My nominally Christian friend is gonna go off on me. :)

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My nominally Christian friend is gonna go off on me. :)

I told her Christianity was a crock and that faith was bullshit. I'm going to catch it.

She wants to believe in SOMETHING. She's been crippled her whole life and wants there to be something besides this world. What do you say to someone like that?

I suffer from chronic illnesses. Maybe I'm not completely crippled, but I've had a tough time in this life. I would like for there to be a wonderful afterlife, too. Who wouldn't?

What would you do? She claims faith is a legitimate form of knowledge. Obviously I disagree. If faith were a legitimate way to knowledge we wouldn't have umpteen million religions.

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Quote: What do you say to

Quote:
What do you say to someone like that?

 I would tell her to live this life as if it were her only one. That if you are right she has nothing to fear. Life will be just like it was for her before she was born. I'd tell her if she wants to believe that she will live forever then fine, but don't let it give her an excuse to not live this life to her fullest potential.

 It's hard to answer questions like this because you know your friend and I don't. 

 

Quote:
I would like for there to be a wonderful afterlife, too. Who wouldn't?

If it's the Christan afterlife then I wouldn't. If I made it to heaven I would go insane over thinking about all of the good people who are being eternally tortured. They say god wipes away your tears(how nice, torture my friends and pat me on the back), but I would know that I didn't know anyone once I got to heaven. I might know one person, but surely if I am me at all I would know that I knew more than one person.

I'm sure that an all-powerful god could totally manipulate my mind to where I knew nothing of this life or hell, but as it stands now I don't want to go. It's just not right. 


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Iruka Naminori wrote:

Iruka Naminori wrote:
I told her Christianity was a crock and that faith was bullshit. I'm going to catch it. She wants to believe in SOMETHING. She's been crippled her whole life and wants there to be something besides this world. What do you say to someone like that? I suffer from chronic illnesses. Maybe I'm not completely crippled, but I've had a tough time in this life. I would like for there to be a wonderful afterlife, too. Who wouldn't? What would you do? She claims faith is a legitimate form of knowledge. Obviously I disagree. If faith were a legitimate way to knowledge we wouldn't have umpteen million religions.

 

 

You must have a gentle discussion. The beauty of wishes is a powerful element of faith. You have to sit down and intelligently dissect these things and then get her to open her mind to the vastness and wonder of the cosmos and how lucky she is to even be alive.

...because faith essentially is the acceptance that something is factual without any evidence or even thought on the topic you have to show her the logistical fallacies of such a notion.

 

You have to calm her despair about the way things are. You cannot berade someone into intellectual awareness. 

 

Good luck.

 

Belief needs questioning and criticism, not respect.


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Hmmm...I haven't heard from

Hmmm...I haven't heard from her much.  I think I may have provoked an existential crisis. Sad  I don't think she's quite ready for the truth.  She may never be ready.

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have you checked in on

have you checked in on her?


 


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I've tried. Once after I

I've tried.

Once after I stated that "Christianity has been completely debunked," I called her.  Since then I've sent multiple e-mails, including one with a receipt.  Apparently she hasn't read it.

I'm somewhat concerned, but I don't want to be an annoyance, either. 

In one of my e-mails, I told her I would cease and desist from my religious observations and even gave her a "safety word" she could use if I forget.  

It's true that the problem of religion has been heavily on my mind.  I'm leaning toward becoming more involved, but at the same time I'm worried about becoming too radical.  Of course, those who have changed the world for the better have often been considered radical.  But so have those who changed it for the worse.

It's frustrating that there aren't too many with which I can discuss these issues.  Not too many on conversant on the subject. 

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My friend hasn't taken the

My friend hasn't taken the initiative to approach me since I expressed my sincere hatred of religion.  In an e-mail, I told her I'd try not to bring it up again and if I did, we could agree on a "safety" word to make me shut up.  I've sent a number of e-mails, but only got one response.  I called her landline via Skype.  

She says she has pain issues, but I wonder if it could be something more.  We had a falling out a few years ago and one of her pet peeves was that I refuse to capitalize the word "god."  If it's so important, why won't god come down and make me?  Or at least explain why it's important?

Sigh.

It's hard out here for an atheist...especially one who can't keep her mouth shut. 

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"It's hard out here for an

"It's hard out here for an atheist... especialy one who can't keep her mouth shut."
Amen, sista.  Also, good luck with your friend.  It's so hard to know what to do, my girlfriend and friends are theists and I have trouble sometimes drawing the line.  I just have to remember that you can be a good person and still have irrational beliefs at the same time.  You're right though, it is tough.

If all else fails, if all turns to dust, set sail on a ship built from trust.


