How do you deal with being inundated with religious suggestions, comments and dialogue on a daily basis?
I feel like since I finally identified myself as an atheist, I've seen countless facebook statuses/comments, forum posts, instagram pics etc full of religious passages or suggestions to "Praise Jesus/Allah" or have "God" in your life. I can't even read a self-help article without some reference to a bible scripture or assertion to have a relationship with "God".
So, my fellow rational people, what keeps you sane?
You sir, are being quoted on my blog.
I don't use FB.
Shortly after creating an account on FB I realized that a large percentage of my acquaintances are religious nut jobs that found FB as a great way to proselytize. It drove me up the wall. TA is my alternative to FB.
In person I have answers. I don't mind sharing them. I think of it as a good review for me. When I feel the conversation is dragging on or getting ridiculous I casually change the subject.
I avoid self help that isn't helpful. Most of it is perfectly safe answers that are more likely to give a warm and fuzzy feeling than give a real solution to specific problems. Generic example: "Try being assertive". I put that into practice and soon realize this self help had no clue what kind of asshole I was dealing with. Also it doesn't do any good using scripture to make a point. It makes more sense to put it into modern terms as to not cause confusion or leave the point open to interpretation.
I always deal better with people when I am more relaxed and have less stress.
I agree with Gallup on the humor bit too. I try to keep my sense of humor at ready no matter how serious the situation. I might need it.
My best friend is a Christian, and a republican. I love him like I love no other person on this planet. We can discuss things with out becoming infuriated and walk away with love and respect for each other. Funny side note: The last conversation that we had about religion vs atheism he ended the conversation by saying "You're getting too good at this." We laughed. It's great to know that there are Christians like him out there.
Good luck with sanity though Reesie! I'm still trying to find a balance after years of religion in my life. I'm in the process of changing my behaviors in all aspects that christianity has affected -which is all aspects of my life. I replace a lot of things. I watch the magic sandwich show on sunday rather than attending church, I "follow" Atheists & scientists on twitter as a source for news as oppose to say watching Fox, I am social on TA rather than FB in concerns of social media, I study logic and reason as oppose to apologetics for a nonsensical religion, etc.
If I take the same route to work everyday and am accosted by people from the houses I pass, then it's worth looking into another route to work.
I've taken a liking to the option of hiding people from the news feed. Saved me a lot of headaches since discovering that little feature. If I didn't use facebook to promote my art and interact with other artists/clients, I would have deleted it a long time ago.
Oh yeah I know what you mean. I've been really active in trying to improve my productivity and alleviate self-doubt but I'm so often met with pieces of advice that involve "getting re-acquainted with your faith in God". Yeah, no.
I feel I have to bite my tongue quite a bit offline. I have a parent who is a born-again Christian and the commentary he makes with such a matter-of-fact rhetoric with regards to "Jesus" and his power over this world is hard to digest. It takes every fiber of my being not to retort with something that challenges his claims whenever the subject is brought up, but I know that will never go over well. I'm lucky to have people who identify as Christians that never bring up anything regarding religion, but then it seems like everywhere else...there it is.
Thank you! I'm definitely in that same process as well (never realized the religious implications of saying "bless you" after someone sneezes, I was always just taught that it was polite, ha!) I think the more I interact and gain knowledge in different aspects from this site, the easier it will be to handle the annoyances I often feel in regards to people spewing their beliefs constantly. Thanks for your response!
I've never said I was sane - why, have you heard something?
I'll file that along with "I never said I wasn't paranoid. Why? Have you heard something?"
Might I suggest where you file it, he asked ever-so-sweetly --?
One of the most useful things I have found is to keep educating myself, so I know when what they're saying is complete hogwash. I first thought I would be better able to debate them then, but not everybody needs to, wants to, or should be engaged in debate. Wheat I found out was that I could confidently dismiss most of their idiocy, see where they are at, and just continue being true to myself. They are not as threatening or as irritating as they used to be because I won't engage in most of their stupid arguments. I am also not apologetic for not believing, and I'm sure I give off that vibe. People still accuse me of being a "seeking God" unbeknownst to myself, I guess, but I assure them I am not, with humor if possible.
AND I get to have wonderful heathen sex without Jesus watching me!
I agree Diane I feel I need to educate myself as much as possible. I'm not a great face-to-face debater, but in this situation I'm sure trying... I work for a christian corp full of hard core "God is Good" every hour...and saying grace before luncheons! Even the "god bless you"s annoy me lately....It's hard to bite my tongue and the older I get, the harder it gets. The whole thing just feels uncomfortable for me :( But I ignore and respect..
Cori, for some of the god bless you just tell them yes FSM or Odin is good, after a while they will give up.
Education is good, by reading you get to walk on the shoulders of giants and there is no limit as to where you can go.
I'm actually at a point where I feel like EVERYTHING they say is complete hogwash, but I completely agree with you on the subject of educating oneself. I find myself slipping into more and more religious debates online (and coming out of them either feeling like I've been arguing with a brick wall, or feeling utterly disgusted at the audacity of some people's attempts to discredit my intelligence when they're the ones trying to justify the invisible man in the sky). I'm still working on being confident in my non-belief, unfortunately in large part of the black community it's more of an outrage than killing someone. I tend to use the expression "non-religious" or "non-practicing" when people ask me what my beliefs are.
Haha! Heathen sex ftw!
I have to agree: Humor is the best way to deal with it. If you took all the nut jobs seriously, you would either go insane or consider joining them just to make the pain stop. Neither of which are acceptable in my book. I stopped using FB for that very reason, too many nut cakes out there telling me how Jeebus loves me and all that.
Stay sane and smile :)
It helps me to remember that the intent of the believer is often not to do evil but to do what they see as good. I know that doesn't change the reality of what their actions are, but it helps me to put myself in their shoes. Also, remember it is usually not personal when people prothelytize. Most of the time, it is about what is going on inside of the believer rather than anything to do with you.
I keep my sanity by checking in with like-minded people over the internet, reading reality-based literture, and taking an anthropological, deconstructionist approach to situations in which the religulous cannot be avoided. It's also nice to take time out now and then to hole up with a nice book on atheism or humanism.
Hang in there. Or if it's too much, hang it up and take a break.