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#123 Christian roommates


Christians prefer to cohabit with their own ilk. When someone in Christian culture goes seeking a roommate they always specify that any applicants must also be Christians in order to be considered.

They presume that if their roommate is a Christian then they will be kind, considerate, and clean, not be messy, obnoxious, or crazy. And like many of us who have actually roomed with Christians before, they’ll just have to learn that lesson the hard way.

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posted January 29, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Compare doing business with a firm listed in the “Christian Yellow Pages” and assuming they’ll be honest. You learn the hard way.

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elissa parrish

posted January 29, 2010 at 7:56 pm

haha!! so funny and true…

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posted January 29, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Haha, this is great. My poor roommate Jenny was forced to live with two agnostics and an Buddhist. She really was not happy with our evolution discussions (for class btw) or all of our gay friends that we didn’t patronize. It was an adventure for all of us and most of us learned a great deal, except for Jenny of course.

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posted January 30, 2010 at 8:10 am

I would be the hard way — at least as far as messy! And, um, as a Catholic, probably not even a Christian for roommate purposes.
My parents learned the hard way what it was to insist on a “Christian” lawyer. They got living wills that were sermons, and a lawyer who robbed blind my brother’s rich but incompetent godmother.

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posted January 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm

I had to kick my crazy Christian roommate out. She was crazy for real! Not just Christian crazy. Then a gay guy moved in to replace her. My life became exponentially more peaceful, but my old Christian friends couldn’t resist judging the circumstances. I have no regrets. Lost the old friends to gain a real friend. Totally worth it!

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posted January 30, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Why would folks thing that all Christians are more honest than non-Christians?

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posted January 30, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Pagansister, it’s because it’s part of the mythos that we’re fed from birth: Christians are good, whites are good, and nothing bad happens to christians ever.
My first roomie in college was a minister’s daughter, but she didn’t count. No, my real first roomie was a girl named Cassie. Cassie was probally the most self righteous woman I knew. What I didn’t know is that she was dealing with her own issues(yes, certifiably nuts) and refused to seek help.

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Steph G

posted January 31, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I think it can beyond the stereotype that they’re cleaner or whatever. I think there’s a mutual respect and assumption that they won’t do drugs, smoke, have sex all over the place, bring random guys home from the bar, no cussing, quiet times in the a.m., etc. Also, the spiritual connection helps relating to one another, i.e. holding each other accountable, praying for each other, being happy all of the time, all things Christian culture, etc. I’ve had tons of roommates and most have been Christian to some degree (fundamentalists, Catholics, evangelicals, etc.) and we had some of those assumptions I listed above, but to be honest most of our roommate issues were surrounded around paying bills, sharing space, cleaning responsibilities, but it was more about confronting them on it. Some I got along with really well, and others, well, not so much because I’m not always in a good mood and I get annoyed when they don’t do dishes. Good roommates, in general, are the ones who can communicate well with and respect each other’s things and space, shares household chores, asks how your day went, and pays bills & rent.

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posted February 1, 2010 at 12:02 am

“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” – hopefully taking up their cross includes doing my chores

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posted February 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Steph G: Why is there this assumption that a Christian could “just not connect” with someone who wasn’t a Christian? And by connect, I don’t mean “befriend with the intention to convert”, I mean genuinely try to get along with and connect with someone.
It’s weird and very, very limiting. Besides as a very liberal Christian (please don’t make the oxymoron joke, I’ve heard it before) I tend to relate to people who aren’t churchgoers better than your typical neocon Christian.
Also, I think there’s a bit on here about “being happy all the time”. I’ve known some pretty happy agnostics and some pretty miserable Christians. And someone who’s truly happy ALL the time? Creepy. I don’t want that person rooming with me.

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Steph G

posted February 1, 2010 at 1:30 pm

@Em – Thanks for your question. I think that assumption of not connecting with a nonchristian goes along with Christian culture of not having any nonchristian friends so they aren’t used to being around people who aren’t like themselves, so they think. My current roommates are Christians (most pretty liberal)i.e., we all cuss like sailors, have boyfriends over, bring guys home from bars, drink a lot, one used to smoke, etc. I found these roommates through friends of friends. They’re pretty real and honest. They didn’t care if I was a Christian or not when I moved in. They just wanted me to pay rent & bills. They actually thought I was big pothead, which I’m not. I didn’t care if they were Christians I just didn’t want to deal with messy and super loud people. I think my point was some Christians make a lot of assumptions that living with other Christians we’ll all be on the same page and get along. Whatever. But regardless if they or you are Christian having roommates means being respectful and compromising. For example, I’m a vegan and my roommates aren’t. So they prepare and cook meat and it makes me gag at times, especially stinky seafood. I asked that they not cook shellfish at home since I’m super sensitive to the smells of it (allergy too), they were respectful about it. No one is passive-aggressive about it either. Oh,I’m definitely not happy all of the time and not cuss, but I’ve lived with Christians who expected for me to be happy and never cuss. We didn’t get along well. I cuss a lot. So there you go.

