Author Topic: My Christian Family  (Read 9775 times)

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Offline jaimehlers

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #58 on: December 05, 2011, 10:06:49 AM »
My sympathies, Anfauglir.  It's never pleasant to deal with a death in the family, and far less pleasant to deal with several within a relatively short span of time.  I can't even say something like "they're still with you as long as you remember them" to try to help you feel better, because that's not enough and it'll never be enough to fill the holes I'm sure they left.  Still, it's really the most compassionate thing I can think of to say.

Offline Tykster

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #59 on: December 05, 2011, 10:07:28 AM »
People people I am Lance. I hope we can have a meaningful and respectful discussion here about God. I apologize if i offended someone. I love you all and i am here to explain God's side - to make it fair if u will. Ask me anything and i will explain point blank. Cheers!

My bolding.

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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #60 on: December 06, 2011, 08:25:46 AM »
People people I am Lance. I hope we can have a meaningful and respectful discussion here about God. I apologize if i offended someone. I love you all and i am here to explain God's side - to make it fair if u will. Ask me anything and i will explain point blank. Cheers!
My bolding.
When will you learn compassion toward your fellow man?

For those not already aware, Lance has been muted.  It seems that despite his wish for meaningful and respectful dialogue he has been unable to keep to his own standards.  You'd have thought that someone here to explain his god's side, someone filled with god's love, he'd have been able to make a better job of it.  Ah well.

- - - - -

Continued thanks for all the good wishes in this thread.  They HAVE made things easier to bear.
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Offline One Above All

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #61 on: December 06, 2011, 08:27:41 AM »
Continued thanks for all the good wishes in this thread.  They HAVE made things easier to bear.

I think I speak for everyone when I say:
Glad to hear it. :)
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Offline monkeymind

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #62 on: December 06, 2011, 08:49:36 AM »
I read your OP, and felt it deeply. In some way, you may have helped me prepare for the inevitable pain I will soon experience with the loss of my own parents.

Thank you for telling your story.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #63 on: December 15, 2011, 05:38:26 AM »
I wonder....am I being a hypocrite?  I'll explain.

In looking for a new care home for my mum nearer where I live, I used the internet to get a short list of homes that scored 3 stars out of 3.  I then went round to visit them.

(Side note: some of the ones I looked at made me think "if this is a 3, how terrible must a 1 be?")

Anyhoo....I visited 6 in the end.  4 pretty grotty.  1 superb, but simply too expensive.  And 1 that is affordable, with caring staff, great menu, lots of activities and outings, large and comfortable rooms.

And run by the Salvation Army.

Now I know that my mum will like that, as she's always been a a regular churchgoer and will enjoy the Christian attitude and regular services held there.  But where the "hypocrite" bit comes in is this: I like the idea of it being run by the Sally Army because I feel she'll be better cared for there because they will be in it for the caring, not just for the money.

I don't feel that bad about it, to be honest - though I know DaveDave would probably say I should shun them without reservation! 
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Chronos

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #64 on: December 15, 2011, 05:58:51 AM »
I don't see a problem with it. They are essentially running a business and providing a service, so if they provide a good service, so be it. If your mom actually likes the Christian attitude, then all the better.

John 14:2 :: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Offline kaziglu bey

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #65 on: December 15, 2011, 08:05:11 AM »
I wonder....am I being a hypocrite?  I'll explain.

In looking for a new care home for my mum nearer where I live, I used the internet to get a short list of homes that scored 3 stars out of 3.  I then went round to visit them.

(Side note: some of the ones I looked at made me think "if this is a 3, how terrible must a 1 be?")

Anyhoo....I visited 6 in the end.  4 pretty grotty.  1 superb, but simply too expensive.  And 1 that is affordable, with caring staff, great menu, lots of activities and outings, large and comfortable rooms.

And run by the Salvation Army.

Now I know that my mum will like that, as she's always been a a regular churchgoer and will enjoy the Christian attitude and regular services held there.  But where the "hypocrite" bit comes in is this: I like the idea of it being run by the Sally Army because I feel she'll be better cared for there because they will be in it for the caring, not just for the money.

I don't feel that bad about it, to be honest - though I know DaveDave would probably say I should shun them without reservation!

