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Assumptions . . .

My dear sister who is a "liberal" Christian had a heart attack about 10 days ago. By "liberal," I mean that she does not condemn LBGT and knows that evolution happened. I went down to stay with her for a few days and her church brought by lunch and dinner on one of the days.

The women who brought the lunch were pleased to meet me (of course) and when my sister noted that I was going home on Saturday, one of the women said, "Oh, no! She needs to stay for church!" Neither my sister nor I said anything though I KNOW that I smiled rather wickedly.

Today, my sister went to church and when the lady mentioned me, my sister told her that I was "agnostic." (She thinks that it "sounds" better than "atheist." ) She said that the woman had a horrified look--perhaps partly because I am not Baptist, but also because she wanted me to stay for church. She even said in horror over her faux pas, "And I asked her to come to church!"

People often assume that I am Christian because I am "nice." They should not assume that all "nice" people are Xtian--neither should atheist assume that all Christians are horrid people.

Gwendolyn2018 8 June 21
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27 comments

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7

Around here people assume atheists is code for 'devil worshipper'.

I have heard that atheists worship the devil be default!

It seems to be an inherent belief of evangelicals everywhere, such a sad show of ignorance and fear.

@tinkercreek
The “So far Right the red is starting to look plaid” Christian churches here in DFW teach their congregation that Atheists are Satan worshipers.

7

I used to work with someone who marveled that I’m not Christian because I’m kind and moral. As if a religious group has the patent on kindness and morality. 🤷♀️

They most certainly think and believe they do.

Exactly!

It's usually the opposite. They are just very good at pretending to be kind and moral.

5

When I left the Mormon church most of my former brethren and sisteren kept well away. About two years later I encountered in town a family with who I had been very close in my church going days , after talking with them for a few minutes, the husband said "It's amazing how well you are doing I would have thought by now..." and then he blushed and stopped himself, I just smiled.
Many godbotherers really do believe the myth that we become atheist "in order to sin" as if enough of them don't do so anyway.
When they find we have not become baby eating, debauched, drunkards who have been abandoned by god and the world it really does confuse them.Why have not been smitted by the righteous wrath of the Lords holy fire, why are we not walling in misery? To them it just does not seem fair.

When I left the nondenominational church that I had attended for more than a decade, some of the congregation would not speak to me in public. I think it was more that they did not know what to say rather than actual snubs. Decades later, when FB became a "thing," my son sought out his childhood friends, who included church kids--several parents added him, too. However, only two adults asked to friend me and when I messaged others, some did not reply and others said, "Yeah, hello."

However, I find it interesting that their children asked to friend me. Go figure.

5

Yes, funny that, many so called Christians have these pre conceived ideas about nobody but Christians can be "nice" and yet they have so many problems with sexual misconduct by their very own pastor/priests, and they vote for Donald.

Oh, yeah--and my sister agrees with you.

5

There's a bit of everything in every group. The good and the bad. No exception. Most of my friends are religious but they are very educated and open minded.

In my opinion, if one is "very educated and open minded" and says they are religious, it is just to satisfy Pascal's Wager.

@jlynn37, it's your opinion and you're absolutely entitled to it. Your experience with religious people most likely is very different than mine so it's natural we disagree on this.

Spot on.

@Paddypereira Everyone's experience is different. On the whole, I have met more Christians who are not condemnatory than those who are condemnatory--and I have had a couple of quite "interesting" experiences with the latter. I have also had a couple tell me that I am not really an atheist and would come around at some point.

@Gwendolyn2018 ha,ha. These are the same people that are sure they could get the gays to return to “Normal” if they could just spend enough time with them and show them the errors of their thinking.

@Barnie2years I am quite sure!

4

Nobody ever assumes I am Christian. Or nice.

JimG Level 8 June 22, 2020

You must not smile at almost everyone who you see!

@Gwendolyn2018 Most people don't give me reasons to smile under normal circumstances.

@JimG I don't need a reason to smile. In fact, I smile at some people just to see their reactions.

@JimG Perhaps you need to get out more. I'm an atheist and do a lot of volunteering. I find numerous reasons to smile every day. There are a lot of good every day people, all faiths and no faith.

4

Because every week they listen to a lecture, telling them that Christians are the only nice and special people, then they go around all week telling each other the same thing. It really beings in the same root place as racism.

4

I am a nice, older, white, male living in Texas. It is assumed that I am a MAGA christian. When told that neither is true I get “Yeah, sure.”

I am sure that you do! When I meet pagans, they assume that I am pagan. People seem to "see" me as they want me to be.

4

I'm just wondering how you get a Baptist who doesn't condemn LGBT folks, and admits to evolution ? That's more than enough around here to get crosses burned into ones lawn and be uninvited to the rapture party.

My sister was very judgmental when she was younger. I think her turn of mind came after her first bout with breast cancer and when I became a practicing pagan. I first realized that she was getting more liberal when she mailed a Doonesbury cartoon to me about witches. I think that she realized that people were more important than doctrine. She KNOWS that I am kinder and more ethical than most Christians. However, I am sure that there is not much chance for her to discuss her liberal views with other Baptists.

@Gwendolyn2018 around here, discussing liberal views with a Baptist is a good way to get burned at the stake.

@wolf041 Again, maybe it is my sparkling personality that keeps me out of trouble--or maybe Springfield, MO is a bit more liberal than the deep South.

@Gwendolyn2018 further south you go, the humidity seems to shrink the brain cells of the majority.

