Go Back   Freethought Forum > The Amphitheater > The Atrium

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #26  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:12 PM
specious_reasons's Avatar
specious_reasons specious_reasons is offline
here to bore you with pictures
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: MMCDXXIX
Images: 8
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I felt a lot of pressure to convert in college, social pressure from the religious crowd I wound up hanging out with.

I have a few stories to tell, mostly about the fact that it was very awkward being a non-religious person amongst very evangelical, very enthusiastic Christians. People who had a tendency to get into prayer circles and pray loudly as a part of a social event.

On the positive side, it made me understand my own atheism better, starting from an angsty teen anger as it did.

Even so, I was tempted, very closely, once. I had been dumped by my first love, because I wasn't a Christian. The temptation to convert was not immediate, but more an effect of my despondency. I was feeling particularly blue one day, and was approached by another Christian friend, who felt the need to give me a message from God!

I was very tempted, right at that point to convert. I walked away feeling pretty good about myself, maybe God had given me a message...
... in the form of a story and a Biblical phrase which had little to do with what I was actually feeling ... can't even remember it now.

In afterthought, I realized I felt that way because a friend reached out to me when he saw that I was down. It was a common human reaction, and the content of the "message from God" was the very least important aspect of it. The message certainly didn't solve my problem (getting the girl back, or getting over it), nor my overall depression, nor could I apply it to anything in my recent past or near future.

It still is a beautiful moment in my memory, but a beautiful human moment. Haven't been tempted since, and over time became more apathetic to the evangelizing.
__________________
ta-
DAVE!!!
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Kevlar (08-26-2009), The Man (09-25-2009)
  #27  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:32 PM
Kevlar's Avatar
Kevlar Kevlar is offline
ABV: 15% IBU: 150
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Portland, Oregon
Gender: Male
Posts: MMMCDL
Images: 15
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

Quote:
Originally Posted by specious_reasons View Post
I felt a lot of pressure to convert in college, social pressure from the religious crowd I wound up hanging out with.

I have a few stories to tell, mostly about the fact that it was very awkward being a non-religious person amongst very evangelical, very enthusiastic Christians. People who had a tendency to get into prayer circles and pray loudly as a part of a social event.

On the positive side, it made me understand my own atheism better, starting from an angsty teen anger as it did.

Even so, I was tempted, very closely, once. I had been dumped by my first love, because I wasn't a Christian. The temptation to convert was not immediate, but more an effect of my despondency. I was feeling particularly blue one day, and was approached by another Christian friend, who felt the need to give me a message from God!

I was very tempted, right at that point to convert. I walked away feeling pretty good about myself, maybe God had given me a message...
... in the form of a story and a Biblical phrase which had little to do with what I was actually feeling ... can't even remember it now.

In afterthought, I realized I felt that way because a friend reached out to me when he saw that I was down. It was a common human reaction, and the content of the "message from God" was the very least important aspect of it. The message certainly didn't solve my problem (getting the girl back, or getting over it), nor my overall depression, nor could I apply it to anything in my recent past or near future.

It still is a beautiful moment in my memory, but a beautiful human moment. Haven't been tempted since, and over time became more apathetic to the evangelizing.
You know, we should talk!

Getting in a circle, singing strangely happy songs, crying, praying in tongues and interpreting it, anointing with olive oil, washing each others feet, casting out demons, lengthening legs, slaying each other in the spirit... does any of that sound familiar? It's almost like they were acting like the pagans the Christians were trying to kill 1000 years ago.

I don't meet many people that grew up in that crowd so it's a little hard to explain...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
I'm sorry Kev, sucks all around. :(

However, might I add that being "different" isn't necessarily damaging, and can actually help you teach your kids empathy, tolerance, etc. (I was the kid with the Liberal hippy parents in conservative churchville)

You just need to explain to them that some people, including your family members, are intolerant of those that believe/look/act differently than they do, and that one can create their own family. Perhaps you have a lonely elderly neighbor you can adopt (our neighbors are honorary grandparents) or maybe they have an adopt a grandparent program at a local retirement home or something?

