I had an argument with a Facebook friend the other week that led to others joining in with her against my expressing my views about her beliefs, and the politics attached to them.

She is Catholic, and was expressing support for the bishops who are suing the US government to stop them "being forced to supply contraceptives".

I linked some article about the absurdity of people - particularly women - who allow their lives (and in particular reproductive lives) to be dictated to be a bunch of celibate men. She deleted my post, and a row ensued, whereby I said that the Catholic church was "founded on a lie which has been allowed to fester for the past 2000 years".

It subsequently lost me more Facebook friends who, I imagine, see me as some kind of "monster" for criticizing this woman's "beliefs". I think I'm just making the woman think.

Am I alone in thinking there are more ways than one of putting an atheist message across? And that although gentle discussion has its place, the occasional blast of "This is how it is" is necessary?


Personally, I'm tired of treading on eggshells around religion. I think it's time to let the Emperor know in no uncertain terms that his new clothes don't exist, and that he's making a fool of himself - even if it means losing friends doing so.

I'm of the opinion that religion isn't just some benign nonsense, but that it has political consequences, and it's an absurdity that causes a lot more problems than it fixes. And that it's about time we made more noise about it.

Opinions, please.

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Lol, lets see you try to prove it is pop-psychology.

Hurrah!

Thank you! I feel heard!

It is difficult to take the high road all the time.  I try to be on that high road for my sake, and for the cause of atheism.  For the most part I am successful but sometimes it is very difficult.  

I am actually being harassed at work at this point.  I am letting it slide by for now, while still being on the high road.  I have asked him to stop and he hasn't.  I could, and might have to, make a formal complaint about this individual.  I imagine that will not make things better, but I do have the right to not be harassed about religion at my place of work.

I realize John is referring to tolerance on a grand, societal scale, I try to see the big picture, and not give guys like this a reason to say, "See?  Atheists are angry and rude!"  These one-to-one interactions, and the choices atheists make, add up even though we are a diverse bunch of people.

Not only that, it could destroy my ability to be effective and happy at my job.  I am surrounded by Christians there.  Is it worth it?  I don't know.  I don't have the energy right now to open up a can of whoop-ass, but I would find no fault in someone in my position opening up a very large can.  

It's difficult to tell where tolerance ends and being a chump begins..

Diane,

I try to put my best foot forward when dealing with prejudice, bigotry, and "in your face" Xtians. But in your case I would take the offending individual aside and confront them in no uncertain terms about their harassment. My tolerance would quickly end and the gloves would come off if they don't back off. It sucks to worry about your office interactions w/  fellow workers if they perceive you as the evil atheist. It can become an untenable position so caution as you proceed is warranted.

I think there are various tacks one can take with insistent Xtians.


Best bet is to use humor at the start, the gradually get more vicious if the keep on coming.

Your best weapon is a combination of questions ("why did God give men nipples?"), humor ("So what will you do with the first 800 billion years in Heaven?) and patience ("So tell me again about where Cain found his wife")


They tend to get scared off when they don't have an answer.

I've used all of them with him, to no avail.  I have clearly told him that I do not want to discuss religion in any way with him at work, and he's not someone with whom I'd socialize outside of work (if I can help it).  

Now I pretty much tell him things like, "No, George, we didn't evolve from monkeys.  You need to look at Answers in Genesis for arguments creationists say they should not use.  That's one of them."  And then I walk away.

Part of the problem is that we work with elderly, sick people.  Faith comes up quite a lot during our interactions with our patients.  Every time George witnesses one of them, say, for instance, a patient saying, "It's all up to God.  He's in charge." he will look at me and chuckle.  He thinks I might eventually see this as part of his deity's plan to reel me in.

Believe me, if I wanted to see acts of a deity in my life, I could, and I would have plenty of reasons to think it's a vicious, barbaric, bastard of a being with whom I do not wish to associate.  If there was a "God," I would be very angry at it indeed.

So George is not helping his cause at all.  If it his his deity that gives me 'no more than I can handle' I wouldn't want any part of it anyway. 

say, for instance, a patient saying, "It's all up to God.  He's in charge." he will look at me and chuckle.  He thinks I might eventually see this as part of his deity's plan to reel me in.

Have him watch "The Invention of Lying"

I'll have to watch it first, I guess.  Thanks!

Part of the problem is that we work with elderly, sick people.  Faith comes up quite a lot during our interactions with our patients.  Every time George witnesses one of them, say, for instance, a patient saying, "It's all up to God.  He's in charge." he will look at me and chuckle.  He thinks I might eventually see this as part of his deity's plan to reel me in.Part of the problem is that we work with elderly, sick people.  Faith comes up quite a lot during our interactions with our patients.  Every time George witnesses one of them, say, for instance, a patient saying, "It's all up to God.  He's in charge." he will look at me and chuckle.  He thinks I might eventually see this as part of his deity's plan to reel me in.

@ Diane - I know you would not do this because you are a decent person, but wouldn't you just love to get away with looking at your co-worker as he chuckles at you and tell him "You might think that is cute, but I don't think children dying of starvation in filth makes an elderly person finding comfort in looking forward to heaven, justifyingly as cute as you do"

Of course I would love to say something to him like that.  Away from patients, one to one, I have told him how I feel in no uncertain terms.  I refuse to debate him because it is pointless.  I never have attacked or belittled him because of his beliefs.  I have told him that his evangelical tactics are absolutely useless on me.  That must sound like a challenge, but it is true.  

In the almost 8 years that I've been listening to George I have not budged one iota closer to believing in any deity.  If nothing else, he knows I am not on the fence and I'm not wishy-washy about this,  

You have put up with this shithead for EIGHT YEARS?!?!

Holy crap.

There are a few things people get really sensitive about. 

When other people disrespect your mother

When other people disrespect your faith

Both are very personal and have shaped who you are.

If someone knocks either they are knocking you.

I'm in your corner Jack.

We all choose gangs to belong to. The atheist gang is the crappiest gang. No meeting place, no rituals, no tenets, no holy book, no congregations, no glue.

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