Fellow Atheists/Agnostic Atheists - Let's Chat: Do you feel it is risky being "out" these days?

No offense, Paleo, but The Lidless Eye hath spoken, we probably shouldn't tempt Larry to incur his wrath.

NSMike wrote:

No offense, Paleo, but The Lidless Eye hath spoken, we probably shouldn't tempt Larry to incur his wrath.

Our posts crossed in the aether. Anyway, I thought it neatly brought it back around to the original post.

On a related subject, a good friend of mine sent me a Darwin fish in the mail a while ago and I haven't affixed it to my car yet. Part of the reason is that I don't want my car damaged by some fanatical stranger who might get deeply hurt by the sight of a fish with feet. Part of it is that I don't need the announcement of an unpopular intellectual position (no matter how correct) adversely affecting my professional relationships.

I wouldn't consider either of these being a danger to myself, but it sucks more than a little bit that the threat of property damage or professional ostracism affects my decision to express myself.

NSMike wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

And to bring it back to the original subject, why is proclaiming "Christ is Risen" protected religious speech that must be tolerated and unquestioned while stating "There is no god" is "being a dick"?

Where is the even playing field?

There isn't one, because constitutional freedoms don't matter when you're in the majority and can push people around.

Exactly. I keep telling folks that rights don't matter for the majority. The majority has power.

Paleocon wrote:

And to bring it back to the original subject, why is proclaiming "Christ is Risen" protected religious speech that must be tolerated and unquestioned while stating "There is no god" is "being a dick"?

Where is the even playing field?

There isn't one, because constitutional freedoms don't matter when you're in the majority and can push people around.

Paleocon wrote:

On a related subject, a good friend of mine sent me a Darwin fish in the mail a while ago and I haven't affixed it to my car yet. Part of the reason is that I don't want my car damaged by some fanatical stranger who might get deeply hurt by the sight of a fish with feet. Part of it is that I don't need the announcement of an unpopular intellectual position (no matter how correct) adversely affecting my professional relationships.

I wouldn't consider either of these being a danger to myself, but it sucks more than a little bit that the threat of property damage or professional ostracism affects my decision to express myself.

Oh, my car would totally get vandalized if I had something like that on it. In an area where you see more Calvin praying decals than Calvin pissing decals... Yeah.

Paleocon wrote:

On a related subject, a good friend of mine sent me a Darwin fish in the mail a while ago and I haven't affixed it to my car yet. Part of the reason is that I don't want my car damaged by some fanatical stranger who might get deeply hurt by the sight of a fish with feet. Part of it is that I don't need the announcement of an unpopular intellectual position (no matter how correct) adversely affecting my professional relationships.

I wouldn't consider either of these being a danger to myself, but it sucks more than a little bit that the threat of property damage or professional ostracism affects my decision to express myself.

IMAGE(http://www.bountyfishing.com/blog/images/mudskipper.jpg)

Tanglebones wrote:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/HQVj5.jpg)

That's against the Lord's plan. Therefore we must exterminate it and sell it as tasty McFish sandwiches.

I was going to go with Muddy, but his flippers are more flipper-y than feet-y

Thanks for that callback. I loved Muddy Mudskipper. As a kid I woke up at 6am to watch Heckle and Jeckle and Woody Woodpecker. My father wasn't impressed that I watched cartoons where the protagonists were so awful. Anyway, because of that the Muddy riff is one of my favs.

Can we rally and rerail again? Can this thread resurrect itself?

Can we rally and rerail again? Can this thread resurrect itself?

We'll wait it out for three days and see then

If you don't mind, I would like to react to the fantastic post of KaosTheory a couple of pages ago, on his grandfather Dale's funeral, with a related experience.