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If you agree to disagree

If you agree to disagree and just not discuss it in the future and your friend still will not communicate with you, I suspect she wasn't that good of a friend in the first place.

Getting upset about an upper case letter is pretty petty in my opinion.

There are other things in life you have in common and enjoy together like movies, theater, coffee, books, etc. If this person cannot be friends with you due to a subject that is now off-limits, sadly it might be time to walk away. It is her loss, not yours.

You've gone the extra mile and extended a hand of friendship.  She has chosen not to reciprocate. 

Remember junior high and how catty kids are? "If you are going to be friends with her, I don't like you any more." Sounds like the same thing.

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Iruka Naminori wrote: I

Iruka Naminori wrote:
I told her Christianity was a crock and that faith was bullshit. I'm going to catch it. She wants to believe in SOMETHING. She's been crippled her whole life and wants there to be something besides this world. What do you say to someone like that? I suffer from chronic illnesses. Maybe I'm not completely crippled, but I've had a tough time in this life. I would like for there to be a wonderful afterlife, too. Who wouldn't? What would you do? She claims faith is a legitimate form of knowledge. Obviously I disagree. If faith were a legitimate way to knowledge we wouldn't have umpteen million religions.

Typically outright insults of one's beliefs gets them to react defensively putting up a barrier towards any future arguments.  However if your friend were to figure something out on her own the chance of being deconditioned from religious indoctrination is much higher.  

A suggestion on finding what works best is finding out what fundamentalists hate the most.  If there's a book they want burned chances are there's something in the book that they find would draw people away from their religion.  They don't care for evolution, geology or other sciences, don't like comparative religion studies, don't like anthropology research that explores the polytheistic history of their religion and they especially don't like logic courses being taught.  You'd actually be hard pressed to find a philosophy professor who is a fundamentalist.

Religion thrives when it's adherents remain isolated. So take your friend out to museums or wherever will present her with differing viewpoints and knowledge. That's why many religious people become less religious in college (and why they developed Christian universities to prevent this from happening) It, of course, takes time but eventually she may start asking questions which is a good signal she's thinking about abandoning her religion.


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I lost a friend once from

I lost a friend once from criticizing their religion. He was a seventh day adventist and I told him how it started as a cult and the leader said that jesus would return like three times and then finally he said that jesus did return but he was invisible.

I think the important thing is you have to be true to yourself and your own feelings about it. If you can't say what you really think to the person then you can't have a real friendship.

You don't have to be really blunt, but you should be able to give your honest opinion in a tactful way. 

There are twists of time and space, of vision and reality, which only a dreamer can divine
H.P. Lovecraft


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D-cubed wrote: Typically

D-cubed wrote:

Typically outright insults of one's beliefs gets them to react defensively putting up a barrier towards any future arguments. However if your friend were to figure something out on her own the chance of being deconditioned from religious indoctrination is much higher.

Yeah, I know.  I was mostly venting in the wrong direction rather than trying to actively deconvert her, although at some level it upsets me that anyone still believes in such crap. 

D-cubed wrote:
A suggestion on finding what works best is finding out what fundamentalists hate the most. If there's a book they want burned chances are there's something in the book that they find would draw people away from their religion. They don't care for evolution, geology or other sciences, don't like comparative religion studies, don't like anthropology research that explores the polytheistic history of their religion and they especially don't like logic courses being taught. You'd actually be hard pressed to find a philosophy professor who is a fundamentalist.

I'll keep it in mind if I ever decide I want to actively deconvert anyone.  Mostly I'm still dealing with the pain of having been brought up fundy.  I'm also dealing with the fallout of having come out of the closet. 

D-cubed wrote:
Religion thrives when it's adherents remain isolated. So take your friend out to museums or wherever will present her with differing viewpoints and knowledge. That's why many religious people become less religious in college (and why they developed Christian universities to prevent this from happening) It, of course, takes time but eventually she may start asking questions which is a good signal she's thinking about abandoning her religion.

She's an Internet friend I've never met in person and she is isolated because she's disabled.  I'm on disability, but I can at least walk and get out when I feel up to it.  Lately "getting out" means the fundy community where I was brought up, but it's better than nothing.

I honestly don't care whether or not she abandons religion...well, I don't care enough to press the issue.  She doesn't have much to hang onto so she fantasizes.  A lot.  It's not only god-belief, but she's had crushes on people who are out of reach, half-believing she actually has a chance.  I've seen her get crushes on celebrities and once, a doctor. 

 The celebrity was completely out of the question, but she still thought she could at least meet him and...who knows?  It wasn't going to happen.  Not in a million years. 

