Losing a Friend

ellechero
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Losing a Friend

A friend of mine recently decided to go back to being a Jehovah's Witness. He described himself as having been "in the dark" and now describes himself as having "found the truth".

If only stem cell researchers had a nickel for every ignorant man who believes he's "found the truth".

I suppose that's a bad lead since there must be a thousand posts on these boards about dealing with friends with a god delusion but, I suppose, the difference in my case is that this delusion of his makes it impossible for me to be his friend any longer. The reason for that sad situation being that I cannot countance being intellectually dishonest with myself.

I happen to be bisexual. I'm one of those spawn of Satan bastards that folks like the Jehovah's wish did not exist. Simply stated, I, in and of myself, constitute a problem for them. Tolerance is not an option where religion, at least those great religions of the middle east, are concerned.

I tried to reason with him but, as one may guess, that endeavour was entirely futile. I read his posts now and all I hear is the same sort of thing one hears from any cult member. They've found the truth, they have a sense of community, they found "good people". Charles Manson had a "family", too. I bet joining the SS gave the members a tremendous sense of pride and community.

I went back and forth with him; pointed out the horrors the bible endorses. He either denies them or claims that they refer to a "different time". I guess "god hates fags" is a completely contemporary assertion. It is to them, apparently.

At any rate, I have to admit this has me rather bummed. If one had met this guy prior, you would have met a man with such high standards of integrity that I can honestly say I never heard him disparage another human being. To go from that to joining a group that is founded on disparaging others is truly amazing to me.

Perhaps that integrity was never there after all. When one considers that he decided to choose the rather silly ramblings of a bronze age book over the reality of friends who are in the here and now, perhaps it was simply that he lacked the courage to say what his heart felt. If his heart held tendencies so ugly as his new cult would lead one to believe, then I cannot say I blame him.


Rook_Hawkins
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I'm sorry this had to happen

I'm sorry this had to happen to you, and more importantly your friend. Glad to have you aboard though. Welcome, and with help from people like you we'll be able to bring some people back from the depths of irrationality.

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Sapient
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Sorry to hear about your

Sorry to hear about your friends recent conversion to irrationality. I have lost a mother in the same way you lost a friend. Her sect of idiocy is "born again christianity."

We recently bought a new domain name yet to be released, in which you can write heartfelt letters to your loved ones that have been taken away by the sheer stupidity that religion offers. These sites yet to be unveiled are:

www.godstolemyfriends.com
www.godstolemymom.com
www.godstolemyfamily.com

The concept of these sites that will be all connected to the same domain and share the same login and password of this site, is that you can write a letter to someone who has been taken away by faith for public viewing. You should not hold back from expressing the pain you feel (if any) when losing a friend or a loved one to faith. You shouldn't hold back from explaining the pain felt seeing someone wrapped in a veil of ignorance and stupidity as opposed to reason and rationality.

If you would like to write a letter to this friend of yours while the feelings are fresh please feel free to do so. The same goes for anyone else reading this thread. We can post these letters for now in a special section on this site and then later move them to the new sites when we get them up. You could also send them to me personally should you choose.

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.


ellechero
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That is one of the best

That is one of the best ideas I've ever heard. I'll definitely contribute.


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What an excellent idea,

What an excellent idea, Sapient.

Most of us have experienced the loss of a friend or family member due to this irrationality.

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.


ellechero
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Here's my letter for

Here's my letter for whenever you get it going.

R__,

I only knew you for a short while before your conversion back to that darkness you'd once escaped. In that short time, I knew a man I sincerely admired. I knew a man who stood beside a woman he loved when she needed him, who offered forgiveness in cases where I felt only rage and who strove to see the most beautiful parts of people who held an ugly face to the world. I admired your honesty, your humor and your courage.

In short, you seemed open to the world and to all of us misfits that inhabit it.

As I read your journal entries, I saw more and more that you felt oppressed, isolated and, as you described it "in the dark". We, all of us, feel such things at times. You should have reached out to your friends.

But you chose a different path. You chose one that specifically required you to replace that open attitude with one of narrow, frightened bigotry. You chose a path where admittance to the select few requires disparaging the rest of humanity. You chose a path that requires one to speak poorly of those who disagree lest their lack of belief infect you like some kind of virus: Lest freedom set upon your brain cells like a virus, forcing them to replicate the vector and thereby infecting your mind with reality as if it were some sort of curse.

You're just hiding, you know. You've gone into the tents of a barbaric bronze age tribe and let them shut the flap, closing out the light and you've let them replace an infinite horizon with the thin walls of a primitive human construct. And you're not just hiding from the darkness and isolation you felt. You're hiding from those of us who would have come to your aid, should you have asked. You're hiding from the possibility of solving your own problems, of conquering your own fears, of finding your own way. You're hiding from all the beauty of the world.