Last year my uncle passed away. He was an incredibly sweet, gentle person and a devout Catholic. At his funeral, I remember feeling that the service didn't do him honor at all. All the priest could talk about was Jesus, God and Bigger Meanings. Nothing about my uncle at all, except some generic 'Good Person' stuff. It all felt so... impersonal. Like he didn't matter at all, like he was just a number. I kept waiting for a gripping anecdote that would capture what an amazing person he really was, but nothing of the sort. When I asked my (also atheistic) nephews, they told me they had similar feelings.

I'm still unsure if we just got a lazy autocueing priest by accident, or if it was just me (and my fellow atheists) not being able to connect to his sermon because we don't believe any of it.

I'm with you. KaosTheory's post was excellent. Reminds me of how my wife and I went to three weddings this year. Evangelical, Catholic and Lesbian commitment ceremony. Guess which one was the tearjerker? Hint: It wasn't the Catholic wedding. When someone is talking about babies and your commitment to God and this and that you tend to lose the fact that there is a person in the middle of this (in the case of a funeral) or people (in the case of a wedding). Religion may comfort some people, but I know that for me it washes out the message about the person/people who you are there to honor and celebrate. I don't believe that's an atheist thing. I believe that's a simple matter of the fact that the pastor is focused on religion first and people second.

I didn't dare to ask the question, as this is the Atheist's Thread, but it keeps burning at the back of my head.

Is this only 'our' problem? It's clear that I don't feel a connection to this kind of sermon because it's all hogwash to me. But does it connect to Catholics? Would they feel like I did at my uncle's funeral if it was all personal stuff and nothing about Jesus/God/Heaven?

I think that style of sermon is more to tell people, "It's okay, he died, but he's not really gone, so you won't be gone either when it's your turn." It's hardly about the deceased at all.

Malor wrote:

It's hardly about the deceased at all.

Most funerals aren't. I hate Catholic funerals for more reasons than the obvious ones. There's a lot of ritual and prayer recitation, very little talking about the person who has died. You don't get to that until the homily at the funeral mass. Plus I always get drafted as a pall bearer.

My aunt and uncle both died within a year of each other. They were raised Catholic, but had definitely not been active Catholics for a long time. Both had health issues which ultimately defeated them, but they befriended a pastor in the town near their home. He came to visit my Aunt when she was in the hospital. The pastor led a small non-denominational church. We used their church for both of their memorial services (which were decidedly not Catholic). Aside from an opening and closing prayer, and a short bit from the preacher about the afterlife, the majority of the service was in remembrance of the people who had died. I remembered things about my aunt and uncle along with some, and learned things that I had never knew. While still sad, it was certainly a good way to do things.

It brings a sense of urgency to how to handle my death and subsequent funeral. Of course, it can happen at any time, but because no one knows I'm an atheist, right now they'll just put me in a box in the ground after the usual boring old Catholic mass. I want to get things down in paper about what kind of funeral or memorial I want, but can't just yet.

I want myself incinerated in pure viking style while my friends and family sing bawdy songs and get wasted on strong ale and mead.

KingGorilla wrote:

But that dad and step-mom are very confrontational, that I should probably avoid talking about evolution. Regardless of how she hates her step-mom already, and has a complicated relationship with dad, she told me this so I did not get into a fight. My concern is that dad and step-mom will hate the non-believing Jew who went to Catholic school regardless. I need to plumb those depths a bit more before meeting that end of the family. But any pointers from you guys would be helpful.

Follow her lead. I sympathize with the complicated family politics... as long as she's not asking you to put on some kind of religious dog-and-pony show for them, I think it's best to wait and see how things go with them. If they try to stir up trouble with you even when you go out of your way to avoid it, and she has a tense relationship with them already, they may pass out of your concern anyway. And if she kowtows to them at your expense, that's important to know before things get any more serious.

If the confrontational folks want to hate you, they will find a reason. Don't pick a fight, but don't tell or act out lies, either. At least one of you can still take the high road.

(To be fair, I'm not sure even now whether my reflexively Catholic in-laws know I'm Jewish, so I can't help you with that part. I wouldn't lie if they asked, but it was never volunteered either )

Paleocon wrote:

On a related subject, a good friend of mine sent me a Darwin fish in the mail a while ago and I haven't affixed it to my car yet.

