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Ever Talk Like A Xtian?


StriveForTolerance
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I've noticed myself doing this, during my time as an atheist and now as a deist: I start talking about Yahweh like I think he/it's real, and the bible like it's valid. I try to clarify that I'm only doing it for the sake of argument, but it's just so easy to fall into old patterns.

 

For instance: I told a girl (who was crying in the middle of youth group because she thought she wasn't good enough for God) that the best way to "minister" to her peers was to change noticeably (I guess so they could see biblegod "working in her"). I was disappointed in myself afterwards, but told myself that I was only helping her feel better, even though I was pushing her deeper into a religion that was making her miserable.

 

Another instance would be when I was pitching an idea to my old youth group's leaders, about expanding the youth group (I know, I disgust myself). I just had such good ideas for that tiny little church youth group, it was killing me not to share. But what really made me stop and think was when I caught myself quoting the bible to try to convince them.

 

So I'm either being completely untrue to myself, or manipulating the crap out of people, or both.

 

Anyway.... does anyone else do this? Use the bible/yahweh to make people feel better, or for an argument, or to get people to do things?

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Guest Babylonian Dream

No. I have the habit of asking christians questions that make them never want to talk about religion with me again, or causes them to deconvert.

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I get into Christian mode to get people off my back. If I bump into Christians on the street I'll pretend I'm one of them so they won't hassle me the next time they see me. I also feel the same way about church ministries. Sometimes I hear something new going on or they're thinking of implementing something and I feel like throwing in my 2c as well. I've also disgusted myself talking with someone a few months ago when I was pretty much mentally deconverted just not emotionally. They were in a position where they couldn't understand why God was doing X in their life because it was so painful and it was causing them grief and I just replied with a stock standard Christian answer (a la Romans 8:28).

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No. I have the habit of asking christians questions that make them never want to talk about religion with me again, or causes them to deconvert.

 

You've gotten several to deconvert? What particular questions do you ask?

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If I ever get into "Christian mode" it usually comes out in the form of "this is how we're made". To be fair, we were "designed" for this or for that, but it does come across as though I still support creation.

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I don't hang around too many people who are devoted Christians, so I don't know if I would slip into "Christian mode" or not. Sometimes, I will point out inconsistencies that Christians have with their own scripture. But I rarely talk to people as if I believe the Bible. I just translate things into "secular" or helpful friend kind of language.

 

A friend called me several months ago talking about feeling down and wanting to kill himself and feeling like he didn't believe in god anymore.

 

I was tempted to draw from the usual stock pile of verses to use for specific situations, but I resisted. I decided that a.) I would be as supportive and helpful as I can b.) I would speak to the real human issues and not try to fake being a christian. and c.) I wouldn't try to de-convert the guy or share my own non-theistic view points.

 

I decided I would be a practical atheist in my approach and not an avowed, or self-labeled atheist.

 

So, I told him that in the light (or shadow) of the recent loss of his oldest son, he shouldn't make any decisions about his beliefs in god but should suspend dealing with those questions. I figured if he worked through the loss first, he would get a grasp of what he truly believed later. I encouraged him to seek a licensed counselor. I made sure he didn't have a suicide plan in mind.

 

At one point he said, "I just wanted to share this with you so you'd know how to pray for me." I quickly said, "So I'd understand what you are going through? Sure! Thanks for letting me know." I made no promise to pray (an exercise in uselessness) nor did I drag god into the picture. I didn't need to. I was dealing with another human being on a human level. That's all that is needed to support a person in need.

 

The point being is while under the surface there was the old Christian way of responding to people trying to get out, I think the "secular" or humanist way is much more authentic and helpful way.

 

In other situations in the future, I may adopt a "Christian" style of responding to people. I don't know. I think the desire for avoiding needless controversy and to pick your own battles is a good one. I've been betrayed in the name of "doing what's right" by Christians, so a little dose of playing "undercover atheist" isn't all that wrong.

 

I just don't want to make a habit of not reflecting who I truly am because of social, economic or other pressures. I really think it is up to individual to decide how they are going to survive being an atheist in a society where the majority are theists.

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I really think it is up to individual to decide how they are going to survive being an atheist in a society where the majority are theists.

 

well said!

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Unfortunately for me, I'm still working in the church as a music director (see my post in the testimonials section). This means that I still have to talk like a Christian, tell people I'll be praying for them when things are going badly, and even pray in public. I have to say how we're going to sing this song to the glory of God, I have to interject little bits of scripture to tie the hymns together on Sunday mornings. It's all very hard for me and doesn't come that naturally anymore. Especially the public prayer thing which I've never been very comfortable with.

 

For now I do what I have to in order to keep making this tiny bit of money (I'm well below the poverty line, the church I'm working for is not doing well through our recession and the job is only part-time) until I can find a more substantial, secular job. :)

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