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Today, I allowed myself to be engaged in conversation by a Christian. It started out with some casual words on fabric and age but as she like my personality (I know, hard to believe), she HAD to mention how her life revolved around her religion—and she expected me to agree. Christians never suspect that I am not a believer until I tell them because, as one once told me, I am so kind and friendly.

When I told her that I was an atheist, she closed her eyes and took a deep breath; she did this several time during our conversation, making me wonder if she were going to faint.
I will spare you, dear readers, the details, but she told me that she feared for me, and I needed to believe because there are only two places to go after death. She asked me which one I wanted to go to and I told here there is one place we go: we just die and that’s it.

I pointed out the similarity of myths found in all religions and when she kept referring to deity as “he,” I asked her why--Why IS god a male? She looked surprised but tried to rally. She said god has no sex and when HE said “let us make humans in OUR image,” he meant a spiritual image. (I have heard that one before.) I explained the different names used by the Jews for deity and stressed that “Yahweh” is masculine and singular but “Elohim” is feminine and plural. Since Elohim makes the remark about “our image,” it was a female entity speaking to other females. She changed the subject.

I pointed out to her that there were two very different creation stories in Genesis and explained how they were different. She tried to go off on a tangent about something unrelated, but I said, “I was talking about these stories; what is your take on the differences?” She refused to come back to it.

There was much more said, but when I finally ended it, she said that she wished we lived closer (she has no idea where I live) so we could become “friends” and get together and talk. Despite her telling me that I was an interesting person, I KNOW she wanted to get together in order to try to convert me.

Nice lady, but no thanks: I can break down every argument she would give; I have heard all of them. While I don’t mind passing 20 minutes in Walmart, I am not willing to pass more time.

And what did she expect me to do? Fall on my knees in Walmart and exclaim, "Praise the Lord! You have brought me back to my faith!”

She said she needed to keep things “simple” and not research issues of Christianity or know about other religions.

Simple, indeed.

Gwendolyn2018 8 Oct 11
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11

Wow! 20 minutes?
I've usually said something to scare them off in the first 30 seconds.

Nicely done.

Hey, I had nothing else to do on this cold, rainy day except grade!

My response is always "not interested" and leave it at that.

@jlynn37 I have done that, too--but this was amusing!

10

I once had one of the christians at work tell me it was the end days because the moon was being seen n the day time and that had never happened before.
So they were not only brainwashed, but also spectacularly unobservant to that point of their life.

Decades ago, when I will still in church, the pastor made an observation about the "circle" around the sun and wondered if it were connected to the coming end days. Even then, I knew it was a corona caused by excessive water vapor in the air.

10

Gwen , you know they do not care about understanding their book ( or reading it for that matter).

They are in a deep trance from weekly hypnotic church sessions. The only "miracle of love" they get is from the staged interactions they witness.

If this pandemic has not
changed their mind,
then nothing will.

If they get belligerent, try to talk over me, or if I am in a hurry, I won't bother. Sometimes, though, it is fun to play with them. She liked me and wanted to save me, as she put it, from burning forever--that's why she wanted to be "friends."

9

I have a good number of friends and family who are religious, and I'll converse about more thoughtful issues with them, but at a certain point I tell them that I'm not going to try to challenge something that means so much to them. They're good people, and they're good with this. I am, too.

But this one is another matter. She's following the cult playbook on recruitment which, of course, requires complete and total unquestioning submission - and ignorance - of it's members. The line I most despise is that they're worried about my eternal life. Like, if you were really concerned about my life, start with something practical like pulling the overgrown yuccas in my yard. It won't change my mind, but it will prove you're at least sincere and not trying to play me.

(And you are kind and friendly. 🙂 )

My ex and my daughter both go to church (of a very fundamentalist leaning). I know it's too late for her mother, but I still gently prod my daughter toward more critical thinking when the occasion arises.

@Paul4747

I can't imagine how frustrating that must be for you. But my money is on the slow and thoughtful foundation of critical thinking you're building in your daughter's mind. It's probably the greatest gift you can give her.

