August 26, 2008

I chickened out

Last night my in-laws took us out to dinner.  My step father-in-law was in a terrible car accident in January '07.  He has come a very long way in his recovery but unfortunately is in a wheelchair for now.  He is mostly back to his own self though and we are very happy he is still with us.  He has begun going to church though for a sense of community.  I do not doubt he had a religious belief before the accident, and I've never heard him say that he thanks a god for his recovery, but he feels accepted at church.  It's not easy to be disabled in our society, people treat you differently.  

At dinner, he was telling us about some friends that had sold their house and land for $7 million.  I was dumbfounded!  B and I started talking at the same time.  I was saying I could never sell to a church and he was saying he'd sell for half that much.  His view is that they would be grossly overpaying for the property and then he could use the money for anything he wanted in the name of heathens.  I see his point, but I don't think I could do it.  How can I take money from something I don't agree with and know we would be helping them spread their crap.  That would be like us selling our land so that a factory farm could move in with their big chicken houses and downer cows, even though we don't eat meat.  What if some big corporation wanted to buy our neighborhood so they could build a strip mall when we have several empty ones in the area.  Or what if some factory that is know to pollute wanted to move in and a by-product would be more greenhouse gasses?  It just seems wrong.  Sure, I'd love to have $7 million but I have principles too.  

But what if they are going to find a way to build their big mega-church anyway, and whomever does sell to them won't do anything good with the money?  Shouldn't I think of it that way?  If I can take all that money and throw it into a way to promote reason, isn't that a greater good? What would you do?

As we were talking about our different views, my sFIL asked why I wouldn't sell to a church.  I didn't have the heart to tell him I think religion is a bunch of baloney.  He's been through so much.  Our family has been through so much these last two years.  I don't know that he would even care but if he holds on to some hope by thinking there is someone looking out for him, who am I to possibly offend him?  He's never once said anything religious to me and I don't think it's my place to declare my atheism in the middle of a restaurant.  I finally replied that I felt there were more than enough churches around, we do not need another.  He was o.k. with that.  I am not ashamed of anyone knowing I don't believe in a god.  Many other times, B and I have had conversations about religion around him and I wouldn't lie if asked point blank.  It just didn't seem the right time or place for that conversation.  


  1. I know what you mean about not being ashamed, but still not wanting to just blurt it out either. I feel like with my parents, I don't want to cause them any harm and I think that telling them would make things very hard on everyone. So I don't say anything. They have never asked me though. I keep reciting in my head what I would say if they did ask me. I'm still not for sure what I would say.

    I guess I should introduce myself. My name is Charity and I am really not sure how I came across your blog, but I am glad I did. I am surrounded by Christians and I feel so isolated at times. It is nice to know others are raising their children the way we are. I have 2 sons, 13 and 8. We are homeschooling our sons and have since birth.
    I have enjoyed browsing your list of "Thinker Links". Thank you for providing those!
    Have a great day!!

  2. Thanks for commenting :) Part of the reason I set this blog up was because it's hard to find parents willing to talk about raising their kids without religion and homeschoolers are even more rare. I'm really glad you've found it useful and you are definitely not alone!