The doctor was also completely out of the question.  Whether or not we mortals care to admit it,  high-profile, good-looking, successful doctors are not going to fall in love with double amputees in a wheelchair.  I imagine it could happen under the right circumstances, but my friend broadcasts a sense of desperation because she is desperate. No one is attracted to desperation.  It's very sad, but it is reality.

I'm not marriageable material myself right now and won't be until I can get my own shit together, so I don't even entertain the possibility.  Still, I have a hell of a lot going for me if I can get my body and emotions to comply.  I'm getting older (panicking a bit about that), but if I could find a solution to some of my tougher problems, I could enjoy some measure of "success." 

I can fake confidence. Confidence is what makes people attractive.  I find myself attracted to confidence, intellect and gentleness no matter what the man in question looks like...okay, I don't like bald guys.  But otherwise, confidence makes me go "sha-wing!"  I need to cultivate that in myself before I can go into a relationship.  It may never happen, but I will not saddle myself with a dysfunctional relationship.  I have enough of those among family.

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Susan wrote: If you agree

Susan wrote:

If you agree to disagree and just not discuss it in the future and your friend still will not communicate with you, I suspect she wasn't that good of a friend in the first place.

It's very possible this really is mostly about pain.  She has a cadre of physical ailments that grind her down.  I'm not going to quit on her just yet. 

It's also possible she never read my suggestion (agree to disagree) because she was afraid of being whacked over the head again with my rationality stick.  Reality can be a bitch.  It's tough to deal with the cold, hard facts.  Sometimes I want to just crawl under a rock, you know?

I know she hasn't read some of my e-mails because I asked for a read receipt for the last several I've sent.  I also sent her an e-card she never picked up. 

Susan wrote:
Getting upset about an upper case letter is pretty petty in my opinion.

There are other things in life you have in common and enjoy together like movies, theater, coffee, books, etc. If this person cannot be friends with you due to a subject that is now off-limits, sadly it might be time to walk away. It is her loss, not yours.

Yes, I know.  And we didn't speak for well over a year once because I just couldn't take any more.  We never did talk about what caused the falling out, which probably isn't healthy, either.  I never read her last tirade against me.  I only caught a few comments out of the corner of my eye before I erased it from my hard drive and threw the hard copy in the trash.  I saw the comment about the capitalization of "god" and her suggestion that I look in the mirror (I do that a lot already).  I asked my therapist at the time to read it and he suggested a borderline personality disorder.  I sometimes run pretty close to that myself, but I want to get better. *shrug*  As for the note, I didn't see what good reading it would do, so I threw it away. 

Susan wrote:
You've gone the extra mile and extended a hand of friendship. She has chosen not to reciprocate.

Remember junior high and how catty kids are? "If you are going to be friends with her, I don't like you any more." Sounds like the same thing.

I'm not exactly well-endowed with friends, so I'm not ready to cut her off again.  I'm going to send that first e-mail again--the one about my shutting the fuck up--this time requesting a "read receipt."  If she doesn't read it, there's nothing I can do about it.  If she doesn't respond to that, I guess I won't worry about it anymore.

Yeah, I fucked up when I vented in her direction.  She wasn't going to understand what it's like to be an atheist after a lifetime of brainwashing, what it's like to pretty much stand alone against a tide of fundies.  She was the wrong person at the wrong time and she will always be the wrong person at the wrong time. Mistake made.  Mistake acknowledged.  But I can only try not to do it again. If she can't accept my apology and my attempt to shut my fucking trap, that's just the way it goes, I guess.

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Letter to Nominally

Letter to Nominally Christian Friend (Second Try):

Hello,

I just wanted to clarify a few things concerning the possibility of my becoming more active in promoting the atheistic position. First of all, I understand that entertaining the idea of no god and no afterlife can be scary for those of us who were raised to believe otherwise. After all, I’ve been through it. Seeking truth regardless of where it leads is not for the faint-hearted. I am not planning on being pushy toward you, though I do encourage you to really think about faith and investigate it for yourself.

(Actually, on second writing, I won’t even encourage you to do that much. It’s up to you how much you really want to know. I will do my best not to bring it up again unless you ask.)

However, if the atheistic movement becomes a big part of my life, I may inadvertently bring it up from time to time, in which case we should agree upon a safety word—how about “banana”?—which means, “Laura, shut the fuck up.” J You can train me to immediately change the subject. My idea of getting involved is to leave family and friends out of it because there is too much at stake emotionally. If enough get involved, then someone else will have an impact on those who are close to me. So I can afford to shut the fuck up. J

That’s the last I will say on the subject unless you bring it up. And remember to “banana” me if I fuck up.

LH

Hmm, I couldn't adjust the font size...sorry if it's too big.

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At this point it's looking

At this point it's looking like I lost yet another friend because of my atheism. Yeah, I shouldn't have shot off my mouth, but I did try to make amends.  Looks like a no-go.

