I met an old friend of mine from high school for breakfast the other day. She is one of the most genuinely nice people I have ever met. She was raised catholic, and sent her kids to catholic school, but the one that started high school wanted to go to public school. She LOVES it there. She likes being friends with whomever she chooses, instead of everyone knowing EVERYTHING about EVERYONE ELSE. It seems like the catholic school system is almost incestuous, in the way that all the families have been together forever, everyone knows everyone else, etc. Sorry, got off topic.
Anyway... She asked me if I was an Atheist (from my Facebook posts) and I told her yes. She looked a little shocked, but asked me about it. I told her I could never believe in any 'god' that treated his "children" the way the one she believes in supposedly does. That's about as deep as I went. She thought about it, and said she could see that. She didn't judge me, just asked. I don't think she thought about that one thing before. Then she was talking about her Mother-in-law being prejudice against her because she is Sicilian. I thought that was weird of her MIL! So I said my relatives were/are jewish, and jews have been persecuted for a few thousand years. She didn't know why. I explained even the supposed jesus was jewish. She did know that, but didn't know that christianity came about by people taking the jewish religion, and adding on to it (I didn't go into that the jews took stuff from other religions.)
She said, "Wow! You know a lot more about the bible and religion than I do!" Blind acceptance. I guess because I was never told what to believe, I don't understand it?! How can people not have questions come to mind?
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you know human things
For the first time since I came-out as atheist, I spent most of yesterday talking with a gathering of several of my family, who are strong mormons. I was enjoying laughing with them, so whenever they mentioned religious things, I didn't say anything about it.
Besides not wanting to bring the mood down, I didn't want to get into any discussion or argument when it would be 6 against one. It would be impossible to make any good points in that situation. However, if I ever get talking with just one of them, I will definitely have some viewpoints that will be expressed, and hope we can have a good discussion about them.
PS: I think mormons know more about their religion than most religious people, although the church leaders still hide a lot from them.
Spud, you have more patience and gentleness of heart than I. I like it when I take on the whole crowd and answer any and all questions they present to me, even as they do not give me satisfactory answers to my questions to them.
I am angry. No doubt about it. I feel betrayed by family who remained silent in the presence of evidence my mother was battered ... but so were the other women in my family, it was "normal". Violence was required of the men and forgiveness required of the women. JEEZ! Talk about sick!
I don't want to forget my history; I want it known because it is the history of the men and women of my ancestry. What I do want is peace and I find the two are not so compatible. One way I handle this cognitive dissonance is just to give up any notion of having warm family relationship with my extended family and focus on the great progress my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren make in learning how to communicate in healthy ways. For that, I am most grateful.
Life is far too precious to waste on people with superstitions. Of the 7,182,394,359+ human beings on the Earth, there are more and more who declare they are atheists, and I have the right and power to choose with whom I spend time.
Right now, I celebrate autumn with its cold winds, rain, and color changes of deciduous flora. Such a grand show nature presents us. The harvest of gardens and the wonderful flavors of fruits and vegetables ripening after a frost delights my growing appetite. Things taste so good to me now, and I surely will not keep the lost weight off. Looking forward to a trip to the farmer's market this weekend.
Hope you have a most glorious weekend, whether outside participating in the harvest or driven inside by cold and rain.
Joan, you're just so inspirational and wise. I truly believe everyone on this site is a better person for having read your posts. I don't mean to embarrass you, it's just true.
Thanks Joan. It appears you came from a worse situation than me, and have pulled yourself out of it better than I have. I can understand why you are angry.
I do have some patience and gentleness, but I'm also still angry about some things, but mostly sad.
As far as confronting my family, I don't want to do it except one-on-one because I'm a slow thinker and not good at remembering what I would like to say, even one-on-one.
I'm also not nearly as good as you at expressing myself, even when I have lots of time.
Hoping you have a good week as well Joan.
Slow thinker describes me as well, Idaho. That's why I prefer letters or email where I can spend a few days writing down what I want to say. As for confronting, I make no denials on what I am, but think of a million things I should have said after the fact. I have trouble coming up with words too, & that frustrates me. I don't actually like to talk much because I am somewhat of a loner & am not comfortable around people.
It seems that you're handling the relationship maturely and well, given the circumstances. I've had fallings out with dear old friends over religion because, well, diplomacy only goes so far. I find that the most intransigent conflicts arise when I turn their Bible back on itself to refute their assertions that it is a necessary source of moral conduct. I try to think of it from their point of view, ill equipped for that as I am. How would I react if someone claimed that my lover has a perverse effect on me? I probably wouldn't answer rationally, but rather would distance myself from such claims. I think that religion is much like falling in love in that it triggers innate and learned responses that are not much under rational control nor subject to rational debate.
Oh believe me Ted, I've lost quite a few friendships to religion. Two old friends just this year. They both wanted me out of their lives because they didn't want to hear my opinion, but I was supposed to listen to THEIRS. NOT!!! This friend though, is just a very sweet person, and wouldn't drop me as a friend because I don't believe what she does. I also wouldn't get into a deep discussion about Atheism with her, just because, and I don't mean to sound mean, she's not very intellectual. I don't mean she's dumb, it's just that we talk more about being mom's, homemaking, etc. It's just a relationship that really doesn't have a place for talking about religion, and I'm just going to keep it that way.
I lost meaningful contact with a very good old friend because he embraced Christian fundamentalism. He's just about the smartest person I've yet known, but in late middle age he fell back onto the doctrine in which he'd been raised. We'd had long discussions about ultimate meanings and the nature of reality, but when his Christian fundamentalism hit it was if we'd encountered a stone wall. Everything I said to him seemed to cause him grief, and so I broke off contact as an act of mercy. He's comfortable creating an identity on what he believes, and as a friend I don't want to upset it.
I can sympathize Ted. I lost the best friend I ever had to christian fundamentalism. I just couldn't be comfortable with her anymore. You did it for a good reason. I did it because I couldn't be around that level of stupid. I know that sounds harsh.
Good way to think about it. I struggle with upsetting and disappointing people all the time. Sometimes, you just have to walk away.
"Jebus loves me this I know
For the Buybull tells me so"
NO it doesn't! It was your parents and other family members who told you that. You were either raised in your religion or converted to belief in your religion, - and you believed it all BLIND! In fact, they told you that was the only way to accept it. Blind faith, which is the same as total ignorance and knowing nothing.
Ad the fact that everyone is afraid to die and you have other reasons to believe. Are they afraid to no longer exist, or are they afraid of hell? Maybe both. The christian wants to know that god had purpose for them and that they didn't arrive here out of carnal lust. (We are not like cattle.) In any congregation the individual beliefs are legion even if they have just one doctrine. They are all covered!
God is the insurance
Jebus is the premium and
The Buybull is the policy
Trouble understanding this? Just ask Jebus.