Also, can I ask: Are the kids really suffering, or are you suffering and sort of projecting that onto them? It hurts to be rejected by family, as I know from my in-laws...but finding coping mechanisms for yourself as well as your family may help you all grow closer and strengthen you as a unit.

I cope by going on the offensive. You want access to me or my kid, you don't cross the lines I set. If you don't care enough about us to follow my rules, fuck you I don't need you in my life. Plenty of people think we're just swell.
Wow, that is some great advice. :bow:
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:42 PM
Kael's Avatar
Kael Kael is offline
the internet says I'm right
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Western U.S.
Gender: Male
Posts: VMCDXV
Blog Entries: 11
Images: 23
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

Not really any religious pressure from my family, my side has all moved away from church for one reason or another, though both my parents still profess a strong belief. My mother is particularly spiritual which can make it awkward sometimes when the staunch naturalist in me come out. We were talking the other day and my brother brought up one of those dumb 'paranormal investigations' shows. Despite not caring at all about that particular show, my mother gave me quite the look when I unsubtly expressed my opinion that it was a load of bullshit. Then she and my brother talked to me about how 'it's all connected'. That was fun.

Not really sure what my wife and I will do though, we're kind of playing it by ear. She knows I don't believe anymore, and have no interest or motivation to go back to it, but I'm often not too sure how she really feels about it. Her parents are still very religious, especially her mother. I doubt her mother knows I'm an atheist, since there hasn't been any explosion of impassioned speeches of hellfire interspersed with tearful pleading for our salvation. Actually my wife has suffered through a number of those from her mother, ever since she was little. Her mother is one of those 'christians' who seems to believe the way they see things is the way God sees things, and any other way is the devil tempting people away. She's fun to deal with, let me tell you.
__________________
For Science!
Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
inland wave (08-27-2009), Kevlar (08-25-2009)
  #29  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:43 PM
godfry n. glad's Avatar
godfry n. glad godfry n. glad is offline
rude, crude, lewd, and unsophisticated
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Puddle City, Cascadia
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMMDCCXCV
Images: 12
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

Kev...

There are lots of people in the world. Some of them have no grandparents. I had only a brief, and somewhat imperious, presence of grandparents in my life....considering 50% were dead before I made the scene.

I think you should check around and find some surrogate grandparents. Y'know, geezers without grandkids.

Adopt some new grandparents for your kids. Get a better model.
__________________
:wcat: :ecat:
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Caligulette (08-26-2009), Deadlokd (08-27-2009), Kevlar (08-25-2009), The Man (09-25-2009)
  #30  
Old 08-25-2009, 11:56 PM
erimir's Avatar
erimir erimir is offline
Projecting my phallogos with long, hard diction
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dee Cee
Gender: Male
Posts: XMMDCXC
Images: 11
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I never gave much thought to my grandparents as opposed to how other people's grandparents were. Both of my grandfathers were dead before I was born, and my mother's mother lived in Sweden, and I only remember meeting her once (after she was already quite old and infirm, due to emphysema among other things) and there were strained relations there related to my mother moving to the US. My father's mother was the only one I was familiar with, and she wasn't the most child-friendly grandmother (she didn't enjoy playing games nor was she always cooking for us, etc.) and as she aged and had Alzheimer's she could often be quite unpleasant.

Looking back it would've been nice to have a more fun grandmother and to have known my grandfathers, etc.

But I was never particularly concerned with how other people's grandparents were or feel that there was something wrong with me because I didn't know all of mine or my grandmother wasn't doting, etc.

I guess my point is that your children won't necessarily feel the way you're afraid they might.
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Kevlar (08-26-2009)
  #31  
Old 08-26-2009, 01:29 AM
Doctor X Doctor X is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: XMVCCCIII
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I stopped getting questions and pressure when members started disappearing.






