A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
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14-02-2010, 12:36 PM
 
A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
Hey, my name is Barack (Like Barack Obamba Tongue) from Israel.
I'm a Jew, but I'm an atheist, unlike most of the people in my country.

I have a question.
Well, I hate standing in the dark. Not being able to tell someone I'm an atheist is killing me. ;o
I would like to tell my family about it, but I'm afraid they would hate me.
My family isn't very religious, but they may still hate me, or get disappointed.
My question is - how did you tell your parents you're an atheist?

Second question - I've been thinking about moving to the USA in the future, but I had done a little research, and saw that USA's a religious state.
What does "religious state" mean? Is it like Iran? Because it sure doesn't look like Iran on the shows on TV. ;o

A small information about my country - in my country, also called "The Jewish Country" (>_>), we have to do the final exams on the last year of school, to be able to continue to the university.
One of the final exams is an exam about the bible. Which means that if you want to get higher education, you must know the bible very well, and even Christians who live in the USA (We got planty of Russians here Tongue) or atheists must study that bible. :|
Is it the same on the USA? Tongue

Thank you, and I hope I'll have a great time here, Barack.
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14-02-2010, 01:27 PM
 
RE: A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
Hey Barack, welcome to the forum. My parents are atheists, so I never had to "come out" and tell them. But I'll still give you my opinion.--- How much power do your parents have over your life? If you think it might mess up your plans, no sense cutting off your nose to spite your face. On the other hand, if you're just honest about your feelings without letting it feed in to an argument, then maybe it will help define yourself as an individual and no matter what the consequences, a more meaningful (possibly more difficult) journey may begin. If you take the first approach and skip the declaration, you can ask simple, honest, non provoking questions and be silently amused as you watch them try to explain something that can't be rationally explained. Personally, I'd try to muster up the courage and just be honest. At worst they can disown you, but more likely they'll get over it and learn to accept it.

I don't know where you did your research, but you better find another source. Some people call America a Christian nation, but they would be wrong to. A religious state is a country where the dominant religion acts in conjunction with the government to create policy. While some may argue, we don't technically do that here. There are laws separating church from state (although the boundaries seem to be blurred and negotiable in certain localities). But the main thing is, you can say and believe whatever you want--just don't try running for public office and be honest at the same time. Freedom seems to be valued over everything else in America, but the influence of superstition is still very strong.

Again, the separation between church and state prohibits the endorsement of any religion in a public school setting, so no. Learning about religion isn't required to graduate from the high school level or enter into college. Private education is different---they can do whatever they want.

I hope your questions were asked with sincerity--if so, I wouldn't want to insult honest inquiry--but it is a little disturbing to think that the population from a country so tied to the USA knows so little about who they're in bed with. Do other people you know talk about this or have similar questions? I'd be real curious to know. I'd also like to here what others here might think. Maybe I left something out or better clarification could be added.
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16-02-2010, 10:55 AM
 
RE: A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
What about the "god we trust" dollar?
What about the fact that atheists cannot be elected for president?
I can give you more reasons, but you can find all of them here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4fQA9mt-Mg

About telling my family I'm an atheist, I think I'll just "get out of the closet" and tell them. I hope they'll accept it. ;o

I made a mistake in my last post. I meant - "and even Christians (We got planty of Russians here Tongue) or atheists must study that bible.". Sorry about the confusion.
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16-02-2010, 12:36 PM
RE: A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
(14-02-2010 12:36 PM)HurricaneIL Wrote:  I have a question.
Well, I hate standing in the dark. Not being able to tell someone I'm an atheist is killing me. ;o
I would like to tell my family about it, but I'm afraid they would hate me.
My family isn't very religious, but they may still hate me, or get disappointed.
My question is - how did you tell your parents you're an atheist?

My family isn't very religious. My father kind of just figured it out on his own and never made a big deal of it. My mother cried a little when I first told her (I just walked into the room and said it), but other than that hasn't done anything.
I don't know your family, so I can't really comment on the best way to tell them. But good luck with it, whatever you decide.

