What Do You Wish Your Parents Would Say To You?

From a reader:

I am an atheist son of LDS parents, and while they don’t know about my atheism, they do sense that I have had “issues” with the Church. Often, they will try to get me to open up by saying that they won’t be mad, or things like that.

But there’s one thing that I keep waiting to hear: “it’s OK if you don’t believe.” But I never hear it, only phrases like “we’ll still love you,” which sound less like the sort of acceptance I need and more like the love you have for an uncle who’s in prison… I can understand that, from their point of view, it isn’t OK for me to not believe — because that would hurt me in the life to come. But the fact that they don’t say it makes me realize that they wouldn’t be able to accept an atheist.

So I guess here’s my question, to atheist children of theist parents: what words do you wish your parents would say to you about your atheism?



[tags]atheist, atheism, Mormon[/tags]

  • http://undiscoveredfuture.blogspot.com Rebecca

    I wish they would just accept it. My mother is still saying things like “it’s good you’re questioning your spiritual side,” while I’ve been an atheist for years. She also will often say things like “it’s normal for teenagers to reject their parents’ values when they go to college,” which upsets me. I guess I wish she would just stop saying those words.

  • http://recoveringyoungearthers.blogspot.com Tom McT

    Dear reader,

    I have a similar story to yours. Things still aren’t really discussed much between my parents and me regarding their religion and my atheism.

    What is really important is that you address it, carefully, honestly, and directly. Get it out there. If you can proceed to have fruitful exchanges with them afterward, then great, but if not, at least you should be able to respect each other. My parents don’t ask me to say prayer at their dinner table, but in their house I wait for the prayer before digging in. You have to have mutual respect.

    So I dunno. It depends on where you’re coming from. If you are really bitter at your parents and the church, then maybe you have some other things to deal with. As for me, I saw my parents and the church doing the best they could to raise me. It’s not in any way how I’m raising my kids, and some of it can tick me off looking back on it, but they are good people who did what they thought best.

    Do you want to hear that they love you and accept you, but that they’re scared for your soul? That’s the message they’ve been giving you your whole life!

    You tell them that you appreciate their struggles for you, that you want to make them happy, that they raised an honest kid who loves his parents. You tell them that they made you strong and to think and that thinking has made you realize the problems with the theology you were raised in. Let them know that you want to draw close to them.

    During my “questioning” phase my mother would tearfully ask “Where did I go wrong?” Since I “came out” with my atheism like I just outlined above, there’s no more of that. It’s still touchy and we don’t get into it, but there’s a peace in our relationship now.

  • Andrew

    Speaking to the person in question, I think you will be surprised by how your parents react to this. First of all, you are their child, and that is more important to them than anything else (or it should be). Now, the reactions from other members of your family, friends, and acquaintances may be different. Plus I understand that apostasy in the LDS church is pretty serious.

    A cousin and I found ourselves on the same side of the issue (atheism) during a late-night conversation/debate with some other members of my religious Christian family over the last Christmas holiday. At first, they all wanted to talk about it one-on-one. Basically they were trying to bring me back into the fold. That is understandable from their position, because they love me and are seriously concerned for my ‘eternal soul’. However, that all changes once they understand your convictions (and get their apologetics blown out of the water), and I have sensed a definite change in atmosphere around me. That feeling that some of them are just humoring you is pretty upsetting. It is hard accept the fact that members of your family stop caring for you and start humoring you because of silly prejudices.

    What I mean to say is that those who really love you will love you no matter what, and those that don’t really love you but love(d) things you agree(d) with them about will stop faking it. And that is fine with me.

  • Irving Kliptoman

    How about “What took you so long to figure that out?”

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com ollie

    Short answer: I really don’t care.

    Her is my Catholic mother’s take in a nutshell: “ok, atheism is ok for you since you are a math professor and most math/science types are atheists. But you ought to introduce your daughter to religion; after all it didn’t hurt you.”

    Still, I get along great with my mom; she came out of the depression with a 4′th grade education and did right by me. And she still reads and follows current events, and is rather mellow by theist terms.

    I am a grown up and therefore not dependent on parental approval for everything.

  • http://nogodsallowed.wordpress.com cg

    I’ve come out to both my parents now, and it’s a great relief. I was raised fundamentalist Christian. When I told me mom it was kind of a peculiar circumstance. Back in my religious days, she went through some tough times and I would always encourage (nag) her to come back to the faith. A few years ago during my deconversion, she went through a nasty divorce and, although I was still questioning things, I encouraged her to go to church because of the social aspect and she needed something to hang onto.

    So now the shoe is on the other foot. She is always leaving little hints for me to come back to the faith. At first it was more aggressive, until finally I got fed up and told her everything about my deconversion. She finally accepted and is of the mind that, if it makes me happy then that’s all that matters, though she’ll still pray for me :) That discussion really opened the door and we were more honest with each other.

    The discussion with my dad just happened a few weeks ago. He came to the conclusion quicker that, he won’t try to convert me and I won’t try to convert (or deconvert) him.

    In the end, that’s really all I ask for. I don’t want to be an evangelical atheist who forces my view upon them. I would definitely encourage anyone to come out, even if the results aren’t quite as nice. You may be surprised.

  • Joseph R.

    Although I have not yet “come out the closet” so to speak, my family is an “ignore it and it will go away” kind of family. On a side note, I hope I didn’t exceed my limit on quotation marks.

  • stogoe

    Oh, come “on”; you “only” used “four”. “Most of us” can get “away” with “at least” a dozen before it “looks absurd”.

    Anyways, I’d love my parents to be able to say “It’s OK if you don’t believe” and really mean it. But like the reader above, I know it won’t happen. Plus, my parents meddle enough already without tacking on endless attempts to reconvert me.

  • http://bjornisageek.blogspot.com Bjorn Watland

    I know my parents will never say that it’s ok not to believe. They are focused too much on the afterlife. I can imagine the guilt of coming out atheist to a group of people who are expecting you to be the best Mormon you can be so everyone can be in the Celestial Kingdom together, and have picnics, or raise spirit children, or whatever it is they do there.

    What I have liked most, because I can’t change the way my parents view the world directly, is when they ask questions. Then it usually ends up turning to morality or ethics, which is something we both agree on. Plus, it gives them a chance to understand how I feel.

    “What do you think happens when you die?” “I think that’s it, you’re dead. But you can try to make an impact, leave your impression as memories, good deeds, maybe art work as sort of an echo of our existence.” “But isn’t that depressing that you won’t see your family or pets after you die?” “Of course, but that doesn’t change reality. Just because I want the sky to turn green doesn’t make it so.” “But, wouldn’t you rather live with the hope of an afterlife?” “To me, it’s intellectually dishonest. While it’s something I’d like, I haven’t been convinced that there is an afterlife. Maybe there is, and I’m wrong, but I can’t tell based on what I know for now.” “Well, you don’t believe in it yet anyway” “Yes, mom”

    Maybe tell them you are open to evidence. Mormons love “investigators.” Just say you are searching, as Joseph Smith was. Go off into a glade, and pray orally for the first time. When nothing happens, no personages appear, let your parents know, but that you’ll keep trying.

  • http://nogodsallowed.wordpress.com cg

    I’m always hesitant to use the term “searching” in reference to myself when talking with believers. They seem to assume that you’re searching for their particular religion and that you’ll eventually find it. Of course, they’ll probably think that regardless of what you say, but I try to avoid fueling that fire.