When I had my Wrangler I had a one of those on it. I miss my jeep.

Paleocon wrote:

I want myself incinerated in pure viking style while my friends and family sing bawdy songs and get wasted on strong ale and mead.

I want to be donated to research. Specifically supersonic jet safety. Strap my bones to a rocket sled and slam me into a wall please. And if you could send my family a video of it, with Adam Savage introducing it "Coming up on Corpse Busters..."

So, I do need some help here guys. I have started getting serious with a new girl. She is amazing, anecdotes are sprinkled on Twitter, the Boogle, and Random Love thread.

Anyhow, she is non-religious. She possesses fond memories of Catholic services, but since her parents split-Mom is back as a Presbyterian, dad and the step-mom are Evangelical.

We have had some chats on religion, also on meeting family. I have no concerns about her meeting my folks. She already hit it off with my brother. As I said earlier, Church and religion was never a big part of our family. But for her, it was church every Sunday. She drifted away as she gained more education, life experience. She said, funnily enough, should she go back to organised religion, it would probably be Buddhism.
She made it clear her mom is cool, sweet, will not preach at me. We will cross this bridge later, but I do not mind politely sitting in a church service on occasion to make her happy, because her mom is happy there-beats shopping, right? But that dad and step-mom are very confrontational, that I should probably avoid talking about evolution. Regardless of how she hates her step-mom already, and has a complicated relationship with dad, she told me this so I did not get into a fight. My concern is that dad and step-mom will hate the non-believing Jew who went to Catholic school regardless. I need to plumb those depths a bit more before meeting that end of the family. But any pointers from you guys would be helpful.

EDIT: should mention mom lives about 4-5 hours drive to the other side of the state, dad lives in Peoria, Illinois. So, time with them will be uncommon to rare.

Paleocon wrote:

And to bring it back to the original subject, why is proclaiming "Christ is Risen" protected religious speech that must be tolerated and unquestioned while stating "There is no god" is "being a dick"?

Where is the even playing field?

The issue here is probably two-fold

1. Dogma and adherents to the Dogma
2. Gullible Thinking

I doubt that there will ever be a level playing field while people follow, unquestioningly, a set of doctrines that demands that all other speech to the contrary is false and evil.

about the issue of family/loved ones and conflicts, yeah... that tends to be abit touchy. thing is we always seem to be on the backfoot when we approach the subject. I suspect it's that they always come from a good, albeit false, place.

hmmmm.. Perhaps we can take inspiration from their approach when taking about atheism...

Paleocon wrote:

On a related subject, a good friend of mine sent me a Darwin fish in the mail a while ago and I haven't affixed it to my car yet. Part of the reason is that I don't want my car damaged by some fanatical stranger who might get deeply hurt by the sight of a fish with feet. Part of it is that I don't need the announcement of an unpopular intellectual position (no matter how correct) adversely affecting my professional relationships.

I wouldn't consider either of these being a danger to myself, but it sucks more than a little bit that the threat of property damage or professional ostracism affects my decision to express myself.

To be fair, the Darwin fish is inarguably antagonistic, whereas the Jesus fish is only arguably antagonistic.

KingGorilla wrote:
Paleocon wrote:

I want myself incinerated in pure viking style while my friends and family sing bawdy songs and get wasted on strong ale and mead.

I want to be donated to research. Specifically supersonic jet safety. Strap my bones to a rocket sled and slam me into a wall please. And if you could send my family a video of it, with Adam Savage introducing it "Coming up on Corpse Busters..."

So, I do need some help here guys. I have started getting serious with a new girl. She is amazing, anecdotes are sprinkled on Twitter, the Boogle, and Random Love thread.

Anyhow, she is non-religious. She possesses fond memories of Catholic services, but since her parents split-Mom is back as a Presbyterian, dad and the step-mom are Evangelical.

