Author Topic: Insults, Misunderstandings and Surprises: How Christians react to the A word  (Read 1929 times)

Offline Bluewind (OP)

After a year of openly being an atheist,  I have had a lot of... interesting experiences with Christians. I was just going to post my own, but thought it might make for a great discussion thread.

Here are a few of the most memorable of my own...

1. I tell a friend of mine and he flips out. He started accusing me of being a Satanist and in league with the illuminati. I tried to talk to him, but he wouldn't listen. I talked to him later showing him my tattoo. He seemed okay at first, but quickly went back to accusations and name calling. I haven't spoke to him since.

2. I'm still close to the boss and coworkers from my first job. I told my old boss and a coworker early on. I was scared how they would react. Turns out my old boss is not Christian and might be atheist too or at least agnostic. My old coworker is Catholic on paper and nothing more (even though her family constantly harasses her about going to church because she hasn't been in years) and chooses to let people think she is because it's just easier. We all agreed to not tell my other old coworker (all 3 still work there) who is super Christian and a minister.

3. I went to a beautiful walking trail with springs and such. I ran into a woman who started talking Christian stuff to me. She was nice so I told her in a kind way that I wasn't a Christian. We ended up having a very long talk. I wish I had had all the evidence I have to support my views because I was unprepared. She tried to understand, but just couldn't and kept throwing the typical arguments at me. At least I helped her understand the difference between atheist and anti-theist. We parted ways with her saying she was saddened for me. To her I was a good person that lost my way and would end up punished for it and she hated to see that.

4. I went to vote (at a church no less) and found out a neighbor that I looked up to was a rabid Trump supporter (you do you but please don't insult me or other's views, beliefs, or attributes). She brought up Christian stuff and greatly insulted LGBTQ+ people of which I am one of (polysexual). She insulted races and religions other than her own. She presented a twisted version of history. It hurt. I went outside to get some air and wait my turn when a polling person came out to check on me. I told her why I was upset. About how hurt I was having my sexuality and beliefs insulted by someone I looked up to. She echoed the woman on the trail before saying the fact that I was an atheist saddened her and how she didn't understand. She left me with some disproven Christian fact to "think about", said she would pray for me, and went back inside.

5. I told my dad. He got mad saying that atheist are people who go door to door trying to convince people that there is no god and want all religions gone. It's the word itself he hates as he doesn't believe in any god and thinks religion is bullshit and there is no afterlife. I tried to explain but he wasn't having it.

6. I ran into woman I was close friends with in grade school. We got back in touch and talked a lot. She was cool with LGBTQ+, but was pretty badly misinformed about trans* individuals and thought polysexual meant I wasn't racist. Later in the conversation we were talking about religion. She said she was a witch/Christian at one point, but dropped out of witchcraft as she found it invited negative energies into her life along with positive. I told her my best friend was a witch. I swallowed hard and was scared, but told her I was an atheist with my guard down. I thought she would understand. Her first question was if I was a Satanist (what is with that!?!). I told her I wasn't as I didn't believe in the devil and such. She replied that a lot of people who are atheist are and just don't know it. I went home really upset. I wasn't prepared for it.

Things got complicated when I found out she was going to be my new landlady. Instead of avoiding her and the whole situation, I confronted it head on. We had a very long conversation that lasted hours. Turns out she was just badly misinformed. She had no idea what I went though being an atheist in an extremely Christian town or what being an atheist actually meant. I explained the whole satanist thing was because there are so many laws to protect discrimination for religion, but not the lack thereof, so some got together and created a tongue and cheek one to give us protection under the law with some of them fighting for equal rights such as by saying allowing gay marriage is part of there religion and not allowing it was to go against that. I talked about how I seen religion as a beautiful thing that is important to a lot of people, but it's not for me and never has been even when I was a child.

We also had a long talk about trans* people. She has a transwoman tenant and had misgendered her several times not knowing any better (like saying that he was a woman). She didn't know the real danger they are in just for being who they are, how brain scans show that a transwoman's brain is more similar to the brain of a woman than a man with one part different from both, how surgery is much more dangerous than it should be (comparing top surgery with breast removal for cancer and such), and that rather or not they ever have bottom surgery, they are still their identified gender. I also covered children born intersex who until recently had surgery as children to make them more binary before they could even consent.

