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5/24/2008                                                                                       View Comments

I give up

By Billy B

I hope that I've learned my lesson.

Yesterday my Christian neighbor came to my door under the false pretense of wanting to ask my permission to place a sign endorsing a local political candidate in my yard. What he really wanted was an excuse to try and drag me into another mental cage-match over his insane worldview...(i.e. the Bible , prayer in schools, 'Expelled the movie'...etc...)

I took the bait and within 15 minutes he had me so fucking mad that I literally had to laugh.

Luckily the tension was broken by an important phone call that allowed us both an honorable exit from the situation, but this experience taught me a very important lesson: Engaging stupidity is self-abuse.

I've finally realized that there are some situations where I will only be submitting myself to emotional torture by entering a debate with certain types of Christians. Therefore, I've given myself permission to take a passive stance and let them run their mouths while I silently plot my escape.

To attempt a reasonable exchange of ideas is as futile as whispering to a charging rhinoceros.

As hard as it is to do, sometimes I just have to do the smart and sensible thing, no matter how superior it makes the Xtian feel.

I certainly respect anyone who wishes to verbally fuss and fight with certain types of trolls and fools that permeate our society. You do us all a tremendous service by using your skills and intellect to such ends. I appreciate your willingness to jump into the ring and do battle with someone who is willing to cheat and fight dirty.

I'm happy, for now, to sit at the apron and cheer on the team.

Any thoughts will be gratefully accepted.

P.S. I fully support WebMaster Dave's choice to block those whom he discerns to be destructive to the main purpose of this blog and its readers. Thanks.

13 comments:

Trans-man said...

Oh yeah, I was at the office store the other day and a customer lady was yelling and screaming at a not very bright but extremely nice and helpful employee. The lady behind her told me that she heard the woman say she needed copies for her church and remarked she would not want to go to HER church, if she had such an attitude. I could not resist and said "I'm an atheist and never have bad attitude." The lady, probably in her seventies, stared at me, then gave me a very teethy smile and said "I would love to talk to you about your atheism when you have time." I replied that, as a matter of fact, I had time right now. She lost her smile, turned quickly and huffed off. With an attitude. Ha ha ha!!!!!

eejay said...

Billy B...I feel for you, because I have had some similar situations, with the same end result of being so damned mad that I'm certain to have broken a blood pressure device. Sometimes the converstaions start so innocently that we are taken, and then they zoom in like flies on shit. I admire your attitude, that you are able to at least laugh it off. I have had some toss and turn nights where I just keep fuming. I hope that I can take your post and use it in my own experiences to help me calm down and just say to myself, fuck 'em. It's not worth arguing about. They want to live like retards...fine! They want to give their money to make the churches richer...fine! They want to practice abstinance...fine! And I'll remember that I have an important phone call. Thanks for sharing.

And trans-man, good timing!

buffettphan said...

Oh, Billy B....... can I ever relate to your experience! However, in my life, the neighbor in your story is my Dear Husband. (Many others on this site are in the same boat.) I've been telling myself for years, "You can't reason with insanity." Some days that works and some days it doesn't.. ;-)

On the forums the other day, I read these lines.....And I'm sorry...I can neither find nor recall the post...but this person is very wise and deserves all the credit and thanks for my new "motto"....

"I see things one way, you see them another. To each their own - I really don't care. I have taken a healthy dose of Fukitol 1000 mg, and what other people think/do doesn't matter to me unless it affects my life."

Unfortunately, DH does afffect my life, so now, I think I'll go take my dose of Fukitol....in the form of a nice cool, tasty Margarita, some good music, and chill out by the lake.

Trancelation said...

Your neighbor is not trying to convince you; he is trying to convince himself. People that truly invest in their ideas and believe in their effectiveness are certainly passionate about them, but the behavior displayed by your neighbor is a clear indication that HE is the nonbeliever here, moreso than you or any other non-Christian.

This is true of most Christians; indeed, I should think it is true of ALL Christians. The Christian religion is so infested with lies, falsehoods, contradictions and misunderstandings of the real world that anyone claiming to be Christian cannot possibly help but suffer inner turmoil from their attempts at reconciling their common sense with the lies of religion. This is why, I think, they rely on emotion more than reason in argument: there is no reason in Christianity.

So I simply don't argue with them anymore. If I am pulled into an argument, I avoid the emotional topics, the personal testimony, the reasoning, the rationality . . . the best weapon against Christianity is the Bible. Give Christians a contradiction they can't answer, and they will scamper away. Naturally, they will try to convine themselves that they've won, but most likly you'll never hear from them again. The logic here is that if the Bible can be wrong about ONE thing, why can't it be wrong about EVERYTHING? Don't be lulled into talking about abortions, stem cells, homosexuals, prayer in schools, or Ben Stein's lack of human genitalia; in argument, I speak solely of the contradictions of the Bible, and Christians don't want to hear about that. I think it is the single most frustrating topic for them, and it always sends them packing, one way or another. Give that a try next time. Good luck!

Jackie said...

I have decided to avoid these types of people. Like eejay, I think I'd raise my blood pressure if I got into a debate with them... not because they make me mad but because you can't argue faith. When they have nothing else backing what they believe but faith, then it's just pointless. They are ignorant.

