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Should I Apologize Or Forget?


Citsonga
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One of my best friends back when I was a christian was another christian guy whose brother was (presumably still is) an atheist. Though I hadn't talked to the atheist brother very much, my friend and I had discussed a time or two what his brother's hangup was with christianity, which was science. So, probably about 10 years ago I sent a couple creationism books to this atheist brother. It had been a while since I had seen him, and since then haven't seen him or heard from him. I thought I was doing the right thing, because I figured that if he read the books he'd see all the "flaws" in evolutionary theory, and reconsider his beliefs.

 

Well, since I deconvered 6-7 years ago, from time to time I've thought about this incident. I really feel bad for intruding by sending him those books, and I can imagine that he was probably annoyed by it (or possibly humored, who knows?). I've wondered several times if I should look up his address again and send him a brief letter apologizing for sending him that propaganda and acknowledging that I've come to realize that creationism is nonsense. Do you think I should do that or just forget about it and let it go? If you were in his shoes, what would you rather happen?

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What would be the most interesting thing to do?

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The most interesting? Well, I guess I am curious if he would respond to my letter. I could include my email address so he could reply electronically if he wants to.

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The most interesting? Well, I guess I am curious if he would respond to my letter. I could include my email address so he could reply electronically if he wants to.

This parallels my thoughts. Just my opinion, but I think you should contact him. You might not even have to outright apologize. You could just tell him your present thoughts about sending those books to him in the past and let him draw his own conclusions.

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Thanks. I just looked him up on 411.com, and the address given is the same as what I have in my address book, so it appears that he's still living at the same place.

 

I'll wait for a few other opinions on the matter, but I'm definitely thinking more and more about doing it.

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I don't think you need to apologize. Just tell him you came to your senses, and thought he'd enjoy learning about it. I doubt he was seriously offended.

 

I was an absolute prick to a few atheists when I was a believer. Sending books is nothing, unless you accompanied them with a note telling him how he was going to burn in Hell for eternity and that he would deserve it if he didn't convert.

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If I was in his shoes what would I rather happen? Well I think I would be blown away if I received an apology over something from years ago. I think I would appreciate it.

 

The thing is we have no idea how this guy responded to receiving those creation books. He may have brushed the whole thing off or all this time when conversing with his other free thinking buddies, he has always used you as an example of how intrusive christians can be, and tells the story of how he received the books;)

 

I know I was awful, I sent material to family and friends. I look back and cringe at how I was. And yes with every opportunity I have apologised to each person whenever possible. And it helped the relationships. And I know they talked about me behind my back. They all thought I was off my rocker! I wish I could find all the other people, ones that I had witnessed too. Aaargh! I hope I didn't cause too much damage.

 

Anyway it's up to you. I think it is kind of cool that you want to do it.

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One of my best friends back when I was a christian was another christian guy whose brother was (presumably still is) an atheist.

...

I figured that if he read the books he'd see all the "flaws" in evolutionary theory, and reconsider his beliefs.

Wouldn't it be great if you contacted him and he thanked you for "Leading him to the Lord?" And then upon learning of your deconversion started a campaign against you like you did to him? After all one good turn deserves another?

 

mwc

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No matter what, unless he didn't respond at all, the outcome could be interesting - I suggest writing!

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I don't think you need to and he probably has all but forgotten about it, but if you WANT to then do it. I know there are a few people I wouldn't mind apologizing to if I found them.

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Well, since I deconvered 6-7 years ago, from time to time I've thought about this incident. I really feel bad for intruding by sending him those books, and I can imagine that he was probably annoyed by it (or possibly humored, who knows?). I've wondered several times if I should look up his address again and send him a brief letter apologizing for sending him that propaganda and acknowledging that I've come to realize that creationism is nonsense. Do you think I should do that or just forget about it and let it go? If you were in his shoes, what would you rather happen?

Interesting problem. I'd write (I think) and say, You were right and I was wrong. That's not an apology exactly, but you probably know best how to bring up the subject.

 

"Remember our talk about God? You were right."

 

Unless he mentions the books, I wouldn't bring that up. He may have forgotten, but if he writes and asks "Why did you send those awful books to me?" then anwer his questions while maintaining that you now understand why he doesn't believe in god, and now you don't either.

 

He may be a little suspicious at first (thinking you're trying to pretend to be an atheist to show him the True Way to Happiness), but being concise and honest goes a long way.

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Thanks for the responses.

 

Davka: I think I did send a note, but basically just saying that I thought that he might find the books interesting. I didn't say anything about hell or deserving punishment.