The whole conversation was very jarring for her and changed a lot of her views. It was difficult for me to talk about as I normally don't openly talk about it all and almost felt invasive, but she was like a wide eyed child asking millions of questions with no idea how they might come off. It was like nobody had ever sat down and talked to her about atheism or LGBTQ+ much let her ask every random question she had. It was draining for me, but fascinating and enlightening for her. She's really excited about me moving in the end of this month.
There is beauty in a finite life.

Offline Baruch

Great "diary" entry ... still like your symbol too.

A lot of people are simply ignorant, not all are bigots.  For those who are ignorant, who you can be open to ... you are as much saving them as any Christian missionary could save you.  Don't hate the ignorant.  Try not to hate bigots (I know it is hard not to).
שלום

I told one young lady I was an atheist. She was quiet for a second and then said, "Well, it happens, people get abused..." The idea that I had never been a believer simply wasn't an option for her.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers

Offline Baruch

I told one young lady I was an atheist. She was quiet for a second and then said, "Well, it happens, people get abused..." The idea that I had never been a believer simply wasn't an option for her.

That is the way the Matrix operates.  No need to suppress free speech, if you have no free thought.
שלום

He started accusing me of being a Satanist [. . .] Her first question was if I was a Satanist (what is with that!?!). I told her I wasn't as I didn't believe in the devil and such. She replied that a lot of people who are atheist are and just don't know it.
I'm sure that some of this does come from confusion about the Church of Satan but, from my experience, a lot of it stems from the idea that anyone who's not the correct type of chirstian must have been mislead by satan. More that one I've heard that Hindu gods really exist, they are just fallen angels deceiving people--so all Hindus unknowingly worship devils. I've been told from the pulpit that satan sometimes gives the pope visions of the future to aid in luring christians away from true christianity--so catholics worship satan; unknowingly for the rank and file catholic but the priests know full well who they really follow.
I suppose that admitting all the other religions are man made errors could lead to doubts about one's own religion while 'knowing' that they are traps created by your religion's devil to trick people away from your one true religion actually acts to reinforce the validity of one's religions belief.
"Observe that noses were made to wear spectacles; and so we have spectacles. Legs were visibly instituted to be breeched, and we have breeches" Voltaire�s Candide

He started accusing me of being a Satanist
Which, even if that were true, and you literally worshipped the devil, that's lesser of two evils considering all the stuff God is said to have done in the Bible.

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and in league with the illuminati.
A group that lasted about a decade and had maybe a few thousand adherents at its peak, and that's being generous.  Their influence has since been played up to a ludicrous extent.

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5. I told my dad. He got mad saying that atheist are people who go door to door trying to convince people that there is no god
Which is literally the exact opposite of what actually happens.

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She said she was a witch/Christian at one point, but dropped out of witchcraft as she found it invited negative energies into her life along with positive.
That one seems like a post-conversion demonization of the old affiliation because I very much doubt current witches would have that sort of complaint.

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I swallowed hard and was scared, but told her I was an atheist with my guard down. I thought she would understand. Her first question was if I was a Satanist (what is with that!?!)
I dunno.  It seems like the go-to association for bible-thumpers even though logically, people who don't believe in supernatural beings are unlikely to be in league with the devil, a supernatural being.  It's like accusing vegans of being cannibals.  Makes no sense.

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She had no idea what I went though being an atheist in an extremely Christian town or what being an atheist actually meant.
Seems like a common theme.

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The whole conversation was very jarring for her and changed a lot of her views. It was difficult for me to talk about as I normally don't openly talk about it all and almost felt invasive, but she was like a wide eyed child asking millions of questions with no idea how they might come off. It was like nobody had ever sat down and talked to her about atheism or LGBTQ+ much let her ask every random question she had. It was draining for me, but fascinating and enlightening for her. She's really excited about me moving in the end of this month.
Well, at least that's good.  It's puzzling how these people get so sheltered they don't encounter atheists or LBGTQ+ people.  You'd think most people would at least hear about that stuff in their teens or 20s.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 02:16:11 AM by Hydra009 »

I seldom have these kinds on interactions with Christians, since they have no need to know the state of my relationship with God. When it does come up I'm unapologetic concerning my lack of belief, and to hell with them if they don't like it.