What?

--J.D.
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
LadyShea (08-26-2009)
  #32  
Old 08-26-2009, 01:44 AM
viscousmemories's Avatar
viscousmemories viscousmemories is offline
Admin
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Austin, TX
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMXLXXX
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 9
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

It crosses my mind from time to time that it would be a good way to meet women, but it passes quickly when I remember what kind of women.
__________________
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
beyelzu (08-27-2009), Caligulette (08-26-2009), Deadlokd (08-27-2009), JoeP (08-26-2009), Kevlar (08-26-2009), Megatron (08-26-2009), The Man (09-25-2009)
  #33  
Old 08-26-2009, 01:45 AM
Doctor X Doctor X is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: XMVCCCIII
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

The ones who scream "Oh GOD!" a lot?:whatthe:

--J.D.
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
beyelzu (08-27-2009)
  #34  
Old 08-26-2009, 02:58 AM
Ymir's blood's Avatar
Ymir's blood Ymir's blood is offline
Coffin Creep
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: The nightmare realm
Posts: XXMXCCCLII
Images: 67
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I tried it for a short time in the mid to late 90s while trying to be more normal, searching for happiness. Stuck with it for a few months and then abruptly quit as soon as the preacher did a sermon on submitting one's self to the control of the church. Even so, I've never been able to believe in an afterlife.

At any rate, sacrificing who you are in order to find some form of peace or contentment is a major step in the wrong direction.

"It is better to be hated for what you are than loved for what you are not." - Andre Gide
__________________
Much of MADNESS, and more of SIN, and HORROR the soul of the plot.
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Caligulette (08-26-2009), JoeP (08-26-2009), Kevlar (08-26-2009), Legs (08-26-2009)
  #35  
Old 08-26-2009, 03:11 AM
Qingdai's Avatar
Qingdai Qingdai is offline
Dogehlaugher -Scrutari
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Northwest
Gender: Female
Posts: XVCLXXXVI
Images: 163
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I second the idea of adopting new "grandparents" some of my mom's close older friends are some of the best memories of have of "relatives."

It's not like there is a shortage of crazy older cat women around, you can borrow my mom!
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Kevlar (08-26-2009)
  #36  
Old 08-26-2009, 03:36 AM
wildernesse's Avatar
wildernesse wildernesse is offline
The cat that will listen
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Valley of the Sun
Gender: Female
Blog Entries: 6
Images: 3
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevlar View Post
Sure, that may cause cognitive dissonance, but can that be worse than a life of my children knowing very little of their grandparents?
Yes. Pretending to be something you are not for people who cannot accept you for who you are is worse than your children not knowing their grandparents. Many children do not know their grandparents or their parents, or have any kind of ideal relationships with those people.

Anyway, they don't want you to pretend, they want you to give it your all. Pretending gives no one what they want. Plus, if you are going to do a convincing job of it rather than just lie about it over the phone, then you are going to waste so much time doing stuff you don't want to do. Life is short.

Being rejected by your family because of your lack of belief is not as bad as selling out for some peace. Heck, it doesn't even guarantee that you will get some peace--I still am evangelized to by family members, because I am a member of the UMC.
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
LadyShea (08-26-2009)
  #37  
Old 08-26-2009, 03:39 AM
specious_reasons's Avatar
specious_reasons specious_reasons is offline
here to bore you with pictures
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: MMCDXXIX
Images: 8
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

Quote:
Originally Posted by viscousmemories View Post
It crosses my mind from time to time that it would be a good way to meet women, but it passes quickly when I remember what kind of women.
I think for a lot of people, religion doesn't matter, but dating a hardcore Christian when you're not is a big, big mistake. Sadly, it took me a couple more tries to figure that one out.

