What church do you attend? Or are you Atheist or Agnostic?

Sent in by Eris Discordia

What I find interesting and a little disturbing is the fact that so many people feel it is necessary to pry into my personal belief system! When I finally broke free of the bonds of my prison religion I was made to feel uncomfortable by old friends and relatives, and even people I meet in the coffee shop who insisted on quizzing me as to how I spend my Sunday mornings! "What church are you going to now?" "What happened?" "Why don't you attend church any longer?" "How can you survive without a church family to give you strength in the Lard?" Blah blah blah blah..............

When I reply that I no longer attend church the barrage of questions ensue. The inquisition gets under way! At this point I am afraid that I have been less than tactful and lashed out inappropriately. However, looking back on it, it still angers me that my Christian friends and family are so nosy about my personal beliefs. It has been several years now and I still don't handle these questions very well. In the past I have lied to get people off my back and other times I have told them that it is none of their business. Sometimes I tell them that I am involved with a Satanic cult just to fuck with them! It ll depends on my mood.

I must interject here that I live in the Baaable Belt of the U.S. of A. Jebus Land, Indiana. Where you get told to have a blessed day EVERY fWHERE you go! You can't even get a cup of coffee without having a fucking blessed day! Where they have SIGNS posted in the local Mc Donalds commanding you to "Have a Blessed Day". I am NOT kidding!

Now I get the Atheist vs. Agnostic question a lot. It's as if they are trying to find out if my soul is salvageable!

"Well, do you believe in GAWD?" 'Even if you don't believe in Jeeeeesus as your personal Savior, you MUST believe in GAWD!"

My resentment of people questioning my personal beliefs coupled with the fact that I have no more respect for the sheeple and their fairy tales has caused me to be less than compassionate toward them! I keep thinking, Maybe I need to talk with Miss Manners! But then I think, Maybe THEY should be talking to Miss Manners and learning to mind their own Gawddamn business!

However, after handling many of these nosy inquiries I still feel like I need to find a pat answer to shut them down without creating a scene or starting world war III. As much as I would love to tell these people to go away, take their fairy tales and leave me alone I want to take the high road and learn to be a nicer person.

Any suggestions?

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know if this will work, but you could try deflecting the questions with something like, "That's a personal question, isn't it?" It may not work since what you describe is insistently invasive, but it may work with the less insistent. Or if you really want to rock them back on their heels you could say something like, "I am a fairly private person, but I'll tell you about my religon or the lack of it, if you tell me what position you and your wife/husband prefer?" Could work.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anonymous. Some people, particularly unsophisticated small town types, personal boundaries are not well understood. Boundary training like Anonymous suggests can be helpful actually and also protective of your privacy. A colleague of mine for whom formal religion was not important moved to a very small Texas town. When they asked him what church "ya'll go to?", he told them "Unitarian." That was the only brand that the little town didn't have one of. In time, they left him alone, and he and his wife lived there quite happily for 45 years.

Anonymous said...

Join the Dhttp://cedros.globat.com/~thebrites.org/DarwinYouth/index.htmlarwin Youth today!

aangelstar14321 said...

I agree with anonymous also on this one. I am from Indiana also. I know all about the whole Bible belt area. I live in southwest part of the US now and I had the LDS asked me the same questions recently. I don't understand why they feel like they need to quiz on that anyway. Its a personal issue. So just tell them that. I won't ask you, so don't ask me and if possible, walk away. Hopefully, they will get the hint to quit asking.

Anonymous said...

I have no suggestions, Eris. I am also from Indiana and juzu is alive and well, owns a John Deere and is at the Family Express most mornings. So far as I know, my wife and I are the only atheists for miles around.

The reactions to our unbelief go from boring to sickening. The most common is "I'll be praying for you". Expressions of pity--"I feel sorry for you"--are just as common.

I do not get angry reactions except when the subject of the book of revelation comes up. To tell them that this book is about the Roman Empire, and is not prophecy, can really set them off. You can tell them that juzu was a wierd little kike and his mama sold it cheap, but don't mess with their prophecy. In so many cases, the end times is what this religion is all about.