I sometimes use the word nullifidian to express my unbelief, since no one knows what it means and so it lacks all that negative baggage the A word has.










« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 03:57:30 PM by Unbeliever »
God Not Found
"It is not God that is worshipped but the group or authority that claims to speak in His name. Sin becomes disobedience to authority not violation of integrity."
Radhakrishnan, Sir Sarvepalli

Offline Baruch

"A group that lasted about a decade and had maybe a few thousand adherents at its peak, and that's being generous.  Their influence has since played up to a ludicrous extent."

European Freemasons are politically active and anti-Catholic.  A Freemason recently hacked Mario Draghi, who is part of the EU nomenklatura.
שלום

I haven't said to very many people that I am not believing the story line anymore. Nice to see what I get to look forward to. I don't know that I should be trying to disillusion anyone I know ( definitely not my brother-in-law who is a pastor).
you and your psychosis

Offline Baruch

I haven't said to very many people that I am not believing the story line anymore. Nice to see what I get to look forward to. I don't know that I should be trying to disillusion anyone I know ( definitely not my brother-in-law who is a pastor).

I hope it does go better for you (and others).  Nobody needs the unnecessary hassle.
שלום

Offline Bluewind (OP)

I'm sure that some of this does come from confusion about the Church of Satan but, from my experience, a lot of it stems from the idea that anyone who's not the correct type of chirstian must have been mislead by satan. More that one I've heard that Hindu gods really exist, they are just fallen angels deceiving people--so all Hindus unknowingly worship devils. I've been told from the pulpit that satan sometimes gives the pope visions of the future to aid in luring christians away from true christianity--so catholics worship satan; unknowingly for the rank and file catholic but the priests know full well who they really follow.
I suppose that admitting all the other religions are man made errors could lead to doubts about one's own religion while 'knowing' that they are traps created by your religion's devil to trick people away from your one true religion actually acts to reinforce the validity of one's religions belief.
Very well put. People are willing to go to extremes to protect their ignorance. It does make me sad though because seeing every other religion as Satan worshipers has to have a negative impact on them and their interactions with others. To believe that an overwhelming majority of people are worshiping evil and lost all morality must be a terrible way to live. I imagine they can't even research it themselves for fear of bringing evil into their own lives which is also sad because they are quite fascinating with rich histories.

Great "diary" entry ... still like your symbol too.

A lot of people are simply ignorant, not all are bigots.  For those who are ignorant, who you can be open to ... you are as much saving them as any Christian missionary could save you.  Don't hate the ignorant.  Try not to hate bigots (I know it is hard not to).
Thanks! It's forever on my leg now and I love it still :)

I don't necessarily hate bigots unless they're extreme; I just find them tiring.

I told one young lady I was an atheist. She was quiet for a second and then said, "Well, it happens, people get abused..." The idea that I had never been a believer simply wasn't an option for her.
Oh my god! I had someone tell me that when they found out I wasn't straight! They thought that one had to have been abused to be like that. I had a terrible childhood sure, but it didn't contribute.

I seldom have these kinds on interactions with Christians, since they have no need to know the state of my relationship with God. When it does come up I'm unapologetic concerning my lack of belief, and to hell with them if they don't like it.

I sometimes use the word nullifidian to express my unbelief, since no one knows what it means and so it lacks all that negative baggage the A word has.
It's not like I go about screaming it from rooftops, but as religious as my area is, it can't be avoided.

I wish we didn't have to find new words at all. Their hate is so misguided and illogical. We aren't hurting anyone.

Which, even if that were true, and you literally worshipped the devil, that's lesser of two evils considering all the stuff God is said to have done in the Bible.
Oh yeah. The biblical god was a crazy, manipulative, petty, jealous, mass murderer. The devil, Satan,  and Lucifer all read to be far less evil by comparison.

A group that lasted about a decade and had maybe a few thousand adherents at its peak, and that's being generous.  Their influence has since played up to a ludicrous extent.
I know. I have yet to figure out why people think they are an all powerful group of atheists or devil worshipers or whatever. They make interesting fiction fodder, but are no more a threat than Hydra from Marvel, The Other from Girl Genius, or Alchemists from Bloodlines (Richelle Mead).