Quote:Second question - I've been thinking about moving to the USA in the future, but I had done a little research, and saw that USA's a religious state.
What does "religious state" mean? Is it like Iran? Because it sure doesn't look like Iran on the shows on TV. ;o

The US isn't a religious state. In fact, the separation of church and state is one of the main ideas of our country. The government is not allowed to favor any religion over another.
Unfortunately, though, we have seen a recent upswing in religious idiocy. Kent Hovind and his son, Eric, are two "creation scientists" who are demanding that creation be taught in schools (or, alternately, evolution left out). Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort do the same. Recently we even saw the founding of a "creation museum", and many of our citizens have been deluded into thinking that the evidence actually goes against evolution.
So yes. There is religion here. Noisy, annoying, overbearing religion. But it has only as much power as you let it have. It can't get into the government, so as long as you ignore it, there's nothing it can do to you.

Quote:A small information about my country - in my country, also called "The Jewish Country" (>_>), we have to do the final exams on the last year of school, to be able to continue to the university.
One of the final exams is an exam about the bible. Which means that if you want to get higher education, you must know the bible very well, and even Christians who live in the USA (We got planty of Russians here Tongue) or atheists must study that bible. :|
Is it the same on the USA? Tongue

No. As above, there are no religious favors in governmental institutions here, and the vast majority of schools are federal institutions. An exam on the Bible, Qu'ran or Torah would be a violation of the separation of church and state (unless it was for a comparative religions course).

Quote:Thank you, and I hope I'll have a great time here, Barack.

Me too. Big Grin
(16-02-2010 10:55 AM)HurricaneIL Wrote:  What about the "god we trust" dollar?

Meh. It's just tradition. It's been around for a long time, and no one really cares enough to get rid of it.

Quote:What about the fact that atheists cannot be elected for president?

What law says this?

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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16-02-2010, 02:08 PM
 
RE: A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
Just man up and tell them already.
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18-02-2010, 04:58 AM (This post was last modified: 18-02-2010 05:36 AM by shiranl.)
RE: A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
Hey Barack, how you doing?

well, I'm Israeli-Jewish too, so I was in the same situation you are now. But for the sake of the others I'll be writing in English.

To tell you the truth, when I told my family about my belief they just said "This is the age", and didn't pay any tention to me. it has been for 3 years now that I "came out of the closet" and I think they starting to realize it won't change. I'll be 18 soon, so I think I still in the age they consider as confusing and my opinions are irelevent because of it. In one year or even 2 I think they'll understand this situation is going to stay.

I don't know how old are you, but I'm guessing you are around my age. Take into consider that you're parents will think that you're "too little" for knowing anything. So the process of understanding will be slow, but it'll be quiet and harmless.
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18-02-2010, 11:55 AM
 
RE: A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
Good for you shirani!--that's how you stand up for what you believe---and the fact that you "came out" around 14 years old gives you extra credit in my book. I would listen to this man Barack--he has already taken responsibility for his own mind. There are plenty of people of all ages that never do this and they are half alive. You want to get in the pool, I say jump right in---the water's fine. (let us know how it goes)
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18-02-2010, 12:22 PM
RE: A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
(18-02-2010 04:58 AM)shiranl Wrote:  Hey Barack, how you doing?

well, I'm Israeli-Jewish too, so I was in the same situation you are now. But for the sake of the others I'll be writing in English.

To tell you the truth, when I told my family about my belief they just said "This is the age", and didn't pay any tention to me. it has been for 3 years now that I "came out of the closet" and I think they starting to realize it won't change. I'll be 18 soon, so I think I still in the age they consider as confusing and my opinions are irelevent because of it. In one year or even 2 I think they'll understand this situation is going to stay.

I don't know how old are you, but I'm guessing you are around my age. Take into consider that you're parents will think that you're "too little" for knowing anything. So the process of understanding will be slow, but it'll be quiet and harmless.

Good for you, figuring it out so early - and actually being able to tell them. I only did it once I was sixteen.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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19-02-2010, 11:41 AM
RE: A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
I was really surprised you all were surprised that I understood this "so early". I'de never thought I was discovering this early, but then I tought about the country I live in.

here-we don't have citizen marriage, only religious one.
here- while all the secular people get draft at 18 (yes, girls too), the religious people don't have to join, by law.
here- we have 4(!) religious parties in the Kneset.

Israel is heaven for the religious forcing. The way from understanding this is worng to athiesm is short.
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19-02-2010, 12:34 PM
RE: A Jew from Israel + Telling someone you're an atheist
(19-02-2010 11:41 AM)shiranl Wrote:  I was really surprised you all were surprised that I understood this "so early".

Discovering it early? Dunno about that. But telling your parents so early - kudos on that.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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