This actually happened about a month ago, but I never received any replies through Blogger so I'll try here.

   I was helping a friend move some furniture in her house today and we managed to get on the subject of the World Trade Center and 9/11 and about how I was trying to talk to my young daughter about it.  She's 8 years old.  I explained to my friend that I'd told my daughter that some people took over some planes filled with people and crashed them into buildings full of people because they believed that god wanted them to.  My friend promptly suggested that I let my daughter know that they didn't believe in "the right God".  I paused ever so briefly before turning my attention back to the work at hand and changed the subject.  Now...

    I'm usually one who will speak my mind without worrying about it, however, in this case, it was time to keep my mouth shut.  This is a woman I've known for almost 30 years and she has, for that entire time, been a devout Christian.  Secondly, she is rather close to me and is sort of a mother figure to me as she is about 20 years older.  It took a great deal of strength for me to bite my tongue and NOT say what was on my mind at that time until I realized, rather quickly, that it would turn into both of us talking to brick walls, in essence, because there was no alternative way for that conversation to go.  She is unchanging in her belief, as am I, therefore it would have been a useless argument.

    So what do I do now?  Her comment kind of fired me up, but I didn't say anything.  Was that the wrong choice?  How do you all deal with things like this when everything in you wants to speak out, but you know it'll end badly?  Have you bottled up your anger and then you get home and your alone and just want to yell?  I'm starting to rant here so I'll close it up for now.  Thoughts?

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Comment by Richard K. Emms on March 28, 2012 at 11:12am

I understand.  This sort of thing has happened to me many times.  In fact I have only one xtian friend that I can have a rational discussion with.  We share and compare each other's viewpoints on theology, but we're the odd ones out I think.  These incidents like yours can get "stuck in your head"  so to speak, espescially if you are close to the person.  It's hard to let go and get on with day to day life, but it can be done.  I'm 59, and have been an Atheist since age 14, so I've had a lot of practice, and it's getting easier. 

Comment by SaucyJane on March 28, 2012 at 11:11am

FWIW, I would have done the same thing.

It's frustrating to disagree with people you love, and I understand (and feel) the urge to convince them. But for the sake of maintaining your relationship, I think you're right to bite your tongue. Ultimately I think it serves your purpose better in the long run - stay friends and continue to be, for her, a human face for nontheism. If you're argumentative, then she'll be less inclined to listen to you anyway.

Comment by Loren Miller on March 28, 2012 at 10:42am

How do we choose "the right god?"  Not one of 'em has even the slightest hint of existence.  Some have more followers than others, but numbers don't necessitate rectitude.  Most of 'em have some NEAT stories to tell about the doings of their prophet or their savior or whomever, but those stories amount to nothing more than fairy tales.

A vignette from Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land gives a nice point of view on this:

"Ben, the foulest sinner of all is teh hypocrite who makes a racket of religion. But we must give the Devil his due. Mike does believe and he's teachign the truth as he sees it. As for his 'Old Ones,'I don't know they don't exist; I simply find the idea hard to swallow. As for his Thou-Art-God creed, it is neither more nor less creidble than any other. Come Judgment Day, if they hold it, we may find out that Mumbo Jumbo the God of the Congo was Big Boss all along."

"Oh, for Heaven's sake, Jubal!"

"All names belong in the hat, Ben. man is so built that he cannot imagine his own death. This leads to endless invention of religions.

If you give ONE religion credence, you cannot stop there.



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