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Offline madeline

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Help..
« on: October 15, 2012, 04:13:58 PM »
Not sure how to approach this...I need help! I just recently moved to N.C. with my 14 yr old daughter..We are from N.Y.
Our atheism, while not well received, has never been faced with anger until now.
It seems that my beliefs are viewed as if I killed the messiah myself..
should I pretend for my daughters sake that we believe?
Any insight would be helpful.

Offline Garja

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Re: Help..
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2012, 04:20:50 PM »
Not sure how to approach this...I need help! I just recently moved to N.C. with my 14 yr old daughter..We are from N.Y.
Our atheism, while not well received, has never been faced with anger until now.
It seems that my beliefs are viewed as if I killed the messiah myself..
should I pretend for my daughters sake that we believe?
Any insight would be helpful.

Wow.  I dont really know your situation entirely so I would be reticent to offer much in the way of advice.  I wouldn't feel right lying outright and claiming belief that I didn't have but I certainly wouldn't want to put your daughter in any kind of danger either.  May I ask specifically what happened?  I dont mean to pry but may help the community give more in the way of advice.

Best of luck,
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

-Benjamin Franklin

Offline madeline

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Re: Help..
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2012, 04:35:59 PM »
Garja..thanks so much for the reply! I have been a proud  atheist for years in N.Y.  Due to life changes I moved my daughter and myself to N.C. My Daughter plays travel softball..she found a team..tried out..got position as catcher. All good right? WRONG!!! First game..they huddle...I'm use to this..in N.Y. we talk about kickin ass...crap apparently in N.C. we ask god to protect us..wtf? My daughter popped her head up..looked at me with horror on her face..she kicked ass anyway..but was worried that she didnt know the lords prayer for the next game..

Offline Garja

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Re: Help..
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2012, 04:42:09 PM »
I guess I would attempt to just stay quiet about it for the time being.  I am a relatively new atheist, but have been absorbing as much info as I can.... I know for me, some of my closest friends and family know that I no longer believe, but I live in a fairly conservative area as well so I do not go shouting it from the rooftops that I think believing in god is kinda dumb.

I think that if pressured to talk about it in a situation that I wasn't comfortable with I would just politely say something along the lines of "I have nothing against people who believe in god, I am not out to convert anyone, I just do not personally believe in he existence of any supernatural beings".  If they want to be dicks at that point I would point out that the bible says "love thy neighbor" and just walk away.  Thats my 2cents anyway.
"If we look back into history for the character of the present sects in Christianity, we shall find few that have not in their turns been persecutors, and complainers of persecution."

-Benjamin Franklin

Offline madeline

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Re: Help..
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2012, 04:49:00 PM »
Thanks for your 2 cents! While I was "out" as an atheist in N.Y. I believe I was just tolerated..Here in N.C. I feel like I am committing a crime. I feel so bad for my daughter..she is only 14..maybe i should have kept my views to myself..

Offline Nick

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Re: Help..
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2012, 05:02:57 PM »
They will persecute your daughter . 
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline madeline

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Re: Help..
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2012, 05:11:47 PM »
so how do I protect her?

Offline madeline

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Re: Help..
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2012, 05:23:44 PM »
can't..thanks

Offline Nick

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Re: Help..
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2012, 05:31:41 PM »
I don't know.  At that age level any sign of difference is often attacked.  In NC atheists is like having the AIDS.  Good luck with this one.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline madeline

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Re: Help..
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2012, 05:38:59 PM »
Thanks Nick..lol

Offline Chronos

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Re: Help..
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2012, 05:42:19 PM »
Thanks for your 2 cents! While I was "out" as an atheist in N.Y. I believe I was just tolerated..Here in N.C. I feel like I am committing a crime. I feel so bad for my daughter..she is only 14..maybe i should have kept my views to myself..

I have a high school friend living in South Carolina, and she and I are politically far apart (she's quite libertarian, I'm quite progressive) but we get along anyway (she's a wrap-around libertarian). However, she's atheist. Regardless of the political culture in South Carolina matching her own, she has repeatedly said she would love to move to Maryland mainly due to the god-is-everything atmosphere in South Carolina.

I also have a cousin who is very Christian and is a professor at a Christian college in South Carolina. She loves it down there. She hated living in New Jersey. Besides New Jersey being a bit uptight (all northern states are), I'm sure the lack of protestants in New Jersey contributed to her move to South Carolina.

It would take an awful lot for me to move south of the Potomac.


Nevertheless, that doesn't provide you with any help. If I were in your shoes, I would probably just keep my mouth shut. If directly asked, I couldn't bring myself to lie about my beliefs but if you moved because your daughter loves what she is doing, then you both get to decide which is worth more -- softball or non-belief. I can't see how you won't be asked repeatedly which church you attend.