  • koz

    “I respect you and your decisions. And I’ll be praying for you.”

    The first sentence, well that’s self-explanatory. The second sentence reiterates that they love me and want the best for me. Because, in their belief system, you pray for a loved one you feel isn’t doing well and who you want to help. You pray when you have hope for them. You pray to bring yourself peace. And I would want all those things from and for my family members who are believers. I want them to have peace and not to worry about me constantly. I want them to love me and care for me.

    It’s almost as if prayer is their sincerest way of caring for me. So, I accept and welcome it. Regardless of the fact that I don’t believe in it.

  • http://teenatheist.wordpress.com/ Teen Atheist

    Eh, I know better than to expect anything more than thinly-veiled disdain from my parents. My mom chooses to hold on to the stereotype that atheists have no moral code. Thankfully, my dad doesn’t bring it up with me anymore, but he’s already stated that he thinks I’m making a mistake. Don’t even get me started on my fundamentalist brother — he’s even worse than my parents. We’re not speaking to each other because he thinks I’m a “rotten-heart Satanist.” Ugh.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog/ Josh Charles

    I wish they would say,

    “You’re right. Reason is better than faith.”

    I never really realized just how important it was until I became an atheist. I still love my parents, and they still love me, but there is this huge divide between us. The things I find interesting, the things I’m passionate about have no ‘pull’ at them. It’s more than that, though, because I’m passionate about something they think is wrong, if not evil.

    I don’t know how it’ll work out.

  • Polly

    what words do you wish your parents would say to you about your atheism?

    “Faith isn’t for everybody. As long as you’re remaining true to your convictions and conscience it really doesn’t matter.”

    What I get to hear is: “Bhuddists are atheists? Then, even Hindus are better..at least they believe in some kind of god(s).”

    From a friend: “I have more respect for/confidence in Muslims, at least they believe in god.” And this is post 9-11.

    I have nothing specific against Muslims, but if one is going to be bigotted, why pick on the non-faithful?

    Anyway, that’s why I am still not open about it.

  • PrimateIR

    I wish my parents had believed in God. I want a cool moment of revelation and the drama of coming out. My parents and their diabolical permissiveness has scarred me deeply.

  • http://emergingpensees.com Mike C

    “I respect you and your decisions. And I’ll be praying for you.”

    The first sentence, well that’s self-explanatory. The second sentence reiterates that they love me and want the best for me. Because, in their belief system, you pray for a loved one you feel isn’t doing well and who you want to help. You pray when you have hope for them. You pray to bring yourself peace. And I would want all those things from and for my family members who are believers. I want them to have peace and not to worry about me constantly. I want them to love me and care for me.

    It’s almost as if prayer is their sincerest way of caring for me. So, I accept and welcome it. Regardless of the fact that I don’t believe in it.

    Well said koz.

  • Richard Wade

    From a friend: “I have more respect for/confidence in Muslims, at least they believe in god.” And this is post 9-11.

    I have nothing specific against Muslims, but if one is going to be bigotted, why pick on the non-faithful?

    Because an intelligent, sane, happy and moral person who does not believe in God is far more threatening to believers than an intelligent, sane, happy and moral person who believes in the wrong God. It’s about their not wanting to face the absurdity of belief in general.

  • http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis/ Jonathan Blake

    To the former Mormon reader,

    I’ve faced that situation and felt horrible for ruining their dreams of eternity together as a family by telling them that I didn’t believe anymore. But I felt worse when I was hiding my disbelief from them.

    If you want to hear that it’s OK if you don’t believe, then I suggest that you tell your parents exactly that. Tell them what you need to hear from them and then let it be, whatever happens. Hearing your need to be accepted as a nonbeliever may help them to provide that acceptance.

  • Mriana

    I just wish my Evangelical Fundamentalist mother (62) and aunt (67) could just say it’s OK to not have the same belief as we do, instead of going into hysterics and act as though the inquistitions have begun again. Everytime I try to say something, it’s as though the inquistitions have started all over again. Then I start wishing I just played along and even attempted to say anything.

    BTW, Jonathan, telling my relatives that I want to hear it is OK, is like stating heresy to them. It just doesn’t seem to work and they get verbally brutal to an apostate, which is the opposite of what they say they believe.

  • http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis/ Jonathan Blake

    Mriana,

    Every family is different, so we each have to make our own decisions of how to live with them. What I’m suggesting is along the lines of: “I no longer believe in the same things you do. It seems that you are worried about the fate of my eternal soul. I am grateful to you for your love and concern. It has helped me to become the loving person that I am. I would like to hear that you still love me even though we believe different things, and I need your help to maintain our good relationship. Do you still love me and will you help me keep our relationship loving?”

    Doing this honestly, lovingly, and with a willingness to listen to and understand what they want to say is a good start. I can’t promise any miracles, but we do the best we can and let things be what they will.

  • http://nogodsallowed.wordpress.com cg

    Jonathan Blake

    I can’t promise any miracles,

    tee-hee!

  • http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis/ Jonathan Blake

    cg, I’m happy when people notice my (bad) jokes. :)

  • Mriana

    Somehow what you said sounds like sorrow and even a bit whimpy, if not apologetic. Keeping a “stiff upper lip” is another odd trait in our family. Yes, we are decendents of the Brits.

    Yet it’s OK to go to extremes to attempt to convert people. No it doesn’t make sense.

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ miller

    “Hmm, I didn’t know that before.”

    Actually, I’m happy when anyone says that to me on any topic.

  • jackson

    what words do you wish your parents would say to you about your atheism?

    from an atheist son of catholic parents …

    how about: “yeah …… we don’t really believe any of that crap either … just don’t tell your grandmother …
    oh and we’d still like you to join us at christmas mass, though.”

    If I’d venture a guess, I’d say a significant majority of church-goers in my hometown lack belief in it … they’re just too afraid to admit it publicly.
    in addition, there’s a significant amount of ignorance regarding what they profess to believe in the first place … me the atheist having read more of the bible and history than they …

  • http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis/ Jonathan Blake

    Mriana,

    What you want to say to your family probably isn’t exactly what I suggested, and it isn’t in your own voice. I offer it as an example to get across the idea. You have to discover for yourself what you need. Instead of acceptance, do you want respect for your right to believe as you choose?

    The essential idea is to realize what you need from your family and to communicate that in a non-confrontational way. And then to discover what they need (without judging their needs), listening until they feel heard.

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com/ ollie

    I’ve rethought my answer a bit and I admit that I wasn’t completely truthful.

    Here is what I wish my mom would say: “you know son, the idea of their being some deity that wants to condemn his creation but then relents because his son wants to come to earth, be brutally murdered, and return as a zombie” makes no sense at all.

    You know, not so long ago, people routinely died of diseases that we commonly cure or arrest now. The reason for that is that people no longer ascribe things that they don’t understand to supernatural causes but instead seek a solution within nature.

    You are right; this theism is completely absurd, and I’ve decided to become an atheist too!”

    But, I am not holding my breath. :)

  • Vincent

    I’d like to hear my mom say she doesn’t believe anymore, but as she is a pretty devout Catholic, I haven’t told her I’m atheistic.

  • K

    Having escaped the Morg myself, I know that the guy knows that his parents will most likely never accept him. I don’t know if he’ll actually be disowned, unless he’s gay too, but he’ll never have any peace/acceptance from Morg family since every member is a missionary.