@wolf041 Agreed. Even when I moved to MO 22 years ago, my then BF warned me to not people that I was pagan or a cross would be burned in the yard. For months, I told no one but finally decided to stop pretending. It was interesting how some people reacted, but no burning crosses. It could have been different points farther south.

3

As long as we make assumptions about the "other side" we'll never truly have world peace.

We are in agreement.

3

Reality is that most christians assume things constantly whereas non believers are very reticent to assume things due to our natural skepticism.

Bingo. And we are the minority.

You nailed that. Christians take everything at face value.

3

I cannot tell you how many times I've been assumed that for the same "being nice" reason. :::eyeroll:::

Maybe we just need to be mean! I've tried to develop a resting bitch face, but it doesn't work for me.

@Gwendolyn2018 Me either! The kicker was during a party at my house and some catholic guy found out I was atheist. First comment was but you're so nice! Second was what stops you from becoming lawless and a murderer. I told him that if he's relying on some sky god to prevent him murdering someone that he needs to take a look at himself more closely. We all stop OURSELVES from doing anything to hurt others.

@Larimar I have not had anyone in person ask me about my "moral compass," but I used to frequent chat rooms and the Christians would ask the same thing. I would say "empathy, logic, and being raised in a society that taught me the law." I would also tell that if they needed a god to keep them from being lawless, then it was a good thing that they were religious. I also pointed out that Xtians consistently break the laws AND that atheists have a higher "moral" ground because we choose to be ethical; we are not threatened into being ethical.

@Gwendolyn2018

@Larimar YES! THIS! If religion keeps some people from raping and murdering, then they need religion. The rest of us do not.

3

Beliefs will have influence. But there are many other factors that determine the character of an individual.

Indeed.

3

How is your sister doing?

She gets tired easily, but her appetite has returned and I am confident she will be fine! Thank you for asking.

3

I often wonder why others feel it's appropriate to out those of us that are or aren't something.

She could have simply said you didn't wish to attend.

I'm BIG on personal privacy. I don't tell others' personal business, I don't want mine told unless I'm doing the telling.

But that's just me.

(I've not had this scenario happen to me. Probably because I'm value my personal privacy.). 🙂

I tell people upfront; sometimes, it is to forestall them asking me to church. It used to be when they asked me to go, I would say that I was "nonreligious" and they would still press the issues. Now, they don't. I have also had quite a few people, even in Missouri, to whom it made no difference that I am an atheist. I attribute that to my sparkling personality. (Grin.)

@Gwendolyn2018 Long ago, my Mom told me I was too free with personal info. I was 15, I think. She was right. I've not been since I was about 20. It's served me well, especially now that I'm languishing in the Bible Belt.

She also told me when people get nosey, to answer with this question:. Why do you ask?

Best advice she ever gave me. The only advice she ever gave me. 😛

@SeaGreenEyez I am very open with some issues but I remain very private, as well. It amuses me that my apparent "openness" often leads people to assume that they understand or "know" me. When someone asks me a question that I am leery about answering, I will also query "Why do you ask?" However, very few people ask me if I am Xtian (back to the assumptions); I am the one who tells them when/if the issue of religion comes up. Other than a couple of men getting upset in public because I challenged their doctrine, I have never received a backlash for doing so.

3

Perhaps the woman who invited you to church was horrified to think that you might bring a virus of doubt into her congregation.

Nah!

Our Atheism is indeed a logic virus a continuous demand for proof and rational response to the irrational non definition of their alleged gawds and alleged miracles

3

I'll just second paddies comment. Amazing isn't it. 🙄 And I hope your sister is back to her regular schedule very soon if not already.

She is weak and tired a lot, but that is par for the course after a heart attack. I think that she is going to be fine. Thank you.

2

I love it when I get to challenge a stereotype like this! Especially with people from my former religion because we were indoctrinated to believe that former members are mentally diseased and lead by Satan. Nope, I’m the same as I always was, I just don’t follow the religion anymore.

kdmom Level 6 Sep 7, 2020

I try hard not to generalize any section of the population. There are "Christians" like those in the Westboro Baptist Church and there are those like my sister. They are mean and bitter atheists, and there are those like you and me!

2

I hope your sister has a speedy recovery.
Unfortunately, many x-tains assume only other x-tains can be decent people and that anyone who is not x-tain is a bad person.

CS60 Level 7 June 23, 2020

My sister is getting stronger! And I agree with you take on the issue.

2

She should be horrified she assumed you were christian

Maybe she was as she was mortified that she asked me to go to church. Maybe she learned a lesson . . . maybe not.

@Gwendolyn2018 I don't think she learned a lesson. How else is she supposed to get into heaven if she doesnt recruite people?

@JoyKiser The original multi level marketing scheme.

@JoyKiser I doubt that she learned a lesson, as well, but next time I go down there, I bet she won't ask me to church if she sees me!

, @wolf041 Pyramid scheme!

2

I’m sure they’ll get over it.

I am sure, too.

2

Good and not so good in every group

1

Agreed.

Great minds think alike.

1

I can handle the Jimmy Carter evangelicals. As I like to remind some people, liberal evangelicals helped FDR do the New Deal.
And, except for the Rick Santorum Catholics, most really accept science and evolution (not sure about that catholic school in Kentucky), but the church accepts evolution.

We think along the same lines.

1

I always try to wait for people to show me who and what they are, does not take as much thought.

Indeed, my friend.

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