So, a relative of mine recently found out that I was an atheist, sometime before Christmas. I managed to get him to agree to not bring it up during the holidays.

http://img63.imageshack.us/img63/7979/finallygotfoundouttookt.png
In that link is the discussion between he and I.

Upon a long reflection of the conversation, I've decided that he, honestly and without a hint of irony, cannot imagine someone else's belief system. It was ridiculous the inanity of the discussion, but what I learned was that his world view limits his imagination, because he and people like him live in a fantasy novel where there's some real concept called redemption and salvation and anyone who doesn't believe that is either stupid or knows its true and is just being needlessly rebellious.

So, what can you do? Is there anything that can be done about this? All I know is that I need to come out to my family about it, because the pretenses they're operating under are flawed, if they are much like him at all.

Tags: I, if, know, shit

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I'd imagine any chat I'd have with any member of of my family would go along those same lines. I've often said, they'd be much more upset that I am an atheist than I am gay.

I don't know that you can do much of anything other than stay true to yourself. My plan is to let my family think whatever they want to think as long as they think it. Took them too many years to accept the gay thing, I don't know that they'd EVER forgive the atheist thing.
But is it really worth being dishonest with your family, if they love someone you're not?

 

Of course, I really do think my cousin believes he's on a crusade for the souls of all humanity.  That if any one doesn't see the world the way he does, he has failed.

 

They sure are.  Baptists are very evangelical around here, and tend to do that a lot.  You get used to it after a while, providing you have a fun quip handy.


Where did you move from exactly?  Seems odd that you didn't have evangelical types, but I've lived here all my life.

Orson

 

Good debate.

 

I'd personally have gone after them for the 'god can do anything he wants he is in charge' line comparing god to a mafia boss and them to a flunky.

 

But that might work in an online context - face to face with family perhaps not so wise.

Ha, well, like I said to him, I refuse to believe in any god who acts like a bully.  That's not what I believed God was like when I was a Christian, but that seems to be how many people characterize him, even believers.  I get told by Christians who are more moderate that I'm setting up a strawman and that no one really believes god is like that.  But some do.

Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to the difficulties of coming out to family. I finally broke down and told my mom, and although she didn't disown me like I thought she would, our relationship is more strained now than it was before (and it was pretty bad before).  Despite that, I must admit that it feels damn good to have gotten that off my chest, and no longer have to live a lie with her. I told my brother also, but he thinks I'm just temporarily "mad at god" (you've heard that before, I'm sure).  All that matters to me is that-- like it or not-- the people who are closest to me know the truth, and now they all do. 

 

But trust me, I know it's not easy for people to come out down here (I'm closeted at work, for instance, because I'd probably lose my job), so I'm extremely grateful for groups like this and other online networks for giving us a place where we can be ourselves and meet others in our same situation. It's very refreshing and validating to know I'm not alone down here in the Magnolia State...

Oh tell me about it.  It's like it's so damn obvious to everyone else, and I'm just stupid or something for not seeing it.  I'm glad to know it's not just people in North Mississippi.

 

Incidentally, I don't want to ask you to tell me anything you don't want to, but I'd really like to hear your story. 

 

And always remember.  No one is ever truly alone.  Unless there's been a mass extinction, in which case you could be.

I posted a brief intro under the discussion threads, but I'll be glad to tell you more. Ask me anything!
Whelp, in an act of overwhelming miscalculation, I decided to turn a freudian slip into an admission and now my parents know. Mom's fine. In mere seconds she managed to justify my behavior, and presumed I'd return to religion some day.

Dad took it much worse, informing me that I had lied to him, therefore I had lost his trust. Because once you lie, nothing you say can be trusted. This especially includes scientists who are paid off by billionaire philanthropist George Soros. Frankly, I'm happy. He's not. I'm happy I'm happy, but sad that he's taking this so hard because he doesn't have to.
Good for you! Hopefully your dad will come around eventually.
No, he won't.  He won't listen to what I have to say because I don't listen to what he has to say.  And by listen to what he has to say, I mean agree unconditionally.  I don't care anymore about the old asshole.  Frankly, I probably didn't in the first place.  I just love him because I'm conditioned to.  And if he'll never talk to me ever again, then I'll manage.
That sucks. The idea that relationships would be destroyed because someone refuses to accept an absurd delusion is mind-blowing.

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