The Noah Show

June 20th, 2010

It is 1:23 am here in Branson USA.  I am sitting on the floor of the bathroom of our rented condo to write this without bothering anyone.  We are here with extended family who are all devout Christians.  One member in our party purchased tickets for the “Noah’s Ark” show for our entire group.  This show is a literal take on the biblical account of a world wide flood.  Almost everyone in our party believes that this story literally took place.  They believe that Noah actually existed, that he actually built an ark and that two of each animal on the face of the earth took up residence with Noah and his family inside a huge boat, until it came to a rest somewhere on Mount Ararat and the waters subsided enough for them to disembark. The “Noah show” was carefully constructed to point the way to Jesus as God’s only begotten son.  At the end of the show, the ark slowly dismantled itself and became a massive cross and then a man in a white tunic, purple cape, and gold sparkly belt walked through the ‘door’ and invited us all to follow him or to burn forever in the eternal lake of fire.  We were told that we only had a short time to make up our minds before the ‘door’ would be forever closed.  Christ’s return was imminent.  Repent or perish! The staff of the theater lined up in front of the stage to talk to us, pray with us and help us to enter into a soul saving relationship with Jesus ‘The Christ”.

After the show, we loaded up and went to Steak and Shake for desert.  Because what better way to celebrate the fact that you are one of God’s elect than an order of fries and a chocolate malt?  Of course everyone in this party also knows that I completely and totally reject all of the ideas set forth in this play, but we all tried to peacefully enjoy our desert without saying anything.  But I just couldn’t ignore it.  I couldn’t ignore the idea that I had just been told that if I don’t accept Christ, I am going to burn in a lake of fire forever.  So I brought the conversation around to the idea of the bible possibly being a massive hoax, and well.. it didn’t go very well.  Among the many things that I was told tonight as I probed the faith of my family were…

Most scientists believe in God.

Evolution has never been proven.

There is some wasp that disproves evolution entirely.

There is no legitimate evidence that contradicts a literal seven day creation.

My atheism is a punishment from God to my family for their sins.  (Emotional blackmail anyone?)

There was a world wide flood.

Since I don’t believe in God, I have no morals and there is nothing stopping me from walking across the street and killing my neighbors.

The bible doesn’t say that the world is flat and all those people who were burned as heretics or imprisoned for life for defying the bible and saying the world was round, were killed by Christians who were just sadly misinformed.

The bible doesn’t approve of slavery (as it actually means servants and not slaves and these are two very different things!).

If I want to talk about these things I should do it ‘one on one’ and not right NOW at Steak and Shake right after we JUST SAW THE NOAH SHOW!

So it is now 2:15 am and I am bathing my mind in reason.  Reading Thomas Jefferson quotes.  Reading scientific arguments against creationism and a world wide flood.  Reading statistics that say that the world’s leading scientists almost uniformly reject the idea of a God and especially the idea that there is a personal God that gives a half a shit about people.

In six hours I have to get on a boat…. a large boat… kind of like an ark.  I will be stuck on that boat for twelve hours with people who view me as a hateful heretic because I reject the notion of a world wide flood, the notion of an ark, the notion of a Noah, a covenant sealed with a rainbow, a savior who died for my sins, that anyone should have to die for my sins, a virgin birth, a inerrant bible, and especially the existence of a God. But I think that I do believe in hell. Because tomorrow… while I am trapped on that boat with a bunch of people who consider me to be among the unsaved, ignorant masses who don’t understand the beauty of their glorious faith – it will be very like hell. So I might as well accept it as a very likely possibility.

PS – I only wish that the ‘Noah Show’ had extended beyond the final ‘rainbow’ scene to the part of the story where a naked, hung-over Noah curses his grandson Caanan for his father’s (Ham’s) criminal act of viewing him nude.  Now THAT would have been a biblical scene worth seeing!

Comments

  • 10plus:

    Good for you for taking them on, but all those things they said are exactly the reason why I just keep my mouth shut when I’m in that situation. I’m not much for arguing and debate to begin with, but with those kinds of Christians, I think you’d have better luck trying to convince a tree that it’s really a rock. Personally, I’d rather sit in a windowless room and watch paint dry than get into any sort of ‘debate’ with that type of crowd- at least watching paint dry I could think about serious things and I wouldn’t constantly be frustrated, like trying to hit the gopher in that shopping mall arcade game. (Actually, it’s more like 3-card monte. Not only is it rigged and You can’t win, but they either don’t know it’s rigged or won’t admit it.)

  • jalf:

    “Since I don’t believe in God, I have no morals and there is nothing stopping me from walking across the street and killing my neighbors.”

    And yet you haven’t done so. I wonder why that is.
    I also wonder, whenever I hear that argument, if it means that your family would, if you did somehow convince them that God does not exist, charge across the nearest street to kill as many neighbors as they can find.

    I really hope Christians are better people than that. But by using arguments like that, they’re really making me wonder.

    But you’re right, discuss those things one-on-one. :)
    And good luck getting through “hell”.

  • Oh my god do you have to go to a Donny and Marie show too? Because that WOULD be hell!

  • shannon:

    I’m sorry for your situation Rechelle. Choose your battles wisely. This one you maybe should have let slide? I hope you can enjoy the rest of the trip without having someone trying to “save” you every hour.

  • AdrianG:

    At the heart of all these issues is this: We humans all have a tendency to choose beliefs as and act of loyalty to our peers or to those whom we admire. It is similar to our tendency to choose the clothes we wear and the way we speak based on the social status of the people we imitate. More the the point, all of the tendencies are usually completely unconscious; They are so unconscious that we often kid ourselves about our motives for the choices we make.

    You’ve begun to understand that there are better reasons than loyalty for making choices about what you will believe. The change you’ve made in how you evaluate claims about truth shouldn’t have to be a barrier between you and them, but they make it one because they haven’t grown out of instinctively viewing choices about belief as choices about loyalty.

    What’s most frustrating about these situations is that they don’t even understand how they are making their own decisions about belief. They tend to take the news they hear and twist the facts so that they support their own sense of loyalty to their Christian peers. Or if some other Christian has already twisted these facts, they take these twisted versions of the fact on faith. To reject these twisted claims about truth would be an act of disloyalty to their Christian peers.

    This confusion between beliefs and loyalty is a sign of a kind of immaturity. Maturity is a complex thing; We can be very mature in some ways and still be immature in other ways. I don’t know if there are gods, but to me, it seems clear that a god who showed maturity in this understanding of the difference between belief and loyalty could never punish us for our failure to show loyalty through belief. This Christian claim that God will punish us for our failure to hold the right beliefs is nothing more than Christians projecting their own immaturity onto their image of God.

    If there is a God, and if he is a wise as Christians would have us believe, surely he would rather see us agnostic than so immature about beliefs.

    AdrianG

  • Christine from Canada:

    I’d find it EXCRUCIATINGLY difficult to enjoy that trip. Not only because of WHERE it is (Hullo? Home to every Christian Family Entertainer in the world), but also because of the COMPANY (my apologies that I’m talking about your extended family).

    The judgemental attitudes and — correct me if I’m wrong — the possibility that they might be staging an “intervention” of sorts on you, would be too crazy-making.

    This is the part about being an atheist that’s just plain not fun.

  • GA in GA:

    Family vacations . . . Hell . . . reminds me of the vow I made my husband take before I’d marry him. No ‘family’ vacations with my family.

    Hope you survive AND manage to have a pleasant vacation. I don’t want you to feel like you did after your European vacation last summer.