    As for what my parents could say to me, I’m really waaaaay beyond that point in my life.
    As for that Morg (you will be assimilated) thing, many of the ex-morg sites are full of Atheists. Don’t hesitate to reach out until you feel you have your own inner support. http://www.exmormon.org/boards/w-agora/w-agora.php3?site=exmobb&bn=exmobb_recovery

  • http://www.bolingbrookbabbler.com William

    I never came out to my father, but my mother and step-father are atheists, so I never had to reveal myself to them.

    Heck, when I was a teenager, I did believe in God, and never told my parents for fear of how they would react. Now I know it wouldn’t have been a big deal. Besides, I decided to become an atheist on my own. Not because my family forced me too.

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    A little off topic but just to make things clear your parents are not Christians. The Bible says to evaluate everything to see if it is of God by its fruit, good tree = good fruit; a bad tree can never bear good fruit. You are the fruit of your parents and you are an atheist, correct?

    My Dad is an atheist and he never even mentioned the name Jesus to me ever. LDS believes Jesus and Lucifer are brothers, You parents are polytheist. I am a monotheist. Your parents believe in a different god then I do.

    Ultimately, God will decide who He will allow in heaven, that is up to Him. I cannot tell if you or anyone will go to hell or not. What I can tell you is what the Bible says. In Rev 21:8 it says all liars will have their part in the lake of fire. If you lie, I can tell you according to the Bible, you will go to hell but God made a way so you don’t have to spend eternity in hell. That doesn’t mean I have the power to send people to hell.

    Let me ask you this if we were to only read the Bible (God’s word) there would be no mormonism, correct?

    According to your parents Church, The third article of faith says this: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”

    You see, one of the basic differences between Christianity and Mormonism aside from the dealings with God and His nature, in his how we are forgiven of our sins. Yes, we are to keep his Commandments, but we are not saved by keeping those Commandments. The Bible does not say that eternal life is dependent on whether or not you endure. 1 John 5:13 says that we can know right now that we have eternal life. The third article of your Church contradicts the book of Romans and Ephesians and Galatians which all teach justification by faith alone.

    Which laws and ordinances on the Mormon Church you must obey in order to have your sins forgiven. Can you please tell me? Justification is our legal declaration by God upon on us, sinners, that we are declared righteous in His sight. Sanctification is the process we go through and our lives where the Holy Spirit makes us more like Jesus.

    James goes against mormonism also as in James 2:19 “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”

    Not even James agrees with your parents polytheistic views. Yes works count because we are grateful and the Bible talks about the rewards in heaven (but that is now why we do it) but NOT salvation. There is a huge difference.

    Revelation 1:8 ” I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Red letters)

    A polytheistic view is breaking the first and the second commandment (make a god to suite yourself), correct?

    I lovingly request that you read Romans chapters 3-5 and Galatians 3-5 It is these chapters that speak of this issue. I hope that if you read them you will see that the third article on your parents Church is in contradiction to God’s word.
    Please understand that I am not here to bash on you. I believe you and your parents are lost and I do not want you to go to hell. What ever I am, I am by the Grace of God. I want you to find the real and loving Jesus who can fill your heart with His salvation.

  • Jewel

    My mom (single parent) never much pushed religion on me. She’s always been religious, but she respected my decision to stop going to church when I was 10. I never really grokked religion and my mom, knowingly or not, raised me to think for myself and make my own decisions.

    When I was in my late teens my mom did try to guilt me every now and again to go to church with her, but we never fought about it and I always declined her invitations. Just wasn’t for me.

    I always had the feeling that my mom felt she had gone wrong somewhere because I wasn’t religious. In fact, I would tell people “my mom taught me to think for myself; and regrets it”. Even still, it was a bit of a shock to actually hear her express that regret when I told her I was an atheist.

    The one thing I wish she would tell me and actually mean is “You got it right and I’m proud of you”. It’ll never happen, though.

  • http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis/ Jonathan Blake

    K,

    I think I’ve managed to come to an understanding with my Mormon family. It is possible to get some people to keep the member missionary work to a very low hum. :)

  • Old Beezle

    what words do you wish your parents would say to you about your atheism?

    “I understand.”

    I was raised Mormon and my entire family of four siblings plus spouses, etc. are still very actively Mormon. I have heard everything except for some inkling of their understanding of my choice:

    “We still love you.”
    “Maybe you never truly believed.”
    “What do you believe then?”
    “Is there the possibility that you’ll come back someday?”
    “Maybe this is just a rebellious phase.”

    Everything except for down-home-honest-to-God (for them, at least) empathy. I still seek familial validation of my choices and they still hope to save me with love, patience, and a lifelong subscription to the Ensign church magazine. We are at an impasse and probably ever will be.

  • Siamang

    Dan’s back.

  • Tract

    Well, as an adult, it really doesn’t matter what my parents think about my religious beliefs. My parents aren’t religious, although my mother says she believes in god. My mother-in-law is a different matter altogether. She’s VERY pentecostal-type religious. I remember how she freaked out and cried to my husband when she found out I was Wiccan. (very short stint in that religion) She said we were satanists! I laughted my butt off about that one. I’ve been an atheist for a lot of years now and I don’t think my M.I.L. knows what my beliefs are. If she finds out, fine. If she wants to discuss it, fine. But I’m not out to win anyone’s support. What matters is to me is what I think about it. I, for one, am damned proud to be an atheist. :)

  • http://paxnortona.notfrisco2.com Joel Sax

    As an agnostic, I find myself in a difficult place. “But you have to choose one or the other position” is the line I get from believers and from atheists alike. There’s no “it’s ok not to make up your mind on this issue. Focus on what is important like being a good person.” If this were an issue with my parents, that is what I’d like them to say.

  • Jodie

    My dad does not believe in an after life. This does not stop him from going to church every week and considering himself a religious person. I wish that he would be more honest with me about his beliefs, so that I could begin to be honest with him.

  • K

    I dunno, Jonathan. Unless you’re constantly bringing up Atheism or telling them they shouldn’t go to church, they should respect you enough to not, “hum,” at all. I have to bring up words like, “brainwashing,” and, “Why do they get to hum and you have to grin and bear it?” Do you feel that you’re in the wrong or bad for not being in the Morg so you don’t deserve better treatment? That is the Morg mindset so if it’s still in yer melon, you need to break the chains, ya know?

  • http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis/ Jonathan Blake

    K,

    I thought you were the one preaching that there is never any peace for the former Mormon. :) Most of the member missionary work that I get these days is in the form of setting a good example so I know what I’m missing, nothing overt. That’s especially true now that most of them have had their chance to have their say.

  • Mriana

    Jonathan Blake said,

    November 2, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    Mriana,

    What you want to say to your family probably isn’t exactly what I suggested, and it isn’t in your own voice. I offer it as an example to get across the idea. You have to discover for yourself what you need. Instead of acceptance, do you want respect for your right to believe as you choose?

    Would you like to talk to my family? Trust me, the moment you say, “I’m an atheist” watch out, but more power to you if you can take on Evangelical Fundamentalist extremists.

    Please understand that I am not here to bash on you. I believe you and your parents are lost and I do not want you to go to hell. What ever I am, I am by the Grace of God. I want you to find the real and loving Jesus who can fill your heart with His salvation.

