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Sun Jan 13, 2013, 01:37 PM

For all you atheists, agnostics and humanists who have lost your way - please read this

It is so easy to stray from the path and I understand the temptation. The path is full of dangers if you stray. I have in the past and I am here to warn you of the otherwise small and seemingly insignificant steps that take you away from Truth.

It starts at a family gathering when you are asked to pray. You don't want to fuck your sweet Aunt's world up at the moment so you bow your head and go through the motions. You may get a smartass sideways look from your teenage daughter but you just do it. It is so much easier than ruining the "mood".

Then, around Christmas your loving spouse or mother or father says, "Hey, it would be great if you could come join us at church for the service. We would love to have all the family there." You do it. You dress up and sit there and think, "This is ridiculous". But, you don't want to be the ass in the room so you go.

Then your friends are talking about how a tragedy happened in your town and that they are glad that the families have faith families to help them through tough times. You don't want to be a shithead so you just nod.

Little steps...next thing you know you have those pre-programmed messages just creep back into your head. You start thinking about the spirits of your dead relatives or the warmth of a deity embracing you during a troubling time.

Snap out of it!

It is freaking hard to live in a Christo-centric world while you are bombarded with these messages all day every day. Especially if you grew up in a faith-based family and had to deconstruct all of those messages over the past 30 to 60 years of your life. Those wires have a way of re-connecting way too easily.

I think that forums such as this and weekly "church" services of videos from the Thinking Atheist help.

I would like to thank Gore1Fl for posting the Lawrence Krauss video last week. I watched it today and said, "Aw, hell yeah!"

Blessed be the non-theists. For they will think for everyone else.

Amen.


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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply For all you atheists, agnostics and humanists who have lost your way - please read this (Original post)
Stuckinthebush Jan 2013 OP
NeoGreen Jan 2013 #1
TxDemChem Jan 2013 #2
Stuckinthebush Jan 2013 #5
Gore1FL Jan 2013 #16
Gore1FL Jan 2013 #17
Demo_Chris Jan 2013 #3
Stuckinthebush Jan 2013 #4
Curmudgeoness Jan 2013 #6
progressoid Jan 2013 #8
Stuckinthebush Jan 2013 #9
Curmudgeoness Jan 2013 #13
Iggo Jan 2013 #11
Curmudgeoness Jan 2013 #14
Iggo Jan 2013 #15
cleanhippie Jan 2013 #19
Stuckinthebush Jan 2013 #20
Curmudgeoness Jan 2013 #25
noamnety Jan 2013 #7
Stuckinthebush Jan 2013 #10
OriginalGeek Jan 2013 #12
Stuckinthebush Jan 2013 #22
Curmudgeoness Jan 2013 #26
OriginalGeek Jan 2013 #27
Curmudgeoness Jan 2013 #28
Gore1FL Jan 2013 #18
Stuckinthebush Jan 2013 #21
Ligyron Jan 2013 #23
TxDemChem Jan 2013 #24

Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:07 PM

1. Thank-you for this...

Well said...

I just completed a weekend camp out, under-the-radar, with my son's Scout troop.

Bowed my head with the rest. However, I didn't stray from our path of thinking and "asking/finding better questions", but I sure do get tired of being bombarded.

They are good people, but they don't see how the Mormons and Catholics (and all the other "faithers") are warping the program for the wrong reasons.

The BSA is not as I remember it from my kidhood, no one ever asked me if I "believed in god" from Bobcat to Life, ever. So, I have been doing my part to see that my son experiences Scouts as I did.

Fortunately the Troop is chartered by a Fire Dept. Sure makes things a little more tolerable.

I dread the day when I finally come out to the guy who is my son's Scoutmaster. I hope it won't be a major issue to him but I'm not sure. He is a great Scoutmaster and he and I have been working hard for the last few years to build up the Troop. He is a good person and doesn't push or even discuss his own religious views with the Scouts.

In the end, I hope that I will be an example for him to realize the BS value of the official BSA propaganda: "that no member can grow into the best kind of citizen without recognizing an obligation to God..." and that he will be even more tolerant of the next Scout who doesn't buy the story of the big guy in the sky.

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 05:47 PM

2. I like what you're doing

I've never been a scout and neither has my daughter, although it seems the Girl Scouts operate a bit differently than the BSA. But I've got coworkers whose sons are scouts and one who used to work at their headquarters. They tend to be in somewhat similar situations, but their kids get the experience with the scouts while the parents teach them the truth at home. I hope the scout master doesn't look at you any differently, but we can and are good without God. Good luck to you and your son in the future.

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:27 PM

5. I'm an Eagle Scout

Got mine in 84. I don't remember EVER having religious crap pushed on us. I guess the fundies have circled the wagons in the BSA. Sad.

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:04 PM

16. Got mine in 1980

I was an Adult Leader, too, from 2004 up until a year and a half ago. Wood Badge trained (I was my patrol's Chaplains aide, LOL) , and even trained other adults. My atheist son is an Eagle too.

I never had it shoved down my throat at the troop level. At District and Council training, I did, but I just sat there and dealt with it, (though I usually bitched a little about how I hated being forced.)

It mostly depends on the troop.

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Response to NeoGreen (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:14 PM

17. I defined "God" as the 4 forces of nature and the laws of Physics.

Q: Do you believe in God?
A: Yes, but not in the way I suspect you do.

Conversation ends. No one cares after that except for the ones who want to convert you. If that were going to happen, it would have likely already started.

In my experience, no one knows how to enforce those polices (especially in a unit of diverse religious backgrounds). Hence, they aren't typically enforced or even alluded to.

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 06:03 PM

3. Ramen!

 

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #3)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:26 PM

4. And the people say...

Ramen!