  • Spinny:

    Rechelle, I’m so sorry for your situation, but can’t help but wonder at your family member’s motives in buying those tickets. The ONLY member of your group who would have “benefited” from the show was you, so why exactly were they purchased? To try and re-convert you or to reinforce the belief in your boys before they are lost to your heathenism?

    This situation is why my family doesn’t know of our un-belief. I made the mistake of mentioning this science story to my mom because I thought it was so incredibly cool.

    She said, “How do they know that there’s a diamond?

    Because I was paraphrasing and had read the article weeks before, I couldn’t remember the exact details, but mentioned that scientists can measure things very accurately on Earth and can extrapolate from what they measure/observe in space.

    She said, “Oh, what do scientists know, they think the world is more than 6,000 years old.”

    I was literally too stunned to respond.

  • Eegads Rechelle. I certainly don’t envy your situation. Not only are you in the most awful place in the continental United States, you’re being attacked for who you are. I’m really sorry. I must say I find it odd that people know how you feel and still expect you to be non-reactive when put in that situation. Were they hoping that exposure to the Noah show would be a “lightbulb” moment for you? I’m sorry they can’t accept you for who you are. I hope that your trip will end on a more uplifting note, even if that note is finding refuge in your own home.

  • Kiara:

    I’m pretty sure the Duggars saw (and participated in) that play on an episode of their show. And not that I would EVER go see it or enjoy it if it was forced upon me, but I have to say that if it is the one the Duggars saw: the set looked amazing. :P

  • Anna:

    Because I too am a now atheist who was once a devout Christian, I SO feel your pain. I hope you’re able to get through the rest of your trip without resorting to literally banging your head against a wall!

  • I think the best way to handle this is to put a smile on your face and try to enjoy the rest of the trip while being as gracious and loving to the extended family as possible; otherwise, you are just reinforcing their view of you as the “hateful heretic” of the group.

    It’s also good to remember that while you don’t want them to “educate” you to change your beliefs, they don’t want you doing that to them either. Just keep repeating “to each his own” in your head and try to enjoy your family time.

  • DirtyKSmama - Nikki:

    Welcome to the herd, fellow family black sheep. Or more like dark, cold-hearted, heathen, damned sheep – at least according to our families.

    I feel your pain. Sometimes the hardest part isn’t that you have different beliefs, it’s the feeling that your family doesn’t accept/respect your difference of opinion, belief, or even you, and just let it be. It seems no matter what a great human being you are, this one aspect of your life will always be an ISSUE to those who you would think love you unconditionally, and you will be judged by it. What’s worse is when you’re specifically placed by them in such in-your-face situations, such as the Ark show. Ouch. And yet they are the moral, loving ones.

    Luckily you have a great sense of humor, and a lot of people all over the country and world (yes you do, how cool is THAT?!?) who understand, enjoy, and like you, just the way you are. Don’t forget it.
    “AlmightyGod” had a great tweet/twit/twat yesterday – he also has a great sense of humor, if you don’t follow him already. And I recently read the question, “If Jesus came back from death after 3 days, wouldn’t that make him a zombie?” Hmm…

  • Rainy:

    Ignorance is bliss, and for many it scares them to think that maybe just maybe others people ideas are true. Just continue to be proud of who you are Rechelle :)

  • Jay:

    Honestly, when I have to sit through some religious thing with my family I just treat it the same way I do when kids talk to me about Santa. Its what they believe; it makes no sense to me; Ill just smile and nod and it will all be over soon. At these kinds of gatherings people dont want to hear what I have to say, so I just keep it to myself.

    Doesnt make it any more fun though. I feel for ya. :(

  • You know, I’m a Christian, and being forced or even losing my mind enough (sorry, I feel that way) to watch The Noah Show would be sheer torture. I don’t fit in, I guess, because I believe scientifically that the Earth is much older than just 6,000 years, that Noah’s flood did not cover the entire earth, and fossils in the Grand Canyon or wherever do not prove there WAS a world wide flood. Maybe I’m a heretic, because some stories in the Old Testament make me wonder if they are just that, stories. Sorry, again. I’ve studied the Bible a lot, and read a lot of scientific literature and websites, and that’s what I think and wonder about.

    I’m also a homeschooling mom. My kids are all grown now, but when it came to teaching them, I taught them both evolution and creationism. I let them learn and make their own choices on belief, much to the consternation of my more conservative friends. Some of the creationism apologetics science out there is so one-sided and ridiculous that I couldn’t use it. One site I read a lot, and it is a Christian site, but it makes sense to me, is http://www.reasons.org. It’s scientific, not at all overly sappy, and the guys that run it and write the articles are astro-physicists, geneticists, and other scientists. I’m not trying to get anyone to read the site, and I certainly don’t work for them, but if anyone is curious, it’s a good site to check out.

  • Ted Powell:

    If Jesus Saves, can he save the Gulf Coast? Check out this article: Louisiana gives up on the Gulf. Of course, if the oil reservoir runs dry, or at least loses pressure, while all the praying is happening, we know who gets the credit…

  • Brian V.:

    Quite bold of you to think that you should speak in public without your husband’s permission and beyond that to speak of matters better kept among the menfolk as God clearly lays out in his Word. Your role is to obey your master/husband who will, as you know, have to answer to God for your actions as well as his own. Best to throw yourself off the boat today into the Hell that awaits you while belching Rimbaud verses or some other fool as debauched as yourself. How dare you disturb the universe. Let us prey…

  • Brian V.:

    @Ted, As you well know, politicians follow the offering plate with religious precision…. along that path lies the great reward and re-election. BP may have been preying-long-time on the Gulf and will continue to do so I suspect… We need to be free of that Muslim/fanatic crude and depend on true oil, Amurkan oil, not that satanic stuff. At least, that’s what I heard at church.

  • Don’t try to get into arguments with people that don’t argue by the same rules you do. You can’t reason a person out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into in the first place. I’ve been in long, drawn out (months by email) arguments with people where I painstakingly lay out the details and they eventually say (this is a quote from one) “The way you show it makes more sense, but I still don’t believe it.” If you get that kind of response, just drop it. The argument can’t go anywhere.

    BTW: to Jews the story of the ark has nothing to do with Jesus, of course, but a lot more to do with building walls around you and your family to protect it from secular influence on the outside and letting in only the divine light of G-d. The flood waters, instead of being cleansing, represent the anti-spiritual influence around us. It’s also the origin of the 7 Noahide Laws, the predecessor to the 10 Commandments. To most religious Jews I know (I don’t know any orthodox ones) the story of Noahs Ark is just that…a story.

  • Ted Powell:

    Cindy wrote: One site I read a lot … is http://www.reasons.org. It’s scientific … Perhaps so. Perhaps whoever wrote the intro to the article on the front page, Creating Artificial Life, was having a bad day.

    In the news: Craig Venter reports his team has created the world’s first synthetic cell. Find out how creating life in the lab undermines the evolutionary explanation for life’s origins, demonstrating instead that life is purposeful and intricately designed–by the Ultimate Designer.

    Not exactly. What Venter’s team did was pretty amazing, but they did not create a cell. They began with an existing one (probably many times over, as they improved their technique). They removed the DNA—and only the DNA—from it, and replaced it with DNA that they had painstakingly constructed. Even that DNA was not designed from scratch. Not by any means. They copied a genome that was the product of billions of years of evolution, made a few changes/additions to it, and used that. Again, their accomplishment is truly impressive, but they have not (yet) “created the world’s first synthetic cell.” What they did was indeed “purposeful and intricately designed” but that doesn’t mean that the cell they started with was, nor that the DNA they used as their starting point was. The argument in this intro seems to be: “the synthetic bacterium was built by design, therefore all life was designed”. Non sequitur. For a more thorough treatment, see: First round of ill-informed objections to the first synthetic bacterium.

