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Citsonga

Letter To My Christian Parents

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Oh, I'm sure if I showed my parents that letter, they would just palm it off saying "We are just mortal and can not understand God or his ways. Who are we to doubt God." But at least they could then understand my reasons for unbelief, even though I doubt it would change theirs. They simply have to much of there life invested in it, and don't forget that the Devil is always lurking around trying to deceive. (On a side note, I hate it when xians use the Devil as en escape goat; e.g. my parents said some very offensive things to me the other week, when I confronted them about it, they said that it was just the devil changing my perseption of what they actually said!)...!

 

Yeah, the Devil card is so absurd, yet a lot of fundies use it. My mother did say that they were trying to digest the letter, though, so that's a good thing. I think that at least my mother is smart enough to not play the Devil card in the face of well-thought-out arguments. As far as not being able to understand God, that concept is addressed in the letter. It is such a powerful control tool that many people subject themselves to.

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I'm just wondering how things are going for you there with your folks?

 

I had a bit of a talk to my mother yesterday about the Great flood, while we were working together (she doesn't know I'm a athiest yet!). I started to ask her about some of the massive absuridites of the flood and how the animals survived etc. She simply shruged it of and said "I don't know, Ask Noah" and "It's easier if you just believe". Haha, good o'l Mum. She might not be so bright, but I love her :)

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I'm just wondering how things are going for you there with your folks?

 

Nothing new to report. Yesterday was my mother's birthday, so I called and talked to her for a little bit, and the subject didn't come up. I think they're stilly trying to "digest" everything. They have just been hit with a lot of damaging info, so it's inevitable that time would be required for it to sink in.

 

I had a bit of a talk to my mother yesterday about the Great flood, while we were working together (she doesn't know I'm a athiest yet!). I started to ask her about some of the massive absuridites of the flood and how the animals survived etc. She simply shruged it of and said "I don't know, Ask Noah" and "It's easier if you just believe". Haha, good o'l Mum. She might not be so bright, but I love her :)

 

I wanted to deal with the flood story in my letter, but I decided against it at this point. My reasoning was that the letter was already pretty long, and dealing with the flood would require taking the time to address creationist claims, so I didn't want to delve too much into that yet. There are plenty of other valid points in the letter anyway.

 

You're right, though; the flood story is absurd. I do intend to continue revising the arguments in the letter for future use, so I'll probably deal with the flood story at some point. I'll eventually be able to send out a 100-page letter to anyone who challenges me! ;)

 

Speaking of sending the letter to others, I am considering a version of it to my father-in-law, due to a comment he recently made. He's an ordained minister, so it would be quite interesting to see what would come of it! ;)

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I got through your analysis of fulfilled prophecy. I haven't studied the verses to see for myself, but based on your quotes, I don't get the connections. Closely resembles horoscope and Nostrodamos-type thinking.

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I got through your analysis of fulfilled prophecy. I haven't studied the verses to see for myself, but based on your quotes, I don't get the connections. Closely resembles horoscope and Nostrodamos-type thinking.

 

Exactly. After 9/11 I remember people talking about Nostrodamos predicting it, but when I read what was supposedly that prediction, it clearly wasn't talking about 9/11. Christians would readily accept pointing out that Nostrodamos was taken out of context, and if one tried to argue that it was a "dual prophecy," those Christians would laugh. Yet those same Christians don't seem to have a problem with using such an extremely ridiculous argument when faced with how the alleged Christological prophecies were taken completely out of context. It's a double-standard, plain and simple. They only accept the "dual prophecy" argument with the Bible because of their preconceived notion that the prophecies must be about Jesus.

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It's been well over two months since my last post here, and until yesterday the subject of religion had not come up between me and my parents. I have emailed and talked to my mother a bit during that time, but not my father (he doesn't use computers and just hadn't happened to get on the phone when my mother and I have talked).