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 07:58 PM

6. I know what you are saying, but

I don't see the harm in just letting the family have their little grace before a meal instead of causing a scene. It is just polite and you should already have known this would happen when you agreed to have dinner at their house. I guess that I am not a radical atheist. I do get upset about public prayer that happens at places where I don't expect it, but I am not going to be a horse's ass at a family gathering. As long as they don't ask me to lead a prayer.

Going along to get along is not a sin, nor does it change my nonbelief system. It just doesn't matter. And I am not out to "convert" anyone like you-know-who would.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:29 PM

8. Yup.

That's kind of my attitude too.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 12:48 PM

9. Oh I agree completely

But it creeps into your consciousness before you realize it sometime. I'm really talking about when you are asked to say grace. Maddening.

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:08 PM

13. I guess that I am not asked to say a prayer

because, although I will not make a big deal about what others do or believe, everyone who knows me is aware that I do not believe in god or religion. It would probably be taken as a joke if I were asked. And if I was asked, I would let them know that I don't pray, aunt or grandma or anyone.

It sounds as if you have never mentioned even having doubts about god to these people. And it can be done gently, starting with discussing "doubts" and moving slowly from there.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:44 PM

11. I don't pray.

And I'm not a radical atheist.

And I'm not a horse's ass.

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Response to Iggo (Reply #11)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:10 PM

14. LOL. OK.

I don't pray either. But don't you sit quietly and just ignore the whole thing if you are in a situation where everyone else wants to pray? Just sitting there while they do their thing is not the same as "praying". Or is it to you?

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #14)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 06:43 PM

15. My family knows I'm an atheist and I'm not to be included in their hocus pocus.

(Okay, maybe I am a horse's ass...lol.)

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 11:36 PM

19. Occasionally, I have dinner guests that ask if we can pray...

My stock answer is "Why pray? The food is already here. Let's eat!" And start passing dishes to the left...

If they insist I reply with "Thank you for the suggestion, when we have dinner at your house, we will."

I've never had it go beyond that.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #19)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:53 PM

20. LOL!

I love that answer!

I'm going to use that.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #19)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:39 PM

25. If it is really important to those people,

they can pray all by themselves privately before they eat......I don't see the reason to drag everyone into it. But then again, I think the point of people praying is that everyone knows they are doing it. Gotta put on a show.

I think that your answer if they insist is great. And appropriate.

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 10:34 PM

7. When my daughter's boyfriend visited for the first time

we gathered around the dinner table for our first meal together and I asked him to say grace for us.

We're atheists and I assume he is too. I was just messing with him but my daughter started laughing and ruined my fun. Damn her!

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Response to noamnety (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 02:11 PM

10. So wrong!

But so deliciously evil too.

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 03:57 PM

12. Damn, I am a shitheel

When everyone was still alive and we had every Sunday dinner at the in-laws, I never once bowed my head during grace. I quietly spied out which dish I was going for first to get the best parts.

When my evangelical mother and stepfather visited, mom asked only once if I would say grace and I just said no. She never asked me again.

On another visit from mom, she and my wife ganged up on me to go to church with them and my wife secretly whispered that if I went with them she would "do me a favor" later on. I secretly whispered back that she wasn't THAT good at that particular favor. I thought it was pretty funny until the loooooooooooooong long drought for that particular favor.

Damn. And the worst part is that I actively do try not to be an ass about my atheism. Imagine if I wasn't trying!

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:55 PM

22. Nah....not a shitheel at all!

Sounds like you let them know and they didn't bother you from that point forward. Cool.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #12)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:42 PM

26. You spy out the best foods!!! LOL!

That is probably the best use of the time I have heard.


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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #26)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:23 PM

27. You gotta make a plan!

The chewy/crunchy ends of the roast are the best. The corners of the casseroles too. As soon as that "amen" sounds, grubby little hands are reaching for serving forks and spoons and sporks and I gotta weigh the dishes in order of my preference. I might get to two things but I won't to 3 things first (depending on what's at my end of the table) so I gotta prioritize! lol

Occasionally I can deflect a nearby diner with similar tastes by having the bread basket ready to pass. While they are looking over the homemade biscuits, rolls and cornbread I can get to the part of the green bean casserole with the most crunchy onions.

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Response to OriginalGeek (Reply #27)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:42 PM

28. Thanks for the laughs.

I don't often find a lot of them in A&A!

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Mon Jan 14, 2013, 10:17 PM

18. I won't say grace if asked to.

I simply say something along the lines of "I respectfully decline your invitation. There is likely someone better suited."

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #18)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 02:54 PM

21. Or you could just say...

"Grace. Let's eat."

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:39 PM

23. "Rub-a-dub-dub, thanks for the grub. Yea god!"

That was the funniest one I ever heard from a friend when his Mama asked him to say grace.

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Response to Stuckinthebush (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 06:23 PM

24. So I went to my husband's uncle's funeral last night

Let me just say I am (mostly) black and Native American. My husband is Mexican. I was raised Methodist and Baptist. The service was mostly in Spanish. I've taken 10 years of Spanish so I understood most of it, but I didn't understand a lot of why they did so many prayers. I stopped counting after the 16th Hail Mary. There were many other prayers thrown in, but I kept thinking about this thread. I bent my head but as everyone else prayed my husband and I just stood there silent and thought we wanted the service to hurry up and end, but we hoped his aunt would find peace. However, I did my best to not fall into the trap of praying to some invisible God for the family's well being. Instead we donated to pay for part of the funeral. He had no life insurance and the whole family chipped in. Anybody have any ideas of what more we can do in this sort of situation? Whereas everyone else is praying for them, we want to take real action.

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