  • Kathy J:

    Honey, I am a Christian and the Noah show would have been hell for me too! I almost never talk to anyone about being a Christian because they are going to tell me I am going to the burning lakes of hell for thinking that evolution sounds like a pretty good idea to me. As a scientist I am willing to hear your arguments against it, but it would be really cool if any of them made sense.

    I went to Branson many years ago back when Silver Dollar City was the big draw – and I liked that. Since you have all boys you might not be as into Laura Ingalls Wilder as I was but Mansfield MO is nearby and the house that Laura and Almanzo lived in for most of their lives is there. There is also a little museum where you can see many of the things she talked about in the books.

    Branson today holds NO interest whatsoever – except maybe for the guy that has the famous bathrooms!

  • Kay in KCMO:

    Wow. Just…wow… I can’t come close to wrapping my brain around the thinking of your family. They actually think you’re a horrible person now? I can understand the disagreeing, but to really believe that you’d deliberately harm people (or were you speaking metaphorically?) and that your family has sinned so you have to be punished is just mind boggling. What sane person thinks that way? Those are not the thoughts of a person in full control of their faculties; they’re not being remotely rational.

    I’d like to know your family’s explanation for a devout Christian in a Tennessee town walking into a church he disagrees with and starts shooting at people? The children of the church were putting on a production at the time. Belief in Sky Daddy didn’t seem to stop him.

    Oh, crap! What if your neighbor’s property flooded with the recent rains? That would be your fault, Rechelle! Harm might have come to your neighbors because of your public atheism. You best get down on your knees and beg forgiveness from Sky Daddy, otherwise…well…you just wait and see, missy!

    What’s the likelihood of there being wifi on the boat? Can you say “live blog?”

  • Anna:

    You are certainly braver than I would ever be but I admire that you tried to reason with your family. Not that you can reason with people who hold irrational beliefs. I have taken a page from my patient and former very very Catholic spouse and I just say I don’t agree and I refuse to listen to any religion-speak.
    But really, someone would have to sedate me to get me to go to Branson.

  • I have family who are very Catholic who never push an agenda on me. They know where I stand on religion and it’s just not brought up when we get together because they love and respect me and my family. I’m sorry that your family is not only Christian but judgmental and rude too.

  • jalf:

    @Cindy: what gives you the impression that the site is scientific? It’s easy for a site to *look* scientific, and it’s certainly easy to convince others that you know what you’re talking about, even when you don’t.

    I’m not saying the site is necessarily bad, just that it’s not a good idea to assume that “it’s scientific” just because the authors are astrophysicists.

    Ted Powell already pointed out one problem with their credibility. This article contains another: http://www.reasons.org/human-curiosity-evidence-god

    The actual argument is pretty silly and it’s not hard to imagine how our massive curiosity is an evolutionary advantage, but I’ve got another litmus test for these things:

    The article is written by Hugh Ross. It is about evolution.
    He is an astrophysicist and astronomer.

    Now, if the site was scientifically sound, would they not run articles on evolution past a biologist or two before publishing it?

    Ross might be a scientist, but that doesn’t mean he knows everything. It just means he (presumably) knows a lot about his specific fields.

    The only person they have who seems to genuinely know *anything* about biology (which seems a fairly fundamental requirement for discussing evolution) is Fazale Rana, who, according to reasons.org, has published “numerous articles” in a number of scientific journals.

    But none that I can find which are at all related to evolution.

    Most of the rest of their staff seems to have absolutely no qualifications in natural sciences at all.

    We have a few philosophers, English majors and that kind of stuff, but considering the number of articles they have about geology and biology, you’d expect them to have some geologists and biologists on staff.

    My Google search also uncovered this, which points out a few flaws in the pair’s reasoning: http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/09-03-04/

    And pointing out some major holes in Ross’ competence as a scientist *in his own field*:
    http://www.talkreason.org/articles/ross.cfm
    http://www.talkreason.org/articles/Cooling.cfm

    This probably isn’t the place for this discussion, so I’ll stop now.
    My point was simply to demonstrate that no matter how scientific a site looks, it pays to be critical. From my quick check, the site is hardly as scientific as it likes to believe. And I would certainly take their articles with a big grain of salt.

  • That blog posting had me in stitches. Maybe next family vacation the unit can visit the new “fireproof” touch down Jesus! It was announced today that Butter Boy will rise again! Can I have an AMEN?

    Oh, and one more thing. I heard that some of Butter Boy’s charred remains were selling on ebay!

  • Have you read the book, GOOD WITHOUT GOD? written by a non-practicing Jew?
    I’m a believer and wanted to read both sides of the “argument” – I couldn’t read very far as I couldn’t make sense of his beliefs….

    I’m of the opinion that “we” dont understand “they” and never the twain shall meet.

    “Can’t we just all get along?”

    Oh, WOW!

  • Amy:

    If you have never read Mark Twain’s “Letters From Earth” do yourselves a favor and do so.

    Twain was an atheist and in this essay he really exposes the hypocrisy of Christianity in his usual humorous way. He makes some very valid points regarding the sheeple affect of religion.

    It’s a quick and entertaining read.

  • Linda:

    Rechelle,
    Sorry to hear you are feeling attacked. That pretty much stinks, especially when being held captive. However, one thing I have learned from 57 years of life experience is that it isn’t all about me. Your family members have not accepted your world view, which is very different from theirs, but as I recall, you just verbalized your new thinking about six months ago, so give them time. Just as firmly as your hold on to your truths, they hold on to theirs–and you are both convinced you are right. That is bound to create conflicts.

    In Christianity, the gift of grace means you allow someone the time and space to mess up, even though they don’t deserve it and (here’s the hard part) you love them through the messy times with no strings attached. Not sure what the equivalent atheistic term would be, but maybe it’s time to extend that principle to your family. It’s not about you–take yourself out of it for a bit and raise the relationships with your family members above all the “stuff.”

    Does that sound all self-righteous and preachy to you? I hope not–that’s not my intent. I’m just suggesting a way to help you maneuver some land mines and keep your family relationships in tact.

  • TK:

    Respect….it’s a simple little word that goes a long way. Rechelle you are not a victim. Unless someone held a gun to your head (now there would be a post) you didn’t have to go see the Noah show. Awkward, perhaps, but simple enough to say “no thank you.” By your own admission it was you who couldn’t stand it and brought up the conversation basically ridiculing the faith of your family as a hoax.

    You don’t have to believe….nor do they have to disbelieve…..as I said a little respect goes a long way. When you approached them with the hoax idea, did you expect that perhaps they’ve never thought about it, examined it, questioned it for themselves? Did you think that you were the first person to ever introduce the possiblity to them and that they would suddenly all be enlightened and thank you? You opened the door…..you insulted them and now you are crying foul.

    I’ve been on both sides of this issue and it never fails to amaze me that people on both sides fail miserably at giving people with the opposing view respect. There are zealots in both camps and all are equally unattractive.

  • KAB:

    I agree with TK. I don’t hold you to any fault for changing your beliefs, in fact I have been impressed by how much studying you have done; but if you are so adamant about your new found atheism, why did you go to the show? You knew what it was about. You are an adult. Make a decision that would avoid conflict.