 

Well, yesterday morning I sent out a link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/news/schullers-325273-meals-church.html

 

I didn't comment on the article, but my point was mainly that it's ridiculous to expect charity to be given to millionaires. Anyway, my mother sent this short reply:

 

The e-mail may have been sent without consulting the Schullers & they may have not known anything about it. It is a nice thing to do - our church does that when people are sick or have surgery, it is very caring. On the other hand, the Schullers have enough money that they surely have a cook so this kind of service is unnecessary for them & would be well spent on others in the congregation who are in more need. Wonder if they had anybody who actually brought food by. I hadn't heard about the embezzlement but have heard of the Schullers & the Crystal Cathedral. It is sad that it comes down to this, but is not everybody who cries "Lord, Lord" who makes it into heaven, but those who endure & stay in the faith till the end that will make it into heaven.

 

The email would have been fine if she hadn't added that last sentence. After having seen the letter I sent with an enormous amount of problems with Christianity, I am left scratching my head as to why she would think that this would have any ability to influence me to turn back to religion. I have heard that stuff thousands of times and used to even spout it myself, but it's a completely hollow claim.

 

Perhaps she was just in automatic mode and didn't think about how something like that would not mean to me what it would mean to most other people she would email, but it's also possible that she was trying to influence me. A few months ago she had said that they were trying to "digest" my letter, but if she does think that something this simple and unfounded would have the slightest chance of being convincing to me, then clearly the letter went way over her head.

 

Anyway, I did not reply to the email, and I think I probably won't. I've already more than adequately laid out my position in no uncertain terms with the letter I sent them, so I see no point in starting an argument over that sentence. I am curious if others here think I should respond, though.

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It's been well over two months since my last post here, and until yesterday the subject of religion had not come up between me and my parents. I have emailed and talked to my mother a bit during that time, but not my father (he doesn't use computers and just hadn't happened to get on the phone when my mother and I have talked).

 

Well, yesterday morning I sent out a link to this article: http://www.ocregister.com/news/schullers-325273-meals-church.html

 

I didn't comment on the article, but my point was mainly that it's ridiculous to expect charity to be given to millionaires. Anyway, my mother sent this short reply:

 

The e-mail may have been sent without consulting the Schullers & they may have not known anything about it. It is a nice thing to do - our church does that when people are sick or have surgery, it is very caring. On the other hand, the Schullers have enough money that they surely have a cook so this kind of service is unnecessary for them & would be well spent on others in the congregation who are in more need. Wonder if they had anybody who actually brought food by. I hadn't heard about the embezzlement but have heard of the Schullers & the Crystal Cathedral. It is sad that it comes down to this, but is not everybody who cries "Lord, Lord" who makes it into heaven, but those who endure & stay in the faith till the end that will make it into heaven.

 

The email would have been fine if she hadn't added that last sentence. After having seen the letter I sent with an enormous amount of problems with Christianity, I am left scratching my head as to why she would think that this would have any ability to influence me to turn back to religion. I have heard that stuff thousands of times and used to even spout it myself, but it's a completely hollow claim.

 

Perhaps she was just in automatic mode and didn't think about how something like that would not mean to me what it would mean to most other people she would email, but it's also possible that she was trying to influence me. A few months ago she had said that they were trying to "digest" my letter, but if she does think that something this simple and unfounded would have the slightest chance of being convincing to me, then clearly the letter went way over her head.

 

Anyway, I did not reply to the email, and I think I probably won't. I've already more than adequately laid out my position in no uncertain terms with the letter I sent them, so I see no point in starting an argument over that sentence. I am curious if others here think I should respond, though.

 

Can't speak for you, but my kind of response would go something like, "so I spend a month writing you an articulate 40 page response of why I left the faith and all you can come up with for a reply is that I'm a quitter? That's rich."

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Can't speak for you, but my kind of response would go something like, "so I spend a month writing you an articulate 40 page response of why I left the faith and all you can come up with for a reply is that I'm a quitter? That's rich."

 

Haha, that's pretty good. Thanks.

 

On a serious note, though, while she may have meant it that way, she may not have. It was said in response to the article about the Schullers, she didn't mention me in the comment, and as I noted previously, it's possible that she didn't really think about the implications of the comment in the context of who she was replying to. If she had specifically directed that comment at me in response to my letter, then I probably would reply with something similar to your suggestion.

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Unless you distinctly know your mom for using implication, I'd bet she was only thinking about the Schullers. Even if she did have your probable reaction in mind, she still would have been answering in regard to her perspective on this particular issue compartmentalized from the situation with you.

 

I'd just drop the bush beating and admit you want to talk about the letter.

