I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
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11-05-2014, 07:54 PM
I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
Hey guys. I'm relatively new here, this is my second thread, but I neglected to introduce myself in my past thread. So here goes:

A little something about myself (skip to next paragraph for what I actually need advice on). My names Johnny, I'm 18 and a freshman in college. I was raised as a Baptist in a christian family. I began questioning religion at 14, became a deist at 16, but that was only because at that time I still had the christian idea of atheists as being synonymous with satanists. Eventually I became an atheist, and I found this forum while looking up arguments against religion for my philosophy class. And I've learned a shit ton from here... so thanks. Big GrinBowing

Now to my problem. I recently came out to my family, namely my mom, about my atheism a couple of months ago. She was really shocked and tries to guilt me back into believing every now and then. To get her off my back, and to not crush her hopes of me ever believing again just yet, I offered her a challenge; I'll sit down with up to three different people of her choice so they can try to convince me of the flying spaghetti monster's existence, if they fail, she has to stop bothering me about my atheism (although I doubt it). But the problem is my dad, he was telling my mom over the phone about how he wanted to take me and my sisters on a week long crusade of praying, so my mom told him that I was an atheist. My mom passed me the phone and he basically told me this: "Who do I think I am, that I would dare tell him that I'm an atheist?" (this is translated from creole, he's in Haiti and doesn't speak English).FacepalmAngry

Now needless to say, that kind of pissed me off, and now he wants to talk to me when he comes to visit, and basically try to force me into going to this crusade, and forcefully convert me. Now I'm ready to raise "hell", but I'm wondering if I'm overreacting. Should I just play along with this crusade thing? What do you guys think is the best approach to this.

Sorry this post was longer than I thought it would be.
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11-05-2014, 07:56 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
Don't. What will you archieve if you do "raise hell" ? More tension between the 2 of you i think

I don't really like going outside.
It's too damn "peopley" out there....
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11-05-2014, 08:53 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
You're 18 and a college freshman. Simply say "no." You must have better things to do with your time than pray to nothing.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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11-05-2014, 09:01 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
Don't go on the crusade. Stand your ground. He'll respect you for standing up for yourself even if he doesn't agree with you.

You don't have to challenge him. Just be an adult and make adult choices. You don't have to bargin with your mother either.

The choices you make don't have to hinge on your atheism. Just say "As an adult I decide what I want in my life. I don't want this crusade of prayers, so I'm not going. End of story".

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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11-05-2014, 09:38 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
Thanks for the advice!Yes I doubt it will go as smoothly as saying "no" and that's that, but I'll restrain myself.
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11-05-2014, 09:44 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
Do not act in accordance with what he wants to force you to do. Force is not the way to approach anything or anyone, and he is in the wrong for doing as much.

I agree with Rahn though. You're an adult, it's time to make decisions for yourself and stick up for yourself. If your parents are no longer supporting you, you're free to abide by what YOU want to do.
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11-05-2014, 09:47 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
Are your folks paying for your college? I ask because I remember a college student to came on another atheist forum who had stood up to his folks and they gave him an ultimatum threatening to disenfranchise him and pull him out of college if he continued to be an atheist.

Might want to be careful. I appreciate the difficulty of your position, but none of us knows your family dynamics and any advice we might offer, no matter how much we hope it is helpful, you accept at your own peril.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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12-05-2014, 02:13 AM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
What Taq said. Your first and foremost need should be consider how, and whether, you can continue your relationship with your family IN SPITE OF you not sharing their faith. Can you still fall back on them in times of need, can they do the same with you, can you even sit down around a dinner table without dinner being ruined?

Under no conditions should you allow the first priority, on their part or yours, to be coming to an agreement on the religion question. Your first priority should be establishing the ability to coexist ABSENT that agreement, because agreement isn't likely to happen soon. By all means discuss the matter, if they're open to it, but that's not the top priority.

Definitely decline on the crusade thing if you possibly can, IMO. It's not a safe place and nothing good can come from it. Look up the program's website (er, is it a program rather than just your dad and siblings going to a cabin in the woods to pray), look for requirements, perhaps even call up the program leader. There will likely be some standards of what people have to believe in order to qualify, and you can use those as a basis for deferring. If those don't exist, fall back on something more general, like a plain statement that you don't believe and that pretending to believe in order to show the outward appearance of praying would be fundamentally dishonest in a manner inconsistent with your own integrity, as well as the integrity of a good Christian. In either case, focus more on your status as a non-believer rather than the cause for that status. You don't have to disprove God to your Dad in order to demonstrate that this prayer crusade is a bad place for you to go.

In future conversations, I suggest you focus more on simple statements of your non-belief. Your goal should not be to persuade others, but simply to establish who you are and what you do and don't believe. If you try to make them understand something, make them understand the nature of your unbelief, rather than making them understand that what they believe is false. Highlight the distinction. Let them set the pace. If they don't ask an on-point question, and aren't making brutally false mischaracterizations or false assumptions about your unbelief, and aren't trying to get you to do something faith-based, then it's off-topic. It's like dyeing your hair or going vegetarian. You don't need to be talking about it all the time... unless they're going to get so caught up on it that you need to clear the air before life can get back to normal.

As the.... not exactly nuclear option, but close... if they get too far into the lies and propaganda about atheists, you might be able to resort to the commandment against bearing false witness. Say you're looking for points of commonality, and that this might be one of them. You might not agree on the REASON that bearing false witness is wrong, but you do think it's wrong and ask them if they agree with you. If they do, ask them to stop bearing false witness against you, without having at least checked their veracity with you first. Did their preacher tell them that atheists like yourself want to round Christians up into concentration camps? State flatly that this is a lie, at least where you are concerned, and ask them to stop lying about you now that they know that it's a lie, and ask them in the future not to be so quick to believe these false testimonials against you. However, this is quite confrontational, so I recommend it as either a last resort, or something to be reserved for when in a conversation where confrontation is unlikely to poison the relationship.
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12-05-2014, 02:33 AM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
It will help to gain the upper hand if you have or fake the air of being calm and unperturbed. You may want to scream at them but it will really help to avoid showing that you are being riled by them. Present yourself as being as reasonable as possible. It will also help when standing your ground and asking how you can sincerely do some of the things that they ask of you.
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12-05-2014, 02:40 AM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
Just say No!

Think of it like drugs or rape.

I once had a talk with a Xian who tried to convert me who I told I prefered to be an individual, not a drone. She had not thought of that idea. I said look at you and your friends here, trying to make people think alike. You're all the same. I cannot tell you apart. She looked quite thoughtful as I walked away.

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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