We have had some chats on religion, also on meeting family. I have no concerns about her meeting my folks. She already hit it off with my brother. As I said earlier, Church and religion was never a big part of our family. But for her, it was church every Sunday. She drifted away as she gained more education, life experience. She said, funnily enough, should she go back to organised religion, it would probably be Buddhism.
She made it clear her mom is cool, sweet, will not preach at me. We will cross this bridge later, but I do not mind politely sitting in a church service on occasion to make her happy, because her mom is happy there-beats shopping, right? But that dad and step-mom are very confrontational, that I should probably avoid talking about evolution. Regardless of how she hates her step-mom already, and has a complicated relationship with dad, she told me this so I did not get into a fight. My concern is that dad and step-mom will hate the non-believing Jew who went to Catholic school regardless. I need to plumb those depths a bit more before meeting that end of the family. But any pointers from you guys would be helpful.

EDIT: should mention mom lives about 4-5 hours drive to the other side of the state, dad lives in Peoria, Illinois. So, time with them will be uncommon to rare.

Goes without saying, but don't give them any reason to hate you beyond your lack of religion. Be polite, courteous, all of that. I'd try and get your girl to help put together some kind of pre-planned response for when/if the subject comes up. Be the calmest guy in the room. You have an advantage in that religion isn't personal to you, but it is to them. Don't assume you know what they believe. Don't bring your girlfriend into any argument ("Well honey, what do you think?") or let them use her against you.

This video might provide further insight:

kazooka wrote:

To be fair, the Darwin fish is inarguably antagonistic, whereas the Jesus fish is only arguably antagonistic.

How exactly is the Darwin fish unquestioningly antagonistic?

Because it subverts another groups symbol.

Kier wrote:

Because it subverts another groups symbol.

So Christianity is going to collapse because of the Darwin fish? I don't think so.

I doubt that the Christians who vandalize cars with the Darwin fish on it understand the irony of them attacking a symbol a group has adopted to identify themselves to other members, one based on the symbol early Christians used to secretly identify themselves during a time when they were a minority and were persecuted by the majority of Romans.

I find it pretty confrontational when someone declares "Jesus Christ is Lord of all".

My knee-jerk reaction to both the Darwin fish and the Jesus fish is that neither party needs to express themselves this way. But upon further reflection, the Darwin fish may seem a bit antagonistic to Christians, but who the f*ck cares? If we're not actively being subversive in some way to the norm, we can basically expect to never be accepted. You don't like it? Tough sh*t. This is my home too and I won't be made to fearfully give in to your brand of antagonism just because you don't like mine.

Unquestionably antagonistic? Not really. Deliberately subversive? Definitely.

NSMike wrote:

My knee-jerk reaction to both the Darwin fish and the Jesus fish is that neither party needs to express themselves this way. But upon further reflection, the Darwin fish may seem a bit antagonistic to Christians, but who the f*ck cares? If we're not actively being subversive in some way to the norm, we can basically expect to never be accepted. You don't like it? Tough sh*t. This is my home too and I won't be made to fearfully give in to your brand of antagonism just because you don't like mine.

Unquestionably antagonistic? Not really. Deliberately subversive? Definitely.

Not to mention the fact that just about anyone in this country can proudly display complete ignorance on their vehicles that admonish other drivers to "teach the controversy" without any fear of chickenfeces vandalism to their property, but the moment you insult someone's delicate religious sensibilities (no matter how innocuously), you immediately become partially responsible to your own circumstance.

Kier wrote:

Because it subverts another groups symbol.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/On73m.jpg)

Tanglebones wrote:
Kier wrote:

Because it subverts another groups symbol.

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/On73m.jpg)

IMAGE(http://www.revivalscotland.com/images/easter.jpg)

Hello? Christianity? Mithras called and he wants his Virgin birth, December 25th, Salvation, Water Symbolism, and Sign of the Cross back. But take your time. I mean, what's another 2000 years?

edit: Btw, have you seen his triune god anywhere? He's sure he lent it to you.