So I reluctantly talked to my next-door militant right-wing, born-again, f-ing crazy neighbor because we walked out of our (close together) garage doors at the same time.  Her granddaughter is in inpatient treatment for anorexia.  I politely asked how she was doing.  I should have known better.  Well.  They know some people whose granddaughter had anorexia for 5 years, and after 5 years of praying, she was cured.  WHAT?!!!  What about the counselors, and doctors, etc.?!  No, it's all about the praying.  Well I am mad I didn't have the guts to ask why they put her in treatment at all if it's just about praying?!  THEN.  She starts in on ObamaCare, and Socialists, and how "they" (meaning poor and not white) are going to take all the medical care away from "us" (white and middle-class.)  Then I DID say, that you cannot morally let little kids die because they have no medical care.  To which she said that they get the treatment they need anyway, and we are all going to have to die at 70 if Obamacare doesn't stop.  There really was no reason to even argue with her, it would be like arguing with a potato.  She KNOWS we have a son with type 1 diabetes who needs to stay on our healthcare, etc.  I truly believe you can't be a republican and follow jebus at the same time.  She wouldn't get it if I explained it to her until I was blue in the face.

I'm done being nice.  I will wave my hand at her when I see her, but that's it.  She is immoral, and thinks she's superior to me (although if I actually told her what I thought of her religion, she'd probably drop dead from shock.)

I seriously can't stand the majority of people in the world.  Or at least the U.S.. Present company excluded. ~ Mindy

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When a tragedy occurs, the religious turn to prayer.  Did it ever cross their minds that the tragedy (act of God) that they are praying for help about, could have been stopped or caused by the person they are praying to?

That's the whole point.  If you imagine that even horrors and tragedy are caused by a benevolent being, it softens reality. 

I think they feel the existence of God is so much more good than the badness of any tragedy or horror, that the horrors of life pale in comparison ...

If such a thing were true, tragedies would pale in comparison.  If one could expect endless bliss after death, any anguish in life would be a tiny thing. 

Also religious people feel that it's all FOR something, that tragedies are part of some grand and good plan. 

Linus never could even imagine letting go of that wonderful baby blue security blanket.

I don't have invisible friends either.

So, a little sarcasm may be called for. Yes, definitely use the facts about Obamacare, good and bad, and let her know you are informed. You don't need her instructions. The fact is, you disagree on the principles and I would ask her to justify her principles. 

I wouldn't want to talk to her anymore either. I think it is best to stay away from some people.

Not long ago, Mindy, I was talking to my neighbor, a Catholic man who is seldom home. I was having a beer and found him outside doing yard work as I was doing an antenna project. We've talked many things before and I like to present atheist views, perhaps as only an ex preacher could do. My neighbor agrees with me fully. We talked for 45 minutes and he agrees. Finally he tells me that he has a SOUL and someday he will die and that soul will be set free. He was so excited about it that I'm surprised that he's not trying to hurry it along some. My mind says, "you have a soul. Isn't that how we all got to this mistaken belief system anyway?" Trying to tell him that he is the soul, or that he became a living soul at his birth did no good, so I quit quietly.

As for Obamacare, many forget that it's all about every person having insurance. It's a start, even if you think it's done wrong. Why would you have to die at 70? Why would people believe this and other myths about it when they have seen nothing in writing about it? People are so damned stupid that it isn't funny!

Dennis, agreed! If the facts be known, he doesn't have to be dead to be freed. The freeing occurs here and now or not at all. Well, belief is a tough little rascal with which to deal. . How did you come to terms with the soul delusion?  My struggle wasn't my soul, it was a delusion of loss of my community. 

The fact was, my community supported delusions and inhibited my healthy development.  

I've had a friends son-in-law that was scratched and bitten by a stray cat. He went to the ER for shots and bandages and left with antibiotics. Needless to say he ended up back in the hospital because the infection was spreading up his arm. After two days in hospital and strong IV antibiotics he is better and got to go home today. His mother had posted prayer requests for him and now credits power of prayer for saving his arm. SMH. No mention of the power of science or medicine. I just don't get people.

To live 22 years next to a woman with values in such conflict with your values has to be a stress. Even seeing her would start my stomach roiling. To listen to her silly nonsense would add untold strain. I hope you don't share a driveway, stairwell, or bedroom wall with her.

If enough of us feel good about our not having compelling evidence that god or jesus or angels intervene in our lives, and if we feel a sense of community with each other, then perhaps that would help each of us being able to ignore and avoid believers in delusions?

I also wonder if enough of us can feel powerful, effective, efficient, and influential, we can ignore bigotry and it would lose it's influence on our reactions? 

Being content and proud of who we are and what we believe, knowing we are on to something very important, participating with others as we enjoy the fact of our minds being unbound, and that we share in a common effort to be completely and absolutely free to think and reason, perhaps we don't need to convince others they are wrong.

Their lives already reveal bigotry, prejudice, and hate mongering. Let them wallow in their dogma, justify their misery as they claim the power of prayer, and as they feel the natural consequences of basing their values on delusions. They build their own fire of hell, shape the pot of obedience and conformity to dogma, and jump in with their whole mind/body/soul and wonder why their lives suck. 

If they ask why we look, sound, and act confidently, competently and courageously, it is because we have an awareness of who we are and how we evolved. We didn't come from some magic of dirt and spit. Whether they want to hear it or not is none of our business. We do have a rationale for why we trust our knowledge. It does not require obedience or submission or domination. It involves being who you/I/we are. It works because of our self respect. When we participate with others of like mind and think of a far wider vision than narrowing in on salvation, sacrifice and entitlement, we have power.

Our power does not come from being attached to some "higher power" it comes from knowing ourselves and our values. 

You can stand tall, proud, strong, confident, and compassionate, Mindy, and let her wallow in her own bile. 

Reading the book When Bad Things Happen to Good People many years ago helped my own evolution of thought. Rabbi Harold Kushner described how after losing his son, he came to believe in a god that's not very powerful, that can't prevent or take away problems and tragedies, as the only viable and humane option he could conceive of.

It's indeed scary how many people give their god the credit for healing someone, or saving a few people in a disaster, yet assign their god absolutely no blame for causing the illness or disaster in the first place.

I read that book too.  It always amazes me how really bright people can rationalize an impossible deity.  He can't be omniscient, and omnipotent, and loving.  Not with the world as it is.  So they change some definitions, pretend reality isn't real, or otherwise get around the lies they claim to believe.  We have Mormons on one side, Catholics on the other, and my wife is liberal protestant.  As long as religion never comes up, everything's pleasant.  I have my serious conversations elsewhere -- like with my three humanist grandkids.

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