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« on: May 18, 2010, 02:29:22 PM »

Hi everyone.

I'm 22, and have always been a church-going individual.  This has forever caused ridicule from virtually everyone around me, and has especially made dating near impossible.  Now, I'm not the type of person that shoves religion in people's faces, not at all.  See, I live in a small town, and am graduating from college this December (never left this small town).  Recently, someone mentioned to my boss that I am religious (the person who told my boss has known me my whole life).  This past Sunday, two of my co-workers began bashing religion while I was around them.  I cannot help but think this is a direct insult to me.  I don't deny my faith when people ask if I go to Church or have a faith, but will I ever get away from this?  I do plan on moving away for work (I live in PA, not too many jobs here) once I graduate. 

I'm not sure what I'm asking here, it has simply worn me down and caused me mental pain for years.  Anyone else had similar experiences?
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2010, 02:45:25 PM »

I remember a conflict I had with my boss a few years ago over the issue of religion.  I've always been a religious fellow, and I've tried to never be afraid to give a good representation of my faith in both deeds and words, but I've also tended to be rather private about my beliefs, sharing them only when the time is right.  My boss, the store manager, tried to convert me to her heretically individualistic brand of Christian faith, and of course I resisted.  She kept putting on the pressure off and on for several weeks, so I finally told her that our two brands of Christianity were so foreign to each other that if one of us was living the truth, the other of us had to be a heretic--she didn't take very kindly to being told that.  I also warned her that I would file a religious harassment complaint with her boss, the store owner, if she didn't stop with the crass attempts to proselytize me--an option you might consider if the religious harassment at your work gets bad enough.

Eventually, our working relationship came to a nasty head on a few other issues and the store owner needed to step in to moderate the situation.  After hearing both sides of our feud, he fired her and kept me on staff without giving me a warning of any kind.  It helped, when speaking with the owner over the phone, that I explained my point of view calmly and matter-of-factly while the manager kept calling me a liar at the top of her lungs.  (That, and he had had problems with her on a number of other fronts unrelated to me.)
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 02:48:48 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2010, 02:46:51 PM »

Yep. I'm essentially the only Christian in my family (short of 2nd cousins and beyond). My religious principles are not infrequently mocked as foolish or superstitious. Anti-religious heathery is quite popular hear in the SF Bay Area.
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2010, 02:59:45 PM »

People have come to expect an individual to have a rather lax faith.  Whether you have a strong faith or no faith, certain groups of people will just look at you differently and judge you for it.  I've had some interesting run-ins as an Atheist, especially at a volunteer position I fill.
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« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2010, 03:16:47 PM »

I am the only "religious" person in my family, and pretty much all, 100%, of my real-life friends are agnostics or atheists (some very militant). Many of my students and also some colleagues at work (at my university) are Heterodox Christians, mostly Baptists, but there is no friendship between me and them. The only people who are devout Orthodox with whom I communicate are the people on this Web site, and also a handful of my co-parishioners (but I only see them and talk with some of them once a month, at best - sometimes even less often...). So, I know the feeling of being very, very alone as far as faith goes. It can be excruciating, it can really drive you nuts... but we have to endure!!!

Now, I am blessed in that my wife, an agnostic, does not really attack or bash my faith. At least she does it only occasionally.  Moreover, she goes to Divine Liturgies with me, because, as she says, she knows it's good for me. Also, my friends who know that I am Orthodox do not usually attack or bash Christianity or the Orthodox faith when I talk with them or when I am present in the room. They just avoid the topic, tending to move on, to change the subject when I say something about Orthodoxy (and then, when they leave, my wife screams at me that I AGAIN EMBARASSED her and that when, for Christ's sake, will I mature and stop this idiotic childish religious superstitious mumbo jumbo talk Smiley). Some of my old friends with whom I used to be close in real life, and now am friends on Facebook, say, every now and then, things that hurt me; for example, a while ago I asked on FB, are people bothered by my posts where I talk about Orthodox saints and feasts, and some of those whom I consider real good friends said, "no, they do not bother me because I just hide them at once." Smiley

