I’m very lucky in that I wasn’t raised in a fundamentalist Christian family that believed and taught all of the horseshit so common to many families. (We were taught nicer, sweeter horseshit!) Yet, my mom and I periodically get into annoying conversations in which she makes claims such as “feeling” my dead grandmother’s presence or “knowing” there’s “something out there.” I’ve generally chosen not to engage, mainly because I generally just don’t want to fucking deal with it, but one day I probably will. Especially given what I said here. Luckily, my mom is an otherwise reasonable, compassionate, patient, and loving woman, so I’m confident that the conversation won’t be difficult the way that the converstions in this video are described.
Archive for April, 2011
It crossed my mind the other day that since I’ve been collecting de-conversion stories and working on my own, I’d neglected to even consider comedian Julia Sweeney’s story. This is especially neglectful on my part because I’ve seen her perform it live. Twice! Thus, to make up for my catastrophic error, following is part one, also linked on the De-Conversion Stories page, and a link to her site where you can buy the DVD/audio download.
I saw lots of greetings from lots of people on Facebook on Easter. One of them was this:
Fully receiving Easter heartedly and open hearted!!! =-D
Out of sincere curiosity and also because I usually feel compelled to question people on their beliefs, I responded with mainly questions as to what she meant by “fully receiving” Easter and doing so “open hearted.” I swear I wasn’t a dick. As I’d later explain to Pen, I honestly didn’t know what she’d meant by that.
There was lots of back and forth. She talked about the pursuit of “truth.” I pointed out that truth was not dependent on the point of view of the pursuer, but rather on the evidence. She mentioned “spirituality”, I asked her to define it. She mentioned that religion and spirituality deserve respect (not in reaction to me), I questioned that assertion and pointed out that both religion and spirituality promoted ignorance and violence. She pointed out that a conversation could only go so far when one party was a closed “receptor.” I asked her if she was calling me “closed” why she did so as I was merely asking questions. She didn’t respond.
Why haven’t I posted any of that?
She erased it all.
I’ve known Pen since high school. I like her a lot. She’s generally a very sweet lady. And what goes on her Facebook Wall or else where under her control is entirely up to her, but:
What the fuck??!!
One of the last things I’d mentioned was that confirmation of one’s beliefs didn’t equal validation. And she shut me up. Ha! She shut me up! My last post on the thread was this:
No worries–>This is my last on here. Just thought it was funny that you deleted our conversation. Kind of proves my point of the desire of confirmation rather than validation.
This has always been a frustration for me with the religious. They claim to be “open-minded” and to desire questions and to pursue truth. Yet, most often, when we approach them with sincere questions and requests of definition, this is what happens. The proverbial covering of the ears. This leads me to conclude that the religious are (sometimes) liars. They are NOT interested in open inquiry. I don’t know what kind of conversation or questioning they are interested in, but I suspect it’s little beyond, “How can I be exactly like you?”
This comes from Zinnia Jones, linked on the Atheist Videos page.
Full disclosure: my mom was a non-officer employee of The Salvation Army’s West Women’s and Children’s Shelter in northwest Portland for about 20 years (until they found a “legal” way of dismissing her, without severance or retirement*, due to her MS). During her tenure there, she had the at times unenviable position of publicly defending the Army while privately having huge concerns with them and their policies. She freely admitted privately that they’re a right-wing, fundamentalist, homophobic organization, but often claimed that despite all that, the Army “does a lot of good.” In fact, in many situations, she went so far as to claim that, in emergency situations, “The Army is often the first to arrive, the last to leave.” I can’t prove this true or false, so I won’t bother with it except to say that I always found her unwavering support of the organization a little baffling. It was a job, and I get that, but another bit of full disclosure:
My brother is gay. Read more »