionalized hatred. But I find the fact that so many grassroots anti-Catholic efforts abound even more disturbing in some ways, since the people doing it actually claim to be following the same Jesus.

Just glancing at the threads of “Why Mormons Don’t…”…I’d have to say Mormons more than most Christian groups are the most misunderstood…even to the point of other Christians denying them the name “Christian.”

I agree.


I tend to look at the threads and I would say Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Muslims take the worst of it. There seems to be a starting assumption that these faiths are “bad” which is truly unfortunate. I would add Episcopalians, but that seems to be the particular whipping child of a very few specific individuals only. They have been whipping away as of recently, but I suspect it will quiet down when a new “victim” comes along.

I have no doubt that in some parts of the US Catholics might take a beating from some of the non-denominationals and Baptist groups, ironic always to me because they ally perfectly on abortion and gay rights as the ONLY issues of import, but I never grew up with any anti-Catholic sentiment that I saw expressed nor frankly any time in my life. Perhaps the Northeast and Midwest are “safe” Catholic havens. I never experienced any issues when Catholic.

Of course I experience none as an Episcopalian, except from a couple of people here. Never anywhere else.

I don’t know a good deal about any of the maligned groups, just the basics. If they consider themselves Christian than I’m fine with it. It’s not for me to judge certainly, and my personal opinion is that God doesn’t, but that’s my opinion.

I think Islam is deeply maligned unfairly in this country. Its the knee jerk thing we have in America to always find a “safe” other to put down. Along with immigrants, they are safe to attack so far. Sadly this helps the “radical” cause immeasureably, something most people can see.

  1. Catholics-some of the practices are so different from MANY Protestants or evangelicals that it causes the latter group to doubt and actively question the Christianity of the former.
  2. JW-Vilified I believe because they take their faith SO serious they are willing to knock on the doors of complete strangers.
  3. Christian Science-It is a lot more complicated than they do not usually take medicine.
    Thats my three

even before I was Catholic myself I thought it was Catholics…

people consistently try to tell us that we’re not Christians, we’re not going to heaven, we worship idols, we worship Mary, we believe in salvation by works, the Pope is evil, etc, and this gets repeated over and over again no matter what we say in response. There are however people who do listen, thankfully :slight_smile: and look into what the Church ACTUALLY is. But others just believe whatever they’re told. :frowning:

also the Mormons are pretty misunderstood too.

IMO, Islam; on the Net certainly. When people talk about taqqiya, I think of Newman’s protests in his Apologia about how the doctrine and scope of mental reservation was being misunderstood. The page below even has a link to mental reservation. The hostility presently shown to Muslims, & the reasons given for it, often resemble those given for being hostile to Catholics.


Lol! Oh so Many ways to attract anger on this one.

Ok, one easy answer is the Catholic church for two reasons:

I grew up hating the Catholic church. It’s what I was taught to do, and I never questioned those who taught me. And now that I’ve started learning more about the faith, I go back to those earlier mentors and say, “Did you know the Church teaches thus-and-such? And that John Paul the Great said this-and-that? Let me read this passage from St. Francis…” etc, and they’re genuinely shocked. So, Reason #1 is that it’s easier to believe what’s comfortable rather than discover and think for yourself.

Second, I’m First Generation-American. That means everybody in my family prior to me had to go to school about America and pass tests about America. Consequently, they occasionally knew a few more things about America than people born here know…

…which is a gentle way of leading up to Reason #2: there are an awful lot of Catholics out on the street (and here in the forums) who don’t have the first dad-gum clue about what their Church teaches.

I think in the U,S,A its the Cathloic Church hands down, I have had friends ask me why I was not christian,why I was not saved,why I

worship Mary and it just goes on,and on. and on.

:rolleyes: There’s a shocker.

I think it’s a tie between Roman Catholics and Calvinists. The amount of hate I’ve read against Roman Catholics makes me cringe, and it’s astounding how many anti-Roman Catholics don’t even bother to read apologetics on the controversial issues. Same thing with Calvinists and many Reformed Christians - so many have a cartoony version of what Martin Luther & co. wrote, while others don’t even bother to read what serious Reformed apologists write, and just keep repeating the same thing over and over.

I’m definitely going on record with Zorastrianism! :wink:

I kid, actually I’d pick Anglicanism. Anglicanism has so many manifestations and such a fascinating, up and down history, and it lays at the precipice of Catholic and Protestant traditions. It is truly misunderstood. Many people lump Episcopalians with all Anglicans, a big mistake. Some are high church and seem more Catholic than the pope, some are evangelicals, some are somewhere in between. Some are ultra liberal, some are very conservative. Some ordain women, some see it as a horrible heresy. Anglicanism has the most variety and wide spectrum of toleration for different approaches to the 39 Articles and the Prayer Book. It is very misunderstood in this forum at times I’d say.

I’d also say Lutheranism. I constantly hear Catholics thinking that somehow the entire theology for all-time is straight from Luther. They think that every single thing Luther said and did (good example is his anti-semitic-sounding works) is somehow automatically a part of the deposit of Lutheran beliefs. Lutherans don’t view Luther as infallible or perfect. Guys like Melanchthon are minimized or just never mentioned at all?

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