I think that it is an interesting assertion that she will receive better treatment at the Salvation Army home than a secular institution. I suppose this is why you are feeling like a hypocrite? Certainly religion is not ALL bad. It actually does inspire some people to be more caring and nurturing of others. I don't think that it would be necessarily hypocritical to take advantage of a service that can (A meet the needs of your mother B) has a clean supportive environment and C) actually gives you a positive impression. This especially since it will actually be catered to some of the activities that your mother enjoys and a belief system that she shares. I can understand that feeling of cringing repulsion with actually voluntarily choosing to be involved in a religious organization. But if it is out there and is the service is a good match, I say go for it. While I also do not agree with all of the ideologies of Sal's Army, and their track record is probably not without blemish, they actually do a lot of good (at leasst I know they do in my community). Food distribution, counseling and referral services, Salvation Army stores, rehab programs, homeless shelters, etc. they do it all. If I were to utilize a Christian service, I would be happy to see that they are actually doing the kinds of stuff Jesus wanted them to do.

I faced a similar (though admittedly far less important) decision when my son wanted to join Boy Scouts. Though both his mom and I are not in agreement with all of the ideas of Boy Scouts, and in some cases rather against, we ultimately decided to let him do it. If my son ends up adopting any negative ideas or prejudice as a result of his involvement in Scouts, then I would consider it a great failure of mine for not teaching him. Fortunately I won't let that happen. The benefits for my son will likely outweigh the deficits. Also, if I feel that he is having a bad message thrust upon him, it is my job to intervene to correct the situation, and withdraw him from scouts if necessary. Similarly, if you were to find that the Salvation army is NOT the best match for your mom, you could always find a more suitable alternative. It's not really a lifelong commitment, is it?
Seriously though... What would happen if the Great Green Arkleseizure didn't fram up the rammastam before the hermite curve achieved maximum nurdfurdle velocity? Now THAT would be something. AmIrite?

Offline screwtape

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #66 on: December 15, 2011, 09:21:35 AM »
I don't feel that bad about it, to be honest - though I know DaveDave would probably say I should shun them without reservation!

I think the part DD would probably take issue with it this part:
I feel she'll be better cared for there because they will be in it for the caring, not just for the money.

Why do you think that?  It seems to me it could be left over[1]or cultural bias.

And goddammit, why isn't there a Humanist Army?
 1. if you were a believer
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Offline Iamrational

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #67 on: December 15, 2011, 10:02:21 AM »
Each one of the 6 places you visited had an equal chance to win your business.

Regardless of what faith they support or none at all, they put their best foot forward. You saw what they had to offer and picked the place that showed you all the most caring attitude on top of decent living conditions. They so happened to be faith based. This isn't a preschool situation where the opportunity to avoid indoctrination can be avoided.

It doesn't sound in any way like you went hunting for a Baptist home. What happened is you looked around and saw that those people seemed to care about their customers. Simply better management, not philosophy. A secular company could adopt the same caring attitude, but in this case they just did not do it. Take the expensive place for instance. They may be secular. It could be that they charge a lot for their product and they take pride in it. They could have seen their competition and they know what they have to rise above. They could have said if they are going to charge the top dollar in that market they had better match it with top dollar service. So philosophy doesn't play a role.

No regrets though. This is a decision you have to sleep with and you will not sleep well if you are second guessing the living conditions. The last thing you need right now is more stress, or regrets. Take care and I hope you can find some enjoyment amidst these tough circumstances.

Offline velkyn

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #68 on: December 15, 2011, 10:24:09 AM »
with the SA, I always wonder, are they caring or do they know they have a brand to protect?
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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #69 on: December 15, 2011, 10:48:59 AM »
Quote
am I being a hypocrite?
I don't think so Anf, because you're not making the decision for yourself but on behalf of your mum. So the decision should be made according to her principles, not yours. And of course she's the one who's going to live there, not you.

As long as you're happy that the Home is well-run and good value, and that your mum will be most comfortable there, then that's the best choice for her.

Offline wright

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #70 on: December 15, 2011, 04:42:00 PM »
Thanks for continuing to share this with us, Anfauglir. No, I don't see hypocrisy here. As Gnu and others have said, your criteria is what's best for your mother. In this, I see selflessness and devotion trumping your discomfort at being associated with a religiously-founded institution.

This is a testament to your strength of character in a difficult time. My mother is now in her early 70s; though she's still very hale (skis, leads hiking trips in California, England, Nepal), the writing is on the wall. I hope to do as well as you have, when it comes time for my sister and I to make similar decisions.
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #71 on: December 16, 2011, 09:00:43 AM »
I feel she'll be better cared for there because they will be in it for the caring, not just for the money.

Why do you think that?  It seems to me it could be left over[1]or cultural bias.
 1. if you were a believer
I think that it is an interesting assertion that she will receive better treatment at the Salvation Army home than a secular institution.

