Atheist in need of advice: How to cope with family?

I offered to post these letters anonymously to our blog to solicit more feedback from others who might have more, or better, ideas to help this person—to make it simple, let’s call him “John.” My offer was accepted, and so I’m sharing. In brief, John suspected that his mother was being influenced by religious relatives. And the relationship between him and his mom, which had been cordial, became strained. I suggested he not go on a hunch, but address this issue with his mom directly, to just ask what had motivated the change—so they could at least have a conversation based on whatever was actually going on. This is the reply I received after he took that advice: [Read more…]

Atheist asks for ideas for dealing with religious people who hate god

We received an interesting question to the TV list, and one I don’t know if I’ve actually heard before. The core of the matter boils down to this:

“My point is that it was through reason that I ultimately rejected the faith that I was brought up in. I wish I could say that this was the case for all non-theists but, sadly, that just isn’t so. I think it is a tragedy when a person of faith loses their faith because of any personal crisis or hardship that they have suffered. I have a cousin who claims to have lost her faith after a car accident and a friend (of a friend) who lost her faith after both parents committed suicide. My question is this: What is the best way to welcome people like that into the fold? Those who have lost their faith may not be atheists, but is there any ‘saving’ them for either side? They are angry at God, I am not. What is a reasonable approach to getting someone to: 1) come to terms with tragedy through reason and 2) either get over their beef with God or consider a non-theistic ethos that isn’t rooted in tragedy?“

I’ve never talked to someone directly who still believed in god, but hated god, although I’ve certainly heard of this phenomena. If you are reading this article and have dealt with this issue, or have constructive ideas about how to approach someone in this situation, please feel free to help this person out. I will direct him to this blog so he can monitor responses if he’s interested in feedback.

Thanks all!