At someone's expense

robj101
atheist
robj101's picture
Posts: 2481
Joined: 2010-02-20
User is offlineOffline
At someone's expense

 I have been feeling a little down lately. Since I came out as an atheist a few years ago my very young sibling has been steadily and heavily indoctrinated in the baptist cult of religion. I feel as if I am directly to blame and I have tried to think of something I can do about it. Nothing comes to mind without the possibility of being "disowned" or something. I do love and respect my parents despite their "faith" and don't (as most would likely contend) want to stir the pot too much.

Hindsight tells me every day that perhaps I should have waited to announce my non-belief.

Anyone else have this problem and if so how do you deal with it?

Nothing I can think of steers me from the idea that I am at least parshally to blame for what is happening to this 12 year old.

I can't even mention anything related to religion without the hair on my parents back raising yet of course they will discuss how god does this and that around me all day. If I mention anything around my little sister I will be ex-communicated ..yet I have to watch this terrible play.

Any suggestions that I may not have considered?

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


Sapient
High Level DonorRRS CO-FOUNDERRRS Core MemberWebsite Admin
Posts: 7580
Joined: 2006-04-18
User is offlineOffline
 <Moved from General

 <Moved from General Conversation to Freethinking Anonymous>

 

The best you can do is tell her the bits and pieces you think will help her as you get opportunities.  Try planting seeds at this age so that when she moves out of the house, you can pounce on her and snap her out of it.

 

Please donate to one of these highly rated charities to help impede the GOP attack on America 2017-2019.

Support our activism efforts by making your Amazon purchases via this link.


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
robj101 wrote: I have been

robj101 wrote:

 I have been feeling a little down lately. Since I came out as an atheist a few years ago my very young sibling has been steadily and heavily indoctrinated in the baptist cult of religion.

How is that even remotely your fault ?

You mean they're being extra hard on her, hoping to somehow immunise her against any atheist "infection" ?

That's still not your fault, rob.


Jeffrick
High Level DonorRational VIP!SuperfanGold Member
Jeffrick's picture
Posts: 2446
Joined: 2008-03-25
User is offlineOffline
Try this.

 

 

 

                       Tell her the truth,   Mom and dad are cramming the religious stuff into her because you  are NOT religious, that she should understand easily enough. Also point out that if any of that stuff were true they wouln't  have to cram it at all.  After all do they cram the stuff about  the earth rotating around the sun, the stars are realy distent suns, you need air to breath and clean water to drink, etc........

"Very funny Scotty; now beam down our clothes."

VEGETARIAN: Ancient Hindu word for "lousy hunter"

If man was formed from dirt, why is there still dirt?


robj101
atheist
robj101's picture
Posts: 2481
Joined: 2010-02-20
User is offlineOffline
Anonymouse wrote:robj101

Anonymouse wrote:

robj101 wrote:

 I have been feeling a little down lately. Since I came out as an atheist a few years ago my very young sibling has been steadily and heavily indoctrinated in the baptist cult of religion.

How is that even remotely your fault ?

You mean they're being extra hard on her, hoping to somehow immunise her against any atheist "infection" ?

That's still not your fault, rob.

"they're being extra hard on her"

Yes she is totally immersed in it much more so than I was, they are taking her to church 2 days a week and involving her in every single church activity they can.

I know it's not my fault as in something I did intentionally but it is happening and I can't do anything other than has been suggested, throw in bits now and then. My bits usually involve critical thinking only. If I say anything to her that can be construed as negative towards religion my family will cut me off from seeing her and probably them as well. If I even get too touchy on the critical thinking part and it can be taken as anti-religion .. I have to tread so carefully.

My biggest hope is that she is being so immersed in it that it will eventually backfire. My situation however is teetering on the head of a pin. If she does at say age 18 or so decide that religion is wrong I will be ostracized anyway because they will assume it was my fault.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


cj
atheistRational VIP!
cj's picture
Posts: 3330
Joined: 2007-01-05
User is offlineOffline
robj101 wrote: My biggest

robj101 wrote:

 

My biggest hope is that she is being so immersed in it that it will eventually backfire. My situation however is teetering on the head of a pin. If she does at say age 18 or so decide that religion is wrong I will be ostracized anyway because they will assume it was my fault.

 

The thought of being ostracized is obviously upsetting for you.  I have no words of wisdom for you as I wasn't ostracized - I actively avoid most members of my family as much as I can.  I even moved over 1600 miles away from them. 

What other people put on you is their problem.  You can not make them happy by being something you are not.  And if you try, that is a sure path to mental break down.  You obviously care for your sister.  Let her know by your actions.  And what will happen, happens.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

"If death isn't sweet oblivion, I will be severely disappointed" - Ruth M.


Ktulu
atheist
Posts: 1831
Joined: 2010-12-21
User is offlineOffline
cj wrote:robj101 wrote: My

cj wrote:

robj101 wrote:

 

My biggest hope is that she is being so immersed in it that it will eventually backfire. My situation however is teetering on the head of a pin. If she does at say age 18 or so decide that religion is wrong I will be ostracized anyway because they will assume it was my fault.