Thanks guys - until I read these responses I didn't challenge myself as to my thinking.  Yes, why DID I assume that the secular (or, to be fairer, the "undeclared" homes) wouldn't "care" as much as a religious one?

It IS cultural bias, I think.  And I guess it just shows how far atheists really have to go for acceptance if even "one of us" can think "well, religious is better....." without realising it.

- - - - -

One of the homes on my shortlist I rejected before I even got inside.  I turned up and rang the bell.  After a few minutes, through the slightly frosted glass, I saw an old lady with walking frame come to the door and start trying to open it.  Clearly she was a resident, and was getting quite distressed that she couldn't get the door open for me.  I stood for a minute or so, then decided that if they (a) didn't answer the doorbell, and more importantly (b) nobody was coming to see what a distressed resident was doing trying to get out, then that was NOT somewhere I wanted my mum.

I keep saying my mum....obviously she is, but in a very real way my mum has already gone.  She still knows my name, but has no idea who I am to her most of the time.  She'll hug my children, then look me in the eye and say "I never had children of my own, you know".  Almost everything that made her who so is is gone, though sometimes you can see a spark of who she was coming through.  I guess there will be a day when that last little spark is gone for good, and that's when she'll "die" for me. 

I can understand why there comes a time when the children simply stop visiting their parents in care homes, because they simply aren't "there" any more.  Better perhaps to remember the person they were rather than be reminded of the person they've become?  Speaking to a friend of my father's, whose mother went the same way, he said that over time the care home became her "family", and there came a point when she simply didn't want to go out with the strangers who came to see her - she wanted to stay in the home with the people she saw all the time.

I keep using this thread to "think aloud"!  Good therapy, methinks.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #72 on: December 16, 2011, 12:46:27 PM »
...in a very real way my mum has already gone...

Yes, I know this feeling. It happened to my grandmother, and then to my father. And they do become more familiar with the "now" of the home, feeling more comfortable there, and safer. It's less confusing to them. I found that my dad would be more likely to recognise us during christmas. We'd gather at a christmas tree in the home and open gifts, and even up until a year or so before he died, he seemed to know my mom, brother and I. He didn't recognise my sister in law or their kids, though sometimes he thought their son was actually my brother.

Anyway. I think she'll be fine, and as happy as its possible for her to be.

Hugs and best of luck to you. This is not an experience I'd wish on anyone.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #73 on: December 16, 2011, 03:05:31 PM »
We are going through some of this with my mother in law, who is dying of cancer. She lives with us and is slowly fading. It may be a year, or six months, or three months, who knows? She is a piece of work, always has been, but I have decided to be the Chinese daughter in law. What Nana wants, she gets, because that is the right thing to do.

Yesterday she asked me, rather timidly, if I would mind if she put up a small creche scene. I told her of course she could put it up. It was some kitschy china figurines. I am surprised that she thought I would say no-- atheists don't generally object to other people doing religious stuff. We just don't want people to expect us to do it, and we don't want to have it forced on us.

My father in law died exactly a year ago. He was in great pain and did not know us at the end. I don't get the "extend life at all costs" attitude of some religious people. There is nothing dignified or sacred about death when the last days are so awful for everyone. I think people who have not been there think that people die like they do on tv and in movies, with all these tender moments and wise last words. "Listen, my son...." It ain't like that at all.

Get all your tender moments and last words of wisdom from your elderly relatives and friends while they are really with us. If you wait until they are actually dying, it will be too late.  :( 
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Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Traveler

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #74 on: December 16, 2011, 03:14:38 PM »
...Yesterday she asked me, rather timidly, if I would mind if she put up a small creche scene...

Silghtly off topic, but ... sometimes I wish I weren't so allergic to religious displays. I've seen some gorgeous nativity scenes, and would have bought them if they didn't carry so much baggage for me. My favorite was in a primitive style, carved from wood. I think it was carved in one of the African countries. It was truly a stunning work, in my opinion. This year I'm actually challenging myself to have some small christian artwork (in the form of a meditation deck of madonna and angel images that an online friend is giving me). I see no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Perhaps that's a sign of maturity on my part.  ;)
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Offline RaymondKHessel

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #75 on: December 16, 2011, 03:38:56 PM »
Ugh. Alzheimer's and the like is just the WORST man. Happened to my grandfather on his way out; guy was a Colonel in the Air Force during WWII - won the distinguished flying cross n' shit... And his life ended with him on his back waving his arms around at invisible butterflies all mush-mouthed, not recognizing his own kids or his own reflection.

