Thursday, November 22, 2007

thanksgiving update

Got here 2 hours ago, just had an hour long heated conversation with my parents about god, and atheism. I straight out told my parents that I'm an atheist (i don't think they knew that before...they just knew that I wasn't religious. We discussed all about how from my perspective following all these rules doesn't make sense because I don't believe in god, and my dad was all "but what if you're wrong and then when you die you don't go to heaven" and I was all "what if you're wrong and spent your whole life following all these rules for nothing?" And then my dad told me if i have kids with B they won't "get their place in the world to come" because they wouldn't be "all jewish". And i was like "seriously? you're telling me my kids are going to hell because they will only be half jewish, even if they are all jewish according to jewish halacha since I'd be jewish". And apparently they will becuase they won't be "pure" and i"ll be destroying years of inbreeding or something.

But so far no outward fights. Plus my dad was all "we wouldn't disown you if you marry b, we'd still talk to you". And I brought up the point that If i marry b i'm not exactly going to be comign to visit if I have to leave him behind. And that if I have kids, it's probably in their best interest to invite us all over, cause then they can teach my kids about judaism. And how if they aren't inviting b, i'm not exactly going to leave him in the car and come inside with my kids for a visit.

Yeah, so that's my thanksgiving so far. My extended family should be here at any moment, and there is delicious smelling turkey cooking. I'm kinda starving actually.... Also this morning I took a cab ride with some random strangers who were waiting for the bus (which never came) with me! That was fun.

Happy turkey day!


  1. Good for you. I still haven't used the a-word with my parents.

    But do you really want to encourage their inevitable attempt at making your kids religious?

  2. i don't mind if they teach my kids things about judaism, and it's not like i'm going to allow my kids to sit at their home and become indoctrinated into the religion. But one of the things they seem worried about is that my kids will know nothign about judaism, and i just pointed out that if they don't invite me and B into their home, then yeah, my kids won't.

  3. If you don't believe in God who are thanking on Thanksgiving?

  4. well in my family we don't go around the table and say what we are thankful or whatever..we just get together and have a meal and hang out.

    Just becuase a holiday is called "thanksgiving" doesn't mean everyone sits around thinking about what they are thankful for, which is a result of a higher power or whatever. In my family it's an excuse to all meet up and hang out.

  5. you are kinda being ridiculous. It's called thanksgiving becuase that's the name of the holiday. On memorial day we all get together as well, but we don't sit around remembering soldiers. But we still call it memorial day, becuase that's what the name of the holiday is.

  6. And then my dad told me if i have kids with Brett they won't "get their place in the world to come" because they wouldn't be "all jewish".

    I can see how that could make some sense, in that they won't have a Jewish upbringing and therefore won't fulfill as many commandments and therefore not merit a "better" place in the afterlife (if you believe in levels of transcendence).... but the way you report his words, what he's saying really makes no sense according to anything i've ever heard about Jewish views of the afterlife.

  7. Legally, Thanksgiving Day is created each year by a proclamation from the President.

    As an atheist, I'm surprised that you're very excited about the President's advice to all Americans to "gather together in their homes and places of worship with family, friends, and loved ones to reinforce the ties that bind us and give thanks for the freedoms and many blessings we enjoy".

  8. Umm, let me be the first to say that JP here is being idiotic, much like Bush who he has chosen to quote. Thanksgiving is an american holiday, not a religious one. It's not mandatory to eat turkey or gives thanks or watch football.

    But even if we were to be thankful for our family, our freedom or our blessings - we don't have to be thankful to a higher power. It's possible just to be thankful, period.

  9. "It's possible just to be thankful, period."

    It's also possible to think that name calling sounds smart. If you're about 12.

  10. JP- is it 12 year old name calling if you're calling an idiotic argument idiotic? You're argument about not following what the president says IS idiotic, becuase not only is the president just repeating what has been established 100s of years ago in some mindless ritual (kind of like judiasm, hey!), I'm also not going to NOT do things just cause the president says so. The president also says it's good to spend money becuase it helps the economy...that doesn't mean i'm going to stop buying anything out of fear of taking his advice. And also what does being an atheist have to do with that?

    Are you trying to start a fight here? Because it seems all you're trying to do is nitpick about irrelevent things to be like "Haha you have inconsistant beliefs!" which is not constructive at all, and just means you are a troll. If you continue trolling my blog I will be forced to ban you from commenting, as this blog has a no tolerence policy towards trolls. If you want to actually add something to the conversation, feel free to start doing so.

    And seriously, grow the fuck up already. If anyone is acting like a 12 year old here, it's you, and considering most of the bloggers who comment here are younger than you claim to be, it's pretty sad that you're the most childish when it comes to your commetns.

