What do I do?
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09-05-2015, 12:00 AM
What do I do?
Where do I begin?
I am a (in my opinion) a fresh out of the closet atheist in a family full of theists...sadly when I came out the reactions (while not terribly bad) were not what I expected, even more troubling as time goes on and I am no longer ignorant from religion I notice how ignorant, racist, and just (IMO again) completely unbelievably destructive beliefs that my family truly follows and is teaching my siblings, niece, younger cousins...The ones who don't really have a choice in believing anything else.
I am constantly being labeled as the lost soul or "The Fool" before I even give my opinion to anyone.

I notice myself starting to ...resent and hate religion...I am starting to find myself looking at my family and seeing such a wave of ignorance it makes me sick to my stomach. I don't want to feel this way towards them and it isn't exactly towards them but what they believe...I don't know what to do...even doctors, psychiatrists and others who I should be able to go to I cannot because they all believe the same.

I think I am just mostly venting here but I am also looking for any help. How should I deal with my family and peers around me? How do I deal with myself? Am I wrong for feeling this way? Ugh I feel very lost right now.
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09-05-2015, 02:50 AM
RE: What do I do?
You're not "wrong" for feeling a certain way - we can't really help how we feel, but we can learn how to manage our emotions. Of course you're frustrated!

You do need to find a healthy outlet for venting - this is certainly a safe place to do so. In most situations, you're not going to be able to change your family's mind. Just try to show them you're still a kind, moral, loving person and that who you are as a person hasn't changed - that just takes time - if they see you pissed off all the time, it'll just reinforce their angry unhappy atheist stereotype. You're gonna be the black sheep for a while. They may hold out hope that the wayward child will come home again. Sometimes burning bridges is unavoidable, more depends on how much of a nutjob the theist is... When it comes to family and religion, most people are best served by keeping their opinions to themselves unless asked.

Trust me, I can totally relate with being surrounded by racist theist family members, other than I'm still in the closet with my family. And my shrink is Muslim. I'm about to meet with a therapist, who is almost certainly Christian. Thing is, most healthcare professionals are trained to be considerate of their patients' beliefs/culture. A psychiatrist has been through medical school and a residency - you're *not* the first atheist they've come across. Sure they may not have the same lack of belief as you - but most of the mental healthcare professionals I've met are reaaalllly nonjudgmental, chill people - if anything they'll be trying to figure out what makes you think atheism is a legit stance on viewing the world. Atheism really isn't all that shocking in the scheme of what people tell their mental health providers - oh my god at the stories I could tell from the ER.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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09-05-2015, 06:16 AM
RE: What do I do?
To paraphrase an old religious saying ---

We don't hate the religious, we hate the religion.....

Just keep one thing in mind -- it's what makes us different from the religious.

We go through each day without a delusion of "divine help". When things happen - it's simply because they happen - or we make them happen.

There's no invisible man running around doing things on our behalf.

You know that now - they don't.

It almost makes you feel sorry for them.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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09-05-2015, 06:40 AM
RE: What do I do?
(09-05-2015 12:00 AM)LPMalakye Wrote:  I notice myself starting to ...resent and hate religion...I am starting to find myself looking at my family and seeing such a wave of ignorance it makes me sick to my stomach. I don't want to feel this way towards them and it isn't exactly towards them but what they believe...I don't know what to do...even doctors, psychiatrists and others who I should be able to go to I cannot because they all believe the same.

I think the best way to look at it that I've heard is to realize that they are victims of early and repeated indoctrination. You found your way out but it isn't as easy for many.

Do a google search for 'secular therapist' and you may get some leads on finding somebody to talk to. You can also search for local secular meetup groups to find like-minded people to talk to in person.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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09-05-2015, 06:42 AM
RE: What do I do?
This is why I get down on my well intended friends on the left who think setting up taboos is the way to keep peace. There is a HUGE difference in valuing human rights, and the credibility of what may come out of someones mouth.

I hate the IDEA of religion being a good way to view the world. No you cannot force it out of existence. But to me it is like insisting on using a Kaleidoscope in an age of telescopes.

I don't even want atheists who form clubs to try to write a moral list either. Not even we are monochromatic. Yes have your clubs, but never be blind to them. "atheist" merely means "off". It is not a political party It is not a religion. It is not a business model. It is not an education level or a class. It is also not a moral code or loyalty oath.

Our western idea of secularism and common law already allows for diversity and allows for bans on violence to others.

Poetry by Brian37(poems by an atheist) Also on Facebook as BrianJames Rational Poet and Twitter Brianrrs37
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09-05-2015, 06:55 AM
RE: What do I do?
(09-05-2015 06:42 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  This is why I get down on my well intended friends on the left who think setting up taboos is the way to keep peace. There is a HUGE difference in valuing human rights, and the credibility of what may come out of someones mouth.

I hate the IDEA of religion being a good way to view the world. No you cannot force it out of existence. But to me it is like insisting on using a Kaleidoscope in an age of telescopes.

I don't even want atheists who form clubs to try to write a moral list either. Not even we are monochromatic. Yes have your clubs, but never be blind to them. "atheist" merely means "off". It is not a political party It is not a religion. It is not a business model. It is not an education level or a class. It is also not a moral code or loyalty oath.

Our western idea of secularism and common law already allows for diversity and allows for bans on violence to others.

