Author Topic: What would you say and do?  (Read 462 times)

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Offline blue_spiral

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What would you say and do?
« on: October 28, 2011, 12:42:16 PM »

So, I posted a picture on a website that was anti-mormon, so to speak. It wasn't blatantly rude or disrespectful (I had a lot of nasty ones to choose from and didn't) but it mildly mocked the fact that you have to pay tithing in order to get to heaven.

I told my mom, who looks at all my stuff, "Don't look at that part of the site. It's controversial."  So she didn't.

Her stupid friend did. She's more like my aunt, been a close family friend for years (the kind you can't get rid of) and she's the type who loves to bully those who don't agree with Mormonism. She's very agressive about her knowledge of the "truth" and it tempts me so much to battle it out with her, but I don't.

I began avoiding religious topics with my family a long time ago because it only ended badly (of course)

I'm posting this because I need to sort it out with someone else. I am deeply hurt by some of the accusations my dad made, that were nastier than anything he's ever said to me.

So, my mom brings it up to me, tries to argue that the church doesn't actually make you pay tithing and stuff. She loses the argument pitifully and accepts defeat by letting it go.

Then of course, my dad wants to talk to me. I told him I didn't want to talk about it because we're both passionate about our stands and it won't be pretty.

He keeps talking anyway and I think, "Maybe this time it will go well." I'm kind of an idiot sometimes.

So, long story short, we get into general "is there a god" stuff and he starts telling me that he knows ghosts are real because he's seen them. He knows god is real because he's had these feelings and he's been given revelations and god has given him the gifts of foresight, etc.

Now, you have to understand when talking to my dad, it's not as easy as that sounds.

My dad is a very educated, intelligent man. He sounds like a nutjob, but he's actually pretty logical (except when it comes to religion) and his knowledge vastly outweighs mine. Not only that but his insistence that they really happened, and his serious tone equals my own intensity when speaking of important matters.

What would you have said when someone who you respect for their intelligence says they believe in that stuff?

This is what I said:

I told him all the regular stuff about how your mind can play tricks on you, especially when you're looking for something specific, especially when you get yourself worked up (I've experienced some "revelations" myself that were pretty damn amazing).

I also said that since I'm a skeptic I can't ever say whether or not his experience actually happened, but he has no way of proving if it came from the god he thinks it did.

I gave him the line about nature changing course verses men lying, the occam's razor bit. I told him that just because something appears supernatural we can't just fill in the blank with god. It's not a logically drawn conclusion.

I said a bunch of other stuff, of course, but it got heated when he ONCE AGAIN accused me of being an atheist because kids at church were mean to me and because I just wanted to get tattoos.

My dad should know me well enough by now, and should have even long before, to know that I act with integrity and that I make meaningful decisions based on my reasoning and my principles.

OFF TOPIC PITY PARTY: Then he told me that I drove my husband away, and I drive people away generally and he needs to tell me this because he thinks I'm going to destroy any future relationships I have.

Wow. Talk about poking, jabbing and pouring salt in an open wound. My husband just moved out a couple weeks ago because in his OWN WORDS, "I Just don't care anymore. I liked my freedom before."

Being a father was too hard for him.

I know my dad is mourning my marriage and lashing out, looking for any excuse for why it happened, no matter how ridiculous, but ouch.

At least my mom defended me. She has a little more first-hand experience with my husband. He got this idea because my husband told my dad "she never lets me talk." and that's literally all he knows about my entire relationship. My husband never WANTS to talk. We went to counselling and things were great and then he dropped the bomb that he was just tired of family life. SWELL.

My dad said a couple other things as well and as of right now I can't see our relationship ever repairing.

« Last Edit: October 28, 2011, 12:46:40 PM by blue_spiral »
"i dont delete them becAUSE IT PROVES ME WRONG I DELETE THEM BECAUSE IT MAKES U LOOK LIKE AN DIOT AND? IM TRYING TO HELP YOU,THE ONLY THING U PROVED IS THAT UR GOING TO HELL " - A Christian on youtube who kept deleting my comments during a debate.

Offline One Above All

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Re: What would you say and do?
« Reply #1 on: October 28, 2011, 12:46:01 PM »
I would ignore it and avoid talking about it.
My names are many, yet I am One.
-Orion, son of Fire and Light, Sol Invictus.

Religions need books because they don't have gods.


Offline C

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Re: What would you say and do?
« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2011, 01:12:06 PM »
I don't see any problems with your approach. Hell, at least you TRIED to avoid confrontation and bad feelings in the family unlike some of us. What you said to him didn't seem very offensive at all and I see no real reason why he should suddenly lash out at you like that especially when he approached you.

