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RATFINKROB's Photo RATFINKROB SparkPoints: (0)
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4/6/11 9:55 A

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I have some bitter feeling toward religion, but as I have gotten older and have been an atheist for over 30 years. I find myself more tolerant of religious people I meet in social setting. I normally just change the subject or laugh them off. Now if you come to my house uninvited and want to take my time to preach to me. You should just expect to be openly mocked. I normally start by answering the door and yelling to my wife I'll get it it's just the used god salesman. This seems to put them off their game. The conversation can go several different ways after that. Some days I just tell them that I'm an atheist and that they are a moron that believes in invisible sky people. If I am feeling adventures I will pick one of the thousands of gods from mythology and try to convert them by spewing even crazier nonsense than them. One day I told the poor guy that came to the door that I worship the dark lord Lucifer and invited him into the house. As he stepped in I told him to start praying to his god and then when he is done we should fight to the death to see who has the stronger god. You have never seen a man run out a door so fast in your life. Man christians can be fun.

That went on a little longer than I intended.

Rob

I've found without question that the best way to lead others to a more plant-based diet is by example - to lead with your fork, not your mouth. ~Bernie Wilke
STORMY724's Photo STORMY724 Posts: 4,925
4/1/11 7:29 A

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If you can't fit it in your budget now, you might want to check the website now & then. You can listen to podcasts of the FFRF's weekly radio show there ---among other things.

FFRF's Dan Barker appeared at a local Unitarian Church a few weeks ago, so I went to a Sunday service for the first time in about 40 years. I actually like the Unitarians ---they accept people of all faiths or no faith at all ---but I admit the service was just too much like "church" for me. What I found most objectionable was their responsive readings ---the leader reading something from the hymnal and the congregation reading a response in unison. It reminded me of the scene in Life of Brian when Brian is telling everyone he is not the messiah and that they're all individuals and don't need to follow him ---then they all say in unison, "Yes, we are all individuals."

For an organization like the Unitarians who advocate freedom of thought, reading a printed response seems to fly in the face of that freedom ---so compliant, follow-the-leader, conventional, robot-like ---like lemmings unthinkingly joining in.

But I did enjoy Dan's talk about the FFRF's case against the National Day of Prayer which was won in the lower court, but was appealed. It is now in a district court in Chicago and has been assigned to several very religious judges, so he is not optimistic about that court upholding the ruling. If the FFRF does win, and it is appealed to the Supreme Court, he thinks there is little chance of a win there, with 7 of the 9 judges being super religious.

'I still have an insane drive to create and express myself and it'll never stop because I don't know how to stop it.' ---Graham Nash

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RENAE1979's Photo RENAE1979 SparkPoints: (198)
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3/24/11 10:09 A

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I love FFRF too!! They are a great group. I need to rejoin as soon as I can fit it in my budget.

~ Be good for goodness sake
~ Question Everything!


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STORMY724's Photo STORMY724 Posts: 4,925
3/20/11 6:38 A

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To RACINGSLUG

You said: "My problem is not when people look to God for guidance, it's when they presume to speak with the authority of God."

You might enjoy a song by Holly Lear:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GEJx8cYnU
uE&feature=related
The lyrics include, "I ain't afraid of your praying; I'm afraid of what you do in the name of your god." Catchy tune, too.

Edited by: STORMY724 at: 3/20/2011 (06:38)
'I still have an insane drive to create and express myself and it'll never stop because I don't know how to stop it.' ---Graham Nash

(Photo: Parque das Aves, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil 8/24/11)


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STORMY724's Photo STORMY724 Posts: 4,925
2/7/11 3:32 A

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URLEEC ---
I was a member of the FFRF almost from the beginning, but I let my membership lapse (when my husband got laid off and we had to save every penny.) When the religious right got me angry, I rejoined. My favorite section of the FFRF newspaper is the crank mail. All those "good" Christians who are supposed to "love" their neighbors and enemies and claim no one can be moral without Jesus, send the most appalling messages, hoping nonbelievers die horrible deaths. They swear and use the most horrendous language (let alone grammar and spelling.) They claim to be good Americans, but when it comes to the freedom of religion, everyone is free to believe, as long as they are in agreement with the writer. There are days when Sweden looks inviting to me ---except in the winter, of course.

