An atheist's guide to survival.
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06-11-2010, 07:17 AM
 
An atheist's guide to survival.
Recently I stayed a month with an exceptionally religious Christian family. Out of respect I politely complied to their traditions, however after discovering I did not "have a close personal relationship with the lord Jesus Christ" the entire family spent three weeks attempting to convert me to Christianity. Unsure whether expressing my own opinions would simply worsen the situation I was stuck between a rock and a religious place. For future reference, how is one able to respect another's beliefs, while maintaining their own?
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06-11-2010, 08:16 AM
RE: An atheist's guide to survival.
I would say that if they won't follow your lead, and respect your beliefs (or lack thereof) then you could try following their lead. They are setting the standard on how to treat someones belief system, so show theirs an equal amount as they show yours. When they say something about it, simply explain that you attempted to be respectful of their beliefs, but since it is their home, you also felt that it should be them to decide how one regards anothers beliefs. You were simply treating them as they were treating you. "Do unto others...."

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06-11-2010, 10:34 AM
RE: An atheist's guide to survival.
Hey MissD, and welcome to the forums.

(06-11-2010 07:17 AM)MissDissenter Wrote:  For future reference, how is one able to respect another's beliefs, while maintaining their own?

Well, if you let them know that you were not a believer and made it clear that you weren't interested in becoming one and they continued their attempts anyway, there really isn't any way to get them to stop without being at least slightly disrespectful. Be as tough as you need to be to get them to quit. If they start acting offended, let them know that you feel the same way.

"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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06-11-2010, 01:19 PM
RE: An atheist's guide to survival.
I'm an old style liberal. In my view you only have to respect the views of someone who respects your views.

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06-11-2010, 04:38 PM
 
RE: An atheist's guide to survival.
Thankyou for the welcome unbeliever Smile

Sadly if I was to show them the same respect they showed me I would be forced to take all the bibles in the house and stab them with one of the little plastic Jesus figurines lying around.

In an attempt to assert my own beliefs I politely declined their offer to take me to their church. One member of the family insisted that I go, because she said so, and she was "The Prophet of God" and I therefore had to listen.

Religion is unreasonable. It's like talking to a brick wall. A wall that yells bible verses back.
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08-11-2010, 05:23 PM
 
RE: An atheist's guide to survival.
What was the cause of your staying a month with them? If you were doing so in a way that made you dependent on their good will, that would argue for the "path of least resistance" on your part. If this situation was not one where you needed their good will, then Stark Raving's path seems most appropriate to me. After explaining that while you respected their right to hold to their beliefs, you had an equal right to hold to your disbelief of their beliefs, any continued proselytizing on their part would be met with comparable retaliatory arguments.

Religious zealots won't take "no" for an answer, of course. If you weren't dependent on them for food and shelter, then their insistence on your going to church could be declined in an unyielding way.
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09-11-2010, 01:43 AM
RE: An atheist's guide to survival.
One way you could avoid a confrontation is to say that you are a believer for the duration of tour stay, and when you leave drop all communication with them.

Anyone who believes that they are a prophet of god is delusional and will be hostile to anyone who is not in full agreement with her/him.
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09-11-2010, 01:32 PM
 
RE: An atheist's guide to survival.
Personally? I would have just found the nearest Motel 6.
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