    Dan, I’ve read the Bible, I’ve even studied it with various scholars and Episcopal ministers- yes those like Spong, so I am not ignorant of it and probably know and understand more of it than you do. Currently Religious studies is my minor- one does not have to be religious to have a minor or major in religious studies. I even have discussions with Robert Price, one of my heros, who attends the Episcopal Church, is a Humanist and an atheist. So, I have and do study with well educated people. I am well versed in Christianity, a lifetime of studying it, and know a little about several other religions and many different earlier myths that are very much similar.

    Request what you want, but I have probably read it many times over and studied it in depth. I could probably teach you more than you want to know or even hear. Don’t just assume that if someone doesn’t believe what you do that they don’t know your book.

    Of course, I think I have said that before. What I’ve said probably goes for many others here too- not the same intense study of it, but a lifetime of knowing what it says and alike.

  • http://paxnortona.notfrisco2.com Joel Sax

    Jonathan, just live your life as who you are. Be a good person and your parents will get used to it.

  • Andrew

    Ohh Dan the troll infamous for being and obstinate, ignorant hypocrite… some reputation.

    He is a Christian pastor who harasses atheists on the Internet with his pathetic apologetics… He has been IP banned from at least one blog for lying.

    Don’t waste your time reading his posts. He just likes to bait people into debates where he spits his apologetics and Bible verses (real influential to an atheist… lol) and then completely ignores the rebuttals.

    You can see an overview of what he did over at the just click here here and here. It’s really pretty entertaining.

    As I expected his response was more about how Mormon’s aren’t Christians than about this kid’s situation. Dan, it wouldn’t matter if he was Muslim or Wicca, that has nothing to do with this thread. So please take your hate-mongering ignorance elsewhere.

  • Jill

    I wish my parents would just accept it and not feel the need to bring it up at any sort of family gatherings we have.

    My parents are good, loving people who have never forced religion on me. They have recently become religious and of course, want their children to follow suit. My sisters humor them by going to church sometimes, but I usually decline.

    So basically, I wouldn’t wish for them to say anything. Maybe just to give me a hug afterwards.

  • http://thisislikesogay.blogspot.com Duncan

    I’m lucky, I guess, because neither of my parents was a theist and I had no religious upbringing to speak of. My mother was Catholic by upbringing, my father a Protestant, but it was my father who introduced me to the idea of atheism when I was a kid. Disagreeing with them was never easy on any topic, be it politics or religion, but I never worried about it much.

    I must say it seems irrational, to put it gently, to expect theist parents to accept atheism in their children, especially if they belong to the more conservative cults. “It’s okay for you to be atheist”? Come on. That is, in conservative Christian terms, equivalent to saying, “It’s okay for you to want to go to Hell, where pitchfork-dicked demons will munch on your brain for eternity.” Which is like saying, “It’s okay for you to lie down in front of a speeding train.” Given their beliefs, it would be a dereliction on their part not to reject a child’s atheism.

    What the demand for acceptance implies is that atheism and theism are trivial choices, like hairstyle or the kind of car you drive. It’s not even on the level of deciding to be an artist when your parents want you to be a doctor, which is more serious, but a demand for accomodation if not acceptance would still be in order. I certainly don’t think that atheism is trivial; I know that people who take their religion seriously don’t think theism is trivial either. It’s a serious disagreement on basic values.

    Given the number of comments which borrow the term “come out” in this context, it might be good to point out that homosexuality also is a different kind of case. Though many people do consider homosexuality a serious moral transgression, my being gay does not challenge my parents’ heterosexuality. (It might challenge the belief system which looks down on me, but that’s a different matter.) I can be gay without demanding that they be gay, and I can expect them to return the courtesy.

    But atheism is different. I do believe, and I do say that theists are wrong, and ideally they should stop believing in their gods. It does not bother me personally that they think I should apostatize to theism; of course they think that. If you’re the kind of person who takes disagreement this personally, you’ve got issues that you need to deal with.

  • Mriana

    I must say it seems irrational, to put it gently, to expect theist parents to accept atheism in their children, especially if they belong to the more conservative cults. “It’s okay for you to be atheist”? Come on. That is, in conservative Christian terms, equivalent to saying, “It’s okay for you to want to go to Hell, where pitchfork-dicked demons will munch on your brain for eternity.”

    Exactly my point. They can’t and won’t accept it, not without the inquisition first.

    It’s a serious disagreement on basic values.

    Yes. And you say you weren’t raised by the Religious Reich?

    The thing is, I know the headache it would bring. I would never disabuse anyone in their sixties of their beliefs, but I know I will not get the same respect and I have gotten small tastes of it here and there.

    I don’t disagree with you in the slightest, Duncan. What you said is dead on. You can’t talk to theists because they would look at you as a heretic and/or an apostate, if you came out and directly said, “I’m a non-theist” or “I’m an atheist”. My mother and aunt still don’t have any comprehension of what a Religious Humanist is. They don’t know it is more of a cultural thing than it is a belief in theism, but saying Religious Humanist or Christian Humanist softens it for them because the word they want to hear is still there, even though they don’t know what it means. It just saves a religious battle between us by adding the adjective. I’m no more religious than Robert Price or Greg Epstien is, but my cultural upbringing was Christianity.

    Personally, since I know I won’t get the same respect, I think I’ll just leave it as it is and not explain it to them. Let them assume what they want and if I end up saying something that gets them wound up, just deal with it as I’ve always done just to smooth things over- lipservice. Sounds like the cowards way out, but why fight with two people in their 60s? It makes no sense.

  • http://www.templewhore.blogspot.com Slut

    I guess I’m too old to care what my mom thinks about my atheism. I might be able to convince her of my position if I argued with her enough but she’s getting on and it seems to me wrong to try to “correct” the harmless delusions of an old woman. It’s not as though she would do anything different with her life as an atheist. Plus we really only see each other once or twice a year.

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » The Flip Side: What Do You Wish to Say to Your Parents?

  • Maria

    I just wish they would tell me it’s okay to not have the same beliefs as them and to question. I wish I could read certain books openly in the house without being bugged about it, I wish questions weren’t asked if I don’t go to church, I wish I didn’t have to lie about where I go every week when I go to a Unitarian-universalist church and group.

  • The Unbrainwashed

    I haven’t read the comments above, but I was curious to see how many people had similar things said to them after expressing their atheism. My parents told me the following:
    “You’re just going through a phrase (I was 19 at the time).”
    “I doubted God once, but then I simply realized I was wrong.”
    “Who do you think you are? Everyone around the world believes in God and you think you’re so special that you’ve discovered they’re all wrong.”

  • Corncob

    I’ll second the “Just a phase” and raise you a “You haven’t thought this through.”

    On the other hand, my parents also told me that they loved me and I would always be their child. I’d love to hear “So long as you’ve made an honest search and examination, we’ll respect your beliefs,” but it’s probably not going to happen.

  • http://blueollie.wordpress.com ollie

    “Who do you think you are? Everyone around the world believes in God and you think you’re so special that you’ve discovered they’re all wrong.”

    I point out that 93% of top scientists are atheists or agnostics.

    What a better group of people to keep company with!

  • weemaryanne

    Come now, people, it’s time to stop this whining. It’s necessary to stop expecting parental approval in order to grow up and have your own life. Painful, yes, but necessary. So whatever you’re paying your therapists, you can stop now; they’re not doing you any good.