Perhaps the most painful thing in this whole story is that my daughter, who will be 26 this coming July, is growing more, and more, and more hostile to religion, becoming a progressively militant atheist. Her husband seems to direct her in this evolution, to be her role model. Her husbands' parents and their whole huge extended family also supports in her this feeling of bitter animosity against religion. Within the last ~2 years that she has been married, I learned not to raise, even remotedly, any subject that has anything to do with Christianity, Orthodoxy, because I know that if I do that, there will be tension and possibly hysterics. I does not get any better, only worse, and worse, and worse. And I can't begin to tell anyone how much I would love to see that changed - and I have no idea how it can be changed.

But again... we have to endure. Running away, severing ties with the people you have befriended and whom you love, changing jobs, addresses, locations - well, I doubt, honestly, that any of that can help. Just endurance...
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« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2010, 03:39:48 PM »

Perhaps the most painful thing in this whole story is that my daughter, who will be 26 this coming July, is growing more, and more, and more hostile to religion, becoming a progressively militant atheist.

Don't beat yourself up about that too much. Atheism appears to be pretty much in vogue among people my age.
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« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2010, 03:46:55 PM »

I agree with Heorhij, that running away from our jobs, our family, our friends to simply avoid possible discomfort and hostility from their anti-religious views will hurt you more than help you.  View your hostile friends and coworkers as what my priest calls them--saint makers.  Our Lord never said that being His servant was going to be a walk in the park or a life of ease.  He states on many occasions to the apostles that as the world hated Him, it would also hate them.  View this as an opportunity for you to grow in humility which, to many desert fathers, is the key to salvation.  But be careful that your humility does not turn into mere passivity or some sort of passive-aggressive mentality.  To be humble is to be like the earth, trodden upon, having garbage dumped upon it, not respected, yet it still blooms forth with fruits, trees and beauty everywhere we have the willingness to look.  So be humble, but not resentful.  Treat those who are hostile to you as icons of Christ. Pray for them.  Light candles in the church for them. There is no difference (or should be no difference) in how we love our greatest enemies as how we love God.

If there can be no tribulation or despair or trial, there can be no victory in the spiritual warfare.  Be confident, humble and, above all, prayerful.

May the warrior saint, St. George, give you the strength to endure and be victorious.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2010, 03:47:37 PM by scamandrius » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2010, 04:44:55 PM »

Hi everyone.

I'm 22, and have always been a church-going individual.  This has forever caused ridicule from virtually everyone around me, and has especially made dating near impossible.  Now, I'm not the type of person that shoves religion in people's faces, not at all.  See, I live in a small town, and am graduating from college this December (never left this small town).  Recently, someone mentioned to my boss that I am religious (the person who told my boss has known me my whole life).  This past Sunday, two of my co-workers began bashing religion while I was around them.  I cannot help but think this is a direct insult to me.  I don't deny my faith when people ask if I go to Church or have a faith, but will I ever get away from this?  I do plan on moving away for work (I live in PA, not too many jobs here) once I graduate. 

I'm not sure what I'm asking here, it has simply worn me down and caused me mental pain for years.  Anyone else had similar experiences?

All this in Pennsylvania? I must say, I'm a bit surprised, last time I was in Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, at least, I must say I was rather uncomfortable from the amount of religion surrounding me, heck I even remember a auto-repair establishment with a name something along the lines of 'Jesus is Lord Carburetors and Mufflers' (what Christ's Divinity has to do with auto repair and how anyone can make a living specializing in Carburetors in the 21st century without working for NASCAR are two questions I may never be able to answer Wink). But in any case, there are always going to be places where our opinions are not well received by others, this is no less true for we atheists than it is for you theists.

