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Skinarelli's picture

A big hello from Lancashire, England!

Am I glad to find you lot. I wasn't even aware such a forum existed until a few weeks ago!

Why did I sign up? A similar tale I'm sure.

Dragged to church and Sunday school by my mother as a youngster. I remember being fearful of 'he who shall not be named' while in single figures but don't actually remember at what point I stopped believing in the lie. Now in my early 40's, I'm in serious in need of talking with like minded folk before I go stir crazy.

I'm going stir crazy because my Wife's extended family is religious and I feel like I'm walking on egg shells every time I'm involved in a family get together. My Wife even admitted just this evening that she hates it when I go on about Atheist topics and ridicule religious beliefs (as she feels I'm insulting her family). She says she's now scared to take me along to family events for fear I'll say something out of place and upset someone. My Wife has suggested for years that she's on the fence but I think that's down to my influence more than anything as her upbringing was more religious than my own.

Despite having a civil wedding 10 years ago, I still believe the Wife struggles with her beliefs/acceptance of reality on a daily basis as she's lost a lot of people she held close from an early age and never had an alternative voice in her ear about how to deal with it.

She's also now expressed her wishes that I stop talking so freely about by views in front of my own children as she wants them to decide for themselves - an idea which makes my stomach churn!

My Wife told me this evening that she never wanted to marry a preacher but that she thinks that's what I'm becoming with my alleged 'Atheist obsession'. She even likened me to some of the worst christains in her family who prey on the agnostics among us. To be fair, I couldn't disagree with her! I feel it my duty now as a rational thinker to sway the undecided away from the lies, falsehoods and damn right wickedness of faith.

I myself am only just learning how to verbalise many of my ways of thinking rationally and I'm looking forward to learning from my fellow Atheists and contributing to the cause on the way to further enlightenment.

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ThePragmatic's picture
My advice is:

Greetings from Sweden. :)

My advice is:

Try to start using the Socratic method instead of using mockery. (It won't be easy to avoid mockery, I know). A great book on the subject, but ignore the corny title: A Manual for Creating Atheists, by Peter Boghossian.

About the kids.
I'm in a similar situation, but I only have to respect my wife's beliefs, who are fairly benign. I have at times felt the same churning feeling in my stomach about my children.

I agree that they should make up their own minds. Trying to push it might only drive them away. Instead, I'm trying to give them the tools they need to sort it out themselves. Education works as inoculation against deception and delusion.

I spend a lot of time educating my kids about other religions and ask questions like "how can they be so sure that their religion is correct and the others are false?". I want to help them to question, to think critically.
I show them how tribes worship all kinds of gods and tell them about past religions. I also tell them that I have no such beliefs. I think it's important to let them know that it's Okay to *not* have such believes.
I also show them documentaries about animals and nature (tons of David Attenborough), and about fossils and our universe. If I know they have been exposed to indoctrination attempts, I simply ask them about it. Then I ask questions to make them think. Or give them ideas about questions they could ask for themselves next time the same situation arises.

Good luck!

Rick Kavooras's picture
@ Skinarelli

@ Skinarelli

Hi, great to hear i am not the only one that will be more than happy to tell a believer why I don't, its too bad most are offended to the point that they don't hear. I guess I am lucky my wife is knowledgeable about the bible and articulate, you do not want to be the person knock on our door to try and convert , she rips them apart with their own book. Two mormans came to our door, one was new to going out knocking on doors, the older one could not get him away fast enough. She would not let them go, I think there is one less morman now.
My wife and I are open about what we think with our 9 year old, problem there is he is very outspoken we live in Charleston South Carolina (known here as the holy city, yea right) he would tell anyone there is no god and that's stupid (the stupid part was his words not ours).
That can be a problem so we have tried to explain how they see that as an insult. I think he has come to realize by peoples reactions that's a good way to really piss off people, even adults. And what is one to say when an adult comes and tells us your kid said there is no god, like well whats the problem?

Skinarelli's picture
Thanks for taking the time to

Thanks for taking the time to reply chaps, much appreciated.

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