  • Andrew

    I must say it seems irrational, to put it gently, to expect theist parents to accept atheism in their children, especially if they belong to the more conservative cults. “It’s okay for you to be atheist”? Come on. That is, in conservative Christian terms, equivalent to saying, “It’s okay for you to want to go to Hell, where pitchfork-dicked demons will munch on your brain for eternity.”

    Exactly my point. They can’t and won’t accept it, not without the inquisition first.

    You are making the assumption that fundamentalist Christians are rational? Listen, devout Christians are generally very emotional people. And emotional people go with their guts and not rational judgment. So, like in my case, my very religious parents consider their love for me more important than my religious faith.

    You can’t talk to theists because they would look at you as a heretic and/or an apostate, if you came out and directly said, “I’m a non-theist” or “I’m an atheist”.

    I think you are making a huge logical error when you apply your experiences to the rest of us as a “norm”. Just because your family is shallow and ignorant, doesn’t mean that their faith alone is the cause. The majority of my almost universally religious family doesn’t agree with me, but that is where it stops. I am still family. I get invited to the lake, and I even live with a few religious cousins while I go to school.

    I’ll second the “Just a phase” and raise you a “You haven’t thought this through.”

    If this where your dialogue stopped, than that is your fault. I heard all of this from my father at first, but I pushed the conversation/debate further until I felt comfortable that he understood my position even if he still disagreed with it.

  • Stephen

    The main thing I’d want to hear from my parents is, “Haha, just kidding about the Earth only being 6000 years old. Genesis is totally not literal. Oh, and not everything Bush does is perfect.”

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    We need always to remember that absence of proof is NOT proof of absence. Denying any proofs does not one bit disprove or even diminish the theological perspective.

    Deuteronomy 28:66 “And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life:” Matthew 14:31 “And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Luke 12:29 “And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind.” Romans 14:23 “And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”

    Doubt does not = faith. How can anyone doubt God is beyond me there is evidence but it is your presupposition that keeps you from the truth.

  • http://nogodsallowed.wordpress.com cg

    Dad?

  • Adam

    I wish my parents had said “you don’t have to pretend you’re straight and get married just to please us. We love you though you’re gay and we would have preferred that you be happy than spend 20 years in a loveless, sexless marriage just to please us.”

  • Andrew

    Dad?

    LMAO… seriously… I can’t breathe right now!

  • Keith

    Just wanted to say that I appreciate all you guys willingness to talk about it. I’m a Christian with three young kids, and your words have helped me think through how I will respond if the day comes that they do not share my beliefs. Thanks for the openness and honesty, guys.

    Dan,

    Let this thread be a safe place … if you want to do your apologetics, at least pick a thread where it’s half-way appropriate.

  • Mriana

    Dan,

    Let this thread be a safe place … if you want to do your apologetics, at least pick a thread where it’s half-way appropriate.

    Thank you, Keith. :hug: For your whole post in fact. :)

  • grazatt

    Keith you are a pretty cool guy.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Don’t all children want to hear the same thing from their parents, when you get right down to it? “Uncle”.

  • Old Beezle
  • Polly

    @Joel S.

    I can here it now:
    “Mom, dad, I’m having doubts. I know, I know you raised me as best as you could and godfree and you did a great job. But I’m just not sure, anymore. I’ve been reading some literature and, well…I’ve decided to become Agnostic.”
    *parents wailing*-”where did we go wrong!?”
    :D

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    I point out that 93% of top scientists are atheists or agnostics. Ollie,

    You could come up with that figure, if you defined “top scientist” and were inclusive enough in your definitions of “atheists” or “agnostics” but I don’t believe it’s accurate. I think that even PZ might say it’s about 60%. Which isn’t particularly surprising considering that most of scientists are steeped in the quasi-religion of materialism and, in the worst cases, the superstition of scientism. Quite simply, I’m not interested in what “top scientists” think about anything outside of their profession unless they show me they know what they’re talking about. Quite often, outside of their specialty they’re no better informed than anyone else.

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    Keith: “Dan, Let this thread be a safe place.”

    This is NOT a safe place at all for the lost, the wrath of God is upon them, don’t you care? Did your forget about the Great Commission? Concern for the lost should be a True Christians priority, are you sure you’re a Christian Kieth?

    Always and without fail, God uses the Cross as the supreme example of His love toward sinners. Sure, God expresses His love toward the saved believer by offering daily comfort, joy, inner peace, patience, self-control, and a safer harbor in times of trouble, but never does He offer these to the unbeliever. Check it out yourself. Look in your Bible to find any instance of Jesus, an apostle, or a prophet offering an unrepentant sinner any form of God’s love other then Jesus’ blood on the Cross. Rather, God’s wrath is on them! The Cross is love’s masterpiece. The Cross is God motivated by love, running toward the sinner to rescue him from the flames of eternal punishment. (wotm)

    You want a safe place? Run to Jesus for salvation by repenting and trusting in Him.

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Dan Marvin, have you sold all that you have and given the money to the poor?

    The cross was an instrument of torture and execution. What Jesus said when he was alive was important, the means the Romans used to execute him for endangering their imperial rule isn’t. I don’t think your approach is going to make any headway here. Do you think these folks haven’t heard this before?

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    olvlzl, no ism, no ist said “Do you think these folks haven’t heard this before?”

    This is not my concern. I am to preach the gospel and it is God Himself that will choose to save the lost. In sales it’s all in the numbers. Like Keith, if I were to discern when or who to witness to then actually I am playing god and choosing who I want to go to heaven and who I want to go to hell. We are to preach in season and out of season to all the lost.

    Dan Marvin, have you sold all that you have and given the money to the poor?

    Well just this morning I found out that I will be a daddy for the 4th time. I have sold things because I’m poor, does that count? lol

  • http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis/ Jonathan Blake

    The Cross is God motivated by love, running toward the sinner to rescue him from the flames of eternal punishment.

    When I hear people talk about Christianity like that, my mind translates their words into to something like “God died to save us from his own anger.” That just doesn’t jive with my idea of a merciful God.

    It sounds to me that you’re pretty concerned about my eternal welfare. I appreciate the brotherly concern. I would like you to hear that for me, my lack of believe in God doesn’t prevent me from feeling “daily comfort, joy, inner peace, patience, self-control”. My life is full of those things. I sincerely believe that if I died today and (to my surprise) came face-to-face with a merciful God, he would pat me on the back, tell me that I had done the best I could according to my own conscience and knowledge, and he would accept my humble offering.

  • http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis/ Jonathan Blake

    Dan,

    Congratulations on your newest child!

  • Keith

    Dan,

    Thank you for your response. If you want to discuss finer Biblical points, I am more than willing … however, this thread is not the place. Propose another thread on which to have that discussion and I will take part for a time if you wish. I will respond here only to a couple of items which I think apply to this thread.

    Concern for the lost should be a True Christians priority, are you sure you’re a Christian Kieth?

    In what way did urging you to let this thread be a safe place to discuss “What do you wish your parents would say to you?” suggest that I am not concerned for people?

