12 comments on “Pro-choice…

  1. I definitely agree with you on this topic and it is one I feel especially strong about. My parents didn’t offer any other choices to the religion they taught us and raised us in. It wasn’t until I was older that I began to learn about other religions and question my own beliefs. What I learned about religion and the oppression it causes baffled me. I am proud to be Atheist. I want to raise my son to use knowledge and personal accountability to make his choices and not indoctrinated dogma. I understand your need to want to give you SIL and BIL the knowledge they need to make educated choices on their own. I feel the same way about some of the extreme Christian’s in my family and my friends. In my own circle, I try not to meddle. It seems like the religious are the only ones comfortable forcing their opinions and information on non-believers and not the other way around. I, too, see religoius people (and people I know) shy away from information that threatens their belief system. I just think it’s a terrible way to raise children and inspire followers. I wish I had something constructive to help you with your situation. I know being a non-believer is hard, especially when you have to watch first-hand how damaging and limiting religion can be. Just know you are not alone. (Sorry, that’s terribly cliche, but true.) And, honestly, I love reading your blog. Living in the bible belt of America is a lonely place for an Atheist mom and you have inspired me to find and reach out to other Atheist moms in my community. Thank you.

    • Thanks for your post Becca! My heart always goes out to my fellow atheist moms living in America…particularly in the bible belt. I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the US and I know how pervasive religion can be. The assumption that everyone is either Christian or going to hell lol. (Reminds me of that line from the movie “The Dictator”, have you seen it? He sees this pregnant lady and says “Oh, congratulations! Are you having a boy or an abortion?” Too funny.) Anyway, I wish you the best of luck in reaching out to your fellow Moms and I do believe that even idinetifying yourself as an atheist is a powerful first step. It’s hard to hate what you know and a lot of people assume they don’t even know an atheist so being “out” can actually change more minds than you might think.

  2. I don’t know where they live, but I always felt bad for the Utah/Idaho Mormons who wanted to leave the church; you leave a community… to me, it didn’t seem far off from being shunned from an Amish community. If they live in one of those places, the psychotic weirdness of the Mormon church is so normal, no one questions it because everyone around you is refusing caffeine and saying “oh my heck”. I used to live by the temple in SLC, and every morning, driving to work, I would see little 19-year-olds, waiting for their morning sealing slot, looking like deer in headlights. So depressing.

  3. While I agree with you, that people should have choices (especially since I was raised mormon and was not given a choice) I also know from a mormon viewpoint, that most mormons have been taught that anyone giving them information that does not paint the church in a positive light, is someone who is literally working for the devil. I think you will have to go about it in a very careful way, because as soon as you say “hey, I have something for you to read” they will immediately think of you as poisonous. Mormons are taught all their lives that people like us are trying to lead them astray. Even with the best intentions, be careful. It could damage relationships beyond repair, I know this from personal experience. Mormons are very wary of any information about their church that isn’t sanctioned by the brethren. I would suggest you start them with information that comes from members within the church. “Mormon intellectuals” as they are called. These are people who know about the nitty gritty parts of church history, but for some reason, still believe. Most of them are liberal, many of them are agnostic but stay in the church for family and for the service aspects. I would suggest mormonstories.org and mormonmatters.org. Also, this power-point presentation is brilliant and made by an active member of the LDS church. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZQJc5SxnVs

    These are all safe places to start with LDS people. If you just hand them information that discredits their church, they won’t read it. Good luck, and if you want any help with other literature to give to your family, let me know. I am well acquainted with this side of things.

    • Chelsea,
      It is clear to me that you are awesome. Just thought I’d start with that.
      Have you read _No Man Knows My History_? I imagine the answer is yes, but I’m curious about how LDS people feel about that book. When it started, it was by a devout LDS person, but I gather it didn’t finish that way, so I don’t know if that counts as dangerous material. It probably does.
      It is hard for me to understand how thinking people (and I’ve known some Mormons who are thinking people) can be told that they are not to gather any information except from one sanctioned source and *not* think there is brainwashing going on.

      • Hey Darbi,
        No, I never did read No man Knows My History. I know a lot about it, but never read it. One of my favorite books about the LDS church is “An Insiders View of Mormon Origins”. That book helped put the nail in the coffin for me being able to leave. It isn’t anti mormon, it was written by a former seminary teacher and every single fact in that book is backed up by evidence. It’s brilliant.

        I’m still very curious as to how people stay active and involved in the LDS church, when they know the truth about church history. I also don’t understand how people can justify so many of the things that the current and former “brethren” have done and said. I’m always asking my smart LDS friends how they can still believe and to explain things to me that I don’t understand. No one has ever given me an answer to those questions. It’s so confusing to me.