My personal favorite was the lady who was way too hot for this meager geek. First she told me that she was willing to date non-Christians, then she told me she'd never date me because I'd dated a friend of hers. She emphatically insisted no sex before marriage, but gave me a good night kiss that literally had me stumbling home.
__________________
ta-
DAVE!!!

Last edited by specious_reasons; 08-26-2009 at 03:58 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 08-26-2009, 04:25 AM
godfry n. glad's Avatar
godfry n. glad godfry n. glad is offline
rude, crude, lewd, and unsophisticated
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Puddle City, Cascadia
Gender: Male
Posts: XXMMDCCXCV
Images: 12
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Qingdai View Post
I second the idea of adopting new "grandparents" some of my mom's close older friends are some of the best memories of have of "relatives."

It's not like there is a shortage of crazy older cat women around, you can borrow my mom!
Because my mother was nuts, and institutionalized half of my pre-adult life, I was always checking out surrogate mothers....y'know, for when mine was dysfunctional.

Let me tell you, her friends and my family acquaintances never measured up. However, I had a couple of friends' parents who did. With one, I still maintain contact. Had I had children, she would have welcomed them all...despite having four children, she has only one grandchild.
__________________
:wcat: :ecat:
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Caligulette (08-26-2009)
  #39  
Old 08-26-2009, 07:02 PM
Caligulette's Avatar
Caligulette Caligulette is offline
lumpy proletariat
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Specific Northwest
Gender: Female
Posts: MVCCCXXIII
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I grew up with a nominally Christian (Catholic) mother and series of her mostly Christian boyfriends. I never really "got it", though I did like the Olde Jewes in our life - who seemed to have been there all throughout. That seemed a good way to be.

For a while in my early adulthood I tried very hard to be Catholic - went to Catechism and everything, until a priest said, "You know, Caligulette, you don't have to be Catholic." Sweet relief! But I still thought I *should* be something religious. I made a Conservative Jewish Conversion in my late 20's. There was a lot I liked about it, there was some stuff I did not (other people who were rather hardline Right, politically speaking). What I liked most was the discussion. Man, we're a talky people. Eventually I think I talked myself out of the Judaism. Starting with having quibbles with the nature (if you will) of God and then the main question, of course, is there such a creature? Seems not.

Now I feel fine.

My aunt - very Baptist- and my Dad - just Generally Christian - fear for my soul. They've said so, but they don't press the issue. I know my aunt in particular is distressed by my not-Christian-ness, but she doesn't let it stand in the way of being nice to me.

My mom is returning to a weird Catholicism mixed with cats and fairies. I can't explain it. But she still loves me.

Trying to blackmail people into spirituality - or lack of it - of any sort is wrong. I hope my kid is an atheist when he grows up, but if not I will always welcome him, his partner, and kids if he has any. I cannot imagine rejecting people on that basis. It is just inhumane.
__________________
Blogitybloo!
:shaketrotsky:
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Kael (08-26-2009), Kevlar (08-26-2009), LadyShea (08-26-2009), SharonDee (08-26-2009), The Man (09-25-2009), Ymir's blood (08-27-2009)
  #40  
Old 08-26-2009, 07:24 PM
Adam's Avatar
Adam Adam is offline
Vice Cobra Assistant Commander
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Indianapolis, IN, USA
Posts: XMVDCCXLIX
Images: 29
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I was going to say "no" to the question in the OP, but then I saw this...

Quote:
...a weird Catholicism mixed with cats and fairies...
...and now I think I want to convert.
__________________
"Trans Am Jesus" is "what hanged me"
ARMORED HOT DOG
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Caligulette (08-26-2009), Demimonde (08-26-2009), Kael (08-26-2009), livius drusus (08-26-2009), Pinecone (08-26-2009), Sock Puppet (08-26-2009), Stormlight (08-27-2009), The Man (09-25-2009), Ymir's blood (08-27-2009)
  #41  
Old 08-26-2009, 07:24 PM
Kevlar's Avatar
Kevlar Kevlar is offline
ABV: 15% IBU: 150
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Portland, Oregon
Gender: Male
Posts: MMMCDL
Images: 15
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

Wow, there are some very good posts in this thread. I am finding it extremely interesting to read all the different experiences with religion and how people deal with them.

