Advice on a friend and a family member
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11-01-2012, 08:58 PM (This post was last modified: 11-01-2012 09:09 PM by bathrug.)
Advice on a friend and a family member
I guess as this is my first post , I should give a run down about myself .. well im English, married with 2 sons and was not brought up in any religious doctrine and I suppose you could say my family have always been atheist.

I like many have a facebook account and are constantly assaulted by " jesus loves you " message from friends and family, yet recently i have found this increasingly hard on 2 fronts ( hence the title ) yet decided that as they come from the same source i should put it in one post.

1. My cousin, I have been exceptionally close to her all her life, and she's had a hard time really by i guess her own actions as she became pregnant at 15 by the son of her mothers boyfriend... yes I know this is a topic in itself yet isn't really applicable in the quest for advice. Well as time has gone on .. she fell for a guy who was less than well behaved i guess ... and he made her pregnant just before he went to prison. During his term in prison she had her baby and he found Islam, her being the rather gullible woman she is .. decided that she would also convert to Islam, upon his release he came out of prison with a new Islamic name and then made her pregnant again. Now i know this seams to be the least moralistic thing you could possibly do, but needless to say ... he cheated on her then ended up back in prison once more. I cant tell people how to live their lives but since this event she has "turned from being a loving "non believer" to being a ha-jib wearing woman who is constantly flooding all her friends and family about " the power of allah" I think you know the type. And its getting rather exhausting as i love my cousin deeply yet all i want to do is scowl at her about how her departed father, my uncle would look at her with her mixed race children ( which is ok .. and not the point) but from a man who has ultimately brain washed her into a faith and her duty like all born again's is to push her belief onto everyone she knows. I wont answer my question yet .. as point two holds the same request.

2. my best friend to whom I have always been close to last year found out she was pregnant. and she was such a lovely girl yet in the US in comparison to my UK, and I was overjoyed for her. She wasn't a religious person in any means but unfortunately due to complications she lost one of the twins. The other was still viable ... yet as it came to the end of her term ... as she went to the doctors for her pre birth check it was discovered that the second twin had also died, I was horrified.. I didn't know what to say or do .. I felt lost that i couldn't console my friend So i passed on my condolences as it felt right to do so ... only to be presented a week or so later with her Facebook posts with pictures of her dead baby and a FLOOD of statements like " the lord god took him into his heart" and then progressively more and more pro-god posts. It became so much that I considered de-friending my friend of 20 years, not because she had offended me as her grief i belief had lead her with help from her community into a belief system in order for her to cope with her loss.

NOW ... the advice

I feel restricted and almost censored by my own " lack of belief" that i feel that my friends and family feel that THEY have the right to flood everyone with god yet I look at you tube etc .. and even when I find something of exceptional interest or scientific I hold back .. to all means afraid of offending those i love. I suppose the question is ... do many others suffer this same dilemma that as the great Hitch says " what gives them the right to suffer their god on to us" yet I as an atheist even in a country which is quite largely atheist to almost be in shame that in some way my lack of belief is unimportant yet there's is so righteous. I just feel i should SHOUT my lack of belief to the world ... I should show people the scientific PROOF that surrounds us .. yet in order to do so .. I would tell my cousin .. shes brainwashed and needs a reality slap, and how can i tell my friend that her children have died due to life, that it isnt fair... but the afterlife is an excuse. I didnt dare tell her that her bible says that children dont go to heaven.Sad
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11-01-2012, 09:42 PM
RE: Advice on a friend and a family member
I can't offer advice because I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with the same type of problem myself. Undecided
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11-01-2012, 09:55 PM
RE: Advice on a friend and a family member
I can somewhat echo what Ben said. I guess all any of us can really offer is the understanding and support that many of us know a little of what you're feeling in terms of how little you feel able to speak out and how much self-censoring you have to do. It's tough. Especially when you wish to help your family and friends, but you know what you have to offer them will likely not only be rejected but thrown back in your face. But welcome to our little community here. Hopefully you'll find lots of answers and many more questions and a great deal of support here.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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11-01-2012, 10:16 PM
RE: Advice on a friend and a family member
I wouldn't say your cousin is gullible... she may have turned to religion just to keep the peace with her husband. You claim that you're worried about what her children will think, but it sounds like you're just intolerant.

In case 2, you suggest that you might "de-friend" your best friend - not because of her Facebook posts but because of.... well, you don't say why. And it's clear why she turned to religion. She's dealing with a tragedy, and while we may not agree with her choice, we can understand why she'd do such a thing to cope.

