Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Imaginary Conversation with My Sister

Let’s pretend my sister found this blog. We’ll call her Chana. This is how our conversation might go:

Chana: Hi OTD! How are you?

OTD: I’m fine, thanks. You?

Chana: Same. Great blog!

OTD: Thanks.

Chana: What’s it like?

OTD: Not bad. However, in the beginning, it was very difficult. My audience assumed the worst. (I guess “judge every person favorably" only applies to frummies.) Without knowing a thing about me, they attacked me and treated me like shit. I was so depressed about it that I was suicidal for a while.

Chana: (shocked) Omigosh, that’s horrible! May they all fry in hell for ever and ever! I’m so disgusted to hear that, I feel like going off the d myself!

OTD: Yeah, it’s not easy dealing with crazy bigots.

Chana: Hey!

OTD: Ok, sorry.

Chana: So…what do you believe?

OTD: I believe lots of things. God is not one of them.

Chana: Why not?

OTD: Look, I’ve learned in yeshiva for a zillion years. I’ve also read up on bible criticism, science and atheism. I just don’t see how it’s logical to conclude that God exists.

Chana: Okay. Take care of yourself.

OTD: Bye.


  1. Sounds like you have a pretty open-minded sister.

  2. So I'm sure you answered this before, but how long have you been using the internet? I can see why stupid posts on your blog would make you upset....i get the same kind of stupidity, but I guess that years of internet message board debating has kinda desensitized me to personal attacks. In fact right around when I was going OTD I was very involved in a (now defunct) message board called "debate" where people would debate random topics..it helped to be able to build my debating skills on topics not personal to me, which I can now apply to random douchebags commenting on my journal.

    When people try to make personal attacks on me, I assume that they don't have a good argument to back themselves up if they have to make ad hominem attacks. If they do try to argue logically It's usually with really faulty logic, so it's fun to try and figure out exactly where they went wrong. Then there are random people who just quote torah passages at me; those people are the most ridiculous of all, cause they are trying to convince me to follow a certain book by using that very book as moral guidance.

  3. AE: Thanks very much for the support, and excellent point.

    I'm *very* new to the internet, and I'm slowly getting used to the way it is. I think if I've survived Garnel I can survive anything. I seriously don't think it could have been possible for anyone to get under my skin the way he has.

  4. You have a nice sister, OTD. I'm not sure things would go so well with my family, although one of my sisters does know that I'm an atheist and we just agree to never discuss religion or atheism, which works quite well.

  5. Margo, TH:
    Thanks for the support. Margo, that's a great arrangement you have with your sister.
    I think my point was just that she wouldn't pick fights with me. They know I'm otd, but we just don't discuss religion. We both respect each other enough to leave each other to our own beliefs, and even if there is an awkward moment where someone says something stupi, you'd hope everyone cares enough about each other to be sensitive, which can hardly be said of random anonymous frummies commenting on my blog, for instance.

    That said, it's a very painful subject (religion) to say the least, for those raised in a cult, essentially, and for those who left it. It's not easy avoiding blowups, but I hope it's possible.