When is it appropriate to reveal athiesm & how to religious people?
Posted: 31 March 2013 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Now, it’s Easter time. Much like Christmas time, my family and others are inserting all sorts of religious messages, even more than other times of the year, and kind of just operating under the assumption that I am a Christian.

My dilemma is how does one know when to say, “I don’t adhere to that religion.” What if doing so has a great chance of causing an issue with the relationship otherwise?

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Posted: 31 March 2013 09:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Depends on how they’re doing it. If it’s directed to you specifically, you could and probably should say something. If they raise a fuss about it, then that means that they don’t accept you for who you are. I hope you won’t hesitate a minute if the situation presents itself. On the other hand, throwing water on a message intended for the person’s friends’ list generally, isn’t appropriate.

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Posted: 31 March 2013 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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FinallyDecided - 31 March 2013 08:58 AM

Now, it’s Easter time. Much like Christmas time, my family and others are inserting all sorts of religious messages, even more than other times of the year, and kind of just operating under the assumption that I am a Christian.

My dilemma is how does one know when to say, “I don’t adhere to that religion.” What if doing so has a great chance of causing an issue with the relationship otherwise?

I think it depends on the situation.  If they simply wish you a happy Easter, for example,  I wouldn’t make a point about my lack of beliefs at that time.  I would thank them and wish them a Happy Easter, too. There’s no harm in that.  If they were to go further and invite you to a service you might say at that time that you don’t go to church or that you don’t practice any religion.  If they press you you can go further about your lack of religion.  If you are a Humanist you might explain what that is. 

But if they back away and seem to avoid you because you think differently, take it with a grain of salt and remain friendly and polite.  Sometimes it takes people a while to take in new information.  My friends accept my lack of religion and they seldom bring up religion in their conversation.  If they mention something about what they are doing at church, for example, I show that I am interested an happy for their happiness and let it go at that. My friends aren’t proselytizers and I don’t wish to be one either.

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Posted: 31 March 2013 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I tell people I don’t do religions and that’s usually the end of it.

If they get nebby, I’ll tell them something along the lines of “Surely God must have MUCH better things to do with HER time then to worry about our trivial affairs.”

The “HER” part of the deal is surprisingly effective at times. (And when it isn’t, watching the fundementalists flip out over the feminine pronoun is most entertaining.)

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Posted: 31 March 2013 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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FinallyDecided - 31 March 2013 08:58 AM

Now, it’s Easter time. Much like Christmas time, my family and others are inserting all sorts of religious messages, even more than other times of the year, and kind of just operating under the assumption that I am a Christian.

My dilemma is how does one know when to say, “I don’t adhere to that religion.” What if doing so has a great chance of causing an issue with the relationship otherwise?

Be polite and direct, and try not to let them bait you emotionally.

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Raise your glass if you’re wrong…. in all the right ways.

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Posted: 31 March 2013 09:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I am pretty docile and quiet by nature, but when being beaten over the head with the Bible (which I’ve read, many times and have made informed decisions against it), I have to ask, what is the limit of this religious talk I will take?

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Posted: 01 April 2013 02:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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FinallyDecided - 31 March 2013 09:52 PM

I am pretty docile and quiet by nature, but when being beaten over the head with the Bible (which I’ve read, many times and have made informed decisions against it), I have to ask, what is the limit of this religious talk I will take?

I hope I’m not overly flippant, but when your family/friends are going to that extreme, you can respond in kind, or run like hell.

In other words, maybe it would be easier to not associate with people that are so intent on disrespecting your life stance.

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Posted: 01 April 2013 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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FinallyDecided - 31 March 2013 09:52 PM

I am pretty docile and quiet by nature, but when being beaten over the head with the Bible (which I’ve read, many times and have made informed decisions against it), I have to ask, what is the limit of this religious talk I will take?

That’s something you have to decide for yourself. You have two choices, either avoid any conversations about religion with them or avoid those people altogether. If you have stated your objection to discussions about religion and they continue to badger you, it is time to take more serious action and refuse to see them or engage in any conversation with them, even if it requires you walk away from or otherwise ignore them even if they are family members.  Sooner or later they will catch on.  If you try to reason with them you will fail and you will be even more frustrated. You can’t be beaten over the head with anything unless you stand still and allow it.

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Posted: 01 April 2013 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Do baby steps. Approach someone who you think is more likely to be supportive, and build up a cadre of supporters that can ‘back you up’ with moral support as you spread the good news.

That, or call a press conference. First admit to killing babies and having a groupie with Ozzie Osborne to soften the blow.

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Posted: 02 April 2013 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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FinallyDecided - 31 March 2013 09:52 PM

I am pretty docile and quiet by nature, but when being beaten over the head with the Bible (which I’ve read, many times and have made informed decisions against it), I have to ask, what is the limit of this religious talk I will take?

You can try to just bring the issue up slowly.  Ask questions in such a way that your just “discussing them” but not “questioning”. 

Example:

You can ask:

“The other day I heard Dr. Bart Ehrman debate Dr. Craig Evans on how reliable the bible is. Did you see it? What did you think?”
http://www.bartdehrman.com/flv_biblemisquotejesus/doesbiblemisquote.htm

 


Now, if the people around you are extremely emotional and dont like listening to anything, than thats a tough cookie.

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Posted: 02 April 2013 01:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Dealing with family and close frriends who are strongly religious is one of the most difficult things we have to deal with.  I found that just stating I have different beliefs and changing the subject often works.  If they truely care to maintain the reloationship most will leave it at that.  For the few who want to continue to harp on that often other members of the group will controll them.  As a last resort, I tell them to shut up and to get on with whatever we are doing.  mad

The last time I really ran into this was with one of my cousin’s husbands who is a minister, while doing the dishes at his mother-in-laws, my aunts 90th birthday party, he shut up and went to work and later I told him I forgave him.  cool smile

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Gary the Human

All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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