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Working on a Deconversion


HuaiDan
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Last week, at one of the chinese elementary schools where I teach English, I was approached by one of the faculty members, a polite woman in her mid-30's who I thought might have had a crush on me but as it turns out her motives were entirely different than I had first expected. In the teachers' office, she showed me a traditional chinese sculpture of a turtle with several deities sitting on top of it. She mentioned, to paraphrase her broken English, that to clean the sculpture was to bring good luck. She then wanted to know the English term for such a practice. I could've said "ritual" or something of the like, but my mind was dulled from excessive partying the evening prior, so the only word that came to mind was "superstition". She then broke out her English dictionary to look it up, asking me if it was similar to "superman" or other words with the super- prefix. She appeared shocked when she learned the word's true meaning, and impatiently told me that it wasn't a superstition, that she truly believed in the power of good luck. Just as I was about to leave for the day, she asked me what church I go to, assuming that, because I'm an American, I must go to church. I told her frankly that I do not attend church, nor do I believe in god. At this comment she was dumbfounded, and I bid her goodbye for the day.

The following week, on Christmas Eve, she approached me in one of my classes and offered me what I thought was a Christmas card. How sweet, I thought, though I had a nagging suspicion of something lurking inside....

Suspicion confirmed. It was a religious tract (from whatever church she attended) proselytizing about the "true" meaning of Christmas, although it was in Chinese and almost completely unintelligeble to me. Included with the suspected tract was a small wooden cross keychain-style ornament. I only recognized it as a religious tract by its style and what appeared to be several direct quotes from the bible in Chinese. After having a friend look at it, my suspicion was again confirmed. For the first time in my life, I was being evangelized to by a chinese person!!!! Is there no place in the world far away enough from this nonsense? I politely saved it until I arrived home, where I promptly put it in its appropriate resting place in the circular file. After first venting some frustration on it, of course. Couldn't leave something like that lying around in one piece.

Yesterday (Christmas Day), she sent me a text message on my mobile (sms) wishing me a merry Christmas (thoughts appreciated) and also advising me not to inform the other faculty and staff at the school that she is a christian. She said she wants to save the children at the school from mistreatment at the hands of the "bad" staff members. Again, thoughts appreciated, and her secret is safe with me. But the battle for her mind is just beginning.

I had to think of something appropriate to respond to her, and today I sent her an sms stating (paraphrased again) that she should believe in herself, that praying to an imaginary god won't save one child, that good people such as herself must act appropriately, and that evil happens when good people do nothing. I told her one of the reasons I came to China was to escape the religious foolishness that was pushing my homeland back into the dark ages.Her reply: I'm so sorry to hear that. Why can't we share the earth? get along well with each other?

 

Oooooooohhh....It's on now sista. Gloves are off.

 

I told her(paraphrased again, my reply was quite lengthy but my mobile regrettably doesn't save my sent messages) to ask the palestinian kids throwing rocks at israeli tanks, to ask the victims of 9/11, why not ask Osama Bin Laden. I told her the world was at a crossroads between prosperity and crisis, and only rationality could guide us, not religious dogma. I told her my intentions were good and I am am trying to save her from the dangerous religious nonsense that is now in full swing raping her homeland.

No reply.

My next message to her: Let me ask you a question: Do you do good things because you know in your heart they are good, or do you do good things because you fear the anger of god if you do the wrong thing?

Her reply:I'm a new learner. I get much happiness from Jesus and love to send peace and joy to other people especially kids though I will not tell them my ID.

My reply: Your secret is safe with me. It's your choice. A bad choice, but your choice nonetheless.

 

I'm still thinking of some more words of wisdom, maybe targeting the fact that she said she's a new learner.

Any suggestions?

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My latest message to her:

My advice: get out of the church before your mind is completely ruined. Only wisdom and action can save the children.What religious people call "wisdom", the bible, is thousands of years old and not fit for our time. Joy and peace are only the cover of the book. What's in its pages is horrible, bloody, hateful fear. READ THE BIBLE!! you will learn what I am saying is true. You are an educator, so I know you must be a very smart!

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A bit too heavy handed for my taste.

 

When I deal with Christians bent on my conversion (which, thankfully, isn't very often), I prefer not to destroy their faith. Rather, I put before them evidence and arguments that gives them one of two options: keep their faith, but modify it to be more in line with the world as it is, or abandon it as I did. The first, I have noticed, quite often leads to the second eventually.