Now there are a couple of things I didn't mention yet about my very complex, sordid situation. My mom has other issues, like Asperger's, so I try not to get mad at her for the OCD stuff. But she pretty much falls in line with my Dad, and he is the one always quoting me some Bible verse about walking hand-in-hand with Jesus. He interprets it to mean that he shouldn't be close to anyone who is not close to Jesus. I can tell my Mom would like to break through the barriers, she just doesn't know how.

Now, my brother, who is much more autistic than my mom, pays their religion lip service in a blatantly crude way. He is older than me and has never gotten over basic childhood jealousies, so he sees it as a way to curry their favor and isolate me (and it works).

So, I'm really up against more than just the religion, which is pretty much just my Dad's ego trip. Which is what's making the "lip service" option so attractive sometimes.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 08-26-2009, 08:45 PM
Plant Woman Plant Woman is offline
Done
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: XMCLVI
Blog Entries: 2
Images: 26
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I don't know if the family dynamics will go away if you pay them lip service. I'm doubtful, because religion oftentimes is the tool, not the tooler.

I finally came to the conclusion that my real family was my daughter and husband, well at least back then. Now it's my daughter and although there is some contact with my family, I don't try to be too involved with them.
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Caligulette (08-26-2009), Kevlar (08-27-2009), LadyShea (08-26-2009)
  #43  
Old 08-26-2009, 08:48 PM
Caligulette's Avatar
Caligulette Caligulette is offline
lumpy proletariat
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Specific Northwest
Gender: Female
Posts: MVCCCXXIII
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

What PlantWoman said.

It just sounds like an opportunity to be sucked into another vicious squabble.
__________________
Blogitybloo!
:shaketrotsky:
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 08-26-2009, 09:19 PM
Dingfod's Avatar
Dingfod Dingfod is offline
Gone Guy
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: In a Hole
Gender: Male
Posts: XLMMDCLIII
Blog Entries: 21
Images: 92
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I'm so used to standard American measurements, converting to metrics would be very hard, but if I had to I think I could do it.
__________________
Sleep - the most beautiful experience in life - except drink.--W.C. Fields
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 08-26-2009, 11:32 PM
Demimonde's Avatar
Demimonde Demimonde is offline
an angry unicorn or a non-murdering leprechaun
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Edge of Society
Gender: Female
Posts: VMMCDLXI
Blog Entries: 5
Images: 28
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I grew up secular, but my Dad's side of the family was religious in a lip service way. In practice they were assholes. While he was alive, he did the best he could to keep the peace in the family, without involving us in the disputes. He was the peacemaker in that insane asylum of a family. We, (my brother and I,) were still affected by the guilt/shame techniques they used for manipulation, as well as the effects of having conditional love waved at you like a carrot. Or used as a stick.

Religion wasn't really the issue. I could recount moments that were painful/religious, but there were plenty that were just plain painful. Hateful people are hateful regardless of what they do on Sundays. It was only a symptom of a deeper problem.

Before my dad died, he told us that the family would reject us, they would be no help to us, and we would be better off cutting ourselves off from them. He told us he had raised us to be independant people, and that we would have to go it alone. We thought he was being morbid, fearing the worst at the end is common, and tried to tell him that they would take great care of us, not to worry.

Father in this case totally knew best. It got really really ugly after he died. Sparing the sordid details, we did stop communicating with them. It was easier than I ever imagined. We stopped calling them, and *poof* they were out of our lives. They only contacted us once, for money, and then it was done. I haven't seen them since.

Here's the fucked up thing though, I am still sometimes ashamed that I was "unloveable" to them, even to this day. Rationally, I know they were incapable of love, but the emotional scars are still there. Additionally, some of the garbage they fed me as a kid still messes me up at times. In hindsight, I know it ate my Dad alive his entire life, and I am both sorry that he lived with it and glad to have escaped it in my adult life.

