My parents were over visiting my wife and I today. While they were there my wife mentioned that her mom wanted us to be in a family portrait that she's having done, but that she was worried about me. Huh? I asked why and she said that pictures are being taken at the church parish center her mom belongs too. Presumably she was worried that I would refuse based on the local... Odd because while I (we) don't attend mass with her at the holidays, I also gave no reason to think I wouldn't go for such a silly reason. Such is the mind of the theist I suppose. But anyway, I said that the location made no difference to me but there was one thing that would. I asked if the church was being paid for the photos. Because if the money goes to the church, I'll pay for us to all go to a real studio. She said that they actually hire a photography company to take the pictures every year for the parish directory. The payments go to the company who presumably gives the church a lower rate due to the lump of extra business. You can also determine if your image shows in the parish directory, (which of course ours will not) and purchase extra prints.
Well I said this right in front of my parents and my dad asked this question. "Why don't you just treat religion like a hobby? Some people collect stamps, others follow sports... and some people have religion." I quickly replied that I don't treat it as such because no hobby that I can think of wishes to condemn me to eternal torment. His face went blank, and he simply replied, "Oh... Good point. Forget I ever mentioned that." lol I wish these matters were always that easy and the theists open to reasoned responses. :)
Anyone else ever experience surprisingly easy success?
I haven't seen the NFL try to legislate matters into my life like churches have always done.
Once I discussed teaching the "alternative theory" with my sisters. One of them was insisting that I was closed-minded and my step-dad wanted to know why I was afraid of it being taught. Now, he claims to be a believer, says he prays, but he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground on the subject. Neither do my sisters. So I pointed out that the alternative theory is creation. If it's Biblical creation, it's says that the planet is 6000 or so years old. The last ice age couldn't have happened. His face went blank... "6000 years old?" He had no more questions.
To illustrate my sister's religious understanding... One of them asked if I was a Scientologist since I was supporting science. This is the problem of growing up in a conservative area without going to church or having any religious education. You get comments like, "They are in a better place now." Really, where can I find that passage? But it makes them feel better so they think that they should buy the whole ball of wax.