There was a case a couple years back when a family of atheists was severely harassed in Hardesty, Oklahoma to the point of the daughter being excluded from sports and in some cases unjustly suspended from school for not participating in prayer at school sporting events and the father was falsely arrested on fabricated assault charges (they told him they'd drop the charges if he left the county, but he refused and they insisted on taking it all the way to a trial...he was acquitted by a jury). So don't think things would necessarily be any easier if you weren't religious.

In the end, people are uncomfortable being around people who are different from them, whether it's race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or even, depending on the situation, of course, gender. The ultimate goal should be to be able to work together without concerning ourselves with these secondary traits.

If the harassment is such that you're being denied employment or advancement opportunities, you should, by all means, file a formal complaint, there are laws designed to specifically protect you against that. If it's just a fellow coworker making you feel uncomfortable because of the topic being discussed, talk to him, or perhaps better yet, shoot back some witty response. Some people, like myself, half expect people to enjoy a vigorous attack on their system of beliefs, I know I enjoy a good exchange when people attack mine (always have, even when I was a Christian). It could come as a shock for them to find out how uncomfortable you were.

A formal debate might escalate things (or not, I've had some pretty in depth discussions about religion with my very religious boss, they were fun chats that mostly evolved into a discussion of the history of dogma and religious practices which I'm quite happy to objectively discuss) , but a smart and witty retort will almost always defuse the situation. I doubt they want actual confrontation any more than you do, it's amazing the situations that can be easily diffused with a few well selected words.
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« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2010, 10:06:10 PM »

I had similar issues with a boss who was literally in a cult (no really, I looked this up) who yelled at me for wearing a St. Seraphim locket to work and started parlaying me. To be honest I just ignored it. If she had wanted to talk I would have quite nicely, but you really have to decide if they want to be friendly at all or are just harassing to harass.
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« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2010, 12:34:45 AM »

Yep. I'm essentially the only Christian in my family (short of 2nd cousins and beyond). My religious principles are not infrequently mocked as foolish or superstitious. Anti-religious heathery is quite popular hear in the SF Bay Area.
I hear you. The only religions that seem not to be mocked here is Hinduism, or eastern religions, and pagan earth worship.
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« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2010, 03:29:32 AM »

I remember a conflict I had with my boss a few years ago over the issue of religion.  I've always been a religious fellow, and I've tried to never be afraid to give a good representation of my faith in both deeds and words, but I've also tended to be rather private about my beliefs, sharing them only when the time is right.  My boss, the store manager, tried to convert me to her heretically individualistic brand of Christian faith, and of course I resisted.  She kept putting on the pressure off and on for several weeks, so I finally told her that our two brands of Christianity were so foreign to each other that if one of us was living the truth, the other of us had to be a heretic--she didn't take very kindly to being told that.  I also warned her that I would file a religious harassment complaint with her boss, the store owner, if she didn't stop with the crass attempts to proselytize me--an option you might consider if the religious harassment at your work gets bad enough.
 
Eventually, our working relationship came to a nasty head on a few other issues and the store owner needed to step in to moderate the situation.  After hearing both sides of our feud, he fired her and kept me on staff without giving me a warning of any kind.  It helped, when speaking with the owner over the phone, that I explained my point of view calmly and matter-of-factly while the manager kept calling me a liar at the top of her lungs.  (That, and he had had problems with her on a number of other fronts unrelated to me.)

Do you ever think she may  come back  For revenge with  a  loaded Gun.... Grin
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2010, 03:36:50 AM »

I remember a conflict I had with my boss a few years ago over the issue of religion.  I've always been a religious fellow, and I've tried to never be afraid to give a good representation of my faith in both deeds and words, but I've also tended to be rather private about my beliefs, sharing them only when the time is right.  My boss, the store manager, tried to convert me to her heretically individualistic brand of Christian faith, and of course I resisted.  She kept putting on the pressure off and on for several weeks, so I finally told her that our two brands of Christianity were so foreign to each other that if one of us was living the truth, the other of us had to be a heretic--she didn't take very kindly to being told that.  I also warned her that I would file a religious harassment complaint with her boss, the store owner, if she didn't stop with the crass attempts to proselytize me--an option you might consider if the religious harassment at your work gets bad enough.
 
