I was in the hospital recently for knee replacement surgery. I was getting along fine with my roommate, I'll call her Lucy. It turned out Lucy is Catholic, which I had overheard her mention during a phone conversation she received. I kept hoping I might have an opportunity to discuss my atheism with her but it didn’t come up. By the second day of our sharing a room, her priest, dressed in street clothes, stopped in to visit her and give her communion.
The priest was very friendly. He greeted us both with a smile and, as he talked with Lucy, he occasionally looked my way as if to include me in the conversation. My stomach was beginning to tighten, as it often does when I want so much to have an opportunity to talk to the religious about my life as an atheist and former Christian. As I listened politely, eventually the priest addressed me directly and asked if I was affiliated with any church. I said simply and with confidence, “No, I’m an atheist. I used to belong to the Methodist Church many years ago.”
How I wish I could have known what was going on in his mind. From the way his face suddenly looked, a look I would call totally expressionless, you would have thought I had just told him I was a terrorist or a satanist. At that moment, a medical staff person came in to tend to Lucy; so the priest excused himself and said he would be back.
My first thought was that I was sorry I hadn’t had a chance to say more; but then I gave myself kudos for speaking up and saying, with confidence, “I’m an atheist.” When the priest returned, he was very serious. He mostly ignored me, gave Lucy communion and left.
Lucy said nothing to me about my atheism but continued to treat me just as she had, with friendliness.
I am so proud of myself for standing up confidently as an atheist; and I am so glad I took that opportunity, though very brief, to demonstrate that atheists are “coming out of the closet.”I would be interested to hear of experiences others have had announcing their atheism.
What does "shove emotion against emotion" mean?
If it means getting emotional (i.e., aggressive, angry, etc), it will cost you more and waste more of your time than shoving reason against emotion.
no, stick with the logic.... reinforce your own 'story', it saves you needing to listen to theirs.
I'm aware, and I know a lot of the appeals to 'save your soul' are purely emotional--it's all about scare tactics and making you feel emotionally guilty for normal human behavior, rather than anything remotely evidence-based or logic-based.
One of the 'theist logic' bits I've seen before is--they want to ban abortion, but they also want to ban birth control, the morning after pill, prophylactics--anything that might actually reduce abortion--so they're not really pro-life, or anti-abortion--they're anti-sex, but they're also pro-sex, because if you don't have sex and suffer the consequences they can't sell their religion to you as the cure. So they're trying to ban all birth control--not because it would create more babies, but because they think it would net them more believers.
So true Jonel. Thanks for the insightful response.
My feeling is, Jonel, after being taught as a child a belief in the supernatural, continuing belief in the supernatural as an adult is more of a challenge, since there is no evidence for it. Christians need the support of other believers in order to sustain their own beliefs; and if they are confronted with someone who does not support their beliefs, they become defensive.