Fuck, it was bad. Nature can be one brutal bitch. I mean, once you lose your mind, you lose yourself... And after that happens... what's left?  :-\

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #76 on: December 16, 2011, 03:50:56 PM »
Ugh. Alzheimer's and the like is just the WORST man. Happened to my grandfather on his way out; guy was a Colonel in the Air Force during WWII - won the distinguished flying cross n' shit... And his life ended with him on his back waving his arms around at invisible butterflies all mush-mouthed, not recognizing his own kids or his own reflection.

Fuck, it was bad. Nature can be one brutal bitch. I mean, once you lose your mind, you lose yourself... And after that happens... what's left?  :-\

C'mon, Ray-Ray. Your abuelito's immortal soul was still the kickass Air force fighter....or maybe his soul was the ten year old version of him....or maybe it was the butterfly guy after all.  :?

I agree that once you lose your mental faculties, it's game over. Usually, because of god's loving eternal plan, that happens long before your body gives out. So we end up drooling and fighting, in diapers and in pain and on morphine, with nobody home. Why is this awfulness treated as sacred? When the day comes that I don't know who Terry Pratchett and Eddie Izzard are, pull my plug, 'cause I ain't there no more. 8)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline RaymondKHessel

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #77 on: December 16, 2011, 04:43:05 PM »
Well, thanks for the pep-talk my little Partridge in a Pear Tree.  ;)

So... My grandpa was still all awesome n' stuff... Only secretly shackled inside a 90 pound, 92 year old pasty, sweaty, drooling, pooping, shaking body... Because of a Gawd's rightous plan.

Hmm. That's fascinating. Well, I know *I* learned a valuable lesson. That lesson being that, you know... That's one marvelously shitty way to die! And I suppose with all the ass-wiping and sponge-bathing, it gave the orderlies something to do... And I'm sure my grandpa REALLY made a lasting impression on them amongst the thousands of other invalids they've worked with over the years!

<gasp> You're right my little Turtle Dove! I see now how my grandfather's loss of self and unimaginable loss of dignity has had an ultimately wide-reaching effect on the myriad of people who saw him such a state! It really made a difference! How could I have been so blind, when it CLEARLY was part of a great and wise plan!

Well halle-fucking-luljah. I have seeeeeeeeen the light!

Ohhhhh, that god. <wags finger at sky> You sure are a crafty one, you!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2011, 04:45:27 PM by RaymondKHessel »
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Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #78 on: December 17, 2011, 01:28:55 AM »
Even if there were nothing else, for me dementia would be the single piece of evidence I needed that there is no god.

No good and loving god, anyways. 

And frankly, if there IS a god that thought dementia would be a good thing to create, then I want fuck all to do with that cunt.
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Offline RaymondKHessel

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #79 on: December 19, 2011, 09:04:21 AM »
Amen!
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #80 on: December 19, 2011, 02:32:36 PM »
...Yesterday she asked me, rather timidly, if I would mind if she put up a small creche scene...

Silghtly off topic, but ... sometimes I wish I weren't so allergic to religious displays. I've seen some gorgeous nativity scenes, and would have bought them if they didn't carry so much baggage for me. My favorite was in a primitive style, carved from wood. I think it was carved in one of the African countries. It was truly a stunning work, in my opinion. This year I'm actually challenging myself to have some small christian artwork (in the form of a meditation deck of madonna and angel images that an online friend is giving me). I see no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak. Perhaps that's a sign of maturity on my part.  ;)

Religion has inspired some incredible art and music and literature. The Messiah is a fantastic piece of music and one of the best things about Xmas, IMHO. Paradise Lost was one of the most memorable things I read in college, and is even more impressive when you know that Milton was blind and dictated the whole thing to his aides. Look at religious architecture-- cathedrals, temples, pyramids and mosques-- some of the most beautiful examples of construction ever. 

Just because the people who made this stuff thought they were guided by magical invisible supernatural beings[1] doesn't make the artistic endeavor any less.

Modern-day artists talk about going into a trance or the zone. Science says it is the right side of the brain taking over. Whatever works. What is cool and truly inspirational is that all of this amazing art was produced by us lowly flawed humans, a few steps removed from ape-like creatures, but reaching for the heavens with no magic, ghosts or spirits needed.
 1. and some were voice-hearing tony stark raving nucking futs
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #81 on: January 10, 2012, 11:28:49 AM »
Just a couple postcripts for anyone who's still following.....

I got my mum in to the new home, near where we live, on the Friday before Christmas.  She loves it there, and she's being well looked after.  Her state pension, teachers pension, widows pension, attendance allowance, and the interest on her half of the sale of the house, will effectively mean she can live there forever, so that's another worry out of the way.  I can get in to see her a couple times a week, and although she thinks I'm her cousin, we still have some nice visits.

