Playing A Game Of Jesus Tag

, , , , , , | Friendly | August 12, 2018

(I go to boarding school. I am visiting my roommate and her family for two weeks. I know that her parents are Christians, while I’m not myself. I haven’t told them that I’m not religious, as I’ve seen them be rude to others who aren’t religious, but other than that they are really nice. One day my roommate lets it slip that I’m an atheist. It does not go well.)

Friend’s Mom: “What? You’re not Christian? How can you not be?”

(I’m not quite sure what to say. I only know two people back home who are religious; one is a Christian and one is a Muslim.)

Me: “Well… I just don’t believe in a god or whatever.”

Friend’s Mom: “Have you not seen all the wonders in the world? How can you not believe in God?”

Me: “Uh… Well… I don’t believe in it because I’ve never really seen any wonders, I guess?”

(I just wanted this to be over with… I was not asking for her to defend her belief, so I didn’t see why I should have to defend mine. After a while we agreed to disagree, and she said she’d respect me, and my beliefs, if I respected hers. I thought that was it. A couple of weeks later, I was back home and suddenly got a Facebook notification. My friend’s mom had tagged me in something. I logged in and there was a picture saying how everyone is God’s children, and how everyone is really a Christian, even if they don’t know it. I decided not to react, as I didn’t want to start anything. A couple of days later I was tagged, yet again, in something. When I logged in there was a video — ten minutes long! — explaining why Christianity was the only true belief in the world. I got annoyed, and sent her a private message asking her to please stop tagging me. A day later, I was tagged yet again in one of those videos. At the same time, I was talking with my roommate, and I mentioned it to her. She said she’d talk to them. However, a couple of hours later I was tagged yet again! Seeing as how she had told me she would respect my beliefs, I was annoyed. I responded to her, in the Facebook post, that we had talked about this and if she didn’t respect my beliefs, then I wouldn’t respect hers. I also asked her, in the comment, to please stop tagging me. She did stop, but we have never again spoken. My roommate said she couldn’t believe her mom’s behavior. The funny thing is, my roommate is an atheist herself, but doesn’t dare to tell her mother that after seeing how her mom treated me.)

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Think Themselves Above Your Radio Station

, , , , , | Related | July 29, 2018

(My wife and I moved in together a little over six months after we started dating, when we announced our engagement. The big day’s finally almost here, and family is assembling, including my very religious sister, who cares for neither my atheism nor the fact that my wife and I have been living together. I pick my sister up from the airport, and immediately after she gets into the car, she changes the radio station to the local Christian music station.)

Me: “What on earth are you doing?”

Sister: “Here, you should listen to this.”

Me: *hitting a preset station* “No, thank you. I prefer metal.”

Sister: “You would.” *turns it back* “No, really, you should listen to this. It’s so inspiring.”

Me: *hitting the button again* “Driver picks the tunes. How do you not know this by now?”

Sister: *changing the station again* “Yes, but you need to listen to this. We all know you’re only getting married because you made a bastard.”

(I turn off the radio, detach the face, and throw it in the back seat.)

Me: “We announced this date a year ago. If [Wife] were pregnant, you’d know by now.”

(We drove to the hotel in silence, I asked my mother to keep my sister in line. I found out after the ceremony that my sister tried to stand up during the “if anyone has any reason why these two should not be wed” bit, but Mom told her off before anyone noticed. Apparently, she felt that since we weren’t getting married in a “real” church, we were lying to God. My sister and I no longer talk.)

Harry Potter And The Christian Right-Wing

, , , , , | Right | July 27, 2018

(This story takes place just after the fifth “Harry Potter” book is released. I have my copy in my purse — like most stores, my employer only allows clear plastic purses and bags on the sales floor to discourage theft. This occurs while I am walking to the break room:)

Customer: “Do you work here?”

Me: *I’m off the clock but still respond* “Yes. How can I help you?”

Customer: “Oh, I don’t need anything except your name. I’m going to report you to your employer for promoting Satanism.”

Me: “Um…”

Customer: “I see that filth!” *points to “Harry Potter” book* “I can’t believe that the owner of this store would appreciate his employees advertising encouraging witchcraft.”

Me: “Ma’am, this is my personal property and had nothing to do—”

Customer: “Be quiet! I know evil when I see it, and this is inappropriate. I’m going to find a manager.”

Me: “Of course. Customer service is on the second floor. You can’t miss it. It’s right next to a very large display on Harry Potter merchandise, and is where I bought this book with my employee discount, just like almost every other employee and manager here.”

Customer: *mutters something about “Satan everywhere” and storms off*

Pray Tell… Actually, Don’t

, , , , , , | Related | July 15, 2018

I grew up in a very religious home. My parents held rigid beliefs that, after much soul-searching, I realized did not represent my values; I decided to become agnostic.

Fast-forward to the present. I am having a challenging time with my infant refusing to go to sleep and waking up at all hours of the night. Exhausted, I reach out on Facebook for book suggestions for sleep training from fellow parents. I also ask parents to share their experience trying sleep-training techniques. I’m particularly interested in evidence-based approaches backed by research.

I get some helpful book suggestions… then I get a comment from my religious aunt. She tells me in great detail that I should abstain from coffee or tea, I should play Christian songs during bedtime, and I should pray with my infant son, reassuring me that this will cure all our sleep woes. Not wanting to start a debate on Facebook, I simply thank her. However, I am holding back a sigh and an eye-roll.

You Have A Cathoholic Problem

, , , , , | Working | July 12, 2018

(A supervisor comes into the office with a smile on his face. [Colleague], who works on the desk opposite me, is in her late 70s and is retiring in six months. She is known for her conservative views.)

Supervisor: *to me* “I’ve finally converted—”

Me: “What?”

Supervisor: “I’ve converted. You know, the—”

Colleague: “Oh, that’s wonderful news.” *quick side glare at me* “It’s a good day when one of the lost finds the flock again.”

Supervisor: “Ugh, sure… Anyway, I converted my measures sheet to metric. It took me all weekend, but I finally did it.” *beaming*

Me: “Oh, that is wonderful. That should save us some time!”

Colleague: “So, you aren’t converting to Catholicism. You should, unless you’re like [My Name] and her perversions.”

Me: “[Colleague]! You stop that right now!”

Supervisor: *to colleague* “Shut your puss, you old hag. My dad was abused by a Catholic priest when he was ten years old. He’s been very critical of religion ever since, especially Catholicism, which has more than enough secrets to damn the world thrice over. If you don’t like that, you can stick your crucifix where the sun doesn’t shine.”

(My colleague blushes and leaves the office, muttering about being so mistreated.)

Me: “Wow… [Supervisor], you might’ve just lost your job.”

Supervisor: “Who cares. It’s old witches like her that make life worse for the rest of us. What did she even mean, bringing you into that?”

Me: “My sister is gay, and I made the mistake of outing her to the office when she found out she was pregnant. [Colleague]’s been giving me nasty looks ever since. She’ll be gone in six months, and I don’t want the added baggage of a complaint so close to her retirement. It might give her the passion to stay, just to spite me.”

(He grumbled and left. When I went in the next morning, there was a nice new partition blocking my view of [Colleague], and a teddy bear with note attached saying to give it to my sister. To my knowledge, [Colleague] hasn’t complained about [Supervisor], and I’m counting the days until she’s gone for good.)

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