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Article Sent By Grandparents


Wings
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Hi all,

just got this little gem in the mail from my grandparents. It's an article they clipped out of their local paper and sent to me with the note, "we wanted you to read this."

 

My grandparents are good people and I don't want to cause any trouble. They have never broached the topic with me before (I left "the church" in March) and for the record NO one in my family has asked me what I do/don't believe and I haven't labeled myself an atheist or talked about it with them much less tried to debate/convince anyone of anything.

 

Looking for your thoughts on this Letter to the Editor itself and/or how I should respond to my grandparents. FYI, they've been of the few to keep interacting with me and my grandfather has been sick lately, so I don't want to be alienating or unkind but I feel like I need to respond.

 

Letter to the Editor: Reader Questions Motivation of Atheists

 

"I'm writing in response to the letter regarding the debate recently held at the Pines. <local high school>

"Whenever I see where the atheists are debating with the Christians, I always find myself asking the same questions.

If Jesus Christ is as insignificant as they say He is, why do they spend so much time trying to convince everyone that he doesn't exist?

In their eyes, why would it matter? Could it be that they're not sure?

Is that why they so diligently try to prove their position, hoping to grasp some measure of truth?

Why do they try to convince us that the power of God is just a myth, if "not believing" has no consequences?

There's one thing I know for sure. You can twist the truth, but the one thing you cannot do is "change" the truth. It is what I believe. It is what it is. God said it and I believe it. It really is that simple.

The one thing the world needs to know is that you will never prove the existence or non-existence of God using human means, for God is not "perceived" in the mind. He is "conceived" in the heart. Salvation is an inward working by God alone. All that is required of us is to be willing to believe."

-Writer

 

Thoughts?

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Guest Valk0010

Dear writer of that letter to the editor, your a dishonest deluded fool.

 

Seriously, we debate the question cause its interesting and we want to know if were wrong.

 

And they say, love the lord god with all your heart soul and mind iirc, so of course you have to use rationality to ensure loving him with the mind.

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Sounds like they are just worried about you. My grandfather, the xian one, kind of took the same approach with me after I stopped going to church. He wrote me a letter urging me to keep up the faith and to give church another chance. I thought I owed it to him to be honest, but at the same time, I didn't want to be harsh, so I wrote him back explaining that because he and my parents raised me to seek truth and honor integrity, that I couldn't justify denying my doubts, but that I respected and loved him. He never broached the topic with me again.

 

Consider yourself lucky that your family still loves you and respects you despite your unbelief. I've seen some horror stories from others on this site that haven't been so lucky. In short, if you do decide to reply, keep your response respectful and don't go into detail where you are at. Sometimes it's just better that way as there are far more important things in life than what you believe regarding the god question. :)

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Sounds like they are just worried about you. My grandfather, the xian one, kind of took the same approach with me after I stopped going to church. He wrote me a letter urging me to keep up the faith and to give church another chance. I thought I owed it to him to be honest, but at the same time, I didn't want to be harsh, so I wrote him back explaining that because he and my parents raised me to seek truth and honor integrity, that I couldn't justify denying my doubts, but that I respected and loved him. He never broached the topic with me again.

 

Consider yourself lucky that your family still loves you and respects you despite your unbelief. I've seen some horror stories from others on this site that haven't been so lucky. In short, if you do decide to reply, keep your response respectful and don't go into detail where you are at. Sometimes it's just better that way as there are far more important things in life than what you believe regarding the god question. smile.png

 

Thanks for your response Vigile. That's what I have in mind. Most of my extended family HAS basically disowned me, so that's why I don't want to alienate my grandparents. I know they've stuck up for me. However, I also know that they have been getting their info from rumours so I do feel that I need to respond somehow. I respect that it comes from love (from them) and less from "looks"... I like the message that you sent your grandfather. I might try that. Thanks!

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Dear writer of that letter to the editor, your a dishonest deluded fool.

 

Seriously, we debate the question cause its interesting and we want to know if were wrong.

 

And they say, love the lord god with all your heart soul and mind iirc, so of course you have to use rationality to ensure loving him with the mind.

 

Agree with you and Florduh... responding to my grandparents is one thing, responding to that letter is another altogether. Basically it's like, "I'm in denial!" I think my grandparents just happened to see it in the paper and wanted to send something because they weren't sure what to say... it's a lot of Christianese which is kind of crazy-making these days.

