Just need to vent...
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08-08-2015, 08:11 PM
RE: Just need to vent...
Rocket surgeon: He just turned 1 so we have a while until this issue comes up with him. How do you navigate these waters with your 9 year old?
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08-08-2015, 08:39 PM
RE: Just need to vent...
Well, I don't interfere with his churchgoing, but that's not a major issue for me because they're a pretty liberal church (even have a female pastor, who's pro-weed and pro-gay-marriage), but she and I both get him a LOT of science-related toys, books, and games. We're also big sci-fi buffs, so he's into a lot of "make you think" stuff, like Dr. Who and StarTrek.

For his birthday (we celebrated early, since I will be working during the week of his actual birthday and won't be able to get up there to see him, as I live 6 hours away at the moment due to our job requirements and his school), I got him the full Halo 1 through 4 "Master Chief" series, which he wasn't allowed to play until now because he wasn't old enough (if you don't know, it's about a human war against an alien species of radical religious zealots, called "Prophets", who lie to their Covenant followers, in order to get them to go to war), and a science encyclopedia, which he read to me in the car during our many hours of driving:

[Image: 816dK%2BGbh0L.jpg]

"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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08-08-2015, 10:31 PM
RE: Just need to vent...
(08-08-2015 06:53 PM)RocketSurgeon76 Wrote:  Oh be nice, Banjo. If we got divorced every time our spouses made a stupid decision, there'd be no surviving marriages!

I suspect Rkane is right about his wife's reaction to the teachings of the Bible, once she actually reads it and her "honeymoon phase" emotions toward the society that's telling her the Bible is a moral guide cease to shield her from grasping what the teachings within really mean. Whether he maintains his sanity while he engages in that many months/years of patience is another question! Laugh out load

I hate to poo-poo this but I disagree. Just because there are obvious inconsistencies does not mean that she will spot them (or wants to). My wife isn't exactly fundie material but the issue is that if she has a question, she only seeks an answer from another christian who always have some happy clappy answer that is from an apologist, even though the bible says otherwise. I don't know your wife's situation completely but if she never seeks other possible answers, she may never see it. I love my wife dearly but in the discussions we have had, it is clear that her delusion runs deep.

Boilerplate example: once I brought up slavery and she said the usual bullshit on how it was more indentured servitude and they had to let them go after so long. She STILL thinks this even though I have repeatedly told her the chapters where it clearly shows that she (and therefore whoever told her) is wrong. Slavery is one of the only things that the bible is absolutely crystal clear on but she still subscribes to this everyone is a servant crap. I know that she was told this by someone and she is only regurgitating but the point is that even though the text clearly shows that her position is incorrect, she will not read it for what it actually says. This may be her reality. Personally, I just try to show her that I love her and our children consumately. Hopefully, her fellow parishoners don't say anything bad about you to her. If they do, being better than that may create some healthy cognitive dissonance.

"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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08-08-2015, 11:05 PM
RE: Just need to vent...
They actually quoted some of Paul's writing to her that says she shouldn't date an atheist, not long after we started going out... she promptly quoted back other places in his writing where he says a woman shouldn't leave her mate if she becomes Christian and he doesn't.

We have actually discussed areas of the Bible I have issues with, and almost without fail, she agreed with me about it being claptrap from Bronze-Age tribal priests, expressing their prejudice and ignorance. When I told her about my church teaching that the slavery verses were "just about indentured servitude", she not only laughed, but SHE pointed out where Leviticus specifically spells out the difference between permanent slavery and temporary indentured servitude in those verses, and specifies that slavery is for foreign/other peoples, while the 7-year servitude is for fellow Hebrews... and that this Biblical distinction was the basis of the difference in how white indentured servants versus black slaves were treated in the Colonies.

She's pretty sharp. Wink

"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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08-08-2015, 11:08 PM
RE: Just need to vent...
I will say, though, that your wife exhibits an impressive degree of cognitive dissonance. It's pretty hard to argue that this...

44 Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.
(bold emphasis my own)

... refers to anything but permanent slavery. (Leviticus 25:44-46, NIV)

"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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09-08-2015, 01:40 AM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2015 07:11 AM by The Organic Chemist.)
RE: Just need to vent...
RS, that's cool if she is sharp enough to see that. The old "do not yoke yourself with the unbeliever" eh? I think my wife justifies it by saying to herself that when we were married, I wasn't an atheist (which was true) so this didn't apply although I know a couple of people "warned" her when we were dating. My wife asked me once whether these could be just old laws for a time long past. I pointed out that if it was, then which part of the OT and NT was relevant and how do we know? These things were supposedly told by YHWY himself. If the NT is correct that god was unchanging, then why was humanity opposed to something god rubber-stamped?

To the OP, my wife used to take real offense when I pointed out something. She is nuch better now for whatever reason. Be patient and most of all loving. You don't need to believe in spooks and spectres to love her or be a good man. You just need to prove it through actions.

"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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09-08-2015, 01:54 AM
RE: Just need to vent...
(08-08-2015 08:11 PM)Rkane819 Wrote:  Rocket surgeon: He just turned 1 so we have a while until this issue comes up with him. How do you navigate these waters with your 9 year old?