I must say that jehovah's witnesses are fun. I usually start out by telling them that there is no "J" sound in Hebrew, so your god could not be named "jehovah". When confusion sets in, we go from there.

What does "Eris Discordia" mean?

Anonymous said...

Take the high ground on the question. "Who are you, with your youthful and inexperienced notions about religion, to question me, who has more than half a century of experience seeking answers, to tell me what is and is not?" I have lived much and studied much, and I tell you that there is first of all no evidence of any god, and secondly that if a god existed as you postit him, there would be some evidence. I tell you further that I have mostly encountered much fraud in attempting to find such a god, and that you are well advised to consider this possibility when a god is proclaimed.

Anonymous said...

Eris Discordia,
The response I give is: I've read and understand the supernatural claims of the bible. I simply do not believe they are true...
People can't argue with your "personal testimony"....right?
Billybee

Anonymous said...

Eris Discordia:

Respond the way I do: I came to realize that mythologies make for interesting fiction, but modern man should not build some kind of life around them. Things like talking animals, walking-sticks morphing into serpents and people into salt, spook hands writing prophecy on ancient walls, earth stopping in its orbit, individual defeating armies with a jaw bone (and a goat plow goad in Shamgar's case), and other such nonsense are stories! Also, I studied the bible objectively and found a very flawed, illogical, weird book (inconsistent with the creator of billions of galaxies, huh?), plus I waited faithfully for decades for a single answered prayer or semblance of a personal touch/introduction from God -- nothing -- just an absentee landlord (the same one that allows 15,000 children to starve to death annually, etc.). It does not add up....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the GREAT suggestions!

Ryan - Eris Discordia is kind of a word play on Robert Anton Wilson's irreverent opinions about religion. In many of his speeches and some of his books (Cosmic Trigger, I think), he referenced a book called "Principia Discordia or How I Found the Goddess and What I Did to Her wh I Found Her" by Malaclypse the Younger.

Of course, Discordia is the goddess of discord and Eris is the goddess in the above mentioned book. I just put the two together because I liked it and also because if honors my dear hero, Robert Anton Wilson who loved religion so much that he made EVERYBODY a POPE! Everywhere he went, he handed out Pope cards and made them them all honorary Popes! I immediately fell in love with the guy based on that gesture alone! However, after reading his books I came to realize that he was the Plato of our time! He was brilliant!

Also, I wanted to comment on the Jehovah's Witnesses. That is very true! But I never thought of tryng to teach them the Hebrew pronunciation! Do you think they are intelligent enough to grasp the concept? BTW - I usually answer the door naked when they come to the house. I had to do that with the Mormons when I lived in San Diego because they kept bothering us EVERY weekend! Those young Mormon boys just couldn't handle seeing little ole me in my birthday suit! It was hilarious! When I discovered what a sure fire way it was to chase them off I branched out and started using that tactic on the JW's!

Thanks for all the great suggestions! I will try them out!

Eris

shelikesthesound said...

I was born and raised in Indiana, too. And, unfortunately, I still live here. I have to agree with you, though. "Have a Blessed Day" seems to be the patented response in these parts. Sometimes, I want to tell them to shove "blessed" where the sun doesn't shine.

The worst part about where I am is the annual Church of God Convention. They come in like the plague and every business switches to "god mode"; so next year these morons will come back. It's pathetic if you ask me.upoz

Anonymous said...

i live on the west coast. and i just tell inquirers that "i'm not religious"

dunno how that would go over in the bible belt though

Anonymous said...

I tell them I attend the North Texas Church of Freethought, and since most people have no clue what freethought is, they just look confused and shut up.

Anonymous said...

Yep, My Home State...
I had always heard that the definition of "Hoosier" was a Hillbilly who's car broke down on the way to Detroit back in the late 40's...

Funny, but I never get inquiries as to how I spend my Sundays. Must be the "Not MY Man" and "Sanders for Congress" stickers on the back of my truck.

Anonymous said...

Indiania, try Wichita Kansas, Brownback, Tihart and all the antichoice wackos,then we have Phelps in Topeka! My car tag say EVOLUTIN and next to the tag is the Darwin fish eating the xtian fish with the words "reality bites"....so tired of these thumpers.

webmdave said...