 

The thought of being ostracized is obviously upsetting for you.  I have no words of wisdom for you as I wasn't ostracized - I actively avoid most members of my family as much as I can.  I even moved over 1600 miles away from them. 

What other people put on you is their problem.  You can not make them happy by being something you are not.  And if you try, that is a sure path to mental break down.  You obviously care for your sister.  Let her know by your actions.  And what will happen, happens.

 

Good answer cj.

I would just be around her and lead by example.  Be a good person, while not being a religious person.  Also the critical thinking thing is key, you can't indoctrinate someone into atheism, you have to plant the seed of rationality, and let them work it out for themselves.  If it were me, I would just avoid the subject of religion for the time being.  Just concentrate on pointing out irrationality, there are many examples out there, take the majority of alternative medicine, or the anti-vaccination people led by pornstars...  the media is 90% examples of irrational behaviour.  Pen and Teller's BS is a very good source of irrationality, if she agrees with you on those points, the rest is natural.  

Also, this is just my opinion, but if my family decided to ostracize me for a philosophy I hold, I would be better off not being around them.  

"Don't seek these laws to understand. Only the mad can comprehend..." -- George Cosbuc


Luminon
SuperfanTheist
Luminon's picture
Posts: 2455
Joined: 2008-02-17
User is offlineOffline
 Do you think they also

 Do you think they also tell your sis what to think about you, a black sheep of family? 
Anyway, as it has been just said, try to hang out with her and introduce her to critical thinking. Start very, very simply and subtly. Not just for her sake, for yours as well. 

I don't know how about others, but I always fail when Christians do something unexpectedly silly. For example, they don't follow a simple logical implication, like 2+2 = 4. They just stop and I have to fill in the words for them. Or they see that Jews were bloodthirsty barbarians and their God was no better, and yet they stop thinking just before assuming that God is evil. Or they refuse to complete the circular logic of self-confirming Bible.
Or, they insist that I should become a believer, which is irrelevant. Regardless of anyone's religious feelings, Bible will always be contradictory. 

But every time they come up with something new like that, it throws me off the track. It takes time to decipher the nonsense and create a proper response. What they use is not logic, it's one fallacy after another. It's diffcult to get a point across and at the same time to fend off fallacies and still appear friendly.

For example, I praised the beneficial power of doubting. A Christian provided a counter-example, that doubting can be bad, like doubting the fidelity of your girlfriend. I had to explain that suspicion in relationships is a normal phase after being in love wears off, and both are based on hormons. The argument went pretty much to hell. I wonder if they try to distract me on purpose.

 

Beings who deserve worship don't demand it. Beings who demand worship don't deserve it.


Anonymouse
atheist
Posts: 1687
Joined: 2008-05-04
User is offlineOffline
robj101 wrote:"they're being

robj101 wrote:

"they're being extra hard on her"

Yes she is totally immersed in it much more so than I was, they are taking her to church 2 days a week and involving her in every single church activity they can.

I know it's not my fault as in something I did intentionally but it is happening and I can't do anything other than has been suggested, throw in bits now and then. My bits usually involve critical thinking only. If I say anything to her that can be construed as negative towards religion my family will cut me off from seeing her and probably them as well. If I even get too touchy on the critical thinking part and it can be taken as anti-religion .. I have to tread so carefully.

My biggest hope is that she is being so immersed in it that it will eventually backfire. My situation however is teetering on the head of a pin. If she does at say age 18 or so decide that religion is wrong I will be ostracized anyway because they will assume it was my fault.

I've been lucky there, since I'm the youngest of five. No older sibling to blame. So I guess I tend to underestimate this kind of problem.

So, being an out-of-the-closet atheist, are you in any way ostracized already ? 


Kapkao
atheistSuperfan
Kapkao's picture
Posts: 4121
Joined: 2010-01-12
User is offlineOffline
A question I haven't seen the answer to

Does she actually enjoy or react positively to the religious activities? If yes, I would put off any attempt to sway her mind until puberty, if not a decade.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)


Brian37
atheistSuperfan
Brian37's picture
Posts: 15748
Joined: 2006-02-14
User is offlineOffline
Rob, all differences aside,

Rob, all differences aside, it is NEVER easy to deal with differences this deep in a family. What you and I beef about is trivial compared to what can divide a family, even outside the issue of religion.

To this day I cannot have a relationship with my biological brother, and not because I don't want to. But because he is so far gone anytime we have been together he has tried to beat me over the head with it.

My adoptive mother is Catholic and a lifetime Republican voter. But unlike my biological brother she doesn't make these issues life and death. In fact, in the past few years we have become closer and she really sees me much more as an individual, than something to mold, like she did when I was growing up.

It is not your fault, your relatives will end up being what they are. If you want a relationship with them then all you can do is know your limits as to topic. My biological brother didn't know those limits. He thought I was a lost puppy in needing of saving.