Also, pardon me but, your douche of a husband seems to have just irresponsibly forsaken responsibility as a spouse.

And the fact that your father would use your recent divorce against you simply because he ran out of things to say in face of your argument and simply because, according to you, is mourning your marriage (it should really be you not him who should typically be in emotional turmoil anyway) while not knowing anything about it is inexcusable.
Based on our experiences, any of the following can happen:

1) It will blow over. Status quo all over again.
2) It will blow over though not without some awkwardness and reconciliation.
3) Your father will come back to apologize.

And if in the future it does happen again, and against you insisting that discussion won't go so well your dad again brings the topic back up, the only thing to do if you don't want to worsen the situation is just, you know, go along with it.

Empty acknowledgement such as a few "uh huhs" and slight nods can work.

What I would have said and done wouldn't be too much different from what you said and did regardless of how high their intelligence is. If they don't get it and stick to irrational beliefs, oh fucking well. Their decision shouldn't affect how you live and feel as an individual.

It's their loss, not yours.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: What would you say and do?
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2011, 01:35:46 PM »
spiral, you tried.  If my father said such ignorant, hateful, hurtful things to me, I'd have nothing further to do with him.  Just because you share DNA, doesn't mean he has a free pass to say things like that to you.  It's up to him to apologize. No one else.
"There is no use in arguing with a man who can multiply anything by the square root of minus 1" - Pirates of Venus, ERB

Offline LadyLucy

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Re: What would you say and do?
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2011, 01:57:15 PM »
I'm sorry to be bland, but I strongly suggest distancing yourself from him. That's the way I am with my father and I save myself a world of problems. Not "running away" from the problems because there aren't any problems; it's just the way said person is, so leave them be so that you can be at peace and save yourself some heart-break.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: What would you say and do?
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2011, 03:07:50 PM »
Every time I see a story like this, I am reminded to be very thankful to have parents who don't try to hype religion or anything else.

I'm reminded of something I read in a book about two people who got in a fight, and one of them asked her mother what she should do if she was in the wrong, and her mother said, "Apologize sincerely."  Then she asked what she should do if she was in the right, and her mother again said, "Apologize sincerely."  In other words, apologizing for the hurt feelings is what's important, not who had the right of it.

Even in a case like this, it's still worth apologizing.  If it provokes them into apologizing too, then it was worth it.  If they don't, then you know that things are too far gone.  Either way, you come out ahead and with the moral high ground.
Nullus In Verba, aka "Take nobody's word for it!"  If you can't show it, then you don't know it.

Offline albeto

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Re: What would you say and do?
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2011, 03:10:08 PM »
Blue, my heart aches for you because it sounds like you desperately want things to go well and they just aren't.  I suspect your dad said these things purely out of fear, hoping to "shake you up" into seeing things his way.  If you want to maintain relationships with your family, I would simply let him know that you will wait for god to reveal himself to you.  That way your dad thinks you haven't written it off out of hand (he'll figure it out but when he's ready), and you have nothing more to argue about.  Your dad had all these experiences.  You haven't.  If his god exists and he wants you to find him, the ball is in his court and you'll just wait patiently for any signs and wonders. 

As far as the garbage about your childish husband, I would refrain from that conversation until you're not so raw from the ordeal and you can talk about how immature he was.  Your dad may not be ready for this conversation either if he's really faithful and thinks that marriage is required for eternal godhood.  If he's terrified for your eternal life, it won't matter to him *why* your husband left, only that he did and without prospects on the horizon, you're soul is in jeopardy (do I have that right?).  Again, this is purely fear based and logic doesn't break through fear.  I would leave it alone as much as possible and if it were me, I'd start treating my dad like a child as well.  Children and adults who throw temper tantrums don't need to be privy to important information.  Leave the dragon-slaying to the adults, as my friend always said.

Offline natlegend

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Re: What would you say and do?
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2011, 10:03:36 PM »
It sounds like there's no point in trying to engage anymore. Perhaps every time he mentions something about god just say "prove it", every single answer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. Once again, religion has broken another family. Despicable.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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Offline joebbowers

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Re: What would you say and do?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2011, 07:41:29 AM »
Your dad believes in magic and complete nonsense. Your dad is a nutjob, no question about it. Crazy people are often very knowledgeable about the source of their insanity, that doesn't mean they aren't crazy, in fact the depth of his knowledge of religion and his continued faith despite that knowledge only kind of reinforces it.
"Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God?" - JeffPT