"Haha! I also recently started collecting Chick tracts, simply because I'm so dumbfounded by their ridiculousness. They are so over-the-top, it's like they are a parody of themselves. In fact, I'm not sure how one could parody them:…"
"I see no reason to feel guilty. I love a good story, and religious-based premises can be a great source. Doesn't mean I believe the religion, any more than I believe in people with arachnid-like superpowers if I enjoy a Spiderman movie.…"
"Well, that's more than I've messed with. For that matter, I'm out of practice with most of the instruments I've played. It's been a while since I've had the time, and I don't own most of the instruments…"
"F is closest, I guess (over a period of a few years, just questioning the things I was told). Of course, some of B helped: the book being the Bible
The main problem with this survey is some of the answers are so damn funny that it's…"
"I haven't played the bagpipes (^_^) but have had some expsoure playing the English Horn and the Bassoon. (And of course the oboe, my primary instrument.) And of course there are various members of the oboe and bassoon families, but I…"
"Heh, jeeze. I've only played those two I mentioned, piano, and electric bass. The only instrument I've been playing lately is the electric mouse, though. It's easier to work musically, on my own, using midi. I…"
Oy, I can just imagine your arguments with your father. I suspect there was nothing particularly more compelling than a poorly-structured Pascal's Wager and a bunch of appeals to the authority and perfection of a holy book which he's never actually read.
It's good that he has respect for you educating yourself on the subject. That's probably another attribute of your family heritage, as a Chinese-American. Most longtime Americans aren't so well oriented, on average. The anti-intellectualism of huge chunks of American society (such as the bulk of the Republican base) never ceases to make me despair.
I think my parents took the opposite tack in their attempts to bring me back to Christ. I think my mother figured that I was rebelling or something, and that if she forced me to continue going to CCD and church, it would just drive me further away from God. Not that either approach would have had the slightest impact, but I think hers was the better approach, in the case of people who have any chance of being re-indoctrinated.
Or, if my suspicions about my father's atheism are correct, it's possible that he had some influence on the decision. I can only guess, at this point.
I wonder how my extended family will take it, when I come out of the closet to them. My father, as the oldest son, was encouraged to join the priesthood. My one aunt actually is a nun.
If I can get the the point of touring the country with my standup comedy, I'll be inviting all of them to see my show, when I get to the Chicago area. I'll obviously be out of the closet after that, since I mention religion a lot in my material.
That's one of the biggest things I hate about religion. It's the us vs. them mentality, like what made your grandmother completely write you off. Christ. That's got to suck.
Wow, sounds a great deal like my past religious situation. I have vague memories of not believing in what the Catholic church was selling, when I was 5 or 6, but I was stuck going to church every freaking week, until I was 14 or 15. I was an altar boy, just to have some sort of activity to break up the monotony. At least I never had any altar boy experiences of a priestly nature, because I was an ugly child.
In my case though, I ended up blurting out to my parents that I didn't believe any of the nonsense, when I was 14 or 15. I was whining to my mother about having to go to CCD, and she told me I had to go until I made my confirmation. I flat out told her that I had no intention of doing so, because I was an atheist, and things sort of blew up, at that point ... but at least I didn't have to go to church as regularly, and the whole CCD thing was dropped.
I take it you're not out of the closet to your parents, yet?