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Old 03-26-2014, 11:36 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,535 posts, read 2,452,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruithne View Post
^^^^

Great advice Unsettomati.
I pretty much echo everything you said there.

Privately I'd say I'm a little more hard-hearted about it. My honest feeling is that if people know you well, know you are a good person and live a good life, and then suddenly change their perspective about you for the simple fact that you are an atheist, then that's their problem, not yours. It's a form of prejudice. no way of getting around that. So frankly if they are going to judge you for it, it makes me think less of them, not the other way around. Friends like that aren't worth having.
I agree with what Unsettomati said also, no doubt about that. Nearly all my close friends know like I said above and they don't judge me for it. I guess I'm just appalled by the reactions I've gotten to subtle things I've said over the last couple years to put feelers out on how someone might react, it wasn't good. You know, atheists are devil-worshipers and such, which is complete and total nonsensical ignorance.

It's weird for me because when I was a fundamental Christian I thought the same things. Of course I hadn't ever been exposed to non-belief or atheists, and never even knew what an agnostic was. It's complete ignorance is what it is. And brainwashing. I feel like I've been delivered from the biggest lie known to man and I would like to discuss this with my uber religious relatives but I know how crazy they are about Christianity and it would do absolutely no good. It would not matter if I am a good person and live a good life, the race would be on to convert me back to Christianity and I don't want that headache for sure.

If I were to tell one relative then it would get back to my Mother and I can't have that. If it's my fate to have one foot still in the closet then so be it to keep my sanity and my Mother happy.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:42 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,535 posts, read 2,452,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
Yeah, even with my brother, I won't push it as I don't see any point in upsetting him. His wife is even worse; she was threatened and confused last time I visited because I have facial hair that I didn't used to have (quite conservative and well groomed too). It was like traveling back to the 1960's and 1970's when Christians still debated the holiness of such things.

Some fundamentalists live on the thin edge of panic; they can't tolerate anything that challenges their highly structured understanding of reality.
Yep, very well said.
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Old 03-26-2014, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
6,867 posts, read 3,794,760 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
I agree with what Unsettomati said also, no doubt about that. Nearly all my close friends know like I said above and they don't judge me for it. I guess I'm just appalled by the reactions I've gotten to subtle things I've said over the last couple years to put feelers out on how someone might react, it wasn't good. You know, atheists are devil-worshipers and such, which is complete and total nonsensical ignorance.

It's weird for me because when I was a fundamental Christian I thought the same things. Of course I hadn't ever been exposed to non-belief or atheists, and never even knew what an agnostic was. It's complete ignorance is what it is. And brainwashing. I feel like I've been delivered from the biggest lie known to man and I would like to discuss this with my uber religious relatives but I know how crazy they are about Christianity and it would do absolutely no good. It would not matter if I am a good person and live a good life, the race would be on to convert me back to Christianity and I don't want that headache for sure.

If I were to tell one relative then it would get back to my Mother and I can't have that. If it's my fate to have one foot still in the closet then so be it to keep my sanity and my Mother happy.
Sounds like you have already found a good compromise that works for you. Keep doing what you are doing, then come on here once in a while to let off steam. We are all ears!!
You are being true to yourself as much as you can without upsetting those around you. Sounds like you are doing great....

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Old 03-27-2014, 12:07 PM
PDD
 
Location: The Sand Hills of NC
8,774 posts, read 14,888,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
Yesterday I spoke with my sister who is unaware that I'm now an unbeliever. Her FIL passed away and she was asking me to pray for the family. I didn't have a clue how to respond except to say "uh-huh" or "ok" but I have yet to find the right words when it comes to something like this. I just said I was really sorry and that I would send a donation. I know people think I'm a coward for not just being honest but there are so many things involved and it just wouldn't be well received. So I keep it to myself.