    You pouting in a basement because they didn’t like their beliefs being insulted in a public forum is ridiculous. You may not be part of the “ignorant masses” but you certainly didn’t help your case by claiming all they believe is “massive hoax”. I suspect you like stirring up the drama a bit. Otherwise you could have totally avoided this situation and accepted that for them, this was an enjoyable event, while it was not your cup of tea.

  • LucyJoy:

    Ohh! I can hardly wait for the sequel to this story! You’re a hoot, Rechelle! I feel your pain.

  • Mackenzie:

    Without hearing word for word the exact conversation, you don’t know what level of respect was used. She could have been very polite about gently suggesting that maybe the flood never happened.
    If a member of your family is caught up in believing something that clearly isn’t true, you probably owe it to them to suggest they re-examine their beliefs.
    You probably have corrected someone before when they said something that wasn’t accurate.
    Something being a religion doesn’t automatically give a person a get-out-of-jail-free card to believe anything they want without anyone else daring to suggest that it might be false.
    There’s no reason to assume she was being disrespectful in her method of delivery during the conversation, just because she added some drama to the description in her blog.

    I’m an atheist, and my religious family members occasionally guilt me into going to a church-based event with them. I listen quietly while we are at the event, but on the drive home I gently probe as to why they believe whatever was discussed, given how it contradicts this or that bit of information. I honestly don’t understand how they can believe that and wish to hear their line of thought on the manner.
    It’s the normal kind of debate people have about all kinds of tastes and opinions. The focus of the topic being faith doesn’t automatically make it disrespectful.

  • Kathy:

    Oy Vey! Extended family, Branson, religious plays… honey you are already in hell. Seriously though, I got into the same conversation with my brother in law AND my mother in law on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean, the week before Christmas. At one point after the conversation … which was NOT pretty, I saw my brother in law on the deck and had to force myself to turn around and walk the other way so that I wouldn’t be tempted to shove him overboard… and I’m not even kidding.

    Did I also mention I was 7 months pregnant?! Perhaps the hormones had something to do with my inability to censor myself but nevertheless, when I look back I think that I made a mistake. I should have kept my mouth shut, I knew I wasn’t going to change their minds, and I knew it was going to be a scene. But, because I let my dumbass BIL get the best of me with his hypocrisy and terrible behavior I pretty much ruined the rest of the trip for all of us. Imagine the dinner table the following night where we all had to sit together… hell. The trip sucked, I hope yours turns out better than mine did. Keep your head up and the alcohol flowing, that should help!

  • Martha in Kansas:

    See, I think your problem was not the play but the company. Imagine if we’d been there with you. We could have snickered, giggled, pointed and maybe even hooted (if we thought we wouldn’t get caught). Makes it so much more fun. For the boat trip, I suggest sudden-onset stomach flu. The kind where trips to the bathroom are required or perhaps even needing to stay “home” near the bathroom.

  • Amy:

    Did you want us to feel sorry for you or have bad feelings toward your family? Were you required to go to the Noah show by some strange Missouri law? Did someone kidnap you and take you to Branson? Ummm no. How about putting on your big girl panties and acknowledging you chose to spend your vacation in this manner? Grow up and teach your kids respect by example. You sound like a spoiled brat. Do you know what some people would give to be able to even take a family vacation, let alone have a big group of family who want to spend time with us? This would hurt the crap out of me if I was related to you. I assume you love these people? How could you publicly post this? It’s disgusting.

  • pjr:

    I second that.

    It would be interesting to hear other family member’s version of the story. I suspect it would be slightly different.

    You somehow should learn how to live peacefully with your extended family. Your differences in faith or lack thereof should not hinder love and respect for each other. You want them to respect your new found atheism and you could start by respecting their long held beliefs. You have children with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins that would most benefit by a demonstration of living peacefully with those you disagree with.

  • Action Squirrel:

    That is one hell of an elaborate passive aggressive intervention your entire family undertook. So they all happily went in to watch it, not a single person offered to go get ice cream with you instead?

    Why would they all willingly put you in a situation they know would be at best awkward and uncomfortable for you, at worst nothing but an invitation to disagreement and argument, with you being the odd man out? That’s pretty rotten.

  • DF:

    Being the kind of person I am, I would have been a bit more aggressive at taking the family on. If they all know you are the only one that doesn’t share in their pleasant delusion, then the only reason they included you in their ‘entertainment’ was to harass you.

    I’m sure they mean well, but their actions are a horrible example to everyone involved. They are teaching that if you disagree with someone, that it is perfectly fine to impose on them and force them to tolerate their wholesale abuse by the mass. You are not allowed to take them to something atheist, as they would refuse to go. They set up a double standard and expect you to respect them when they have no respect for you.

    Your family, those that dragged you along on this ‘adventure’, knew what they were doing and showed an incredible lack of love or caring for you as a person. They see you as ‘other’ and will spare no steps in making sure you know you are not ‘one of them’.

    Family is important, but these people are not ones I would be able to quietly tolerate. They seem intent of seeing you as atheist and not as Rechelle. People like that tend to be the worst of humanity because they demand tolerance from you but offer none in return.

    No one should tolerate abuse, regardless of the abuser.

  • amy:

    Wow. Some people sure don’t understand humor. I thought your post was great. Thankfully, some of us get exaggeration, sarcasm and satire. I keep wondering why in the world those that don’t keep reading… ?

  • km:

    I was always puzzled by people who took the bible as 100% truth. Is it an American phenomenon? Most Euro Christians that I know/knew weren’t creationists.
    I mentioned this to my Euro mom. Her theory – most cultures have folk tales. With the exeption of American Indians most US citizens don’t have folktales. So the Bible is true to them, not symbolic, not a way to explain things before they had more scientific knowledge.
    Others have folktales that they hear as kids and while part of their culture they know they aren’t really true but may have a kernel of truth or a life lesson.
    Even my 5 year old reads the Bible critically. He wonders where Noah found the kangaroo and how he stopped the predators from eating their prey if they were all on the boat, and how did Noah feed them. He’s a kid. Critical thinking is key. Religion is not rational thought though so you are up against it trying to convince them otherwise.

  • Mindy:

    “As a scientist I am willing to hear your arguments against it, but it would be really cool if any of them made sense.” I love that statement.

    Ugh, I would have ground my teeth through the entire show. When I first came out as an atheist to my dad, at age 13, he told me he still wanted me to go to mass because it was “family time.” So I went, for about 3 years. Then I realized that it wasn’t family time, because I wasn’t actually talking to any of my family. Because I didn’t want to offend or go against my dad, I ended up torturing myself for 3 years. My guess is that it was sort of similar to your situation. You knew you would hate the stupid ark show, but you went to keep the peace. You don’t have to. It’ll just make you mad and incredibly annoyed. It’s like sending your kids to VBC (for your mom’s sake), but only with yourself. You seem to be much more in need of atheist space than your kids right now. Your family will be much more respectful of that space than if you end up telling them the facts out of frustration and ugh-ness.

    Great entry, thought it was hilarious, I’ve had all those things said to me too!

  • susan:

    JUST SHOOT ME!!!! Branson is my idea of hell.

  • Kay in KCMO:

    km, your mom’s theory is intriguing; I’ve never thought of American thinking that way. She’s right, we really don’t have folk tales as a country/people. And it makes sense that bible stories became our folk tales to fill that void. As Americans we have stories, but they all seem to end along the lines of “…and the hook was on the door handle!” There are disappearing pockets of Appalachia where the people have folk tales, but they go back to their European ancestors. I wonder if our lack of stories has to do with the fact that we’re such a young country.