I was lucky that my late husband and I were similarly non-religious. Although we yet hadn't explored atheism, his choice when he died was that I do the Klingon Death Ritual, so we were flexible. 🙂

My sister is Southern Baptist and she and I never argue about religion, nor does she try to change my lack of belief. In fact, she surprised the heck out of me several years ago when she said that evolution had to have taken place--the evidence is too strong. She also shocked me in the last year when she said that nothing lasts forever and why would anyone want to live forever, even in heaven? She has gotten much more liberal as she has aged (she will soon be 75) and has softened on many stances she had in the past. In part, I think this is because she has cancer (in remission for the moment with chemo drugs), had a heart attack last year, and was diagnosed with Addison's disease this year. She has had to examine her life and existence in general.

@Lauren My sons were both raised as Christians, but as adults, both have professed to be atheist. I haven't heard from my oldest for years--he is homeless in California--but my youngest is still atheist. His wife is somewhat of a believer, but their kids are being raised areligious EXCEPT for the intervention of her family who are believers. My 8 year old grandson told me that god is real, but I can guarantee the kid has no concept of "god" and puts him on par with a real superhero.

@Lauren Personally I hope for a Viking funeral. I have several friends who would be delighted at a chance to shoot flaming arrows at my corpse.

@Gwendolyn2018 I'm so sorry for your sister's problems, particularly Addison's. I hope they can keep her comfortable, and I hope her wider viewpoints give her some contentment. Who knows? Maybe someday you'll find yourself having some heart-to-hearts about religion.

@Gwendolyn2018 Well, gods kind of are superhero's and at eight, everything is real, so there's time. I have no doubt some of your facts will come into his life to keep reality there.

My biological and faux daughters are all atheists, but they were respectful to family who was religious and stood quietly if guests prayed over meals. As my daughter explains to people, we don't poke. There was a scary moment when she took a bible class in high school, though. But they're all vitriolic and logical about religion in conversations outside of that. It warms my heart. 🙂

@Paul4747 Oh wow! It might even end up like that scene in Game of Thrones - I'd come to that! To celebrate you, of course ... not to laugh.

🏹🏹🏹

9

When I was a Christian I didn’t want to hear other people experiences either. They are 100% wrong and I’m 100% right. I remember listening to an atheist who made perfect sense one time. I was starting to give respect to his thoughts and then my indoctrination kicked in. He was obviously influenced by the devil and trying to tempt me.. needless to say it’s all bs

When I was still attending church, the pastor told me that Christians should not read "things" that contradicted the Bible. He was right--when I left that church, I started reading everything I could find about myth and read about other religions. I left the church because of the leadership; I left Christianity because I could no longer accept the contradictions.

9

I pretty regularly give a dollar to those at intersections panhandling. They usually say, "Thank you and god bless you!" and I always reply, "If only there were a god!" Your story kind of helped explain why I get so many puzzled looks when I say that. They see a nice and generous person and wonder where my horns are since I don't believe in a god. It must confuse them that a heathen atheist is so kind (I actually claim to be agnostic since you can't prove there's no god - can't prove a negative).

I gave up on giving any charity
to panhandlers beyond food.

They have disappointed me for too long.

Bingo! "They" expect "us" to be mean and nasty. I never carry cash, so I have nothing to give. I used buy the homeless burgers when I still went to McD's and before businesses became stricter about panhandling.

@Umbrella_Guard Same here--food, but no money. However, since the pandemic hit, my habits have changed and I rarely have the occasion to even buy food for the homeless.

I was hit up by a woman in Branson--about an hour's drive away from me--once by a woman who wanted money to pay for an ambulance to take her to the hospital. I had no money and she didn't look sick. A few months later, she made it to Springfield. I remembered not only what she looked like, but the story was exactly the same. I told her that she had tried the same story on me before and I had no money; she liberally, loudly, and expressively threw a few curse words at me. A week or so later, she didn't remember me, but I remember her; when she told me the SAME story again, I reminded her our previous encounters, which she denied.

The irony is that I don't carry cash--only a debit card. I couldn't give her any money even had I been willing.

My oldest son is homeless in California, but he is there via poor decisions on his part.

My response to "god bless you" is "I hope not, god will fuck you up".

@jlynn37 Sometimes, I respond to the "god blessers" by saying I am atheist and other times, I smile and move. Depends on the circumstances.