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Guest Valk0010

Dear writer of that letter to the editor, your a dishonest deluded fool.

 

Seriously, we debate the question cause its interesting and we want to know if were wrong.

 

And they say, love the lord god with all your heart soul and mind iirc, so of course you have to use rationality to ensure loving him with the mind.

 

Agree with you and Florduh... responding to my grandparents is one thing, responding to that letter is another altogether. Basically it's like, "I'm in denial!" I think my grandparents just happened to see it in the paper and wanted to send something because they weren't sure what to say... it's a lot of Christianese which is kind of crazy-making these days.

Well I had a kneejerk reaction with my first line. The other two are probably what I would say if I was responding.
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Basically what Florduh said.

 

If they lived in Afghanistan, would they try to debate Muslims to make them see the error of their ways, or let them be?

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If it were me, I'd simply have a conversation with them about it. Though I guess not everyone is as ok as I am with discussing the topic openly.

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I see a bit of hypocrisy going on here, and it's the type that bothers me a lot in my life. Christians are allowed -neigh, commanded to share their beliefs with others. But, if an atheist attempts to share his or her beliefs, then it's viewed as an attack. The author references a debate at a school. So, it sounds like the atheists were invited to share their opinions. But, this author is bothered by atheists talking about atheism. How many atheists are ringing doorbells to share the message of non-belief? Even at the end of the letter, there's a bit of a sharing their faith going on, which seems to be saying, I don't like it when you talk about your beliefs, but here's what I believe.

 

And, to take it one step further, this was sent to you by your grandparents, for what purpose? The letter is saying, please don't share your beliefs with me. Is that their intent? or Is it more that they think the author's declaration of faith was something you needed to hear? If this was me, and I was in the right mood, I'd send a really good atheist book such as, The Demon Haunted World to my grandparents with a note saying, "I thought you should read this."

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The reason we heathens argue with Xians is the Xians try to convert us, and we don't like being told we're going to hell. Also because some Xians constantly remind people that they are Washed In The Blood. It's annoying.

 

If the elect are so sure of their beliefs, why are they always pushing it on us? They could just figure that the holy truth defends itself.

 

Like florduh said, it's because they won't leave us alone.

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Perhaps something along the lines of this (using your own words of course since you know them):

 

"Christianity is fine for some people, and for you [grand parents], it looks like it's been a good thing, so I would never try to take that away from you. For others like me who think a little differently it's not OK. It's emotionally and psychologically damaging for anyone to try to hold on to a belief that their mind just can't accept any longer. Perhaps atheists are just trying to help those people."

 

:shrug:

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Perhaps something along the lines of this (using your own words of course since you know them):

 

"Christianity is fine for some people, and for you [grand parents], it looks like it's been a good thing, so I would never try to take that away from you. For others like me who think a little differently it's not OK. It's emotionally and psychologically damaging for anyone to try to hold on to a belief that their mind just can't accept any longer. Perhaps atheists are just trying to help those people."

 

Wendyshrug.gif

 

Thanks J, I like that!

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I'm not sure what the best approach would be for you with your grandparents, since that's a personal thing. I do have a few thoughts about the letter, though.

 

"I'm writing in response to the letter regarding the debate recently held at the Pines. <local high school>

 

A good, healthy debate isn't a bad thing.

 

"Whenever I see where the atheists are debating with the Christians, I always find myself asking the same questions.

If Jesus Christ is as insignificant as they say He is, why do they spend so much time trying to convince everyone that he doesn't exist?

 

Gee, I don't know, how about the fact that we'd be better off believing things that are true instead of following superstitious dogma? And how about the fact that for some it's an interesting topic to discuss?

 

And what if it was Islam that was being debated, rather than Christianity? Would spending time trying to convince someone that Islam isn't true be a reason to suggest that it really is divine?

 

In their eyes, why would it matter? Could it be that they're not sure?

 

If presenting one's views in a debate means the individual is unsure, then what does that say about the Christians presenting their views in debates?

 

Is that why they so diligently try to prove their position, hoping to grasp some measure of truth?

 

Is that why the Christians do it?

 

Why do they try to convince us that the power of God is just a myth, if "not believing" has no consequences?

 

That's an incoherent question, since what atheists debate against is not the "not believing," but rather the believing. Believing ancient mythology has plenty of consequences.

 

There's one thing I know for sure. You can twist the truth, but the one thing you cannot do is "change" the truth. It is what I believe. It is what it is.

