A Bully By Any Other Name

facebook_like_butonWell, my family (parents, sister, brother–in-law, and brother) all got together for Christmas.  I was not invited.  That’s not really a surprise, but I won’t lie; it hurts deep down, kind of in a place that I don’t let my heart go very often, but I have gotten used to it and it’s easier than spending time with them, the way things are, what with them practicing unconditional love and all, but I digress.

Anyway, my baby brother, who still loves me and wants to spend time with me, (he’s an atheist as well) told me that my name came up over Christmas dinner and my brother-in-law said that I was hectoring on my facebook page…hectoring.  Words mean things and that is a pretty strong one.  It means to treat with insolence; bully; torment, to act in a blustering, domineering way; to be a bully.  Wow, I am hectoring people on my facebook page.  I have to admit I was surprised to hear him say that.  I can’t, for the life of me, why me voicing my opinion on my personal facebook page, would be seen as hectoring.  The funny thing is, the status update he referenced to my parents, was when I said,  “Happy Winter Solstice.”  Wtf?  That’s hectoring?   Truth is, I love the Winter Solstice.  It means that spring is coming, and then summer. I can’t begin to understand how that could be construed as hectoring.  What the heck?

I do write things that confront Christianity and I do post things that Christians have said or done that are embarrassing for other Christians to read, but I am the first one to admit that I have said and done many of those things.  I have also posted things that I personally don’t like that Christians have done to my family or me, and I don’t like what Christians say about non Christians and when they do, I will confront it, BUT I don’t post anything on my family’s or friend’s walls that is controversial or confrontational in any way, so the strong reaction confuses me.

I was thinking that if I were a Christian and had de-converted from some other cult, all my Christian family and friends would LOVE it if I spoke out against my former belief system and attacked it.  They would go out of their way patting me on the back for revealing a false religion and standing up for “truth.” Yet, because I openly reject THEIR belief system and expose the problems with it, or even acknowledge a non Christian holiday, I’m a bully—mean, negative and hateful.

Christians think it’s my right to believe or not believe.  They tell me that all the time, but what they don’t want is for me to talk openly about it.  If I do, all bets are off.  They can write lame things like they are praying for a sports game or they prayed for a parking place at the mall and god provided one; they can say mean things about atheists, or things that could totally be refuted, even on MY wall, and that’s okay, but if I ever respond…well…that’s just mean and negative.  Double standard much?

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. myatheistlife
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 11:52:09

    Christian love is a good thing … if you too are a Christian. They’ll protect ‘children’ in the womb but screw them once their outside of it. They claim to hate the sin but love the sinner .. I guess you’re not wondering anymore what they mean by the word ‘love’. After seeing their love you can be certain that you don’t want to see their hate… oh, wait.

    Reply

  2. ... Zoe ~
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 20:06:27

    Hectoring. New word for me. Let me see now. His Christianity says that you and a whole lot of other people, including me are going to hell. Now who’s hectoring?

    Reply

    • notabarbie
      Jan 16, 2013 @ 23:44:11

      It was a new word for me as well, but at least I know what their behavior is called now. Maybe, instead of telling us we’re going to hell, they should tell us we’re going to heck… you see what I did there? Pshhhh!

      Reply

  3. D'Ma
    Jan 16, 2013 @ 21:34:55

    That’s some of that Christian ‘tough love’ right there. Y’know, they’re loving you back into the fold. That couldn’t possibly be considered bullying. :rolls eyes:

    Reply

    • notabarbie
      Jan 16, 2013 @ 23:59:20

      They loved me right out of the fold. When I first began to lose my faith, their behavior made it easy to walk, no run completely away. It shouldn’t be called leaving the fold; it should be called leaving the strangle hold. They mean well…they do, but they keep doing it over and over again and call it righteousness and obedience to their god. They really are doing what Paul taught in 1 Corinthians 5. It’s so ironic that his chapter on turning the disobedient over to Satan is followed shortly after by chapter 13, the “love” chapter. Ah yes, the sweet, sweet love of “jesus.” That is as long as you comply with the collective 🙂

      Reply

      • D'Ma
        Jan 17, 2013 @ 01:01:51

        That discipline in 1 Corinthians is exactly what I was referring to. They are doing exactly what he says to do. Shun them into submission. Make them an outcast so they can see the error of their ways.

        Only it doesn’t work. And why? Because you and I are the ones who are outside the church. It’s not church discipline when it’s done to non-believers. Even Paul recognized how foolish that was. It works(sometimes) on people who are still in the church partly because it matters to them what the church goers think and partly because it really does matter to them what their god thinks.

