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leftofpunk

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  1. So I'm 30 years old and starting having minor doubt of at least Christianity around 10 or 11. I didn't full shed it until about 17 and then made the full transition to atheist at about 24. I haven't lived around my family for about 6 years now. I never "came out" or anything but they all know. My sister is a pretty strong "agnostic" (she's an atheist) but can't really defend it well. As far as my families back story I think it's important to note that they're super 100% fundamentalists. Anti-science, christian nationalist and christian re-constructionists. I pretty much only ever see my dad and step mom (real mom is a whole other nasty story) and I see my grandmother maybe once a year or so and when i see her I generally see a few aunts and uncles (grandmother had 7 kids). Okay, onto the meat of this..... A little over a week ago my sister tells me that my Aunt Carolyn and one of my cousins will be up this way (Michigan) from Florida at the end of the month and would like to see me. Well I inform her that I'm gonna be busy on the weekend (community theatre production of FAME) and that after strike (tearing down the set) I'll be going to Canada for vacation. Well this past weekend I went for a weekend camping trip with my dad and step mom with my girlfriend (Sarah) and our five year old son (Jason). My step mom (Melissa) tells Sarah that my Aunt Carolyn and another aunt were planning to get together with me to talk to me about Jesus. Melissa then tells Sarah that my dad and her told them not to and that they would be praying for me and showing me a better life by leading a Christian life. For the record, Sarah and I are better off and happier than they are. So it appears to me that my Aunts WILL eventually talk to me about it. Maybe not this time...but eventually. A little bit more information...my Aunt Carolyn is married to an ex-pastor...they're still believers, but they have 8 kids and being a pastor just wasn't paying the bills. She's also the first person that made me question the sanity of Christians. She told me once when I was 10 or 11 that the Devil put dinosaur bones in the dirt to make people doubt God. Now at that age I really wanted to be a Paleontologist. To some extent, still do. This was about the worst thing you could have said to me. It didn't crush my dreams and world, it just made me think she was either crazy or stupid. Turns out a little of both. Knowing this story when she found out, Sarah told Melissa that my Aunt Carolyn was the LAST person I'd listen to in matters of Christianity. But seeing how it'll eventually happen.....what were some of your family's interventions with you like assuming we're of about the same age? Obviously if I were a teenager it'd be a lot different, but I'm an adult with a kid of my own now and I don't rely on them for support. Also I have to know why now? I've been an atheist for years now. They never showed an interest before. Sarah thinks maybe it's becuase Jason is about to reach the age of culpability.
  2. Love is always giving her the bigger piece of cake.
  3. I got Michelle Goldberg's book Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism and it was a pretty good read and well, I must have a second pressing or something because by the time I got to the end there was a newly written Epilogue that pretty much canceled everything she was talking about out. Paraphrased, it essentially said All of the people I talk about in this book are either dead or not in office anymore. Not that the problem is gone or anything, i just found that interesting.