Eventually, our working relationship came to a nasty head on a few other issues and the store owner needed to step in to moderate the situation.  After hearing both sides of our feud, he fired her and kept me on staff without giving me a warning of any kind.  It helped, when speaking with the owner over the phone, that I explained my point of view calmly and matter-of-factly while the manager kept calling me a liar at the top of her lungs.  (That, and he had had problems with her on a number of other fronts unrelated to me.)

Do you ever think she may  come back  For revenge with  a  loaded Gun.... Grin
1.  That was six years ago.
1.  She doesn't know where I live.
2.  I actually did take another route to my bus stop that day so I could avoid crossing her path--even if she didn't have a gun, I didn't want her to beat me up.
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« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2010, 01:10:42 PM »

Hi everyone.

I'm 22, and have always been a church-going individual.  This has forever caused ridicule from virtually everyone around me, and has especially made dating near impossible.  Now, I'm not the type of person that shoves religion in people's faces, not at all.  See, I live in a small town, and am graduating from college this December (never left this small town).  Recently, someone mentioned to my boss that I am religious (the person who told my boss has known me my whole life).  This past Sunday, two of my co-workers began bashing religion while I was around them.  I cannot help but think this is a direct insult to me.  I don't deny my faith when people ask if I go to Church or have a faith, but will I ever get away from this?  I do plan on moving away for work (I live in PA, not too many jobs here) once I graduate. 

I'm not sure what I'm asking here, it has simply worn me down and caused me mental pain for years.  Anyone else had similar experiences?

All this in Pennsylvania? I must say, I'm a bit surprised, last time I was in Pennsylvania, outside Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, at least, I must say I was rather uncomfortable from the amount of religion surrounding me, heck I even remember a auto-repair establishment with a name something along the lines of 'Jesus is Lord Carburetors and Mufflers' (what Christ's Divinity has to do with auto repair and how anyone can make a living specializing in Carburetors in the 21st century without working for NASCAR are two questions I may never be able to answer Wink). But in any case, there are always going to be places where our opinions are not well received by others, this is no less true for we atheists than it is for you theists.

There was a case a couple years back when a family of atheists was severely harassed in Hardesty, Oklahoma to the point of the daughter being excluded from sports and in some cases unjustly suspended from school for not participating in prayer at school sporting events and the father was falsely arrested on fabricated assault charges (they told him they'd drop the charges if he left the county, but he refused and they insisted on taking it all the way to a trial...he was acquitted by a jury). So don't think things would necessarily be any easier if you weren't religious.

In the end, people are uncomfortable being around people who are different from them, whether it's race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or even, depending on the situation, of course, gender. The ultimate goal should be to be able to work together without concerning ourselves with these secondary traits.

If the harassment is such that you're being denied employment or advancement opportunities, you should, by all means, file a formal complaint, there are laws designed to specifically protect you against that. If it's just a fellow coworker making you feel uncomfortable because of the topic being discussed, talk to him, or perhaps better yet, shoot back some witty response. Some people, like myself, half expect people to enjoy a vigorous attack on their system of beliefs, I know I enjoy a good exchange when people attack mine (always have, even when I was a Christian). It could come as a shock for them to find out how uncomfortable you were.

A formal debate might escalate things (or not, I've had some pretty in depth discussions about religion with my very religious boss, they were fun chats that mostly evolved into a discussion of the history of dogma and religious practices which I'm quite happy to objectively discuss) , but a smart and witty retort will almost always defuse the situation. I doubt they want actual confrontation any more than you do, it's amazing the situations that can be easily diffused with a few well selected words.

GiC, it's good to hear your thoughts on this as well.  I'm a Christian who believes in Evolution and however scientists eventually discover the universe was made, I believe it.  Personally, I don't think science and religion are contradictory to each other (unless you are a fundamentalist, which of course it then would be).  The overwhelming opinion among people anymore is that anyone who believes in a deity can't think for themselves, or outright rejects any type of scientific thought. 

