"Respect me and my beliefs!"

Dissident1's picture

I have two sisters, and my family is very close. I speak with my sisters constantly, and we all stay in contact with our parents. Whenever I am speaking out against christianity in their presence, I am told that I am disrespecting them and their beliefs. In many instances, merely making a statement that vaguely refers to religiousity is enough to provoke them.

Now, I totally respect my sisters because, well, they are my sisters. Disrespect for religion and religious-born ideologies does not equal disrespect of the person. Yet they seem to suggest that if I say that christianity destroyed civilisation and we are still trying to recover, that is not the same thing as making a direct attack on someone's person!

This is where the argument rages. Why don't I have respect for religious beliefs and values that other people hold to? Just because I don't believe them, supposedly I am to respect that fact that other people do and remain silent about them.

Ok, that won't work. The religious around me rarely remain silent on any issue, and constantly invoke their god as a means of settlement on them. Thus, it becomes a matter of necessity that I make my position very clear! Furthermore, I have no respect for a religion that is continually forced upon me.

It's like this. I am told that I can be an atheist just so long as I don't "flaunt" my atheism. Do christians have to uphold that same standard? Not from what I've seen. It basically boils down to, it's ok to be an atheist just so long as you act like a christian.

I don't support christian dogma, don't believe in christian values and morality systems, and directly oppose christian views on practically every issue. Why would I want to act as though the reverse was true? Not going to happen. If christians can publically proclaim their christianity, constantly directing religious statements at me, I can do likewise.

Christians have stomped all over the Constitutional Bill of Rights, so it seems totally appropriate to me that I should stomp all over the christian holy book. Total disrespect intended.

I am become death, destroyer of worlds

Wonderist's picture

Very similar situation in

Very similar situation in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYw5NRpd6ZY Check out all the video replies.

Wonderist on Facebook — Support the idea of wonderism by 'liking' the Wonderism page — or join the open Wonderism group to take part in the discussion!

Gnu Atheism Facebook group — All gnu-friendly RRS members welcome (including Luminon!) — Try something gnu!

darth_josh's picture

By not informing them of

By not informing them of your position then it is lying. Some of us have to lie. I would ask them if they wanted you to lie about your lack of belief.

By not speaking out against the harm that religion can cause then you would be guilty of depraved indifference. Apathy toward one's fellow humans is more direspectful to those humans than allowing them to wallow in their ignorance.

As far as politics, that's going to be a case by case thing just like it is in real life outside of our little circles of family and friends. By virtue of your ability to look as objectively as possible about the situations around us then one would imagine that respect will eventually follow reason. If not then I wouldn't waste my time on that person but I would talk to them to let the others nearby hear the conversation. 

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server, which houses Celebrity Atheists.

berlandk's picture

I agree completely

I can't go a single day without someone telling me, "Have a blessed day" or "God bless" or "May the Lord be with you". You're not imagining it - Christians everywhere think it's fine for them to express their beliefs to anyone, anytime, regardless of other's beliefs or lack thereof. I say you should keep standing up for your position, and point out that by trying to quash rational discussion about religion and society, your relatives are guilty of exactly what they're accusing you of. Which it sounds like you've already done, but keep trying anyway.

btw - my standard response now when someone tells me to have a blessed day is, "Thanks, I don't believe in God, but you have a good day too." Then I walk away as the jaw drops. Classic. 

"People said I was dumb, but I proved them!"~Fry

Susan's picture

berlandk wrote: btw - my

berlandk wrote:

btw - my standard response now when someone tells me to have a blessed day is, "Thanks, I don't believe in God, but you have a good day too." Then I walk away as the jaw drops. Classic.

My standard response before I walk away is "No thanks.  I have other plans."  That just confused the heck out of them.

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