  4. Each YMCA the way I understand it is run independent so each one can have vastly different rules. I know I do have the option of opting him out of the weekly church people visit, but I'm afraid he'd be the only one opting out and i can't imagine what that'd do to him. Yes, somebody is writing on that slate but he's actually got pretty decent critical thinking skills and he loves science and dinosaurs. We've also looked at skeletons from various mammals and i've pointed out the similar bone structures to him and stuff. I think I just need to keep in mind that it's only 11 more weeks
  5. So my GF and I enrolled our 5 year old son into the YMCA Summer Day Camp. It's like $95 a week and they're constantly going on field trips to the zoo, amusement parks, actual parks and indoor water park today and so on. Obviously the catch is that it's the YMCA (Young Mans Christian Association) so there will be the occasional mention of God. I know members from a local church come in on Mondays and do crafts and whatnot and they give them a Bible verse to memorize for the next week to win a badge. Jason (my son) forgot his hat there last night so he wore an older hat this morning that's a little small and my GF said it wasn't because he had a big head, but that it was because his brain was so huge. He replied that he'd never seen his brain, but God did. I asked, who saw it? Hoping I heard him wrong, and he said God saw his brain because God made him. I was in total shock and to an extent, still am. I understand that he's 5 years old and that 12 weeks of this isn't going to make much difference in the long run. It's no different than a belief in Santa Clause and no kid past 7 or 8 believes in that. I also know that the positive aspects of the program FAR outweigh the negative. What I don't want to do it tell him there's no God. He's only 5 and can't really grasp that concept yet to actually believe. I know he's just parroting back what he's told. Also I don't want to force my position on him. I'd like him to be a clean slate but MAN that was hard to bite my tongue. Lastly I don't want to do anything that would jeopardize his spot at camp. Just tell me I'm right, that 12 weeks at 5 years old won't matter at all in the long run and that he'll get far more positive things out of it this summer like learning to swim, be social, and being a good sport (which he actually has issues with)
  6. I guess I'm not saying that I didn't expect it, I don't particularly like it, but I think despite an hour a week for 11 weeks he'll still have a really good summer, learn to swim, be a better sport (he's such a bad loser/winner). I just have to keep a close eye on things.
  7. Well my son went to YMCA camp yesterday and yesterday was also the first day they went to "Explosion" which is what they call the program at the church. They go every Monday apparently. I really don't know what they did because my son didn't talk about it. He talked about swimming and playing with kids and they're doing a field trip today but nothing about going to the church. I'm kind of wondering if they actually go to a church or if the church goes to them. One thing I did notice is that they send the kids home with notes each day about the next like don't forget a towel and swim suits and yadda yadda but at the bottom of the note they have a Bible verse to memorize. When my GF was reading Jason the note she omitted the Bible verse. It was funny but it occurred to me that the practice of having kids memorize Bible verses teaches them NOTHING about the religion at all. Absolutely nothing. it only serves to indoctrinate. That's it's only purpose and I find it funny that I only just realized this yesterday. Admittedly in my previous life when I did go to church I almost always opted out of the kids church and stayed in the pews with my parents.
  8. I kind of agree with you. The level at which they teach evolution in science classes even at the high school level is poor at best. I'd almost rather them not teach it at all if they're not going to do it right.
  9. The minority speak didn't send up my bullshit flag as much as the slam against liberal media and the ACLU. Snopes is INDEED you friend
  10. Boulder is beautiful. Hip little town too.
  11. Dude, don't fall for your mom's bait. When she brings up questions, you DO NOT have to have the answers. Belief isn't knowledge. You can politely explain that you can't choose to believe something. Let her know that it's really hard on you too that something you believed your whole life, you now don't believe and that if she could just give you space and let you figure things out on your own, it'd make this a lot easier. Also make sure to drive home that you haven't changed and your morals haven't changed and that you're the same great kid as before. Let her know that all the extra exposure she's pushing is just making you resent christianity and more importantly you're resenting her for not respecting you. Good luck.
  12. sneaky marty, real sneaky
  13. See, I don't know if it's a religious "service" or not...from what was told to me was that they'd be doing crafts, could sing songs and get a snack, but who knows right? I'll just ask him after he's done it once.
  14. I'm atheist and my GF is non-theist (won't use the word atheist, thinks that maybe there's no god, but probably some force) Anyways we have a 5 year old son who starts kindergarten in the fall and we're sending him to YMCA day camp this summer so keep him occupied and keep him with a daily routine and all. Anyways once a week the kids go to a church where they sing songs, do crafts have a snack and so on. Now this is optional but what I'm concerned with is that he'll feel left out, especially if he's the only one opting out. I didn't know about the church thing til yesterday as the church just recently offered this service for free. Now I know it's a tactic by the church and it's designed so that kids will feel left out if their parents opt out. I also am not objecting to exposing my son to different religions, but I think 5 years old is a bit early. Does anyone here have an opinion or experience with this? He's already excited about going so pulling him out isn't an option and I have a feeling I'm just going to have to cuck it up and hope 12 weeks of this won't effect much of his 5 1/2 years.
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