Friday, July 5, 2013

On Being an Atheist on Facebook

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Well it happened again.  I said an atheist thing on my own Facebook status last night and it resulted with a minor run-in with a believer.

Last night on a Brisbane newsy TV show was a story about a woman claiming to have been healed of an inoperable lung cancer by some pope, a dead pope.  OK, did you get that?  A deceased pope is being touted as the one who healed this woman of her cancer.  The woman was claiming it was a miracle. The thrilling news was that her claim was enough to make the pope eligible for sainthood.
According to the spokesperson for the papacy, a man who claims that the research of such magical claims is quite rigorous, the official word is that Miracles are generally performed by deceased saints.
As I was sitting here on my laptop, I wrote that unlikely papal quote onto my Facebook status along with a small piece of clip art with the word Skeptic.  Because I am skeptical.  I immediately got this response from one of my husband's friends: 
I mean this in the nicest way possible...why are you bother about the things other believe? It seems you put a lot if energy into denouncing the faith of others. If you don't believe just don't believe. I don't think posts like this with rock the faith of those of us who believe in God.
To which I replied:   I was sitting watching a tv show with a very dubious interviewee, a so-called church authority, who said the most ridiculous things.
I have no intention of
rocking anyone. But I will post my own things on my own board. If you don't agree, please feel free to just skip the post.
I have a problem with being accused of putting energy into denouncing the beliefs of others. I DO and will speak my own truth, but I do not write disrespectful things about the beliefs of others.If you believe, just believe. 
(I know that that last line was snarky.)
She came back with:  Just to clarify, you can not become a Catholic saint until you have passed away normally. So yes, "miracles" have been preformed by deceased saints. Typically decreased is the only type of saint there is.
And I reply:  Yes, I know the rules on sainthood.  If you don't have a problem with the idea of posthumous miracles and saints, then disregard my skepticism.
My question is, how much Christian stuff do you read on Facebook and do you, if you are a nonbeliever, write, HEY, you won't change MY mind by posting stuff like this!  Furthermore, I think you are disrespecting me when you type this kind of thing!
I admit that I don't get this much, many of my friends are very cool and/or skeptics.  But this woman writes tons of Christian stuff about miracles and blessings and whatnot and I never comment at all on that.  Also, just how confronting does my post seem to be???!!!!  How sensitive is she being??!!  Threatened, maybe?  I'm itching to "unfriend" her but she has the cutest kid pics!
Also, I have to deny that I do much, if any, DENOUNCING.   lol...shakes head

WELCOME to readers from the UK and from Poland!
If you enjoyed this post, you may also like: 
 Mind the Gap 
Are You a Courageous Believer 
First-Generation Atheist Parenting


  1. if you wanted i could replace her in the cute kid pic category...just sayin' :)

  2. I have the cutest kid pics. Unfriend her and friend me. ;-)

    I tend to keep my religious, or lack thereof, beliefs off of Facebook. I'm too busy living my life to deal too much with the idiotic beliefs of those that have been brainwashed and are dogmatic.

    It's my mother-in-law in real life with whom I really have to bite my tongue.

  3. I think you saw the post I made about a FB friend of mine who posted about a college student who was asked to remove her necklace because it was a cross. She posted it seemingly indignant and saying "Tolerance/free speech?" She seems to feel that Christians are being attacked for their beliefs on a daily basis. But, when I point out that if it had been someone with other religious beliefs who was asked to remove their necklace, she likely wouldn't be posting the story (if it even made the news). She took offense to that and mentioned again that Christians are persecuted and killed all over the world (conveniently forgetting that Christians in the name of their god have done the same).

    We won't even go into some of the discussions I have with my husband. Ugh. LOL Thank goodness for my local freethinker's group and the various non theists I have met online.

    1. but...why would she have to remove her necklace?????
      I don't GET why anyone would make such a request of her.
      Christians aren't used to it, but they ARE being taken to task ALOT more than ever least that is what I have observed during my life time.
      I can see why they are in such shock and feeling so much of an indignity. They're not used to being on the receiving end of it. It's unpleasant and very "in your face."
      No one would like that.

      Individual Christians don't deserve to feel the brunt of the secular hammer. That should be more publicly wielded IMHO.

  4. Wow! People getting butt hurt on facebook always surprises me! You don't like it? Move along please! Your beliefs aren't changed by my post? Well good, then don't mention it! I'm not posting AT you, I'm posting about me!

  5. I do not have a facebook, but I do this see junk on pinterest. My homepage always covered in religious pins, some of which I find to be demeaning and insulting, however I just unfollow those people or boards. I post a news clipping about something disproving a religious claim, or talking about what awful things the religious have done, and I am insulted and told i am a heathen{such an insult if you know the actual definition. I usually just reply that they can either kindly unfollow my board or me but their rudeness and nonsense is not going to change my view. I don't know what they do, but they usually keep quiet. What I cannot understand is how they think we know of religious doctrine. I feel like they try to lecture me, but I just hear the same nonsense again and again "god loves you" "jesus died for you" blah blah blah. I am fairly certain I know the bible and all of it's "teachings" better than most, including my preacher uncle. But yet, I get lectured. Do you ever feel the same?

    1. I DO, Samantha! I sure do!
      Just a few weeks ago my own mother wrote me off.
      It didn't last long, happily, but it was painful and bloody.

      Yeah, it seems to be getting grittier out there, doesn't it?

  6. I lived as a very committed Christian for my first 30+ years of life. Fundamentalist family, was homeschooled to avoid the dangers of learning about evolution etc. I even graduated from Bible college. I never experienced condescension, disdain or being lashed out at until I deconverted to agnosticism. I mean, I live in America, white Christians rule the roost, you know? People feel justified in being rude and nasty to me now in a way I hadn't experienced before. The persecution complex of American Christians is crazy.

    1. Welcome, JV, to the most hated minority in America. I wish I could take away the unpleasantness...and the irony of it.
      AND, I'm proud to be in it with you.

  7. Many of my friends and family tend to splatter FB with their religious postings. Every single day somebody writes about it, quite often multiple times in a day. If it weren't for my in-laws, I'd be tempted to say what I thought of it all. I know I'm not alone. My friend just had a post hi-jacked by a right-wing acquaintance. I feel for her. It has been eye-opening to learn what people really think about things.

  8. Unfortunatey, my Facebook doesn't really feel like MY facebook. There are so many things that I want to say or comment or respond to, but I hold my tongue because I know the s#i* storm that would be started in my south GA family and friends world. But I must scroll past countless Christian posts that threaten me with hellfire if I don't "like" it. So, I use the Pinterest platform to get all of my atheist venting done. I send out no requests for followers and the only ones who do follow me are the ones who truly enjoy/agree with what I'm posting. I wish freedom of speech was as good as it sounds.


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