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Posted: 23 April 2013 06:24 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello to ALL and Sundry!

New member; also a member on other “free thinker” forums under the same username.

Here’s a problem to “chew” on….I’m married these last 44 years to a woman who - four years ago - became a “born againer” (or “re-birther” if you wish).

It is impossible to begin a conversation about our divergent views as it most certainly will degenerate into an arguement.

What is a fella to do??

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“The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.” (C. Sagan)

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Posted: 23 April 2013 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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She probably contributes to the home upkeep which would be a major burden on you if you had to do everything yourself.  If you can focus on areas which won’t cause problems and avoid the theological, she may still be worthwhile as a housemate.  However, you may want to look around for local humanist, free-thought, etc. groups (even a Unitarian church if the minister isn’t pushing theology) to use for your social life.  In addition, check out political groups with views similar to yours. 

You may also subscribe to the humanist, free-thought, atheist, etc. magazines and leave them around the house.  She may read some of them and possibly moderate her views.

Good luck and let us know how things are going.  Meanwhile, join in here to help keep your spirits up. smile

Occam

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Posted: 23 April 2013 01:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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jthorndyke - 23 April 2013 06:24 AM

Hello to ALL and Sundry!

New member; also a member on other “free thinker” forums under the same username.

Here’s a problem to “chew” on….I’m married these last 44 years to a woman who - four years ago - became a “born againer” (or “re-birther” if you wish).

It is impossible to begin a conversation about our divergent views as it most certainly will degenerate into an arguement.

What is a fella to do??

You can probably never do or say anything to change her mind.  The only thing I can suggest is to tell her you will not discuss religion at all and that if she brings it up, you will leave the room, leave the house or stop the car and get out. Then do it without saying anything aggressive.  She will get the point sooner or later.  Arguing will get you nowhere. This has worked for me with a family member who insisted on aggressively talking right wing politics at every opportunity.  It took a while but he finally got the point.  The last time it happened I was driving.  I parked and got out of the car, took the keys,  and went into a busy shopping center where he wasn’t likely to find me.  Later I returned to the car and he was gone. I drove home.  The key is to state your intentions unequivocally ahead of time and follow through even if its inconvenient. If she gives you the silent treatment, give it back. There isny much more you can do if you want to stay married. Good luck.

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Posted: 23 April 2013 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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IMO the problem here is to find out why after 40 years she suddenly decided to suspend reason and embrace faith. Could it be that a catastrophic event occurred, say a sudden death of a close relative or an epiphany brought on by impending death? I don’t mean to pry but you did bring it up and the situation is unusual after that amount of time. Could it be also that she was recruited by friends or trusted family members? If you find the situation that led to her conversion you just might be able to reason her out of the mindset. Oh and BTW, welcome to the site!

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 24 April 2013 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 23 April 2013 02:18 PM

IMO the problem here is to find out why after 40 years she suddenly decided to suspend reason and embrace faith. Could it be that a catastrophic event occurred, say a sudden death of a close relative or an epiphany brought on by impending death? I don’t mean to pry but you did bring it up and the situation is unusual after that amount of time. Could it be also that she was recruited by friends or trusted family members? If you find the situation that led to her conversion you just might be able to reason her out of the mindset. Oh and BTW, welcome to the site!

Cap’t Jack

I would bet she didnt suddenly decide to suspend reason and embrace faith, but had secretly embraced faith all along.  I doubt that anyone actually becomes “converted” in a vacuum,  despite all the heartwarming stories we hear about people finding Jesus and the like. I suspect she always harbored belief but went along with a non-believing husband.  Someone came along or or something happened to encourage her “make the change” or “gave her permission” to stop keeping her beliefs secret.  Now, like many “born agains” she wants to convert the world, starting with her husband. It makes for a difficult situation and I hope the writer can work out something that works for both of them. It can’t be a comfortable spot to be in.

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Posted: 24 April 2013 05:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I would bet she didnt suddenly decide to suspend reason and embrace faith, but had secretly embraced faith all along.  I doubt that anyone actually becomes “converted” in a vacuum,  despite all the heartwarming stories we hear about people finding Jesus and the like. I suspect she always harbored belief but went along with a non-believing husband.  Someone came along or or something happened to encourage her “make the change” or “gave her permission” to stop keeping her beliefs secret.  Now, like many “born agains” she wants to convert the world, starting with her husband. It makes for a difficult situation and I hope the writer can work out something that works for both of them. It can’t be a comfortable spot to be in.

That may be true as well but if she never confesses her secret belief, he may never really know the cause. I can see someone, say a teenager or a person in their early 20’s fitting your description but conversion later in life usually needs a push unless as you contend, she was harboring this all along. I’ve been on that path and didn’t begin to really doubt religion until my college years. I was raised in a religious family ( mainstream thankfully, we didn’t talk in tongues) so wasn’t completely brainwashed. So by age 21 I became an agnostic then moved on. My point is that usually when someone experiences a crack of doubt they become curious and this becomes the first step in breaking out of the mindset. It’s inconceivable that anyone would want to re enter a belief system after leaving it. I just hope it’s not one of those charismatic beliefs. He’ll have a tougher time dealing with her faith.