I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that the closer you are to the Triangle the less fanatical the people would be. Lots of people with advanced degrees there, especially science and engineering. Outside of the Triangle, well, Praise Jesus!


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 Eddie Schultz

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Re: Help..
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2012, 05:52:29 PM »
Hello madeline, and welcome to the forum.  :)

The first thing I would do is get in touch with any and all atheist groups in your area. NC is a big believing state, but they do have atheists as well.

Here's what came up when I did a search for "North Carolina Atheist group".

http://www.bing.com/search?q=north%20carilna%20atheist%20groups&pc=conduit&ptag=A792384B768404A45B1F&form=CONMHP&conlogo=CT3210127&ShowAppsUI=1

The "non religious' is on the rise, and I don't see it declining. Please don't lie to protect your daughter, it's a step backwards if you do. Remember, we're NOT the crazy ones.  ;)


Offline Quesi

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Re: Help..
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2012, 06:10:23 PM »
First of all, welcome to the forum.  I hope that you find support and inspiration and just good thought provoking stuff here.

Secondly, I so sorry to hear about your family's situation.  Honestly, I don't know what to suggest.  Your daughter's welfare is certainly your priority.  And at 14, I think she needs to be part of the decision making process.

What does she want to do?  Can you both sort of sit and wait it out and watch and learn before making a decision of how you want to handle it?  Or are you sort of out already?

I really agree with Eddie.  I think you need to find an atheist group, and go to them for both support, and strategies for interacting with your greater community. 

Offline Nam

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Re: Help..
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2012, 06:21:41 PM »
I see the whole sports thing as being no big deal. Huddling together, saying what not, and your daughter can just leave out the "god" part. I used to do that in school when I was forced to say the pledge.

Don't let people push you around, push back or they'll always push you around.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Offline madeline

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Re: Help..
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2012, 06:24:00 PM »
Thank you all to the forum!! I'm so confused about what to do..to be honest I'm afraid..in N.Y. I had a support group..here I am alone..

Offline Nam

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Re: Help..
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2012, 06:38:10 PM »
You're not alone. There are others just like you there. There are also those there who may be religious but won't judge you for not being religious. You also have support of those on websites like this. You sought us out you can do the same in the community you're in. Take it from not only a fellow atheist but a Southerner.

There are plenty of us Southerners on this website who are tolerant of others. Not all Southerners, even in North Carolina, fit the stereotypical cliches attributed to them.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

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Offline madeline

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Re: Help..
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2012, 06:44:36 PM »
I kinda feel like Nick is right..like I have aids..lol..I don't have aids..I'm from N.Y. but I know what a condom is..lol

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Re: Help..
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2012, 08:08:18 PM »
I have on occasion stated my belief or lack of is private.  Works for a while.
The whole point of science is that most of it is uncertain. That's why science is exciting--because we don't know. Science is all about things we don't understand. The public, of course, imagines science is just a set of facts. But it's not.  Freeman Dyson

Offline JeffPT

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Re: Help..
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2012, 10:06:02 PM »
As an atheist resident of Massachusetts and Connecticut for most of my life, and a transplant to South Carolina, let me just say that I know your pain.  I have 3 sons, all of whom play sports.  Most of the teams they've been on do a prayer before each game, even though I get annoyed by it.  In a few years, I plan on starting a travel baseball team for my youngest (currently 4 years old) son, and you can bet cash money that we will never, ever pray before a game as a team.  But if kids want to pray by themselves, I'd be fine with it. 

What I tell my kids is to just go along with it.  It's really not a big deal.  If other people want to pray, let them pray.   Your daughter can sit there and do nothing and it's all good.  In fact, while I really like to see my oldest son hit doubles and triples, some of the proudest moments I've had as a parent are when their teams huddle to pray and I catch my son looking over at me and shaking his head just enough for me to see. 

I keep my atheism to myself down here and I recommend you do the same for safety's sake.  If you were single, independently wealthy, had no children, and not afraid of a backlash, then I would recommend the opposite.  Only a select few people know that I'm atheist (really anti-theist at this point), and I keep it that way because I fear for my safety and for my job.  I'm not joking about that.  It's fucking serious.  Make no mistake, you WILL encounter religious conversations.  Prepare for it.  Another thing to prepare yourself for... if you thought religion was simply false before and you had no emotional investment in the god question, living in the South as an atheist can and probably will slowly fill you with anger.  Take it from me.  I used to not care about religion.  Now... Well... lets just say I care and leave it at that. 


Whenever events that are purported to occur in our best interest are as numerous as the events that will just as soon kill us, then intent is hard, if not impossible to assert. NDT

Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Help..
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2012, 10:22:54 PM »
madeline

Welcome to WWGHA. I do hope that once we've solved your current problem with our sage and sound advice, you stick around to enjoy other discussions.