Gee, thanks irrational god belief. Sad

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Iruka Naminori wrote: At

Iruka Naminori wrote:

At this point it's looking like I lost yet another friend because of my atheism. Yeah, I shouldn't have shot off my mouth, but I did try to make amends. Looks like a no-go.

Gee, thanks irrational god belief. Sad

That's only partially true.  You gained a whole lot of friends here at the RRS due to your rational no-god belief! Eye-wink

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Iruka Naminori wrote: At

Iruka Naminori wrote:
At this point it's looking like I lost yet another friend because of my atheism. Yeah, I shouldn't have shot off my mouth, but I did try to make amends. Looks like a no-go.
Gee, thanks irrational god belief. Sad

 
I know what you mean. I find it difficult to keep my big mouth shut about it too. I’m getting better at it, but its a slow and sometimes I just have to bite my tongue (hard).


I have also lost friends because my non belief clashed with their beliefs. There was one in particular...funny really...


I was talking with a friend, old enough to be my father, and I got a firm hold of his bible, and held it up like a "fire and brimstone" preacher would, and said "THIS (emphasizing the bible with all caps) is the source for the most wide spread and deeply embedded BRAINWASHING to have EVER happened on this planet!"


Well that was the end of that friendship....for a while. Then we were friends again but this time I took to talking to his preacher friends when they came into the store, and we were on the outs again....lol Then I call the old man up (about a year later/this Dec) for good service people for my washer and car tires (got awesome deals on those btw), and now we're talking again, but I just don’t want to hang out with him anymore. Maybe sometimes I might swing by his store for a few minutes, but nothing like the hour or more it used to be.

 

oye 

We must favor verifiable evidence over private feeling. Otherwise we leave ourselves vulnerable to those who would obscure the truth.
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I don't keep quiet about it

I don't keep quiet about it anymore. I won't tend to start a conversation about atheism with a theist on my own, but the moment someone mentions a god I step in to say there isn't one. If they don't like it, they can shut the hell up. I'm sick of their false god and their hypocracy.

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Vastet wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I don't keep quiet about it anymore. I won't tend to start a conversation about atheism with a theist on my own, but the moment someone mentions a god I step in to say there isn't one. If they don't like it, they can shut the hell up. I'm sick of their false god and their hypocracy.

Vastet, this is my problem, too, only I have brought it up on my own a few times. Instead of getting more laid back, I'm getting more pissed.

A couple of years ago I was attending a protest of the war in Iraq and a fat red-headed lady missionary from Australia came up and told us that the war was okay because so many Iraqis were coming to Je-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-ezus.

Everyone else held their tongue, but not me. I was livid. I told her that religion caused problems and didn't solve them, that the families of the dead weren't happy we had invaded, that I had been a Christian for twenty-one years and was very, very glad I was now an atheist. She actually came up and laid hands on me!

If I hadn't been representing a peace group, I think I might have decked her. I later learned that she had technically assaulted me. I oh-so-wanted to take her to court. She was a visible part of the community because she was making the rounds at churches. But I was representing the peace group and I didn't want them to get the bad press that was sure to result.

My therapist at the time told me I had done the wrong thing by speaking up, that everyone else was smart to just ignore the lady. For awhile I tried to shut the fuck up, but I just got more pissed.

Also, I am NOT a pacifist. I think most wars are completely stupid, but my morals don't exactly line up with those of the peace group. For example, I play violent video games. Once that little piece of info was out, I didn't feel terribly welcome in the peace group, either. (Most of those having a fit about violent movies and violent video games were also Christians.) I just want the fucking war in Iraq to stop. In the meantime, no pixels are harmed when I play my first-person shooters. Eye-wink

I really don't "fit in" anywhere it seems. *shrug* I'm not religious and I can't swallow the dogma of the peace group, either. I just want the war to end. At the same time, I'm more of a liberal than a libertarian because of my experiences as a disabled person. (I notice there are a lot of libertarians on this board.) There is no real safety net for people like me. I'm forced to rely on fundy family for my life. It's getting VERY old...I don't know what to do.

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Iruka Naminori

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Vastet wrote:
I don't keep quiet about it anymore. I won't tend to start a conversation about atheism with a theist on my own, but the moment someone mentions a god I step in to say there isn't one. If they don't like it, they can shut the hell up. I'm sick of their false god and their hypocracy.

Vastet, this is my problem, too, only I have brought it up on my own a few times. Instead of getting more laid back, I'm getting more pissed.