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posted February 1, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Why would folks think that all Christians are more honest than non-Christians?
Some fella once used the phrase “the soft bigotry of low expectations”. It’s a pretty useful definition to keep in mind when dealing with people who have strong preconceptions about the world around them.

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posted February 1, 2010 at 4:13 pm

We are all different…that means respect for our fellowman…and we are all on different pages in our walk…patience, respect and
brotherly love if we are to make it work.

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posted February 1, 2010 at 8:19 pm

I spent a year rooming with a couple of Muslim international students, and it was a great experience. We got to be great friends, and I learned a lot about the world. We actually had a much more harmonious existence than I did the year I lived with three close Christian friends. Partly, this may just be because you take more liberties with friends than with people you haven’t known before, (and especially when said people are from a different country and so you’re expecting some cultural conflicts anyway), but I also think it shows that personality compatibility and a willingness to be considerate is what’s most important when it comes to roommates, whether or not you share a worldview.
I think Christians are afraid that if you’re spending too much time with someone who doesn’t share your views, you’ll start to think like them. I got the “unequally yoked” verse quoted at me a couple of times. I was like, gee whiz, I’m not MARRYING them, I’m sharing a kitchen!!! That fear also assumes that all Christians are going to think alike, which is just STUPID, as my year with three Christian roommates showed. There’s also the idea that Christians, being full of the Holy Spirit, will be more selfless. But as C.S. Lewis pointed out, having the Holy Spirit doesn’t make you a _good_ person…it just makes you a better person than you would have been otherwise. So someone can be a Christian and still be completely childish, relative to someone else. And besides, selflessness can come in many different forms; a person who donates gobs of their time and money to local homeless shelters may still be completely intractable when it comes to borrowing eggs.

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Still Breathing

posted February 2, 2010 at 6:14 am

Surely the low expectations some Christians have of non-Christians is a denial that all the human is race is, to some extent, made in the image of God.

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posted February 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm

When I was still deeply, deeply Christian and went away to school, I tried to associate only with other Christians. Either implicitly or explicitly I had been told all nice people are Christian, and all non-Christians will try to make you have illicit sex, do drugs until you become addicted, steal your things, make fun of you, lie to you, bully you, or just generally not be nice. Christians would, of course, since they have Jesus in their hearts, express his love to you in agape.
What a shock it was to me several months into school to realize the nice people with whom I’d made friends were all either non-Christians or *gasp* LIBERAL CHRISTIANS OH NOES and the very well-behaved, Christian club members, church attending, bible-carrying types I knew I “should” hang out with were almost uniformly petty, judgmental, cliquish, and unpleasant to be around. IT WASN’T ANYTHING LIKE A JACK CHICK TRACT!!!1

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posted February 4, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Still Breathing, American Evangelicals are way more into Total Depravity than Imago Dei. At least when and where I grew up, arguments based on or even incorporating Imago Dei seemed to be deemed suspicious and dangerously liberal.

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posted October 26, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I am a humanist, who was paired with a christian roommate in college. She was EXTREMELY pushy, made me tiptoe around her (no closing her window when I’m alone in the room and it’s cold out, no opening the drawers in the morning to get dressed because I’ll wake her up, no having friends over without texting her but she could have her boyfriend over ANY time she wanted without asking, no printing out my papers while she’s asleep even if the library is closed and I have class soon, etc.) So eventually SHE complained about me “attacking” her faith and wanted to move out of the room (which I was happy with). But I did not attack her at all. I was having a conversation with a friend about religion (not even to her), but she was eavesdropping and felt that we were *personally attacking* her.
Talking about inconsistencies in the Bible/Book of Mormon and saying that we don’t think that it’s a very nice thing to rape or kill people is an attack? Saying that racism is disgusting is an attack?

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