 

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Posted: 24 April 2013 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Lois - 23 April 2013 01:21 PM
jthorndyke - 23 April 2013 06:24 AM

Hello to ALL and Sundry!

New member; also a member on other “free thinker” forums under the same username.

Here’s a problem to “chew” on….I’m married these last 44 years to a woman who - four years ago - became a “born againer” (or “re-birther” if you wish).

It is impossible to begin a conversation about our divergent views as it most certainly will degenerate into an arguement.

What is a fella to do??

You can probably never do or say anything to change her mind.  The only thing I can suggest is to tell her you will not discuss religion at all and that if she brings it up, you will leave the room, leave the house or stop the car and get out. Then do it without saying anything aggressive.  She will get the point sooner or later.  Arguing will get you nowhere. This has worked for me with a family member who insisted on aggressively talking right wing politics at every opportunity.  It took a while but he finally got the point.  The last time it happened I was driving.  I parked and got out of the car, took the keys,  and went into a busy shopping center where he wasn’t likely to find me.  Later I returned to the car and he was gone. I drove home.  The key is to state your intentions unequivocally ahead of time and follow through even if its inconvenient. If she gives you the silent treatment, give it back. There isny much more you can do if you want to stay married. Good luck.

Well, certainly some good ideas to try…Here’s my “stance”.
1. I HATE to lose! Lose at anything for any reason. This keeps me married I suppose
2. I would hate to give up over 44 years of an effort due to “divergent views”...
3. I support her…not her religiosity. A fine point, I agree, but a point nonetheless.

So….I’m kinda stuck…but in mud of my own making. Feel a bit like a dinosaur trapped in a tar pit!

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“The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.” (C. Sagan)

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Posted: 24 April 2013 07:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Occam. - 23 April 2013 10:37 AM

She probably contributes to the home upkeep which would be a major burden on you if you had to do everything yourself.  If you can focus on areas which won’t cause problems and avoid the theological, she may still be worthwhile as a housemate.  However, you may want to look around for local humanist, free-thought, etc. groups (even a Unitarian church if the minister isn’t pushing theology) to use for your social life.  In addition, check out political groups with views similar to yours. 

You may also subscribe to the humanist, free-thought, atheist, etc. magazines and leave them around the house.  She may read some of them and possibly moderate her views.

Good luck and let us know how things are going.  Meanwhile, join in here to help keep your spirits up. smile

Occam

As to “home life”....I do my own cooking, cleaning. laudry, shopping, and ironing. The military taught me well. I’m an “A” type personality and fully believe I am better at these tasks than she is.
I like the idea of having some “thought provoking” magazines around the house tho! What would be the best ones to subscribe to in your opinion?
Thanks!

Oh….I make more in my retirement than she does working….about five times more.

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“The candle flame gutters. Its little pool of light trembles. Darkness gathers. The demons begin to stir.” (C. Sagan)

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Posted: 24 April 2013 07:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 23 April 2013 02:18 PM

IMO the problem here is to find out why after 40 years she suddenly decided to suspend reason and embrace faith. Could it be that a catastrophic event occurred, say a sudden death of a close relative or an epiphany brought on by impending death? I don’t mean to pry but you did bring it up and the situation is unusual after that amount of time. Could it be also that she was recruited by friends or trusted family members? If you find the situation that led to her conversion you just might be able to reason her out of the mindset. Oh and BTW, welcome to the site!

Cap’t Jack

Hey Cap’t!
Prying is fine by me….and, damned if I know what the event was. If I open that subject I get a long diatribe about how dis-satisfied she was with her life’s direction (with all the bells and whistles included), and how a friend of hers introduced her to a church (evangelical bible believers) and how there she found purpose for her life, and the rest is all “personal god” stuff that to me smacks of kindergarden mentality at best.
Thanks for the welcome!

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Posted: 24 April 2013 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Lois - 24 April 2013 12:37 AM
Thevillageatheist - 23 April 2013 02:18 PM

IMO the problem here is to find out why after 40 years she suddenly decided to suspend reason and embrace faith. Could it be that a catastrophic event occurred, say a sudden death of a close relative or an epiphany brought on by impending death? I don’t mean to pry but you did bring it up and the situation is unusual after that amount of time. Could it be also that she was recruited by friends or trusted family members? If you find the situation that led to her conversion you just might be able to reason her out of the mindset. Oh and BTW, welcome to the site!

Cap’t Jack

I would bet she didnt suddenly decide to suspend reason and embrace faith, but had secretly embraced faith all along.  I doubt that anyone actually becomes “converted” in a vacuum,  despite all the heartwarming stories we hear about people finding Jesus and the like. I suspect she always harbored belief but went along with a non-believing husband.  Someone came along or or something happened to encourage her “make the change” or “gave her permission” to stop keeping her beliefs secret.  Now, like many “born agains” she wants to convert the world, starting with her husband. It makes for a difficult situation and I hope the writer can work out something that works for both of them. It can’t be a comfortable spot to be in.

