I am both a militant athiest and a thunder mouth, meaning I like to say what is on my mind at any given moment.
Filter? Not so much... at least when I am home.
My SO is a former Christian, now identifies as agnostic, and can't stand it when I wax all anti-religious. She sees it as a personal insult to her former self, family, and friends.
If you are like me, how do you manage to control your expressions of utter disgust that religion exists?
I try to explain that IDGAF about the people being religious, that's just sad and if I like them as an individual, it makes me even more angry at the theo-shite machine.
What I effing detest is the religion itself. She doesn't separate the two. If I insult the system, I'm insulting the victims/believers...
(Picture included because it's pretty, not related to content)
"If you are like me, how do you manage to control your expressions of utter disgust that religion exists?"
Mostly by remembering it's not their fault. The Dodo bird wasn't to blame for it's evolutionary disadvantages.
I tend to think religion is the hurdle mankind failed to overcome. It hasn't killed us yet; nature moves ever so slowly.
I imagine if I believed humans as a whole to be an intelligent species, it would be harder to treat the religious people I meet with civility. But I don't (believe, that is). Religious drivel is exactly what I have come to expect of our species.
A dodo is a dodo. Getting angry over the fact it can't fly. as if evolution runs a straight track towards perfection, is the same as getting angry a branch of the ape family-tree has grown subtle yet harmful mutations in their brain chemistry.
It is what it is.
I equate militant atheists with militant Xian’s. Religion or lack there of is a personal decision and it’s no ones business but mine if I’m an atheist.
I will share that info with whom I decide to, when I decide to and not force my opinions on anyone..including my children. People need to find thier own way by education.
Do you care about her? Do you care about her feelings? Do you care if she continues to like you? She's not like everyone else in your life. She's special. She is your significant other. So treat her as special. Blather on and on about anti-religion to anyone else...to everyone else...just not her. Quit trying to understand why she can't differentiate between the system and the people...
which btw, the system would not be a system without the people, but that's another discussion...
if she doesn't like your thunder mouth going on and on about religion(s) then don't. If you can't...
then, and this may be hard to admit, but I would venture a guess that she's actually in your life because you want someone always around to blather to, because....well....maybe you're addicted to mouthing off.
Just some thoughts. If she is important to you, if her feelings are important to you, change the topic and curb your tone.
I understand completely what u wrote . U remind me someone I used to know 15 yrs ago or so . Although I was never affiliated w any religion and born w the luxury of an atheist father and environment , still , religion and it's people was a point to loose my s often .
Man , no excuse at my age, but I still lose my s . Not very often thou . W time u will change too . U will even learn to smile and sit back and only spit fire and smoke when important times / input required . U ll see .
If the lady is worth the world to u , if may I add an advice , let it go . It's clear she won't agree w your style on this . Honey , share a nice time w her in a place like the picture above and smile to ea other .
First, you're probably not actually militant, just outspoken.
I'm outspoken when it's relevant, meaning that I feel as free to bring it up about as often as believers bring up their religion. For example, I volunteer for two cat-rescue organizations. Sometimes someone will say something idiotic such as , "You're doing God's work," to which I reply, "If there were an all loving, all-powerful supreme being in charge of the universe, atheists like me would not need to rescue his most innocent, most vulnerable creatures."
I never was a militant atheist until I moved to middle Georgia. I felt like I was suffocating there with religion being thrown in your face every second of the day. Now that I’m back on the left coast, I can go entire days without thinking about atheism.
Your SO (particularly if she came out of fundamentalism) has been trained pretty much from the cradle to confuse her beliefs with her identity and to take personal umbrage to critiques of her beliefs.
How long has she been a deconvert? It probably took me 2 or 3 years to get over such notions. I remember finding "new atheism" cringeworthy and over the top at first, in part because I knew exactly how believers would take it. It took me some time to realize that this is entirely their problem and it IS a personal problem, not just an understandable aspect of their humanity but a dysfunctional mindset.
The way I usually put it is that fundamentalism isn't about being good, it's about being RIGHT. And the mere suggestion that you're mistaken in your beliefs cuts right to the quick for them.
All that said, it's probably not unreasonable to avoid using unflattering terms for believers, or to insert some qualifying remarks that you're addressing the belief, not the persons holding the belief; but don't expect it to make much difference. They try really hard to find ways to be offended anyway. In the end, many of them are in fact real asshats and all you do by trying to be nice is to show weakness for them to exploit.
IRL (In Real Life), people on both sides mostly avoid the topic, so in practice, the only place I've had intense exchanges is online. I have even LESS sympathy for their tender feelings in that context, because no one is holding a gun to their head to make them debate or engage with unbelievers. If they can't stand the heat, they can easily leave the kitchen.
i'm NOT like you, at least in the respect you mention. i don't have any trouble restraining myself from trying to change people or mouth off that they're different from me, unless they're hurting others (yeah, yeah, i know, religion can hurt others, but that's not what i mean). i'll mouth off about separation of church and state. i'm not going to call names just because someone believes something i think is silly.