Atheists certainly don't deserve to be harassed anymore than anyone else.  I don't mind others having totally different views on things than I do, I'm rather used to that.  Although this particular incident that I pointed out seems minor, I've had a history.  I've been spat on, had swastikas painted on my locker (when in high school) among other things.  I may live in a statistically 95% Catholic town, but that's just nominally.  However, maybe you're right that responding in a sarcastic or witty way could be the best answer. 

I suppose it's been about a year or so since I've had to deal with this and had gotten too comfortable with being under the radar. 

Thanks GiC and everyone else for your helpful advice!
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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2010, 01:59:29 AM »

Hi everyone.

I'm 22, and have always been a church-going individual.  This has forever caused ridicule from virtually everyone around me, and has especially made dating near impossible.  Now, I'm not the type of person that shoves religion in people's faces, not at all.  See, I live in a small town, and am graduating from college this December (never left this small town).  Recently, someone mentioned to my boss that I am religious (the person who told my boss has known me my whole life).  This past Sunday, two of my co-workers began bashing religion while I was around them.  I cannot help but think this is a direct insult to me.  I don't deny my faith when people ask if I go to Church or have a faith, but will I ever get away from this?  I do plan on moving away for work (I live in PA, not too many jobs here) once I graduate. 

I'm not sure what I'm asking here, it has simply worn me down and caused me mental pain for years.  Anyone else had similar experiences?

I know just what your going through.  In high school, people are rebelling against conservitive society, descovering their sexuallity, experimenting with drugs, etc.  at school, I'm known as the "religous freak"  by a radical atheistic "your wring and I'm right" guy. I have beliefs, and people object to me not participating in an "alternitave lifestyle", and for being a momma's boy, etc. But they can have more liberal "lifestyles" and I'm forced to accept them. 

this country has become to "anything goes and if you don't like it..." 

 
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« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2010, 02:15:46 AM »

Hi everyone.

I'm 22, and have always been a church-going individual.  This has forever caused ridicule from virtually everyone around me, and has especially made dating near impossible.  Now, I'm not the type of person that shoves religion in people's faces, not at all.  See, I live in a small town, and am graduating from college this December (never left this small town).  Recently, someone mentioned to my boss that I am religious (the person who told my boss has known me my whole life).  This past Sunday, two of my co-workers began bashing religion while I was around them.  I cannot help but think this is a direct insult to me.  I don't deny my faith when people ask if I go to Church or have a faith, but will I ever get away from this?  I do plan on moving away for work (I live in PA, not too many jobs here) once I graduate. 

I'm not sure what I'm asking here, it has simply worn me down and caused me mental pain for years.  Anyone else had similar experiences?

I know just what your going through.  In high school, people are rebelling against conservitive society, descovering their sexuallity, experimenting with drugs, etc.  at school, I'm known as the "religous freak"  by a radical atheistic "your wring and I'm right" guy. I have beliefs, and people object to me not participating in an "alternitave lifestyle", and for being a momma's boy, etc. But they can have more liberal "lifestyles" and I'm forced to accept them. 

this country has become to "anything goes and if you don't like it..." 

You do know that you're just as free to make fun of them as they are of you? Right?
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« Reply #15 on: May 21, 2010, 02:24:12 AM »

Hi everyone.

I'm 22, and have always been a church-going individual.  This has forever caused ridicule from virtually everyone around me, and has especially made dating near impossible.  Now, I'm not the type of person that shoves religion in people's faces, not at all.  See, I live in a small town, and am graduating from college this December (never left this small town).  Recently, someone mentioned to my boss that I am religious (the person who told my boss has known me my whole life).  This past Sunday, two of my co-workers began bashing religion while I was around them.  I cannot help but think this is a direct insult to me.  I don't deny my faith when people ask if I go to Church or have a faith, but will I ever get away from this?  I do plan on moving away for work (I live in PA, not too many jobs here) once I graduate. 

I'm not sure what I'm asking here, it has simply worn me down and caused me mental pain for years.  Anyone else had similar experiences?

I know just what your going through.  In high school, people are rebelling against conservitive society, descovering their sexuallity, experimenting with drugs, etc.  at school, I'm known as the "religous freak"  by a radical atheistic "your wring and I'm right" guy. I have beliefs, and people object to me not participating in an "alternitave lifestyle", and for being a momma's boy, etc. But they can have more liberal "lifestyles" and I'm forced to accept them. 

this country has become to "anything goes and if you don't like it..." 

You do know that you're just as free to make fun of them as they are of you? Right?

Would that make things better then?
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« Reply #16 on: May 21, 2010, 02:25:56 AM »

Hi everyone.

I'm 22, and have always been a church-going individual.  This has forever caused ridicule from virtually everyone around me, and has especially made dating near impossible.  Now, I'm not the type of person that shoves religion in people's faces, not at all.  See, I live in a small town, and am graduating from college this December (never left this small town).  Recently, someone mentioned to my boss that I am religious (the person who told my boss has known me my whole life).  This past Sunday, two of my co-workers began bashing religion while I was around them.  I cannot help but think this is a direct insult to me.  I don't deny my faith when people ask if I go to Church or have a faith, but will I ever get away from this?  I do plan on moving away for work (I live in PA, not too many jobs here) once I graduate. 

I'm not sure what I'm asking here, it has simply worn me down and caused me mental pain for years.  Anyone else had similar experiences?

I know just what your going through.  In high school, people are rebelling against conservitive society, descovering their sexuallity, experimenting with drugs, etc.  at school, I'm known as the "religous freak"  by a radical atheistic "your wring and I'm right" guy. I have beliefs, and people object to me not participating in an "alternitave lifestyle", and for being a momma's boy, etc. But they can have more liberal "lifestyles" and I'm forced to accept them. 

this country has become to "anything goes and if you don't like it..." 

You do know that you're just as free to make fun of them as they are of you? Right?

Would that make things better then?
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« Reply #17 on: May 21, 2010, 02:44:50 AM »

Hi everyone.

I'm 22, and have always been a church-going individual.  This has forever caused ridicule from virtually everyone around me, and has especially made dating near impossible.  Now, I'm not the type of person that shoves religion in people's faces, not at all.  See, I live in a small town, and am graduating from college this December (never left this small town).  Recently, someone mentioned to my boss that I am religious (the person who told my boss has known me my whole life).  This past Sunday, two of my co-workers began bashing religion while I was around them.  I cannot help but think this is a direct insult to me.  I don't deny my faith when people ask if I go to Church or have a faith, but will I ever get away from this?  I do plan on moving away for work (I live in PA, not too many jobs here) once I graduate. 

I'm not sure what I'm asking here, it has simply worn me down and caused me mental pain for years.  Anyone else had similar experiences?

I know just what your going through.  In high school, people are rebelling against conservitive society, descovering their sexuallity, experimenting with drugs, etc.  at school, I'm known as the "religous freak"  by a radical atheistic "your wring and I'm right" guy. I have beliefs, and people object to me not participating in an "alternitave lifestyle", and for being a momma's boy, etc. But they can have more liberal "lifestyles" and I'm forced to accept them. 

this country has become to "anything goes and if you don't like it..." 

You do know that you're just as free to make fun of them as they are of you? Right?

Would that make things better then?

I guess that would depend on your rhetorical skill.

Winning always makes things better.
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« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2010, 07:56:26 AM »

In high school, people are rebelling against conservitive society, descovering their sexuallity, experimenting with drugs, etc.  at school, I'm known as the "religous freak"  by a radical atheistic "your wring and I'm right" guy. I have beliefs, and people object to me not participating in an "alternitave lifestyle", and for being a momma's boy, etc. But they can have more liberal "lifestyles" and I'm forced to accept them.
 
this country has become to "anything goes and if you don't like it..."  
You do know that you're just as free to make fun of them as they are of you? Right?
Would that make things better then?
I guess that would depend on your rhetorical skill.