 

That said, I don't have a problem with Christianity as a whole, really, and I think it benefits at least as many as it harms.

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I'm still thinking of some more words of wisdom, maybe targeting the fact that she said she's a new learner.

Any suggestions?

 

 

Good for you,

 

I hate to see them swarm over China too...

I have lots and lots of material,

 

but, in this case,

 

tell her to look at America

the President of the United States is a born again christian

and though he has a shiny car, big house and lots of money

 

he is a stupid man

and he has invaded another country, savagely destroying them for oil, money and power

 

maybe a chinese woman could see it better if she looked at the american christians

or maybe Africa, evangelists have been pouring it out there for years

 

and the death toll is enormous, famine, war, death disease

 

yes, the lure of love, and extended family, a merciful god and miraculous healing is appealing

 

you have to look at reality

 

and beg her not to give her mind and body to them

as the Americans have

 

thanks for your work with her

 

Beverly

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HuaiDan... please don't try to pull this woman away from her faith. you've made your choice - and even if you feel like you've saved yourself from "superstition," it's not right to try to "disillusion" other people.

 

 

So....when christians try to convert us, it's perfectly fine, but when we try

to "convert" christians, it's perfectly horrible? How does that shoe

feel, being on the other foot?

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HuaiDan

What religious people call "wisdom", the bible, is thousands of years old and not fit for our time. Joy and peace are only the cover of the book. What's in its pages is horrible, bloody, hateful fear. READ THE BIBLE!! you will learn what I am saying is true.

 

RuthHuaiDan... please don't try to pull this woman away from her faith. you've made your choice - and even if you feel like you've saved yourself from "superstition," it's not right to try to "disillusion" other people.

 

Oh the irony!

 

Yes. Lets not disillusion some poor dupe by suggesting to them that they read the bible first before making a decision about the xian religion. Why...that would be honest and we can't have that. As we all know the only legitimate way to evangelize is to first only tell only half truths about jesus while playing on peoples emotions through threats and bribes on a persons soul. Get them hooked first before there is any chance of them reading the whole bible.

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you don't understand what I'm trying to say - this woman wants to help hauidan by trying in her inexperienced way to show him life eternal (which he has already glimpsed and rejected); he in response is attempting to convince her to turn away from this faith - which even if it did nothing else, gives people hope to live by on earth.

 

This whole attitude makes me think of the maxim "misery loves company." Y'all don't believe in a loving God - and you seem bound and determined that no one else should.

 

By the way, the woman should read her Bible. I'm not saying she shouldn't.

 

Um, listen, Ruth. Where did you get the idea that we are miserable? I thought you said you came in here with no preconceived notions and just wanted to learn about us? You don't need God to have hope. It's bullshit, and so is your belief.

 

HuaiDan... please don't try to pull this woman away from her faith. you've made your choice - and even if you feel like you've saved yourself from "superstition," it's not right to try to "disillusion" other people.

 

But it's alright to spread lies and deceit.

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you don't understand what I'm trying to say - this woman wants to help hauidan by trying in her inexperienced way to show him life eternal (which he has already glimpsed and rejected); he in response is attempting to convince her to turn away from this faith - which even if it did nothing else, gives people hope to live by on earth.

 

Ruth, take a step away for a moment and look crically at what you're saying, forget the concept of 'life eternal' or anything else for a moment. Strip away the dogma, and get to the core of the issue for a moment.

 

You're saying it's okay for her to try to convert, but not for him. Ruth, while I'm sure you don't mean it that way, nor are you trying to be, but that's hypocritical.

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This whole attitude makes me think of the maxim "misery loves company."

Nah, I wasn't feeling too miserable this morning as I drove to work in my expensive German luxury car to my high paying professional job. In fact I was feeling pretty damn good. But go figure, while at a red light I looked in the ratty car next to me to see a pathetic 400 lb woman desperately stuffing Taco Bell cheese nachos from in her face, and guess what she had on her bumper? Yep you guessed it.....a Jesus fish! And i've gotta think that a poor obese Christian woman craming nachos in her mouth at 7:30 in the morning has got bigger problems than me any day.

 

Y'all don't believe in a loving God - and you seem bound and determined that no one else should.

I could care less, if people want to be poor obese nacho-eating slobs that believe in God, then let 'em.

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HuaiDan

What religious people call "wisdom", the bible, is thousands of years old and not fit for our time. Joy and peace are only the cover of the book. What's in its pages is horrible, bloody, hateful fear. READ THE BIBLE!! you will learn what I am saying is true.