My trick is to have an escape from it all. A psychological healing if you will. I immerse myself in entertainment(video games specifically) and cue my imagination to fictional settings. I ignore completely the debate when I'm not participating in it, or it isn't brought to my attention. Work at anything long enough and you get exhausted. Exhaustion can lead to emotional stress and unsound decisions. You don't want to burn yourself out. Eye-wink

Iruka Naminori wrote:

A couple of years ago I was attending a protest of the war in Iraq and a fat red-headed lady missionary from Australia came up and told us that the war was okay because so many Iraqis were coming to Je-e-e-e-e-e-e-e-ezus.

Everyone else held their tongue, but not me. I was livid. I told her that religion caused problems and didn't solve them, that the families of the dead weren't happy we had invaded, that I had been a Christian for twenty-one years and was very, very glad I was now an atheist. She actually came up and laid hands on me!

If I hadn't been representing a peace group, I think I might have decked her. I later learned that she had technically assaulted me. I oh-so-wanted to take her to court. She was a visible part of the community because she was making the rounds at churches. But I was representing the peace group and I didn't want them to get the bad press that was sure to result.

My therapist at the time told me I had done the wrong thing by speaking up, that everyone else was smart to just ignore the lady. For awhile I tried to shut the fuck up, but I just got more pissed.

No offense, but I think your therapist was an idiot(at least as far as this particular advice goes). I'm not going to take a moral standpoint and say what you should have done or should not have done, but I know what I would have done. I would have spoken up too. And while I wouldn't have just decked her when she put her hands on me, I would definately have given her a good enough push to land her on her ass. If she got up again and put her hands on me again, then I would have decked her. But it's all a matter of perspective, opinion, ego, and understanding of the law.

Iruka Naminori wrote:

Also, I am NOT a pacifist. I think most wars are completely stupid, but my morals don't exactly line up with those of the peace group. For example, I play violent video games. Once that little piece of info was out, I didn't feel terribly welcome in the peace group, either. (Most of those having a fit about violent movies and violent video games were also Christians.)

That's another problem I have with religion. Censorship. The ultimate tool of the despot. It should be outlawed.

Iruka Naminori wrote:
I just want the fucking war in Iraq to stop. In the meantime, no pixels are harmed when I play my first-person shooters. Eye-wink

And yet they can give about as much satisfaction when the pixels blow apart. I know what you mean. Laughing out loud

Iruka Naminori wrote:
I really don't "fit in" anywhere it seems. *shrug* I'm not religious and I can't swallow the dogma of the peace group, either. I just want the war to end.

The trick is usually not to try and fit in, but make others realise you are who you are, and that they have to accept it. In your case it is a difficult scenario however, and I'm not sure what road you'd be best taking.

Iruka Naminori wrote:
At the same time, I'm more of a liberal than a libertarian because of my experiences as a disabled person. (I notice there are a lot of libertarians on this board.) There is no real safety net for people like me. I'm forced to rely on fundy family for my life. It's getting VERY old...I don't know what to do.

I'm no libertarian either. The format is inherrantly flawed and cannot work with our species as it is. It's a nice idea(or parts of it are at least), but everyone would have to agree with it for it to work. And that will not happen anytime soon.

I wish I knew something to suggest for your situation, but it's a hard one to work out. The only clear options are massive changes, possible embarrassment, and rather risky to say the least. Yet staying isn't helping either. I'd help myself if it were within my capabilities. I'm rather stumped. Sad

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I consider myself very

I consider myself very lucky to have ONE friend that is an outspoken atheist like myself.  It gives me just enough fuel to speak out.  Plus, coming here has helped immensely.  (My husband is not outspoken but does consider himself an atheist).

I haven't even had this friend for a long time, only about a year.  I'm sorry that your friendship maybe lost, Iruka, but I don't think you need to give up on her either. The majority of my friends are xtain, agnostic theist, or irrational in other ways such as using crystals to answer questions.  I just don't say anything to them unless I feel like hearing all their bullshit that supports their beliefs.  

I guess I just think that this forum is different than real life in that we can really get our voice heard.  Face to face with friends, I just don't bring it up unless it is brought up around me and even then I tend to keep it unconfrontational.  We only live this life once and I think we should not waste any moments on lying to our friends but if they are so reliant on their irrationality then we could just write them off or try to live with it.


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Susan wrote: That's only

Susan wrote:

That's only partially true. You gained a whole lot of friends here at the RRS due to your rational no-god belief! Eye-wink

Thanks. Smiling  We all know, however, that real friendships take time to build.  I had a lot of years invested in this one.  I'm still not sure it's over, but something isn't right.  It could very well be she is in pain.  I should probably take her at her word until she says differently.  Still, the timing seems suspicious.

If she wants to tell me why she doesn't think faith is bullshit, I would listen...then shoot down whatever she had to say.  I've heard most of the arguments and they simply don't hold water.

