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My Family Can Be Such A Lovely Bunch


fallenleaf
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So tonight I was browsing FB and saw that a cousin of mine had posted a link to a new blog article that she wrote. She writes for a Christian blog and most of it's crap and I ignore them but the title of this one caught my eye. It was titled "Unsaved Family Members and Your Children."

 

:twitch:

 

Now, I normally will stand up for myself but only to a point. I'll state my lack of belief but won't make a big deal out of it. But this one went a little far. Take a look at the description from the picture and my response:

 

screenshot-20110620-195033.jpg

 

Now, the short description would lead one to believe this article is about protecting your children from the unsaved family members' worldview. This actually turns out not to be the case. If this article was about how to respond to a family member who talks about alternative religions around your children or constantly talks about how there is no god, it would be bad enough. I would have been upset about that too. Because it offends me that people believe they need to shelter their children from other worldviews and can't raise them to understand that different people believe differently.

 

But that was not the case. This article talks about how to protect your children from family members in trouble with the law, addicted to drugs, who are rude, who swear around your kids without regard to your feelings about that, etc. The "offenses" in this article aren't those of spiritual short-coming... they are legitimate offenses that many Christians are equally guilty of. Actually, in my family the believers are much more often guilty of these "sins" than the few unbelievers.

 

So yeah, I responded. And we actually chatted a little outside each others' walls.

 

I hope you are kidding' date=' I did not say all atheist are bad, if you read it I was talking about people who are causing problems in your life. I have NEVER had a problem with you around my children. So please do not take this personally.[/quote']

 

You write an article about the dangers of "unsaved" people around your kids. Yes' date=' you qualify the real attributes you worry about in the article. But those have nothing to do with being saved.

 

And the one thing that I really found would apply to me was the part about getting agreement with your spouse. Since I know [your husband'] has had (maybe still has) problems with my lack of Christianity in the past.

 

This also hits home because your mother told [your brother] (over a year ago) that he should be careful with me around his kids because I don't believe. To his credit, [your brother] told her where to stick it and that she knew as well as he does that I would never let anything hurt his kids.

 

You might not think much of this but there are people who think atheists should not be allowed to be teachers or work with kids in any way. So yes, your article was offensive to me and brings up a stigma I deal with on a regular basis. Do I think you intended it as a personal attack on me? No. But it still hits home and perpetuates a stereotype that I face often.

 

I've obviously changed and redacted certain names and identifying information. My cousin understood my point. I explained that I wasn't really "asking" her to do anything besides understand my point. But she wrote her editor and asked that the word "Unsaved" be changed to "Immoral" because it was more accurate and didn't unfairly offend based on beliefs. I was really happy with that change.

 

We actually spent half an hour on the phone talking about the issue. She didn't mean for it to come across the way it did. Anyway, I told her that she could do an article with the original title if she stuck to that purpose. And it wasn't about how to "protect" your children from those relatives as much as it was about managing how much your child learned and how quickly... and boundaries for those family members. Also how to handle situations like prayers or church if your kid notices "Uncle Fuckface**" doesn't join in. [** Not my real name]

 

Anyway, it didn't start WWIII (my GF was sure it would). And things turned out ok. I didn't ask her to change or retract any of her statements but I was happy with the title change.

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