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Unless you distinctly know your mom for using implication, I'd bet she was only thinking about the Schullers. Even if she did have your probable reaction in mind, she still would have been answering in regard to her perspective on this particular issue compartmentalized from the situation with you.

 

I'd just drop the bush beating and admit you want to talk about the letter.

 

This^^

 

My mother constantly interjects religious-style comments into our conversations, but most of the time it's rather obvious that she simply thinks that way. She just really doesn't see the world differently, and doesn't care enough about me or my views to make an effort to act differently around me. I've come to accept this, and getting riled up over it never helps.

 

If you want to address the letter, then it's probably time to do so. Chances are they are avoiding you and the topic for a variety of reasons, probably hoping for some sort of divine intervention on what they should.

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I agree with the recent comments. I simply saw this as your mother was in fact commenting about your letter directly since it's the first comment about apostasy since both of you expressing a desire do discuss said letter.

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Thanks for the replies.

 

For clarification, though, neither of us has said that we want to discuss the letter. Personally, I'd rather just go on without any religion related comments from either side.

 

(Before I sent the letter, when my mother knew I was writing one, she did say that I may get a letter in reply. Nothing like that has been said after they received the letter, though, and I have not received a letter of reply. I'm not surprised with that, though.)

 

Anyway, the general consensus I've received from several people on the matter is in agreement with my initial thought of not replying. It doesn't seem like something that would be profitable to get into at the moment. I just hope things go alright the next time I'm out there for a visit (I may take the family out over Thanksgiving weekend).

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First off, I want to say that you are INCREDIBLY brave. I'm a ways off from being able to confront my parents in such a manner.

 

I'll admit that your letter has actually given me some ammunition. I know the very basic stories of the Bible and am still struggling through it. I think it's all bullshit and knew there were contradictions, but never have had any interest in specifying them. I just find that I am incapable of believing all of this. Just as you said in your letter. It's not, "I don't like what it says so I'm going to do my own thing." It's more of a "This is stupid. Why would anyone believe this?"

 

I'm not horribly knowledegable about the Bible. I think it's because I consider reading it more of a "waste of time." To me it's just so obviously false. Reading it won't change anything and I just don't have the self-discipline to pick apart verses one-by-one. I admire your ability to do this!

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First off, I want to say that you are INCREDIBLY brave. I'm a ways off from being able to confront my parents in such a manner.

 

I wouldn't say that I'm all that brave. I stopped believing years ago and avoided the subject like the plague. It was only after they found out that I hadn't been going to church that I wrote and sent them the letter.

 

I'm not horribly knowledegable about the Bible. I think it's because I consider reading it more of a "waste of time." To me it's just so obviously false. Reading it won't change anything and I just don't have the self-discipline to pick apart verses one-by-one. I admire your ability to do this!

 

I agree that it's technically a waste of time. However, I was one of those Christians who actually did put a lot of time into reading the Bible and studying it (from the preconceived notion that it was absolute truth, of course). Having been raised in a Bible-thumping environment and then teaching Bible studies and Sunday school myself, sadly the Bible was the one thing that I had probably the most knowledge of. On the one hand I wish I had not wasted so much time on it over the years, but on the other hand I probably wouldn't have been able to write a letter like this if I hadn't spent so much time with the Bible.

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I just finished reading your letter after following the link from the post about Shelley Segal. Amazing! When I do come out to my parents, would it be alright if I presented the information that you've put in your letter? The arguements are much clearer than I would ever be able to explain. I'm not looking for confrontation from my parents only that I want them to know that I thought my decision out.

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Zephie, thanks for the kudos. If the points I've made would be helpful for you in your situation with your parents, then feel free to use them. I just wouldn't suggest copying directly and saying that you wrote it, since that would be dishonest and could come back to bite you in the ass later. But, sure, you could certainly use it as a guide to help form your own letter, or just show it to them as it is. Whatever you do, good luck!

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Zephie, thanks for the kudos. If the points I've made would be helpful for you in your situation with your parents, then feel free to use them. I just wouldn't suggest copying directly and saying that you wrote it, since that would be dishonest and could come back to bite you in the ass later. But, sure, you could certainly use it as a guide to help form your own letter, or just show it to them as it is. Whatever you do, good luck!

