My wife and I come home today after class and find a package on the porch. Having not yet ordered my books for next quarter I was puzzled as it was addressed to me with a "care of" my Father. I inspected the box and saw "Christian Bookstores" plastered all over the sides. "Uh oh." I muttered.

Contained within along with an apologetic note for missing our wedding... a gift from my Uncle and Aunt on the east coast.



Personalized with our names and everything. I took the bible to my parents tonight and the first thing my Dad says "Wow what a nice bible!" to which I respond promptly "I AM AN ATHEIST! DOESN'T ANYBODY IN THE FAMILY GET THAT?!" (This was in a semi-humorous way but with some serious force.) My Mom then chimed in "Well you don't need to tell your Uncle that... its better if he doesn't know." She flipped some pages and said "See you can chart your children in here and you never know what your kids will believe." I said "Yes, I do know, because this sort of thing won't be pushed on them in my house and more than likely they will grow up thinking freely. Also why would I, an atheist record the birth of my children in a bible when Dad has been working online getting the family tree filled in?" My Dad then said "Yeah but it's tradition." And I said "It stops here." and I left fuming.

Don't get me wrong, I love my Uncle. He is probably my favorite, but he has had some tough times and near death experiences in the Navy so I don't doubt why he may have run back to religion because he wasn't like this when I was a kid. But didn't my other family who attended our wedding and are Bible Baptists to the Nth degree communicate to him that our ceremony was god-less, prayer-less, and devoid of religion purposefully? (Maybe they did and that explains the bible... Quick we need Josh and his heathen Korean wife to find Jeebus!)

Now I have a bible (a huge one... I stands as tall as my MacBook's screen) that I don't want, personalized to KeeYoun and I, and nothing to do with it. I don't want to keep moving it in the future. I don't want it out on a bookshelf. I don't plan on reading it and I don't want to throw it out.

Also now I need to write a letter somehow thanking them for their gift (it did contain a $100 too, which I do appreciate being a student still) but I need to decide if and how to break it to them that KeeYoun and I are atheists (she finally admitted she was to me today) despite my Mom's request that I don't. This makes it more difficult because I do try to still at 28 respect my Mother's wishes.

Suggestions?

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Comment by Talibangelist on March 6, 2009 at 9:16am
Well, for one, having a bible around isn't a horrible thing. I have one and refer to it quite often, not for spiritual and/or moral guidance, unless of course the wife is getting lippy and I need to know how many teeth I'm allowed to beat out of her before the almighty gets upset, but you know when you have a fundy start quoting shit at you and you want to check their interpretation, etc. I even let my kids read it and it is really cool when your 11 year old comes up to you and asks about Lot trying to give his daughter up for rape to save angels and where was god if the angels worked for him? It really is one of the most powerful tools FOR atheism, the bible. Buncha cockamamey shit. Can't hurt sitting on a shelf being referred to from time to time. My sister out of the blue became Lutheran and the first thing I did was got her a bible just for that reason but like most xtians, she never reads it, she just believes whats in there. It could say shoving peas up your ass sends you to Jupiter, she wouldn't know. $80 too, and I even wrote a nice secular dedication in it also.

And this might sound like a double barrelled asshole statement, but if you cared about your mom's wishes still wouldn't you have just signed your kids names up in the "good" book? So don't be afraid of isolating your mom right back if she does it to you. xtians are fine when they are pushing but the second you stand up for yourself, not even pushing on them, they get uppity and the next thing you know they are being persecuted for their beliefs.... Yada Yada yada, viscious circle kind of concept from there. Just because shes your mom doesn't mean that her fucked up ideas of forcing her views onto others is right or acceptable. Been fighting my mom for a while, the only way to make progress is to keep loving and keep to your guns, thats how it is with mine anyhow.
Comment by Joshua Dolan on March 6, 2009 at 5:38am
Yes, my Uncle is a generous man and of course I will thank him for that. He is also very intelligent and driven. (The Navy doesn't just let anybody fly...) It is fine for me if this is what he needs at this point in his life but after some of the conversations I had overheard between him and my Father when I was young, I never thought he would be the one to push the bible my way. Very odd.

Anyhow, I am already drafting my letter and I will mention the book. Something like "While we appreciate the intent and spirit of the gift to congratulate us and to support our union..." insert something nice but to the point about not needing or believing in god(s).

Ugh... and the few people I thought who would be a problem during and after the wedding haven't been. I hate being caught off guard!
Comment by unholyroller on March 6, 2009 at 12:02am
Hmmmmmmm.......That's a sticky one. My first thought was that perhaps ou could donate the bible to the local library, but that would be purpetuating the myth. The money was nice and you should thank him for that, and just not mention the "book". And by all means, don't let your atheism be a secret. Such news can be broken nicely. What the rest of your family does with it is their call.

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