I tell people I attend the First Church of the Apostate. Or, I tell people that my wife and I are apostates.

People usually just nod "knowingly" without having the slightest idea what I meant and the conversation moves on to something else. It works every time.

Anonymous said...

In fundamentalist Christianity, there are no boundaries allowed. I have discovered this as of late. For them there is no answer that will satisfy and if you have been part of their community as I was, there are no holes barred. I've tried to be nice, but it's getting harder and harder. I'm thinking of using Ann Landers' comeback to nosey questions: "if that were any of your business, you would already know the answer to that question."

Anonymous said...

Working as I do for the Catholic church I often find myself in the same sort of situation.
I've even had people go out of their way to get me fired simply because I am not Christian.
Most people who seek to save my soul leave me alone after they find out that I am better versed in Christian and Jewish history and theology than they are. Those who persist in bothering me are normally swayed away by my stating flatly that after reading the Bible I could never become a Christian.
Keep in mind that most Christians believe that anyone who reads the Bible will convert on the spot, so when they find out that that I have read the Bible cover to cover and didn't convert they give up on me as a lost cause.
There are a few die hards who still seek to convert me, but in their case I either just ignore them or confuse them by comparing Christianity to other world religions.
You have received some good advise from those here and I hope you find a solution to your problem.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Eris. I just about died laughing, but around here your tactics would get me busted fer sure. That is so bloody funny; flashing mormon boys.

Say, can I be a pope too?

And I didn't know that so many Hoosiers showed up here. Hi to all.

Bill B said...

Personally I am a go ahead make my day kind of guy. I had a born again cousin I hadn't seen in a while ask me where I stood with Jesus. I was happy to tell him I am an atheist. His facial expression was priceless. I absolutely enjoy it when the Christians bring it on. I dont' advertise that I am athesit, but when someone asks, I let the fun begin. I invite all JW's and Mormons right in the door immediately.

Hey Webmaster I just learned the meaning of the word "Apostate" the other day. For those who don't know it's one who falls from a religion or political party.

xrayman

Anonymous said...

I love this site! And this is my 1st post. I’ve been an ex-christian about 2 years now. When I’m asked where I go to church I very politely say “ I go to Land Over Baptist, check us out were on the web” haha-hehe

Anonymous said...

Hey!! How about, "Jesus is the good shepherd right? Well, a shepherds job is to keep the sheep alive until they are fleeced and butchered - so I got out as soon as I could."

Mind you I live in England where about 0.001% of the population so much as think about god so it may not be as much help as I thought.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the hilarious responses! Steve, I DO go to Landover Baptist Church! Their website is THE BEST parody of a Christian church EVER! I highly recommend listening to their 60 second sermons just for a little pick-me-up once in a while!

Also the "fleeced and Butchered" answer was great! Ya gotta just LOVE them Gawdless Brits!

Anonymous said...

Webmaster - I about fell off my chair in fits of laughter when I read about your "First Church of the Apostate"!!!!!
And OF COURSE the ignorant fundies don't get it! GAWD! That is hilarious!!!! I'm going to use that one!

Anonymous said...

I take a somewhat different approach when asked those types of questions. My response is along the lines of:

"I don't go to church because I find I can no longer believe things without evidence."

When they start presenting what they consider "evidence", I politely point out the flaws in their statements all the while commending them on their ability to accept things on faith, i.e. WITHOUT evidence. This accomplishes three things. First, the "inquisition" turns into an actual discussion, usually quite friendly. Second, they start to consider why they believe what they do, if only in a small way. Third, they cannot label me as an angry, immoral, blah, blah, blah, atheist as I stayed polite and friendly the whole time.

Usually their eyes glaze over or they they get a bit huffy but at least I'm not considered "the enemy". Plus there is the off chance that what I say might strike a nerve...

Cheers, Derrick.

Chuck Darwin said...

Whenever some xtian asks me if I've accepted jesus into my life, I laugh and say, "You've pronounced his name wrong. It's pronounced Hey Soos. He's my Latino friend. Of course he's in my life. He was just over last night for beers. Little bugger drank all of my beer, though."

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