 

RuthHuaiDan... please don't try to pull this woman away from her faith. you've made your choice - and even if you feel like you've saved yourself from "superstition," it's not right to try to "disillusion" other people.

 

Oh the irony!

 

Yes. Lets not disillusion some poor dupe by suggesting to them that they read the bible first before making a decision about the xian religion. Why...that would be honest and we can't have that. As we all know the only legitimate way to evangelize is to first only tell only half truths about jesus while playing on peoples emotions through threats and bribes on a persons soul. Get them hooked first before there is any chance of them reading the whole bible.

 

 

you don't understand what I'm trying to say - this woman wants to help hauidan by trying in her inexperienced way to show him life eternal (which he has already glimpsed and rejected); he in response is attempting to convince her to turn away from this faith - which even if it did nothing else, gives people hope to live by on earth.

 

This whole attitude makes me think of the maxim "misery loves company." Y'all don't believe in a loving God - and you seem bound and determined that no one else should.

 

By the way, the woman should read her Bible. I'm not saying she shouldn't.

Yea. But folks rarely even know anything about the bible before they choose xianity. Yet they are pressured before they even know what they are getting into. She is a victim in that regard. People are either brainwashed or emotionaly manuevered into the religion before having a real knowlege of what all is in the bible.

 

Also, just because I'm atheist don't mean I am against people believing in a loving god. There are only three holy books that I am against. That I feel are harmful. The tanach, the bible and the qu'ran. I hate those three holybooks. I have nothing really against buddhism, taoism, jainism, paganism, some of the native American spiritual beliefs..there are others...

 

Its just bible god that I have a problem with. The bible teaches not just good ethics, but also bad ethics. A god breathed book should never be such a mixed bag like the bible is.

 

Also to descriminate based on emotions instead of reason...which is what the bibles definition of faith is...is dangerous. Faith gives people the ability to fly planes into buildings.

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you don't understand what I'm trying to say - this woman wants to help hauidan by trying in her inexperienced way to show him life eternal (which he has already glimpsed and rejected); he in response is attempting to convince her to turn away from this faith - which even if it did nothing else, gives people hope to live by on earth.

 

This whole attitude makes me think of the maxim "misery loves company." Y'all don't believe in a loving God - and you seem bound and determined that no one else should.

 

By the way, the woman should read her Bible. I'm not saying she shouldn't.

 

 

So....you're saying that we should shut up and play nice while

you and your fellow christlings roam the countryside, duping

the unwary into your cancerous, deluded death cult? Dream

on, lady!

 

If any christling decides to evangelize me, I reserve the right

to do a bit of counter-evangelization of my own. Never

evangelize an Ex-C'er unless you're prepared to deal

with return fire!

 

Grrrrrr....I wasn't "miserable" at all until I read your steaming

load of sanctimonious bullcrap......

 

:vent:

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I'm thinking about backing off of this mission. I strongly condemn the evangelistic efforts of missionaries in China, and I hope the hardliners crack down on those mutherfuckers. They are most definitly not welcome here by the majority, and the are a threat to chinese culture. What I'm afraid of is the Chinese are very tolerant of outsiders and hesitant to inform those that have overstayed their welcome.

However, this woman claims that religion saved her life. SHe says she was feeling suicidal until she found Jesus several years ago. ugh.

While I want to halt the spread of christianity (I've become almost militant in my dedication to ridding the world of this plague, this cancer), I can't bring myself to kicking out the last pillar that's keeping this woman from self destruction. If it makes her happy, so be it. She already told me she wants to keep it a secret.

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SHe says she was feeling suicidal until she found Jesus several years ago. ugh.

 

I really see a lot of irony here, HuaiDan. I wrote a little bit on another thread about this sort of thing. My oldest brother was suicidal until he QUIT christianity.

 

If it makes her happy, so be it. She already told me she wants to keep it a secret.

