Author Topic: celebrated chinese new year with chinese/american couples from chinese church  (Read 456 times)

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Offline Turbo SS

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Ugh  long story warning!

I am american and my wife is chinese. i am a deconverted christian from a couple of years ago and I am still a closet atheist.  I mentioned before I feel I could really hurt my relationship with friends and my job if I came out about it. My wife doesnt believe either.  I took my wife to chinese church over the past summer so she could meet chinese people and also see what church is like.  It wasnt a very good experience.  Alot of the people were strange but thats another story.

Fast forward my wife gets a call from one of the chinese ladies from the church saying they are going to have a party to celebrate chinese new years.  Mostly american men who have chinese wives and most go to the church.  She promised my wife they wouldnt do anything church like and just celebrate their New Year. 

My wife wanted to go and I told her...


Anyway, she thought they wouldnt deceive her and she wanted to go and make food and celebrate new years so I said fine I would go for her.  I can pretend to still be a good little christian. I know all the right things to say.  So we show up at the host's house and there are about 50 people there.  Its funny because i am 30 and my wife is 29 and we are the youngest couple easily.  Most of the men are much much older with signifcantly younger chinese wives.  We eat chinese food and talk with some of the people and everything is fine.  Then it turns into a church service.  I will share some of the stuff I witnessed and some of my thoughts.  Alot of these thoughts came from studying this site.  I am better at critically thinking about religion after being here a while  :laugh:

They have a tv hooked up to the computer and alot of audio equipment including microphones.  The foldout chairs and couches are set up all to face the front.  The host tells us we are going to sing some christian songs.  No one complains and everyone joins in and I thought ok I can tough out a few songs and then maybe we will celebrate the new year.  Well after a few songs his chinese wife comes up to speak.

She starts talking about their marriage and her teenage son from a previous marriage.  They had been married for about 10 years and she talked about alot of problems they had in the past and how her (weird creepy) husband did not get along with her son.  So in front of 50 people including her teenage son she says one time my son tried to stab his stepfather with a kitchen knife.  I am thinking what the fuck. why are you telling this in front of your son with 50 people many of whom your family barely knows.  She then said but God is good and got us through those problems.  I of course thought if he was so good you wouldnt have had problems and your son wouldnt have tried to kill your "godly" husband.

2 preachers were at this party.  One is chinese and he is the head of the church.  the other is a a 60s ish white guy and his white wife.  The chinese preacher didnt talk very long so i will skip that part.  The white preacher got up and started talking in mandarin with his wife translating. I thought wow thats impressive.  Turns out they were missionaries in Beijing from 91-96.  I thought well maybe since its chinese new year party he will talk about his time in China.  I was really wrong.  :(  He did a sermon on marriage relationships and trying to justify the Bible when it says a woman should submit to her husband because he is the head of the house.  He went on to point out another verse about how men and women should submit to each other.  Therefore the man and woman are equal.  Everyone is nodding buying it hook line and sinker.  All I can think is those verses contradict each other.  Which one does God really want?  Why cant he make up his mind???

He then puts on a drama with his wife.  Couple 1 and couple 2.  Couple one the husband comes home and orders his wife around and demand she clean and cook and all this stuff.  really angry.  couple 2 he is like honey i love you but could you keep the house clean blah blah blah. Really basic marriage advice that even a child would know. I am thinking both of these couples suck haha.  He says which couple is following bible.  Of course people say couple 2.  I am thinking no its couple 1.  The woman submits to the man. how do they not see the ridiculousness of this.  He says couple 2 follows the Bible and couple 1 is every couple that doesnt have god in their lives.  Really????   I dont order my wife around or butter her and ask that she cooks and cleans for me.  Is this guy for real? haha.  This guy speaks for about an hour and says he doesnt want to give a full sermon because this is a party not church.  Could have fooled me :o

Anyway next they do prayer request and this is when i wanted to throw my chair at people.  First they ask if anyone wants to pray for health.  So 2 people go up.  One lady prays for her cold and one guys prays for a pulled muscle in his arm? I am thinking "Are you fucking serious"  There are literally millions of people starving, living in extreme poverty, inflicted with serious illness etc.  why are you so special???  Even in my latter half or christian life I never prayed for frivilous things about me.  I felt guilty and only prayed for the bigger issues and people with worse problems.  And when you get over your cold or pulled muscle are you going to say God healed me omg.  I almost wish I was an amputee.  I would have asked for them to pray my arm grows back  ;D  They even did the whole laying on hands and putting oil on them.  Never seen people actually use oil in prayer before.  I wanted to offer to get some valvoline out of my car because the bible didnt specify what kind of oil  :P

Ok then the host's wife came up again and told us that her parents are 91 and both are only expected to live about another week.  Her dad cant talk and her mom cant speak. They both live in China so she has to call the housekeeper to find out how they are doing.  Furthermore, neither of them are believers.  So she starts crying and worrying that they are going to hell.  I thought this is so retarded.  If you really cared about them not suffering unbearable torture for eternity you would buy a plane ticket immediately to china and try your best to convert them before they died.  but I guess she just couldnt be bothered to do that much.  :?  Then she asked all the other women who's parents werent christian to come up and pray they convert.  So about 7 or 8 came up and they all prayed and they were bawling as they prayed.  My wife gave me a WTF look. haha.

