Fundie Father Follies
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04-07-2015, 04:58 AM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2015 05:06 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
Fundie Father Follies
My father came up to visit me for the 4th of July (American Independence Day) holiday weekend, yesterday. For those who don't know, I left home at 17 after he gave me a choice between attending church "as long as I live under his roof" and leaving. I barely spoke to him for 5 years after that, and after re-establishing contact at age 22, we fought and separated again (the 'rents tried to give me anti-evolution books and fundie literature, etc., and grew very insulting about my philosophy and ideas), and I didn't really speak to them after that until another five had gone by.

Once I met my Beloved, a Christian but not of the "dickish" variety, and we had a child, she insisted that I rebuild my relationship with my folks for the sake of our new son, so he could know his grandparents and vice-versa. I had just started serving what would become 9 years of wrongful incarceration, on the basis of a revenge plot after an ex found out I had moved on from her cheating, "polyamorous" ass, to find the Woman of my Dreams. I have just won the first of two appeals on that wrongful conviction, and been released in April. (Yes I have a point with this.)

This weekend my father came up for the first time to see me as a free man, though he did come see me in the Visiting Rooms at the various prisons where I was, usually once twice a year, birthday (June) and Christmas. We talked about a few politics-related subjects, but nothing too heavy or controversial, and went out to eat and watch a movie (Terminator: Genisys ) together. Brought him back to my apartment and showed him The Europa Report on Netflix, since he's an engineer and we both like Sci-Fi stuff. He spent the whole film texting to his hugely-religious family and social circles about being up here. After the film, he apparently felt he needed to keep doing that... which was fine by me, but in the interim, I fired up this page while he sat on the couch about 10 feet away, furiously typing into his iPhone.

That's when it happened. He looked up, saw the big black bar at the top of the screen, and read "The Thinking Atheist" off the bar... aloud.

I turned around in horror at his tone and raised eyebrows, and nervously quipped, "Yeah I've already teased them about that... as if there's another kind of atheist."

He then made a vague comment about "Well you know what Huxley said about it, right?"

I waited through a moment of pregnant-pause, finally asking "T.H. or Aldous?"

"Aldous," he replied, "Wrote in his autobiography that he rejected Christianity because he didn't want to have to be held responsible for obeying God's Rules, or something like that."

Slack jawed, I carefully said, "That sounds like a pretty ignorant philosophy."

But he pressed on, "Well that's how it is, you know, for most atheists. Just don't want to conform and be subject to the Moral Law."

That did it!

"No, dad, most of us simply don't think that God exists. That's it. Period. Anyone who says more than that is making it up. Oh, and we rejected that set of 'rules' you claim come from God because we actually bothered to read them. When I read them for myself, I found them to be the most horrifyingly barbaric and immoral set of concepts I'd ever seen, as far from an ultimate moral guide as it is possible to be. It says to pay 50 pieces of silver to the father of women you rape because you damaged his property, it says women are dirtier than men, it says that slavery is perfectly okay and that I can murder my son if he talks back to me or says something blasphemous or turns out gay. I think that book is the most awful thing I have ever read, and I realized I was too moral to keep believing in it."

He just sat there, looking shocked (duh), on my couch. It was a couple minutes to midnight, so I logged off my computer and turned in for bed. He followed suit, but went into my guest bedroom (where he's set up on the floor bc my son's bed isn't big enough for him, and apprently he doesn't want to sleep on my futon-couch). I woke up several times over the next 5 hours of "sleep", finding him furiously typing away on his iPhone in the guestroom with the light on and the door open, each time I sneaked by to take a look and 'use the restroom'. (Mainly to wash my face from the nervous sweat and clear my exhausted mind.) He finally went to bed after 4 AM... the time he normally wakes up, on a typical day. It's now 5:30 AM... well, 5:47, but I started typing about 5:30. I've barely slept for two days now: first was nervousness at his arrival, night before, coupled with more time spent online talking to suicidal friend, and now this.

It's not even 6AM on our first full day together. I don't know how long he'll sleep. I don't know what we can talk about now, after that, or what he was saying about me to the rest of the family that took until well after 4 AM.

Ugh, I hate religion for this, right here. For preachers who have convinced my otherwise very nice man of a father, with whom I should have so much in common, that the reason I don't share his religious beliefs if because I just want to avoid responsibility for The Rules™. It would be ridiculous if it didn't build these walls of division, ignorance, and hate/fear.

It hurts. It really does. I consider my atheist ideology (my "religious views": natural philosophy, humanist morality, and outlook on life) to be superior in every way now, as a Secular Humanist and scientist, to his Young Earth Creationist / Biblical Literalist ideas about the world. And yet, in our crazy culture, he gets to be the one with the giant flock of hens to cluck over me with, putting me on the defensive because I don't believe in talking snakes and donkeys or the Invisible Creator who telepathically tells people it has such a problem with the various ways we choose to love (and especially how we screw) that I can't even support the people who vary from the "norm" without being "sinful". Oh... and, of course "rebellious". I don't know how he explains in his mind that my "rebellion phase" has lasted 22 years and counting.

Two nights of barely sleeping at all, and not sleeping worth a damn. Because I was nervous about this happening, and because it did. Fuck, I hate religion for this kind of crap!!