So that's the good part.

The bad part is I've spent the last 3 weekends at the house, dealing with my dad's stuff because he is gone, and dealing with my mum's stuff because its as if she is gone.  So that's pretty stressful for starters.

But what made me sad, and then angry, is the sheer volume of Bibles and other Christian books and pamphlets and leaflets and placemats and whatnot all scattered around.  So many of them on the theme of how much god loves us all, and how we should rely on him, and how he will help us through.  And I compared that to how low their quality of life must have been over the last couple of years, how it wore my dad out, and I wished that - rather than praying - he'd told someone who could have actually helped.  Just so much waste, such a ratty ending to a life spent in the service of others (did I mention that they were both Cub Scout leaders from their 20s until they physically couldn't do it any more?).

All the god-books have gone in the skip, and they're now off to be landfill.  The house will be sold on Wednesday, and that'll be that.

Oh, one final thing I can't recall if I mentioned or not.  The guy who stopped them seeing their daughters grandchildren....I wrote to him to say there was a bequest for the twins, but in light of the letters from him basically saying "I don't want any more contact", asked if he wished to refuse the bequest?  He - a True Christian - sent back a two page letter telling me it was all my dad's fault, what a bad and stubborn and prideful man he was (all in a letter to his son less than a month after his death, remember).......at the end of which he said he would take the money so that at least some good would come to the twins from their grandfather.....

So I guess y'all will excuse me if for a few weeks I'm a little less tolerant of Good Christian FolkTM and their tales of a loving and kind god than I would normally be.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #82 on: January 10, 2012, 11:39:17 AM »
glad to hear your mom's doing well and enjoys where she is. 

and can definitely empatheize with the dealing with the stuff especially when it's full of bible crap.   I have a whole farm to look foward to emptying someday, but hopefully much less religious nonsense. :P

and of course the theist asshole would do exactly that.  Sad but expected.   I will, though, enjoy your wit and intellect perhaps being loosed full force on "good Christian folktm" for awhile
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Offline Tykster

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #83 on: January 10, 2012, 01:26:17 PM »
So many of them on the theme of how much god loves us all, and how we should rely on him, and how he will help us through.  [snip] ....So I guess y'all will excuse me if for a few weeks I'm a little less tolerant of Good Christian FolkTM and their tales of a loving and kind god than I would normally be.

You have my sympathies Anfauglir...

Recently a good friend of mine has been diagnosed with stage IV cancer ( 48 years old ). He's riddled with it and basically been given 6 months tops. He's a god fearing chap, but that has never been an issue between us, but because of this, he has fellow god-fearing friends, this gets tiresome on hospital visits.

There was a pastor in there one time prattling on about the Lord's love blah, blah, blah...When he was exiting he promised that next time he'll bring some olive oil in to anoint him ( WTF?). My inner dialogue was screaming, "Yeah, and I'll bring in some Voodoo chicken bones and a Magic 8 Ball!"

My friend knows about my attitude towards religion and gods etc. so I dare say that my "normal" conversations with him about life etc. are quite refreshing because I'm not invoking God TM every 5 minutes. But trust it to the only ( I suspect ) atheist in his life to have the wherewithal to smuggle in some glorious THC to help his situation.... ( so sue me, he has zero appetite without it )
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Offline screwtape

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #84 on: January 10, 2012, 01:48:35 PM »
^Are all his god-believing[1] friends talking to him as if he's going on an extended trip to a tropical paradise?  Are they all jealous he gets to meet baby jesus already?  Do they speak as if they are happy for him?  As if terminal cancer is actually good news?  Shouldn't they be high-fiving over this?  This is the moment they ostensibly are all looking forward to.

If not, they are liars and hypocrites.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #85 on: January 10, 2012, 02:03:38 PM »
My friend knows about my attitude towards religion and gods etc. so I dare say that my "normal" conversations with him about life etc. are quite refreshing because I'm not invoking God TM every 5 minutes. But trust it to the only ( I suspect ) atheist in his life to have the wherewithal to smuggle in some glorious THC to help his situation.... ( so sue me, he has zero appetite without it )

I hope to have friends like you in that situation, Tyk.   :)
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: My Christian Family
« Reply #86 on: January 10, 2012, 03:58:21 PM »
My ma-in-law came back from the cancer doctor's with a big jug of oxycodone syrup. Rarely (never?) have I seen so much narcotic in one place. If we lived in Florida, we would have to bar the doors to keep Rush Limbaugh from breaking in. I am tempted to ask her if she would like it served in a shot glass, on the rocks. Whoo-hoo!
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