I'll try to keep this as short as possible.  I have a HUGE extended family- all very religious (Christian).  I have learned to deal with my parents & brother because my love for them outweighs my hatred for their beliefs... however, I had a very upsetting/angering conversation with my cousin this morning and basically my main problem is that I get so upset when I talk with other people about religion (or gay rights, etc.) that the words don't come out right, I feel myself starting to cry out of anger, and then I look like the idiot.  Someone please help!!

I posted a funny comment on Facebook stating that I thought I was a gay man trapped in a woman's body.  99.9% of people I know understand that this was me being funny.  My cousin sent me text message after text message at 9 a.m. about how she has been worried about me ever since that post.  Mind you- this cousin isn't even on Facebook so some other gossipy member of my family must have told her about it for some reason... Anyway, she goes on to say things like "c'mon, do you really think two men were created to be together?" and "gay is unnatural", etc.  This kind of thing always gets my blood boiling.  I said "I don't believe in God so I don't think men were "created" at all..."  When she read that, her response was "I'm so sorry you are so unhappy... I knew... I just knew you weren't happy and I am so so sorry"... WHAT THE FUCK.  How does being an atheist or a gay supporter make me unhappy??  I am actually the happiest right now in my life than I've ever been!

So with all of that said, I have decided to just not deal with her.  No more hanging out, no more pretending that we have anything in common just so I can have someone to talk to.  I'm done.  I just wish I knew how to get my point across without sounding like an idiot because my anger always trips me up.  I'm sure that MANY of you have dealt with things like this so I would love to hear your suggestions and advice on dealing with  close-minded, brainwashed gay haters.

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When I start crying under such circumstances, I need to step away and take stock. I've diagnosed in myself that I'm still too male defined, when it's a male, especially a male authority figure. To me it's a symptom of still needing that person's approval. It's taken consciousness raising to free myself for authentic self esteem. I also just avoid such people who feel I ought to see myself with their moralistic narrowly imagined righteousness eyes. You'd be suprised how many people feel a woman should accept their personal judgments into herself and internalize them, set themselves up as judges and arbiters of rightness. When they know crap. Often such people have never gone through a process of self actualization themselves, never reinvented themselves or discovered new things and grown. I just have to use my adult ego state and say they are not competent to judge me. Pffft!

Thanks Ruth!  Love the pic :)

JOHN!  THANK YOU!  It is so refreshing to read things from other Atheists that know exactly what I'm going through.  It's weird because I thought I had gotten past all of the anger... for a long time, I knew that my parents and I just couldn't talk about these issues because we disagreed and all of us would only end up getting angry.  It worked out really well for a long time but every once in a while (lately), in a matter of seconds, we're all yelling and irate. 

My Dad actually had the nerve a few weeks ago to ask (with a smug smirk on his face) "What is it that you're so scared of?" when I said I don't agree with religion.  I can still feel my stomach tighten up into knots when I think about that statement.  Why does it have to be that I'm SCARED because I don't believe or agree with Christianity!?!?  You know what- he was half right.  I am scared... of being brainwashed like he has been!  Horrifying!!

Anyway, I already have anger issues and talking about religion or homosexuality with Christians is just about the worst idea ever for me.  So, I am going to try your advice and see how it works.  I will learn to calmly give my opinion so I'm neither argumentative or passive because I deserve to be heard too but I need to remember that I'm not going to change their minds.  They have to do that on their own so there's no point in having a stroke over this crap every time it happens.  All I can really do is feel bad for them that they waste so much time and money on religion. 

I wish everyone could just deal with reality/life/disappointments/guilt/happiness/WHATEVER without the crutch of religion!!!

You have gotten a lot of good advice here.I just wanted to speak to your father's comments and the comments by your cousin about being sad, unhappy and afraid. As someone married to an evangelical christian, I see how they are constantly told-brainwashed, if you like- through sermons, books, radio,etc., that every non-christian is very unhappy and lost in their life and that they really need jesus to be happy. I think the best thing you can do is to show them that this is simply not true.This may be a little more challenging for a younger person who is still trying to figure out what makes them happy in life, (which is one of the ways that impressionable  people often fall prey to the siren song of religion), but in the end, if you just put on that face, then they don't "win". They may not be impressed by this, but you shouldn't care either.They are the lost ones, not you.

It sucks being young!!  Your biggest issue is confidence.  When you define your self by who you are instead of who you associate with, you will be less emotionally vested in your argument with other individuals.  It looks like you are already doing something about that.  More time and experience is all that you need.  As an experiment, I would suggest doing some serious reading until you are absolutely sick of print (any subject will do).  After that, try discussing that subject with someone that has strong feelings against homosexuality.  I suspect that you will encounter more smoke and bullshit in the discussion than you would at an XIT rodeo.  Being free isn't always a good thing.  You are only free when you don't care.  The trick is figuring out what is worth caring about.  There are a few things worth it, but not nearly as many as you think.

my goodness
I've worked with many a gay sales guy and master textile guy in s.w miami etc..
don't get what folks are so riled up over?
seems they'd trust a stranger xtian to their own friend or fam... which is total loss of common sense imho.
but hey the brainwashing is thick and that's how it goes to the profit margin of whatever faith inc. right?
when will they realize the USA alone loses 71 'billion' a year to the faith based junk...
and they dare complain about taxes from gay marriage!? oh my bad 'same sex'

trick is to let 'them' have the blood boil
no matter how hard it gets
it's they that'll end up in the hospital later in life or early.. because if their tv or faith spigot was shut off they'd figure a. they've been lying all along or b. they've been lied to all along


Huge ups to American Atheists Inc. in Stark? Florida this morning! ; )


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