JeffPT probably has it about right. Life tosses us a constant barrage of reality checks and you've encountered one of the more obvious ones. This may well be a good time to limit your vocal objections to that bad call at 2nd base and leave the issue of prayer and other obvious religious crap to some non-vocal part of your brain. The whole experience will be a good opportunity for your teenaged daughter to learn about some of the types of conflicts she will have to deal with as she grows into adulthood. Her exposure to religion via an unwelcome pre-game ritual will help her learn something about how ignorance tries to work itself into the bowels of life, one infection at a time. It is similar to bullying, a dastardly practice, which has tons of downsides, but that, like this exposure to religion, helps prepare the young for some of the idiotic stuff they'll have to deal with as adults.

Surely there must be people you two can interact with and befriend who are not caught up in the stereotypes. I have friends in your state who are married, even though one is black and the other white, so I'm guessing it is possible to buck the system at least a little bit and survive unmarred.

Hopefully your daughter will be able to see the issue as more proof that religion is icky rather than a reason to give in and start attending church or something. Knowing virtually nothing about either of you, I can only hope that she has the strength and you have the endurance to deal with this unfortunate set of circumstances.

Look at the bright side. They ain't shooting at us yet.
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Offline Nam

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Re: Help..
« Reply #20 on: October 16, 2012, 12:14:42 AM »
Y'all make it sound like the south is just a pit of hell. Maybe other southerners here agree with you but I don't. Yes, it has its bad parts but don't sit there and tell me there's no prejudice in New England. There's prejudice everywhere. There's racism everywhere. There are people who hate others not like them, everywhere.

I've lived in the south all but 2 or so years of my life (which was in Germany), and to an "outsider" I guess it could be seen in such a guise but if I moved to the places y'all have lived in New England, I'd probably feel similar but I wouldn't vocalize it as being something it actually may not be. That would just be a segment of change. A different environment. Something I'm not used to.

I really want to say something else but I'll hold it back.

-Nam
This thread is about lab-grown dicks, not some mincy, old, British poof of an actor. 

Let's get back on topic, please.


Offline Poseidon

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Re: Help..
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2012, 01:06:58 AM »
Sounds like you might be a single mom with a 14 year old daughter. That is a tough enough deal, certainly more difficult if you are exposed to social derision and you will be exposed to derision if you are out.

The moms that I know, and the dads too, would unhesitatingly kill for their daughters. I am on that list. You are herewith excused, maybe even admired, for lying like a bitch to protect your child. Stay in the closet of the damned to protect your daughter and yourself. I know and hate the pain but that is one of the prices you pay for subscribing to reality, most particularly in the brain dead bible belt.
 
I agree with Nam in that all southerners are neither stupid nor judgemental. (That reminds me....somewhere in the KJV are gods instructions: Judge not lest ye be judged.)  You can find a peer group that will accept and welcome you as you are.

As a last resort take a run at a Unitarian church. Grit your teeth and go a few times. That'll give you some cover. The Unitarians are usually pretty cool. They even poke fun at the fundies. I actually know a few Unitarian atheists. Also the Untarians are comfortable with the LGBT set so they can't be too nutty.

Online Add Homonym

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Re: Help..
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2012, 04:47:11 AM »
There is actually room to out-Christian the Christians. Most don't have a clue what is written in Matt 5-7; the Sermon on the mount - yet it's the core of Christianity. Memorize it.

It says that Christians are supposed to love and pray for those who persecute and despitefully use them. Notice how you are not persecuting them or using them, yet you feel persecuted by them. I'm sure you can bring that up, somehow.

You are supposed to pray in secret (Matt 6:6). If they ask you to a prayer meeting, then whip that one out.

You are supposed to love your religious enemies. The reason you feel scared, is that you are surrounded by Church bigots that Christ abhorred. The Christian church is a lot like the Jewish establishment that Jesus was disemboweling, so there is plenty of room to point out errors they are making.

[15] Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
[16] Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
[17] Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
[18] A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
[19] Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
[20] Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

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Offline Brakeman

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Re: Help..
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2012, 05:47:52 AM »
Thank you all to the forum!! I'm so confused about what to do..to be honest I'm afraid..in N.Y. I had a support group..here I am alone..

Check for meet-up groups in your area. Go to meetup.com and see if there are any secular humanists or atheists groups nearby.

We have a small group here in Columbia, SC, and they were very nice.
Help find the cure for FUNDAMENTIA !

Offline Chronos

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Re: Help..
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2012, 06:05:02 AM »
I kinda feel like Nick is right..like I have aids..lol..I don't have aids..I'm from N.Y. but I know what a condom is..lol

You have to decide what you want and what you are willing to endure.