"Man is a Religious Animal. He is the only Religious Animal. He is the only animal that has the True Religion--several of them. He is the only animal that loves his neighbor as himself and cuts his throat if his theology isn't straight. He has made a graveyard of the globe in trying his honest best to smooth his brother's path to happiness and heaven." ---Mark Twain

'I still have an insane drive to create and express myself and it'll never stop because I don't know how to stop it.' ---Graham Nash

(Photo: Parque das Aves, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil 8/24/11)


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URLEEC's Photo URLEEC SparkPoints: (0)
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2/6/11 9:33 A

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Hey Stormy724, I'm a proud card carrying member of the Freedom From religion Foundation too! I love that group.
Isn't it funny how the wishes of god always seem to coinside with the wishes of the person doing the talking?


To have a meaningful life, plant trees under whose shade you will never sit.


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STORMY724's Photo STORMY724 Posts: 4,925
2/5/11 5:50 A

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It seems to me that there are a disproportionate number of people on SparkPeople who have to show their religious bents by putting Bible verses and religious messages in their "signatures" or in the texts of posts on message boards.

Most of the people I know don't feel that they must grab every possible opportunity to broadcast their religious views. Why do so many do it here?

But, of course, I am an advocate of free speech, so I don't comment about it on that message board or post a reply to that person about it.

There was one message asking what everyone was reading ---yet the person who asked the question and started the thread never answered the question herself, just posted a book icon along with the same religious message 40+ times every day for weeks on end. What's with that? She was the only one I ever reported for inappropriate use of message boards ---whether a religious message or not, posting 40+ of the same message every day seems inappropriate to me. The fact that it was outright proselytizing only made it worse. But I checked a few weeks later and she was still doing it.

I keep copies of the Freedom From Religion Foundation's 'nontract' called "Dear Christian" near my door. When the Mormons (& others) show up I offer to read their materials if they will promise to read mine. And I DO read them ---just makes me sure I have made a good choice to reject their religion and all others, too.

Edited by: STORMY724 at: 2/6/2011 (00:36)
'I still have an insane drive to create and express myself and it'll never stop because I don't know how to stop it.' ---Graham Nash

(Photo: Parque das Aves, Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil 8/24/11)


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GIANT-STEPS SparkPoints: (65,477)
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12/15/10 3:14 P

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I try to be at least as respectful of other people's worldview as they are of mine which usually isn't very much. I have a few strategies for dealing with unwelcome religious proselytizing.

Ever try to turn it around and try to convince them their religion is whack? Be dismissive of everything they say and attack the tenets of their religion and try to convince them their God isn't real and their religion is false.

You can also act like they are crazy. Ask them if they are on medication, if anyone else in their family suffers from any form of dementia, ask if something traumatic in their life made them latch onto their delusions. Inform them that there is still hope; there are other people who were just as deluded as they are that recovered but first they have to want to get better.

Tell them you believe in invisible pink unicorns and every argument they make make a parallel argument for the existence of invisible pink unicorns.

JAZZCAROL's Photo JAZZCAROL SparkPoints: (0)
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12/4/10 6:55 A

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If you're feeling in a terribly benevolent mood, then I suppose you might frame these incidents - except for the homophobic remark - as well-meaning but misguided.

I have some relatives who are over-the-top religionists, and apparently they are genuinely afraid that I'll be going to Hell. In their minds, Hell, Satan, and demons all have an objective reality, and they very much want to "save" me from a terrible fate.

A friend once told me that when faced with something that makes me angry "don't get furious, get curious." I have found that very good advice, and it goes a long way toward staying serene in the face of attacks from adherents of dying mythologies.

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SOPKAMANJU's Photo SOPKAMANJU SparkPoints: (0)
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11/29/10 7:29 P

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I need to say that I am intolerant to christian proselytising and I need to be more tolerant of people of a religious bent. I need to be a more compassionate person. Extreme religiosity is the child of fear...These people are reacting in fear and covering it up with blustering pomposity. emoticon

Edited by: SOPKAMANJU at: 12/2/2010 (12:46)
True enlightenment is nothing but the nature of one's own self being fully realised

Dalai Lama


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SLARTYB's Photo SLARTYB Posts: 252
10/25/10 8:56 A

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There are really three big 'asks' here:

No.1 - You are asking me to believe a god exists

No.2 - You are asking me to believe that it's YOUR god.....

No.3 - You presume to speak on behalf of your god....

Let them mull on that.....

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PITCHEH's Photo PITCHEH Posts: 155
10/17/10 5:39 A

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You're a better person than I am, though. I tend to let loose a scathing torrent of I-Loathe-Your-Inability-To-Think-Beyond-A-
Bible on people like this. I can't hold it in...like a particularly painful fart.

