I'm pro-choice, gay, feminist, pro-immigration and an atheist. My neo-con aunts and uncles? Thrilled. ;)How does a person politely deal with such things? I mean to be polite not because they're polite to me (apparently, my politics alone, not even getting into the gay and the atheist) is enough to make my entry into heaven questionable at best), but polite because it stirs up less BS for the rest of my life?How do you say "you've got it all wrong, I can denounce the war all I want (because it's doing nothing but killing people and increasing Saudi influence and Iranian militancy) and yet not be anti-American soldier or anti-American in general?How do you say "so he's putting on heels, who cares? Why be so obsessed with taking them away from him, and denying the kid (a miserable child, I must add) his little bit of joy? Are you that afraid of what he may become? You have no influence, no bargaining chips to make him gay or straight, trans or no. All you can do is show that he is loved, whatever he is, and, admittedly, the odds are still that he's just a boring straighty like most crossdressers. Is being "like a woman" a bad thing? Are women bad? That's the message you're sending."How do you say "hey, umn, I know it's been several generations for your family, so you don't remember coming to America, but, historically, most first generation immigrants, whether from Sweden, Germany, France, or wherever else the "good" immigrants came from, didn't end up speaking English to well. They tended to cluster in their own "little Italys" or "little Russias" or whatever, and speak the language they started with while living and working amongst their own. Their children, raised here, acted as translators for them as they entered school and learned the language. Current immigrants from Mexico aren't any worse than anyone else in that way. Singling them out? A tad racist, no? Besides, since you've never seriously studied another language, you make me laugh (til I cry a little inside) when I hear "just learn English," something you've never had to do."To go further, how do you explain "just because a language makes you uncomfortable (because you don't understand it) doesn't make it wrong. Languages are morally neutral, they harm no one. They're a matter of personal choice and, to a far greater extent, an accident of geography. It's your life, conduct it in whatever language you will. English? Go on. Spanish? I wish I knew the Spanish for "go on." Anything else? Se vian lingvon sxatas vi, do parolas gxin. Esperanto, man, look it up.How do you say "hey, umn, Auntie, I know you're trying, and not you know, calling an exorcist on me is a step above what the other aunts would do to my gay self. But if you can't support gay marriage because "it doesn't sit right" or your "religion is against it," I care to remind you that second class citizenship is not what you offer to a person you love. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount that if a person divorces their spouse for any reason other than adultery, and then remarries, that remarriage is considered an adultery. You know, like one of the big sins, the one on the big stone tablets my other aunts want installed in schools? You're all three divorced and remarried. Not because your husbands were adulterous, but because they sucked. I love you, though, and wouldn't hold this against you or your legal rights? Why are mine not so valuable? Jesus said nothing about the gays. Not a word. And the ten commandments? There wasn't an eleventh one "thou shalt not consider thy gay niece or nephew's 14th amendment rights to equal protection under the law."What about, "I know you're a pretty big control freak as a husband, always needing to know wherever your wife comes and goes (is she a child? Do you not trust her?), but some things aren't your right to control. I know, blah, blah, "the husband is the spiritual head of the household," but it also says there is no male or female in Christ. Bugger off. And the issue of abortion? In the hypothetical, that is MY uterus, my life, my body being hijacked by a pregnancy I don't want, can't afford and can not emotionally handle. What gives you the right to force me to surrender all that is mine, my own body, even, to a life form that cannot even feel pain and is completely unaware of its own existence? Why do you get a vote? How is it an intrusion when the government tells you what to do about buying electricity, but yet, when it's a woman's body and not a man's pocket book, it's ok? What?"What about "you keep trying to tell me to go to church with you, and whenever I try to talk to you about why it's crap, (not even getting into the supernatural part of the deal), you shut me down? Are you some how endowed with special insight into the mind of god? Are you so ignorant of your own religion not to know the true meaning of the story of the good Samaritan? Jesus told the story in response to the question "ok, so you say 'love my neighbor,' but who, exactly, is my neighbor?" Jesus said the Samaritan of the story was a neighbor. Yes, it was a big deal that the hero was a Samaritan and there was high prejudice against them at the time, but there's more to it. They were prejudiced against the Samaritans because, even though they were Jewish, they believed things the establishment disagreed with on matters of religion. They didn't believe Jerusalem was the holy city. They were idealogically impure. And the priest and the Levi who walked by, leaving the man where he lie? They did that because the law, as given to Moses, said that touching the dead made a person unclean and they had no way of knowing this man wasn't dead without touching him. The Samaritan, already idealogically impure, broke the law of god to rescue the other man. Jesus was saying it's more important to do the right thing than the "scripturally correct" thing. Jesus said "love G-d with your whole heart, and love your neighbor as yourself. This is the whole of the law." Isn't that enough? Who cares about the details? They're a self serving wank for you, Aunt, an ego trip. And this KJV fascination you have? It makes absolutely no sense. At all. None. Why would god step in, 1600 years post-Jesus to go give some white people the only acceptable Bible, totally skipping over centuries of others, including the originals? Is god that racist?"This is a civilized version (as close as it's coming to it) of what I would say. Why does such strict adherence to "Christian" belief make a person act like such an ass? Jesus wasn't an ass. Maybe that's why they're not Jesus-ians. Christ is, after all, a title for the promised messiah, not a name. They're pro-messiah. They're not so pro-first century rabbi. I feel strange, as an atheist, to have more warm feelings about what Jesus supposedly said than they do. Trouble is, it's not enough just to concur with 90% of what he said. I have to believe he actually said it.
