I got a Christmas card today. That's so nice, right? We all love getting cards. Well, this one was a bit different... First, I must explain the card, then I will include what was written in it below. I do not know the person who sent this card, but I know who encouraged the sending. My grandmother... She doesn't know that I'm an atheist, but she knows that I am not "one with the Lord." She is an insane fundie; I am used to her Jesus ramblings and what not. But, this card is stepping over the line... Remember, I do not know the person who sent this (although the paranoid side of me thinks the handwriting looks suspiciously like my grandmothers...). This is what it says...
"Hi! I am Dorothy from Northeast Baptist Church and I have been praying for you for a year now. Hope you could tell someone was praying for you. Hope you have a Merry Christmas. It's all about Jesus! Love and prayers, Dorothy"
That looks all sweet and innocent, right? But, add in the fact that I know my grandmother is involved and the fact that she is always pushing religion on me, and this card is nowhere near innocent. I want to send a letter back to her (Dorothy). I know that it wouldn't be the nicest card, and I would tell her that even though she was praying for me for a year, that life still had it's 50/50 rate of good and bad, but I'd thank her for her kindness anyway (and wish her happy holidays)... My problem is that I know my judgment is screwed up by my annoyance and anger, and I would like your opinions on what you think I should do. Plus, it always feels nice to rant and complain about things like this. :p
Any thoughts on what I should do, or if I'm right in being annoyed, would be appreciated!
In a footnote at the bottom of this blog post,
you will find a link to website that contains numerous graphic exhibits showing that the Nazis were not atheists. Among them is a painting done by Adolph Hitler around 1912. To make sure no one thinks you are secretly a Nazi and to get your point across, I suggest sending this picture as a Christmas card next year to anyone who sends you theist drivel this year with a message that says:
"I know you celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus, so I thought you would appreciate a card illustrated by one of your fellow Christians."
Then make sure the picture retains the caption explaining who painted it.
Its hard to give advise because we do not know the FULL extend of the relationship you have
with your grandmother.
Honestly, I would send a letter back to Dorothy to the address of the Church with a note.
"Thanx for the card. I'm still an Athiest. Keep praying, though. Happy Sol Invictus!"
Thank you to everybody who replied to this! Nice thought provoking answers from you guys. :)
After reading the responses from you guys, people who understand where I'm coming from, and talking with my family, I have decided that the best thing for me to do is to talk to my grandmother. I will tell her that I do not appreciate her giving my address to anybody that I do not know, and let her know that I would talk to her more if Jesus didn't come up every five minutes. As for Dorothy, if she ever sends anything again, I think I will send a letter similar to the example that Jim DePaulo gave. ;)
Hi Sara, I just popped in here and saw your post. I'm having a somewhat similar problem with my "born-again-nutjob" niece. Here's my story:
She knows that I am an atheist and a few years ago I told her not to send me any of her “christian fairy tales”. Over the past few years I
have never sent her anything about the topic of religion or freethought, only generic birthday/holiday cards to her and her kids.
This year, she foolishly disregarded my wishes. Early in December, she sent me a x-mas letter which also contained a separate pamphlet of the "nativity story". She knew
that I would respond to her trying to push her religion on me. And it
was a mild response on my part. In return, in her birthday card, I sent
her a small pamphlet from the FFRF called “Dear Christian”. It basically
states why I don’t believe in her religion. I thought that would get my point across without being hostile.
However, her husband, the one who brainwashed her, does not want her to have any contact with me
or to be influenced by rational thought. When I sent them a generic
holiday greeting card, it was returned, unopened with big bold letters
on the outside saying “STOP SENDING US CARDS! OR MAIL!” I’m fairly sure
it was the handwriting of her arrogant little pr**k of a husband.
So, I came to the conclusion that it does no good to try to reason with such
people. You have to stand up to them. To get thru to them, you sometimes have to fight RUDENESS with
RUDENESS! I have a little surprise for them, that is in the works. He will learn that he CAN NOT tell me what to do! I
will NOT be silenced!! :)
I need to get that "dear christian" pamphlet. It will say everything i want to say, and it may help because it isn't coming from me. When i deal with relatives older than me, well, it's pointless. They start shaking their head and rolling your eyes before I can complete my first sentence.
You could write back saying something like "Thanks for sharing your point of view/opinion", and then give your point of view, and end it cheerfully. It's only fair that you have a voice. If that's not allowed, i don't know what kind of relationship could be possible. If you only see your grandmother twice a year, I would've written Dorothy back.