    In your post, you used the term “lost.” This is a reference to Jesus words that he came to “seek and save that which was lost.” Btw, he said that regarding Zaccheus … do you remember what the crowds said when Jesus went to Zaccheus’ house? “He’s gone to be the guest of a sinner.” Religious folk disdaining kindness shown to outsiders is not new … perhaps you would like to ask Jesus if he has read the Great Commission, or if he is a true Christian …

    Too many times, Christians feel that kindness is enabling someone to go to hell. I would imagine that some of the parents whose kids are posting here feel that same pressure. Kindness is not enabling. Kindness is kindness. In Peter’s first letter he specifically instructs believing wives to win over their unbelieving husbands by their quality of their life, not with words. Being kind toward a family member who does not believe is not enabling … it’s being a good parent/spouse/etc. Not only would the world be a better place if all Christians understood this, but more people would probably be disciples of Jesus …

    I like Bob Seger, and he likes that old-time rock-and-troll.

    Thanks for posting.

  • grazatt

    Dan Marvin remember you act like to much of an ass here you may find yourself banned!

  • http://olvlzl.blogspot.com/ olvlzl, no ism, no ist

    Dan Marvin, if you are familiar with the Gospels you will, no doubt, be familiar with the instructions that if your message is rejected that you are to go and wipe the dust from your feet.

  • Mriana

    This is NOT a safe place at all for the lost, the wrath of God is upon them, don’t you care?

    :lol: You’re so funny, Dan!

    Always and without fail, God uses the Cross as the supreme example of His love toward sinners.

    Such a cruel deity. To kill his only son. Oh yes, he killed himself at the same time 3 in 1. If that is love, I want no part of it.

    Sure, God expresses His love toward the saved believer by offering daily comfort, joy, inner peace, patience, self-control, and a safer harbor in times of trouble, but never does He offer these to the unbeliever.

    Such STORIES as the Crucifiction taken literally is not comforting. Try a different approach- Read John Shelby Spong’s “Ressurection: Myth or Reality” You MIGHT draw more bees that way.

    Rather, God’s wrath is on them!

    Hey guys! Zeus is going to throw lightening bolts at us! We’d better start shaking in our boots!

    The Cross is love’s masterpiece.

    Sorry, but I don’t see that as love, but rather Pagan sacrifice. The Gospels are written to the Hebrew litergical calendar, so the story of the crucifiction takes place around Passover. So, the story of Jesus is nothing but a Pagan story of human sacrifice. The character of Jesus was the sacrificial lamb. Trust me, I’ve studied this so much that your guilt-ridden damnation doesn’t work on me. I had a great uncle who was a Free Methodist minister- he never got me sucked into his Fundie beliefs as a child, so what makes you think you can? I’m past being a scared little child frozen in one place to bellowing hellfire and damnantion, because I could not run from the adults frightening everyone. God has nothing to do with it. It’s the humans.

    I am playing god and choosing who I want to go to heaven and who I want to go to hell.

    Stop playing freakin’ god. It makes you sound delusional and insane. Believe it or not, you are picking and chosing who hit over the head with a book called the Bible. It is not God’s word, but rather written by man. There is no divine intervention writting it. It was not inspired by anyone except man. I do recommend Robert Price’s Reason Driven Life to you besides Spong’s books. While you are at it, read Dawkins God Delusion, because Man you’ve got it bad! And since Dawkins probably won’t be enough, get yourself a good Psychiatrist before you end up killing yourself over this.

  • Mriana

    This is a reference to Jesus words that he came to “seek and save that which was lost.” Btw, he said that regarding Zaccheus … do you remember what the crowds said when Jesus went to Zaccheus’ house? “He’s gone to be the guest of a sinner.” Religious folk disdaining kindness shown to outsiders is not new … perhaps you would like to ask Jesus if he has read the Great Commission, or if he is a true Christian …

    On Keith’s note, may I remind you, Dan, that Jesus ate with the sinners. He may have preached, but not all the time. Example is a far better way to relate to people than preaching. When you pound people over the head like this, Dan, you turn them away. You aren’t drawing anyone to you. Very few will want to be around you, unless they are in full agreement with you.

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    get yourself a good Psychiatrist before you end up killing yourself over this.

    You’re so funny, Mriana!

    Remember my face when our eyes meet in the afterlife. My name is Dan Marvin

    be familiar with the instructions that if your message is rejected that you are to go and wipe the dust from your feet.

    Yes, point taken. Hard one to swallow though. I guess I will flee to the next city also.

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    You aren’t drawing anyone to you. Very few will want to be around you, unless they are in full agreement with you.

    Hmm, is that so?

    2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

  • http://nogodsallowed.wordpress.com cg

    Now now, let’s try to stay on topic. Don’t feed the trolls. If we pretend we can’t hear Dan, maybe he’ll just go away. Or get raptured.

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    Kieth in defense of his atheist friends: “I like Bob Seger, and he likes that old-time rock-and-troll.”

    cg also “Don’t feed the trolls”

    TROLL, noun, often used as an acerbic, puerile, exclamatory insult — a knee-jerk _ad hominem_ often employed in a feeble effort to discredit another poster because one has been flummoxed, proven to be wrong, ignorant or incompetent. TROLL rarely has any practical effect and can be considered a form of farblondzhet, flustered, frustrated spleen-venting by the person who employs it.

  • Mriana

    Dan, unequally yoked, last I checked, meant marriage. RSV says: “Do not be unequally mated with unbelievers. For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?” NKJV says, “Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

    That is the 2 Corinthians is attributed to Paul, but 1. he never met Jesus. 2. Scholar feel that there was more than one author of these books attributed to Paul. 3. Jesus did associate with sinners, so what Paul is saying is a contradiction. 4. inter-religious marriage was not approved of by early Christians and some modern X-ians, they used this verse and still do concerning marriage to those not Christians. However, regardless of how you view it, 6:17 says you are not to associate with us. “Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them…. So BE GONE!

    Secondly, (since I doubt you left) Sometimes in order to see the light, you have to risk the dark. Try doing some REAL studying of the Bible, including it’s history and the history and study of religion as a whole. You might have an eye-opening experience.

    Third, I still say unless individuals agree with you, they will not want to associate with you.

  • Keith

    Dan Marvin,

    Please leave this thread … I would be willing to discuss your Scriptural points at the following: http://www.off-the-map.org/ebayatheist/viewtopic.php?p=11757#11757

    Please leave this thread … I will see you there.

  • Richard Wade

    grazatt said,

    Dan Marvin remember you act like to much of an ass here you may find yourself banned!

    I’m very, very reluctant to support banning anyone from a forum such as this, but as far as I’m concerned Marvin qualified for banning months ago with his incessant, inappropriate, ego-engrandizing, bible-peuking, post-hijacking, sick, twisted troll fests, but it’s not my place to make that decision, only express my opinion.

    People commenting on this particular post were sharing things at a level of intimacy and vulnerability that was really remarkable, and they were mutually benefitting from it. Adam made a brief comment that had so much pathos that it brought tears to my eyes. There were even more than one Christian establishing rapport and respect with atheists here. It was very encouraging.

    THEN THE TROLL SHOWED UP.

    Now twenty one of the last comments are about Dan Marvin, with sixteen in a row. That’s a troll’s wet dream. He has successfully hijacked another post. His first words in his first comment here were “A little off topic but…” Yeah, way off topic as always.

    Any response to him is futile and just feeds his narcissism. I agree with olvlzl, no ism, no ist that tossing psychiatric diagnoses at theists is a very bad practice, but in Marvin’s case he really qualifies for more than one very serious disorder. That means we’ll never have any influence to change it and he’s never going to stop.

    If he did this kind of disruptive behavior in a public place he’d be thrown out so fast he’d land on the far side of the street. I’m thoroughly sick of him and his destructive intrusions. I want him banned.

