Sunday, December 24, 2006

Anecdote

Last week, while I was out working in the back garden, a fellow from the baptist church (our next-door neighbours no less) arrived at our front gate. He was carrying some sort of package. I didn't initially know who he was, or why he had come, but he said that he wanted to give us a gift on behalf of the congregation. I told him politely that it was very nice of them to think of us, but that I couldn't possibly accept his generous gift, whatever it was. He looked at me in complete puzzlement and asked me why not. Now, I didn't want to unnecessarily offend the chap - he seemed like a nice guy, and after all I didn't have the nerve to tell him that I'm thoroughly opposed to his ridiculous beliefs and to get the hell out of our garden - so I simply said that it would not be apropriate for me to accept, since I don't celebrate christmas. He left in confusion, wished me a merry christmas anyway, and wandered back to the church.

Our meeting got me thinking: How up-front should we be about expressing our atheism? Christians seem to have no qualms over telling us all about their disposition and beliefs, and many seem to take it for granted that you share their faith, until you tell them otherwise. Why shouldn't I do the same? At least I can justify my (non-)beliefs. Why should we subjugate ourselves to appease people who feel they must grovel before the imaginary?

I have resolved to be more vocal when these situations arise. As I said in a comment to vjack at Atheist Revolution:
"If they can't deal with it, that's their failing, not yours."

Coming soon on The Incomer:
  • The Week of Penury
  • The Resistance
  • Jesus Saves Enslaves

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, how many times have I wished I would have uttered the words when the moment arose? I wish you the best with being more vocal.

5:07 PM  
Blogger Tanushree said...

I completely agree with you that we should not hesitate to be outspoken about our atheism. I am from India, and here a Hindu will not hesitate to sprinkle you with the holy waters from the Ganges after a pilgrimage or share the "prasad" from their various visits to the temples. Since they have the right to express their religious beliefs, we should have the right to express our non-religious ones!

By the way, thanks for listing me on your blogroll!!!

11:38 PM  
Blogger J.L. said...

Hi Tanushree,

No problem - it's great to hear from you! I'm a regular reader of your blog, which is very nicely written and styled.

I must admit I've never been sprinkled with holy water by a Hindu, but I have been accosted on occasion by Hare Krishnas bearing spices and anti-stress books, and frequently by christians bearing nothing but nonsense. I guess if you happen to be around at the time of the festivities, they just assume you're one of them, and act accordingly. I don't mind people making a mistake, though - I get more wound up at people who persist in hassling me once they know I'm an atheist.

I have a cunning plan, m'lady... to be detailed in a post soon - I promise.

Best Regards,

J.L.

12:05 AM  

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