I'm not militant or angry about it. Only time it irks me is when someone wants to impose their religious rules on me. I respect their rules and beliefs when I am in their home. I am silent when they pray at dinner and close my eyes and bow my head but I do not say Amen. I only get angry when I am judged ( smoking, drinking, a pending divorce and having sex with someone who is not my husband although my husband left over a year ago will condemn me to Hell). I have told this family member that her rules and her God's rules are not mine to follow. I don't lie - so now if she asks me anything I say in Pulp Fiction Samuel Style " If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions".
I have been an atheist for 30 years, but prior, was a deeply devout Mormon. The mere existence of kind, well-adjusted atheists in this world strikes deep fear I to the hearts of believers. The fear that they could be wrong, that life ends at death, that they won't go to a paradise after they die, can be disabling. They feel unsafe. I have been told by many religious friends that when an atheist says their belief system is wrong, they feel stupid, understandably. I have found that by setting a good example, without proseletizing, is the best way to show that not believing can be rewarding, loving experience. Just my 2 cents.
Try some meditation. Try not focusing so much on relgion. I understand the anti-theist life style but really it just puts you in an overall negative mindset criticizing religion constantly. Channel thay drive to do something positive. I'm not saying completely getting out of the game. Just less. Hope this helps.
You obviously realize that there is a clear distinction between the church as a system and peoples humanity. Your SO can't see the distinction because it sounds like she is still somewhat religious as she hasn't completed departed with her past beliefs. Religion certainly deserves criticism but the people don't. I think that the more your SO discovers her humanity the more she will see the distinction and completely detach from her past beliefs.
It sounds to me like you're angry about religion. Are you? If you are, what did religion do to you that you are angry about? Anger is an emotional reaction to perceived injustice. If you have been hurt by religion to the point that you detest it, maybe it is something you need to discuss with an atheist therapist?
Your comment is so true: "If I insult the system, I'm insulting the victims/believers..." If you insult the system, you are insulting those who chose believe in it. I find it difficult not comment - "you REALLY believe that crap???", but I manage control my mouth. I don't really want alienate people, and I have found that religious people are not very tolerant of anything other than their choice, so in the effort to be peaceful, I just say nothing. If invited to comment or participate I will offer my opinion, but I would rather allow people their delusions. I know the truth as I choose to believe it, and that is the most important part to me. I'm not going to change anyone's mind, and I am not arguing with someone's belief. I want people to respect MY choice, so I need to offer that courtesy to them...
There is nothing "personal" against railing against religion, hating theism. There is no personal attack involved with that. Same as hating cancer but accepting and even loving the survivor or victim of it. The words you choose to use while doing that... those are entirely under your control so choose wisely depending on your relationships.
When I shucked off religion, I felt in some way betrayed by everyone in my life who had a hand in my indoctrination: parents, teachers, clergy, etc., people who, I figured, should have known better. So, for several years, I felt it was my responsibility to introduce others to the truth, to disabuse others of the traps of theism. I debated with friends and went on discussion forums to let others know how right I was. In truth, I was angry and felt foolish for having believed something without good reason for the first 20 years or so of my life, and I was overcompensating by being outspoken about the folly of religion and the obvious truth of atheism. I was developmentally an atheist adolescent acting out. Today, though, I have no need to convince anyone of what I think and I have nothing to prove to anyone. But my question to you is why you feel the need to rail against religion so hard, at home or elsewhere. For me it was pain and vulnerability from a relatively recent wound. Is that the case for you? Or what makes religion stick in your craw in ways that other faith-based beliefs don't? I'd venture to guess that there are many beliefs and claims you think are just as wrong and harmful as religion, but you don't likely give them nearly the same attention as you give to religion — because, who has that kind of time? So what in your mind sets religion apart? Why does religion mean more to you than, say, homeopathy or crystal therapy or astrology? Sure, religion is more widespread, but New Age beliefs are incredibly widespread, too. So, perhaps a little introspection will help you come to terms with why you feel the need to be so outspoken. Are you recently deconverted and feel it's imperative that you speak out? Are there people in your life to whom you are/were close who are religious and it's caused some strain? Do you feel wounded or betrayed by religion in some way? The things that we focus on aren't meaningless to us; something about religion still has a personal hold on you. Figure out why it holds power over you and you can work on letting it go. /2¢
If someone said, “atheists ____(some negative thing)” you would to some extent take it personal. We as humans do not do a good job of separating our opinions of people from our perceptions on their beliefs and actions.... admiring that to ourselves is important. It’s easy to entrench ourselves in our own rhetoric and ideas much like they do... it is folly. If you aim to see the best in people and respond to it, you will find the tone of your militant atheism shifting.