Reasons to talk to my Christian sister

Hello fellow atheists,

 

As I said, for about two years my feeling, that I had to do something, grew. Until two month ago, when suddenly my sister, Tina, told me her bible-study group was out of discussion material. I asked her if she would allow me to write an introduction for her bible-study group, knowing I was a non-believer. A couple of weeks later I read an introduction asking the group if loads of animal sacrifices, culminating in the sacrifice of a demigod, was something they would consider a good payment for sins. Sins God himself introduced to the world as a punishment for two humans messing up (all bound to bibleverses of course).  The discussion was very interesting, and I was happy I could introduce my sister to my way of thinking, while she was in a safe environment.

 

My sister is an awesome lady. Although her life seems a constant struggle to her, she has the best of intentions and always tries to do the right thing. I know she loves me very much and I am sure she loves me for who I am. I feel quite safe even challenging her on religion, because her love for me is not really conditional on that. Her worry is that she won’t see me again in heaven.

I love my sister. We shared a lot of the problems from our upbringing and we worked through them, kind of together. I don’t want to risk our relationship, she is way to important to me to give her up because of her imaginary friend.

 

So, why start a discussion about religion? I will make a summery.

 

Reasons and goals:

First: She has two sons. Two lovely boys who deserve to live in this world! Not in some alternate reality, working toward a world that probably does not even exist. They are not introduced to science, because that’s dangerous. And of course: “they are born sick and broken”. The oldest is 7 now and I can feel awful imagining the discussions between him and Tina that are surely coming soon... I would love to show Tina how she is closing a lot of doors for them and potentially creating two young adults with the same struggles I've had. I see no way in which they grow up healthy. Besides that, chances are quite big they will realize she raised them with beliefs there is no evidence for and possibly leave Christianity. This will be a huge problem for them, having to go against their mothers believes, but for Tina as well, believing they might be going to hell!

Second: I don’t think she knows herself (can know herself). The same way I didn’t. She isn’t allowed to have her own opinions. Her opinions are defined by her Book, or at least the modern interpretation of that Book. I have to admit that she feels content with that, but I can’t help wanting to at least try and show her that’s a problem. I have no illusions I can change her mind on God, and that’s not really my intention either. But I would love to show her what she is missing out on.

Third: She does not know me, because she has no clue about my worldview. She knows I am a good guy, with a caring heart, but my non-believe makes that confusing. I would love to show her how I can have a good worldview without a god-believe. I would love to show her how the world works if you take God out of that picture.

 

In short, these three goals can be summarized in one sentence: I would love to make her understand Christianity has a humongous price! She can choose to pay that price for herself, but is she aware she is asking that price of her boys as well?

Tina and I have had 6 or 7 discussions about the third goal. And I intent to work my way through to the first goal. We already had our ups and downs. I will give a summery of those discussions in the next blog-post.

 

Thanks again for reading and please: feel free to comment. I think the more feedback I get, the more I can reflect on the situation!

___________________________________

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Comment by Bar Weinig on March 9, 2019 at 5:00pm

Thank you Ruth, I agree. I am aware of this paradox and am trying to keep it honest. I hope I can show this in the next post, hopefully tomorrow... I am trying to keep my posts brief. A little loss of nuance is sadly unavoidable.

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on March 9, 2019 at 1:30pm

Just be careful to not push your sister too hard. I personally feel manipulated when a family member takes advantage of the relationship to proselytize.

Comment by Loren Miller on March 8, 2019 at 10:13pm

While we're talking about biblical contradictions (with note to my Quotations group):

Comment by Grinning Cat on March 8, 2019 at 9:59pm

Parts of the Bible are obviously inconsistent with each other (from the two incompatible creation stories in the first two chapters, to whether killing people is wrong, to the incompatible accounts in the four Gospels, to whether it says all or some or none of the laws in the Hebrew Scriptures are binding on Christians). Other parts are clearly inconsistent with any but the most twisted sense of morality. (The Skeptic's Annotated Bible has good breakdowns of both.)

A good discussion topic might be how believers can know which parts of the Bible are reliable history and reliable moral instruction, and which are allegories, fables, cautionary tales, or outright confusion.

Comment by Loren Miller on March 8, 2019 at 2:32pm

If you really want some fodder for that group, I would start at the source: The Skeptic's Annotated Bible.  Steve Wells has done a THOROUGH dismantling of that benighted document, and I know for a fact he has managed to piss off a whole bunch of believers by simply telling them what is actually IN their precious holy book.

HAVE FUN!!!

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