  • @ Cindy – “Maybe I’m a heretic, because some stories in the Old Testament make me wonder if they are just that, stories.”

    That doesn’t sound like a heretic to me. It sounds like an Episcopalian. {g}

  • Nancy:

    Hahahaha! Hey Rechelle, save me a seat on that bus to Hell you’re riding! Oh, I know I shouldn’t laugh,but this post was priceless. I live in the Bible Belt and I’m constantly informed that I’m a heathen. Funny thing, all of the “Christians” that are busy judging me, lecturing me,etc are all really unhappy people. It’s a shame that they haven’t found peace in their beliefs. I made the mistake once of mentioning that many stories in the Bible aren’t original, that the mighty flood showed up in Hindu works long before it was put in the Bible,etc. You could have heard a pin drop. I have in-laws that truly believe the Earth is 5,000 years old and that the whole “dinosaur thing” is a hoax. I don’t care what they believe – whatever makes them happy works for me, I’d just like the same respect in return. I never get that. I was once called a bad mother because my kids weren’t in “youth group”….my boys grew up to be kind, generous, intelligent men. One is in med school and he hopes to serve the underserved. The other is a senior in college and using his summer break to work for Habitat for Humanity. The woman who called me a bad mom is raising the baby that her daughter conceived while in youth group. Just sayin’. Okay, that last bit was smug and uncalled for…but years and years of being lambasted for my beliefs takes its toll. Thanks for the post – nice to know I’m not alone in dealing with some of the ridiculous stuff I hear.

  • Joel Wheeler:

    Ow. You managed to make my heart AND my head hurt with this story.

    Here’s what I would add: you are still finding your way (as am I) in a world without illusions. And it hurts when the still-apparently-deluded behave as stubbornly and irrationally as we once did. But the hope I hold out is that your kids, who seem reasonably bright, are watching carefully as their mother stands up and stands out, without fear, to the outrageous truth-claims of religion. With any luck, they will also be exposed to some sincere, if misguided, back-biting directed toward their brave and strong and possibly-slightly-crazy mother, courtesy of the extended family. You are playing the long game here, Rechelle; hang in there.

    Contra Amy and others who would fault you for attending and then pushing back on the bullshit, I say it’s hugely important to do exactly that, as gently and calmly as humanly possible. But WOW it’s hard.

    DF has it right, this whole event sounds like it was Rechelle-specific, and you had every right to state your disagreement.

  • Kristyn:

    A phrase best learned early and followed often: “Agree to disagree”

  • Allen:

    It’s funny how people go with the whole “agree to disagree” thing, but I find it is tantamount to “sit down, shut up and know your place.” You went with them to see this show (Branson in general is a bit of a dump, been there, never going again) and you wanted to have a conversation. There is nothing wrong with this, absolutely NOTHING. What you need to be prepared for, Rechelle, is the amount of dumb you have to wade through while trying to have a conversation.

    Another thing to watch out for is shifting goalposts. A classic example of this is the whole “transitional fossils” argument. Scientists find something that fills in a gap, but alas they say, there are now two gaps! It goes to show how entrenched they are in their beliefs. This happens all the time with conversations I have had over the years. My favorite so far was “Well, if gays can marry, what is to stop a marriage between a man and an animal.” That argument is a load of hoarse dung, don’t fall for it. They are grasping at straws at that point, put the nail in the coffin and tell them they just equated a human being with an animal and watch them bluster. Point out why should certain groups of people be less human than others according to their thinking.

    Go right on asking questions and pointing out how they are wrong, who knows, you may even be able to deconvert some of them as I was able too. My eyes were opened to the wonders of what this world is all about once I dropped the sky daddy bit and some of my relatives are living better lives once they accepted it too. You may not be able to get them all, but even one is a step in the right direction.

  • Kristyn:

    Brian – “Agree to disagree” is a two-way street, not a directive to one side to “sit down, shut up and know your place”.

  • If it makes you feel any better, I met my hubby when he was running the Branson KOA! Oy vey. The heat. The bugs. The scorpions. I don’t miss that much. Although in the winter it was very peaceful. Oh, and I never got to go see a show. We’d definitely not have seen the Noah Show.

    You’re a better person than I. My family has learned not to try to force their religion on me. I just get more stubborn and obnoxious. And why *not* at Steak and Shake? At least you can get a yummy malt to rinse the bad taste out of your mouth.

  • I’m surprised that you would have gone to Noah with your family. Why didn’t you use the pass card? I think if you just live your life the best you can you will show by example that you do not have to be a christian to be a wonderful person. I am a christian and I think some family vacations can be hell. good luck to you!

  • Spinny:

    I have a feeling that this disagreement would have happened regardless of whether Rechelle went to the show or not. Had she declined and attempted to decline for her boys, in all likelihood, her family would have demanded to know her reasons for abstaining.

    She was in a catch-22, IMO.

    As to keeping her mouth shut after the show, all that would do is teach her boys to accept at face value anything that an authority figure tells you. Asking for evidence and presenting counter arguments is not hateful, it’s necessary for society to prosper.

  • Lori E:

    What is so funny (or not so funny) is the name calling that spews out of some of the people on here. I am a christian and I love to discuss my beliefs with people that want to discuss them. If they don’t, no worries. I don’t force it. Why should I? If my family were athiest and wanted to take me to an athiest program, speaker, whatever, if I didn’t have the guts to tell them no, I wouldn’t brow beat them later and make fun of them on a blog after wards. As for people that read this blog and don’t agree with Rechelle, is that not ok? Do you want to just be surrounded with “yes” people? In the future if you want to go and be apart of the fam, go. If not, stay the heck home. Unless you are just wanting to get blog material which is what I think this whole thing was about. I would venture to say (unless your family is really stupid and naive) they can sense your animosity and condescension towards them because I sure can just as a reader. I can’t imagine how pleasant you are in person If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Manners 101. And that goes for your family too. What a chip you guys have on your shoulders. Do you just sit around waiting on a christian to say something wrong so you can pounce on it and run it into the ground?

  • lola23:

    Couldn’t possibly be because you were belligerent, could it? Because I hope you were representing Atheists better than that. If so, perhaps you could learn to gauge your social environs a little more carefully. You could make some lighthearted, good natured comment about how you’re going along to get along and muse quietly to yourself at the performance. And change the topic at dinner. You love these people, after all. You know where they stand. If you’ll excuse the pun, it’s almost as if you are proselytizing.

  • Suzie:

    Rechelle, when you get on the ark with the bible-bangers: bring water wings! You never know what those loons are gonna do!

  • Rechelle:

    I actually didn’t mind going to the show. I kind of wanted to see what Branson’s take on Noah would be. It’s weird, but I also like listening to Christian radio stations these days too. When I was a Christian, I loathed Christian radio, but now I think it is fascinating, kooky, wild and bizarre and also extremely entertaining to me. While I was at the Noah Show I just kept looking around at the audience to kind of gauge their reaction. That entertained me greatly.

    As to representing atheism – well no… I probably was not the world’s greatest diplomat. I started out good – just asking a few calm questions, but then a few people in our party made some comments to me that felt kind of personal and then I got defensive and yeah… so it spiraled downwards. I don’t see myself trying to have a religious conversation with them again (in a Steak and Shake or elsewhere…) I guess maybe it was a sort of intervention, but for my family, things like the Noah Show are pretty standard.