  • http://nogodsallowed.wordpress.com cg

    Seconded.

    What a great thing we had going here. Then Dan showed up and completely derails the thread. It’s a shame. I’m all for speaking your mind and want to avoid policing of this forum, but there comes a point when such trolling hijacks the topic and ruins it for everybody. We need a janitor to come and clean up the pile of filth that Dan has left.

    The thing is, no matter what topic is presented here on this site, because it deals with *gasp* other religions or a lack of religion, Dan feels the need to blow his load of verses all over the place to incite a riot. His ploy works time and time again. This is such a great community that I hate to see such rubbish continue to derail threads.

  • Mriana

    Any response to him is futile and just feeds his narcissism. I agree with olvlzl, no ism, no ist that tossing psychiatric diagnoses at theists is a very bad practice, but in Marvin’s case he really qualifies for more than one very serious disorder. That means we’ll never have any influence to change it and he’s never going to stop.

    :lol: I think I started that, but as you said, “He really qualifies”, so how could I resist?

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    If he did this kind of disruptive behavior in a public place he’d be thrown out so fast he’d land on the far side of the street. I’m thoroughly sick of him and his destructive intrusions. I want him banned.

    You do mean a private place right? The internet is a public place, you are after all on a very public forum. I am merely helping protect the innocent from destructive people such as yourself. Yes I do open air preaching in public places and sometimes I get a response like yours but that will never stop me from preaching the gospel.

    Without naming anyone I received a comment from a proclaimed Christian here who has nullified the Law’s power to accomplish its purpose: bringing people to a knowledge of their sinfulness and their need for repentance and salvation. He has “neglected the weightier matters of the Law,” limiting the scope of its precepts to mere outward piety. Jesus called them ‘blind guides”who swallow a camel and strain out a gnat!” (Matthew 23:23-24). This is unacceptable .

    Deep in my soul, Ive been so lonely
    All of my hopes, fading away…
    we’ve got tonight, who needs tomorrow?
    Lets make it last, lets find a way
    [Until the Judgment day]

  • Mriana

    There is nothing to protect anyone from, except people who refuse to learn anything and not allow others to learn anything too. Now that is a problem when someone keeps people from getting educated. The only stupid question is the question NOT asked and when one does not ask questions, they perpetuate bigotry, prejudice, and alike.

  • grazatt

    I think it’s banning time!

  • http://nogodsallowed.wordpress.com cg

    It comes down to a matter of sidetracking a thread. While I may not agree with Dan, he’s as entitled to his opinion as everyone else. He thinks he’s helping people by screaming about his beliefs in a way that makes him unavoidable. If someone were to come in the thread screaming about global warming, abortion, or the danger of lead in paint, they’d be equally as disruptive with just as much chance of hijacking a thread.

    I kinda like the idea of a separate thread that we can just reassign such comments into. Let’s say there’s a thread on this site labeled, oh I don’t know, “Trolls” or something. Then if Dan or someone else comes in with their street preaching, we silently move those comments to the troll thread along with any refutations (including such comments as this one which have nothing to do with parents or religion). That way, the original topic goes along just fine with people helping people, and Dan can keep arguing arbitrary topics in a way that won’t disturb the community.

    Maybe that’s just wishful thinking. Without an audience, a troll is worthless. I see he hasn’t take Keith up on his offer of debate on a separate thread.

    Thanks for ruining it again, Dan. You win, I give up. May Zeus have mercy on your soul.

  • Richard Wade

    Marvin, the internet is public but this website is privately operated. We all comment here only at the pleasure and approval of the owner, Hemant. Nobody has the “right” to participate here; it’s only a privelege. He has shown a tremendous level of tolerance and patience for people like you, but you have brought your obsessive, insensitive and perverse venom into a discussion where it is not only off topic it’s downright outrageous. There are rules of ettiquete and common sense and you have violated those far too many times. I know this is not the first place you’ve been kicked out of. You don’t seem to learn.

    You are very, very bad at what you pretend to want to do, winning people over to your beliefs. Actually you’re an excellent recruiter for atheism. Many of the deconversion stories heard on sites like this include an abusive lunatic like you as the primary reason people left Christianity. You said in sales numbers are everyting. You’re fired. Our numbers are growing in large part because of failures like you. I feel really sorry for your kids. They’re very likely to end up telling their horror stories on a blog like this about their fruitcake father.

    What you are very, very good at is what you really want, getting attention and flattering your sad little ego. The only topic of discussion you’re interested in is Dan Marvin. The only opinion you pay any attention to is the opinion of Dan Marvin. The only needs you care about are those of Dan Marvin. You don’t give a rat’s ass about what disruptive, destructive havoc you wreak when you blunder into a thread like this as long as you get everybody to stop and turn their attention to Dan Marvin.

    “Remember my face when our eyes meet in the afterlife. My name is Dan Marvin”

    What a perfect example of the self importance of an egomaniac. The Great Dan Marvin, whose hell obsession and screwball, custom made religious ideas leave him utterly, utterly alone in his self-assured little universe where the only god he really worships is named DAN MARVIN.

    You, who are so proudly, so vainly, so arrogantly sure you intimately know God’s mind better than anyone else, you who pass judgement of damnation on everyone who doesn’t exactly, exactly agree with every bit of your home made religion, you who dare speak for God as if you are God, you who are incapable of considering that you could be wrong about anything, that you don’t necessarily know it all perfectly, you who have no idea about when and where is an appropriate time and place to do your self-styled preaching, you don’t really “give a damn” about anybody but Dan Marvin. Otherwise you’d stop and consider that perhaps you have made a blunder when people first ask you politely then tell you angrily to shut the fuck up and get the fuck out.

    Go away, Marvin. Go away thinking that you were cast out because you were doing God’s work. Go away thinking that you were cast out because, as the Bible told you, the righteous will be rejected. Go away thinking you are right, we are wrong, you are blessed, we are damned, go away thinking any idiotic thing at all that feeds your desperate, secret hunger to be better, more pious, more righteous more right in every way than everybody else, but just GO AWAY!

  • Mriana

    Actually you’re an excellent recruiter for atheism. Many of the deconversion stories heard on sites like this include an abusive lunatic like you as the primary reason people left Christianity.

    AMEN, BROTHER RICHARD! PREACH IT, BROTHER!

    BTW, I didn’t bother to look at his mug. It might be too frightening, like the scary preacher on Poltergeist.

  • http://dmarvin811.blogspot.com Dan Marvin

    “but just GO AWAY!”

    Just %&*^ shut up and let us pound your God? Who is pushing their own agenda now? Is this the agenda of a friendly atheist that you are spewing, Richard Wade?

    God’s wrath is upon you and if you keep this up you will perish. I care enough about you to say that.

    I stayed on subject this entire time if you haven’t noticed. If I must spell it out I will. It DOES NOT matter what daddy and mommy thinks, what matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. For the record I am a wretched sinner and deserving of God’s wrath. You should NOT to listen to mankind including me. You should listen to God’s Word of Salvation and you must be born again to be saved.

    You are very, very bad at what you pretend to want to do

    I was looking for a verse for you that I just couldn’t remember but by the grace of God I found it. I knew it wasn’t Biblical.

    Phil. 1:15-18 “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.”

    I feel really sorry for your kids. I forgive you for saying that.

