My cube-neighbor is a devout christian, but the type of religious person that's a good example for others: She doesn't preach or advertise her beliefs, but will discuss it when it comes up. I enjoy working with her and like her as a person.

She did irritate me a few weeks ago by saying, "I know you might not like what I have to say, but I think someday, in the distant future, you and your husband will be saved." I just said that I know that's how all christians feel and it doesn't surprise me, but not to hold her breath!

The topic came up again yesterday, and we were discussing our families, what their beliefs are and so on. She said her parents are both religious- her father is a devout catholic and her mother is a christian "but laid back and cool about it," words to that effect. Meaning, not rabidly insane like my mother-in-law that I often complain about.

Then she told me how, once when her cousin and his friend were over the house, the friend ("a man of science, very smart guy") said that he didn't believe in god. So her mom politely asked him to leave.

I was incredulous. "She kicked him out on account of stating his non-belief?!" I asked.

"Well, NO, she didn't [motioning with her leg] KICK him out, she just asked him to leave," she responded.

"That's kicking somebody out, you don't have to do it literally! She showed him the door. Wow. And on what basis?" I didn't get any impression that the guy was being obnoxious or rude. He merely stated his position.

"Well, what would you do if a man came into your house, and turned out to be a thief, or a rapist?"

"WAIT. You are comparing an atheist to a rapist and a thief??"

Cue the backpedaling. She seemed confused and started mumbling something about humanism vs atheism. I didn't let go, and she denied thinking that. "But you just made a comparison of non-believers to criminals!"

"I didn't say that. That's not what I'm saying. You must've been very scarred to think that's what I meant," she replied with that creepy calmness so typical of christians. I was floored.

"You have to understand," I explained, "atheism just means 'non-belief.' That's IT. It makes no statement about a person's morals or character. That's ALL it means, non-belief."

She didn't apologize, and won't, but I hope a small seed was planted in her brain. She's been spoon-fed information about atheists her entire life, and I'm sure she had no idea about the proper definition. I hope she begins to see some of the hypocricy.

In any case, I purchase and am almost done reading "A Manual for Creating Atheists." While I hate carrying this book around and reading it in public on the train due to the provocative title (because people will automatically assume that's what I'm trying to do all the time, which I'm not), it's an excellent book.

Also, I should add: I get the impression that she's one of those that's uncomfortable with "atheist" and prefers to think of me as a "secular humanist." Because every now and then, she asks me to clarify my position. "Are you an atheist or a humanist?"

I tell her that I agree with humanist principles, but I don't consider myself a humanist except by default. I'm an atheist. It's weird, like she keeps asking the question as if to give me a chance to redeem myself and choose the "correct" answer. Wow, so there really are people out there who think it's a world of difference between the two, and obviously one cannot really have morals without subscribing to some prescribed "religion."

Views: 769

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

{{{{sigh}}}} indeed, I'm sick to my stomach over yet another direct confrontation with voluntary insanity. But I'm relieved that she was made uncomfortable, and hope she sees her position more clearly.

I DO happen to like her, she's a fine co-worker, but always knew (even predicted in a recent post here that I just noticed!) that the batsh!t crazy would eventually manifest itself somehow!

From your description, she actually seems like a nice person. Deluded, superstitious, myopic, ill educated, but nice. For what it's worth, I think you're doing the correct thing in maintaining a friendly relationship with her. Yes, her beliefs are despicable, and those around her who act on those despicable beliefs are abhorrent, e.g. throwing the man out of the house. But, by being friendly and acting in a moral way, you giving her the seed of doubt about her own belief system. "From the tiny acorn, grows the mighty oak."

I have told people to leave my home when they use homophobic or racist language. Words are real things. They are not just sound waves in the ether. They spread toxic ideas with abandon infecting others. I agree with Maya Angelou, The Power of Words. I don't ascribe the power as coming from god or from what the bible says, but words reflect thoughts and values. Being tolerant of intolerable words is not a virtue. 

I ask people to leave who ring the doorbell (usually at mealtime) and want to "talk about Jesus."  Especially Morons.  I often tell them that while I do enjoy fantasy fiction, I am well aware that it IS fiction, and most of it's a lot more entertaining than what they are peddling.

A great answer!

