Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sister In Law

My wife has two sisters.  One is in her early 30s and is apparently an atheist.  She also has expressed a desire to raise any kids she ends up having in the church and she herself attends church services with her parents. The other sister is 20 and a devout Christian.  The 20 year old sister spent the bulk of this summer in Los Angeles staying on our couch, helping with the baby, and getting shown around the city by yours truly.

In this time, I came to know her as a very bright young woman full of ambition.  I let her know that my wife and I were atheists and met very little resistance aside from a card that she left for us the day she went home that thanked us for the hospitality and let us know that she was praying for our immortal souls.  

I must say that I really do feel sorry for her, as I see how religion holds her back in a lot of the same ways as it did with my wife... with some pretty disastrous consequences.

About a week ago, I received a book from her written by a supposed atheist turned born again Christian.  The book was really one of the worst attempts at Christian apology I have ever encountered, but I cannot fault her for that, as she had not actually read the book... she just wanted me to be able to have some more information. 

I wrote to her with the problems I saw with the book and with the idea of sending me a book instead of engaging me in direct conversation. I further invited her to feel free to ask me any questions or to engage me in conversation about my lack of faith.  

I received a reply to this letter last night in which she apologized for not addressing me in a more direct manner and simply stating that the problems I had with religion probably could not be addressed because God is so beyond human comprehension.  I really dislike this cop out response from religious people, as it creates a near perfect barrier to logic and reason - If something about your religion does not make sense, don't worry... It is simply because God is beyond comprehension. 

Either way, I responded to her with a brief explanation of how I came to reject the idea of any theistic god and the Christian god, in particular.  Hopefully some of these ideas get through to her.  She is definitely intelligent enough to put the pieces together.  I just hope that she is eventually able to do so and break free of the constraints of religion while she is still young and able to enjoy her youth without them.

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