From time to time my wife gets confused. She thinks she wants to live closer to her job so she doesn't drive 80 miles a day, and this idea has come up twice now in the last year. I've all but declined moving with her as I'm 67 and the house note is less than $200. If we both move the house note will at least triple for an apartment, and we know some that pay $800 plus. I have a modest part time employment and social security. My wife has a professional position with a fair salary, but she won't be stopped on this moving idea even if I pay for her gasoline.
Enter my theist friend "offering counciling" as my title here says. We've known each other since age 13 and were once theists together. He knows my back ground and training, but he knows I'm not following it today, and he might suspect that I am atheist or some other thing happened to make me "angry with god." I have to be "asking him for help" because you simply cannot be just shareing a story on the phone. (Oh, what do I do? What do I do?) If I did ask "what would you do" it certainly wouldn't mean that I asked you to bring along your imaginary friends.
The first thing I'm hearing from him is about "church and community" where the wife and I would have new freinds and activities, a sense of purpose, and something else we could share together. He says that "coming back to church" is the answer. I cautioned him to keep god out of the picture, but agreed with community activies and purpose.
He next gets into the idea that his home, money, and property are an illusion of god. I have twice as much as he does (so he says) even though his mortgage is $1200 while I live in a mobile home. It's simply that he has more assets than I do. I remind him that assets cost money, but he doesn't see this. He has a "special" relationship with god, and he "knows him personally." Again I tell him to leave god out of it.
My friend tells me again that god is his "best friend" and he "talks to his friend every day" and that I need to "meet his friend" and that I can then "talk to him too" and that "god can solve every problem." He continued to rattle on and on as I made an excuse and hung up the phone.
This is a true story, but WHY do theists keep thinking that I want to meet their imaginary friend? How do you believe in the Wizard of Oz once you have seen behind the curtain?
Right now she has a rental car, and she acted surprised that I was going to pay for it. Put this together with replacing the car, and any moving at all would have to be put off now through mid summer. Maybe longer. We shall see. It is a road that we have been down before.
Now I have heard it all! My theist friend who had originally offered his brand of "counciling" was told about my wife's accident just today. He ends up asking me why she just didn't drive the car home. This man calls himself a mechanic and he thinks a car can drive 40 miles with no coolant in the system! (It's called a bad radiator. Like a big assed hole in it.) I called him on this idea, asking him if he really thought that would work? Well, maybe not, he says.
I'm beginning to think I live in Moronica instead of America.
To be honest, that sounds like the kind of dumb question I would ask about a car. But, I've driven some serious hoopties in my life- never had a new car. Surprised by how long a crunched-up car could last, or with a busted manifold, etc. etc.
Did I ever think I could *pray* the car to its destination? Hell no.
Aaarrrghh, I just posted a longer reply about my old apartment.......for some reason it didn't take.
Basically, I can relate to wanting to hang onto the cheap, practical rent. So much so, that I had my BF at the time move in with me when it came time to find a new, third roommate.
Didn't want to live with a BF (you know, cow and free milk and all that) but it was a rational decision. There was the 2nd bedroom should we break up, where he could move into until I found a replacement roommate; there were no contracts or mortgage involved to get tangled up in, so no rushing into anything. Besides, I would've been fine just living with him even without marriage- at least for a few years! I had given up on the idea by then.
Anyway, BF's mom sends him a package that got bounced back, and she asked what was up. He explained that he moved in with his GF. What followed was one of her weekly letters, which he told me, "said something SO awful about you in the first sentence, that I stopped reading after that, shredded the letter, and emailed my siblings to let them know what she said about you." She hadn't even met me.
So the appeal of cheap rent trumped my reluctance to live with a BF and what I figured would be my last hope of marriage, anything my own family would think, and got me the label of "jezebel wh0re" (or words to that effect) from my future monster-in-law.
Maybe you can start being flippant with your theist friend. When he suggests that Jesus will help things get better after the accident, ask why he let the accident happen in the first place. If he says there was a lesson, say OH, and what would that be? Call in sick every day there's a puddle on the ground? LOVE that idea! "Boss- Jesus says not to leave the house......yeah, again. Something bad might happen. What, I'm fired?? But only God can judge......hello?!!"