The "South" has a much higher percentage of adherents to religion, especially evangelicals. They exercise their religion at every opportunity. While I can put up with a prayer here and there, I cannot put up with mixing religion into the laws of the land. The "South" is apt to do exactly that. This is why it would take something much greater for me to move "south".

You do have support. There will be atheists around you, but they dare not speak their lack of belief. Imagine you are a homosexual in 1955 -- you will have to carefully feel under the table to determine if you have found someone like yourself. A careful glance or wink at an opportune moment is what it will take to reveal others like you who are otherwise putting up appearances in order to survive.

As Poseidon said, a Unitarian Universalist church is a good option. I have considered going to one. My local UU has an entire evening devoted to doubters and skeptics (which is redundant as it seems most Unitarians are). Apparently they discuss things like logic, morality and spirituality. In fact, they would appear to be a very nice shield for you and your daughter to carry whenever things begin to veer into Christianity. To identify yourself publicly as an atheist can make you a target of ridicule or vandalism. To identify as Unitarian would likely confuse them -- they probably have little idea what it is.

Whenever there is a call for a religious rally in Washington DC, of any kind, we can count on several hundred church buses from North Carolina and South Carolina (NC is bigger). An anti-abortion rally in DC can cause NC population to drop by 200,000. They don't just drive their buses in and drop-off their membership, no, those buses enter DC while rocking back-and-forth to the members singing and moving, chanting, etc. These people mean business.

So, yeah Nam, the "South" is a lot more religious and doesn't much put up well with people who aren't. Maybe your part of the "South" is better or maybe you are just accustomed to it. If you were to live in the "North", you would immediately see and feel the difference. When it comes to sporting events in the "South", I fully expect "Contact Christianity" to be part of the game.


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 Brakeman

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Re: Help..
« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2012, 06:17:51 AM »
If I were to stoop so low, I could simply give myself a religious label, christian or jew, and start drinking like a fish on college game night and I'd fit in like Finn here in SC.

The common christian here is extremely hypocritical. Their beliefs cannot interfere with their fun.
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Offline Pounamu

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Re: Help..
« Reply #26 on: October 16, 2012, 06:18:06 AM »
There is actually room to out-Christian the Christians.
This is exactly what I would do.

The response to this:
First game..they huddle...I'm use to this..in N.Y. we talk about kickin ass...crap apparently in N.C. we ask god to protect us..wtf? My daughter popped her head up..looked at me with horror on her face..she kicked ass anyway..but was worried that she didnt know the lords prayer for the next game..
is really this:
You are supposed to pray in secret (Matt 6:6). If they ask you to a prayer meeting, then whip that one out.

Madeline, note also that Matthew 6:6-8 comes right before Matthew 6:9-13, which is the very lord's prayer ;)
Piki ake, piki ake ki te ara poutama, ki nga taumatatanga e wairua, hinengaro, tinana!

Offline bertatberts

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Re: Help..
« Reply #27 on: October 16, 2012, 06:48:28 AM »
Hi Madeline, and welcome.

As already said, Matt 6, is all you really need. The very first line condemns going to Church. It states NIV Matt 6:1 Be careful not to do your acts of righteousness  before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
So keep a little copy of the bible in your bag, if possible, it looks good to locals and it helps you educate them to Matt 6.
Your daughter could just say  "prayer is a private thing, Matt 6 tells us this"; That is all she needs to know.   
We theists have no evidence for our beliefs. So no amount of rational evidence will dissuade us from those beliefs. - JCisall

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing, if the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? - Screwtape. 04/12/12

Offline jetson

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Re: Help..
« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2012, 06:54:17 AM »
Y'all make it sound like the south is just a pit of hell. Maybe other southerners here agree with you but I don't. Yes, it has its bad parts but don't sit there and tell me there's no prejudice in New England. There's prejudice everywhere. There's racism everywhere. There are people who hate others not like them, everywhere.

I've lived in the south all but 2 or so years of my life (which was in Germany), and to an "outsider" I guess it could be seen in such a guise but if I moved to the places y'all have lived in New England, I'd probably feel similar but I wouldn't vocalize it as being something it actually may not be. That would just be a segment of change. A different environment. Something I'm not used to.

I really want to say something else but I'll hold it back.

-Nam

The Bible belt defies your point.  No one ever said that there is no prejudice elsewhere.  But whatever you have imagined you might feel if you moved to New England, it would certainly not be anything like getting a large dose of southern "religious" hospitality for someone who has never lived here.  This is a distinct issue that certainly does have a geographic aspect to its veracity.

I've been in Texas for close to 40 years, and I moved to Connecticut for about a year back in 2000.  So I got to experience New England, and I would have loved to find a way to stay there.  The higher cost of living is offset by the more diverse attitudes towards religions, IMO.