I did get my read receipt back this morning.  It's the only one I did get back of the several I sent.  I guess I'll just wait and see. 

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Vastet wrote: No offense,

Vastet wrote:

No offense, but I think your therapist was an idiot(at least as far as this particular advice goes).

I came to the same conclusion on my own and fired him.  He called himself an optimist and me a pessimist.  I privately thought of him as delusional.  He was a theist, after all. 

Vastet wrote:
I'm not going to take a moral standpoint and say what you should have done or should not have done, but I know what I would have done. I would have spoken up too. And while I wouldn't have just decked her when she put her hands on me, I would definately have given her a good enough push to land her on her ass. If she got up again and put her hands on me again, then I would have decked her. But it's all a matter of perspective, opinion, ego, and understanding of the law.

Yeah, I actually don't think I would have hit her.  Pushing sounds good.  If it ever happens to me again, I might do that.  (And believe me, it isn't out of the question considering the shenanigans that go on around here.)

Something worse happened several years ago and I still didn't strike out.  The short story is I caught a woman beating the crap out of her baby and got in her face.  There were other witnesses to the abuse and to my confrontation.  I was much younger, much thinner and not as physically ill so I found myself wanting her to hit me so I could smack her a good one.  All she did was call me names until the police arrived.  Bummer. Smiling

Vastet wrote:
That's another problem I have with religion. Censorship. The ultimate tool of the despot.

Yeah, it's one of the reasons I don't want Hillary as the Dem candidate.  There were real people getting blown away and she wasted the Senate's time over Grand Theft Auto, the video game.  *eyes roll*

Vastet wrote:
And yet they can give about as much satisfaction when the pixels blow apart. I know what you mean. :D

Hell yeah.  I'm playing an older game right now: Aliens vs. Predator 2.  I'm getting a pretty cheap thrill out of playing as the predator and collecting "trophies."  I'm taking out my aggression on the pixels so I won't take it out on real people. Smiling  Judging by my reaction to the mother beating her kid, I think my control is--was?--pretty good.  I might be getting shorter-tempered, however, so I'll watch it.

 

Vastet wrote:
The trick is usually not to try and fit in, but make others realise you are who you are, and that they have to accept it. In your case it is a difficult scenario however, and I'm not sure what road you'd be best taking.

I know, but people have a hard time accepting who I am.  Being an out-of-the-closet atheist in America means having two strikes against you.  Add in a fundy / bushbot family on whom you're reliant and a mostly fundy / bushbot community and it gets really hard to find anyone who accepts you.

 

Vastet wrote:
I'm no libertarian either. The format is inherrantly flawed and cannot work with our species as it is. It's a nice idea(or parts of it are at least), but everyone would have to agree with it for it to work. And that will not happen anytime soon. I wish I knew something to suggest for your situation, but it's a hard one to work out. The only clear options are massive changes, possible embarrassment, and rather risky to say the least. Yet staying isn't helping either. I'd help myself if it were within my capabilities. I'm rather stumped. Sad

Yeah, me too.  I've thought about it a lot.  The only suggestion I've received recently I'd already thought of and rejected: Move to a country with a better safety net.

Now, what country in its right mind would accept a dreg of the USA?  Plus, moving to another country is out of the question when you have to get someone to drive you to an appointment that's only two hours away because you know you'll be too fatigued to drive home.

Yeah, I'm using second person a lot.  Sue me. :P 

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MarthaSplatterhead

MarthaSplatterhead wrote:

I guess I just think that this forum is different than real life in that we can really get our voice heard. Face to face with friends, I just don't bring it up unless it is brought up around me and even then I tend to keep it unconfrontational. We only live this life once and I think we should not waste any moments on lying to our friends but if they are so reliant on their irrationality then we could just write them off or try to live with it.

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision to flap my jaw.  Lately, I've been really prone to just opening my mouth and letting it spew forth.  Honestly, it's as if I can't help myself, lately.  The other day, I suggested to a passerby that my fundy music teacher was jacking off in his office. 

I think what's fueling it is part desperation (my current life situation) and part fury (anger at fundies and the part they are playing in my current life situation).  At this point, I don't know how to calm down.  I hope this isn't building to some kind of incident of supreme obnoxiousness. Sad

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Wow.  It's been a month

Wow.  It's been a month and I am still getting the cold shoulder.  I think I will probably have to suck it up and write this person off. 

I honestly tried to bridge the rift.  I admitted I shouldn't have mouthed off.  I told her I'd really try not to do it again.  I've e-mailed her numerous times and even Skyped her at home. 

The odd thing is she hasn't even said there's a problem.  She said she's been in pain.  That's probably true, but I doubt she would ignore me for a month over pain.  I think I may have precipitated an existential crisis.  She wasn't and isn't ready to listen to reason.