In my situation, and all situations of course are not equal, I would have rather my father cut me off from them as a child and spared me the emotional damage I got from them over the years. They never helped me learn or grow. They never stood as role models. They never gave me a shred of love that was not conditional or without strings. The pain of losing my Dad was actually easier for me to handle than the rejection/abandonment of his family.

I suppose that is partly why he was never able to cut the ties himself. He always hoped it would get better, that by reaching out and helping them he could make them into better people. It was too painful to face that his mother and siblings were incapable of giving love. Only on his deathbed did he realize that would never ever happen. And he did the kindest possible thing for us he could have done. He gave us permission to run.

The ties that bind families are really strong. Sometimes - there is real love. I have been fortunate enough to see it in other families. Always - there are cultural expectations. Honor thy mother and thy father. We are enculturated to believe that if we don't love our parents/families something is wrong with us. Even though rationally we know that some relationships are not healthy, to be the one to actively cut the family tie is one of the strongest taboos that exist. The guilt and shame over hating a family member can be excruciating to some. Our subconscious tells us that a "good" person wouldn't feel that way, and definately wouldn't act on it, and heaps on the guilt and shame. Often this inner critic sounds a lot like the family member.

I am so glad that my dad had the guts to tell us to run. Later on, that 'permission' gave us the strength to act. I shudder to think where I would be if I hadn't cut them out of my life.

My situation isn't the same as your kids'. But I wish someone had been able to tell my dad these things earlier. Not just for me and my brother. I wish he had been able to spend some more of the precious few years he had left in better pursuits than trying to change his family into a loving one. He died so young, and wasted so much time agonizing over their problems and issues. There were better things he could have done. He was able to come to his peace at the end. I just wish that peace could have been his sooner.
__________________
:boobkicker:
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Caligulette (08-28-2009), Crumb (08-27-2009), Garnet (08-27-2009), Kevlar (08-27-2009), LadyShea (08-27-2009), livius drusus (08-27-2009), Sock Puppet (08-27-2009), The Man (09-25-2009), Ymir's blood (08-28-2009)
  #46  
Old 08-26-2009, 11:52 PM
Plant Woman Plant Woman is offline
Done
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: XMCLVI
Blog Entries: 2
Images: 26
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

Demi, Well said and touching story.

Your father had a lot of guilt his family bestowed upon him. It's a hard one to get rid of when you are brainwashed in that religion. I would say he loved them to the end, but recognized them for who they really were. His passing on that wisdom was good.

Somewhere in this forum is the story of my ordeal when I took care of my father before he died and how my dysfunctional Christian family "helped". I kept a journal of it here and it is a reminder that just because they are Christians, doesn't mean they are good or kind people. I would almost say that there are many that use it as a crutch for their dysfunction, or a weapon, or to place power over each other.
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Demimonde (08-27-2009)
  #47  
Old 08-27-2009, 12:33 AM
lisarea's Avatar
lisarea lisarea is offline
Solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: XVMCDIX
Blog Entries: 1
Images: 3
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I wasn't raised religious, so I guess I'm lucky that way. My mother's family wasn't judgmentally religious (my grandfather was pretty much agnostic, and my grandmother was apparently very religious, but in a kind of mellow, private way.) We were pretty close with them. I used to spend summers on their farm, and I knew a bunch of my cousins and all that.

My dad's family was Catholic. We knew his parents but not we didn't see them nearly as often, and my dad I think hid our lack of religion from them. I did like my Grandpa Heine, but we weren't really close. And apart from my grandparents, I barely remember the rest of his family at all. I don't even know who's alive and who's dead. Don't remember my cousins' names, but I think there were two of them. I really haven't been curious, even. They're just some people I don't have much in common with, not unlike the eleventy bajillion other people out there I don't have much in common with.