I'm an atheist, too, and I agree that we should be free to openly express this with our friends. But you sound mentally judgmental and disagreeable, and it sounds like you're just looking for our permission to be openly judgmental and disagreeable, too. By all means, feel free to preach, but remember to treat others the way that you want to be treated... you're representing the rest of us, too, and we're already looked at quite negatively by the general population.

My girlfriend is mad at me. Perhaps I shouldn't have tried cooking a stick in her non-stick pan.
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11-01-2012, 10:56 PM
RE: Advice on a friend and a family member
About 3.5 months ago I had the same FB problem. I thought it was everywhere (IRL too), but as soon as I unsubscribed (which you can do) to those people (so I don't see what they post all the time) instead of un-friending them my life improved HUGELY. I am much happier and they are none the wiser. Good luck!

You can also post as many science and thinking things as you like, it's your FB too Smile
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12-01-2012, 06:48 AM
RE: Advice on a friend and a family member
(11-01-2012 10:16 PM)Starcrash Wrote:  I wouldn't say your cousin is gullible... she may have turned to religion just to keep the peace with her husband. You claim that you're worried about what her children will think, but it sounds like you're just intolerant.

In case 2, you suggest that you might "de-friend" your best friend - not because of her Facebook posts but because of.... well, you don't say why. And it's clear why she turned to religion. She's dealing with a tragedy, and while we may not agree with her choice, we can understand why she'd do such a thing to cope.

I'm an atheist, too, and I agree that we should be free to openly express this with our friends. But you sound mentally judgmental and disagreeable, and it sounds like you're just looking for our permission to be openly judgmental and disagreeable, too. By all means, feel free to preach, but remember to treat others the way that you want to be treated... you're representing the rest of us, too, and we're already looked at quite negatively by the general population.

you assume its her husband ... which he isn't, you also misquote me about HER children, I said nothing of the sort, I actually stated about HER dead father , my uncle and about what HE would have said about her getting pregnant at 15, and being with a man who is a criminal, you also assume I'm intolerant which if I were to judge her openly, or berate her religious stand then that would have some bases. IF you read my post correctly you would see that I have stated that I take no stand in MY beliefs in fact rather than being in intolerable bigot I say nothing, I with hold MY beliefs, my posts etc so that i don't offend the people i care about. This is not a case of them posting one thing .. and me forcing godlessness down their throats. this is a case of me not posting anything that would be disagreeable to the religious. In sense this is the problem that atheists DO have. You say yourself that you are an atheist and I represent YOU in my actions yet in that statement alone , and the suggestion that I am asking for licence to be an ass to people, you yourself are being intolerant and suggesting that i should keep my mouth shut about those things i find interesting for fear of " upsetting the religious apple cart". I asked for advice for how to deal with having religion forced ONTO me.. not how to force NON BELIEF onto others.
If either of my two examples had turned to drugs, or booze would you suggest then that I was intolerant and judgemental, or maybe if my cousin had turned to crime due to the influence of her ex boyfriend , are you suggesting that I should not show the concern that a decent person would show to help his family member out of that situation. If caring is judgmental and intolerant and gives atheism a bad name then you my friend are in deed indicating that atheism is an amoral system of non belief. Yet I digress, I stated nowhere in my post how to separate my cousin from her ha-jib or that i SHOULD tell my friend her babies are dead and to suck it up , I only asked how do other people deal with the religious "rantings" of others while them self staying silent, not in retort but just day to day. why should I as an atheist be censored through self awareness, I have watched many videos on Hitch debating about death, religious persecution, the meaning of the bible etc and looking at the other replies in this post alone ... my feelings are not uncommon despite your attack on my question.

(11-01-2012 10:56 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  About 3.5 months ago I had the same FB problem. I thought it was everywhere (IRL too), but as soon as I unsubscribed (which you can do) to those people (so I don't see what they post all the time) instead of un-friending them my life improved HUGELY. I am much happier and they are none the wiser. Good luck!

You can also post as many science and thinking things as you like, it's your FB too Smile

That sounds like the most reasonable thing too do, I honestly do care about my friends and family, and as I said, I was raised atheist and essentially come from an atheist country so the need for " coming out" etc. isn't a requirement and certainly the UK is very very secular and regrettably to another poster we here do not get persecuted or thought of negatively like the US for example. I just didnt want to upset others in my beliefs and I wasn't sure how I could remove being " preached" to yet still be able to post my interests without offence.
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