I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
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12-05-2014, 04:27 AM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
If you did go on the praying crusade you could shout out every prayer like this "Dear god my father has lost faith in you. Help him to understand that the choices I make are the ones that you have guided me to make. He no longer believes in your plan for all our lives. He no longer believes that you endowed me with the intelligence and reasoning that I now possess. God, I pray that you can make him understand that my atheism is part of your plan."

Let him hear that prayer 5 times a day for a week

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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13-05-2014, 11:10 AM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
(11-05-2014 09:47 PM)Taqiyya Mockingbird Wrote:  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.

Yes, but I can say with certainty that my mom won't do that. She value her children's education too much to go so far, my dad might but most likely he won't.

(12-05-2014 02:13 AM)Reltzik Wrote:  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.

My mother and I still have a close relationship, no dinners ruined or anything. And I always keep my reasons for disbelief vague because I know they wouldn't understand, I just tell them that I can't accept gawd's existence on faith alone. I never bring up the bible's contradictions and gawd's evil deeds unless they bring up a point to prove gawd's existence. My father on the other hand is far more stubborn, and even if I keep calm, my disbelief alone may cause some issues in our relationship, but that's not much of a problem seeing as I don't live with him.

(12-05-2014 04:27 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  If you did go on the praying crusade you could shout out every prayer like this "Dear god my father has lost faith in you. Help him to understand that the choices I make are the ones that you have guided me to make. He no longer believes in your plan for all our lives. He no longer believes that you endowed me with the intelligence and reasoning that I now possess. God, I pray that you can make him understand that my atheism is part of your plan."

Let him hear that prayer 5 times a day for a week

Laugh out load If I'm ultimately forced to go I might just do that.
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13-05-2014, 10:00 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
A 'Praying Crusade'? WTF?!

I can't even begin to imagine how that looks but it sounds like a load of old bollocks to me.

Are Christians now trying to bore people into submission these days?
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13-05-2014, 10:22 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
(13-05-2014 10:00 PM)Pippen Wrote:  A 'Praying Crusade'? WTF?!

I can't even begin to imagine how that looks but it sounds like a load of old bollocks to me.

Are Christians now trying to bore people into submission these days?

Um..... yes?



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17-05-2014, 07:45 AM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
If your father is in Haiti without your mother - I would be very suspicious about what he is doing there.

Humanism - ontological doctrine that posits that humans define reality
Theism - ontological doctrine that posits a supernatural entity creates and defines reality
Atheism - political doctrine opposed to theist doctrine in public policy
I am right, and you are wrong - I hope you die peacefullyCool
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17-05-2014, 12:17 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
I tend to avoid any debates with family about that, unless we are on the same page. Fortunately, I have a family that is mostly non-religious although I am the only one who is an active atheist, a critic of religious dogma.

Just try to use logic with him, if you were to discuss atheism/theism. But avoid any tension.

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression.
-- Thomas Paine,
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17-05-2014, 01:34 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
Their emotions and identities sound too wound up in their beliefs for reason to have much of a positive impact right now. Just stay safe, whatever happens. Survive the rapids just long enough to get safely to shore. Then you're free to run.

A person very dear to me was badly hurt through a misunderstanding and miscommunication. For this, I am sorry, and he knows it. That said, any blaming me for malicious intent is for the birds. I will not wear some scarlet letter, I will not be anybody's whipping girl, and I will not lurk in silence.
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17-05-2014, 02:07 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
Here's an approach you may want to use when talking with your father, its called reflecting or mirroring.

Guidelines for Reflecting

Be natural.
Listen for the basic message - consider the content, feeling and meaning expressed by the speaker.
Restate what you have been told in simple terms.
Always be non-directive and non-judgemental.

This is taught and used in many corporations to avoid miscommunication and I think it might be a good way to calm the situation down on this volatile subject.

Example:
Father: "You are coming with me on the Praying Crusade whether you like it or not!"
You: "Dad, if I'm hearing you correctly are you saying that I do not have a choice in the matter?"
Father: "That's right, you are coming with me."
You: "Dad, don't you think that bringing me along when my heart is not in it will only frustrate you and make me bitter?"
Father: "Your mother said you told her you were an atheist!"
You: "Have you not always said to tell the truth? Is being honest not important to you?"

Anyway, notice you always calmly answer with a question. This can be difficult to do but it does work in diffusing high emotions. Good luck.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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17-05-2014, 02:53 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
It sounds like you & your mom have figured out how to co-exist peacefully. And that is wonderful. Being 18, and with Mom's support, I doubt he could force you. But IIRC you mentioned 'sisters' might be forced to go. And that worries me.

If they are younger than you, they might not get a choice in the matter. Dad probably has legal visitation rights. And with your new perspective they might get a double dose of preaching and brain washing so they don't end up as atheists too. Dad sounds like he is in fear mode and that is a scary place and difficult to figure out what he might do.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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17-05-2014, 06:07 PM
RE: I Could Use Some Advice (I'm fitting to challenge my father)
(17-05-2014 01:34 PM)Charis Wrote:  Their emotions and identities sound too wound up in their beliefs for reason to have much of a positive impact right now. Just stay safe, whatever happens. Survive the rapids just long enough to get safely to shore. Then you're free to run.

That's great guidance Charis. You should be a life counselor.

Just run man! Run....

It does not matter where, just run! No direction, no advice on where to run, no compass, no map...

It is like encouraging a teenager to leave the safety and protection of his parent's home and run away in exchange for a life of "freedom" out on the "streets" amongst the drug dealers, rapists, paedophiles, and robbers.

Hell! So long as your free to do what you want which is what's important!

Facepalm
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