There's certainly no way to change the minds of people who don't want to. I guess the options come down to stating your opinions/feelings as calmly as possible, coming to some kind of "topics we don't talk about" compromise, or, at the end of the day, not associating with certain parts of your family. Unfortunately there's some classes of fundies/conservatives who not only can't accept opposition, but can't just let the matter drop, and there's not a lot a person can do besides decide how much of that they want to put up with.
How does a person politely deal with such things? I mean to be polite not because they're polite to me (apparently, my politics alone, not even getting into the gay and the atheist) is enough to make my entry into heaven questionable at best), but polite because it stirs up less BS for the rest of my life? Jesus once said, dont judge lest you be judged. You dont need to respect their opinions, its not anyones right to have their opinion respected, but you certainly need to respect their right to an opinion.How do you say "you've got it all wrong, I can denounce the war all I want (because it's doing nothing but killing people and increasing Saudi influence and Iranian militancy) and yet not be anti-American soldier or anti-American in general? It was once said to me by John Pilger himself. "The right love their country like a 6 year old loves its mother, it can do no wrong and it is always unconditionally correct, anybody going against it is inherently wrong. The left love their country like a husband loves his wife, the love is unconditional, but the capacity to point out right and wrong is always there." You could always point out what the hell rational idea is there for hating your own country.Besides, since you've never seriously studied another language, you make me laugh (til I cry a little inside) when I hear "just learn English," something you've never had to do."Unfortunately, I think thats where you're wrong. English, or at least American English is the official language of the USA. Although that said, it just sounds as if your relatives would just hate other languages being spoken, full stop, regardless of whether or not of how well they can speak English.Jesus said nothing about the gays.If they use that stupid religious argument, acknowledge it in kind. The bible in the chapter of Deuteronomy also prohibits the consumption of Pork and Shelfish. Those with skin disease of any sort, even something as simple as Exczma and Psoriasis are to ring bells shouting "Unclean Unclean", and Shaving is punishable by death. Why would god step in, 1600 years post-Jesus to go give some white people the only acceptable Bible, totally skipping over centuries of others, including the originals? Is god that racist?"This is a civilized version (as close as it's coming to it) of what I would say. Why does such strict adherence to "Christian" belief make a person act like such an ass? Jesus wasn't an ass. Maybe that's why they're not Jesus-ians. Christ is, after all, a title for the promised messiah, not a name. They're pro-messiah. Alright, your aunts certainly anything to go by as far as Christians go, but to rubbish the religion and even suggesting that such asses as you put it are the result of Christianity is just plain wrong. Why not use Mother Teresa, or St Father Maximillian Kolbe as measuring sticks? Or use idiots like Christopher Hitchins as measuring sticks for those who dont follow the religion.As a socially moderate small-L liberal, I think some of the things put forward by the camps which you have identified are outlandish, but your relatives certainly arent any better. And as Neo-conservatives they're probably a whole lot worse. Best of luck in being polite to them.
oh my gosh, yesThis is everything I've wanted to tell my parents, and although I am straight and christian I totally agree with all that you had to say. True christians would not judge others who are not like themselves, they would love all and respect their rights to choose. God, afterall, did give us the right to choose.