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Posted by Phillip Martin on September 14, 2002 00:58:14 UTC

"Make sure you don't confuse Christianity with creation. You can be an evolutionist and be a Christian, no problem. All that matters is you believe in Christ."

I used those terms in that way because, for the people I was referring to, they were the same thing. All of them were Christians, and all of them believed creation.

"I won't scald you, and I hope you won't scald me. :) But I can't speak for everyone. Some of the guys in this forum are pretty harsh at times!... Why are you an atheist? (I'm not scalding you, I just want to know) I'd like to know."

Just to be sure you know what I consider scalding...
Calling someone degrading names, joking about heir beliefs, or anything else that is used purely to insult another person's intelligence is what I consider scalding.
Getting angry, excessive use of exclamation points, claiming that an argument has more truth than it is known to have, or anything else along those lines, is not what I consider scalding. I expect a certain amount of harshness, but scalding someone is not acceptable.
FYI: Due to the fact that abstract thoughts, such as sarcasm, are difficult to convey using a forum, I always assume that a statement is not sarcastic or degrading, unless the author specifically states otherwise. I have found that doing this avoids some embarrassing misunderstandings, and keeps everyone from getting gun shy (by gun shy I mean assuming that they ARE degrading, instead of otherwise).

"Are you afraid your family won't accept you?"

Yes. My parents are too conservative.

"Why are you ashamed?"

Because I will not be accepted.

"If they are truly Christians, they will love you all the same."

Yes, but what if they did not "love [me] all the same." Are your parents Christian? How do you think they would react? Can you say that your parents are "truly Christians?"

"Why are you an atheist? (I'm not scalding you, I just want to know) I'd like to know."

That question is tough to answer. I, myself, am not entirely sure of the truth. My best guess has been that it is the direct result of my constant questioning of everything. I have always wanted truth, rather than believe what is most available (bad word choice?). I noticed that most people believe as their parents, or family do. If I were born into a Muslim family, I would be Muslim, if I were born into an Amish family, I would be Amish, and so on. I did not like that idea, it did not make any sense to me. I thought that religions were unlikely to be true because of the fact that they can be founded, and defended, on such weak reasons for believing (or taking up belief). I searched for other ways of thinking that were independent of a person's family history. I found science, initially through watching PBS. It was not an immediate thing, it took me a while to figure out that they, in general, were not religious. I do not know how old I was when I became an atheist, or even if I was ever a theist to become an atheist.

"I sometimes wish I would just go with the flow, not have to stand up for what I believe."

I do, for the most part, "go with the flow." I pray, if and when others do. I lead prayer sometimes, if I am asked to do so, I have even gone to a private school- a private Christian school (of course, they did not know that I was an atheist, which does not mean that I did). I enjoy learning about other people's beliefs as much as I enjoy answering people's questions about mine.

"If they truly do care, they will try to show you the gospel."

I would rather my parents accept me for who I am, and not mold me into their form. Both would show me that they care.

Warm regards,

Phillip Martin

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