Paul, i very much agree with you (see my blog post http://www.atheistnexus.org/profiles/blogs/taxing-religions), and i like your hypothetical example. That's interesting about the UU Church in Alaska. Why am i not surprised it was a secular church that would do such a wonderful thing?
This isn't qualified as abuse, but when something good happens, a family member will say "you see, god is good", "the bible says", "it's because i said a prayer for you, you see". etc. I've tried to come back with logic, but it's like talking to a wall. I've been out for years, and my mom asks "why aren't you going to put up a xmas tree?" They believe that if i'm around the right people, i will magically believe like them, or i will forget the way i view the world. It's frustrating, and it makes me feel like a kid. The latest episode was at the thanksgiving table. After my nephew said a prayer before we ate, a couple of family members nodded to me as if that would cure me. I've given up on them.
I think it does qualify as abuse.
i'm with Cane, that sounds quite abusive to me. The dangers of outing yourself. I don't have a lot of family, and what i have isn't very judgemental towards my Atheism. Sounds like your situation is much worse.
This is one of two stories of xtian abuse. I've kept a journal about my experience, someone told me to publish it.
When I was relocated to Houston via FEMA due to Katrina (My employer's clients lost rigs in the Gulf and I was caught up in the FEMA crap). My employer applied for FEMA benefits and some staff members was relocated out of state. I could not find employment at all in Denver, not even at Walmart. :-(
I was "set-up" with a xtian group that was supposed to meet me at the bus station. When I arrived no one showed up. Now mind you this group received FEMA money for me. I rented a seedy motel on the North side of Houston. The motel was between 2 strip clubs.
When I contacted this xtian agency I was told that I was on my own and for me to contact social services. I told the xtian agency to kiss my a$$. I had some money saved up so I wasn't hurting. The owner of the motel told me that he contacted a women's shelter for me to stay so I could save my money. What I did not know that it was a xtian shelter. The other shelters were fraud based. In other words, claim that you hear multiple voices and someone will pay the rent for you and it is legal.
This xtian shelter mandated 4 chapel visits per week and sometimes on Saturday. Up front I told them I was not a xtian and I was told that I had to go anyway. Big mistake. They asked what was my religion and I originally told them Jewish. That did not sit well. Let's face it, Jesus was supposedly a Jew and this organization hated Jews with a passion. Another resident was Buddhist and she was ridiculed to the point she took her daughter and started living on the streets.If I said atheist at the time, I would've been locked up or placed on a mental health hold.
I was looking not only for a job, but a decent apartment as well. If this shelter knew I had some money, they would've hit me up for rent. In Houston, people relocating to the city is frowned upon.
When it was time for chapel, I would sit at the bus stop or catch a bus just to get away. Then they tried to put their foot on my neck mandating that I attend chapel. Again, I said big mistake. So instead of me listing to their B.S., I started reading books, i.e., Francon Duclos. The Memoirs of a Paris Madame and books about serial killers, or doing a word search/crossword puzzle. The xtian groups/churches would come in, preach down to everyone and pass judgement. I was singled out because I did not pray or accept their bastard god.
During this time, I noticed that women who did not accept Jesus as their savior, finally gave in to the torture of mandatory acceptance of xtianity. Women from New Orleans already doubting the existence of god finally caved into the pressure of baptism by fire.
The religious director tried to talk to me, while putting down other religions. I asked this idiot did she know what christian mean? She said, follower of christ. I said no, it means idiot, fool, retard. A dog as smart as a xtian. A cretin. When you look up cretin, it says see xtian. The look on her face was priceless. I told her, since you are so busy putting down other religions without doing your homework, one would be astute enough to read a few bibles of other religions, i.e., Hinduism, Mithraism, one would see the so-called B.S. immaculate conception in every bible and I walked out.
When I left, I obtained a list of donors and told them of the abuse that went on at the shelter. The shelter was barely surviving when I left a year later.
I would not say abused. See, I'm an atheist and I happen to live in Utah among all the mormons. And I have had the same damn missionary knocking on my door and finally. I let them have it. To sum up what I said to them would be. This is really annoying.Quit knocking on my door borthering me with your religion, That I did not ask for.
I was walking across LSU campus going to my daughter dorm (2005) when a fundy started at me. No one else was around so I yelled "Get away from me or I'll kill you". He quickly walked away. Boy was that fun. :-)
I think the reason that atheist don't report abuse is that the abuse is very subtle.
My example was a good freind who often would say that "there are no atheist in fox holes" (he is also a big Fox News fan). After a couple of years of this I finally told him that it was an insult to me. I tried to explain it but he just looked at me like puppy waiting for a treat, completely baffled that there was no treat. He is a very smart guy but biggots are Biggots. A black friend of mine explained to me that prejudices was against groups and not necessarily against an individual. So that makes sense that he is justifying his religious point of view, never realizing that ME as an individual had any dog in the hunt.
Another example is when my co-workers were pushing me to go to a xmas party. I was already disliked by the fundamentlism section cheif so I didn't want to say that I didn't like that xmas crap. They even offered to pay my way. They were really trying to be nice even though it was an insult to me.
How about when I interviewed for a promotion and the selecting official said that I picked the other guy and it had nothing to do with you not being a christian. Yea right! He did say that he thought that I was the most moral person he knew. How would I prove that this person who believed in intelligent design picked the christian over me. All the officials in the greviance process are christians. The only time that I got promoted (out side of my ammediate office), no one knew I was atheist and I was consider the most qualified, hands down. Got more if you would like to read them.
Got more if you would like to read them.
Sure! Have you thought of writing a book to see how it would sell?
Yes I have. I retire at the end of the year, maybe I can start one.
This is very general, and not sure if it's abuse. I'm not able to question religion without the other person deflecting, and trying to feel sorry for me. If i ask a question, i get a gasp, or "what happened to you?", "why are you mad?". I never get an answer to my question. I'm now remembering a time when there were alot of people at my brother's place, in the living room, and my brother blurted out "Damian's an atheist!". None of them knew. The silence and stares were very uncomfortable. I wanted to blink my eyes like jeanie and turn into an ant.
Well, aside from being groomed by a priest for molestation, being told from a young age that I was going to hell, being treated to corporal punishment, (spare the rod and spoil the child)
NOT being believed when I explained the priests behaviour,
the more commonly occurring things are a subtle shunning,
being excluded, missing out on business opportunities.
Owning a bookstore that sold metaphysical books, and provided pagan related items (none of which I believe either, incidentally) quantum science books, etc, we would find religious propaganda stuffed in the books.
We were often threatened. Sent letters warning us to repent.
Then the actual terrorism started. Several attempts to burn the store down. Threats on my wifes life.
I have been banned from forums for questioning the validity of christian claims.
The religious always will use violence when pressed to defend their indefensible nonsense.