So after about 2 to 2.5 hours the church service was done and I thought ok fine I can finally escape.  We told everyone we needed to go and they kept trying to get us to join their church and bible groups.  But we got out of there.  My wife is like I never want to spend time with them again haha. she was disappointed because this was supposed to be about Chinese new year and they didnt even talked about it one time! Being back in a group like that for the first time in a long time felt strange.  It was almost like I was outside looking in and thinking are all these people crazy???

Anyway, as much as I wanted to call them out on various things through the night I held my tongue.  I really cant let it get out i am no longer a believer right now.  not to mention they invited us to their party so I didnt want to be rude.  But if you guys went what would you have done.  I was curious thinking about the members here that probably wouldnt have put up with it.  Would you have left when they started church?  Would you have called b.s. on everything?  Would you have stayed quiet?

Sorry it was long but I wanted to tell someone what I thought besides my wife.    I will probably remember more later but thats it for now.

Offline jetson

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OMG...I think I would have run screaming over the side of the nearest cliff!  I can't believe you were able to sit through that.  I don't know, is there any way to start hinting that you're not interested in this hooey?  Maybe start some kind of conversation?

Offline Turbo SS

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Well I think my wife learned her lesson about them.  She really doesnt want to see these people again.  So the solution is we just wont see them again.  ;D

Offline gonegolfing

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What is it about your job that keeps you silent on your unbelief position ?

"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline Turbo SS

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I work for a large natural gas pipeline.  Its not the job its the surroundings.  I live in Oklahoma.  Even though of course the company policy is you cant discriminate, I am surrounded by fundies in my office.  They always talk about going to church and when someone is sick they send out emails saying they will pray for them an encouraging people to do the same.  So its more like wink wink if you want to go far you need to be born again.  They cant openly discriminate but i dont think i am unreasonable to think if i was ready to move up it might be like well we decided this other person is more qualified sorry. 

Also i am friends with alot of christians, while many people would say find new friends I dont want to lose them.  They are good people otherwise, and I have known most of them most of my life.  I dont want to ruin our relationships or at least have them look at me a different way just because of atheism. It makes my life alot more simple and less drama filled to stay silent.  Maybe someday I will get fed up and tell everyone but that day isnt here yet.

Offline Nick

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I work for a large natural gas pipeline.  Its not the job its the surroundings.  I live in Oklahoma.  Even though of course the company policy is you cant discriminate, I am surrounded by fundies in my office.  They always talk about going to church and when someone is sick they send out emails saying they will pray for them an encouraging people to do the same.  So its more like wink wink if you want to go far you need to be born again.  They cant openly discriminate but i dont think i am unreasonable to think if i was ready to move up it might be like well we decided this other person is more qualified sorry. 

Also i am friends with alot of christians, while many people would say find new friends I dont want to lose them.  They are good people otherwise, and I have known most of them most of my life.  I dont want to ruin our relationships or at least have them look at me a different way just because of atheism. It makes my life alot more simple and less drama filled to stay silent.  Maybe someday I will get fed up and tell everyone but that day isnt here yet.
Next time someone has an accident and has something amputated ask them if they can start their prayer chain to cure the person.  See how that goes over.
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Offline Turbo SS

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Next time someone has an accident and has something amputated ask them if they can start their prayer chain to cure the person.  See how that goes over.

Good idea haha.  Now I Just have to wait for someone to get an amputation!  :-\

Offline screwtape

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Ugh  long story warning!

good story.  next time take pictures.

I mentioned before I feel I could really hurt my relationship with friends and my job if I came out about it.

I'm not going to harrangue you about coming out of the closet, but you need to come out of the closet.  At the very least, you need to have a plan for coming out of the closet.  Because if you don't, then it is going to come out eventually and it will not be at the time and place of your chosing.  Nor will it be entirely under your control.  And, as I have accurately predicted to others in the past, it will not be pretty.  Have a plan. That's all I'm going to bug you about for now.

 
Anyway next they do prayer request and this is when i wanted to throw my chair at people.

You totally should have given in to that impulse.

I almost wish I was an amputee.  I would have asked for them to pray my arm grows back 

1. could have prayed for prayer request time to be over.
2. could have prayed that you go back in time and not come to that ridiculous party.
3. could have prayed for your penis to grow back.  That really would have freaked them out.


I really cant let it get out i am no longer a believer right now.

I know I said I wasn't going to bug you any more, but seriously, make a plan. If it requires you change jobs, then that should be part of the plan.  Seriously, you can't have this threatening your livelihood.  It puts you and your family at risk. 

...not to mention they invited us to their party so I didnt want to be rude. 

RAAAH!  It kills me when people are worried about being rude to people who are rude first.  I find it rude that they lured you in under false pretenses.  I find it rude that they lied.  I find it rude they wasted your whole evening with bullshit.  I would find it rude that they we so presumptuous as to think everyone was xian, but you only have yourself to blame for that.

It is perfectly acceptable to be rude to rude people. 

