Thanksgiving With the Folks
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
29-11-2013, 04:11 AM
Thanksgiving With the Folks
Ahh, it's that time of year, isn't it? Time for families to return from whence they've dispersed over the years to sit down and enjoy an evening of good food, reminiscence and unity.

Sadly, for some of us here, that means placing ourselves into a veritable lion's pit of believing relatives who want to know if we've "decided to return to God, yet?"

Shit gets tense. Or, it can. Some families don't give a fuck. Others do. In turn, some of US don't give a fuck if they give a fuck. Others do. For me, being from a family of JWs, Thanksgiving was never really a thing. Like, at all. That is until, over the years, my mother took a gradual liking to the idea and, this year, there was an actual Thanksgiving dinner. We didn't call it that, of course; it was a dinner which happened to be of turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes, that happened to be served on a day that happens to be a holiday on which everyone happens to do the exact same thing. And we happened to invite a few family members to join us. We happened to. [Image: shifty.gif]

Not being one to pass up a turkey dinner, especially after an ass-kicking workout, I decided I'd tag along. So my sister and I get there, and we see that all of the major players have arrived. Mom, outspoken faith-head, is prepping the turkey on the countertop. Dad, the now-sober but condescendingly faithful follower of Mom's every spiritual move*, has his eyes fixed on Fox news and is ranting about socialism and the white man being oppressed. Grammie, the elder faith-head with the intellectual fortitude of a young maple sapling, is sitting at the bar fumbling with her keys and making child-like comments about the aesthetic quality of the forthcoming meal. Matt, my young brother, is playing on the iPad and shaking his head back and forth while yelling like an ADHD-afflicted 8-year-old…as usual.

* Weird for a bunch of christians, I know.

Already, I don't want to be there. This is made apparent by the large 1.5 liter bottle of wine I've got clutched in my right hand with all the intensity of a rifle clasped in the hand of a US soldier storming the beaches of Normandy, as well as the half-hearted smile I give to my grandmother upon seeing her half-hearted smile upon my entry. The atheists are here. Yay. Dodgy

For the most part, things went ok. The turkey looked good, if not a little dry; the stuffing was sure to be amazing as usual, and the warm taste of wine was burning like a soothing fire in my stomach. I got a bit nervous when I opened the pot of "gravy" and was hissed at by a bubbling, gelatinous mass of…something, but everyone seemed to be in decent spirits and I figured maybe everything would be alright for the evening.

After all was said and done, I ventured upstairs to find my dad sitting on the couch receiving his daily IV drip of Fox News and my sister sitting quietly next to him. I stood at the far wall of the room, as I do, next to the deck door where I had a good view of the entire room and TV. Fox was doing some sort of special for the veterans, and was showing an old speech by Ronald "Christ: The Return" Reagan. He was speaking about those who fought and died in wars past, and spoke about the thoughts of soldiers as they stormed the beaches in WW2. He made a comment which said something to the effect of "…praying to God to be with them. On that beach or the next."

I couldn't help myself. I wasn't as alert as I should have been, and the guy said something about God being present in a time of slaughter, and it just sort of slipped out. "Psh," I responded, "I like how they specified that it'd be 'on that beach or the next.' That way, if they get shot and die, we can't say that God wasn't with them; he'll be with them on the next beach."

I knew what I'd said. And whether I misunderstood Reagan or not, it was a valid point. Religious people have learned from God's many years of failure, and now they slip in a little disclaimer - a kind of loophole - that excuses God from any wrongdoing if he doesn't do the thing they thought he probably should have done. That way, when Soldier #237 goes down in a hail of German lead, they can just say "Oh, well I said it'd be on this side or the other. Obviously, God chose the other. So he's still with them."

But valid though my point may have been, the look on my sister's face after I'd said it made me realize that I may have fucked up. Her eyes were wide and her face pale; her fists clenched tightly in the front pockets of her hoodie, and she looked immediately to my dad. Dad had been fingering away at his Smartphone (checking "The Drudge", no doubt) and simply shook his head. "No respect," he said with a sigh, "you just have no fucking respect. That's a line and you just do not cross it. [Meaning I should not] You're not gonna make it in this world. You have no idea how to interact with people and you're gonna get your ass kicked because of it."

