I won't claim to have had this conversation, but I'm willing to bet that a number of people have had it or one remarkably similar to it.  That Seth Andrews was able to put the following together speaks to his understanding of the dynamic between one who is mired in superstitious belief and another who has freed himself from that irrationality.

And I admire the hell out of it.  Bravo, Seth.

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Yes, they always talked about their wonderful religious love and tolerance - and it was as empty as themselves.

"Empty" in some cases, Chris.  In others, I suspect it boils down to "thoughtless" ... as in having swallowed the BS about religion without having thought about it ... and then being confronted with that lack of thought when someone important rejects the belief because they HAVE thought about it.

Again, I haven't been through this.  I'm just offering my take on it.

The conversation is painfully realistic - my reaction had to do with that.

I appreciate your input, Chris.  Thank you.

I'm a big fan of Seth Andrews.  His videos and his weekly podcast are outstanding.  I've listened to his show since day one.  He has made a huge impact on the atheist movement and has become a major voice ever since getting involved a relatively short time ago. 

He knows exactly what to say, having been a fundamental christian most of his life.  I've never had that type of strained conversation with my parents, but believe me, they know how I feel about religion.  We don't discuss religion as a topic, but I refuse to keep my mouth shut when criticism of religion seems necessary in relation to other conversations. 

"You think you're happy, but you're not happy." Oh so familiar. The parent who insists that her second hand "mind reading" judgment is more valid than your own experience. I was lucky my parents were ever so much better.

I've been there with other issues, with a parent who was certain she knew me better than I knew myself. She actually said (though not in these exact words) that being alive longer than me made her experience a superset of mine.

Fortunately not with religion: my parents let me reach my own conclusions. I found out as an adult that they were both what I'd call religious humanists, seeing God as a human creation, as well as seeing value in (some) tradition and ritual and even God language.

Patricia has been trying to make this comment all day ... so I'm posting it on her behalf:

The other way here. My daughter is the one who became brainwashed when she got married, but we accepted it because we felt it was none of our business about what she was led to believe. She was never a questioner to begin with so we actually weren't too surprised as to what she'd buy into. The subject stays closed & we get along fine as long as it stays that way. I absolutely will not get into this argument as I have better things to do with my time. We aren't close, but that's ok too, she made her choices.

I really admire both the script (the tenacious emotional manipulation that can come from the "no good without god" virus) and its presentation! It's a model of putting together a compelling, sophisticated video based largely on stills and text.

Thanks for introducing me to Seth Andrews!

I didn't realize till later that the conversation was a script, not a real phone call.  I think it has a tendency to be didactic and to present the religious person as totally oppressive and abusive and not fully human, probably because it was generated from the viewpoint of only one side. 

It would be more meaningful if it were an actual (perhaps edited) conversation, but then, both sides would have to agree to making the conversation public, otherwise it would be a violation of privacy. 

Stipulated that this was acted and not real life ... and yet if you have a look at the comments on YouTube, the number of people saying they had had similar conversations with their parents is remarkable.

Seth managed to come up with something here which clearly struck a chord with a number of people.  Acted or not, his video is on point.

I also have heard lots of similar things said.  However that doesn't mean the conversation itself is realistic, only that lots of attitudes are included that people have heard before.  I don't think it is that realistic, especially as he got to the part where he's saying "I am an atheist", it's very inside his head, and I felt listening to it, that he was getting into didactic mode - trying to teach other atheists.  And where's the mother's emotional being?  A real mother would be having her own feelings as the son gets angry - getting angry herself, perhaps telling him how heartbroken she is, perhaps manipulatively. 

What it seems to be, is a condensation of many different things he's heard from his mother at different times, together with his responses - not necessarily the responses he made at the time, but responses he thought up later. 

Maybe that does work in its own way - if it does good things for you, fine - but as a short movie script, it doesn't feel realistic. 


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