You can be skeptical and friendly at the same time.
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Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.
My ex heard that from her mom all the time, I think it put a strain on everything.
This is why I’m so disappointed in my own mother. She can’t see me as her daughter first, atheist second. I refuse to argue with her about who has the correct world view, as that is pointless. But anytime I try to have a respectful conversation about why we need to treat each other with civility, how atheists are people too and we deserve a government that doesn’t discriminate against us, she defaults to the position of hate. She covers her ears like a school kid shouting “naa naa naa.”
Write everything you have/want to say in a letter, maybe? I’ve seen that things like that sometimes help people in similar situations a lot.
I got the exchange on the left twice from my parents: first when I came out gay, then when I came out atheist. They wanted to pray for me both times, first so that God could “heal” me, and then so that God would show himself to me. Of course, when it became clear that the emotional manipulation wouldn’t work any more, they condemned me as a rebellious, arrogant sinner. My dad bellowed, “Do you WANT to go to hell?”
Christian “love” my ass.
My parents are a example of the good kind of Christian love. When I first came out as trans*, they were confused at first (naturally), but were supportive. It was only about 7 years later, on a visit to them, at a dinner table conversation that they quietly stated their opinion that they thought is was wrong to be trans, but they stressed that they loved me unconditionally and accepted me as I am.
In the eleven years since I came out, that was the only time they ever expressed any opposition. Contrast that to my siblings who, as soon as I came out to them sent me weepy notes about how I was “breaking their heart” and while I thought this would make me happy they insisted it out only lead to a life of “woe and despair”.
On the other hand, all 5 of my Mennonite aunts have been vocally supportive, sending me flowers and “coming out” greeting cards. One even switched churches to one that was LGBT affirming because of me. Another was inspired by me to come out herself as lesbian at the age of 65.
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