  11. Thanksgiving Day is a day proclaimed annually by the American President for the purpose of thanking God for the blessing of being citizens of a liberal democracy.

    It’s a reasonable question to ask: Why would atheists observe Thanksgiving Day? Would an atheist lighting a menorah or decorating a Christmas tree puzzle you?

    It’s interesting how atheists are so intolerant of embarrassing questions. A little like fundamentalists.

  12. it's not an embaressing question, it's an irrelevent question. The purpose of this blog is not to get into debates about atheism and judaism, the purpose is to talk about my personal experiences related to leaving the orthodox world. I'm not going to change my mind, and I have no interest in debating reasons for it, I just want to talk about why I did it and how it affects my life now.

  13. Why should anyone care, especially since there is no way of verifying who you are or if anything you're writing is true? (I mean this seriously, not to be rude.)

  14. And by the way, I never try to convince atheists, as should be clear from this post.

  15. if you don't care, why are you reading this blog? Clearly people care, or they wouldn't comment on this. And also, I'm not sure why verifying what I say is true should be important...several commentors here know me in real life, so they know what I'm writing is about is true, and it really doesn't matter to me if other people believe me (although I don't know what motive I would have for lying about anything.)

    Honestly, I don't really care if other people care, i write here for myself (i've always found writing a particularly cathartic experience, and I've kept another blog for about 7 years now), and also in the hope that other people like myself can find this blog and take comfort in the fact that they are not alone in their experiences.

  16. "if you don't care, why are you reading this blog?"

    To discredit you.

  17. discredit what exactly? I'm not trying to advocate anything here, just writing my opinions. And since opinions aren't exactly objective facts, they're pretty much undiscreditable.

  18. "This blog, abandoning eden, is meant to chronicle my departure from the orthodox jewish world into a secular existance."

    The purpose of my comments is to discredit you, meaning "To damage in reputation; disgrace."

    This is in keeping with Psalms 139:21.

  19. hmm, well i don't hate god, I just don't believe god exists. That's entirely different. Therefore, your personal vendetta against me is unmotivated.

    And I wasn't asking the definition of discredit, but what exactly it is you are trying to discredit. My personal experiences? Are you trying to discredit that they ever happened?

    Furthermore, nothing you've posted so far has discredited anything, rather they seem to just be self promoting links to your blog. I welcome actual coherent arguments, but you seem to have none.

    I would think that your own personal experiences as someone who converted and broke with your parents traditions would actually make you more sypathetic to my situation, even though we were moving in opposite directions. Instead it seems that you are so obsessed with being right in your religous views that you must try to impose your view on someone who has no interest in hearing it and whom you will never convince. There are many better uses of your time, including perhaps trying to convince someone who actually gives a flying fuck. Which does not describe me at all.

    I'm just trying to understand your motivations here. Why do you care what my opinions and experiences are? What personal gain to you get from trying to discredit me?

    Finally, are you new to the internet? You seem to post a lot of personal information on the internet. Not that I personally care enough to do you harm, but you do tend to try to argue with a lot of people, and posting your home address and work address and pictures of your children and social security numbers and your mothers maiden name is particularly unwise. It would be easy for me to figure out where you work, and email your boss noting that during daytime working hours you seem more intent on trying to discredit people on the internet than actually doing your job.

  20. Do whatever you want.

    Have you ever read any of the comments I get? I don't spend days obsessing over why people are writing this or that.

  21. Have you thought of Reconstructionist Judaism? Unlike Reform, there's not an "official" policy of theism and their approach to ritual is much more positive than Reform. B would definitely be accepted should he decide to come to shul with you. and your kids, if you have them, will grow up with some Jewish connection.

  22. "And that if I have kids, it's probably in their best interest to invite us all over, cause then they can teach my kids about judaism."

    Given what you feel about Judaism, do you really want your parents to be the ones to teach your children anything about it? Why not make sure that you yourself impart to your kids the parts of Judaism that you feel positive about. If you make it just something that "sabba & savta" talk about when you go over there, you'll end up reacting negatively your kids will only absorb your negative perspective on Judaism.

    If you feel that Judaism has any importance to you culturally, historically, and ethnically, teach THAT to your kids. Don't concede ownership of Jewish issues to your parents.

    Actually, that's probably good advice for yourself as well. Create your own positive relationship to whatever brand or personal conception of Judaism you choose and you can begin to leave behind some of the negativity of your childhood experiences.

  23. I guess, I am late to the party. Gotta love people, like the jewish philosopher, who just adore picking nits.

    It's a character flaw and there is nothing anyone can do about it. At work, I just fire people like that, because they bring the entire workplace to a stop and prevent anyone from doing anything useful.

    Got a question for JP. If the president does not make the proclamation, will Thanksgiving stop? I doubt it. There goes your dumb argument.


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