Which is literally the exact opposite of what actually happens.
Oh yes. Most of us just want to live our lives in peace at most fighting for continued separation of church and state and the same protection against discrimination that those who follow a religion have.

That one seems like a post-conversion demonization of the old affiliation because I very much doubt current witches would have that sort of complaint.
Seeing as my best friend is a witch, I would have to agree. It makes her happy and helps her. She has been one for years. She was raised Christian, but it never felt right. When she stuck her town in the water, it felt right but her parents found out and demonized it. She went back to it as an adult and never looked back. Most people don't realize it's a very positive faith with them believing that energy you put out into the world comes back to you, so if they did bad things or used dark magic, it  would eventually come back and have a negative impact on them and their lives. Knowing that, I don't know how she could have seen it as inviting negative energy in her life.

I dunno. It seems like the go-to association for bible-thumpers even though logically, people who don't believe in supernatural beings are unlikely to be in league with the devil, a supernatural being.  It's like accusing vegans of being cannibals.  Makes no sense.
Lol! Lovely way of putting it. I still find it bizarre.

Seems like a common theme.
It really is isn't it?

Well, at least that's good.  It's puzzling how these people get so sheltered they don't encounter atheists or LBGTQ+ people.  You'd think most people would at least hear about that stuff in their teens or 20s.
You underestimate my town. I seen my first gay person in my 20s and my sister shields her boys from TV shows with gay people even going so far as covering their eyes. And the mental image of atheists here is insane. I called myself not Christian/religious a long time because I didn't know what atheism actually was. It's a definition you never question because that's all you know. It's like being told your whole like that your eyes are brown when in a mirror they show blue; you might try to bend the truth to fit their belief or discard it as false, but you can't hide from it forever. It takes courage to question.

I haven't said to very many people that I am not believing the story line anymore. Nice to see what I get to look forward to. I don't know that I should be trying to disillusion anyone I know ( definitely not my brother-in-law who is a pastor).
There is good along with the bad. My Christian long distance friend reacted with a shrug. My witch best friend had a few questions and then was supportive. My other best friend is also an atheist and we both figured out the definitions together (she knew she was an atheist before but didn't know what it meant). These are just my most memorable examples. This isn't the everyday. If it was, I would have moved by now ;)
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 02:59:02 AM by Bluewind »
There is beauty in a finite life.

Offline Atheon

6. I ran into woman I was close friends with in grade school. We got back in touch and talked a lot. She was cool with LGBTQ+, but was pretty badly misinformed about trans* individuals

I saw you put an asterisk* after "trans", so I looked at the bottom of your post but saw no footnote.

* An asterisk is a star-like symbol commonly used for adding simple footnotes to a text.
"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." - Seneca

Offline Bluewind (OP)

I saw you put an asterisk* after "trans", so I looked at the bottom of your post but saw no footnote.

* An asterisk is a star-like symbol commonly used for adding simple footnotes to a text.
It's commonly added on the end of trans to denote all transgender individuals including transman, transwoman, genderqueer, agender, two spirit, genderfluid, and so on. Basically, the gender you were assigned at birth is not what you are and the asterisk leaves what that gender is open so as to include all trans* individuals including those that don't have "trans" before what they identify as and those that do not identify as strictly male or female.
There is beauty in a finite life.

Online Munch

I told one young lady I was an atheist. She was quiet for a second and then said, "Well, it happens, people get abused..." The idea that I had never been a believer simply wasn't an option for her.

its always the worst when confronted by a kid who says something like that, because you know the kids been indoctrinated by their parents and/or teachers in 'special' schools, so theres nothing much you can do to get it through to them, not even the simple idea that everyone is different.

That is the way the Matrix operates.  No need to suppress free speech, if you have no free thought.
I think rather that she'd never considered the idea before. We had no problems because of it.
We 'new atheists' have a reputation for being militant, but make no mistake  we didn't start this war. If you want to place blame put it on the the religious zealots who have been poisoning the minds of the  young for a long long time."
PZ Myers