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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04-07-2015, 05:22 AM
RE: Fundie Father Follies
Wow, I hardly know what to say. Actually I have nothing other than try to stay strong. Maybe don't push it for the rest of the time he is there. You have said your piece and it is done. We cannot control what others think.

I am wishing you well from across the globe. Someone all the way over in Australia cares about you. So look after yourself. You seem a very switched on guy and I know you'll get through it.

Cheers mate. Dale

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.
Banjo.
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04-07-2015, 06:29 AM
RE: Fundie Father Follies
I have a crazy fundie father, too, and I broke off contact with him for many years and only reinstated it because of my son. I can say it's been a very difficult ride, dealing with him, and that visits are never, ever comfortable. The best I have managed with him is to nix religious conversations as a topic and to tell him that if he doesn't rein himself in, he will not be allowed to see his grandson, and even then, it's a tenuous relationship at best. Plus every year or two I get an incredibly abusive letter from him whining about my not being religious and how I'm an asshole because I don't love Jesus. I still feel it's better to let him have a relationship with his grandkid, so I put up with being stressed and unhappy whenever I'm in the same room with my father, and we only visit every couple of years at this point.
I'd say that your conversation with him was good, and I'm hoping you raised some serious doubts in his mind about his previous judgments of you and maybe even his religion (although that is probably not going to be the case). It's possible that he was not writing negative things about you to your family and that he was trying to organize his thoughts by writing them down, so maybe put off judging what he did until you can find out what exactly it was that he wrote. However, if he is writing negatively about you, you have every right to tell him that is not acceptable behavior for someone who is your guest and that this visit with you will be the last unless he stops.
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04-07-2015, 06:33 AM
RE: Fundie Father Follies
Thanks, you two.

I do have to remind myself from time to time that, for all his internet conversations, he's just not as computer literate as I am; he sent a picture I took of him eating meat-on-a-stick, with the caption "enjoying the chipmunk on a stick", and actually bothered to tell me that someone replied, "LOL".

Something I keep in mind.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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04-07-2015, 08:10 AM
RE: Fundie Father Follies
Wow. Sorry. That was pretty crappy. I sort of can relate. I have stayed up many nights after talking with my wife (not a true fundie thankfully) and it totally sucks. Good luck.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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04-07-2015, 02:58 PM (This post was last modified: 04-07-2015 03:06 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Fundie Father Follies
(04-07-2015 04:58 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  And yet, in our crazy culture, he gets to be the one with the giant flock of hens to cluck over me with, putting me on the defensive because I don't believe in talking snakes and donkeys or the Invisible Creator who telepathically tells people it has such a problem with the various ways we choose to love (and especially how we screw) that I can't even support the people who vary from the "norm" without being "sinful".

I went on the offensive by changing the field of play. I don't argue about Christianity or religion or any other such nonsense with my religious family and friends, I argue against dualism. If you're telling me we survive our own death you are obliged to offer at least a plausible biological explanation of how in the fuck that could ever happen. Not a biblical or fantastical explanation, a plausible biological explanation, any one will do. And if you can't provide such an explanation then your whole religion collapses like a fragile deck of cards. That was 35 years ago and we're all still close and friendly but none have had the balls to dick with my metaphysics since.

(04-07-2015 04:58 AM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  It hurts. It really does.

I don't let it and my religious family and friends don't try. They know they can't and in their effort they may have to consider some inconvenient truths they'd rather not. ... That and they need me for loans and shit 'cause they put all their faith in God instead of university.

#sigh
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04-07-2015, 03:12 PM
RE: Fundie Father Follies
When I was around 11 years old my dad replaced God with Golf. Sunday morning was men only at the course and since the farmers were in church he didn't get many vet calls.

Mom was more of an Ayn Rand and Barcardi Rum worshiper.

Dad and I talked openly about our lack of belief during the last few years of his life.

I am glad I didn't have to deal with religious zealots in the family though many were at least cultural Catholics and some attended the Methodist church but weren't terribly serious about it.

With the near lack of religion in the family you would think my frequent begging to go to public school and not the Catholic school would have been successful....but nooooo...dad thought it was a good business decision. Found that out real late in life. Dodgy I wasn't there for the indoctrination but because most of dad's clients were Catholic. Facepalm

See here they are the bruises some were self-inflicted and some showed up along the way. - JF
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04-07-2015, 05:25 PM
RE: Fundie Father Follies
He's back on the road, heading southbound on the Interstate to Jesusland. Well, I guess I'm still in Jesusland, but he's heading to South Jesusland. Rolleyes

Thanks for all the messages of support. It actually went alright after that. We both fastidiously avoided any potential subjects of contention, and spent most of today driving around backroads in my convertible, talking about the flooded Mississippi River. A good day, all in all. I'm glad I got to see my dad, even with the trouble, and all was well that ended well, as the Bard put it.

I really appreciate having a place to vent my frustration; it really helped me. It has been an issue for so long that you'd think I'd be more accustomed to it... but no. I have an image I downloaded that I think of, from time to time, that says, "Being an atheist is like being the only sober person in the car, but no one will let you drive."

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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