 

jdog & Mark: Yeah, I don't really know if he even remembers it as of now or if he was seriously offended at the time.

 

mwc: LOL, that would take the cake, wouldn't it? I realize you're joking, but on a serious note, knowing what little I know now about how absurd creationism is, I'd have to think that he was even more aware of its absurdity since he was into science. So, I'm sure those books wouldn't have changed his mind at all, and he probably didn't even read them (other than perhaps a couple pages for a few laughs).

 

HRDWarrior: Thanks, and I think I probably will, since the consensus so far has been positive.

 

I'll be busy tomorrow (after work I have my second Freethinkers Meetup), but maybe later this week I'll collect my thoughts and write something to him. I'll be sure to post it here if I do.

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Shyone: Thanks. Actually, I never really talked to him about god. I just spoke with him a few times, and the conversations were rather general ("Hey, how's it going?" kinda stuff). But since all his family were christians, I figured he knew the basics, and since I was never all that close to him anyway, I didn't feel the need to bring it up. My only form of "god talk" to him was sending the books, which I figured would help him see something that I assumed he hadn't thought about or been confronted about before. So there wouldn't be any point in sending a letter about it without mentioning the books. I'm not even sure that he would remember my name, but all I have to do (and what I did in the letter I enclosed with the books) is mention that I was the drummer in his brother's band, and then he would remember me. I do feel guilty about sending the books to him and making christian-based assumptions about him, though.

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I'm not even sure that he would remember my name, but all I have to do (and what I did in the letter I enclosed with the books) is mention that I was the drummer in his brother's band, and then he would remember me.

Excellent. I like the idea of building bridges and repairing bridges.

 

What's the worst that could happen? Him not writing back? Meh.

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One of my best friends back when I was a christian was another christian guy whose brother was (presumably still is) an atheist. Though I hadn't talked to the atheist brother very much, my friend and I had discussed a time or two what his brother's hangup was with christianity, which was science. So, probably about 10 years ago I sent a couple creationism books to this atheist brother. It had been a while since I had seen him, and since then haven't seen him or heard from him. I thought I was doing the right thing, because I figured that if he read the books he'd see all the "flaws" in evolutionary theory, and reconsider his beliefs.

 

Well, since I deconvered 6-7 years ago, from time to time I've thought about this incident. I really feel bad for intruding by sending him those books, and I can imagine that he was probably annoyed by it (or possibly humored, who knows?). I've wondered several times if I should look up his address again and send him a brief letter apologizing for sending him that propaganda and acknowledging that I've come to realize that creationism is nonsense. Do you think I should do that or just forget about it and let it go? If you were in his shoes, what would you rather happen?

Hmmmm....from your standpoint, I'd leave the issue alone until by chance I ran into him on the street, or at the supermarket, or in some other way. If he's in another city, that might not happen for a long, long time, but I'd still leave it until you bumped into him again.

 

From his standpoint, I guess I wouldn't care if I got an apology. But here's something I've often thought about (and this may help in making your decision). Way back when I used to evangelize to people about Jesus, I sincerely thought I was doing the right thing as you did in your situation. What if, by chance, I happened to run into one of those people and they told me they turned their life over to Jesus as a result of what I did years ago. I think I would feel horrible to tell them, "Yeah, about that...I actually left the faith because it was all BS". I think they would feel a sense of betrayal.

 

Personally, I'd leave the subject alone unless it came up.

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I guess the part that would bother me is him thinking that I was still "back there". Right now I have an opposite problem with an old friend who just looked me up; I can tell he's still "Christian" and he assumes I still am as well. It's going to be tough breaking the news to him, since his EMail to me was full of rather extreme fundy platitudes.

 

 

Anyway, I vote for contact, and just treat the whole issue humorously; there's no need for this to be dark and dramatic. Maybe he'd like to hear from you anyway. Course, as another poster put it, it would be funny if the guy was a fundy now...

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Go for it, you may make a new friend. These types of things always make for the best stories anyway.

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WWJD?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thanks for the additional replies.

 

Paradox-db3: Actually, the chances of me ever just bumping into him are so minuscule that that I may as well call it an impossibility. I've moved out of state and there are roughly 500 miles between us. But I also believe that the chances of him having become a christian are minuscule. After all, if he could be firm in his disbelief among a family full of believers (brother, two sisters, parents & grandparents, as well as the fact that his father is a minister), then I think he was pretty well rooted, and considering that he was really into science and all, I just can't imagine that he'd turn around and follow superstition. But, of course, I couldn't have imagined that I would leave the faith, but I did, so I guess anything's possible, I just really don't expect it. Anyway, thanks for expressing your opinion.

