George, the rabid evangelical Christian at work, seems to finally understand that his constant "ministering" to me is offensive.  I used to freely initiate conversations with him, until I realized that he was incapable of leaving the conversation at an acceptable level.

I have noticed recently that he has not been doing it very much  so I asked him, "George, I have noticed you are not talking to me as much about God.  Is that in response to me asking you to not discuss it at work, or are you just too damn busy to get around to it?"

He said that he consciously stopped talking to me about it because he didn't want to keep hitting me over the head with it.  This is good!  I thanked him, and then he launched into his explanation of why he was trying to tell me about it in the first place.  I said, "I know why you do it, and I understand, and thanks for stopping," before walking away.  

My efforts have paid off!  George, and the other Christians where I work, have now all given up on trying to convert me and, I hope, still respect me.  This has taken years of not telling them off when I desperately wanted to.  Ok, well maybe I did tell George off a few times, but I'm telling you the man is not easily thwarted.  

The Christians know there is at least one atheist, unapologetic and not seeking their guidance, in their midst.  As much as they have changed, so have I.  I prefer to be quietly true to who I am, but not so much in their faces that they feel defensive.  I think we all had a learning curve to go through.  They know I don't care if they pray for me, will push me farther away by trying to talk me into moving one step closer to it,  but I do appreciate kind thoughts in whatever form.  I know they still have hope that I will be saved. That leaves us free to just get on with the work we are there to do.  What a relief!

Views: 114

Comment by onyango makagutu on October 20, 2012 at 2:37pm

That sounds like a big relief. At least for me my curve has been shorter. No one hardly ever wants to pray for me. I usually give them a god to pray to whenever they chose to and then they research the names of those gods are pretty shaken for a while.

Whether they respect me or not I don't care much unless someone starts getting to my nerves then we have a big problem. I know no matter how eloquent. loud or silent a person is, there will always be someone bad mouthing them and with this knowledge I live my life as best as I can.

Comment by Reg The Fronkey Farmer on October 20, 2012 at 7:48pm

Whenever a Theist says that they will pray for me I ask them if they could sacrifice a goat for me instead.

Comment by Diane on October 21, 2012 at 2:19pm

I like that one, Reg!  After all, the smell pleaseth the Lord, right?

Comment by Brian Dodson on October 22, 2012 at 11:11pm
Diane, it makes me happy to hear that you can be content with yourself so gracefully. Though I am very content in my (non) beliefs, I'm not sure I'm so graceful in my interactions with the theist majority. My constant disdain for theistic thought and expression is something I can admit that I am struggling with. Your comment about still appreciating any kind thoughts from others struck a chord with me. That's such an elegant thought- something to help keep us grounded. Thank you for that!
Comment by SteveInCO on October 23, 2012 at 9:05am

Well thank heaven for small favors! 

Seriously I am glad this troglodyte has finally decided to back off at least somewhat.

Comment by Diane on October 23, 2012 at 8:35pm

Thanks Brian!  I have not always been that way and I am not always so graceful even these days.  Others have inspired me to behave better in my interactions with theists.  Believe me, I have had my share of ungraceful interactions.  Something that helps me is to think that if they go away thinking, "There's another angry atheist!" I've not done what I was probably trying to do.  

It's a bit of a game, and I don't like to lose.  Sometimes I want to say very very ugly things because I am in such absolute disbelief of their idiocy.  

I have a confession.  I have been conversing with some Christians on the Calling All Atheist Facebook page.  These people are amazing.  One of them cannot stop putting forth stupid arguments and rejecting all answers.  She was going on about how can science prove evolution if we don't have all the transitional yadda, yadda, yadda.  Last night she said she rejected all of Richard Dawkins' writings because he is an atheist with an ax to grind.  I told her that there are other authors, and it doesn't matter what their religious affiliations are - science is science.  I gave her a link to this article: 


Trends, Stasis, and Drift in the Evolution of Nematode Vulva Development

Current Biology, Volume 17, Issue 22, 1925-1937, 20 November 2007

I think there was a bit of passive-aggressiveness on my part, but it was the first one I found and it was just too good to pass up.  

Comment by Brian Dodson on October 26, 2012 at 8:03pm

Well in that case it sounds like that article was the perfect response! That is good stuff indeed. For folks like that, I'm perfectly happy with ripping them to shreds with logic, reason and good ol' fashioned fact with a dose of snarkiness. What i struggle with more is that I'm finding myself grouping normal folks who happen to be Christians (or other religious affiliations) with the fundamentalist whack-jobs, and let my irritations get the best of me, even when it was really unprompted on their part. I've certainly snapped at folks my share of times during the "I'll pray for you for ____" moments...when in reality most of these times they are just trying to express a kind thought.

Comment by Strega on October 26, 2012 at 9:41pm

I tend to say thanks, but how about having a drink to my health? 

Comment by Diane on October 26, 2012 at 10:38pm

I really hope her brain twisted around on its stem and made her say, "Urrrnnnnhhhh?" when she read that article title.  I have noticed she has not commented on it.  She has also not commented on my link to a wiki article about the peppered moth.  I believe I offered that in response to her request for evidence of evolution happening right in front of us, but I guess the point is lost on her.  


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