Then again, I could be totally wrong.  But if everything is fine, why has she answered only one of my numerous e-mails? 

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Like you said, you've tried

Like you said, you've tried all you could to amend things-so, it's just time to move on, I guess.  It could be the other factors, but she's not going out of her way to make sure you know it wasn't your fault. 

I am currently going through something similar with a friend.  She says that she just doesn't have the time with work and school.  She used to not be religious but now she goes to the unitarian church.  I went with her once and it was weird.  Let's just say I got "smudged" with sage.  She has now started subscribing to the belief that there are good and bad forces and a higher power.  She went to a "aura curer" the other day and was told that she was going to have a big change in her life.  (whoa, ain't that profound!) Then my friend said that her boyfriend just broke up with her so it was true what the woman said.  I told her that it sounded like she was a cold reader like Sylvia Brown.  Hits mean truth & misses are ignored.

So, I am just going to leave it for now with her.  When she can take some time out of her busy schedule, I will still try to be there for her but I am no longer going to go out of my way to connect with her. 


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MarthaSplatterhead

MarthaSplatterhead wrote:

Like you said, you've tried all you could to amend things-so, it's just time to move on, I guess. It could be the other factors, but she's not going out of her way to make sure you know it wasn't your fault.

That's a good point: She hasn't even mentioned the religion thing.  Considering the fact I sent the same apologetic e-mail twice, she should at least have told me whether or not she was offended.  If she blows up at me, I don't know if I'll be able to remain calm. 

MarthaSplatterhead wrote:
I am currently going through something similar with a friend. She says that she just doesn't have the time with work and school. She used to not be religious but now she goes to the unitarian church. I went with her once and it was weird. Let's just say I got "smudged" with sage. She has now started subscribing to the belief that there are good and bad forces and a higher power. She went to a "aura curer" the other day and was told that she was going to have a big change in her life. (whoa, ain't that profound!) Then my friend said that her boyfriend just broke up with her so it was true what the woman said. I told her that it sounded like she was a cold reader like Sylvia Brown. Hits mean truth & misses are ignored.

So, I am just going to leave it for now with her. When she can take some time out of her busy schedule, I will still try to be there for her but I am no longer going to go out of my way to connect with her.

Your friend sounds a lot like my cousin...my poor, gullible cousin. 

My cousin was raised fundy, like me, but she wasn't indoctrinated as completely as I was.  She says that her experiences at the xian school fucked her up the most.  She only went for a few years, but I can certainly agree with her that xian school is terrible.  I went to fundy school from grade 2 through grade 12.  Barf.   My cousin doesn't think her family was all that bad.  Mine was.  I don't know why she confides in my mother so often.  My mother is religiously insane.

Anyway, my cousin experiments with tarot cards, seances, spells--anything that will give her a sense of meaning.  A couple of days ago, I watched the first part of a movie she had recommended and promptly forgot to eat my lunch.  My jaw ended up on the floor and by the time I remembered lunch, it was cold.

The movie is called The Secret and it's all this New Age crap about the "Law of Attraction."  My bullshit-o-meter was going off the scale. Smiling 

While my lunch got cold I wrote my cousin an e-mail:

Hi XXXXX,

 

I believe this movie is a complete scam.  There are no gods, no ghosts, no woo-woo New Age attraction vibrations.  The natural world is all there is and science is the key to understanding it. You don’t need more of what, in my opinion, is no better than Christian fundamentalism.  The message has changed, but the shysters are still there, ready to waste your time and/or money....


I encourage you to pick up some books on logic and critical thinking. (Dawkins’ latest, The God Delusion is pretty good.  He mostly focuses on the concept of god, but also addresses other areas of fuzzy thinking.)  Come hang out with me at The Rational Response Squad.  Mostly we debate theists about the idea of god, but there’s a whole section of other crazy ideas that need to be challenged.

 

Check this out: http://www.skepdic.com/news/newsletter71.html

“The Law of Attraction is a New Age belief that one's mental disposition attracts similar external circumstances and events. In other words, your mental intentions and attitudes draw people and things of like intention and attitude to yourself. On one level this is trivially true. We generally hang out with people who think like us and share our values and we avoid people who disagree with us on important matters and don't share our values. But a moment's reflection should reveal that this ‘law’ lacks truthiness.

“Grieving vulnerable people don't attract vulnerable people; they attract vultures and vampires who take advantage of their grief. If you say that grief and greed are both negative so this example supports the law of attraction, then this law is impossible to test. It's too slippery to have any meaningful content if obvious contradictions to it are said to support it. When kindness begets not more kindness but resentment, a New Age defender of this ‘law’ can always claim that the kindness wasn't genuine. “

Take Care,

Laura

P.S.  It’s all about rationality.