 

Franko47: I'm kinda thinking the same way. I feel bad about bothering him with the books, and I would like for him to know that I'm not still "back there," I've come to my senses. I hope I'm not being selfish in that regard. Anyway, good luck with your christian friend.

 

ShallowBTG: I was also thinking that it may be possible for somewhat of a friendship to develop. Since I live so far away, a more likely scenario would be a sort of email pen-pal. Since we both come from very religious families, and I know his family, we would have some common ground. And when I go visit my parents, who live roughly 25 miles or so from him, it would be possible to meet up (maybe at a freethinkers meetup, if he attends one of them). I wouldn't be offended if none of this would materialize, but I certainly wouldn't be opposed to it either. From what I remember of him, he was a very down-to-earth sort of guy.

 

Kyle: WWJD? lol, how about:

;)

 

So far, it looks like I've gotten one nay and the rest are all yeas to one degree or another. Thanks everyone for sharing. I've got a meetup this evening, so I don't plan to bother with writing anything tonight.

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Thanks for the additional replies.

 

Paradox-db3: Actually, the chances of me ever just bumping into him are so minuscule that that I may as well call it an impossibility. I've moved out of state and there are roughly 500 miles between us. But I also believe that the chances of him having become a christian are minuscule. After all, if he could be firm in his disbelief among a family full of believers (brother, two sisters, parents & grandparents, as well as the fact that his father is a minister), then I think he was pretty well rooted, and considering that he was really into science and all, I just can't imagine that he'd turn around and follow superstition. But, of course, I couldn't have imagined that I would leave the faith, but I did, so I guess anything's possible, I just really don't expect it. Anyway, thanks for expressing your opinion.

No Prob! You know him better than any of us, so do what feels right to you. :)

Kyle: WWJD? lol, how about:

;)

I think his post was in reference to Jason...What Would Jason Do!

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Kyle: WWJD? lol, how about:

;)

I think his post was in reference to Jason...What Would Jason Do!

True, but I wanted to plug one of my favorite YouTube videos. ;)

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OK, I just finished composing my letter. Here is what I said:

 

Dear [name withheld],

 

Greetings. You may remember me as one of your brother [name withheld]'s friends, the drummer in the band he played with back in Upland.

 

I would like to apologize for sending you a couple creationism books several years ago. I have since then come to realize that you were right to reject Christianity, and for quite a while now I have felt bad about having intruded on you by sending that propaganda. I meant well when I sent the books, but I now have to acknowledge that I was acting out of a flawed worldview from being brainwashed with nonsense.

 

I began questioning my beliefs in 2002, and during 2003 I came to the realization that Christianity is nothing more than mythology. This all came about through studying the Bible and coming to realize that it cannot be the "perfect Word of God" that I was always taught that it was, what with irreconcilable contradictions, fabricated prophetic fulfillments in the New Testament (by taking Old Testament texts out of context), injustices sanctioned by a supposedly righteous God, and so on.

 

I am now an agnostic, teetering somewhere between atheist and deist, and I respect you for having the intelligence and freethinking ability to see through the religious nonsense at a much younger age than I did.

 

I actually haven't told your brother any of this, since we've fallen out of touch now that we live so far away, although he did indicate once a few years ago that he sensed that my faith wasn't what it used to be.

 

Anyway, I hope you weren't too offended by the books you received from me. Hopefully you simply found humor in how silly I was being. Regardless, I no longer think that you were blinded from the truth, since it was me and my fellow Christians who were blinded from the truth.

 

In closing, I certainly hope things are going well for you. Take care, and enjoy this journey we call "life."

 

 

Sincerely,

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Sounds good...if I'd suggest anything, I'd say you could go even simpler, but I like it as is, too.

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Sounds good...if I'd suggest anything, I'd say you could go even simpler, but I like it as is, too.

Thanks.

 

Before I got back on here and read your post, I added one more brief paragraph (which I've edited into my previous post, starting with, "I actually...."). I don't plan to add anything else.

 

Indeed I didn't want to make the letter too long, but on the other hand I want it to make sense regarding where I'm coming from now. But perhaps you're right that it should be simpler. Should I remove the paragraph about starting to doubt and listing a few Bible problems? It would still make sense without that paragraph, but on the other hand I think including that paragraph would make it less likely for him to wonder if I'm just be pretending to be agnostic.

 

Thanks again....

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I like it...ya, that one paragraph was the one I was thinking of, but like you said, it does kind of explain things as well. Could go either way on that one - include it now, or save it for another letter.

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