 

I hate to be the odd man out here, but I would tend to agree that dropping it might be best in this particular case. If she is really this much of an emotional wreck, then it might be best to let her continue the delusion... I hope you read my post on the other thread; it somewhat explains my reasoning. I believe religion is a crutch, but it can have its upsides. Since she is a relatively new convert, and she attributes her new sense of well-being to her religious conversion, it might be possible to redirect her. You might consider telling her a little about Buhhdism; one of the 4 basic tenets is that the pain in life comes from the burden of expectations. She wouldn't have to give up jesus, and it might help her grow a little emotionally. At least Buhhdism tries to teach you how to deal with that pain, rather than the x-ian take on brainwashing it out of you... our own little Ruth I believe summed up perfectly the brainwashing of christian evangelism: it's okay when we do it, but wrong for anyone else (and yet is utterly clueless why she's being hypocritical). That statement takes a special kind of ignorance; its not exclusive to christianity by any means, but I never fail to be impressed how evangelicals are so freaking PROUD of it!

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it might be possible to redirect her. You might consider telling her a little about Buhhdism; one of the 4 basic tenets is that the pain in life comes from the burden of expectations.

Brilliant!

Forgive my ignorance, especially for one living in China, but what are the other three?

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HuaiDan... please don't try to pull this woman away from her faith. you've made your choice - and even if you feel like you've saved yourself from "superstition," it's not right to try to "disillusion" other people.

 

Ruth, if you are right, the holy spook will gird this woman's faith and nothing Dan says or does can touch her. If we are right, then she and China will be better off without the death cult mentality of xtianity warping their critical thinking skills.

 

which even if it did nothing else, gives people hope to live by on earth

 

Oh no Ruth, it does much more than that. It enslaves people in a mentality of fear and hope and love come in the form of the Stockholm Syndrom. China and this poor woman will be far better off in the world of reality as would you.

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................

Grrrrrr....I wasn't "miserable" at all until I read your steaming

load of sanctimonious bullcrap......

 

:vent:

:lmao: Hey, GoD! Check THIS out. My reply to Sadie about why we get pissed at Christians.

 

Looks like you've been pulled out of your "comfort" zone! :lmao:

 

Hey! Does anyone remember where that thread is, from a few weeks ago, on this same subject? About whether or not it was right for us to "evangelize" our unbelief, and thus destroy someone's faith? I think we came to some wise conclusions that need to be unearthed.

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Brilliant!

Forgive my ignorance, especially for one living in China, but what are the other three?

 

Hi again HuaiDan

 

you might want to do a couple google searches (my memory is pretty full of holes) but I believe the other three are 1) nothing is permanent (fixed). 2) All actions have consequences. and 3) Change is possible... I've seen and heard of them kind of being mixed around depending on who you are talking to, but all of them pretty much work strictly towards the goal of "self-actualization" (internal) rather than "redeemption" (external).

 

We have a few buhhdists here on ex-c that could tell you much more than me, it's been a few years since I did any real study on the subject. I just know that Buhhdism is one of the few organized religions that I actually have a LOT of respect for! They sure beat the hell out of the "brainwashing" crowd...

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My latest message to her:

My advice: get out of the church before your mind is completely ruined. Only wisdom and action can save the children.What religious people call "wisdom", the bible, is thousands of years old and not fit for our time. Joy and peace are only the cover of the book. What's in its pages is horrible, bloody, hateful fear. READ THE BIBLE!! you will learn what I am saying is true. You are an educator, so I know you must be a very smart!

 

It will more easy to deconvert it since she is woman. The bible is a patriachal system. Any self respecting woman wouldn't tolerate nonsense against her

 

You can send her this link

 

Lord... Test My Wife, Please!

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you don't understand what I'm trying to say - this woman wants to help hauidan by trying in her inexperienced way to show him life eternal (which he has already glimpsed and rejected); he in response is attempting to convince her to turn away from this faith - which even if it did nothing else, gives people hope to live by on earth.

 

This whole attitude makes me think of the maxim "misery loves company." Y'all don't believe in a loving God - and you seem bound and determined that no one else should.

 

By the way, the woman should read her Bible. I'm not saying she shouldn't.

 

It's pure Emotionalism.

 

When I used to talk to people about these issues year ago, the question was "If you destroy someone illusion, WHAT do you have to REPLACE it with?"

 

I found that answer in the early 90s, Wayne Dyer's books and wisdom. But that requires one to seek on their own, can only show the way, the rest is up to them, right?

 

Even still... look in a mirror... if a person is heading down an illusionary path, shouldn't you tell him?

 

If a person is walking towards a cliff, shouldn't you tell him? Isn't that what was recently asked? Two way streets exist

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Ruth, Christianity is a cult. If a friend of yours joined Scientology, would you not try to get them out? He is doing what a good friend should do -- get the people he cares about out of a cult that brainwashes people.

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