(I have to use my phone to write this so excuse any grammatical errors)

Yesterday was a pretty exciting Mother's day in my family. They found out one of their own was an atheist. The conversation started with the killing of Bin Ladin which led the topic of religion. I found it to be the perfect opportunity to voice my opinion. My aunt brought up the radical muslims and their violence. I quickly pointed out that Islam is still a young religion and that Christianity went through the same stages in their early years. I mentioned that it was just part of the evolution of religion. Oh no, I thought, here it comes....

"I didn't come from no monkey!!" Exclaimed my aunt
From there, I tried to explain evolution in the simplest terms. (We share a common ancestor with chimps and bonobos, 99% of our dna..the gene that fused...chemistry, biology, and other sciences all explain evolution...blah blah blah blah blah...)
I quickly realized there was no educating the unwilling. It went right over their heads. My aunt quickly went back to the Bible, asking what about Jesus dieing for our sins. I said, that as of now, I do not see enough evidence outside of the Bible to prove that Jesus actual living.

This conversation continued until finally it was my aunt, my uncle, my nana, my sister and my aunt's uber christian friend (so dedicated, she remained a virgin until she was 35 and finally married lol)

The Bible was brought out to the table and I started to point out the things I found wrong with it. I brought up the final tale of Noah where his son sees him naked and then is sentenced to slavery for doing so. My sister was said that Noah was molested by his son...LOL so my aunt read the passage outloud. It plainly said the son "saw the nakedness" and my sister said well, it's insinuating that he was molested. I quickly pointed out that this was not the case...On the sentencing of his son for slavery..I pointed out that Yahweh saw Noah as the most righteous man on Earth. Then, I asked if she thought slavery was immoral. She had no answer and said that Noah was not God. I could have asked how Noah had the power to sentence his son's generations to slavery but I decided to leave it at that....

The most heartbreaking part was when my Nana asked out all the other people who had died and how she wanted to see her mother again. My Nana teared up which made me do so too. One thing that tears me up is seeing my Nana upset and this was the moment I dreaded the most. I tried to comfort her by saying that I truely hope there is an afterlife but no one really knows what happens after we die. Then my aunt's friend piped into and said "those tears are Jesus calling you back" I immediatly dried my eyes and told her no it wasn't and that I was an emotional person because of my personality not because of Jesus' calling me back.

The conversation lasted about 6 hours. Yes, 6 hours...I was fun. I got to pick their brains and hopefully, they learned something from me. Here are a few more of the things I heard

"You have to have more faith in evolution than you do God" my sister who anthropology class "proved" evolution wrong to her

"I will pray for you everday ON MY KNEES!" My aunt

"Jesus loves you. He still wants you back"

"I ain't no monkey" several times, mainly from my aunt

There was so much more to the conversation. I may write some more about it once my laptop is fixed.

In the end, my family still loves me and still accepts me. I dont think this really changed anything other than a few more prayers for me. I feel a lot better and a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. :)

Now, on to the fundie side of my family!!

Views: 77

Tags: atheist, coming, family, out

Comment by John G. on May 10, 2011 at 2:44pm

I love it when I get into arguments with evolution deniers and they say "I am not a monkey" to which "neither am I" just to watch their face to a backflip at the (in their mind) contradiction of statements.

 

It's the equivilent of saying "This statement is false" to an AI computer.

Comment by Don on May 10, 2011 at 3:41pm
Yes, good job.  It had to happen, of course, and you chose your moment, and then bravely and unwaveringly stood up to the onslaught you knew would come.  And you seem pretty upbeat about it, too, considering all of the people you've had to disappoint.  Still, again, it had to happen, given the strength of your convictions and the indisputably factual basis you have for them  Keep us posted.
Comment by wyocowboy on May 15, 2011 at 9:52am

Scarlette done with elegance...here's a couple of books they "might" read that would get their brains to think outside of the box:

"The Jesus Mysteries: Was the Original Jesus a Pagan God?"  this book deals with the NT

"The Laughing Jesus" this book deals with the OT and they are by the same authors.  These books are very in-dept in regards to the subject matter and researched very much in-depth. 

 

Comment by Bob Muller on May 15, 2011 at 10:03am
Awesome. It takes bravery to put yourself under fire like that. Did you get that courage from Jesus? ;-)
Comment by Chris Lambert on May 15, 2011 at 10:15am
Thanks so much for sharing this. Really reassuring and you dealt with it very well.
Comment by Joe Edwards on May 15, 2011 at 10:46am
Good job being honest, straightforward and thoughtful. I have read a few other comments here and it really shocks me that so many folks make such a production of "coming out". It made me realize how some families/people are so very religious in their thinking that the mere idea of not believing in a deity would require hiding that viewpoint.
Comment by Scarlette Blues on May 15, 2011 at 11:39am
Thank you everyone :)

@Wyocowboy- those sound like some interesting reads. I may have to add those to my list as well! I've also thought about getting them AC Greyling's "The Good Book" for Christmas though the one's you mentioned may just be what I'm looking for!

@Joe- Yes, a person's emotional psyche can be strongly intertwined with their religion. The deeper South you go, the deeper that emotion seems to run. I have noticed that this view of "with us or against us" is starting to change and people around me are becoming more open to alternate world views. It just takes time.
Comment by Mo Trauen on May 15, 2011 at 12:06pm
@Lara:  There are no texts discussing Jesus that actually date from the era in which he lived.  And no official records.  That being said, however, I also think arguing about whether he actually existed is not a good move.  It is better to simply argue that he was the David Koresh of his day.
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on May 15, 2011 at 12:15pm
Except David Koresh had AK-47s!
Comment by Scarlette Blues on May 15, 2011 at 12:34pm

Agreed. I think debating the historicity of Jesus goes to a deeper level. What I mean is that you have to have more knowledge of facts, archeology, literature ect ect to debate it. The majority of the public can not do this. I think when debating-or discussing-religion with the everyday person, it is best to treat Jesus as Mo said as "the David Koresh of his day." This is because, regardless if he actually existed, the stories of his influence do exist. 

 

Looking back on the conversation between my aunt and I, I wish I would have phrased my opinion of Jesus a little more clearer to her. I failed to mention that I have separate opinions on the Bible's take of Jesus and the historicity of Jesus. I went to the base of my opinion instead of giving a well-rounded explanation. I do hope this topic comes up again during another family dinner. 

 

I must add that this was the first time I really had to defend my atheism. I've taken part in online debating and what not, but this was the first time that I actually had this type of discussion with theists in a personal setting.

I must also add that I did not anticipate it to be a group session. The conversation started out between my aunt and I (with my uncle and 16 year old cousin listening) then continued on the patio with my aunt, my uncle (still mainly listening), my nana, my aunt's friend, and my sister (my mom and dad were present but barely said a word, which is typical). In retrospect, I think I would have been able to convey my opinion more effectively with less people in the opposite corner. 

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