Advice please...
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18-09-2017, 09:51 PM
RE: Advice please...
When my brother pisses me off, I tell him to fuck off.

He is more polite than I. He would probably say "Why are you acting this way?"

I have zero advice for this caller.

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
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19-09-2017, 04:13 AM
RE: Advice please...
We're probably pretty similar. The first time I'm pretty friendly about it but the second time I'm like do you have fucking rocks in your head. Being very rude tends to make it like you don't have to be rude often.
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19-09-2017, 04:29 AM
RE: Advice please...
Just be honest with him.

Tell him that you don't appreciate your children being indoctrinated with this stuff, before they are too young to make a full decision themselves. You don't necessarily have to mention you're an atheist, but if you do, it'll be worth saying so in a "I don't believe in god, but you do and that's fine with me" sort of deal, so any ill-will that should come your way, is shown to be totally one sided from this ass-hat.

Let us know how you get on.

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19-09-2017, 05:06 AM
RE: Advice please...
(18-09-2017 05:19 PM)50years Wrote:  So, my issue is that I am desperate to tell my F-I-L that I am an atheist both to get it off my chest, and to drive a wedge between his bullshit and the indoctrination of my children. I have no idea how to go about it though. I can guarantee that he will fly off the handle, probably yell, and I wouldn't rule out that he might take a swing at me. It would almost certainly taint our relationship for the rest of his life. Has anyone else had to deal with such a situation? Did you confront the problem or suffer in silence? I want to remain calm when confronting him with the facts of why I'm an atheist, but I know that will be almost impossible. Does anyone have any strategies for debating a man like this?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice. It's much appreciated.

Such a person probably wouldn't have nuanced or well thought out positions on his own beliefs, you will almost certainly get the Kalam cosmological argument or Pascal's wager from him if he can even think rationally enough to have a discussion. They would be used to saying bible/god says and if you disagree then the screaming starts.

I wouldn't advise a confrontation with such a person, but be prepared to file charges if they raise a finger to you, such violence is unacceptable behavior, period.

It would be best to simply stop seeing him or going to this church at all, stopping contact with a violent person is the best approach and you should make it clear to your wife and everyone else that this behavior is not going to be tolerated.

Draw your line in the sand and be willing to back it up.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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19-09-2017, 05:27 AM
RE: Advice please...
While not telling the FIL is the sensible thing to do, I get the sense from the OP that he's actually quite pissed off at the bully and wants it to be known that he is an atheist. This is certainly valid because it helps lay down the law, stops the FIL from making too many assumptions and helps retain self respect, which is always at risk when coming up against a bully if you need to back down. If nothing else it means that they don't have to keep up a pretence and endure going to church again. And why should they? They're both grown adults and it's not like the FIL is worth impressing or placating by the sounds of it.

Personally I always make it a principle to stand up to bullies whatever the costs so I definitely would be outing myself in this situation, but that's just me.

If you do tell him, then be prepared for an onslaught as they try to do everything in their power to indoctrinate the children and never leave them alone with them. Expect the most underhand tactics.

Above all else, stay firm under the ensuing emotional blackmail.
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19-09-2017, 06:18 AM
RE: Advice please...
(18-09-2017 05:35 PM)Anjele Wrote:  Where does your wife stand on you telling him?

Being family doesn't mean that you should deal with abusive crap.

You can distance yourself for now without explaining why. Sounds like he is a rude jerk who you don't need in your life and don't need as an influence on your kids.

So much this^^^^^^^^

You do not owe family blind loyalty. It is awesome when you have good relationships, and sure, no relationship is ever an episode of Leave It To Beaver, but nobody has the right to emotionally blackmail you or threaten you.

You cannot stop him from what he believes, but you have every right to protect your kids from his doomsday fear mongering abusive indoctrination. These are the same people that would rightfully say it is wrong for those in the Middle East to sell hate of others and submission to Allah only.

There is no polite way to put it. Going by the OP's statements, he is not healthy for the kids. Teaching kids such ridged views and intolerance of others will set them up to have a severe lack of coping skills as adults.

I had to cut off my older brother for this very reason. I was adopted as a kid, when I finally met him as an adult, he stupidly thought I was going to suddenly follow him and adapt his right wing religion. I constantly had to live in fear of his doomsday talk and he emotionally sucked the life out of me.

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19-09-2017, 06:34 AM
RE: Advice please...
(18-09-2017 09:12 PM)50years Wrote:  Second, thank you to all for your advice. It is a difficult situation, but thankfully my wife actually broached the subject this evening. I wasn't expecting it, but I'm so thankful she did. We had a great conversation, and it just reconfirmed for me that she's in my corner.

