Call it like you see it, but be aware that you might lose friends. Others do not like it when they find out you do not share their same delusion.
I'm almost 68 years old and I have a childhood friend who suspects that I have become atheist. He is always telling me about god and Jesus, and he says he talks to god every day. We accept this as normal, but would think he was batshit crazy if he talked to god on his cell phone.
This gets worse when they all talk about apocalypse and the "end times." Apocalypse does not mean fighting and a great destruction. It is simply an unveiling. The book of Revelation was not predicting some end of it all as if it was a "calander of events" that eveyone must follow. The theist says "look at Israel and look at Syria." They use the most rediculous bullshit as they fit world events into their phoney "calander." You keep hearing them saying "the world cannot stand another day."
Be prepared coz they will tell you this tomorrow too.
Michael is right, you can call them out on their religious bull shit but be prepared to lose your friends.
I wasn't prepared to lose my family and friends. I also wasn't prepared to replace them. If you are an atheist, there is no ready-made community you can enter and suddenly be among friends. Sometimes I wish I had never figured it out.
Oh, I'm glad to agree with you FundyLand occupant! Now that I'm older and spend more time thinking about life, I find myself becoming alienated from many formerly close family members and friends whose beliefs I once tolerated and whose sanity I now question.
It's lonely. Personally, I haven't discovered a solution to the loneliness. As atheists, we're pretty much surrounded by religious people in the United States.
I've done the "forgiveness" thing, but I've learned it's more of a way of life than something you do once and forget. And it's fucking hard. I know I'm going to face religious bullshit every day. Even though I try to forgive, I still don't trust. If someone is religious, I emotionally distance myself from that person because Christians tend to be judgmental and toxic.
I had a difficult time getting my voice going today (singing) and I Googled "bad voice day" to see if anyone had tips or tricks. Here are some of the suggestions I found on one page:
1. What weighs on my conscience?
2. Face it
3. Confess it to God
4. Ask for forgiveness
5. Forgive any and all grudges against others
Sweet Jesus on a trailer hitch, is there nowhere safe from the onslaught of religion? Funny thing is most Christians think asking god for forgiveness is just as good (if not better) than asking the person you've wronged for forgiveness. And despite number five, Christians are champion grudge-holders. I learned that from them and I'm trying to unlearn it. Being raised by Christians leaves its marks. My worst failings can be traced right back to my uber-religious upbringing and yet Christians blame my failings on atheism. *facepalm*
I can agree, Ceil. I question their sanity but in my church days you just took things in stride without thinking about it. I remember once a man stood up to testify in church and he starts out saying "I was just over here in the corner talking to Jesus." He goes on without anyone batting an eye, but I wasn't aware that Jesus came into the building. I didn't see him. The modern theist will tell you not to be stupid, and say that you knew what he meant, etc. No, I'm sorry. I do not know what he meant. If he's in the corner with his eyes closed and talking to himself then he must be deluded. This is some form of insanity! Leave me out of it, please.
You don't tell us enough about the manner in which batshit insanity manifests itself among your friends. It takes some folks a lifetime to come to the horrifying realization that there is nothing "out there" on whom you can blame your failures or explain such blatant contradictions as an omipotent good god. Know thy enemy! Use their Buy Bull to show them the foolishness of their ways. Start by asking if they really trust a Latin translation from Koine Greek, which has no punctuation, such that "God is now here" could just as easily be "God is nowhere." Ask them if they know that the Book of Revelations was not written in prediction of future events but in coded language to warn Christians of Nero Caesar. Point up the absurd frivolousness and entirely arbitrary decision making of Yahweh-Jehovah, a guy who punishes some homosexual (or possibly xenophobic) citizens of the plain by setting them afire (almost certainly explained by science as an astrophyical event), the has Lot's daughters seducing him. Apparently, being gay is bad, but father-daughter sex is OK. Be patient. It took me about 60 years to figure it out.
They are both baptists, but they take a soft approach to the whole thing. The "jesus loves the little gays but hates their gay" approach. They are also young-earth creationists I might add. It isn't so bad because we never actually get stuck on religion as a topic for conversation and they're very pleasant otherwise, but they just say the most ignorant things sometimes and I'm not the kind of person to hold my tongue.
