Faux News article: how to engage your non-religious family members

Faux News is directly plumping for religion.

In this case it is how to turn a perfectly normal family gathering, which should be about togetherness, and turn it into a chance to proselytise.

You have to read it to believe it. Because the holidays are all about peace on Earth, push your faith on men. found here>

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Damn!!!  No one will reach out to me.  I am neither spiritual nor under 35.  I guess that is one more missed opportunity for debate.

Okay, I'll play along:

1. Ask about a spiritual experience that has shaped their life.
I am an Associate Teacher of the Transcendental Meditation technique, and from mid-1975 through the end of 1977, I worked for that organization full time.  During my tenure there I had a number of what I thought of then and still think of now as very powerful experiences.  These would class as something one might categorize as "numinous."  However, in NO case was anyone other than ME involved in those experiences. No gods, demigods or hemidemisemigods.  My one regret is that my physiologic responses couldn't be recorded during some of them.  I would have been intrigued as hell to see what the measurement showed.

2. Engage in conversation about the importance of love and compassion.
Love and compassion are universal concepts, found in all races and cultures.  Some cultures may put different values on these emotions; that doesn't change the fact of their existence or the fact that they exist independent of religion of any sort.  For one religion to attempt to claim the rights to either is about as specious as their claim to being the source of morality.  Try again.

3. Express your own doubts or questions about religion.
If someone has doubts about their beliefs, my question would be whether or not they've tried thinking outside of the box regarding those doubts.  Have they read the bible for themselves, rather than having it read TO THEM? Are they willing to investigate sites such as The Skeptic's Annotated Bible or other websites which point out the problems with the bible in detail? Do they have any idea of the difference between subjective and objective points of view and why religion is so dominated by the former while science embraces the latter. Ask about miracles and why they were supposedly so rampant back then and so utterly not in evidence now, and if they want to claim that miracles happen, ask them why amputees don't have their fair share fulfilled.

4. Invite a conversation about how spiritual values shape your respective lives. 
My problem with the word "spiritual" is the root of that word: "spirit." Spirit is like god, heaven, hell, soul, and too many other such words: they are concepts without concrete referent. People talk about them as though they exist mostly out of habit or indoctrination. I subscribe to none of them and defy anyone to provide me with hard, testable proof that they are anything more than the ancient imaginings of someone who created them either because they were afraid of their own death or because they had an agenda they wanted to push on someone else.

The idea of the "nones" is a relatively new one, including those who are disaffected from religion though not yet utterly rejecting it, as well as those of us who see religion for the folly that it is. I suppose it might be possible for a believer to engage someone of that first category and maybe make some progress ... but their non-existent god won't help them if they try that crap on me or most of the denizens of A|N.

We still ain't havin' any...

Wonderful written Loren.

Correct Bud - I rejected their religion.

I very much see myself in that statement.

Loren did it, so I will too.

1. Ask about a spiritual experience that has shaped their life.
I had pickets at my home and death threats aimed at my baby son and ex-wife for running a Wiccan and free-thinking computer bulletin board in Virginia Beach. They were all spiritually-motivated.

2. Engage in conversation about the importance of love and compassion.
Because as an atheist I could not possibly love my mother, my son, nor my wife. Nor can I be compassionate toward others. And because the purpose of family gatherings is proselytisation, not love and compassion. Next.

3. Express your own doubts or questions about religion.
If you have doubts about your religious faith, then you do not believe. There is no middle ground. You either believe, or you do not, and you are only atheistic about one less god than me.

4. Invite a conversation about how spiritual values shape your respective lives. 
Spirits cannot be demonstrated to exist, other than liquor. Things that cannot be demonstrated to exist I do not allow to shape my life if I recognise the fact. On the other hand, you as a religious person are motivated by alleged spiritual values which cannot be demonstrated to exist. Faith is not a virtue. It is abject belief in the unfounded. It is the realm of the unthinking, and what allows sheep to be led, by a good shepherd, to slaughter.

James - exactly - well stated.

Oh yuck - terrible. Another reason to dislike Fox News.

Like thinking people need another reason to hate them, lol.

Like non-thinking people need a reason, either. Why aren't they off the air yet? Didn't the Leavenson enquiry in Britain find that News Corp. was engaging in corrupt practices? Didn't they jail Rebecca Brookes? Didn't they shut down News of the World, and even the head of Dow Jones resigned (as he'd been an editor of the Wall Street Journal?

What happened to our Foreign Corrupt Practices Act? Why isn't Rupie in court here?

Correct me if I'm wrong here but doesn't the article boil down to "Religion is the ultimate truth and we need to badger and manipulate family members until they see the light."?

1. Ask about a spiritual experience that has shaped their life.

I grew up in a church heavily engaged in the teaching of "prophecy", including both that found in the Bible and some homebrew prophecy god-given especially for us back in the 1800s.  In 11th grade, I was told that while we understood all other prophecy, Daniel chapter 11 wasn't something God had seen fit to reveal to us yet.  That didn't sit well with me, so I looked it up on my own.  It turns out, the mainline Protestant churches had no trouble deciphering it at all.  It just so happens that it was a false prophecy.  For me, that was when I really stopped believing in the church I grew up in.

2. Engage in conversation about the importance of love and compassion.
I've never been loved so purely and so unconditionally as by the young woman I am with right now.  All my life it was always, "He's such a good boy.  He loves Jesus so much!"  It's almost like I myself wasn't even on the radar.  It's so refreshing to be loved for me!

3. Express your own doubts or questions about religion.
My mother has more doubts than me, I am quite certain, and I am an out-and-out Atheist.  She's been repressing them for so long.  It would do her a world of good to give them a fair airing out.

4. Invite a conversation about how spiritual values shape your respective lives. 
I believe that people can choose to be good.  Not that they are good, or evil, intrinsically, but that we are a moral animal.  That is inspiring to me.  Or, perhaps this counts as a better spiritual value: Life has the meaning we give it.  Some people say that's no meaning at all, and who am I to argue with them?  Maybe they haven't given their lives any meaning.  But mine has meaning because it has meaning to me, and to the people I love and live with and care for, and cohabitate with on this Spaceship Earth.  I want to do everything I can to make that a positive meaning not only for myself, but for them, too, and I think the very first thing I can do towards that end is to abandon all of this silly religion business.




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