I met a new friend over the weekend and I made the mistake of saying I didn't believe in god.....wow what a chilly reception. Here in the bible belt people equate non-belief with the devil so I'm sure I've been red-flagged. Then there was a side discussion that I caught parts of about god and I made another mistake of asking if the god-conversation was over with and it made my other friend cry. She never would say what she was upset about but I know that was it. So these are some of the reasons I don't talk about it or mention it. I get so sick of hearing about "god", praise "god", pray for me, I'll pray for you, on and on and on.....you get the picture. Makes me want to shout "I'm an atheist!!!!" from the rooftops sometimes but I'd probably be picked off the roof by these gun-toting idiots around here.

What the heck do you do? Any suggestions about what to say or do?
Yes, you are never going to convince believers to change their minds so just let them be. They were born atheists just like the rest of us and you are not going to reverse the many years of brain washing.

It is tough being an atheist and living in the South.

I am a Liberal, atheist, gun owner and that really throws some for a loop.

How can you own a gun and not believe in God some might ask?

I say it's thinking for yourself. Since I don't have God looking out for me I have to do that myself.
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Old 03-29-2014, 01:09 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
3,535 posts, read 2,452,753 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDD View Post
Yes, you are never going to convince believers to change their minds so just let them be. They were born atheists just like the rest of us and you are not going to reverse the many years of brain washing.

It is tough being an atheist and living in the South.

I am a Liberal, atheist, gun owner and that really throws some for a loop.

How can you own a gun and not believe in God some might ask?

I say it's thinking for yourself. Since I don't have God looking out for me I have to do that myself.
I own guns also, a girl's gotta have a way to protect herself!
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Greenbelt, MD
8,972 posts, read 6,509,659 times
Reputation: 44387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
Yesterday I spoke with my sister who is unaware that I'm now an unbeliever. Her FIL passed away and she was asking me to pray for the family. I didn't have a clue how to respond except to say "uh-huh" or "ok" but I have yet to find the right words when it comes to something like this. I just said I was really sorry and that I would send a donation. I know people think I'm a coward for not just being honest but there are so many things involved and it just wouldn't be well received. So I keep it to myself.

I met a new friend over the weekend and I made the mistake of saying I didn't believe in god.....wow what a chilly reception. Here in the bible belt people equate non-belief with the devil so I'm sure I've been red-flagged. Then there was a side discussion that I caught parts of about god and I made another mistake of asking if the god-conversation was over with and it made my other friend cry. She never would say what she was upset about but I know that was it. So these are some of the reasons I don't talk about it or mention it. I get so sick of hearing about "god", praise "god", pray for me, I'll pray for you, on and on and on.....you get the picture. Makes me want to shout "I'm an atheist!!!!" from the rooftops sometimes but I'd probably be picked off the roof by these gun-toting idiots around here.

What the heck do you do? Any suggestions about what to say or do?
Doesn't sound like much of a friend to me. I'd rather be lonely.

I can't recall I've ever been backed into a corner like this but I know I wouldn't lie about it. I have no problem with dodging the question to something like "he will be in my thoughts." If that's not good enough and I'm pressed further that person is asking for a good strong dose of reality. And I will be happy to oblige.
Expecting me to say "okay" when asking me to pray for someone ain't gonna happen.

Last edited by John13; 03-30-2014 at 01:32 PM..
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:33 PM
 
40,150 posts, read 26,779,715 times
Reputation: 6053
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northsouth View Post
Yesterday I spoke with my sister who is unaware that I'm now an unbeliever. Her FIL passed away and she was asking me to pray for the family. I didn't have a clue how to respond except to say "uh-huh" or "ok" but I have yet to find the right words when it comes to something like this. I just said I was really sorry and that I would send a donation. I know people think I'm a coward for not just being honest but there are so many things involved and it just wouldn't be well received. So I keep it to myself.
I met a new friend over the weekend and I made the mistake of saying I didn't believe in god.....wow what a chilly reception. Here in the bible belt people equate non-belief with the devil so I'm sure I've been red-flagged. Then there was a side discussion that I caught parts of about god and I made another mistake of asking if the god-conversation was over with and it made my other friend cry. She never would say what she was upset about but I know that was it. So these are some of the reasons I don't talk about it or mention it. I get so sick of hearing about "god", praise "god", pray for me, I'll pray for you, on and on and on.....you get the picture. Makes me want to shout "I'm an atheist!!!!" from the rooftops sometimes but I'd probably be picked off the roof by these gun-toting idiots around here.
What the heck do you do? Any suggestions about what to say or do?
Ask yourself why it really matters to you, my friend. Why is it important not to tolerate or accommodate their nonsense in such trivial ways? Is your life not sufficiently fulfilling without publicly parading your disbelief around? Is this an abreaction to your earlier public parading of your belief? Have a sincere inner talk with yourself about these things, my sister. Peace.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:32 PM
 