    As to Branson – yes… it is awful, but if you focus on the lake and the natural beauty of the area and ignore the touristy stuff, it is tolerable. We went to a fish hatchery and holy hell! There was like science and everything going on!

  • Rechelle:

    Lori E – and others of her ilk. I was sitting at the kitchen table a few weeks ago with an elderly relative who began to bash a certain cultural group in America – something that this elderly relative has done her whole life. My son Drew was sitting at the table with me. I told him that what this person was saying was completely wrong and then I went to great lengths to explain why it was wrong and why all people are the same no matter what their race, color, creed, etc… The elderly relative of mine bowed her head in shame and shut her mouth. I suppose that you would have ‘honored her’ and allowed her to say horrible things in front of your kids in order to keep the peace and all the other bullshit you spew. I know the kind of person you are… a total and complete coward. The only time you ever speak your mind is in the comments of blogs where you can cower behind anonymity and judge others for speaking up for themselves. Do something hard sometime. Stand up for something that is socially unacceptable once in a while. Stop being such a total pansy ass. Imitate your savior. He didn’t exactly go around agreeing with everyone. Did he.

  • Another Lee:

    1. Like the new tagline!

    2. Perhaps they were just being thoughtful to provide you new blog material with the invite?

    3. I think it’s important to bring up the questions Rechelle did at the Steak and Shake in front of family. Who knows? There could be other Closet Atheists in the family happy to know they have a safe haven in Aunt/Cousin/in-law Rechelle.

  • amy:

    @Rechelle: When I first de-converted, I couldn’t listen to any christian radio or anything–I was too angry. That was years ago, and I totally get into listening to christian talk radio now. When you listen to what is said from “the outside” it is crazy! Imagine pretending to ABSOLUTELY KNOW what god wants! Imagine having the balls to think you not only know what god wants but to tell other people you KNOW what god wants from them! I will never look at a pastor the same way again. Never trust someone who is cocky enough to think they can speak for god!

    I don’t think many christians realize just how ignorantly arrogant they sound sometimes.

  • amy:

    Also–I’ve always thought it was interesting that the christian radio stations where I live seem to have weekend programming that is full of those infomercial type shows about colon cleansing and super vitamins. The products are always totally questionable and rely almost solely on testimonial evidence from quacky doctors or supposed patients.

    I’ve always thought there’s got to be a connection there. Who better to target with your un-scientific product than a group of people who don’t demand scientific evidence? Testimonials and the say of a quacky doctor with no real qualifications are what many evangelicals are used to believing as good evidence. Great target group for those products…

  • Lori E:

    You know, Rechelle, I used to speak my mind ALL the time and then I grew up. I realized not everyone wants to hear my opinion. I choose my battles now. Some things are worth going to the mat for, some are not. Does that make me a, um, what name did you call me? A “pansy ass”? Nah, I think it makes me mature. And for the record, I have A LOT of older relatives that say a lot of culturally offensive things. I am certainly not going to change the perceptions they grew up with so why possibly damage a relationship and possibly humiliate them by saying something in front of my child? Or I may ask them later, privately, to not say that in front of my child. And I would certainly tell my child later that, while their racist beliefs are not acceptable, we still love that relative no matter what. I value people and relationships over “being right”. And I learned that lesson the hard way. And I am a firm believer in modeling correct behavior. More is caught than taught. I can “spew” cultural diversity, we are all equal, blah, blah, blah but if I am not nice to all people, including the elderly, in front of my children, what are they going to learn and do?? I may not agree with a person’s behavior or choices but I always agree with treating people respect and kindness. Especially the elderly. And that my dear, is something I would go to the mat for.

    • Lori E – So you are saying that you are a coward. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • sandy:

    Rechelle…….the next time you see Noah would you ask him something for me? I think it was a great idea to include the giraffes, elephants, bears, lions and tigers…..but why oh why did he have to let those two mosquitoes on board the ark? Thank you.

    Sandy

  • Mary:

    Rechelle, thank you for bringing up the bashing of other groups of people. It’s a perfect companion to this discussion of religion. Too often I find myself sitting with various extended family members who are either evangelicals, or racist, sexist, or scarily conservative in their politics, or a combination of all of the above. I hear the bile coming out of their mouths, and worry for my nephews and nieces. And so I speak up. I am that crazy liberal sister who is a weight upon her poor brother’s shoulders, I am that mouthy wife, that “girl” who doesn’t know her place. My words now have some weight because I teach in an urban district, and live in a diverse community, while these people live in homogeneous communities and surround themselves only with people like themselves.
    It is never easy, but we have to speak up when we see something that is just wrong: something that diminishes one’s humanity, something that insists we close our eyes or our minds, be it religion, politics, or the way we view others. Over the years, various people have learned to at least hold their tongues when I am around, and the younger generation is more open-minded, more accepting of difference, and more willing to listen to other ideas.
    Keep asking questions. You’ll learn to ignore the personal attacks, which will eventually lead to the attacks ending, or at least lessening. Children need to see adults being brave enough to stand up and question.
    Good luck with the rest of the vacation!

  • Mary:

    Regarding the treatment of the elderly who say unacceptable things in front our children, suppose kind and respectful attempts have failed? Is it okay to allow them to continue saying these things to your children? For example, a grandfather regularly makes ugly Jew jokes, comments that he’s never seen so many “kikes” in one place…at his grandson’s bar mitzvah…tells the same grandson to be sure to “Jew ‘em down” when making a purchase, the list goes on and on. This is an otherwise good and kind man, who is generous to a fault. But he refused to respect the polite and kind entreaties of his son and daughter-in-law (a mouthy Jew). What finally worked: the threat that he would no longer be a part of his grandchildrens’ lives.

    Here’s what worked for my mother: She would calmly say, “In our family, we don’t talk that way.” Repeated as long as it took for the offending talk to stop. Said in front of the children so that we knew our mother would not swallow her values.

  • Linda Joan:

    Rechelle,
    Would it be better if Lori E. and “her ilk” just went away from your blog or at least had the consideration to not comment?

  • Rusko:

    Hi Rechelle,

    I just heard about your blog. My wife reads it and when she saw this post she linked it to me. I too have gotten into altercations in public regarding my non-belief. Once, someone overheard me talking to a freind and butted in to say, “You don’t believe in God? I should kick your ass!”

    It’s a sore subject, but you know, with the advent (evolution) of the information age, where young people have the advantage of the internet, facts can be verified. Doing their own research, people no longer have to take the preacher’s word for it. It’s a new age of enlightenment and the sheeple are scared.

    But I don’t think atheists should just shut up and let people go on with dangerous ideals. Mankind would be much further along in science and technology (which equates to a better standard of living) if religion hadn’t strived to stifle progress throughout history. So your inability to stay silent about your feelings is normal and commended. Don’t sit there and let people wallow in ignorance when it does so much harm to our future as a species.

    In the spirit of “Agree to disagree”, next time you have a dead-end conversation with creationists, say something like, “Fine, we’ll agree to disagree. I evolved and you didn’t.”

    Thanks for the great post!

  • Lori E:

    “I went to great lengths to explain why it was wrong and why all people are the same no matter what their race, color, creed, etc… The elderly relative of mine bowed her head in shame and shut her mouth.”

    I agree in the statement of “in our family we don’t talk that way” and also in setting boundaries but I was going by what Rechelle (in the above quotes) said she did. A little goes along way and the term “great lengths” sounds a bit like overkill. Maybe I should stop my comments since they are so bothersome to athiests. I will leave you to agree with each other and everyone will be happy to not have a dissenting voice on this blog.

