Thursday, January 31, 2013

Dealing with the Nosy II

First, let me apologize for the hiatus.  I doubt anyone was waiting anxiously, or otherwise, for my next post, but I feel guilty for neglecting this blog so much lately.  My real world life has been very demanding, and I haven't had time to work on the numerous draft posts I have that need work before publishing.

That being said, I want to post a quick note concerning how to deal with those situations where a religious person is being nosy about your beliefs (or lack thereof).  As you may have noticed, I have had numerous experiences with bigotry and intolerance and have come to assume that most, if not all, religious people are bigoted and therefore dangerous to me and my family.

The worst of these sorts are those who can't seem to take a hint when you indicate that you do not want to talk about your beliefs.  The reason that they can't take a hint is that their bigotry is so ingrained that it is taken for granted and not seen for what it is.  If a person thinks his bigotry is fact, then he sees no reason for anyone to complain about discrimination.  In such a person's mind, we non-believers can avoid discrimination simply by ceasing to be "bad people" and start believing in god.  They see our refusal to do that as absolute proof of our immoral nature.

When faced with a persistent believer who just can't rest without knowing your religious beliefs, you should first try to change or avoid the subject even if it requires getting up and walking away from the person.  (You should also make a mental note to avoid this person in the future.)

If you simply cannot avoid either the subject or the person, then your best bet is to try to put the spotlight on the person's bigotry.  Make it plain for all to see.  A good way to do this is to respond to inquiries about your beliefs by asking why the person wants to know--specifically ask about his or her bigotry:

"Why?  Do you discriminate against people based on their beliefs?"

Chances are good that he or she does discriminate and asking about it will make it clear who is the bad guy here and what an awful and dangerous spot he or she has put you in by asking.

The religious person will probably respond to this by denying it.  The denial will be a lie, but perhaps not a conscious one.  If the person does deny that he or she discriminates, you can follow up with:

"Well, a lot of people do discriminate and consequently I keep my beliefs to myself."

If this doesn't stop the nosiness, nothing will.  In that case, it is best to get away from this person and stay away.

See, also, my earlier post on this topic:

Dealing with the Nosy