 

Nah, I wouldn't do that. It'll be a guide.

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Citsonga, have they still never mentioned the letter to you?

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Citsonga, have they still never mentioned the letter to you?

 

Not since acknowledging that they received it and asking me to read Proverbs again (which I mentioned in previous posts).

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Wow, if this letter has the power to get my mom to stop talking to me about god, I may have to print it out for her.

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Wow, if this letter has the power to get my mom to stop talking to me about god, I may have to print it out for her.

 

Well, I don't know your mom, so I won't promise anything, but you're welcome to do that if you want.

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Citsonga, have they still never mentioned the letter to you?

 

Not since acknowledging that they received it and asking me to read Proverbs again (which I mentioned in previous posts).

 

Hey Citsonga,

 

I have just read this thread for the first time. Almost 8 months now since you started it. At first you were very enthusiastic about the letter. As the months pass, we see your enthusiasm decrease gradually. Your last statement sounds quite depressing.

 

I am angry. You say your parents have not yet replied to your letter. Man! All the time you put into it, all for your parents. For them, hours and hours of energy, love, understanding. And no reply? How cruel! I'm angy and it's not even me. God, I hate your parents! Sorry but I'm so pissed at them. I could never do that to you, and I don't even know you. How could they do this to you? You put your heart on a plate, give it to them, and they ignore it.

 

Even if they didn't agree with your (dis)beliefs, at least they could acknowlege your effort at communicating with them, your intelligence, your knowledge of the Bible. Anything. Good Lord, this is so sad. Please do some bitching, something, not at them, pfft no! They don't deserve hearing from you. You can bitch at us, we're listening, and we'll reply, I garantee you.

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Hey Citsonga,

 

I have just read this thread for the first time. Almost 8 months now since you started it. At first you were very enthusiastic about the letter. As the months pass, we see your enthusiasm decrease gradually. Your last statement sounds quite depressing.

 

I am angry. You say your parents have not yet replied to your letter. Man! All the time you put into it, all for your parents. For them, hours and hours of energy, love, understanding. And no reply? How cruel! I'm angy and it's not even me. God, I hate your parents! Sorry but I'm so pissed at them. I could never do that to you, and I don't even know you. How could they do this to you? You put your heart on a plate, give it to them, and they ignore it.

 

Even if they didn't agree with your (dis)beliefs, at least they could acknowlege your effort at communicating with them, your intelligence, your knowledge of the Bible. Anything. Good Lord, this is so sad. Please do some bitching, something, not at them, pfft no! They don't deserve hearing from you. You can bitch at us, we're listening, and we'll reply, I garantee you.

 

Thanks for your concern. In reality, though, I'm glad that they've not been pushy on the subject. The main reason I went through the effort of writing such a detailed letter was to try to circumvent them pestering me to change my mind. It appears that for the most part I have achieved my goal.

 

Don't hate them. My parents are decent people. My dad can be a bit stubborn at times, but he's not hateful, and my mother is one of the kindest people you could meet. They helped my family out a lot a few years ago by lending us quite a chunk of money after we had a fire (to help cover extra renovations we decided to have done while the fire damage was being repaired, which went beyond what the insurance paid), which we paid back when a CD we had was due to cash out.

 

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how our visit goes this summer. The one thing that could still be an issue is the fact that I don't go to church, and I have no desire or intention to go when we're out there.

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Thanks for your concern. In reality, though, I'm glad that they've not been pushy on the subject. The main reason I went through the effort of writing such a detailed letter was to try to circumvent them pestering me to change my mind. It appears that for the most part I have achieved my goal.

 

I see. Yeah, it makes sense. If they ever try to change your mind, all you have to say is: "Didn't you read my letter?" If this letter saves you from being pestered for the rest of your life, then it was well worth the effort. Ok, I don't hate them anymore, I guess they have other ways to show their support. They might start worrying about your daughter's faith education, if you don't go to church, and become verbally pushy then. How old is your daughter? You're lucky they live 500 miles away. My mother-in-law is pushy about religion and she lives too close for comfort.

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My quote button isn't working.

 

I don't have a lot of faith that my mother is disciplined enough to get through this letter, she only like to read things she understands and agrees with. But I am thinking of writing my own letter & attaching yours. I am sick of answering her very rude, illogical questions.

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