You cant pick your relatives, but you can love them, even when they disagree with you.

 

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


robj101
atheist
robj101's picture
Posts: 2481
Joined: 2010-02-20
User is offlineOffline
Kapkao wrote:Does she

Kapkao wrote:

Does she actually enjoy or react positively to the religious activities? If yes, I would put off any attempt to sway her mind until puberty, if not a decade.

She loves it, it's currently a fun thing.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


robj101
atheist
robj101's picture
Posts: 2481
Joined: 2010-02-20
User is offlineOffline
Brian37 wrote:Rob, all

Brian37 wrote:

Rob, all differences aside, it is NEVER easy to deal with differences this deep in a family. What you and I beef about is trivial compared to what can divide a family, even outside the issue of religion.

To this day I cannot have a relationship with my biological brother, and not because I don't want to. But because he is so far gone anytime we have been together he has tried to beat me over the head with it.

My adoptive mother is Catholic and a lifetime Republican voter. But unlike my biological brother she doesn't make these issues life and death. In fact, in the past few years we have become closer and she really sees me much more as an individual, than something to mold, like she did when I was growing up.

It is not your fault, your relatives will end up being what they are. If you want a relationship with them then all you can do is know your limits as to topic. My biological brother didn't know those limits. He thought I was a lost puppy in needing of saving.

You cant pick your relatives, but you can love them, even when they disagree with you.

 

It's just really hard having to stay quiet on the whole subject, I feel like I'm being persecuted. As I explained a bit in the opening post it's fine for them to discuss "god" and religion around me but I dare not contradict anything about it to them but especially around my sister. Having to tiptoe around sux.

I'll just continue to deal with it I suppose. I had hoped maybe someone would have a suggestion or something I may have missed but in reality I figured I had thought it out and now regret starting this thread.

 

 

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin


RatDog
atheist
Posts: 573
Joined: 2008-11-14
User is offlineOffline
 Hey robj101.  I'm sorry

 Hey robj101.  I'm sorry to hear about your sister's situation.  I don't think what is happening is in any way your fault.  You don't have the power in this situation, your parents do so any blame rests squarely on their shoulders.  

In regards to advice I can give you some, but I'm not sure how good it would be given that I have never been in your situation.  

Still, there is one suggestion I can think of that might help.  Use it at your own risk.  There is a large age gape between me and my younger brother.  When my brother was 10 years old I was 20.  When my brother was ten I used to play a game with him.  The game never really had a name.  The game would start with me making something up(something not falsifiable).  Perhaps I would claim that I had the power to right on the sky in giant blue letters that were the exact same color as the sky.  It would then be my brothers job to argue against my assertion.  Every time my brother came up argument against my claim I would counter it using the same kind of faulty reasoning theists us.  Perhaps I wold say something like 'how do you know their aren't giant blue letters in the sky can you prove they don't exist.' or maybe 'Just because you can't read the letters in the sky doesn't mean they don't exist.  Perhaps you just lack the ability to perceive them" My brother grew up to be vary skeptical of all claims not backed by evidence even though he went to church as a child.  I don't know if this game played any part in that.  I don't know if you parents would approve of this game.  I don't know if your sister would like this game.  Unfortunately this is the best I can come up with.  Hope things work out for both of you.  


robj101
atheist
robj101's picture
Posts: 2481
Joined: 2010-02-20
User is offlineOffline
RatDog wrote: Hey robj101.

RatDog wrote:

 Hey robj101.  I'm sorry to hear about your sister's situation.  I don't think what is happening is in any way your fault.  You don't have the power in this situation, your parents do so any blame rests squarely on their shoulders.  

In regards to advice I can give you some, but I'm not sure how good it would be given that I have never been in your situation.  

Still, there is one suggestion I can think of that might help.  Use it at your own risk.  There is a large age gape between me and my younger brother.  When my brother was 10 years old I was 20.  When my brother was ten I used to play a game with him.  The game never really had a name.  The game would start with me making something up(something not falsifiable).  Perhaps I would claim that I had the power to right on the sky in giant blue letters that were the exact same color as the sky.  It would then be my brothers job to argue against my assertion.  Every time my brother came up argument against my claim I would counter it using the same kind of faulty reasoning theists us.  Perhaps I wold say something like 'how do you know their aren't giant blue letters in the sky can you prove they don't exist.' or maybe 'Just because you can't read the letters in the sky doesn't mean they don't exist.  Perhaps you just lack the ability to perceive them" My brother grew up to be vary skeptical of all claims not backed by evidence even though he went to church as a child.  I don't know if this game played any part in that.  I don't know if you parents would approve of this game.  I don't know if your sister would like this game.  Unfortunately this is the best I can come up with.  Hope things work out for both of you.  

Heh age gap, she's 12 I'm bout to hit the four oh ><

I've worked around the general line you mention. Thanks for the support.

Faith is the word but next to that snugged up closely "lie's" the want.
"By simple common sense I don't believe in god, in none."-Charlie Chaplin