    I am merely countering what people are saying to me here, for example:

    Many of the deconversion stories heard on sites like this include an abusive lunatic like you as the primary reason people left Christianity.

    Deconversion? Anyone that considers themselves to be past Christians, or ex Christians, or left Christianity, are fooling themselves in fact it’s an oxymoron. Are you posing that you can lose your salvation? If you can lose your salvation, then what do you do with John 10:28 where Jesus says he gives eternal life and the sheep will NEVER perish? If you can lose it then Jesus should have said, “and they may perish…” or “they CAN perish.” But he said, THEY WILL NEVER PERISH. So, will they never perish? Or can they?

    A true Christian cannot turn away from God. Here is why. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

    Now look at 1 John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.” THEY WOULD HAVE REMAINED if they were really Christians to begin with.

    Now a question for you. Are you saying that the Spirit begins the work of salvation in us and that we work it out and complete it by remaining faithful? That IS what you are saying, that we get saved and keep it by the effort of our works, right? Check this out. Galatians 3:1-3 “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”

    Jesus taught it. He said those with eternal life will NEVER PERISH. John 10:28 “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. ” Well, will they perish or not? Jesus says those with eternal life will NEVER perish. I believe Him. Do you?

    It isn’t too late you are not a throw away from God. Repent today and Trust! in Jesus and you WILL have everlasting life. You are not an ex Christian or a prior Christian you are a stony ground hearer or false convert. It isn’t too late!

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Hemant

    *ahem*

    Mr. Dan Marvin won’t be bothering us anymore.

    He has been blacklisted.

    (I’ve always wanted to say that…)

  • Mriana

    Oh thank you so much Hemant! :D :hug:

  • Maria

    Now now, let’s try to stay on topic. Don’t feed the trolls. If we pretend we can’t hear Dan, maybe he’ll just go away. Or get raptured.

    ROTFL that was great.

    *ahem*

    Mr. Dan Marvin won’t be bothering us anymore.

    He has been blacklisted.

    (I’ve always wanted to say that…)

    Hemant, you rule. Richard Wade, you rule too (your post was really good, I just didn’t want to repost the whole thing :-) ). just curious Hemant, how do you blacklist someone?

  • Richard Wade

    Hemant, my heartfelt thanks. (deep bow to you)

    “Friendly” does not mean “doormat.” “Tolerant and open-minded” does not mean “accepting abuse and condoning a hijack.” I welcome people into my home and show them great hospitality and afford them great latitude. But if a guest gets out of line beyond all reason then the door hits his ass as he leaves.

    I did not enjoy that. Now I can get back to being a “good” atheist again. I warned people that when I used to be the “bad” atheist it got ugly.

    I’m gonna take a hot shower.

  • Mriana

    Yes, I agree, Richard. When we are here, we are Hemant’s guests. I’m just grateful Hemant finally showed him the door. However, I do feel sorry for the guy. He has so much guilt and fear that he projects it onto other. I just don’t understand how anyone can enjoy or appreciate their life when they are so miserable. The thing is, I don’t think he realizes just how bad off emotionally and mentally he is. It’s really sad.

  • Maria

    “Friendly” does not mean “doormat.” “Tolerant and open-minded” does not mean “accepting abuse and condoning a hijack.” I welcome people into my home and show them great hospitality and afford them great latitude. But if a guest gets out of line beyond all reason then the door hits his ass as he leaves.

    well said!

    Yes, I agree, Richard. When we are here, we are Hemant’s guests. I’m just grateful Hemant finally showed him the door. However, I do feel sorry for the guy. He has so much guilt and fear that he projects it onto other. I just don’t understand how anyone can enjoy or appreciate their life when they are so miserable. The thing is, I don’t think he realizes just how bad off emotionally and mentally he is. It’s really sad.

    amen to that! lol

  • http://nogodsallowed.wordpress.com cg

    I’m sure Mr Dan is reveling in his newfound martyrdom as we speak, and we have you to thank, Hemant, for giving him his deepest desire. I think that’s what he had in mind this whole time. One more jewel for his crown!

    If I may, let me try to steer this thing back to where we started – I have no kids of my own yet, but I have a brother who has two kids below the age of two. During my deconversion from fundamentalist Christianity, I talked a lot with him, as he was still in the fundamentalist mindset. He has since started questioning his beliefs and his church.

    However, he admits that the one thing that utterly terrifies him about losing faith is what it will do to his kids. Being raised with Jesus as the center of the household, all he knew was Christianity and that’s how he intended to raise his children. With that foundation starting to wither away, I can see how frightening the world must look as a new father. I often questioned godless child rearing during my deconversion, but he’s faced with it head on, right in the middle. What makes matters a little stickier is that he doesn’t want to share his thoughts entirely with his wife because of the fear of where things might lead.

    I don’t know where things will eventually lead for him, and I avoid giving too much advice on the subject. One thing that I recommended was to find a different church; one that’s not in love with Kirk and Ray. Having a fundamentalist background often leaves you with the impression that in Christianity, it’s either all or nothing, similarly to the rantings of a recently blacklisted member (but I won’t name names). Thus, the thought of a less-fundamentalist church admittedly makes him feel like, “what’s the point?”

    What kind of advice can I give? In the future, I’ll someday have kids and be faced with a similar conundrum (me being all atheist, my girlfriend being Lutheran-just-because-that’s-what-you-do) so this advice goes for me as well. I had a great time growing up in the church, it was very youth centered. But all the dogma and superstitions that were laid on me left some deep scars that I’m constantly trying to get over. My brother and I would like all the benefits of a church: the community, the interaction, the lemon squares and punch, but without any of the dogma. What’s the right balance? If possible, I’d rather raise my kids in a way that would avoid so painful of a religious separation than what I’ve been through. Hell, someday I want my kids to say, “You rock!”

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  • Mriana

    I don’t know what kind of advice you can give him, cg. I mean, yeah, I took my sons to the Episcopal church when they were young, but I explained to them that the Bible is full of stories. Nothing was ever taken literally- not even at church. It’s not the inerrant word of God, but that’s the difference between a liberal church, like the Episcopal Church and a Fundie church. I don’t know of any minister in the Episcopal Church that will insist it is the inerrant word of God or even tell you it is.

    When my sons became teenagers, we quit going. It wasn’t any big deal. They didn’t want to go and I really didn’t want to go either. So, it was like, “What the hell? Why bother? It’s not important to any of us.”

    My sons nor I ever really bought it. Probably because I taught them to think for themselves and I never told them what to believe.

    I think that is why I can’t give you any advice.

  • AnonyMouse

    There’s only one thing I want my parents to say to me:

    “I understand why you don’t believe that Jesus is the Messiah.”

    They don’t need to know that I’m an atheist. (In fact, it would be best if they didn’t, and I think we could get along jut fine.) I just want them to accept my reasons for leaving Christianity. Oh, they tried to understand, but in the end their blind faith got in the way: “Well, I can see why you might think that… BUT YOU HAVE TO BELIEVE! YOU JUST HAVE TO! BECAUSE GOD COMMANDS YOU TO!” In many ways, they were like Shirley Phelps-Roper: “Why won’t you submit? Why won’t you just submit?”

    I want them to acknowledge that I had a good reason to stop believing, instead of pulling the crap they did: pretending that I was “stupid” or “ignorant” or “too young” because I had found something in the Bible that they hadn’t. It is incredibly cruel and closed-minded to decide that your child is an idiot just because he or she disagrees with you.


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