Nice post, Christine, and I do identify. You have my kind of humor.
As for bad mouthing you, this person isn't reading their Buybull correctly. Abram got rich by pimping out his half sister wife Sarai, but the religious don't see it that way. What he did was because he was in fear of his life. (Yeah, right.) I lived 12 years with a woman once without marriage and didn't give a damn what people thought. Speaking of marriage, we all know that god married Adam and Eve, and the bible came down from heaven then, and all the animals were witnesses. Then we have that modern better than thou woman who makes fun of all the savages because they "think" that they are married. She knows that she is married because she paid a tax to the authorities to get the certificate.
Such is life!
Mike, this is good, especially your last words: " How do you believe in the Wizard of Oz once you have seen behind the curtain?" Man, I think you're cool and also highly intelligent, so I'm hoping this theist friend doesn't somehow get you to drink of the cool aid again. If he's trying to convert you to Christianity again, then that gives you the right to try to convert him to atheism. If it were me I would give him my best arguments and evidence against the existence of any God every time he started up with his fairy stories. I would also use the Socratic method of question and answer against him in an attempt to make him see the light, and give up his silly fantasies.
Peace my brother.
I can't argue with him much, Tony. He knows I'm not a follower any longer but he is very very close to the theists that I work for, so I don't want to lose my job. Part time security is better than no security.
I like all your posts and blogs and I think our backgrounds have us believing things in a similar way. As for that "Oz" line in my post, I've either heard that before from someone, OR it came right out of the movie itself. I'll Google it, but feel free to use it. I'm even wondering if Baum had a hidden religious reference in mind here? I'll look him up too.
We are both still "preachers." So is Jerry DeWitt and Dan Barker.
Yeah, Mike. If he's close to your theist employers it's probably not a good idea to debate him. I don't know your friend or what he's like, but it's been my experience that when you're out-debating a Christian they can become vicious and make ad hominem attacks against the unbeliever, besmirching the unbeliever's character, or focusing on the personal failings of the unbeliever, such as, for example, pointing out personal defects ("Look at the rags he's wearing. He cannot afford good clothes. You're going to believe him when he looks like a slouch ?"). Man, brother, you're in a tough situation. And really, I feel for you man. Wish I could help, but I can't. I do, however, hope everything will work itself out.
Peace my brother.
While I am sympathetic, perhaps your problem isn’t with a theist friend.
I found your quotes somewhat telling:
“I've all but declined moving with her...”
“she won't be stopped on this moving idea even if I pay for her gasoline.”
“I have a half acre and a nice moble home” (not “WE have...” )
“I'll pay the rental car fees and she pays her gas and mileage fees.”
It has been my observation over the years that successful marriages do NOT divide assets between his and hers.
Do you keep separate bank accounts?
Separate credit cards?
Some possessions (car, real estate, etc.) in your name, and some in hers?
If so, I think you have problems your theist friend is not aware of and it is presumptuous of him to be offering any advice . . . just as it is presumptuous of him to think he has all the answers because he is a Christian.
Perhaps you should not so freely reveal your problems to those who can not reasonably be expected to understand them in the first place.
Very observant, Asa, and very correct on all counts. Yes, we have separate everything. Why not divide now? I'm not wanting to divide later, and where I live came from my dead mother, but it wasn't free either. Choosing to pay 4 times as much for other property is no guarantee that moving together would solve the problem. I would just as soon hope that she got a job closer to home than go through all this hastle. Our cars are even separately owned, and that includes the one she just totalled out. Even so, I make the payments, but I'm an old man now without much money.
My theist freind is just another moron who thinks that "gawd" is the answer to everything. I'm now finding out that the entire situation that started this blog was work stress and credit card debt. (Oh, you are spending too much money. Move closer to your job.)
Damn Mike. Like I said in my previous reply, I feel for you man. That is sad. I really wish I was a billionaire, so I could hand you a few million dollars. Dude, peace to you brother.
Thanks, Tony, but it's OK. Her moving stress is gone now and she sees that I am helping. Maybe Thor will let me win the lottery.