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Reply #11: I don't write them off so easily, I see them as a challenge. [View All]

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MarkCharles Donating Member (932 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 05:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. I don't write them off so easily, I see them as a challenge.
Edited on Sun Dec-04-11 05:46 PM by MarkCharles
I see them as people to whom we ask the questions:

Wouldn't God want you to be healthy? Wouldn't God want you to get rid of your toothache, well this is like a toothache.
Wouldn't you want to serve your God with the most healthy of bodies? Does God not allow you to feel the caring your loved ones want you to feel? Can we help you and God get you over a small hump in family relations? How about we get you to a good Christian doctor who wants to help you make the most of your love for God?

Of course, we're playing into the fantasy of a God, but we engage in a bit of make-believe as we do for 4 year olds who still believe in Santa Claus, we want to make the meaning of the experience of Christmas something we understand as moments away from our everyday life when the society allows for us to be closer to our family and friends. That's all Christmas really is for us atheists. But to Christians, there is that meaning of Christmas, and some mythology they still like to believe in. We don't walk into our Christian relatives' home and tell them that their mythology is silly, (at least, most of us don't). We go there and play the games and engage the fantasies they learned as small children. We do it because we love them, and want them to be happy and healthy, and we want them to know a moment of intimate caring within our family as we drift ever so much older and further apart. We play out the assigned parts.

This is the first year when every relative over 20, and friend of mine knows, that I, at my advanced age that I am an atheist. I have been so for years, but not all of them knew nor did they care to know. I'm would be just as happy to buy candy canes and trinkets for the little ones, the preschoolers, the young school kids, and stuff them in a stocking. But I will be away this year, far away from where they are, and they already know that. And I have asked them to send their money for gifts for me to something non-religious that does some good in the world, I'm very happy without the baked goods or new socks. They needn't send me cards either, since it costs a lot for them to get a card to me before their Christmas. I'm much more happy with getting an email and a few emailed photos of their celebrations.


We do what we can do, with the tools we have to make those close to us feel better as they share their simultaneous journey among the living with us. We don't have to "preach" our views, and we certainly don't have to give up on them, even though, we know, generally, that our outlook is more often an accurate one than is theirs.

Speaking of or perspective, and my 79 year old half sister, I had a big surprise this year. My 79 year old sister, who is schizophrenic underwent surgery and regressed into rather outrageous insanity for a few weeks thereafter, probably due to the effects of anesthesia upon an older and more fragile brain. Now she's home, with her husband, 3 months later, and quite normal, writing and publishing poetry, drawing sketches, and enjoying what might be her last year on this planet. I was amazed at the potential for recovery of the human mind and body she taught to me this year. I'm certainly going to call her on Christmas day, just for what she taught me, and for old time's sake.
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