Do you mean your wife told him, or that just the two of you talked?

From the way that you described him, I wouldn't expect a pleasant or even an intellectually honest conversation. How well versed are you on counter apologetics? Depending on how you want to approach it, there's always the "don't give him an inch" approach. Make him prove his god exists and don't entertain any of his apologetics until he does. If he tries to shift the burden of proof, compare this to people arrested being forced to prove their innocence to the prosecution. We don't prove negatives for a reason.

But, yeah, if you don't have to, you're probably better not engaging with him, unless this is really important to you.
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19-09-2017, 07:31 AM
RE: Advice please...
(19-09-2017 06:34 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  
(18-09-2017 09:12 PM)50years Wrote:  Second, thank you to all for your advice. It is a difficult situation, but thankfully my wife actually broached the subject this evening. I wasn't expecting it, but I'm so thankful she did. We had a great conversation, and it just reconfirmed for me that she's in my corner.

Do you mean your wife told him, or that just the two of you talked?

From the way that you described him, I wouldn't expect a pleasant or even an intellectually honest conversation. How well versed are you on counter apologetics? Depending on how you want to approach it, there's always the "don't give him an inch" approach. Make him prove his god exists and don't entertain any of his apologetics until he does. If he tries to shift the burden of proof, compare this to people arrested being forced to prove their innocence to the prosecution. We don't prove negatives for a reason.

But, yeah, if you don't have to, you're probably better not engaging with him, unless this is really important to you.

My wife did not tell him, we just had a really great, affirming conversation about the situation. Without going into too much detail, we ended up both agreeing that confronting him with my atheism is not the right thing to do...right now. After all, we do not, and are not guilted/blackmailed/forced to attend that church on a regular basis. We only go on holidays. I'm just going to keep a close eye on him and my children and make sure my little ones know what the truth is and that they are able and expected to think for themselves. If things appear to be going south, I will not hesitate to intervene.

Thanks again to all for your advice and support.
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19-09-2017, 07:45 AM
RE: Advice please...
(19-09-2017 07:31 AM)50years Wrote:  
(19-09-2017 06:34 AM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Do you mean your wife told him, or that just the two of you talked?

From the way that you described him, I wouldn't expect a pleasant or even an intellectually honest conversation. How well versed are you on counter apologetics? Depending on how you want to approach it, there's always the "don't give him an inch" approach. Make him prove his god exists and don't entertain any of his apologetics until he does. If he tries to shift the burden of proof, compare this to people arrested being forced to prove their innocence to the prosecution. We don't prove negatives for a reason.

But, yeah, if you don't have to, you're probably better not engaging with him, unless this is really important to you.

My wife did not tell him, we just had a really great, affirming conversation about the situation. Without going into too much detail, we ended up both agreeing that confronting him with my atheism is not the right thing to do...right now. After all, we do not, and are not guilted/blackmailed/forced to attend that church on a regular basis. We only go on holidays. I'm just going to keep a close eye on him and my children and make sure my little ones know what the truth is and that they are able and expected to think for themselves. If things appear to be going south, I will not hesitate to intervene.

Thanks again to all for your advice and support.

Nobody is advising you to cut him off, but if you don't want your kids growing up to be far right intolerant nutters, you do have to consider intervention may be inevitable.

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19-09-2017, 08:14 AM
RE: Advice please...
What a tough and outright crappy situation this FIL has created for you and your family. Not every personal viewpoint needs to be shared or known to all around you, but the older I get, the more I realize that when it comes to this type of confrontation the honest truth needs to be communicated. His expectations are all his right now, but you really need your expectations respected and understood.

If you push back on the preaching and influence your kids he is going to get angry and wonder what the problem is. By letting him know you want nothing to do with forcing beliefs on you and the kids, the expectations are clear. I just don't think anyone should be dishonest or fake just to avoid the irrational behavior of another.

You are the rational one - he is not. He is showing his true colors - you are not.

I am not in your shoes or stage of life so consider how relationships will be affected, and what the backlash to your wife and kids might be. Showing his intolerance by being straight with him could teach your kids a damn good lesson about treating others.

“Truth does not demand belief. Scientists do not join hands every Sunday, singing, yes, gravity is real! I will have faith! I will be strong! I believe in my heart that what goes up, up, up, must come down, down, down. Amen! If they did, we would think they were pretty insecure about it.”
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