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Well, that was interesting.  Thanks, Elveera.  To avoid future confrontations, I'll just be more careful with my posts.  To get back to the topic, I think I have a heightened sense of danger because of my personal experience with my mother.  Some years ago, my mother was involved with an exorcism group.  One day she told me that she could tell if someone was possessed by Satan by looking in their eyes.  Then she looked in my eyes and said she wanted to exorcise me.  I said, "what are you doing with that knife?"  She said she used it to stab the demons as they came out of people.  Well, I wouldn't allow a religious nut case with a knife around me and my children, so we were estranged for many years.   She has since mellowed, and she hasn't killed anyone yet, so I reinstated our relationship and came out as an atheist to her.  She took it well, she said she always suspected it, and she's not doing exorcisms any more.  But I don't trust the uber religious, and I wouldn't feel comfortable self identifying as an atheist to just any one of them.  There's just a frisson of danger about it for me.

I don't think you should have to be any more careful than on an average day - you are appropriate and share your thoughts - as far as I understand it, that's what this place is for [if it turns to be a place of self-discovery, nothing bad about that either ;)].  I see what you are saying though, especially as far as the close people whose opinions differ are concerned.  I too am estranged from my mother – she is highly illogical (religion being a strong influence, getting stronger as she gets older) and demanding of everyone around to think as she does; anything out of the boundaries that she establishes is out of the question.  The only way to deal with it, I found, was to find myself outside of the boundaries of her reach altogether, and it’s worked well so far.  I’m considering that with time it may change, but not for a while.  While she’s in whatever state of mind that she is in, I’m at a point where I have little patience for irrational, mystical, magical, mythical or whatever other than the logical. 

And I wholeheartedly agree with you that caution must be applied when coming out, weighing all pros and cons and potential consequences – short- and long-term.  But, at the same time having no outlet for the frustration building up over time due to all the fairy-tale influences all around is much to deal with.  For that very reason, places like this one, meet-ups and such, where you can speak out freely are so pleasant.  Possibly that is why I am somewhat sensitive to anyone who is antagonistic for no good reason - enough of that from the theists!  I am all for a discourse and varied opinions, when done apropriately (by that I mean that no one should be made to feel uncomfortable to freely share, especially when what they are sharing is perfectly relevant :).

What is done appropriately, what's that mean, what's that about.  Appropriate.  What's going on with that frazzled word.  Self-identify.  Dangerous.  Madness.  No one knows particularly what they're talking about, but we speak, that is our way, we ensue idiocies and join horns, and pray the day thine kingdom has come...Wouldn't it be horrible to not be an atheist then have somebody accusing you, identifying you as an atheist.

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