 

I agree. Christian apologists have done a lot of twisting for many generations.

 

God said it and I believe it. It really is that simple.

 

Believing is one thing, but anyone can claim that God said something. The burden of proof is on you to prove it. Merely asserting it doesn't prove it.

 

The one thing the world needs to know is that you will never prove the existence or non-existence of God using human means, for God is not "perceived" in the mind.

 

Then why don't you chide the Christians for trying to do exactly that? Why attack the atheists when you believe that the Christians are wasting their time with debates?

 

He is "conceived" in the heart. Salvation is an inward working by God alone. All that is required of us is to be willing to believe."

 

Hold on. Belief is in the mind, so you can't have it both ways. Besides, what about all the people who tried desperately to believe, but simply couldn't? And what about those of us who did believe, some for many, many years, only to later find out that it's merely mythology? We were completely willing to believe, but reality trumped desire.

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"Why do Christians meet once or twice a week and spend so much time reminding each other what to believe? Could it be that they're not sure? Is that why they so endlessly repeat their position, trying to convince themselves it has some thread of truth? Why do they have to keep telling each other that the power of God isn't just a myth, if it's so obvious?"

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There was a time I could've written that same letter. I genuinely did not understand.

 

Now I understand. Christianity is a destructive entity that ruins lives and fosters bigotry, abuse, war and oppression and the belief in Jesus Christ is the core belief. Shatter that and the walls come crashing down around them. We don't believe in Christ, but those crazy enough to believe should be proven otherwise, for the good of humanity.

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"Why do Christians meet once or twice a week and spend so much time reminding each other what to believe? Could it be that they're not sure? Is that why they so endlessly repeat their position, trying to convince themselves it has some thread of truth? Why do they have to keep telling each other that the power of God isn't just a myth, if it's so obvious?"

 

I tried to write something like this earlier and lost it on my iPad. You (re)wrote it much, much better than I could have. Perfect!

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Yeah, that whole article reeks of someone seeking validation for their own beliefs. I don't think the author has a clue what it's like on the other side of the fence. He or she is probably suffering from the persecution complex that so many Christians "suffer" from.

 

A lot of Christians really think that all atheists actually believe in God deep down. Maybe your grandparents think you just need some sort of reminder to get you back into the fold.

 

I wouldn't push the debate with your grandparents. They obviously love you very much, and it would probably just cause them stress if you pushed it. I would just thank them for the article, maybe make a non-confrontational comment about how you're still seeking, and try to leave it behind you. I'm sure you know the best way to handle it, though.

 

My grandfather passed away almost exactly a year ago, and my grandmother is quite the fundy. I love her and don't want her to spend the last few years of her life thinking I'm going to hell, so if I can avoid it, she will never know. Fortunately, we never went to the same church, and it's pretty easy for me to deflect any questions or comments about my religion (and she's not one to pry). I love the woman, and would walk through glass before i'd cause her pain.

 

Anyway, I feel for your situation, Wings. I'm pretty lucky in that there's enough distance from my family that I never had to make any major life changes when I deconverted. I'll probably come out to them one of these days, but I'd rather wait until my grandmother passes on, because I know a few relatives who would blab to her out of "concern".

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Hi all,

just got this little gem in the mail from my grandparents. It's an article they clipped out of their local paper and sent to me with the note, "we wanted you to read this."

 

My grandparents are good people and I don't want to cause any trouble. They have never broached the topic with me before (I left "the church" in March) and for the record NO one in my family has asked me what I do/don't believe and I haven't labeled myself an atheist or talked about it with them much less tried to debate/convince anyone of anything.

 

Looking for your thoughts on this Letter to the Editor itself and/or how I should respond to my grandparents. FYI, they've been of the few to keep interacting with me and my grandfather has been sick lately, so I don't want to be alienating or unkind but I feel like I need to respond.

 

Letter to the Editor: Reader Questions Motivation of Atheists

 

"I'm writing in response to the letter regarding the debate recently held at the Pines. <local high school>

"Whenever I see where the atheists are debating with the Christians, I always find myself asking the same questions.

If Jesus Christ is as insignificant as they say He is, why do they spend so much time trying to convince everyone that he doesn't exist?

The prime directive of Christianity is to expand and dominate.

When faced with aggressive behavior, it shouldn't be too surprising that non-believers would respond.