Also, most fantasy fiction exemplifies far more consistent values than does the Bible, which is so self-contradictory it can be used to support just about anything.

I don't know how other Mormon scripture is in that respect; the Skeptic's Annotated Book of Mormon only lists four topics with contradictions (compared to almost 500 for the Bible). That doesn't mean the BoM is "truer", only that its author(s) was (were) better at continuity.

The Book of Moron may be less internally self-contradictory than the buybull, but it is certainly contradictory to reality. 

I really did LMAO when DNA research definitely proved that Native Americans are not at all related to Middle Eastern tribes.  Plus, my dad was a Mason (for business connections...he was always disdainful of what he called "joiners."), and a lot of the Moron rituals and costumes are direct copies of Masonic devices and symbolism....including the embroidery on official Moron underwear.  (I spent a few years going to Job's Daughters meetings, so the Masonic symbols are quite familiar to me, too.)  Joseph Smith was a con man...and lecher... of the First Order.

When we played Salt Lake City, I took the guided tour of Temple Square, and had a difficult time keeping quiet when the guide told us about the "miracle" of the seagulls.  I also stole the BoM from my hotel room, and tried to read it over the rest of the tour.  It's very confusing, and silly, even more so than the Old Testicle.

You know the nitwits who place their propaganda in hotels think they've made a convert when a book gets taken.  (I don't know how many times I've seen "replacements" stacked on hotel maids' carts, along with fresh linens and TP and stuff...often enough..)

You have to remember that I was on the road, off and on from the summer of 1957 to 1968.  I stayed in a LOT of 3rd rate (or worse) hotels in those years.  Different town every week.

At least the railroads didn't sneak anything like that into the Pullman cars.  We would have used them for confetti.

A guy I once knew was offended when I called marijuana "dope".  I rather liked that he was sensitive about that - he would rather call it something nice like grass or weed I guess -  but I didn't actually mean anything negative by it.  Everyone called it "dope" at the time. 

Gee ... insecurity, anyone?  Your cube-neighbor had her words read back to her and couldn't deal with it, never mind her knee-jerk reaction to one simple word: atheism.  On top of that, she makes an unwarranted and unsupported allegation about you (being "scarred") in reaction.  Seems to me someone's living by a river in Egypt, if you get my meaning.

This is one reason why I do identify as an atheist: the term doesn't soft-pedal the facts of the matter or remotely indulge in political correctness.  Yeah, it has shock value.  Some people just need to be shocked.

That christian seems like someone who could give up the faith if she is honest with herself about how her perceptions were so clouded by the lies given her by her pastor, faith, and community.

I think your friend is the one who is scarred. Part of her fear is that she doesn't know what atheist means. Someone has told her that being atheist is very bad, so you must just be a humanist. It's like Oprah not wanting to believe the woman who swam from Cuba to Florida was an "atheist" just because the woman does experience "awe" in nature and the universe. Oprah then dubbed this woman as a humanist.

"Oh, you don't believe in god? Just go look at the sunset." But an atheist, they eat children for breakfast and they are especially good with mustard. (Probably grey poop on.)

Your friend thinks that in the future you and your husband might be "saved?" Nobody should know these terms better than I, but let me add "redeemed." Here is where I would say that I am not a coin, stamp, or grocery coupon. I'm not being saved up for another time, and it's all so damned rediculous!

Ya, I know, Oprah has a problem with atheists. She doesn't realize that her values make no sense to a lot of us, and we just have to make our values public. Silence implies agreement. I don't like Oprah's values. I don't like her consumerism lifestyle and the giving away of very expensive things to people for no other reason than being in a seat in her audience. Sounds like bribery to me. I do like that she supports education, even to the point of opening a girl's school in Africa. That makes a whole lot more sense than giving everyone in the audience a car.  

I would like to see more support for those who create better living conditions for the profoundly poor, and against the legislation that supports the creation of a poverty class. We have too many very skilled people, dependable, reliable, and honest who cannot find work or the resources to train for the 21st Century economy.  A war economy is not the kind that produces things of value. Education, health care, care for children and the elderly, rebuilding our nation's infrastructure have far more utility than bombs and bullets. 




Update Your Membership :




Nexus on Social Media:


© 2018   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service