You got that right, Lois! She does make attempts to “convert”. Fortunately enough, I was born, raised and educated as a roman catholic, so I’m fairly well versed in biblical things. For years, I was a “pay no attention” athiest but very much opposed to organized religion of any kind. For about a year now, (since I retired), I’ve been into serious investigation of atheism, agnosticism, skepticism….much more to learn.
But every once in a while, I really have to bite my tongue not to refute with some vehemence her attempts at biblical and religious justification.

What a pickle, huh?

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Posted: 24 April 2013 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hey Cap’t!
Prying is fine by me….and, damned if I know what the event was. If I open that subject I get a long diatribe about how dis-satisfied she was with her life’s direction (with all the bells and whistles included), and how a friend of hers introduced her to a church (evangelical bible believers) and how there she found purpose for her life, and the rest is all “personal god” stuff that to me smacks of kindergarden mentality at best.
Thanks for the welcome!

Bingo! Here’s an easy path to direction in your life. If I may be so bold, your wife has found direction and a sense of belonging that evangelicals provide and they do it with a lot of group think, physical aids such as hymn singing and personal confession, initiation via the obligatory “altar call” responsive reading, well you know having a Catholic background. My guess is that after the excitement of the epiphany wears away she’ll drift back to normal. I had exactly the same delimna some 20 years ago when our kids were young. My wife attended a fundamentalist baptist church (the same one she grew up in BTW) with an extremist wac job preacher. I absolutely refused to attend any of the services and my kids were told that I was going to hell to burn in fire forever. Needless to say, that was the beginning of the end of their religious affiliations. she did try the Methodists for a bit (the church I grew up in) but after a while she just fell away from constant attendance and today is a nominal episcopalian, introduced to it by one of her aunts. Recently she stopped going altogether and enjoys having Sundays off with me. Our daughter is leaning towards agnosticism and our son is an atheist. They both made decisions without any prodding from me, ok just a little but after they reached their thirties! My digression is just to let you know that this situation is happening to a number of families, and yeah, 44 years together is quite a track record; we’ve been together for 42 so I know what you mean.

 

Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 25 April 2013 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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My rule of thumb is that motive is more basic than logic. Motive is much more basic to religion than lack of intelligence or reasoning ability.
Even Crows are very logical when it helps them get food.  Humans have similar motivations for using logic or reason.  It is “reasonable” to use “logic,” if it gets you food.  It is also “logical” to be a “reasonable person,’ if it gets you food.  People who can not get food tend to be very unreasonable and irrational - which is completely logical.

The one problem I have as a non-Theist with much of the Atheist posted material is that they ignore the the limits of logic.  Logically you can’t prove a negative.  You can however view things from a FUNCTIONAL perspective.  Because I do believe in the reality of the real world, as well as real humans living in the real world,  I can easily describe myself FUNCTIONALLY as an Atheist.  This is not just nitpicking.  Look at the actions of fundamentalist Protestant Christians from a functional perspective!  Disregard their rhetoric! In general they do not act as if they believe in the supernatural. They tend to act as if they believed in the real material world.  Except for their religious rhetoric you could define THEM as Atheists!  Functionally I often do!

Hypothetical Motives
1. As a couple you probably lack common friends. While activism of some sort helps create common friendships,  I can sympathize, because jobs like yours require constant moves, and would have made that difficult.  I wish I had access to the Internet 30 years ago.  I was 35 before I learned of Unitarian Universalism (UU)  I was a member of a UU group for one year.  The I moved and was a member of a UU Church for two years.  Then I moved again! I lost interest.

2. She lacks female friends because few females her age are non-Theists.  Now if only you or I had lived in Northern Europe a large percentage of Protestant Churches would have been non-Theist. “Believing that the Bible is an anthology of human authors’ beliefs and feelings about God at the time of its writing.” However, the EU is much more democratic than the U.S.  There is much less motive to spout nonsense when others are busy making political deals and forming coalition governments.  Saying what you mean is much more politically useful than snickering that “the world is going to end” so lets quote scripture!  That just doesn’t work as a political platform in nations that actually have enforceable party platforms - unlike the U.S.

Jack

Note; I am a self-ordained democracy activist.  :>)


In Northern Europe a larger percentage of Protestant Churches would are non-Theist. As in “Believing that the Bible is an anthology of human authors’ beliefs and feelings about God at the time of its writing.” However, the EU is much more democratic than the U.S.  There is much less motive to spout nonsense when others are busy making political deals and forming coalition governments.  Saying what you mean is much more politically useful than snickering that “the world is going to end” so lets quote scripture!
 
Reference Article: What is a Political Party?
http://i-voter.tripod.com/US_PoliticalParties.html

Reference Article: Platforms: From the Voters Perspective
http://i-voter.tripod.com/Platforms.html

[ Edited: 25 April 2013 12:16 PM by Nexus ]
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