So, I "came out" on Facebook about a month ago - linking it to this blog, stating my religion as "Atheist/Pastafarian" and posting updates from this blog over there. So, a couple days ago I got my first Concerned Letter from a relative. Here it is below, sanitized of names and shortened for length.
It's good to hear (through the grapevine) that you and Little Man are doing well! I understand he's liking school, I'm so glad. I would love to keep in touch.....I understand you have a second face book persona that is more specifically about you and Little Man? Can I be friends with that one? I'm very interested in seeing pics of you two, and knowing how he's progressing.Here's my reply...
I'm more disturbed and heartbroken by the Angie the Athiest FB, and it's difficult not to take the anti-christian stuff personally - so I'm hoping we can keep in touch in a way that wont be so hurtful.
You look so very beautiful in your pictures, like you're feeling well and healthy - good for you girlie! I love you, and have loved you from the day you were born - and will love you until the day I die.
I only have the one Facebook (which is by far my least atheist of my three blogs). I don't have the ability to upload pictures (well, at least I don't have a ride to CVS to get my pics switched to a CD) so I don't have many recent ones, but I'll maybe post a picture from Little Man's b'day I took with my phone. (I think I can email that to myself?)
He's doing really great - potty training, loving school, talking, etc. Just during this email he poked my arm and said "Excuse me, chicken nuggets?" He's also able to request TV shows by name, which he really likes. He can id by sight several numbers, most basic shapes, and all the basic colors. He's starting to assign adjectives to things, but he puts them at the end. So today after he school he waved to the bus, "Bye schoolbus yellow giant".
You do KNOW you're my favorite aunt right? I love you too, very much.
On the religion thing - I'm sorry if the things I post are hurtful to you. That's not at all my intention. My objections are with the Bible, Christian doctrine, etc., not with my friends and family who happen to be Christian. I'm not exactly sure which of my posts you consider anti-Christian, but my objections apply to religion in general, not just Christianity.
Please don't be sad on my behalf about this, as I've been extremely at peace with my atheism. I can't believe the stories anymore (Jonah in a whale? Really?) and I had stopped getting comfort from religion a long time ago. I've been an atheist for over a year now, and my character is the same. I'm happy, Little Man is happy, we're doing okay.
I love you and I hope that we can continue to be close despite this difference in worldview and religion. You can ask me any questions you like and I'll try my best to answer them, or we can agree to not directly talk about religion (although, of course, I'll still be posting things to my Facebook. I don't think atheism is offensive at all - it's what I am.) Or you and I can do what my mom and I somewhat do, which is exchange books, articles, and ideas. You can give me a book by Josh McDowell or another apologist to read, and I'll read it, if you want to do that approach. I do plan on raising Little Man secularly and that's the main area where I ask the family to be considerate of my beliefs. I'm not preventing him from deciding a religion later in life, but I want to be sure it is his choice and I want to wait until he's older and has a better grasp before I introduce non-physical concepts like eternity, gods, souls, etc.
What do you think? Maybe I should have left the Jonah thing out...