Another "eruption" between me and my brother today. (... *rolls eyes*) He's 17 and going through "that phase" where you're "radical" about your most treasured beliefs (or unbeliefs). I went through that once... so I know he'll come out of it soon. Still... his intolerance does hurt sometimes. The entire "rest" of my family is Christians... except for a couple of Jews far out in my extended family. I don't think there are any brights in my family.... although I might be wrong... because I still don't know ALL of my extended family. Within my nuclear family, my brother appears to be the closest theist to a zealot. He did tell me outright that "he can accept any other 'religious' belief system... as long as they believe in God. But he "can't" accept atheists... because they don't believe in God." (I'm unsure if he understood that he was basically telling me that he hated me and how much this would actually hurt me.) I just have to keep reminding myself that he's going through that "radical phase" and that most sane, normal people come out of it eventually. So, about today's "eruption," I'll tell you the basics... some of them VERY surprising!
Brother (to protect his identity, I'll never use his name!) was in a bad mood already when he came up to copy some sheet music on our multi-purpose printer. A piece of the printer (that detaches) fell off the printer and behind the desk.) I was on the computer... goofing off and oblivious (apparently) to the stormy mood he was in. So I innocently and calmly (but maybe not politely-enough) asked him if he was going to pick up what had fallen behind the desk. Suddenly, he yelled something at me. (I don't remember what it was, maybe I was in too much shock at his sudden rage to remember clearly.) My mom asked "what's going on up there?" And he gave a response that shocked me even more! He told her that I was the one screaming at him, or something like that. I was stunned. I probably should have taken this part of the episode as a warning, but... of course... my head was too thick to understand the mood he was in. I was on youtube watching "Atheist church" (with headphones on so that what I was watching wouldn't upset my theist family, who for obvious reasons wouldn't find the videos funny). (I was trying to be courteous.) I started explaining to Brother how the "subscription" application on youtube works... and I happened to mention that I had subscribed to the videos of the guy that I was watching currently. So that's when he glanced at the screen and saw the words "Atheist Church" written on top of the video. (To my surprise it was enough to send him into a tirade!). O.o He started yelling something about how I shouldn't be allowed to watch a video of an atheist making fun of Christians because it was insulting and blasephemous (or something like that). I calmly told him that I knew he wouldn't find the content funny and that it might upset him and that was why I was using headphones so that no one could hear it but me and not sharing the video with him. (Apparently that wasn't enough for him). He took one look at the video's title and said "That guy should be shot!" (I knew he wasn't serious... just saying angry words... but that was enough to get me irritated.) So I replied, "Actually this poor guy DID get some very serious DEATH THREATS from crazy people and he had to contact the police about it but he took it like a good sport and actually JOKED about it on a video!" Brother apparently wasn't listening to me... (at least I don't think so). He went into a rant about how any religious person was better than an atheist... because at least THEY accept God! (Knowing he wasn't listening, I didn't bother to correct him that not all religions believe in what he would consider to be "God.") I just sat there, stunned, while he continued his rant. When he told me I shouldn't be allowed to watch stuff like that, I replied "It's a free country [name ommited], which means that I can watch ANYTHING I WANT as long as it doesn't interfere with your rights." I asked my mother (who was downstairs and barely paying attention) to back me up in the fact that his attempt at censorship WAS wrong. (She just made a weak response about how... "well it was offensive to her as well that I engaged in jokes about their religion." She didn't condone or correct my brother's behavior.) ... Thankfully, I was soon surprised to learn that I had a "guardian angel" (so to speak) who would protect my rights in the house. It was, and who would have guessed, my theist sister! O.o!!!! I can't express enough how grateful I am to her for stepping in to defend me against Brother!!! She first said, "I think you should both learn to be more tolerant of eachother." (I agreed wholeheartedly with her on this... more tolerance is an admirable goal for anyone to strive for! :) ) But Brother snapped at her then. She suddenly became my shield and protector. She became furious and yelled back... "At least she's more tolerant than you!" (I tried to tell her that I appreciated her trying to protect me... but she should just ignore Brother because he was just going through a phase and he would mature... eventually.) She was so angry she didn't seem to hear me... and neither did Brother. I didn't hear much of what they yelled at eachother but I did hear him yell at her... "GO READ THE BIBLE!!! DON'T CRITIZE MY CHRISTIANITY BEFORE YOU READ THE BIBLE!!" (Oh yeah... I remember why he yelled that! He yelled that at her when she tried to tell him... "You know... the Bible isn't LITERALLY true-" Anyhow! Kudos to you my sister!!! :) (*Raises glass in a toast to her!*) I never knew you had it in ya', but I'm really impressed that you are willing to protect the oppressed, even if they share different views than you!!!
This should go to show any atheist on this forum that there ARE theists out there who wish to protect our rights! Unfortunately, they are silenced and shunned by the louder ones who want to remove all our rights. I feel sorry for the "Guardian Angel" theists but I respect them! They are often accused of being traitors and the like and they put themselves in danger to protect us! Bless them all!