 

I hope I don't have another reaction like the one that just ended a friendship.  Oy! 

 

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Still no word.  I guess

Still no word.  I guess I'll have to resign myself to another lost friendship.  Sad  I tried to make amends, but no joy.

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Still no word and I can't

Still no word and I can't help thinking about it.  Even though this is an Internet friend, I can't help but compare it to the way my life is going, in general.

My voice teacher is new to the area.  She has already been told to be careful what she says and does because things in this county have a way of getting around to everyone.  It's too late for me.  Everyone knows I'm an unapologetic atheist and it has caused problems.  Lots of problems.   My voice teacher has advised me to be careful what I say.  It's a little too late for that.

I'm being shunned.  Yeah, it hurts. Sad 

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Update: My friend's live-in

Update: My friend's live-in boyfriend just sent me a note.  But you know what?  After doing a lot of internal work over this, I find myself reluctant to enter into friendship again. Why would I want to enter into such an unstable relationship again?  I had my own problems because of what happened.  I was wrong to bring up religion (maybe?), but after I apologized, she wouldn't speak to me. She still hasn't spoken to me directly. 

And yes, I'm pissed.  She wouldn't even fucking tell me what the problem was! Because I'm pissed, I thought I'd ask for opinions from people who aren't involved.  Here's the e-mail, for what it's worth:


Hi Laura,
 
It's me, Deb's significant other. I am writing this to you because I consider you a friend of mine. I know we haven't talked much, but I feel I have gotten to know you a little over the years because you are so close to Deb. I feel I must wright you in an attempt to help.
 
Deborah is such an odd duck. She has her ways and boundaries that, Lord, if I cross them, there is hell to pay, and it is the same for anyone who strays in to forbidden subjects. This is, I'm afraid, what has happened.
 
Do you recall, I think it was the last time you and she skiped, I know the picture wasn't working and she could only hear you. I remember that you talked a long time and she just was saying "Yeah" and "u-huh", I'm not even certain as to what you were saying.
 
After that conversation Deb was wigged out. She said she couldn't communicate with you until she sorted something out. I was at a loss as to what to do. You called a few times and we talked, remember? Deb was in a bad way as her arm and shoulder were causing her constant pain, so it was easy not to answer the computer as she was bed ridden for days at a time. After a while I noticed that she would not check her e-mail when she did get to the computer. I asked her if she was going to wright you or call you on the phone. She was stern and said "no".
 
Finally, after a while, I asked her straight out why she seemed to be avoiding you. This started a huge fight, but she finally broke down and told me.
 
Seems that you were talking religion to her. Sort of coaxing her, or something. This stirred up a huge inner conflict within herself.
 
You see, she use to very religious. Went to church every week and holly communion and bible class on a regular basis. She lost her religious beliefs when her father died, and is very touchy about the subject. Sometimes I say "We should just go to church one day" and she says "Yeah, I haven't been in a long time". Then her face goes all dark and she gets very blue and angry with me about whatever I was doing. Religion is not a good subject with her.
 
Now a days, she is very blue. She misses you so much, but she is afraid. I just put her to bed after she cried for 2 hours. I couldn't figure it out. She wouldn't talk to me. I could do nothing right. Nothing was fun or interesting, and then the tears. She finally told me she misses you so much! She misses having a woman friend to talk to. Alas, I can not fill all her needs this way.
 
I asked her why she didn't wright you and she said she didn't know how to approach the subject without getting all worked up. I told her that you are a good friend and would probably understand, yet she is so afraid as the emotions run so deep.
 
She doesn't know I am writing this to you. She would have a major fit if she knew.
 
Please, if you care for her, give her a call and act as nonchalant  as you can and don't bring up the religion subject like that again. We all have scars and some of them run deeper than we would like to admit.
 
I hope you two find a way to remain friends.
 
Your clowny friend,
 
Christopher

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If everything in his email

If everything in his email is true, this gal sounds like she needs serious professional help.  (He must love her a lot to put up with all that.)

Wouldn't check her email because she was afraid there would be one from you?  All she had to do was delete it without reading it.  That's pretty odd, don't you think?

Iruka Naminori wrote:
She lost her religious beliefs when her father died, and is very touchy about the subject.

That strikes me as even more odd because if that were true, you would be in agreement.

It seems that he's asking you to call again, but never to bring up religion (or lack thereof) again because it will "set her off".  Would you be able to do that?  Is her friendship important enough to you that you would never mention the subject matter again?

If so, you might think about giving her one more chance.  Keep in mind, there's no telling what might set her off the next time.

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