    Now this “ilk” has a yard sale to get ready for… :) See ya!

  • amy:

    Lori E–

    It’s not the voice of dissension that is bothersome. It is the harpy voice of condemnation that comes across when you post. And, that’s not even really that bothersome–it just makes me wonder why the hell you read something with which you obviously totally disagree! You don’t nicely point out why you disagree but, instead, gripe at Rechelle about how wrong she is and how your way is so far superior. You seem really irked too. Why bother reading if you’re going to get angry at Rechelle for posting what she feels? Do you LIKE being angry?

  • Heidi:

    I think I understand why you were so upset by this. Probably, if you were of a different faith – say a Catholic among Protestants, or a Jew among Christians, your family migh thave had more respect for your beliefs. But since you do not follow a faith at all, they felt free to throw their beliefs in your face. It is probably hard to plan a family vacation where NOBODY is goting to get their feelings hurt, especially if it is a large group. But since things are so new with this situation, perhaps everybody should have tread a little more lightly.

    Having said that, as a Christian, I would not have been at all offended if you had said you didn’t want to go to the Noah show with the rest of the group. If I had been along I might have even said “Ok, let’s you and me go shopping or grab a great meal.”

  • Ahhh… but if we didn’t go on cheesy family reunions then we wouldn’t have anything good to talk/laugh about for a whole entire year…. I was just accused by my sister in law of being a complete idiot because I clip coupons. Apparently paying $8 for $450 worth of groceries is a marketing scam… and I fell for it.

  • Christine from Canada:

    Should one “speak up”? I believe one should.

    My “speaking up” has influenced both my mother and sister. Both, although not “religious”, were once believers in a higher power. They are both strongly agnostic now.

    My friends (all of whom are religious; I have no other atheist peer as a friend — that I know of) usually say something like, “Oh, I know you’ll find this crazy, but…” before they go into some diatribe about their kid’s confirmation, or first communion.

    That’s okay. Let them keep justifying their behaviour out loud whenever I’m around. Maybe they’ll start to hear how silly they sound.

  • Jill:

    I don’t understand why people can’t just leave other people alone about their religion or lack of. Why does your family do this to you and why do you have such bad things to say about people that believe? I go to church, I believe in God and Jesus, but I never ask anyone to go with me or preach to anyone. In the same line of thinking, if I know someone that doesn’t believe, I don’t expect them to put down my beliefs. Why is this even a discussion? When you were Christian, I don’t remember you ever talking badly about nonbelievers, so why now that you don’t believe you have so many anti God posts? Can’t everyone just choose for themselves and leave then other camp to whatever they believe?

  • Priss:

    I’m usually too timid to challenge anyone about their religious beliefs except online. I’m one of those that doesn’t rock the boat much, but I think Rechelle is doing the right thing in confronting her family about it. There can be real harm in not thinking critically about your beliefs. There’s a website devoted to giving real examples of the harm that unquestioning belief in religion or vaccine denial or multilevel marketing for that matter does. It’s worth spending some time reading there for those that think it’s better to just respect others’ false beliefs: whatstheharm.net

  • Kay in KCMO:

    Here’s an active link for the site that Priss mentioned: http://whatstheharm.net/index.html It’s a great site covering all kinds of things.

    Jill, I might feel the same way as you do if it weren’t for the fact that the religious right want to legislate their belief. They want to make their interpretation of their sky daddy’s law everybody’s law. This country is falling behind much of the western world because of the influence of the christian right. How can it be otherwise when ignorance and faith are embraced and science and reason are rejected? I, for one, do not want a return to the Dark Ages when religion was the law of the land.

  • Lori E:

    Amy and Rechelle, you are a piece of work. Harpy AND a coward? Wow, I haven’t been called that many names in one day since… since… elementary school! Maybe I can play the victim now too. “Oh, poor me I am being attacked on a web site. Those mean, ol’ atheists. They don’t liiiiike me.” Want to go ahead and add sarcastic to your list names? :) Or is it just athiests allowed to use sarcasm when they are making fun of christians… Hmmm… Better go see if that is in my Bible. You know, the one I thump people over the head with… Thanks for the absolutely delightful discussion ladies. :)

  • Essie:

    Good God….you are certainly a morose piece of work!

    • Essie – Are you addressing god with this comment? Because then I would agree with you. However, if you are addressing me – then I disagree. Could you possibly be a tad more clear in the future?

  • Sharon:

    Once again I’m at a loss as to why people post at sites they don’t agree with. Too much negative energy to waste.

    Rechelle, I would just skip and avoid any discussions on religion with family. I say this just to keep peace. It’s apparent from your posts they know how you feel, but then again I wouldn’t want anyone trying to “save” me.

    I’m loving this site and you “speaking” the truth. Nothing like a good humorous smartass attitude.

  • Spinny:

    LoriE: A little goes along way and the term “great lengths” sounds a bit like overkill.

    I would have disagreed with that statement even when I was a Christian. I went out of my way, more than once to make sure a family member’s prejudice did not affect my nieces, nephew or my son. This is one area where keeping your mouth shut until later only teaches your children to not stand up for what is right.

    Would you also keep your mouth shut if you heard one neighborhood child bullying another about their race? Or would you step in and call them on their bullying? Advanced age is no reason not to correct wrongheaded thinking, especially when it is touted in front of my children.

  • Lori E:

    Ok, lets recap. I agreed with speaking up to a family member and even with setting boundaries if the racism was out of hand. But I did disagree with and I quote from Rechelle, again, “I told him that what this person was saying was completely wrong and then I went to great lengths to explain why it was wrong and why all people are the same no matter what their race, color, creed, etc… The elderly relative of mine bowed her head in shame and shut her mouth.” I still think that is overkill. Almost sounds like bullying. I don’t think berating someone in front of my child is much better than what that family member said. And absolutely, I would stand up for someone being bullied. But would I bully that person in the process? Nope. Does that make me a coward? Nope. so be it. Sometimes a quiet, measured response speaks louder than all the lecturing and shaming. In my humble opinion of course…

    • Lori E – I happily bully racists. Every chance I get. There is no need to be polite to these people. Now go and find someone else to bother.

  • Becky:

    Was the comment signed by mom (that you deleted) your mother?

  • Megan:

    There is no way in hell I would let my children sit and listen to someone, no matter their relationship to me or their age, spew hate. EVER. To do that is cowardly and vile. Good god, put on your big girl panties and stand up for yourself and your children.

  • Spinny:

    Lori E — at 8:01 this morning, you said:

    “I am certainly not going to change the perceptions they grew up with so why possibly damage a relationship and possibly humiliate them by saying something in front of my child? Or I may ask them later, privately, to not say that in front of my child. And I would certainly tell my child later that, while their racist beliefs are not acceptable, we still love that relative no matter what.”

    The parts that I bolded are the parts to which I took exception. I have no problem calling an adult or child out for saying hateful things in front of my child. I do not want to teach my child to keep silent in the face of hatefulness. And I don’t think it’s overkill to shame a person over their hatefulness. Maybe if someone had done that when they were younger, they would have grown up less racist.

  • Brian V.:

    Oh, Lori E, you represent the full denial christian bullshit oh so well. Add me to the list of folks who find you pansy ass and unable to stand on your own two feet. If you look down do you see your own feet or is Jesus carrying you through the sand? Your idea of protecting children from adult conversation and simple disagreement with ignorant statements is laughable. Try respecting your children with a bit of truth for a change. They need to be loved not protected from reality and christian delusions.