Now I do have a funny story about people and their faith. I work with this guy whose grand-daughter was born with a brain tumor. They gave her only a couple of weeks to live so, the whole family scrambled to St. Louis to find a doctor who could treat her. The doctor was able to remove 90 some odd percent of the tumor, then sent them to St jude's for a year on chemo and more skull drillings.
This guy knows I'm an atheist. This is what he says to me when talking about his grand-daughter.
"I know you don't believe in that prayer thing" or "I know what you think about miracles, but check this out." And it's some crap about her developing almost like a normal baby. This is my response "You can thank the doctors for your miracle. Had she been born even 50 years ago, she would be dead. Also, the real miracle would have been a no tumor healthy baby." Then I get the whole "God is testing us" bullshit. So I say "That poor baby has had to suffer having her head drilled into and poison pumped through her veins just so you and her parents could prove your faithfulness to God. Sick."

So Billy B, I'm right there with ya. What's the point. They will believe what they believe until they stumble across something that shakes their world in just the right way to make them think. Kind of like us, there is nothing that they could say that would make us change our minds.

xrayman said...

Hey Mister B,

You know what is really ironic? I lived next door to a retired minister until he died five years ago. Never once did he try to sell me on his faith, but he did often give me fresh picked vegetables from his garden. He was such a great guy. He acted how one might think a Christian should. He was just a pure love thy neighbor guy, without shoving his beliefs down the neighbor's throat.

I have never encountered anyone like you describe. I actually would love the challenge. I invited the Mormons in a couple of times and had a ball with them, but I have never had a total asshole Christian go at me as of yet.

Lizzy said...

Xrayman - I am happy for you. Your experiences must be unique amongst members of this group. You would love the challenge? Maybe I should send my Dad over to you - and you could use your amazing influence on him and turn him into a kind and loving christian...That would be a miracle! I could give you his e-mail? Okay...just kidding.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just sit back and let someone else do all the dirty work. I know we're not all cut out for intelligent debating but I do believe in standing up against BULLIES.

Thank you Chris Hitchens/ Richard Dawkins/Sam Harris and Dan Dennet for standing up on my behalf and toughing it out with intelligent arguments. Listen and learn. Take heart people!

tama.brett said...

I'm reminded of a story.

I don't go out of my way to annoy Xians but one beautiful day I was walking back to the office with my lunch and was assailed by a street preacher who shouted in my face and condemned me to hell etc blah blah blah. Unlike normal, he really put me in a bad mood.

After I had finished lunch of roast chicken and veggies I had a pile of chicken bones left over. I grabbed some chalk and went back to him, drew a pentagram(?) on the sidewalk in chalk, threw the chicken bones into the middle and did a "voodoo dance" and spoke in "tongues".

The guy's head nearly exploded. I bet he's still going on about it.

jamesisme1 said...

When we were little we believed in Santa Clause but as we grew older we understood that Santa was only a myth. Then we were confronted with god and again we believed. God is necessary for those we chose not to be responsible. It is so much easier to let someone else be responsible. If its good its because God did it, if its bad the devil made me do it. See i'm not responsible. Santa is making a list an counting it twice to see if you've been naughty or nice. God is doing the same thing. The difference? Santa witholds presents,God burns you're your buut in hell. You can't argue with these folks because they chose not to be responsible.
When they grow up perhaps the will undersatnd.

Nina said...

My partner is xtian and she is very ignorant of catacism. She believes her mom over anyone else and her mom was healed by Padre Pio's gloves when she was dying. She lived and there is no way I can convince my partner that it was not a miracle. Anytime we even begin to bring it up, back to the Padre Pio Gloves. I give up. I just smile. I can not utter another word about it. I wish she was a thinker but she just wants to say "have faith" whenever it does come up. I am not sure if this will lead to the end of us, but I just love everything else about her personality except this old christian thing.
Am I deluding myself? Will it ever not matter?
I also just wanted to mention that I just smile and say nothing when xtians start that crap. I say nothing. I can't. If I opened my mouth I am afaid what will come out. I want to say the meanest things. I don't want to make enemies. It is more like I freeze in the face of such nonsense and I can not even bring myself to confess my atheism in this situation.
I give up, too.
Nina

avie_redmoon said...

Sometimes, I swear these fundies are just like door-to-door salesmen who don't know how to take "no" for an answer.

Your post made me smile. I love the wit you've used to get your feelings and your point across. I must also agree with your comment about engaging stupidity.

Don't get me wrong--I enjoy the occasional mental sparring with a fundie. But sometimes, their circular arguments, illogical explanations and blatant insults make me feel like Sisyphus rolling his stone up the hill. Most of them never say anything new or challenging. Kind of sad, really.

eris.discordia said...

LOL!

I think we all have gotten in situations like that! Recently, a friend of mine actually had the nerve to set up a lunch date with me and one of his wacko fundie friends. I don't know what my friend had in mind but I quickly shut the poor fundie down when he started his religious tirade on me.

Later on my friend apologized for bringing his fundie friend along. he said he didn't realize it would turn into a situation. Yeah, right!

The thing is, it was not a big deal to me because I slammed him so hard he shut up about it almost immediately! But I guess it was a big deal to him! LOL!

I have developed certain techniques for dealing with those morons. Usually I let them know that I know what the Bible says and where it came from. Then I point out that every single word of it is allegory and that all of the English translations are wrong and he should study Hebrew if he wants to know the truth. I can usually humiliate them fairly quickly by countering their bullshit with facts. Oh, and I NEVER get emotional about it. Sometimes I laugh at the absurdity of the subject, and that can be construed as mocking their faith, I guess. But that is THEIR problem! If they don't want to be mocked, then they should mind their own business!

In any case, my methods tend to shut down the most rabid Christians, enabling me to enjoy my lunch and get on with my life!

billybee said...

I've really loved the comments.

The big lesson for me has been this; All of us have different levels of skill and talents.
Whatever your skill or talent may be, you can be effective in making an impact toward driving the ignorance of religion from your community.

We can all make a contribution if we will just try.