@Gwendolyn2018 I went by a center traffic island panhandler last week, young guy. His sign read “I’ll be honest, need beer!” Refreshing, but I didn’t contribute to his party! 😂

@Barnie2years I remember a homeless guy in McD's when I still went there which was several years ago. He never asked for money, but people would occasionally buy him food. I offered to buy him a couple of burgers one day, but he said, "I'm not hungry, but I would like a McCafe" or some other drink that cost damn near $5--I wouldn't spend that much on a drink for myself! I offered to buy him a soda and he settled for that.

8

I admire your patience. Such people manage to last for as long as two minutes with me. I think I'll ask @KKGator what her secret is to reducing that time.

I can cut them off quickly if I want to and have done so many times, i.e. the guy who admired my hair and wanted to know if I wore it long for religious reasons. When I told him I was an atheist, he wanted to talk about. I told him that there was nothing he could say that I hadn't heard before--as he walked off, he said a bit loudly, "Well, there IS a god!." Yeah, heard that.

8

Useless to try I stay away from it

Sometimes, I won't engage, but she wasn't belligerent and as I noted elsewhere, I had a bit of time to waste.

6

Whatever you do, don't ever fall to your knees in a Wal-mart. You don't know who else has just walked on that floor, or what they stepped in earlier.

Ain't that the truth!

If someone were to fall to their knees around here, the entire store would turn into an impromptu revival meeting 🙄

6

Gosh, shame on you, you ruined her day, maybe her life. How can you do that, now she will be ever so confused and maybe, maybe end up on this website one day. He, he.

She refuses to be confused because she refused to listen to anything I said! It was sadly pathetic when I tried to bring her focus back to the two versions of Genesis--she has no clue, none.

@Gwendolyn2018
That's the problem with them, they don't listen and they don't answer questions. All they're interested in, is saying their "piece" only! and walk of thinking "deed done for the day"! Silly crowd honestly. A long time acquaintance saw me at a store, came up to me and said she just had to tell me that jesus loves me. I requested she tell him to phone me to tell me himself. I said I'll wait for his phone call or better if he could meet me outside the store😂
Her face took a twist. She knows I'm an atheist.

@TimeOutForMe

They don't answer questions because they don't read their book. This woman had no idea that there are two versions of creation in Genesis, and I would wager she won't check it out, either.

5

Yes, I live among many who lead that same fear-based "simple" Christian life. They really don't want to be made to think. It's just too hard.

Deb57 Level 8 Oct 12, 2021

If they had to think, they would likely break something.

5

Most Christians don't understand that our knowledge of their religious scriptures is exactly why we don't buy what they're selling.
Much of it defies logic and have little to no proof of being actual events.

Unity Level 7 Oct 11, 2021
5

She sounds like a simple minded person who doesn’t get much pushback from others that she tries to recruit for her god. Glad you tried to set her on a different path because she needed it! 😉

She gets no pushback because she has surrounded herself with likeminded people. I am probably the first atheist with whom she has talked. I am 99.9% sure nothing will come of our talk, but if she thought that by wanting to be my friend that she could change my mind, she was mistaken. I still have pagan leanings in some areas (mainly, a strong connection with nature), but none in Christianity.

@Gwendolyn2018 I’ve been on the receiving end of one of those folks, wanting to be my friend until I told her there was no possibility of me following her god. She didn’t last long! 🤣

5

Simple is the only thing they have! Deep diving only leaves them with nothing to show for their beikefs.

She was VERY simple!

5

I agree with your every word here. Simple indeed. These people do feel that it is their duty to convert us and they seem to fail to understand that we were once where they are now. After a time we grew up. They want to save us from "burning forever." I have seen people planted in the ground. Are they burning forever? No, they are dead.

She wants to keep it "simple" because if she thought about the issues that I brought up, it might weaken her faith. I know her book better than she does!

5

Confuse not the minds of the simple or ignorant, they will only hate you for it....

When she said that she had to keep things "simple," I tried not to point out the obvious, but I think I verged on it as she let me know that she had been to college! She is not mentally handicapped, but yeah, she is simple minded by choice.

