Anyone else feel like tearing their hair out?
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10-02-2013, 12:54 AM
RE: Anyone else feel like tearing their hair out?
(26-01-2013 10:37 AM)cjs Wrote:  
(18-01-2013 04:18 PM)DerekS Wrote:  I mean, living in a small town in TN, Im constantly being swarmed by creationists, pseudo-science, emotional pleas, and all the other usual suspects of Christianity. And its driving me freaking crazy! I have 1 other friend who shares my view, and we tend to spend so much time fighting off the swarms its getting exausting. Anyone else dealing with this issue? Got any ways to deal with it, because Im on the edge of going ballistic on the next well-intentioned idiot meaning to "save" me.

Every day. I live in Mississippi and have very few people that either understand or at least respect my atheism. On the job I just have to keep my mouth shut because of rules. Amazingly Christians don't have to keep theirs shut, and this double standard makes me crazy. I have to pay my mortgage. However, if someone were to point blank ask me, I would tell them that this is personal and not workplace type discussion. In work or personal life, you re not required to discuss your personal beliefs or lack thereof in our case. There is way more to me than atheism, so I focus on other common tasks or interests mostly.

You do have to get long with theists to survive in the south. I love a theist guy, and have theist friends and family, and they respect my right to not believe. But you do NOt have to abide their constant attempts to "save" you. That's emotional bullying and it's not cool, even when Christians do it. It's herd mentality, and it's very strong. My suggestion is just to not say much about it to people whose minds you can't change anyhow. But if they bring it up, tell them firmly but not unkindly, that you do not share their views and are not comfortable discussing it anymore. I had to do this with my brother who is church of god.

The times I've felt like I've made a dent are in talks with people who are beginning to doubt anyway. I've had times where they knew or found out that I'm a nonbeliever and so felt comfortable talking to me about it. I can then ease their fears about slipping into nihilism and let them know that fulfillment, meaning and morals are still very much part of my life. Some of afraid of family reactions, and there are several threads here about that topic.

The staunch, more fundamentalist types you usually can't have meaningful dialogue with anyhow so don't even take the bait. Of course you can always debate them for entertainment purposes if you like!

I sometimes wish I could move somewhere else, but it's not an option. My life is here, I am proud to be southern, and I do love the south in many ways. I understand how you feel, and sometimes there is no easy way to deal with this situation since we are outnumbered. I walk a fine line between my atheism being a personal thing not shared with everyone and fending off well-meaning Christians who feel it their duty to save me from hell. The best way for me to make an impression on them is to not be the stereotype they have of angry, militant,nihilistic atheists that they have in their minds. It blows their minds to see a happy, successful, productive, funny, smart, contributing person who lives as "morally" as and sometimes more moral than they do.

Hope this helps. I feel your pain.
This whole thread and especially your response makes me feel better. I came here to vent about much the same thing and found this thread. My policy for getting along and not hating the people I work with has always been: don't get too close. But now in a company with 8 people, it's kind of hard not to be in each other's business. A fundie I work with closely (MOST of the 8 are hard-core xtians--ugh! In Seattle yet!) seems compelled to give me these little anecdotes showing me how ethical he is. WTF? The other day he told me "God wired me so that I can't lie." WTF??!!! I half smiled and changed the subject. He probably took that to mean I know I've lied and he is shaming me. Now I wish I had said "everybody lies and I happen to know you have done so." Sometimes I think I am going to lose it with these people. But I love my job and plan to be there a long time. In the end it's not worth indulging my fantasies of exposing their sheeple mindlessness. I made the mistake early on of showing some anger at a couple things, and I think now people are afraid to "be themselves" when I'm around. I feel patronized, if that makes any sense. I feel like if I weren't around they'd be having prayer meetings for sales to improve. I feel like there will come a day when it comes out in the open and I'll have to be the lone voice of reason and I WILL HAVE TO BE SUCCESSFUL at exposing their delusions; otherwise they will feel like they have won and I am the doomed fool in their eyes--that thought makes me crazy. I also feel like I have to be "the good atheist." Plus I am not that happy, which doesn't help my "cause."
Thank you very much!
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RE: Anyone else feel like tearing their hair out? - socken - 10-02-2013 12:54 AM

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