You may lose friends. A few can call you names to your face and more might do so behind your back. Some could accuse you of all kinds of criminal acts. Some can conceivably hurt your feelings. A few might throw toilet paper all over your trees and shrubs. The gossips imaginably can have a heyday with your name and your character. Your house may be spray painted with vicious names. You may receive threatening phone calls or calls throughout the night.
So? Does that make you a victim? Absolutely not! It makes you aware that there exists those who are too cowardly or too stupid to debate you in a reasonable and rational way. They fall back on such ephemeral claims as faith to support their points of view. None can stand up to your statements because they have nothing to stand on except traditions and beliefs. We used to have traditions that said a husband had the right to kill his wife and children if they did not obey! There were traditions that women remained silent in church. How many time have we heard some say that they "let go and let god" and then wondered why things didn't change. How many times have we observed people stop thinking when they left problems or conflicts up to supernatural powers?
Do you think through to logical conclusions the things that you state? Do you have evidence to back up your claims? Do you listen to objections, consider them, and then determine if their objections have holes like a bucket with a rusty bottom?
Why should you not speak your truth? Why should you acquiesce to nonsense? Do you really want to yield to irrational thinking? Is it your intent to follow like sheep after a herder who may or may not we worthy of following?
There are now 7,233,027,290 human beings on this Earth and you don't have to put up with deluded people. Somewhere in all this humanity are those who think and reason and insist on evidence before they speak or act. Surround yourself with the kinds of people you find willing to examine their ideas. If you allow yourself to be dominated by shepherds, you will be as sheep.
thanks, thats very inspiring!
It is disconcerting when you get along so well with people who are clearly delusional. The two people I talk the most with at work, and respect for their maturity, happen to be christians.
One of them is actually very tolerant and willing to hear me out when I rant about religion; the other is more sensitive and convinced that my husband and I will "someday be saved." Ay caramba!!
With practice, I'll be more ready for the times the sensitive one comes out with such batsh!t craziness. I tend to hold back on account of her sensitivity, but as she feels more comfortable telling me stuff like that, I'll feel more comfortable with retorts like, "Saved from what exactly? Reality? Reason? Freedom of thought? Perpetual guilt?? No thanks!"
You might not lose friends as easily as you might think. I've been open about who I am and they still enjoy talking to me; another born-again co-worker talks to me MORE since I revealed my atheism, but she's a little on the needy side, so nothing seems to deter her unfortunately (she's one of those clingy "talkers.") She might be the one to practice on come to think of it.....!
With my in-laws, I envision showing up armed with the Skeptic's Annotated Bible this year for the annual family gathering, and having some interesting discussions, but I'm sure it won't go well. I'll bring it for the sake of reference should anything come up, though, because I simply can't remain quiet for the rest of my life.
If nothing else, I want the fundie-raised kids to be aware that there ARE options should they ever decide religion isn't for them. Also, that atheists aren't satan-worshipping, baby-eating, hedonistic evil murderers.
Makes me sad and angry to think of the insanity that surrounds them and blocks them from learning about science. I hope they see their aunt and uncle as bastions of rationality.
When we have family gatherings, including fundamentalists, I am the one having the fun with the kids, playing games, making things, exploring, singing, dancing, carving, telling ghost stories at night outside with a flashlight on my face and covered with a sheet, making drums out of logs if we are at the forest. The kids just love it and the parents can't say to them that I am a bad person. Obviously, I am not a bad person. When anyone asks a questions about anything, I answer as honestly as I can, without defensiveness, or superiority. I just say what I believe and let the vibrations in the air do what they will. I am proud of who I am and what I think. Happy to share.
I always get the how can I be moral without god? or god has a plan for my life. That kind of nonsense. I just say that morality came into existence before Abraham, and he borrowed the ideas. I also say that god's plan is too small for me and I have more meaningful things to do than prescribed by god or cultural norms.
My life has been far more interesting than many of the other men or women in the group and they have no answer to refute me. The kids enjoy hearing stories of children I have met in other countries.