13,695 posts, read 13,623,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Ask yourself why it really matters to you, my friend. Why is it important not to tolerate or accommodate their nonsense in such trivial ways? Is your life not sufficiently fulfilling without publicly parading your disbelief around? Is this an abreaction to your earlier public parading of your belief? Have a sincere inner talk with yourself about these things, my sister. Peace.
Seems to me it's generally the believers parading their belief around. Why wouldn't I tell someone I'm an atheist when everyone feels free to tell me what they're personal beliefs are? As long as we're sharing...

It's like people who say that gays who hold hands in public are "parading" their deviant lifestyle. No. They're just doing what any hetero couple would do. Are those people "parading" their heterosexuality?

Kapish?
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:11 PM
 
40,150 posts, read 26,779,715 times
Reputation: 6053
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
Ask yourself why it really matters to you, my friend. Why is it important not to tolerate or accommodate their nonsense in such trivial ways? Is your life not sufficiently fulfilling without publicly parading your disbelief around? Is this an abreaction to your earlier public parading of your belief? Have a sincere inner talk with yourself about these things, my sister. Peace.
Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
Seems to me it's generally the believers parading their belief around. Why wouldn't I tell someone I'm an atheist when everyone feels free to tell me what they're personal beliefs are? As long as we're sharing...
It's like people who say that gays who hold hands in public are "parading" their deviant lifestyle. No. They're just doing what any hetero couple would do. Are those people "parading" their heterosexuality?
Kapish?
I was addressing my friend's specific situation with her close fundamentalist relatives and friends . . . not a generic solution. She is clearly having issues and discomfort, etc. in her personal life over this change in her beliefs. I was asking her to examine WHY she is having these difficulties . . . which are largely self-generated by her angst over not being able to "parade her disbelief" openly among her friends and family.
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Old 03-31-2014, 09:14 PM
 
3,404 posts, read 2,253,561 times
Reputation: 1317
Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticPhD View Post
I was addressing my friend's specific situation with her close fundamentalist relatives and friends . . . not a generic solution. She is clearly having issues and discomfort, etc. in her personal life over this change in her beliefs. I was asking her to examine WHY she is having these difficulties . . . which are largely self-generated by her angst over not being able to "parade her disbelief" openly among her friends and family.
I think it is the wording "parade her disbelief". It doesn't appear to me she is attempting to do anything of the sort. She is simply trying to strike the very delicate balance between being considerate and tactful, and not having to live a lie. Should she stop having conversations with her friends and family because they keep wanting to talk about religion? Or should she lie and pretend to be a believer?

I don't know her specific situation but I feel for her. My wife and I use the phrase "coming out" to refer to letting anyone in my family know that we are nonbelievers. We have come out to a few folks, and it has definitely poisoned some relationships, but why is it my responsibility to lie to salvage a relationship? Fortunately, my immediate family has sort of taken a don't ask, don't tell stance. Not everyone is as respectful about it.

I find it hard to imagine that you would pretend to believe in hellfire and damnation to make someone else feel better, or that you would sit meekly in a group of atheist friends and bite your tongue because you are afraid of offending. There is a difference between being considerate and tactful (which didn't appear to be her issue) and trying to be something you are not, just to avoid other people's baggage.

-NoCapo
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