I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm of the firm view that beliefs are not to be respected by default. Particularly not irrational, illogical and harmful beliefs. (Intellectually or otherwise) Respect is to be earned, and something that is moronic, idiotic and just plain stupid has not earned my respect. It simply hasn't. They say "love the sinner; hate the sin." I say "love the believer; hate the belief." Faith is absurd. Belief is absurd. No, I do not respect these things. If I'm keeping my mouth shut when you spout some dim-witted bullshit like that, it's not because I respect what you believe, it's because you're my mom or dad and I don't want to hear the fucktardery I know, from experience, will erupt from your lips; giving rise to anger and unrest.

But again, I wasn't thinking, and I said it. So there it was. Now dad's added a bit of bullshit to the feculent flames, and I've gotta defend myself. "I can interact with people just fine," I replied, "but there are certain things in this world which are simply not worthy of respect." "No!" he shouted. "Beliefs are something that people hold dear to them, and you are not allowed to shit all over them the way you do. You have no fucking right to belittle what other people believe." I looked at him with a straight face. "When they're irrational, I do."

It was at this point that mom joined in. She heard the last words from my lips and entered the room with a loud "You most certainly do not!"

I'll spare you the details, because it was drawn-out and complicated and didn't contain anything of which you've not heard before. But it spiraled into a shouting match. Again. (I'm sure some of you remember) Mom started crying (again) and rambling on about how she has to "carry the guilt" of knowing that she "failed" with me because I'm not the brainwashed, robotic faith-head that I used to be. Dad yelled some more because he "didn't kick [my] ass enough" to turn me into the militaristic, son-of-a-sergent man that he wanted me to be. Trying desperately to keep the topic on faith, I attempted to reason with him on the complexities of respect and disrespect, but my mom, being the ever-emotional instigator that she is, jumped back into the pit like an excited dog into what shouldn't be a dog-fight and proceeded to berate my past as a believer. She claimed I had "no clue" about her doctrine and that I had "absolutely no experience when it comes to religion", despite the glaring fact that she, herself, dragged me to the Kingdom Hall 3 times a week until I was 17, at which point she watched with her own fucking eyes as I actively went to the meetings on my own and took part in the goings on of the services and the ministry. Shocked, I couldn't help but go into how she was blatantly ignoring all of these facts in order to support her new-found view that I am the Adversary made flesh, and added that even if she were correct, it wouldn't matter, because I'd not need to have direct experience in the stoning to death of muslim children to know that it's fucking wrong. This set her off more than anything said prior, and she began defending her particular set of beliefs as the ONLY set worthy of respect, because it's the super-special, "one true" set of beliefs in a sea of false religion.

Knowing that all hope of regaining any semblance of civility had been completely lost by this point, I went all-out and brought up a topic I knew would touch a nerve. She insisted that the savagery that exists within the Islamic faith and other religions was separate from her, and that she was superior to it. So, I pointed out her own bit of savagery. "No," I said sternly, "you are just as dangerous and bloodthirsty as any religion you claim to oppose. If that boy [referring to my brother] were to get into an accident tomorrow and needed a life-saving blood transfusion, you would let him die. You would look at that kid on the fucking operating table, and you would let him fucking die. Do not sit there and pretend to be superior because you're absolutely fucking not. THAT is why I speak out about it. THAT is why your beliefs are not worthy of my mother-fucking respect. You would watch your own child die because you believe that it's the right, holy thing to do. And you know god-damned well that you would."

In truth, I don't know if she would. Perhaps there's a decent, moral human being in there somewhere and she'd not follow the strict tenants of her faith if the situation called for a life-saving procedure. Maybe, maybe not. I don't know. But it was a damn good point to make, and the fact that her yap stopped flapping indicates that I made it.

It was then that my dad, now the only voice in the room, raised his finger angrily and told me to "get the fuck out." So I did.

It seems that every time I get together with the folks for a bit of family unity, one little thing is said - from either party - which sets off a chain reaction ending in an eruption of anger and spite. We are not a family. He's done so before, but on this night more certainly than ever, he vocally said to my face that I was not his son anymore. That I was a "write-off". Because I adhere to critical thinking; to rational discernment and reasonable methods of thought; because I lack faith, I am no longer a part of the family. I am now the lost son who will perish in their armageddon, end-of-the-world delusion. In time, they will move on in a paradise earth and my memory will have passed away with the other heathens and wicked ones. And with this, I am actually surprisingly content. Faith is thicker than blood, and I shall have no part of it.