@Gwendolyn2018 "Simple minded by choice" - I like that. 🙂

@Gwendolyn2018 I have met many so-called educated fools or educated idiots, who may have went to college or even got advanced degrees, but have the common sense of a wounded gorilla. Or the other educated fools who, like this one, choose to be willfully ignorant. I cringe every time, which is often, that I meet a college-educated person who, willfully, has never read another book since college, (and only read and learned grudgingly in college, in order to get the degree and the job that was supposed to come with it) unless it was required reading for their job. Such anti-intellectualism is laughable, if it weren't so sad and pathetic.....

5

You should have dropped to your knees in Walmart & praised the Walton family.

Or the time you keep an alka seltzer tablet to slip in your mouth and bite into.

I would have if it would've gotten me a discount!

5

Good for you! 😃
<<applauding>>

It was amusing to see the confused and/or blank looks on her face when I brought "things" up that she had no clue about.

@Gwendolyn2018 Most of them don't know about their own religion.
Let alone similarities o other mythologies.

@BufftonBeotch Even my Baptist sister says that I know more than 99% of Christians, especially those in backwoods Oklahoma where she lives.

4

Actually, she might have thought she'd like to be your friend. We atheists tend to lean towards seeing the negative in theists and their conversion tactics, but I have a number of theists friends that their religion or my lack thereof is of no importance.

Maybe she thought you were a nice person, regardless of how pitiful you are to not accept and worship her God. (Yeah, there is always that.) 🙄

In this case, I am 99% sure that the issue of friendship rested on the idea she could convert me. I base this on the things that she said during our "chat."

I have family members and friends/acquaintances who are Xtian, and it is no problem. My last two BFs were Xtian and religion was not why we broke up.

And she did think I was a nice person! Certainly one worthy of being "saved."

However, even if she had been non-religious or non-evangelical, I wouldn't have taken up her offer of friendship; her church and her family are her life. When I watched a video of her grandchild on her phone several times while she fiddled with it trying to catch the moment where he shows how "strong" he is for being five months old, I was backing up and saying "nice to talk with you" while she kept saying, "Here it is" and holding the phone out for me to see. We had nothing in common.

4

I've had similar encounters. You seem to have handled it well.

As I noted elsewhere, such encounters are useless, but unless they don't get mean, I will spare a bit of time if I have it.

@Gwendolyn2018 "Your a better (wo)man than I, Gunga Din.". In my experience, such people are aggressive, and I know that I do not suffer fools gladly and that I treat aggressive fools with blasts of reason, logic and contempt.

@anglophone I have encountered the aggressive ones, as well, and there is no conversation. I noted to someone else it is men who get aggressive--never had a woman get miffed or upset.

3

planting the seeds of doubt is my preferred approach and once they are sown I like to water regularly LOL

This woman's mind is infertile. I also hope to never see her again!

3

My daughter taught me a good one for getting rid of them quickly. Right when they think they have you on the line , growl " Thank you Satan" in best demonesque voice. Personal space achieved.

I have ways to evade "them," but I actually indulged in this conversation!

3

Ignostic Episcopalian here. I'm with you, I find this kind of cultish Christian tiresome as well. God (figure of speech for evolution) gave us brains to use, not to regurgitate iron age Abrahamaaic dogma.

This woman had never stopped to examine the validity of her beliefs--nor does she want to. I knew her arguments before she presented them.

2

I think she wanted you to attend church with her so she could score brownie points with the pastor (and add to the collection plate).

1

Good on you for telling this person some facts, it's funny how believers ignore good questions, the last believer I engaged with ended up crying

Garf Level 7 Oct 13, 2021

You meanie! The last two times I had "serious" conversations with Xtians who were strangers, it was with men and both became irate and one became belligerent; this was years ago. Usually, women just say that they will pray for me.

This poor woman had no replies for the issues and questions I presented, but she did say she would pray for me!

@Gwendolyn2018 ah fuck em, if they are going to preach stupid shit based on myths then they are getting exposed, isn't it funny how agro an flustered they become because someone dares question and make holes in the faith they have on there sky daddy

@Garf Sometimes, it is just fun to cast out the hook and line and reel them in, but I felt kinda sorry for this one. She is truly clueless about her religion; she sucks the Kool-Aid from a baby bottle.

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