I like this : "But to me it is like insisting on using a Kaleidoscope in an age of telescopes." Thumbsup

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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09-05-2015, 07:14 AM
RE: What do I do?
(09-05-2015 06:42 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  I don't even want atheists who form clubs to try to write a moral list either. Not even we are monochromatic. Yes have your clubs, but never be blind to them. "atheist" merely means "off". It is not a political party It is not a religion. It is not a business model. It is not an education level or a class. It is also not a moral code or loyalty oath.

I agree completely but they do not view it that way. As soon as I open my mouth it is a "You vs Us" attitude and even when asked "Why do I hate God all of a sudden?" my reply was "I do not hate God, I just don't believe in God" despite how I truly am starting to feel about their (sarcastic air quotes) "Holy Book" and "God" deems moral. Any rational (or sane) individual in my opinion can see this is just WRONG and abuse in the most critical of ways and frankly dangerous.

While I feel we indeed should not start trying to establish ourselves (atheists) like creationists do, it is also hard for me to stay silent about what I know in my heart (almost said soul there XD ) is wrong.

My problem truly lies in my inability to remain silent and passive. We are a very...passionate group of people who like to debate and sadly as any debate involving someones deepest convictions and beliefs come into play it no longer is a debate but an argument...I am going to stop before I start ranting but thanks for the responses and please keep them coming. ^^
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09-05-2015, 07:24 AM
RE: What do I do?
(09-05-2015 07:14 AM)LPMalakye Wrote:  
(09-05-2015 06:42 AM)Brian37 Wrote:  I don't even want atheists who form clubs to try to write a moral list either. Not even we are monochromatic. Yes have your clubs, but never be blind to them. "atheist" merely means "off". It is not a political party It is not a religion. It is not a business model. It is not an education level or a class. It is also not a moral code or loyalty oath.

I agree completely but they do not view it that way. As soon as I open my mouth it is a "You vs Us" attitude and even when asked "Why do I hate God all of a sudden?" my reply was "I do not hate God, I just don't believe in God" despite how I truly am starting to feel about their (sarcastic air quotes) "Holy Book" and "God" deems moral. Any rational (or sane) individual in my opinion can see this is just WRONG and abuse in the most critical of ways and frankly dangerous.

While I feel we indeed should not start trying to establish ourselves (atheists) like creationists do, it is also hard for me to stay silent about what I know in my heart (almost said soul there XD ) is wrong.

My problem truly lies in my inability to remain silent and passive. We are a very...passionate group of people who like to debate and sadly as any debate involving someones deepest convictions and beliefs come into play it no longer is a debate but an argument...I am going to stop before I start ranting but thanks for the responses and please keep them coming. ^^

I have friends/family who still believe in/love god. I just think you have to pick and choose your battles. They are still caught up in the web of illusion. I know when I was into all of that--nothing anyone could have said would have made me question god. The only one who was ever able to make me question God--was god himself --and that was through his "own" words in the Bible. Once i read the Bible--all of it--and not just the good passages they give you in church--I knew it was some made up cultural bullshit. I would just ask them to read the entire Bible and then see what they have to say about it. Surprisingly--most religious people have not read the entire Bible.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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10-05-2015, 07:46 PM
RE: What do I do?
[/quote]

I have friends/family who still believe in/love god. I just think you have to pick and choose your battles. They are still caught up in the web of illusion. I know when I was into all of that--nothing anyone could have said would have made me question god. The only one who was ever able to make me question God--was god himself --and that was through his "own" words in the Bible. Once i read the Bible--all of it--and not just the good passages they give you in church--I knew it was some made up cultural bullshit. I would just ask them to read the entire Bible and then see what they have to say about it. Surprisingly--most religious people have not read the entire Bible.
[/quote]

Sadly my mother (like myself) is very passionate (aggressive) when defending her beliefs and also like myself we try and do our homework before we debate on any matter . I sadly to say do not know nor do I believe I ever will know entirely what the bible says or memorize it in depth as she does so when trying to argue that point to her is rather futile as she does study it. I of course am not ignorant to her religion I mean I was forced to go to church until adulthood and am surrounded by theists. I just wish she could see the damage she is causing to her own daughters by telling them some of the things I hear. IT IS SCARY to say the least.

I'm not saying she would but she almost reminds me of a radical....if she were healthier I wouldn't put it past her ya know! For the longest time (and even somewhat still) I am almost scared of her...and it's all over fairytales and lies. When I deconverted I told myself I wouldn't be one of those (forgive the label) Christopher Hitchens atheists and want religion completely obolished but damn the guy does make sense and even being the peace keeper makes me THE enemy. That to me is dangerous and honestly makes me question whether their love only extends to what their religion dictates. Which needless to say is very discouraging
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10-05-2015, 07:55 PM (This post was last modified: 10-05-2015 08:00 PM by jennybee.)
RE: What do I do?
I heard a saying awhile ago (I don't remember who said it?) but it goes something like this: "You can only take people so far and then you have to leave them there." Meaning that you can only give people so much information and what they decide to do with it is up to them--you can't force anyone to change their minds. It seems like arguing with your mom is upsetting to both of you--so really there's no benefit to it. You're not changing your mind and she's not changing her mind. But, you can still be a voice of reason with your sisters. if you want to know what the Bible says in depth--get some scholarly books on the Bible (and not the ones written by *religious* theologians).

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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