Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Responses from last letter

The next day my cousin writes:
It is obvious that we need to agree to disagree. I respect your right to disagree and appreciate your willingness to allow me to do the same.

I immediately respond to her:
OK. I thought that was understood.

Soon after that I get this:
I'm sure it should have been understood, but I guess I just had to reaffirm it. Your questions cause me to believe that you are seeking answers, but I suspect you are trying to convince me I am wrong, as I am trying to convince you that you are wrong. Without common ground, there is no basis for discussion. But you are right though, that I can accept you as a good person who does not believe in God and that we are fellow travelers here on this earth - just headed in different directions.

It's obvious that she's misunderstood my position, as religious people often do, so I write:
I was only trying to convince you that I too had a tough and painful journey and also came out of it a better person. There was no intention on my part of converting you or trying to convince you that your religion is wrong. I didn't take your email as trying to convince me that I was wrong, just trying to get me to see how you came to your conclusions. I just hoped to give you something to think about just as you did me.

My questions weren't really directed at anyone. Just pondering, I guess, as I always do when people make important life-changing decisions based only on faith. Being a reality-based person it just seems strange to me and I wrote it a question form on the off-side chance that someone will give it some thought. I'm sorry if you were misled. That was not my intention.

Another thing that I wanted you to consider is the other side of the abortion debate from someone who benefited from this freedom in a positive way and how, if this freedom was taken away, we, as women, will be doomed. I find when I debate religious people about this issue they are stuck on the "potential person" issue and will not consider the real and living people in the equation. There is no clear cut answer in this issue but one thing is for sure, if abortions are made illegal, women will die and women will go to prison and families will suffer. The common ground is this issue is the safety of our sisters, daughters, nieces, and mothers and their families.

Her last email was to acknowledge a personal request which is not important in this discussion. She never once tried to engage me intelligently about any of the issues she raised. It was all about emotion and nothing about reason. If I thought I wasn't reaching anyone, even at the tiniest level, I would stop discussing religion with them. But I think that I am and I'm gaining respect as an intelligent atheist, which is another added bonus.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Latest email and my rant

I've had a very busy month but had time to write this letter to my family after getting emails with comments about religious stuff and/or opinions that just pissed me off. Enjoy.

A cousin wrote something I wish to comment on. She wrote:

Our guest speaker at church was a former Muslem whose father was head of the mosque in Columbus, Ohio, He now is head of Southwestern Seminary What a story he had. Of course, he was very knowledgeable about the Muslem religion (could quote chapter and verse of many things from Koran) but could also quote chapter and verse of the Bible which pointed out the errors of the Koran. I am hoping they taped hismessage from tonight's service. It was so enlightening. I'd love to be able to share it.

When I hear or read these kinds of comments I wonder "How do these people know that the Koran is wrong and the Bible is right? Billions of people know the Koran is right and the Bible is wrong and what proof do Christians have that all these people are wrong?" This is a big reason I'm an atheist, there isn't a good answer to why one religion is wrong and another is right. I searched and searched for this information and never found it. What I did find was a lot of apologists that didn't make sense. There are denominations within Christianity that think they are the one and only true way to Salvation. What makes them wrong and yours right? One would think God would've created only one easy to understand religion so we could all get along.

Another thing I was to address is a cousin's comment:

Summer, just a word about the "honor killing" article. That is horrible and it happens often even in the US. How can a father kill his own daughter like that. That is part of the Islamic religion. But I had to think about women killing their own children by abortion. That is just as horrible.

Yes, honor killings are horrible. When one can kill a child on the word of God just because they have been dishonored using the word horrible is an understatement. But comparing this to a legal medical procedure used by women who have thought long and hard to make a difficult decision is offensive and wrong. I know many of you feel differently about this subject, but making a statement like this shows you do not think about what the woman getting the abortion has been through. You make it sound like women wake up pregnant then unemotionally decided to get an abortion like making an appointment to go to the dentist. In most cases this is simply not what happens. Abortion is a horrible, difficult decision to make and it is not done easily, I know because I had one at 22.

I sent this email out this morning but I had privately sent an email to my cousin about the honor killings vs abortion issue on Sunday evening. She has chosen to ignore me as has others in this email list. I don't really know why they don't engage with me unless they feel it's pointless to argue with someone who has already made up her mind. I guess I know how they feel.....

Seriously, can you imagine saying to people that abortion is women killing their children? It boggles the mind. If she had said that to my face I would've exploded. It's an arrogant and childish position to take and it demeans the tough decision those women had to make to end their pregnancies. I'm still pretty upset about it.