We were just closer with the people who were more accepting of us, and who we had more in common with, family or not.

And my childhood family are all very close. We always were, and we still talk and email all the time, we help each other out, and visit each other and stuff whenever we can. And every time I hear someone talk about their intolerant religious families, I almost feel guilty that my life has been so apparently charmed. I've never dealt with that, so it freaks me out a little to think that people have such unsupportive families.

But if my parents had tried to stay in my dad's family's good graces, I probably would relate a little better. I probably would have had to go to church and I would have believed those terrifying religious stories they believed, and I'd probably have ended up miserable like so many other people I've known, including, I believe, my dad's family. One thing I do remember about them is that most of them didn't seem like happy people.

I'm sure this was hard on my dad, growing up a nice Catholic boy--a momma's boy no less--and then ending up sort of estranged from his family. It probably would have been easier for him to take us to church and raise us Catholic, but he didn't. And I'm glad, because it seems he would have just put all that onto us if he had.

I won't pretend to know what's right for you, but I can say I appreciate that my dad made the choices he did.
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
Caligulette (08-28-2009), Kael (08-27-2009), Kevlar (08-27-2009), LadyShea (08-27-2009), The Man (09-25-2009), Ymir's blood (08-28-2009)
  #48  
Old 08-28-2009, 12:17 AM
biochemgirl's Avatar
biochemgirl biochemgirl is offline
ninja mother
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Iowa
Gender: Female
Posts: MMMCMIX
Blog Entries: 7
Images: 46
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

I never miss any of the religion aspect but I do miss the sense of community from belonging to a church. Granted not all churches have that but the one I went to growing up did. I think you see that a lot more in the rural areas like we live in too. Everyone lives so spread out that the church is really probably more of a way to socialize.
__________________

Don't make me break out my ninja powers..

:llamaninja:
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 08-28-2009, 12:17 AM
Kevlar's Avatar
Kevlar Kevlar is offline
ABV: 15% IBU: 150
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Portland, Oregon
Gender: Male
Posts: MMMCDL
Images: 15
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

Here is a perfect example of my mom. She finds out that I get let go at my job through FaceBook (ok, I know most mom's would be pissed about that, so I'll accept she deserves to vent a little), she emails me this a couple of days later:

Quote:
10 MARKS OF A MENTOR
=====================

1. SOMEONE WHO HAS WHAT YOU PERSONALLY DESIRE.
A nun won't find a good mentor in a prostitute. A man who rides
the bus is not likely to make a good mentor on maintaining your
vehicle? A single, childless woman cannot from experience tell
you about enduring issues in your marriage and family?

2. SOMEONE WHO CULTIVATES RELATIONSHIP.
A mentor will be available for you. A mentor will take a
personal interest in your life and keep your best interest at
heart.

3. SOMEONE WILLING TO TAKE A CHANCE ON YOU.
A mentor knows that you have issues. A mentor is willing to
walk with you as you grow to higher levels. They will keep your
business between the two of you and not use your situation to
make a public spectacle out of you. A mentor is a trusted
confidant.

4. SOMEONE WHO IS RESPECTED BY OTHER CHRISTIANS.
There's a difference between being liked and being respected.
A mentor may not be loved by everyone, but they will be
respected. Jesus was hated and respected at the same time.

5. SOMEONE WHO HAS A NETWORK OF RESOURCES.
What can two broke folks do together? A mentor will have more
than just money. When a network of resources are available,
money is a small matter. Remember: "It's not what you know, but
who you know and what and who they know."

6. SOMEONE WHO IS CONSULTED BY OTHERS.
If you are the only person mentored and seeking to be mentored
by this person, this person is NOT your mentor. The best
restaurants will always have a line and a wait. If the food
wasn't good, folks wouldn't invest their valuable time standing
in line waiting to be served. Be careful with those who don't
have anything to do but talk to you. Likewise, be patient with
those who have others to serve. YOU are not the only one with
problems. The world does not revolve around you. God will make
certain options unavailable to you if HE desires to commune
with you alone. Your problem may indeed lie on your dependence
of flesh. You may have made your mentor into your idol.

7. SOMEONE WHO BOTH TALKS AND LISTENS.
A mentor will hear where you are and speak to your destination.
They maintain a line of communication.

8. SOMEONE WITH A CONSISTENT LIFESTYLE.
A mentor will not counsel you on fornication on their way to
the strip club. Their walk will line up with their talk.
They will be familiar with the taste of their own medicine.

9. SOMEONE WHO IS ABLE TO DIAGNOSE YOUR NEEDS.
A mentor knows where you are and is familiar with your
experiences and is able to point you to your destiny.

10. SOMEONE WHO IS CONCERNED WITH YOUR INTERESTS.
A mentor truly cares about YOU.

Those are 10 Things that You should look for in a Mentor .
But you must keep in mind that, just as every person will not
qualify to be your mentor, YOU will not qualify to be mentored
by every Mentor . So, don't take it personal.

Here are 5 THINGS A MENTOR WILL LOOK FOR:

1. GOAL ORIENTATION.
If you don't know where you want to go, no one is capable of
giving you direction. What do you want out of life?

2. SOMEONE SEEKING CHALLENGES.
You don't need a mentor to tell you when to come in out of the
rain. A mentor can only help you do what you cannot do on your
own.

3. SOMEONE WHO HAS INITIATIVE.
If you haven't tried on your own, why would help be offered?
Initiative has the right attitude. Negativity, fear and
ignorance are the fastest ways to turn someone OFF and usher
them out of your life.

4. EAGERNESS TO LEARN.
"An unteachable man is an unreachable man."
A mentor can never teach a lesson their mentee thinks he
already knows. A teachable spirit will take you further than a
"know-it-all" mentality.

5. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.
You've got to be responsible for your own actions and not
seeking someone to blame. Laziness and fault finding is a turn
off to anything or anyone positive with sights set on things
above.


You will have many mentors throughout the course of your life.
No one person will have all of the answers. You will have
mentors in various areas. God did not put ALL of what you'll
need in one person. It is vital that you maximize all of your
resources.

Make sure that you are a protege not a parasite!

A parasite wants what you have earned;
a protege wants what you have learned!

A parasite wants what's in your hand;
a protege wants what's in your heart!

That's all there was to the e-mail, just matter-of-fact, not signed, which tells my mom sent it (her and Dad share one email account). I think she's trying to tell me how to pick a good boss or something, mixed with a little admonishment for being a smart-ass (no denying that, but the parasite thing is a little harsh). But she knows how I feel about Christianity, and being insulted, and about glaringly bad logic... so it's hard not to get mad about it. Granted, I know she probably copied it from some mass e-mail...

It would be very easy for me to say (I have politician tendencies) to say "Praise Jesus! You are right", and then snicker under my breath. She would have no idea what that snicker meant, and probably see it as an affirmation anyway. Then she would be under my control... :muahaha:

Can you see the slippery slope here? This is why it's easy for me to understand why people take that road, especially since for most people it's not really a conscious choice as much as an emotional one. For to go the other way is to swim against the stream, so to speak... "It's hard for thee to kick against the pricks"
Reply With Quote
Thanks, from:
LadyShea (08-28-2009)
  #50  
Old 08-28-2009, 01:03 AM
livius drusus's Avatar
livius drusus livius drusus is offline
Admin of THIEVES and SLUGABEDS
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: LVCCCLXXII
Images: 5
Default Re: Do you ever want to convert?

That looks like a garden variety forward to me. How do you know it's a reference to your employment situation?
Reply With Quote
Reply

  Freethought Forum > The Amphitheater > The Atrium


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

 

All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:14 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Page generated in 0.94787 seconds with 13 queries