Thanksgiving and Family Fundie Nonsense

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. I'm a bit bummed out that I don't have a great outfit to wear to dinner on Thursday. Like one of the 30 or so anti-religious shirts my husband Butch I have created on Zazzle and Cafepress with maybe some nice black cargo pants. I just don't think I could get one shipped to me in time. Maybe if I order soon, I can have something festive for baby jesus' birthday.

Oh if I only had the nerve. Maybe it's not nerve but respect for the people who throw the family get-togethers - Butch's aunt and uncle. She's a bit on the religious side, so I wouldn't want to upset or offend her. She's the kind of christian that I don't mind at all. I know she's a christian because she goes to church every Sunday, but we've never talked religion and she's never tried to push her faith on me. She is a good person, one of the few christians I know that I truly respect, because she walks the walk without talking the talk, if you know what I mean.

Her mother, on the other hand, she's nasty. The typical fundie moron that is unbearable and full of lies and hatred for anyone who actually thinks for themselves. As a schoolteacher, I just wish she wouldn't be so ignorant about simple facts like oh, I dunno, maybe that we're not a christian nation, and that the founding fathers created a separation of church and state very deliberately.

She hates Butch and I because we dared stand up for truth and facts last christmas regarding the founding of our country. She was so full of instant indignant rage, spouting poisonous lies about the founding fathers. When Butch corrected her it was really ugly, but she just changed the subject and skulked off. Luckily it was after dessert.

Anyway, it would be nice if she, a freaking schoolteacher, knew that the founding fathers went out of their way to make sure there was a separation of church and state. How blind is she? Doesn't she know that it protects her as much as me, the godless heathen sitting across from her at the table?

Ugh, lucky for her I'm an ethical atheist, which means I probably will not stick my fork in her eye over the candied yams when they bow their heads in prayer. Then again, maybe it's just my pragmatism, because no one likes bloodied candied yams.

Speaking of dealing with fundies, I noticed an arguing method that such people use to great effect. Where do they learn this common and slimy method, and how the hell can it be dealt with?

It goes like this: the narrow-minded fundie makes a statement. You refute it with logic. They slide off from that point, never acknowledging that they lost that battle, and immediately attack you with another ridiculous claim that is either A, so outlandish that you are stunned and have a hard time figuring out a rational response to such insanity, or B, it's got just enough fact in it that makes it hard to refute outright, but easy to believe if you're a mindless nutjob.

Once you try to refute the second point, if you are lucky and succeed in getting your whole point out, the fundie launches at you with another vicious attack, totally ignoring the previous argument again, keeping you off guard, never letting you get your head together.

Who teaches people to be so calculatingly manipulative? I knew this guy for a couple of years. He was a narrow minded, smart yet mindless idiot, but somehow we got along and I thought we were friends. Last week I mentioned that he had a narrow world view. I know, it wasn't the most tactful statement and I apologized. He cut off all contact instantaneously.

In an email exchange over the next day or so, he used the technique I just described until it dawned on me, he was going to continue the ad hominem attacks and accuse me of being a heinous person and never ever even acknowledge that I was trying to converse with him, unless he could use it against me. Which he did in twisted ways that frankly boggled my mind.

Finally it hit me. Why the hell was I even engaging with this person? He was a fundie in his own way. I hadn't realized until then that there is such a beast as the rare atheist fundie, full of the same ridiculous twisted logic and lack of common sense. Bizarro world, that's what it felt like.

Anyway, I really can't think of any way to deal with such people except to disengage and not even talk to them. Arguing logic with them is a waste of time and effort, and a source of immense aggravation. They don't want to argue with you, they want to attack and debase you. It's pointless, I think.

Of course, I welcome ideas on how to deal with this whole vicious technique. If you've had success be sure to share with the class. We all need to know.

Wow, what a meandering path that was! I think I'll wrap things up by saying THANK YOU.

Thanks for reading, and thank you so much for when you comment. That makes my day. I'm so grateful for so many things, and you are one of them.

And look, I can be happy and thankful for my family, my dogs, my health, my home and all the good things and people that fill my life, and I can do it all without kowtowing to an invisible, angry, hateful, middle eastern, Bronze/Iron Age, childish bully in the sky. :P


  1. I don't really have an answer for you on this one. I find for me that it helps to keep in mind the difference of the arguments we are having. The atheist argument is based on logic and science. Where their argument is based on faith. You really are debating two different things. And unfortunately neither one of you are able to switch to the others terms.

    My boyfriend and I were talking one time about why he was not religious. And he said that he was a strong enough person that he didn't need a religion as a crutch to get him though the day. And it stuck a cord with me. I looked back at my family and I could truly see how religion was a crutch that helped us get though the day. Now that I am free from religion I actually look at deeply religious folk and feel sorry for them, because I recognize they are simply not able to be strong enough to face a life based on logic and fact.

    Now I try to empathize with their position in life. And often I find myself thinking of Christians more like children who simply have not learned yet the truth about life. I guess my long winded point is when I try to empathize and look at them in this light it makes it harder to want to argue with them. There is one exception for me on this point. I will not allow my friends or family use religion to spread hate and bigotry. That is my line personally that I will not allow them to cross.

  2. Thanks Dickie Maxx, I understand where you're coming from on this. You're right, they are two different arguments entirely, completely incompatible, like oil in water.

    Religion is a crutch that debilitates people and keeps them weak. I think it's wonderful that you can be empathetic. I agree with you that for some cases, I try to understand that they are lost in their faith and unable to fathom a life without their god. I find I'm only really tolerant of religious folk that actually walk the walk though. Like my husband's aunt.

    For her mother, and the rest of the hypocritical fundie christian masses, though, I'm not so tolerant or understanding. Some of the people I have to deal with are the kind of christian fundamentalist hypocrites that I simply despise. They spread intolerance, hate, bigotry, and all other kinds of nastiness. Completely unacceptable.

    If all christians were like my husband's aunt, I wouldn't have this website. They'd do their thing, I'd do mine, and that would be that. It's the other kind that I feel I have to go up against, battling their lies and misinformation with facts, truth, science, logic and common sense.

  3. Part of me has to say that I am glad they are there because that does mean you get to have a website. And I will admit my argument does look good on paper and it is hard to be tolerant of those Christians who are of the hypocritical fundie ilk. In my own life I work with a woman I would like to publicly flog on a daily basis. I do hope you found your thanksgiving to be a happy one.

  4. Hey Dickie Maxx, Thanksgiving was pretty good. The food was delicious but I didn't get to bring home any leftovers which totally sucked. When the conversation among the womenfolk turned to religion, bible camp, church, pastors, etc over and over again, I just kind of zoned out or went and hung out with the men in the garage. So it was pretty good. We just kept our mouths shut and kept the peace when it came to the talk of invisible magic men in the sky. :P

  5. So clearly you took the high road. Something that most people can not do. You are to be commended.

  6. Yeah, I guess I did. Please don't tell anyone. I have a reputation as a hard-nosed militant atheist to uphold. :P