      • notabarbie
        Jan 17, 2013 @ 02:51:01

        Perhaps if they had treated us differently, supported us, loved us, hung out with us and just had been a friend, a mother, father, brother, or a sister, we may have missed the “fellowship” and desired to give it another go. I doubt it, but they would have still retained a good and loyal friend, daughter, sister, and/or brother, right? Sadly, it’s their loss.

  4. juliesamazed
    Jan 17, 2013 @ 09:49:07

    notabarbie – I was so sorry to hear that you were not included in your family’s Christmas. Do they know that your brother is also an atheist? If so, I’m wondering why it’s Ok for him to join them but not you.

    Funny how differently people perceive comments, depending on where they are coming from. I’ve read nothing on your fb that seemed harsh or mean. Facts are facts, right?

    Reply

    • notabarbie
      Jan 18, 2013 @ 00:54:37

      Hi Julie!
      Yes, they know he is an atheist. He has been for many, many years. In fact he and I used to butt heads all the time over politics and religion. I’ve made many apologies to him and we are now close. Why is he welcome and I’m not? Neither of us can figure that out. I think part of the problem with my family is that I was such a hard core Christian and now I’m quite the opposite. I think the other problem is that I won’t shut up about it. During the time my brother was in his leaving the church phase, he also blogged and wrote other things about Christianity, which I thought was mean spirited and horrible, but my parents weren’t involved in social media then and so they have no idea how radical he was and is. I’m glad that he can have a decent relationship with them. They need someone to help take care of them and it’s not going to be me at this point.

      It makes me feel better that my comments don’t come off as “hectoring” to some. You are right, facts are facts and that really is all I present…well…and a little commentary…That’s how I roll 🙂

      Reply

      • ... Zoe ~
        Jan 18, 2013 @ 19:45:30

        Does your brother try to intervene on your behalf with the parents? (If I’m asking a question you’d rather not publicly answer, ignore it.)

      • notabarbie
        Jan 19, 2013 @ 00:07:27

        Hi Zoe! I don’t mind answering publicly. He really doesn’t and I get it and understand. He knows that if he did, it would not go well. He has told me that he feels bad about not speaking up more, but he really can’t. My mother showed him and email interchange between her and me, and tried to get him to side with her. He said he didn’t but felt he didn’t fully support me either. She should have never put him in that place. My parents need him more than I do at this point and so I think he’s doing the best that he can. He was very outnumbered at the Christmas dinner. I’m just glad he told me about it. It helps me to know, because at least then I know not to hold out hope of that part of my family ever coming around…it’s okay. Like BoomSLANG said, it is gut wrenching, but it’s okay.

  5. boomSLANG
    Jan 18, 2013 @ 08:32:07

    That’s how you roll, ‘n keep on rollin’! Yes, it’s sad that I, someone whom you’ve never even met in real life and whom you only “know” through various religious discussions on the ‘net, am more accepting of the real “you” than some of your own kin/your own blood relatives! Sheesh! It’s gut-wrenching. Then again, they (I presume) cannot think outside the Christian bubble. To them, it’s not important who you are; it’s only important *what* you are, and of course, that desired “what” would be that you be a saved, dyed in the wool, bible-believing Christian!

    Reply

    • notabarbie
      Jan 18, 2013 @ 08:55:14

      Hitting the nail on the head as usual boomSLANG. Thank you for reading and for accepting me for who I am–who I truly am. I think it’s easier for those of us who find ourselves “outside the Christian bubble” to be accepting. It feels good to be that way. I’ve been the other way and it feels the opposite of good. I want to take that old way of thinking and burn it to the ground 🙂

      Reply

  6. boomSLANG
    Jan 19, 2013 @ 08:55:36

    Right? I have family on my biological father’s side who are still devout Christians, and fortunately for me(and in some ways, them, if ya know what I’m sayin’), they don’t minister to me or try to win me back. Well, wait….once in a short discussion with one of them over lunch, I asked this person if they believed that I, now an Atheist, deserve “hell”. Initially, this knocked them for a loop—completely stymied, they were. They equivocated for a few minutes, never directly answering the question. But finally they managed this, and I quote, because I’ll never forget it:

    “Well, if you don’t think you deserve heaven, then I guess you deserve hell”.

    Nice, eh? And someone doesn’t know their bible, do they? Tsk, tsk! The bible makes very clear that no one deserves saving; it is only by “His Grace” that we are “saved”….::gAgS::

    Reply

    • notabarbie
      Jan 19, 2013 @ 13:54:03

      Haha! Wtf? That’s one of those “hate the sin, love the sinner,” type cliche answer…wow. I have rarely ever had a Christian answer that hell question directly, ever. Strange–they do behind our backs though. You know they do.

      Reply

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