You are afraid, you know. You haven't found "the truth" or "good people". You've found other cowards to validate that lump in your throat, that fear in your gut, that confusion in your head. They'll fill you up with feelings of belonging, but like the Satan of the mythology you've confused for reality, that reward will come at a horrible price. Make no mistake, if there is such a thing as a soul, these folks--Jehovah's Witnesses--they desire to take it from you. To cast it into that outer darkness where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. They desire nothing less than to remove you from the face of the divine for, if there is divinity, it lies in those moments when we realize that we are, indeed, all connected.

We are connected from the moment the big bang occured. We are the product of the evolution of the universe, of life on earth, of intellectual and cultural traditions and are so much more than any of us individually.

The tragedy, you see, is that you were never alone. None of us are ever alone. We all are connected. It's all of those silly myths to which we cling that tear us apart. They invade our spirits like an abusive spouse, cutting off our friends, cutting off our family, weakening our minds and making us feel as if the entire world is our adversary and that we can only find safety in the arms of the abuser himself.

But, at some point, one has to leave the abuser. One has to accept that life is not easy, it's never easy. It's not worth living if it's easy. That struggle to be more than the sum of our fears, our desires and our own little view of the world is what unites us. It's primal. It's in our blood.

If you were looking for something good in the world, consider this. Ancient fossils show very aged human beings with horrible degenerative diseases. They lived far beyond the years they would have had without care. At some point, far in the past, one of our ancestors looked at another human being suffering and a thought occurred to them: They are just like me. We are the same. And that thought resulted in compassion and that compassion resulted in human kindess. That ancestor is alive in us. It's only when, out of fear, we snuff out that beautiful light that the ancestor finally dies. It's only when we put our own terrors ahead of our own potential that we quash the advantages nature has given us and trade them for petty, worthless things.

Listen to that heritage we all share, R__. Listen to that fearlessness that caused our ancestors to head toward a horizon simply to know what was there. Listen to that courage that allowed us to overcome primal fear and harness fire, electricity, the atom, medicine, to look at the stars and into the deepest oceans not to find what we wanted to be there but simply to look without prejudice.

Look without prejudice. If you can manage that, maybe you can accept the fact that there is no "truth". There is only all this life on this beautiful planet orbiting a star in a galaxy amongst an incomprehensible number of other galaxies in a universe that begs to be investigated. I'm sorry that's not enough to pique your interest.

And I'm sorry I can no longer be your friend. For I refuse to accept your friendship when it comes with an obligation to respect the absolute idiocy and filthy hatred to which you have cleaved.

I would rather walk off into that horizon as did our ancestors. I would rather walk off not even looking for any "truth" but simply to see what lies beyond that next horizon and to discover what other wonders this universe holds. This universe to which we are both connected. This universe that harbors so many marvelous things that your "truth" will prevent you from ever seeing.

You should have reached out to your friends. We would not have used your distress to manipulate you. Indeed, we would have tried to get you back on your feet, reminded you that you have worth and invited you back into a world where you could have been loved in the here and now by people who are every bit as real as you. It saddens me that you chose to embrace a dogma that would be hilarious were it not the cause of so much trouble in the world. It saddens me to see you abandon the quest to grow, cowering in your corner with the other disordered minds with which you've come to identify.

You could have had many friends. Now you have a gaggle of fools with whom you embrace fictions and phantoms. May this world be kinder to you than your friends would be to it.

I remain,

Marquis


Sapient
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Excellent, simply excellent.

Excellent, simply excellent.

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ellechero
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Thanks, Sapient. I loved the

Thanks, Sapient.

I loved the Sam Harris show, btw. The End of Faith has been my bedtime reading this week. What a brilliant man.


ellechero
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Thanks, Rook. And thanks

Thanks, Rook. And thanks for your help with the verses.


GodStoleMyFriends
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Very nice letter.

Very nice letter.

I know exactly what you are going through as I am also experiencing the same problems with a few of my friends. Thankfully I've made up with the one friend I really did not want to lose, but as I just stated this is not the case with others. For the moment they are just completely ignoring the fact that I exist and seem to find comfort in their belief that my atheism is just rebellious phase I am going through. A "crisis of faith." Their letters are coming soon.

But for now, let me once again applaud you for the wonderful letter you composed to your theist friend. All of us need to let our loved ones know that the cause of all the pain that occurs when someone they care about is an atheist stems from their irrational belief in a fairy tale. Not because the person is an atheist. It's important that we show them that we are doing everything we can to save the bonds we share with them, so that they will realize it is them who destroying the relationship.

It's ironic isn't it? Theists claim to have a monopoly on love and yet they are so willing to abandon it when it comes to their religion. They are so willing to toss it away and create rifts in otherwise healthy relationships.

"If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name at a Swiss Bank."-Woody Allen

"Atheism is life affirming in a way religion can never be."-Richard Dawkins


ellechero
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Yeah, I think it's a rather

Yeah, I think it's a rather Orwellian thing they do. They use words such as "love" and "forgivness" and "truth" but they redefine them so they have some weird Newspeak quality.

At the risk of referencing Orwell too much, if freedom is simply the freedom to say that one plus one equals two then it must also be the freedom to say that calls to hatred and violence do not equal love.


MattShizzle
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I agree. Great letter.

I agree. Great letter.