Thursday, June 28, 2012

Devastation Deepening

If you read my previous post, you'll know that I was concerned at having "outed" my family as atheists to our son's best friend. For the sake of clarity, let's call that friend Armen.

I was right to be worried.

Oh, Armen quite glibly "accepted" our atheism, didn't seem at all fazed. Spent the rest of the night laughing and having a seemingly great time with our boy. But he left before 7 am, claiming that, because it was Father's Day, he wanted to be home early. I knew. The moment I came downstairs to find him gone, I knew. But our boy wasn't concerned, said everything seemed just fine.

Everything wasn't fine. In fact, our boy's "best friend" has completely ditched him. Our boy kept trying to hang with him, and Armen kept offering up glib, smiling lies and BS promises. Things like, "Oh, I can't, I'm grounded today, but maybe tomorrow!" Then, twenty minutes later, we see him down the street, hanging with other kids. "I'll come over later this afternoon." Of course, he doesn't. Instead, he goes across the street to hang with the psychopathic, small-animal-killing kids because he knows our boy isn't allowed in that house. To our son's credit, he kept trying, kept giving Armen the benefit of the doubt. But after a week, even he knew.

I did this. By ADMITTING our atheism, I blasted our son's social life to bits. I try not to blame myself, I try to turn it around--if we were CATHOLIC or JEWISH and received this sort of treatment, the world would rise up and condemn this kid for his blatant bigotry. Sadly, we live in a nation that, according to recent polls, holds CHILD RAPISTS in higher esteem than atheists.


Republicans in this country are more likely to want a Muslim in the White House than an Atheist. Now, I don't have a problem with a Muslim in the White House, but let's be honest--the right has a mighty impressive stiffy against Islam. And yet, even Islam is preferable to atheism in their eyes.

It gets worse--you see, a couple of weeks earlier, our boy spent the night at another friend's house. While there, he was cornered by the friend's mother, who wanted to know what church we go to. Our boy was honest--he said we don't go to any church. That was pretty much the last time that friend and our boy hung out. And just night before last, our boy stayed over at another friend's--a mutual friend of Armen's. Mutual friend cornered our son, demanding to know what religion he is. I suppose it's a tribute to our parenting that our boy can't just "lie on the fly," he doesn't know how to fashion BS effortlessly, so he answered honestly. He said he's an atheist. Mutual friend's younger brother said, "We're atheists, too." Mutual friend became very upset, said that they are NOT atheists!

I fear that friendship is now toast, too. I was already concerned--see, the night before, Armen had hidden at the mutual friend's house, while mutual friend lied to our boy and said he wasn't there. Even though we'd watched him go in and, a few minutes after, sneak back out. And I mean SNEAK--he actually ducked down behind bushes and crawled behind a truck. All to hide from the evil atheists.

I’m not just heartbroken and hurt for our boy. No, I'm also scared. Deeply frightened. Understand that people HURT atheists. They do. Not everywhere--gosh, no, in civilized Western nations, atheists are accepted and make up a sizeable chunk of the population. Canada, England, France, etc.? Loaded with atheists who work, live, love just like everyone else. But not here. No, not in America, the Land of the Free. No, here we are despised. I think it's an intellect thing--as a nation, we're increasingly lacking.

So I'm afraid. What we have here is a social group made up of a ten-year-old violent, foul-mouthed, scary-type liar (dangerous lies like "so-and-so hit me with a bat") who steals and kills small animals; The psychopath's twin brother, who is a pale, weak version of his crazy-assed sibling; a glib, cowardly 13 year-old bigot who lies freely, lacks the courage required for honesty, and spends his time doing the bidding of the psychopathic 10 year-olds, and a 13 year old who, while not taking part in the games, dropped our boy like a hot potato the instant we failed the "what church do you go to" test.

A scary group. A group that, between the violent psychopaths and the suck-up, two-faced true believer, could conceivably decide to do our child harm because of his atheism. Don't tell me I'm being paranoid--look at the news. Kids pouring alcohol on other kids and setting them ablaze. Kids shooting other kids. Kids beating other kids. Hell, there have been cases of kids forcibly sodomizing other kids with sticks.


And these crimes are committed over things as trivial as movie tickets or teenage flirtation gone awry. Imagine what kids might do to an atheist? What they might do to someone who ranks lower on the social totem pole than a CHILD RAPIST.

Know what REALLY sticks in my craw? The idea that these kids think they're better than us, more MORAL than us. The psychopaths? Their mother and Armen's father? Drug buddies from days of old. Armen's father? I only know what he looks like because I've seen his MUG SHOT online. Drugs. Armen's mother? I've seen her mug shot, too--prostitution and drugs. His older sister?  Junkie with mug shots.  His older brother? I've seen HIS mug shot--a junkie on his way to prison for felony burglary.  But WE'RE immoral.

We are clean. Our home is clean. We are kind. We do not lie about our neighbors, we do not lie to our friends. We do not do drugs, we are not given to drunkenness, we do not break the law. We are gentle with animals, and we are caring with other people. Most importantly, we do not discriminate against others based upon their religion. Yet WE are immoral.

I fear for our son. I fear for us. I am afraid that someone will call our landlord and fill him in on our evil ways, and he will, as a result, choose not to extend our lease. I am afraid that we will be the victims of vandalism or worse. Through all of this, I keep coming back to one thing: I should have kept my mouth shut. I can take the pressure, but our boy? Our poor, 14 year-old boy? Maybe for him, it would have been better to be silent and okay than loud, proud, and despised.

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