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Ughhhh *beats Head Against Wall*


MrBungle
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I think my father is going to drive me crazy.

 

Ok, here's what’s going on... it’s not really a big problem or anything, it just bugs me and I'm not sure how to let it go without talking about it. Anyway, I just finished college, got myself a decent job, bought a house, and a new truck. So lately various members of my family have been coming over to check out the new place and visit. My parents were busy moving so I didn't get to see them for my birthday so they came out to see me after they got settled. which is all fine and dandy, but my dad won't shut up about god/the bible/jews/christians... ever. No matter what you are talking about he will find some way to drag the conversation back in that direction regardless. You could be talking about how bad dog shit stinks and he would find some way to turn it into a bible conversation.

 

We were in the car and drove by a gas station which ended up getting us on the topic of gas prices and pollution. I jokingly made a reference to the hypocrisy of Al Gore who tells every one to cut down on green house gas emission while flying around in his private jet, which led to global warming. My dad (who used to deny completely that the planet was getting any warmer because it was all in gods hands ) then proceeds to tell me that the bible says that the earth is going to get really hot and that global warming is a sign of the times. I try and explain to him that the Greenland ice cores tell us that there have been several warming and cooling periods over the last 250K years and that we are due for another warming period before we drop into another ice age. Of course 250K years is not compatible with his interpretation of the bible and he tries to tell me that the scientists are just pulling numbers out of their ass which leads us into a scientific debate regarding the age of the universe. My dad who never studies anything and gets all his data from church has no idea what the hell he’s talking about (the scientific study of origins is what broke my faith so I’m well informed on the current theories of what when and how) and I end up backing him into a corner with plate tectonics and the distance between galaxies as it relates to time to the far reaches of the universe.

 

After that spiel the conversation abruptly stopped. I basically got the silent treatment for the next 2 hours. Seriously WTF? I'm soooo sorry that I won't sit there and listen to blatant lies and not say something. Why can’t he simply say something like "oh I didn't know that" and learn something? Why does he insist on resorting to childish temper tantrums and the silent treatment? I don't understand. It seems like with every passing day my dad and I grow farther apart, which is sad because we used to be really close, it wouldn't be so bad except for every time I talk to him this seems to be the way our conversations go. I can no longer have a meaningful conversation with my dad. If it strays too far from what the grass looks like, or mentioning that its windy outside, it goes right back to him trying to preach at me. I can't stand it.

 

Lately he's been talking about how he wants to move to Israel if he can find a job there... He and my mom are trying to become fluent in Hebrew, cuz it’s the thing to do that their messianic Jew church… its all around a bad situation, if he does move there its only going to make him more of a religious nut case than he already is, and on top of that I basically won't have parents anymore.

 

Sorry for that rant, I had to get it out, I feel better now.

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Christians who are that fundy are often unwilling to stick their heads out of the proverbial sand, no matter how much scientific evidence is waved in their faces. I'm sorry you had to deal with that.

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Guest sparks

The problem with fundamental christians is that the bible is a trump card. Scientific proof means nothing to a hand with five aces and even when you say "Dad you cant have five aces.." He holds them up to you. Its intensely frustrating. You either have to let your father rant and change the subject pleasantly or, and i'm serious here, let the relationship go.

 

I'm currently having similar problems with my parents. Not so much with them ranting because they live in another state but.. I know what they believe and I just think their dumb. How can anyone actually believe the junk written in the bible, refuse to believe perfectly logical scientific fact and still say that YOUR the crazy one? It is very frustrating..

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Guest sparks

oh another quick thought here..

 

Does your father still think that the earth is flat or that the sun revolves around the earth? i've had some glorious debates with my father over these topics because they are topics that christians have had to accept defeat over.

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The problem with fundamental christians is that the bible is a trump card. Scientific proof means nothing to a hand with five aces and even when you say "Dad you cant have five aces.." He holds them up to you. Its intensely frustrating. You either have to let your father rant and change the subject pleasantly or, and i'm serious here, let the relationship go.

 

Mr. Bungle, that [what sparks describes] is my tactic. It's the only one that can possibly work. My entire family is horse and buggy Mennonite (much like the Amish). I think there are a lot of similarities between them and the orthodox Jews. You said Messianic Jews. I would guess they are pretty orthodox though as far as regards being separate from the world and distrustful of science.

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Let him go to Israel if he wants. He'll quickly figure out that life there is not the simple, God-filled, revival area full of Jews just waiting to become "completed" that he thinks. At least if he's half a world away, he'll be out of your hair. Palestine is a war-torn country obviously, and maybe he just doesn't see how horrible it is from his perspective. Maybe going will give him a healthy dose of rationality, when he finds that the job market is not stable, and it's not safe for Americans to live here.

 

Either way, maybe you should just sit down and in a firm manner remind him that you do not, and will not prescribe to his beliefs, or tolerate listening to what is basically a babbling lunatic's take on life.

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Mr. Bungle, that [what sparks describes] is my tactic. It's the only one that can possibly work. My entire family is horse and buggy Mennonite (much like the Amish). I think there are a lot of similarities between them and the orthodox Jews. You said Messianic Jews. I would guess they are pretty orthodox though as far as regards being separate from the world and distrustful of science.

 

 

My dad is... selectively distrustful of science, he cant completely disregard science as he works as a supervising production engineer in a micro-chip manufacturing plant. Which is part of what makes talking to him so frustrating, he will take some scientific ideas at face value while others he completely rejects. I'm sure many of you know exactly where i'm coming from on that.

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Well, there are a lot of religious people that are "all or nothing". Their worldview is constructed based on faith and their biblical/religious beliefs.

 

You have a belief system built on a whole lot of different beliefs, so if you find out that there is something that conflicts with one belief, it's no big deal. But if your father has a conflict, it calls into question his whole belief system, which triggers a defense mechanism, which is why he stops talking.

 

There may be nothing you can do about it.

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