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 Snopes.com and FactCheck.org, 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?!