What to do when you step on a landmine?
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07-09-2015, 09:57 PM
What to do when you step on a landmine?
So I stepped on a landmine tonight and there doesn't seem to be away off it without losing a leg.

I was browsing the TTA forums while watching a show with my wife (who was playing a game on her ipad) and the next thing you know we are in an intense and quite frankly threatening conversation. My wife is very upset and actively showing it now that I've joined TTA and a local atheist group.

I'm actually a little shocked at her reaction because I've made it pretty clear on several occasions earlier this year that I no longer believe, but she always shouts me out before we can have any real discussion - frustrating but I've tried to be accommodating and understanding. I think a good deal of this anger is because of the way I answered my children's question last week about where people come from - the first people. I naively (and with out thinking) indicated that Science says we come from primates - a well supported fact. My wife is still Christian, though hardly practicing as far as I can see, and I came out this year to myself and her though neither of have been to church for a number of years.

This is my first real experience with the flak I hear one can take for being an atheist and it lived up to the full explosive experience I've heard about. I was told I was being stupid, and how could I have this crazy view given my growing up United Pentecostal. She threatened to tell my mom about my views if I don't smarten up - she thinks I owe it to my mom, but I have clearly indicate I wish to consider the wisdom of this. She wants my parents or my cousin (Pastor) to make me reconsider my position. She effectively threatened divorce (all though when I asked her to clarify that position she backed away from it a bit) if I don't keep my views to myself in front of the children - she wants them to be raised Christian. This lead me to try to defend my position from a logical position which all but resulted in effectively fingers in ears and repeated statements that I'm crazy, I over think, how could I change and special shock at believing man comes from apes

While I got a little passionate about defending my views I think I held a pretty decent calm demeanor in the face of being told I'm the stupid, crazy, unbelievable one for "not" believing in God. I'm just chewing on the big thick slice-o-irony and its sticking in my craw. She's a set in her views person on a good day on any topic you choose, so there was no real chance for a reasonable discussion in something so rooted as God belief. I think the best I can hope is try and aim for peaceful existence for the sake of our kids - but I'm beginning to think that a slim hope at best.

I tried suggesting we each peaceably represent our own views to our kids as I am not comfortable with being a silent parent in raising my kids. In the long run I think the inequality and restriction it places on me is intolerable. But for the short term I will be more diligent in keeping to benign topics.

Now I must contemplate a discussion with my parents (both practicing United Pentecostals). The ensuing discussion seems pointless - it will lead to debate with one of two outcomes. them not listening at all to reason - fingers in ears) and we limp through whatever relationship survives, or perhaps worse I shatter their faith in the process of defending my reasoning. I say worse because they are nearing 70 and I have no wish to rob them of any comfort they might gain given the few years they have left. They know we left the UPC and we don't go to church any more, but they still assume I believe in God. We don't talk too much about God directly.

Well that's it for tonight. I'm still kind of dazed by all this.

~Jay
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07-09-2015, 10:11 PM
RE: What to do when you step on a landmine?
Hug
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08-09-2015, 12:22 AM (This post was last modified: 08-09-2015 10:32 AM by Thumpalumpacus.)
RE: What to do when you step on a landmine?
I wish I had good advice for you. I know what I'd do, which is tell my parents but explain that our love is the same regardless, and then explain to my wife that they're my children too and silencing me in effect takes me out of their life. But then, I will take risks when the stakes are high, and so I don't advise that upon anyone else, including you, because you know the situation and I don't.
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08-09-2015, 02:17 AM
RE: What to do when you step on a landmine?
Just make it very clear to her that belief is not a choice, and your atheism is not from a lack of caring.

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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08-09-2015, 04:44 AM
RE: What to do when you step on a landmine?
I'm sorry you're going through this. I think you need to make clear that you aren't trying to attack her own faith, but plan to hold fast to your views, no matter what pressure she tries to bring.

This is almost certainly a big emotional blow to her that will take time to process, and a similar blow to your parents.

Consider that from her POV, you have abandoned her for eternity (as you won't be going to heaven--I know, neither of you will be, but that's not the way she thinks) and are now apparently trying to take the kids away for eternity, too, by inflicting your pernicious views about evolution, etc.

However, it is not morally justifiable for your wife or your parents to insist that you change your views for their personal comfort and satisfaction. Regarding your kids, I imagine that it will be an ongoing negotiation between you and your wife, and I certainly hope that you can come to an accommodation that doesn't require either of you to lie to them about what you believe.
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08-09-2015, 05:38 AM
RE: What to do when you step on a landmine?
(07-09-2015 09:57 PM)jayc Wrote:  ...
She effectively threatened divorce (all though when I asked her to clarify that position she backed away from it a bit) if I don't keep my views to myself in front of the children - she wants them to be raised Christian.
...

"Darling, being raised christian is one thing but being raised stupid is unacceptable to me."

I'm divorced so don't listen to me.