Would you have left when they started church? 

yes.  And I would have asked wtf happened to chinese new year.
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Offline Turbo SS

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I have an idea of what I would say to people if they found out. I also have a good idea what I think the fallout would be. My wife is the only person in real life who knows.  Also, while I wouldnt be fired from my job, I honestly feel it would severly limit me here career wise.

I told my wife to get pictures so we can post online.  Hopefully soon.  I forgot to add they invited a single guy from China.  He has his masters in Bioengineering and he is working on his phd.  I think these are the only chinese people he knows in my city.  I know he isnt a believer and he feel asleep during church service haha.  I was thinking good luck converting this guy.  As soon as they try and convince him creation>evolution they will lose him for good.

Offline joebbowers

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I'm dissappointed that you didn't do or say anything. Their beliefs are wrong, their beliefs are harmful to themselves and others, their beliefs are not worthy of respect. Religion isn't going to stop poisoning society if we sit around quietly waiting to be asked our opinion.

"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

Offline One Above All

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I'm dissappointed that you didn't do or say anything. Their beliefs are wrong, their beliefs are harmful to themselves and others, their beliefs are not worthy of respect. Religion isn't going to stop poisoning society if we sit around quietly waiting to be asked our opinion.

If he spoke out, odds are his wife would do it as well and, judging from the OP, both of their lives would be ruined. Nobody would gain anything from this.
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Offline screwtape

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I have an idea of what I would say to people if they found out. I also have a good idea what I think the fallout would be. My wife is the only person in real life who knows.  Also, while I wouldnt be fired from my job, I honestly feel it would severly limit me here career wise.

So it sounds like you have the beginnings of a plan, but not a whole plan. 

If who you are is going to limit your career, you have two choices - change who you are or change jobs.  This is true whatever the limitation is.  I am a mechanical engineer.  Unfortunately, there are not that many jobs in the US that need MEs anymore.  That limited my career.  So, I picked up other skills.  I could have lied about having those skills, but eventually I would be found out and it would be even worse than if I simply didn't have those skills.

You are in a similar situation.  In your case, your other "skill" is xianity.  Obviously that is repugnant and does not belong on a resume.  Right now you are lying about that "skill".  When it gets found out - and it will eventually be found out - it is going to be even worse for you.  Because not only will you be an atheist, you will also be a liar.  And that will confirm any prejudices they might have about atheists having no morals or ethics.  It will be a deeply personal betrayal.

So you need a complete plan, not a contingency plan of what you would say if found out.  You need a roadmap that takes you from where you are now to a future where you do not have to lie about being an atheist.  That might include but is not limited to:
- finding a job where it would not matter.
- relocating to a place where religion matters less.
- feeling out friends and family and finding allies among them who would be more accepting and supportive.
- eventually, you would stop lying about your beliefs altogether.  Freedom.

That is what you need to do for yourself and your family to have the life and job security you want and deserve.
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Offline anthony_retford

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I have a young Chinese wife and she knows my stance very well. She does inform me that I should not discuss religion with anyone, so I keep it mum. She has expressed an interest in going to a church but I have discouraged her so she still hasn't gone. 
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Offline jtp56

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I have a young Chinese wife and she knows my stance very well. She does inform me that I should not discuss religion with anyone, so I keep it mum. She has expressed an interest in going to a church but I have discouraged her so she still hasn't gone.

So, a champion of tolerance discourages his young Chinese wife from going to church.  Hmmm, why not let your wife explore different viewpoints?  Obviously, since Christianity is so stupid, she'll abruptly abandon it.  Right?  Therefore after allowing here to explore these stupid religions, she'll land lock step into your world view.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Offline joebbowers

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Hmmm, why not let your wife explore different viewpoints?  Obviously, since Christianity is so stupid, she'll abruptly abandon it.  Right?

By that logic I should let my kids try crack or heroin. We all know that once you try those, you abruptly abandon them too. Religion can be addictive because it is so validating. Being surrounded by people just as crazy as you I would imagine to be very comforting. In the outside world if I claim to be Napoleon, people call me crazy, but in the insane asylum Lincoln, Xilxor the Sun God, and the 4 Jesus's all accept me for who I am.
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Offline Brakeman

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If I had to go through another crazy christian service again, I might try what I have seen severe fundies do.. Tell everybody they are going to hell because they're not following god. Then when they ask what they should do to follow god, I'd tell them to not ask strangers like me, ask god. I'd be emphatic, "Ask god right now!", I'd say.  When I got them really whipped up, I'd pretend that god is talking and they just aren't listening.

I'd top it off with a "Get thee behind me, Satan!" as I left!
Help find the cure for FUNDAMENTIA !

Offline Poseidon

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Lucifer has the most insightful comment. There is nothing to be gained and much to lose by speaking or behaving in a confrontational manner.  This episode took place on their turf. The smart warrior chooses his battleground carefully.

I have some sympathy for Mr. and Mrs. Turbo.  They have no choice but to chalk this one up to another of lifes distasteful circumstances. 

An attaboy for Mr. Turbo and his reason to attending the service in the first place.  He was being considerate on behalf of his wife.