So I took in a much younger friend who desperately needed to get out of her abusive, religious home. So she's been here for a couple of weeks. I knew she was still Christian, though I suppose I thought more deist than anything (because, like most religious people, she has serious complaints with organized religion but not what it organizes around). Well over the past two weeks I've realized that she's very politically conservative, definitely a believer, and furthermore a creationist. This came up when I asked (VERY gently, for me) "Do you accept evolution?" She said, no she doesn't "believe in evolution".

She and I have similar backgrounds. Hers is a great deal more recent, and I have to remind myself she's 17. I think still largely carrying her parent's beliefs at this point is pretty normal and probably okay. But there's part of me that wants to push her to atheism, or to liberalism, or to secular humanism. It's very tempting to try to mold and shape her - HERE'S the way out of crazy fundy-town! Listen to me, I know, I've done it! But I'm trying to be gentle, to give her space and time and let her do her own thing in this regard. (She knows it would be pointless to proselytize to me, and that she can't do it to my son.) Should I say anything? How can I not? How can I say something, without abusing my position over her (rent-payer)?

I did sort of lose it when she told me Barack Obama doesn't have a "real" birth certificate. And then once I calmed down a bit I showed her and, and encouraged her not to just take my word for things either. But seriously, the birther conspiracy is so easily debunked. She clearly doesn't have a SET of critical thinking tools yet, and I don't know how to give them to her. Help?!

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Change is inevitable - except from a vending machine. Just kidding, well, actually that's true.

When you consider changing others remember how hard it was accepting change yourself.

There is no rush in trying to convice people. If you knew , emotionally what they were going through, you would be more kind.

Why do you want to push your views on others? Why do you "lose" it when someone say's somehthing you do agree with?

Athiests have become like this group of people who talk the talk(let everyone be themselves) but cannot walk the walk

Leave her alone.
If I were you, I would avoid the topics of theism and atheism entirely.
The best help you cam be to her would be to gentley show her counter-evidence to even the most provocative nonsense like the Obama thing. I know how difficult that can be. You'll probably partially swallow your tongue on more than one occasion and spend a lot of your time a bright shade of red but it is the only real way to go provide her with the tools to think for herself. She must come to the realisation on her own that what folk say ain't always so. She will have to learn for herself that some people lie and the means to discover who is telling her the truth. Also, her faith may be a crutch for her at the moment. It might be at worst disasterous and at best unkind to pull it out from under her now. It also may be impossible. She is only 17. I am fairly certain I was a complete moron at that age :) Give her time. Be a good friend to her and while I wouldn't lie about your views on anything, I think it would be best to leave the most contentious alone for now.
Original post dated: June 19th, 2009. Original poster no longer active on site.
Was she converted by her fundie roommate? lol


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