Monday, January 27, 2014

I'm a Lover not a Fighter

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One thing that I find difficult about being an out atheist on line and in the social medias is this. People want to debate and confront and pray and engage me with their religious beliefs. That is fine. I am very willing to be an out atheist so that other atheists can see atheism in the general population and in the social milieu. 

What is hard, though, is that I am not a debater. 
At all.
I have absolutely no willingness to have a person engage me with confrontational language or to engage in a conversation where one person is trying to convince the other person of something.
I can't do it and I won't do it.

First of all, whatever your difference is with me, be it religion, your favorite politician, or why your favorite restaurant is better than mine, I can respect that difference without feeling the slightest desire to change your mind. It's something else besides respect though. If you have an argument or a belief that is important to you, I have no desire to take that from you. 

The fact that I don't fight people is not noble or anything. In fact, as a kid this was a real problem for me because anyone and everyone could dominate me because of my unwillingness slash inability to fight. During high school this made me particularly sucky at Debate class. Eventually I just dropped the class. I took Debate thinking that it would improve my ability to construct a solid point of view as well as my ability to verbalize that point of view.

Turns out I am perfectly fine with figuring out what I think and believe. What I am not so great at is getting into another person's face and acting like my stuff is better than their stuff.

But boy o boy do people like to debate. I mean, I pin a meme on Pinterest about atheism and someone will come on and want to debate me or call me names for pinning stuff that they disagree with. And it makes me wonder if I'm just easy to target or if people are getting their jollies by acting as if posting anti-religious rhetoric is a character flaw. I think it's the latter and I think it is a character flaw to debate every damn thing that comes along that bothers you.

I pinned this pin the other day   ----------->
and WOW has there been a hoopla. I barely ever pin overtly rude memes regarding religion. Not that I don't necessarily agree. Not that millions of people aren't pinning rude things. I just don't. It's just me. But this pin! It's not rude at all in comparison! I have to laugh at the ridiculous accusations made toward me regarding this pin.

Here is the first comment under this meme:

Bye the way your being really nasty which seems to be the theme with atheists as well as Christians.!!  And then...
Every single atheist i talk to is angry! They so far make rude comments and spout stupid crap religion i want truth!r

So, yeah, really really bad grammar notwithstanding Whisky Tango Foxtrot! There was lots more, though I had no part in the conversation.

Second of all, another reason why I find debating completely fruitless is that you will not change my mind with fantasy stories and mythology and I am certain that all of my reason and logic will not change your mind. So what is the point of debate? Some people really enjoy the lively discussion...go find them!

This evening I'm missing Hitch.
I sometimes wish for his thick skin and ascerbic tongue because I agree with some of the things that he said, even the many things that I, too, found rude. 

I guess my point is this:  I'm a lover, not a fighter. There are some great fighters out there and I'm completely behind them and value them. The kind of energy that goes into the fight is not something I can sustain. Maybe this blog and other ways that I am present online are all small ways that I fight the good fight...

What about you?  How do YOU fight the fight?
Or do you fight?
What is your conflict?

This post dedicated to Eugenia,
a fighter in her own way.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like: 
Moments of Reflection
Another post you may enjoy:  PC Enough?


  1. Hi Karen, thank you, I've never had a blog dedicated to me. I can completely see where you are coming from. And if I feel exposed by having a secular board on Pinterest, I can't imagine how much stick you get for having an atheist blog! I have a different view on debate though - perhaps because I was very involved in the debate team at school and went on to work at the UN where this is a fundamental part of your job. I see debate as a positive things, as long as the word is being used properly, as a way of formally discussing the pros and cons of an argument. However, many people have come to use the word debate to justify aggressive attacks where neither party goes in with any intention of changing their view. I love a good reasoned argument that changes my mind on an issue. I fear that when it comes to supporting religion, reason is not something that is regularly used. Therefore, I see no point in engaging people who come into a debate from an unreasonable stance. Nevertheless, I love discussing issues with open minded thinkers who might point out something I've missed. I love that 'aha' moment.
    Gosh, I hope the above makes sense because I can't figure out how to scroll up to re-read what I wrote! In any case, I definitely don't see myself as a fighter... more flight than fight! But thanks for thinking of me as a strong person! xx

  2. P.S.: I really have to learn more about blogging! I think the right word should have been a 'post' dedicated to me, not a 'blog'. In any case,thank you for this and for listening to me when I disrepair!

  3. I can relate. I hardly ever stir any pots, but I really enjoy watching those who do! I'm convinced that reading Ricky Gervais' posts has saved me mega bucks in therapy!

  4. I'm exactly the same way and respect your position. I'm very grateful for your speaking out publicly on these issues with such intelligence and depth, and I regret that others aren't responding with like civility or simply not responding at all. Your blog (I do miss the former blog name, which first brought me here while doing research on secular homeschooling) elevates the public discourse on parenting beyond belief. Such ignorant responses simply demonstrate the need for you to continue blogging! Thank you for writing.

    1. Thanks, Anonymous!!!!!!

      I am still Homeschool Atheist Momma!!!!!

  5. Personally, I love that thing you pinned! :D
    I am NOT into the type of debate where one person is putting down another and calling it a "win". I do enjoy respectful debate: points and counterpoints and lively discussion where ideas are exchanged and nothing is taken personally. I have--occasionally--had the chance to enjoy discussing/debating politics and religion with others who have very conservative views and beliefs. Unfortunately, so many of those I know with those views would rather talk about the weather or tell the same 12 stories over and over, or talk about the weather (yes, again) than discuss anything of substance that might be met with a differing perspective. Que sera, sera.


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