Blush

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08-09-2015, 06:53 AM
RE: What to do when you step on a landmine?
(07-09-2015 09:57 PM)jayc Wrote:  So I stepped on a landmine tonight and there doesn't seem to be away off it without losing a leg.

I was browsing the TTA forums while watching a show with my wife (who was playing a game on her ipad) and the next thing you know we are in an intense and quite frankly threatening conversation. My wife is very upset and actively showing it now that I've joined TTA and a local atheist group.

I'm actually a little shocked at her reaction because I've made it pretty clear on several occasions earlier this year that I no longer believe, but she always shouts me out before we can have any real discussion - frustrating but I've tried to be accommodating and understanding. I think a good deal of this anger is because of the way I answered my children's question last week about where people come from - the first people. I naively (and with out thinking) indicated that Science says we come from primates - a well supported fact. My wife is still Christian, though hardly practicing as far as I can see, and I came out this year to myself and her though neither of have been to church for a number of years.

This is my first real experience with the flak I hear one can take for being an atheist and it lived up to the full explosive experience I've heard about. I was told I was being stupid, and how could I have this crazy view given my growing up United Pentecostal. She threatened to tell my mom about my views if I don't smarten up - she thinks I owe it to my mom, but I have clearly indicate I wish to consider the wisdom of this. She wants my parents or my cousin (Pastor) to make me reconsider my position. She effectively threatened divorce (all though when I asked her to clarify that position she backed away from it a bit) if I don't keep my views to myself in front of the children - she wants them to be raised Christian. This lead me to try to defend my position from a logical position which all but resulted in effectively fingers in ears and repeated statements that I'm crazy, I over think, how could I change and special shock at believing man comes from apes

While I got a little passionate about defending my views I think I held a pretty decent calm demeanor in the face of being told I'm the stupid, crazy, unbelievable one for "not" believing in God. I'm just chewing on the big thick slice-o-irony and its sticking in my craw. She's a set in her views person on a good day on any topic you choose, so there was no real chance for a reasonable discussion in something so rooted as God belief. I think the best I can hope is try and aim for peaceful existence for the sake of our kids - but I'm beginning to think that a slim hope at best.

I tried suggesting we each peaceably represent our own views to our kids as I am not comfortable with being a silent parent in raising my kids. In the long run I think the inequality and restriction it places on me is intolerable. But for the short term I will be more diligent in keeping to benign topics.

Now I must contemplate a discussion with my parents (both practicing United Pentecostals). The ensuing discussion seems pointless - it will lead to debate with one of two outcomes. them not listening at all to reason - fingers in ears) and we limp through whatever relationship survives, or perhaps worse I shatter their faith in the process of defending my reasoning. I say worse because they are nearing 70 and I have no wish to rob them of any comfort they might gain given the few years they have left. They know we left the UPC and we don't go to church any more, but they still assume I believe in God. We don't talk too much about God directly.

Well that's it for tonight. I'm still kind of dazed by all this.

~Jay

Sorry to hear you going through this. I'd say focus on the things that made you love her while going through this. I know that sometimes you lose sight of that while in this argument.

Oh by the way just so you have the right facts we don't come from primates exactly. We share a common ancestor with them.
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08-09-2015, 06:58 AM
RE: What to do when you step on a landmine?
I can come up with many smart-ass remarks, but they'd all get you in deeper trouble.

Sorry for your dilemma. You are the only one who can judge how far you are willing to negate your own feelings/beliefs in light of the situation. Hang in there! Hug

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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08-09-2015, 07:15 AM
RE: What to do when you step on a landmine?
I wouldn't bring it up with 70 year old parents. You might pull the rug out from under them, and if they have to spend years going through the grieving process many go through when they lose their invisible friend, they will possibly spend the rest of their lives grieving, which is miserable. And you would live to regret that for sure.

As for your wife - slow and easy if possible.

As for your kids - I have no idea how old they are but there is no reason to rush things - just answer honestly when they ask things. Teaching rational thought doesn't have to involve religion at all. But teaching rational thought will lead them down the right path when the time comes.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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08-09-2015, 08:16 AM
RE: What to do when you step on a landmine?
(08-09-2015 07:15 AM)Dom Wrote:  I wouldn't bring it up with 70 year old parents. You might pull the rug out from under them, and if they have to spend years going through the grieving process many go through when they lose their invisible friend, they will possibly spend the rest of their lives grieving, which is miserable. And you would live to regret that for sure.

As for your wife - slow and easy if possible.

As for your kids - I have no idea how old they are but there is no reason to rush things - just answer honestly when they ask things. Teaching rational thought doesn't have to involve religion at all. But teaching rational thought will lead them down the right path when the time comes.

With Dom on the wife. Just take it slow. Mine is a practicing believer and after years of tiptoeing around it, we finally can talk about it. She went through the whole heart aching thing and probably still does. Just stay calm and stick with the facts you know. Once the shock wears off, perhaps you can have some good discussions. As for the kids, I try to be as respectful to my wife as possible without being dishonest. Good luck.

"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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