Did you mean to post a link to an article or video or something?
...while my friends are all in the other line and asking, 'why didn't you tell us?' "
What a silly idea.
Would she have listened if you told her that you'd heard all that crap before, and didn't believe it? Or couldn't believe it? Most atheists I know are former xians, or xian wannabes, but they just could not believe the stories, prophecies, rules, were anything but man-made folklore invented to control primitive tribes.
If xians keep bugging you about "salvation," heaven or hell, just say, "Evidence, please." The buybull is not evidence. Faith/belief is not evidence. That usually shuts them up. At least long enough for you to walk away from them.
For instance, some of the most expert archaologists in the world have been digging around in the Sinai Peninsula for generations, looking for what should be there if there had been a mass exodus of Israelites from Egypt some 3000+ years ago. They have found Jack Schidt. Nothing. Moses is a myth.
It's all myths.
Or...you could just say that their heaven sounds so boring that you'd rather fly to Oz in a tornado.
Some people need to believe in imaginary friends...it's all they have to hang onto. My sister is like that, and she's a Jehovah's Witless, but she has Asperger's Syndrome and can't handle the real world. Never could. We have an agreement, we don't try to change each other's minds.
Religion is for people who can't handle reality. Or for people who need the appearance of faith for social or political reasons. I often wonder how many businessmen and politicians are closeted atheists, or doubters. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Cal.) is the only one I know of who has had the courage to come out.
I agree, silence does not invite people to think, it implies agreement with whatever statement, however ludicrous. Speaking up means taking a risk of losing family and friends and business and whatever. But what price do we pay by remaining silent? I am all in favor of responding clearly, precisely, specifically, confidently, competently to nonsense. So, you lose a family member, friend or business opportunity. It is what it is. Deal with it.
If I am on neutral territory, I will usually say, "I am opposed to the Born Again Christian Movement and consider it to be as harmful as heroine or coccaine."
Notice that I did not say I believe or do not believe anything, as that would make be a professor of belief systems just like them.
But sometimes it is necessary to be on turf they have claimed. It isn't really their turf, but they are claiming it.
At some point I do plan to take offensive actions to try and drive some of them out of public places. But for right now there situations where I have to coexist with them. So the line is, "Sorry, but I keep my affairs private."
This mostly works, except that in engenders responses like, "Well yes I guess we all have skeletons in our closets" or "I know that we all have done things we regret" so they are going on the sinfuness angle. So I again respond, "I have not said anything about any skeletons in any closets or any regrets."
What I would prefere to be able to state is what is true, that I am pursuing a type of a war, but that that has to be kept private at the present.
I like your strategy.
I forgot to mention that once I changed the words to a song and then practiced singing it. I then baited a preacher at an outdoor public event and then sang it in mock of him.
I haven't done it yet, but there is a group, or at least a preacher, that I am considering trying to get kicked out of some municipal parks.
Dealing with the Born Agains, it really does so often come down to property rights. That is, people can think what they think. But what they can do in a given place comes down to who controls that place.
In America religion itself is the Sacred Cow. I have long advocated for nullifying this protected status.
For the Evangelicals, someone who refuses to affirm, "I am a Christian" is pretty much damned. So my bold assertion of privacy is a big challenge to them. If they allow it, then their entire world view is turned askew.
With the above mentioned preacher I then started bleating at him like a sheep. He finally turned around and said, "You are a goat!"
I replied, "I am a Christian, I am a Christian, I am a Christian, that is what the sheep are saying."
I like the idea of writing a song or some way to remember to not get caught in the trap of making a profession of belief.
"I opposed ... " make a statement of fact
"i disagree ... "
"I do not experience the need for ... "
"I do not discuss private matters ... "
"I oppose all Christian So-ol-diers;
They're arrogant and rude.
They shove their creed in my face,
And aggravate my mood."
Or something like that....
Bravo sk8eycat. I am with you.
When a couple came to my door recently I told them I am an atheist.
He replied, "No you aren't!"
What!!!! You know what I think!!!!!??? The scum bag.
That's true Joan.
Greg, I agree.
I think reading, and understanding, the entire buybull the way you would read any other book has created more atheists than it has believers. That's what did it for me, and many other people that I know. It's also the heart of Julia Sweeney's one-woman play, "Letting Go of God."
You can't force belief; I know. I tried, and there was nothing in there worth believing IN. That's what I tell persistant proselytizers: "I tried for more than 20 years, and I can't."
If they still persist, I pretend I'm going to take all my clothes off. I'm 72 years old, and dreadfully out of shape...