Maury: "What do we do when we fall of the horse, Derek?" - "Sorry, Maury. but I'm not a gymnast."


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RACINGSLUG's Photo RACINGSLUG Posts: 305
10/11/10 10:37 P

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Thanks LBD that's really fascinating. I may have to check it out. (I'm usually pretty tolerant. I think it was just one of those weeks where it seemed like people were coming out of the woodwork left and right to tell me how I should be living my life.)

Fall seven times, stand up eight.
LBD-2011's Photo LBD-2011 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/11/10 10:25 P

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The book "Stages of Faith" by James Fowler really changed my attitude towards people who used to annoy me.

This book deals with approaches to faith as a matter of personal development much like Piaget in child development stages.

So now when I am faced with someone really annoying, instead of getting upset, I listen, compare then think "oh, stage two." I'm seldom "mad" at such people anymore.

A little understanding not just of religious ideas but of personal development can go a long way in making life bearable.

see http://faculty.plts.edu/gpence/html/fowler
.htm for a short overview

Edited by: LBD-2011 at: 10/11/2010 (22:27)
TINA21701's Photo TINA21701 Posts: 58
10/9/10 4:13 P

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I came accross that book Peace is Every Step about 20 years ago and kept it by my bedside ever since. Thanks for reminding me to read it again.

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FAYELEN's Photo FAYELEN Posts: 22
10/9/10 11:15 A

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Thank you for your post. It summed up how I feel about folks who try to tell me that they know what's best for me, though they have invested no time in my life or well-being at all. Sometimes, especially when they "mean well", religious people can be incredibly rude. Never forget, they're the ones who brought us jihad, crusades, witch hangings, etc. The belief that "(insert your favorite deity here) loves you" almost always ends in something more like a childish, "God is bigger than you and since God is mine, I'm bigger than you and you have to do what I say". My inner child simply replies, "You're NOT the boss of me."


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RACINGSLUG's Photo RACINGSLUG Posts: 305
10/9/10 9:36 A

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I've got no particular issue with religion. I don't think I'm better than religious people or even much more rational. Sometimes I think religion is kind of fascinating and inspiring. But lately I'm getting tired of people and their heavy-handed moralizing, even when they mean well. My problem is not when people look to God for guidance, it's when they presume to speak with the authority of God.

I'm just in a crabby mood about it lately, I guess. The other day I made this extended post about living in the moment based on a book called "Peace is Every Step" by Thich Naht Hanh. I am a Zen Buddhist. My beliefs are limited to the pragmatic and observational, such as observing the impermanent nature of reality and being compassionate toward others. There's no god in this picture, just me and whatever's going on around me. I like this, it works for me. My post made no mention of any specific religious practices, it was just about finding peace in the present moment.

Anyway, some random person felt the need to comment on my blog about how important a relationship with God is. Maybe it was because I read the comment at 6:30 in the morning, but it really irked me. My post had nothing to do with a "relationship with God," it was about living in the present. Then some other lady started spamming my Facebook page with a bunch of homophobic apologist crap (in response to a comment made by someone else) in which she let loose the gem, "If you don't know Him, leave Him out of it."

Then there's the latest DailySpark blog in which the author talks about a volunteer in Africa who is deeply spiritual. Someone HAD TO rush in and comment, "That's not spirituality, that's a close personal relationship with Jesus Christ and ''religion'' and ''spirituality'' pale in comparison to what I feel blah blah blah blah'' It just seemed so disgustingly rude and tacky to me, coming as I do from a different spiritual vantage point. As if I would waste my time practicing a religion that I didn't find just as fulfilling as she found hers.

So my tradition might be one of compassion, but I'm not feeling very compassionate right now. I'm feeling annoyed and tired of people cramming their religion down my throat. As a historical figure, as a myth, Jesus is quite the role model (though I think the vast majority of his best lessons died with him.) But I'm not particularly compelled to have a close personal relationship with a dead guy. I've been there and done that, spent most of my teens as a devout Bible-thumping Christian, I believed I had a close personal relationship with Jesus, talked to him daily, felt all the warm fuzzies, and used to be just as tiresome as these folks.

So maybe I deserve this, but please, believe me when I say I'm not interested. I had that life, I lived that experience, and I like this life better. Your belief that all morality and happiness comes from God is personally insulting and makes me think you're not a very good person. Also you're systematically discriminating against gay folks, which is abhorrent, so stop it.

(Sorry if that's kinda long, but I really had to get it out of my system, and I can't think of a single place this would be well-received other than here.)

Sincerely,
Christy


Fall seven times, stand up eight.
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