        I also want to say that it is also clear to me, that you are awesome :)

      • Hi Chelsea – AM again. My hubby and I were just talking about this yesterday morning. We know so many “intelligent” people who must know the truth about the church and yet, have chosen not to leave. In fact, when my husband was teetering on the edge of apostasy (ha ha) his Mom sent him to go and talk to the Bishop who also happend to be a geologist. Hubby asked him all kinds of questions about the age of the earth and dna evidence, evolution etc. and the Bishop finally acknowledged that he didn’t believe any of it either! He told my husband that he was envious of him for “figuring this out while he was still young and before he had a family.” Obviously he had decided that losing his family wasn’t worth living an authentic life and I can’t say I really blame him. Some people are more comfortable than others it seems, with the idea of walking around living a lie. I will say that human beings have am amazing ability for self-deception. Whether it is displayed through addiction, adultery, religion or otherwise, many people can go through their whole lives without every really facing facts.

    • Hi Chelsea, thanks for your post! I totally agree with you that this is a difficult subject to broach with believers. I remember when I first encountered this idea of “anti-Mormon” literature when my husband was still active I was shocked. It was so obviously a method of control to me! Thank you for your suggestions – they are good ones. The one thing I have on my side is that my SIL (I think my recently returned missionary of a BIL is way trickier) is already (in my opinion) further out than she knows. She believes in gay marriage, thinks getting married young is ridiculous and recently told me that just because the church believes something, doesn’t mean she has to. Ummm, yeah it does ha ha. So, I feel like in that case the threads are showing and they might just need a few very gentle tugs for the whole thing to unravel. :) She’s goine to stay with big sister who is having her fifth baby so I’m going to hold off saying anything until she retursn, but I’ll keep you posted! Thanks again. :)

  4. Hi, Atheist Mom. I just found your blog page today. I’ve read a few of your posts. I know that there are other moms like me who do not believe what most of the people around them do. But it’s comforting to hear your specific thoughts. Personally, I am not at the stage where I can try to sway my family members to secularism/reason. I am just hoping to have the guts to finally tell them that I no longer believe what is in the bible.

    My husband thinks the same as I do, so I definitely have his support. But my parents and siblings are heavily involved in evangelical churches. My siblings: one is a pastor, two are youth leaders/music leaders in their churches, one is a youth pastor’s wife. My parents have always determined that God is the center of their life. We were in church several times a week during my childhood, my father held a weekly bible study in the dining room for my family, and my parents spent time alone daily for their personal bible study (still do all of the above as a couple).

    When I was a teenager, my older sister chose to marry a man who was from a church that they deemed a “cult”. They refused to attend her wedding and used bible verses to justify their choice to banish her from the family. A few years later, she had a baby and my parents started visiting her on occasion and inviting her for visits to their home. She is still a member of her husband’s church and all seems okay between her and my parents now. But I think the abandonment of her as their daughter during my young age is seared into my mind as something I should avoid for myself.

    I haven’t been a part of a church for 8 years. Various experiences and doubts have killed my belief through time. I was extremely involved in the church for 25 years, and then I was not. My parents ask fairly regularly if I have found a church. I say no but give no explanation. Luckily we live a few states away, so the visits between us don’t occur too often. When we are together, I try to avoid any talk of religion. I make sure we are never at their place on a Sunday so I will not have to decline the invitation to attend their church. They don’t throw out their beliefs directly to us too often, but they passive-aggressively give Christian books and Christian magazine subscriptions to my children. I cringe and bear it. (My kids never really want to read those books anyway, but if they do, we talk about those events as not being proven.)

    I have been living in denial for a while, but it is becoming evident that I can no longer do that. We don’t see my parents very often and life at home goes smoothly. My children do not usually have religious questions at all. Why there is death and destruction, yes. But not really religion.

    However, during our last trip, my son’s cousins laughed at him (when I was not around) because he didn’t believe that God created the world. We have since discussed several topics with him and he feels confident about his own power of reasoning. But with my parents and siblings, it’s getting hard for me to be silent about my convictions anymore. I need to tell my family that I do not believe in the church or the bible. I know it will make things irrevocably weird with them for the rest of my life. But for my kids’ sake, I need to do this–they don’t need to be confused by the mixed messages.

    Do you have any advice on the best approach? Thanks.

  5. I agree, woman should have the option to choose, but then again it is a baby. Its not the babys fault. I don’t mean to be callus and I’m not religious, but I think we should have some sort of time limit. But then it begs the question, at what point does a fertilized egg become a baby? Idk its a tought one

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