I take the same approach with my kids an RS. I have three boys (ages 8, 5, and 3). I do not oppose my wife taking them to church. The only thing that I did say is that the day that they come home and tell me that I am going to hell will be the last day that they set foot in that church. That is not negotiable as far as I am concerned. I don't hide it from them and we have had some good talks. My 8 YO has asked way more since he is older but my 5 YO just listens. I try to ask questions to get them to think and really try to avoid telling them what I really think because I want them to think for themselves. I don't want them to be atheists unless it is something they arrive at on their own. Same goes for my wife. I have told her that only 1 of us wants the other to change and that it's not me. If my kids really believe it, then I am cool with that. If they don't, then I am cool with that. Once, my 8 YO (who was 6 if memory serves me) asked when he could stop going to church. I replied that when he could come up with a good reason that wasn't just because he was lazy. The next few years should be interesting.

"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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09-08-2015, 01:59 AM
RE: Just need to vent...
Thank you for that wisdom, TOC.

I can't tell you how wholeheartedly I agree with your statement, "the day that they come home and tell me that I am going to hell will be the last day that they set foot in that church. That is not negotiable as far as I am concerned."

I also strongly agree with the idea that I don't care whether he is a Christian or an atheist, so long as he arrives at his conclusion based on intellectual integrity, and not because he was brainwashed. I suspect it won't be a major issue, since he has a strong background in science and in sci-fi (which isn't exactly friendly to religion, in general).

I know it wasn't aimed at me, but I found several elements of that very helpful. Thanks again! Smile

"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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09-08-2015, 06:45 AM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2015 06:49 AM by Rkane819.)
RE: Just need to vent...
RS and TOC: great dialogue. I appreciate hearing from you guys that are further along in the parenting process. I will keep all your ideas in mind.

Let me ask you guys this, one (sneaky?) plan I have is to not touch the issue of religion/belief unless she brings it up. However, what I have done a few times, and successfully I might add, is use the news cycle for this upcoming presidential election to talk about coming to conclusions on key issues. Such as, who are you going to vote for and why, climate change, gun control, abortion, etc... And how we use information to come to conclusions on these issues and there are always multiple opinions on these issues.

Just last night I had a mini breakthrough on gun control. now whether you all think we need more or less guns is besides the point, I just wanted to play Devils advocate to whatever stance she took. She took the stance of we need more because she works for a Xtian home building company full of good ol boys who like to hunt and are very pro gun. I showed her a clip of Jim Jefferies and his anti-gun take. After it was over she said, "wow, I hadn't thought of it like that. He made some good points. "

If I can get her to start questioning other assumptions she's made by seeking out differing opinions and using her logic skills to come to a conclusion then maybe the religious belief system will fall in line and she will at least examine it more thoroughly. Whether or not she maintains her Xtian status is fine so long as she does the homework.
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09-08-2015, 07:04 AM (This post was last modified: 09-08-2015 07:17 AM by The Organic Chemist.)
RE: Just need to vent...
(09-08-2015 06:45 AM)Rkane819 Wrote:  RS and TOC: great dialogue. I appreciate hearing from you guys that are further along in the parenting process. I will keep all your ideas in mind.

Let me ask you guys this, one (sneaky?) plan I have is to not touch the issue of religion/belief unless she brings it up. However, what I have done a few times, and successfully I might add, is use the news cycle for this upcoming presidential election to talk about coming to conclusions on key issues. Such as, who are you going to vote for and why, climate change, gun control, abortion, etc... And how we use information to come to conclusions on these issues and there are always multiple opinions on these issues.

Just last night I had a mini breakthrough on gun control. now whether you all think we need more or less guns is besides the point, I just wanted to play Devils advocate to whatever stance she took. She took the stance of we need more because she works for a Xtian home building company full of good ol boys who like to hunt and are very pro gun. I showed her a clip of Jim Jefferies and his anti-gun take. After it was over she said, "wow, I hadn't thought of it like that. He made some good points. "

If I can get her to start questioning other assumptions she's made by seeking out differing opinions and using her logic skills to come to a conclusion then maybe the religious belief system will fall in line and she will at least examine it more thoroughly. Whether or not she maintains her Xtian status is fine so long as she does the homework.

Well, you certianly know her better than either of us so I would just say use your best judgement. Although if you're being "sneaky" is that a good way to be? How would you like it if she was trying to sneak in religion? Just a thought. I typically wait for her to go there although I have done it occasionally if I felt it was relevant. Like once where she was chuckling at another religion's beliefs and I pointed out that she symbolically eats a dead body once a month and how weird is that? Or we saw something on the news about a boating accident and I said that Posiden was watching out for them. I have no idea if she is actually seeing the ridiculousness of the statements, she usually lets them hang there. I would however caution on overdoing it. She really needs to be out of the "everything is an attack" stage before you can do this kind of stuff. I am not really interested in deconverting her. I really just want her to see why I don't buy it. And in order for her to understand that, she dirat needs to realize that a dissenting opinion is not a personal attack. That is what they do, merge the person's identity to the faith ao that any criticism is taken personally. The jury is still out on whether its working but I really don't care, at least the subject isn't taboo anymore.

Edit: and your plan really isn't sneaky, its respectful. If she's ready to talk that is on her time.

"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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