Winning always makes things better.

I don't know about that. I can't say that my rhetorical skill is all that high, but I am not a complete pushover either. Yet, I could never win any argument with militant atheists. First of all, I was never in a situation where I am with one of them "one on one." It's always a group of them, at least two, against me. Second, I have never felt that any reasoning, any rational argument would convince them; their opinion that there is no God and this whole religion thing is stupid is PREFORMED and immutable. No atheist ever really "argues," no atheist ever engages in any "discourse." Ultimately, I think, what gives them power in "discussions" (in fact, pontifications) with us, is the society, the overwhelming support of the Western increasingly "cafeteria religion-style" societal mentality. At some point of any conversation with them, I always begin to think that in a second or in a minute or in five minutes they will still say, "WHATEVER, you say this and I don't believe it and it all depends on what the definition of "is" is, and la-la-la-la-la." Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2010, 06:54:36 PM »

Winning always makes things better.

I don't buy it.  Undecided
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« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2010, 07:01:43 PM »

In high school, people are rebelling against conservitive society, descovering their sexuallity, experimenting with drugs, etc.  at school, I'm known as the "religous freak"  by a radical atheistic "your wring and I'm right" guy. I have beliefs, and people object to me not participating in an "alternitave lifestyle", and for being a momma's boy, etc. But they can have more liberal "lifestyles" and I'm forced to accept them.
 
this country has become to "anything goes and if you don't like it..."  
You do know that you're just as free to make fun of them as they are of you? Right?
Would that make things better then?
I guess that would depend on your rhetorical skill.

Winning always makes things better.

I don't know about that. I can't say that my rhetorical skill is all that high, but I am not a complete pushover either. Yet, I could never win any argument with militant atheists. First of all, I was never in a situation where I am with one of them "one on one." It's always a group of them, at least two, against me. Second, I have never felt that any reasoning, any rational argument would convince them; their opinion that there is no God and this whole religion thing is stupid is PREFORMED and immutable. No atheist ever really "argues," no atheist ever engages in any "discourse." Ultimately, I think, what gives them power in "discussions" (in fact, pontifications) with us, is the society, the overwhelming support of the Western increasingly "cafeteria religion-style" societal mentality. At some point of any conversation with them, I always begin to think that in a second or in a minute or in five minutes they will still say, "WHATEVER, you say this and I don't believe it and it all depends on what the definition of "is" is, and la-la-la-la-la." Smiley

But the people you are speaking of tend to be intellectuals, actual atheists, not just the non-religious people you typically see. I'd be willing to bet that most the people discussed in this thread aren't even atheists, just nominally religious or 'spiritual' people or, at best, indifferent to the claims of religion (though possibly hostile to religion itself). Not everyone is so fortunate as to keep the company you keep. Wink
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« Reply #21 on: May 21, 2010, 09:06:10 PM »

I have had many arguments with 'militant' atheists and yes I do feel better once it's over.  I'm not a push-over and I didn't mean to give that vibe either.  Intellectual atheists and I actually get along just fine, about 3 friends of mine are just that.  It's the anti-religion people who are just as bad as any bigot that I have a problem with.  An intellectual theological discussion is something I am always up for, but it's quite hard to argue with someone who screams in your face that I am an idiot for believing in God.  Fact is, believing or not believing doesn't make you more or less intelligent (as some of the aforementioned bigots have claimed).  If this were true, then there never really were that many smart people in the world to begin with.

Also, although I've had things done to me by some, I've never had to worry about having a bomb placed under my hood.  Nor have I had to ever worry about the government knocking down my door, killing me and my family because of religion. 

I just wanted to get that out there though.  Intellectual debates are wonderful, no matter who it is with.  Bigoted yelling that have no critical thought to it is just irritating, no matter what side it comes from. 
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