You wanna know the really fun part? Angela's family consists of ministers, missionaries and fundamentalists. Next Thanksgiving is going to be a fucking hoot. Dodgy

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-11-2013, 04:20 AM
RE: Thanksgiving With the Folks
Fortunately, you can always hang with us. Hug

[Image: GrumpyCat_01.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes EvolutionKills's post
29-11-2013, 07:02 AM
RE: Thanksgiving With the Folks
Damn. I'm suddenly really thankful that my family is just a little bit racist.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Colourcraze's post
29-11-2013, 07:44 AM
RE: Thanksgiving With the Folks
(29-11-2013 07:02 AM)Colourcraze Wrote:  Damn. I'm suddenly really thankful that my family is just a little bit racist.




[Image: GrumpyCat_01.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes EvolutionKills's post
29-11-2013, 08:41 AM
RE: Thanksgiving With the Folks
(29-11-2013 07:02 AM)Colourcraze Wrote:  Damn. I'm suddenly really thankful that my family is just a little bit racist.

I loled. Thumbsup

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
Ridi, Pagliaccio, sul tuo amore infranto! Ridi del duol, che t'avvelena il cor!
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-11-2013, 10:55 AM
RE: Thanksgiving With the Folks
(29-11-2013 04:11 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  He's done so before, but on this night more certainly than ever, he vocally said to my face that I was not his son anymore. That I was a "write-off".

I feel for you, truly.

"I like theories you can test."
-- Sheldon Glashow

When in doubt, eat chocolate.
If doubt persists, have a hot fudge sundae.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes dclarion's post
29-11-2013, 10:58 AM
RE: Thanksgiving With the Folks
(29-11-2013 10:55 AM)dclarion Wrote:  
(29-11-2013 04:11 AM)Misanthropik Wrote:  He's done so before, but on this night more certainly than ever, he vocally said to my face that I was not his son anymore. That I was a "write-off".

I feel for you, truly.


I have a brother who wrote me off years ago. It's a very hurtful thing. Horrible really.

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-11-2013, 11:22 AM
RE: Thanksgiving With the Folks
Wow. I celebrated Hanukkah and Thanksgiving together. My Jewish friends are not super religious but they do like to follow the traditions of their ancestors. It was actually really fun. I don't celebrate Thanksgiving with my family because of stories like yours. Even if there's no religious tension, there will be drama. It's not a family holiday unless someone gets pissed.

Swing with me a while, we can listen to the birds call, we can keep each other warm.
Swing with me forever, we can count up every flower, we can weather every storm.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
29-11-2013, 11:26 AM
RE: Thanksgiving With the Folks
(29-11-2013 11:22 AM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  Wow. I celebrated Hanukkah and Thanksgiving together. My Jewish friends are not super religious but they do like to follow the traditions of their ancestors. It was actually really fun. I don't celebrate Thanksgiving with my family because of stories like yours. Even if there's no religious tension, there will be drama. It's not a family holiday unless someone gets pissed.


that is called
[Image: 1452070_10151760000645679_1988548739_n_zpsa3ab5270.jpg]

Big Grin

When I want your opinion I'll read your entrails.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes WitchSabrina's post
29-11-2013, 12:07 PM
RE: Thanksgiving With the Folks
(29-11-2013 11:26 AM)WitchSabrina Wrote:  
(29-11-2013 11:22 AM)LostandInsecure Wrote:  Wow. I celebrated Hanukkah and Thanksgiving together. My Jewish friends are not super religious but they do like to follow the traditions of their ancestors. It was actually really fun. I don't celebrate Thanksgiving with my family because of stories like yours. Even if there's no religious tension, there will be drama. It's not a family holiday unless someone gets pissed.


that is called
[Image: 1452070_10151760000645679_1988548739_n_zpsa3ab5270.jpg]

Big Grin

Yea we actually had shirts made. The fronts say Keep Calm and Thanksgivukkah On, an the backs say Gobble Tov.

Hanukkah won't be on Thanksgiving again for like 70,000 years. I thought it was pretty cool.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: