Inconsiderate, unthinking and heartless...

Sent in by Jo

I was raised in the church by my mom, a single parent. We went to church most of my life, but not always consistently. Although my mom is not a "churchy" sort of personality, her faith in Jesus and God are very strong. So I was raised with an open minder parent but also a very spiritual and superstitious parent.

Luckily I was always educated at school to think for myself. During elementary school I was in the gifted program. In middle school I left this program to be a "regular student." I didn't do so well as a regular student. I became a rebel of sorts, refused to go to church, experimented with all the taboos. Finally after my freshmen year in high school I decided to leave that behind, throw away the cigarettes and become a born again Christian. I studied the bible and was very dedicated to this life, that I genuinely felt saved me.

My life was good for awhile, though I felt plagued by guilt and confusion over the things I read in the bible. My youth minister tried to explain to me that I didn't understand grace. Which is what my mom still believes to this day.

Being a convinced, determined and faithful Christian at the time helped me in many ways I am thankful for. It helped me to become more disciplined at school and also learning about faith in god helped me learn about faith in myself.

I ended up getting a scholarship to an excellent university partly because of my religion and faith. However that same University experience and time allowed me to learn and question, which is partly how I gradually moved away from Christianity.

Now I am mostly newly atheist, though their are still shreds of agnosticism in me.

My most recent experiences with atheism include reading Richard Dawkins' book, The God Delusion, which I am so thankful for as a resource for disbelief and on a more negative side receiving criticism from my brother.

When I recently told my religious brother that I am atheist, He basically told me that he believes in predestination and if god wants me to be on his side I will and if he hasn't chosen me then he hasn't chosen me. And very kindly he let me know that all I think about is myself because I am living for myself and that must be a sad life.

Right now the only sadness in my life is my grandpa who is in the hospital and my older brother saying something so inconsiderate, unthinking and heartless to me.

But I have learned to have confidence in myself and I'm tough. The only understanding of grace I was ever missing was grace for myself!

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Huey said...

Welcome Jo! Nice to see you here!

It seems that your journey into the "light" was the intellectual one that xtians claim never happens. After all, the only reason that someone becomes an atheist is because they are angry at god, angry at the church, etc. This is fairly typical of the beliefs that they operate under. Your brother's attitude is, unfortunately, a classic example. As religion is everything to him, your lack of it means that you have noting, believe nothing, etc, so all that must be left is a selfish, lonely "yourself". Not true of course and it will take him time to see that.

This is not true of all xtians of course. My best friends are very devout but they do not feel that my life must be pointless and lonely. Indeed they can't seem to have me over often enough but in the 20+ years I have known them they have never once proselytized. She has even made a point of stating that she would never want to try to change me as I would then be different from the friend that she has loved all these years.

Don’t give up on your brother and don’t allow him to give up on you. He could have just given you his knee-jerk reaction and may be feeling bad about it. One thing is certain: he is just parroting the propaganda that he has been spoon fed most of his life. As time passes he may come to see that your life is not sad and lonely.

Anonymous said...

Hello Jo

I have also gotten insults hurled at me from my Christian Dad.
He has given me a hard time over my vegetarianism. He says that I can't be a true Christian if I don't eat meat, but does not know that I don't wan't to be Christian.
I eventually told him that I do not have any health problems, and he finally shut up.
He also preached at me when I was a teenager for lusting after girls, and listening to Rock Music.
He told me that I was in danger of going to Hell.
You a correct is saying that Christians are too often heartless, unthinking and inconsiderate.


twincats said...

Congrats and welcome, Jo!

Just goes to show that crutches, whether real or emotional, are very useful things as long as you discard them when you don't need them any more.

RubyHypatia said...

Ahh Predestination, isn't that the silliest thing? What parent among us would choose between our children which to allow into heaven, and which to burn in hell for all eternity?

Steven Bently said...

Hi Jo, Predestination, I wonder if your mother and father discussed your eternal destination right before the exact moment of insemination of your father into your mothers womb.

Sarcastically speaking, every couple should discuss their childrens predestination with heavy prayer and meditation and summons the Lord thy God and ask if it be thy will, before any couple man and a woman have sex, and bring a child into this world, as I'm sure this happens

Welcome Jo to reason and sanity, please click on my name for some interesting anti-religious articles. Thanks

Jamie said...

Hey Natedog, in MY denomination there were people who thought it was a sin to NOT be vegetarian. Most Seventh-day Adventists don't believe that meat-eating is a heaven or hell issue, but some act as if they believe that way.

It's funny for me to hear someone say "you can't be a Christian if you DON'T eat meat" when I heard so many people who had the opposite point of view.

Of course, we Seventh-day Adventists were the TRUE Christians. The rest of you guys were apostate anyway. ;-)

freethinker05 said...

Yes Jamie, The SDA church did claim there would be people from other denomanations and all walks of life that would go to heaven, but, they,(SDA) do claim to have the "ONLY TRUTH". Peace Roger A/A

Anonymous said...

Jo, your story sounds a lot like mine (right down to getting religious scholarships to go to a good university, then leaving Christianity while at said university!!!)

Your brother may have felt bad about what he said, too, but didn't know what else to say, or felt that he "had" to say it to be a good Christian. Of course, he might have meant it, too, but I think there's a good chance he didn't truly mean it.

Good for you for "seeing the light", so to speak. :)

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