  • Lori E:

    @Megan “There is no way in hell I would let my children sit and listen to someone, no matter their relationship to me or their age, spew hate. EVER. To do that is cowardly and vile. Good god, put on your big girl panties and stand up for yourself and your children.”
    So what exactly are you spewing here? Peace, love and goodness?

    @Rechelle “Lori E – I happily bully racists. Every chance I get. There is no need to be polite to these people. Now go and find someone else to bother.”
    So why are you bullying me? Because I dare disagree with you? Or because I am a christian? Don’t you think bullying a bully makes you a bully also? Why stoop to their level? Seriously, and I do mean seriously, if you only want opinions that agree with you on here, just say you only want people that agree with you on here. But isn’t that why you have such a attitude about Pioneer Woman? Because she doesn’t like comments that are the least bit controversial or disagreeable? Isn’t your tagline something about giving people something to shake their fingers at? Or do you just pretend to want to be controversial? If it makes you so uncomfortable to have others disagree with you, then I shall stop. I will only post on your posts about flowers, friends, etc. Will that be better? Or are you wanting me to just leave period? Am I part of a segment of people (or is it “ilk”?) in the world you discriminate against because of our religious beliefs? Isn’t discrimination and intolerance wrong? Or maybe I have misunderstood the name calling throughout this whole thread. Maybe deep, deep down you really like me and they are just terms of endearment… :)

    • Lori E – What would you prefer? That I pretend to value your contribution to this blog? Give me a break. Once again, you feel free to criticize me and when I defend myself, you play the martyr card. It’s ludicrous. If you want to comment on this blog in a manner that displays your ignorant beliefs and stupid social mores prepare to be blitzed. You are using my blog to appease your pretend deity. Thinking that he will give you extra points for preaching to the de-converted. Don’t expect me to give you extra points as well.

  • Spinny:

    Lori E, please explain to me which part of what Megan posted you are referring to when you asked her what she was spewing here.

    Telling you to put on your big girl panties is not spewing hate, it’s a slightly humorous way to tell you to grow up and do what is right.

    I agree with Rechelle, you are attempting to play the martyr card a bit too frequently.

  • Becky:

    That’s a lot of anger you have stored up, Rechelle. Why do you continually bash people who don’t agree with you? Why do you call Lori’s beliefs stupid but are so upset at your own family for not agreeing with your “beliefs”? My opinion is that you have been disappointed with God. You still believe but are so very angry with him that you can’t see straight. I find it hard to believe that someone can write with such passion about something they don’t believe anymore without having some doubts about what they think they don’t believe anymore. Was the comment signed by mom, your mother? She said not to judge the rest of the family but what we are reading here. They whole story wasn’t told.

  • Becky:

    The whole story wasn’t told.

  • Lori E:

    Calling me names is defending yourself? And me calling you out on your hypocrisy is me being a martyr? This is so ridiculous it is making me chuckle. And after this jacked up discussion I need a good laugh. So I thank you. I guess I will take my poor, little ol’ victimized self off to bed. I will leave you, Rechelle, to read only posts that agree with you, your thoughts and your views. Happy blogging! :)

    PS.. Just so you can go to bed happy, I won’t be back to read or comment! So dream sweet dreams of a world where everyone thinks as you do because, well, anything else just isn’t tolerable. Which one could argue is intolerant but… Oh darn, here I go again… Good night! :)

  • amy:

    WWJD? I’m sure he’d say something sarcastic and then take his ball and go home too. Well done.

  • Linda Joan:

    “Rechelle
    June 22nd, 2010 at 6:20 PM
    Lori E – I happily bully racists. Every chance I get. There is no need to be polite to these people. Now go and find someone else to bother.”

    Amy, Rechelle asked her leave.

  • anonymous:

    Leave Lori E alone she has a right to her opinions. Maybe you should leave Linda Joan.

  • Gwen:

    Hey look! Crazy old BECKY is back again!!!! Woohoo!

    We’ve missed your ignorance Becky! You crazy old loon!

  • Becky:

    That’s really very immature of you Gwen. I am interested in Rechelle’s writings. Whether I agree with what she thinks is beside the point. I am still trying to figure her out.

  • OpenMind:

    Not all Christians are anti-science. Not all Christians believe in a literal interpretation of the bible. Many, many Christians believe in evolution.

  • Gwen:

    Good thing Becky is here to chastise us! Yay!

  • Linda Joan:

    Hello anonymous,
    Please reread my last post. I was quoting Rechelle and reminding Amy that Rechelle asked Lori to leave. Lori is more than welcome to stay as far as I’m concerned. Thank you!

  • Linda Joan:

    I meant Lori E.

  • amy:

    @Linda Joan: Rechelle may have suggested that Lori E. leave but she didn’t insist that Lori E. (professed lover of Jesus and practicer of his holy ways) leave in a sarcastic snit. Nice witness. I’m sure Jesus is proud.

  • Susie:

    Rechelle’s sister posted on her blog about the great time her family had with Rechelle’s at the go-cart track. It was a fun read – she clearly enjoyed her time with you and your kids, Rechelle.

  • Nancy:

    Lori E. just keeps saying buh-bye but she never seems to leave….

  • Gwen:

    Actually, if you read Rechelle’s sisters post you will see some passive-agressive digs at Rechelle regarding Rechelle’s choice to take them all to the Fish Hatchery.

    But that’s just how I interpreted it…

  • Priss:

    Gwen, I read it just like you, but it could also be just normal sisterly teasing that April knows Rechelle will take as teasing. I want to hope it’s that rather than mean digs the way I first read it.

  • Rechelle:

    Uh… I don’t know if saying ‘go find someone else to bother’ is the same as asking someone to leave. I frequently tell my kids to go find someone else to bother and they never leave.

    Personally – I think if all the dissenters leave, the comment section will start to suck pretty quickly. I like a lively discussion, hurled insults and all. It’s kind of fun ain’t it?

  • JJ:

    But then Rechelle when they do leave ( kids – not dissenters) then you kind of miss them.
    And I do agree that it would be rather dull if they did leave
    (dissenters AND kids).

  • Ted Powell:

    I agree with Rechelle and JJ, but I can’t resist linking to the immortal words of Dan Hicks (besides the lyrics, there’s an audio clip).

  • Jimmy-boy:

    Done it again: been away a week and everyone’s shouting!

    Here’s my two pennorths: tone is worth jack – content is everything. We all insult and offend people all the time (eaten a burger recently? That’s blasphemy to every one of the squillions of Hindus in the world and all of their dead co-faithists): when it gets down to it though what matters much more is the content of what we are saying – and the actions we perform. Why do theists just not get this? Why do they have to demand respect rather than earn it in the usual way with solid ideas? If you believe funny things prepare to be laughed at!

    So at TK and others: respect is just not a great concept here. If folks want to believe nonsense – well fine I suppose. But don’t expect respect. If they want to believe hurtful stuff then when it gets called, in whatever situation, it is just that: hurtful, sick stuff getting outed and shown to the light.

    Believe I am ‘unclean’? I’ll call you on it. Believe women are not equal? I’ll call you on it. Believe homosexuals are deviant/going to hell/’curable’? I’ll call you on it. And it won’t be respectful or pleasant when I do – because I’ll ask for some evidence for your nasty beliefs. And conceivably we might get down to brass tacks and resolve something.

    So loved the post Rechelle. Sounds like a nightmare trip though. I can’t go anywhere near religion any more. Makes the hair stand up on my neck. And I want to stand up and shout when I hear that BS now…

    • Thanks for this comment Jimmy-boy. Well said.