It gets us no where and just gets their defenses up. Instead agree to disagree and work on dialogues about real world problems and fixes. I know there will be times when they will say something foolish like. “Jesus is coming back in 2012 anyway, so who cares about the pacific garbage patch?” just reply “Maybe if we fixed that problem he wouldn’t have to come back.”
Yes! Play in to their superstitions. But only as an intelligent person who realizes that your interpretations of reality may be just as out of sync with the true reality that we were indeed sneezed from the great giant turtle anyway, ‘achoo’ and also with you.
Jokes, not the profane and blasphemous, but the ridiculous and good natured, also work well when dealing with adults who still haven’t grasped the concept that people have been lying to each other since we evolved as a species... oh yeah they still have trouble with that one too... damn those people do suck...
But tough it out. These are regular folks with the similar characteristics to yourself, they are not stupid (not true for some cases), just foolish about certain things, work around that deficit, try to hide it from the dialogue. Instead focus on your own secular world view and force him to do the same by just ignoring that “god” comment, or explaining what my mother used to tell me “god helps those who help themselves.”, and moving on with solution based thinking.
Again playing into their superstitions is an effective way to show you actually do have the upper hand on the issue.
And lastly, don’t be a hater. These are people. They are fathers and mothers with daughters and sons, they have the right to their culture and opinion. Thats not to say we should stand by and do nothing when a barbaric cultural hangover threatens the life of an “innocent”. Just do not automatically reach for that anger over every little thing they say. I don’t hate the teenage girls who talk about vampires incessantly, though grown adults droning on about the rapture does get rather tiresome.