Selling Your "Soul" For a Free Ride...

I've recently entered college, and my college of choice was fortunate enough to be 20 miles down the road from my aunt, who has agreed to let me stay with her for free. Upon the conditions that allow me to stay here are doing chores around the house, taking care of her autistic son with her (he's my cousin, it's not like I was going to say no...) and attending church with the family on Sundays.

 

Does this make me a "bad" atheist? I mean, singing and pretending I believe in the crap that the Catholic church is spewing IS giving me a wonderful benefit, I wouldn't be able to afford this college otherwise, as the room and board is awful, and I'm getting a quality, secular education while also getting to park in the campus church's parking lot (Score!). But is all of that a worthy price to pay?

 

Now, my aunt knows that I'm an atheist but, being the wonderful right wing Catholic that she is, bless her heart, she thinks it's a phase and that I should simply attend church to get back to Jesus. We pray before meals, (I bow my head respectfully, but keep my eyes open), we attend church and sing and eat the bread and wine (God-awful as you can imagine...) and she constantly tells me of God's wonders. Some days, I believe she has simply forgotten, but other days it's apparent that she wants me to convert. I knew this would happen, so I ignore it and get along with my day. What's 45 minutes thinking about debunking the arguments if I get to stay for free?

 

But morally...does my "willful" act make me a terrible person, or is this simply a sacrifice worth free room and board?

 

Perhaps I just need reassurance. I wouldn't be bowing to her metaphysical bully if I didn't have my education (as a microbiologist!) at stake.

 

(Now quick, I post this before she comes up and sees "Think Atheist" in my browser history. :P)

Views: 448

Tags: Atheist, Catholic, Christian, College, Family, Sacrifice

Comment by Rick on August 29, 2011 at 2:04am

@Kris: my points exactly . Thanks for rearticulating them.

 

@Partick: We agree to disagree, yet you continue … Let it go.

 

Why are you so hell bent on dragging this poor girl through the mud? That seems so un-christ-like. I think it’s about time you took a break to ask yourself: WWJD?   

Comment by Arcus on August 29, 2011 at 11:14am

Speaking of honesty and dishonesty, Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit recently wrote the following on the subject:

Saints may always tell the truth, but for mortals living means lying. We lie to protect our privacy ("No, I don't live around here"); to avoid hurt feelings ("Friday is my study night"); to make others feel better ("Gee you've gotten skinny"); to avoid recriminations ("I only lost $10 at poker"); to prevent grief ("The doc says you're getting better"); to maintain domestic tranquility ("She's just a friend"); to avoid social stigma ("I just haven't met the right woman"); for career advancement ("I'm sooo lucky to have a smart boss like you"); to avoid being lonely ("I love opera"); to eliminate a rival ("He has a boyfriend"); to achieve an objective ("But I love you so much"); to defeat an objective ("I'm allergic to latex"); to make an exit ("It's not you, it's me"); to delay the inevitable ("The check is in the mail"); to communicate displeasure ("There's nothing wrong"); to get someone off your back ("I'll call you about lunch"); to escape a nudnik ("My mother's on the other line"); to namedrop ("We go way back"); to set up a surprise party ("I need help moving the piano"); to buy time ("I'm on my way"); to keep up appearances ("We're not talking divorce"); to avoid taking out the trash ("My back hurts"); to duck an obligation ("I've got a headache"); to maintain a public image ("I go to church every Sunday"); to make a point ("Ich bin ein Berliner"); to save face ("I had too much to drink"); to humor ("Correct as usual, King Friday"); to avoid embarrassment ("That wasn't me"); to curry favor ("I've read all your books"); to get a clerkship ("You're the greatest living jurist"); to save a dollar ("I gave at the office"); or to maintain innocence ("There are eight tiny reindeer on the rooftop").

If you insist on calling her dishonest, then her lies are as white and pure as they can be. If they were a substance, you may see it as uncut cocaine... I think most of us would think of flour.

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