 

In their eyes, why would it matter? Could it be that they're not sure?

It would matter only to the extent that some fanatical followers of "Jesus" want to impose their religious baggage on others.

 

Is that why they so diligently try to prove their position, hoping to grasp some measure of truth?

Why do they try to convince us that the power of God is just a myth, if "not believing" has no consequences?

It's not the consequences of believing that's the issue, it's the consequences of having a secular society, which isn't supposed to establish any state religion, being co-opted by fanatics that want to base all aspects of life on their worldview.

 

There's one thing I know for sure. You can twist the truth, but the one thing you cannot do is "change" the truth. It is what I believe. It is what it is. God said it and I believe it. It really is that simple.

Sadly, it isn't really that simple.

A picture of an apple isn't an actual apple.

The simple minded are often seduced by simple solutions, myths, and candy-coated salvation, where a magical sky-man will solve your problems if you turn your life over to him.

Naturally, all this talk about "God said it" and "truth" begs the question of actually establishing that this "God" exists and how it came to be that the writings of male clerics represent "truth".

The believer simply assumes a conclusion and then bases all arguments around that premise.

Anybody can do that, including Muslims, Hindus, new age gurus, etc.

Asserting is always easy, while demonstrating and establishing are much more difficult.

 

The one thing the world needs to know is that you will never prove the existence or non-existence of God using human means, for God is not "perceived" in the mind. He is "conceived" in the heart. Salvation is an inward working by God alone. All that is required of us is to be willing to believe."-Writer

This is a prime example of Christian elitist thinking.

The "world needs to know" what Christians know.

 

Believing cannot make this version of "God" any more real than a fishermen can make a living cutting out pictures of big fish, believing them to be actual fish, and taking them to market to sell.

Reality has a nasty way of throwing cold water on wishful thinking.

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Just thank them for your concern and tell them that you are complete in your spiritual journey, and that spirituality is a private matter.

 

It worked on my idiot boss, anyway.

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"Why do Christians meet once or twice a week and spend so much time reminding each other what to believe? Could it be that they're not sure? Is that why they so endlessly repeat their position, trying to convince themselves it has some thread of truth? Why do they have to keep telling each other that the power of God isn't just a myth, if it's so obvious?"

 

Very well said, brief and to the point.

 

By the way, for much of my childhood my family was in church THREE times a week!

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Guest Valk0010

"Why do Christians meet once or twice a week and spend so much time reminding each other what to believe? Could it be that they're not sure? Is that why they so endlessly repeat their position, trying to convince themselves it has some thread of truth? Why do they have to keep telling each other that the power of God isn't just a myth, if it's so obvious?"

 

Very well said, brief and to the point.

 

By the way, for much of my childhood my family was in church THREE times a week!

Well no wonder it stuck with you for so long.
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"Why do Christians meet once or twice a week and spend so much time reminding each other what to believe? Could it be that they're not sure? Is that why they so endlessly repeat their position, trying to convince themselves it has some thread of truth? Why do they have to keep telling each other that the power of God isn't just a myth, if it's so obvious?"

 

Very well said, brief and to the point.

 

By the way, for much of my childhood my family was in church THREE times a week!

Well no wonder it stuck with you for so long.

 

Yep, it's a shame that my life was wasted on that nonsense for three decades, but the indoctrination was quite excessive and difficult to see through.

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"Why do Christians meet once or twice a week and spend so much time reminding each other what to believe? Could it be that they're not sure? Is that why they so endlessly repeat their position, trying to convince themselves it has some thread of truth? Why do they have to keep telling each other that the power of God isn't just a myth, if it's so obvious?"

 

Very well said, brief and to the point.

 

By the way, for much of my childhood my family was in church THREE times a week!

Well no wonder it stuck with you for so long.

 

Yep, it's a shame that my life was wasted on that nonsense for three decades, but the indoctrination was quite excessive and difficult to see through.

 

Citsonga, I feel you there! So glad you made it out :)

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"Why do Christians meet once or twice a week and spend so much time reminding each other what to believe? Could it be that they're not sure? Is that why they so endlessly repeat their position, trying to convince themselves it has some thread of truth? Why do they have to keep telling each other that the power of God isn't just a myth, if it's so obvious?"

 

Very well said, brief and to the point.

 

By the way, for much of my childhood my family was in church THREE times a week!

 

Yeah, me too. It was hell. The only way I could get out of it was to play sick.

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