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Mother flies off the bat at atheist son

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18 replies to this topic

#1
The Force

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This video is a pretty good reason why I will probably never tell my parents about my atheism:

Catholic mom full of the love of Jeebus

I'm sure she's scared for her son's soul, and that this is quite jarring for her, but getting in the poor kid's face and screaming at him while jabbing him in the chest is borderline abusive. Note how she uses the threat of "no gifts for Xmas" to try to get him to change his mind!

Note: I think a sibling or friend secretly videotaped this.

#2
Ungodly

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Wow, that was a scene I'm sure is often repeated, but WTF airing family dirty laundry on YouTube.  Granted that what the mother said was in poor taste, but posting what she thought was a family discussion in a public place is really very poor taste.

#3
Storybook

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That sort of thing happens all the time in families when a child questions the Bible fairy tales.  Kids are then bullied and threatened by their hostile parents.

#4
The Force

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Wow, that was a scene I'm sure is often repeated, but WTF airing family dirty laundry on YouTube.  Granted that what the mother said was in poor taste, but posting what she thought was a family discussion in a public place is really very poor taste.


It's important to show people what happens in a lot of families when atheists "come out." I think that's the point. It's probably also a ploy to garner sympathy, but so what? Maybe she'll be embarassed into reevaluating the way she acted. He didn't post a video of his parents fighting, or of his dad in the shower, but something that happened to him.

I guess I'm an evil little Vogon, but I've no sympathy at all. Why did this kid feel the need to post this video in a public forum? Maybe he doesn't feel like he has anyone in "real life" he can talk to about this. Do you think that people who go on internet forums and ask for advice in dealing with manipulative or abusive family members have poor taste? Was I wrong in using a personal anecdote describing my grandmother's marriage in another thread to show how controlling fundies can be? Maybe I should just shut up about all the troubling things in my life related to my atheism and spout rainbows and butterflies from here on out. I wouldn't want anyone to think I was in poor taste for airing "dirty laundry."

#5
Ungodly

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It's important to show people what happens in a lot of families when atheists "come out." I think that's the point. It's probably also a ploy to garner sympathy, but so what? Maybe she'll be embarassed into reevaluating the way she acted. He didn't post a video of his parents fighting, or of his dad in the shower, but something that happened to him.

I guess I'm an evil little Vogon, but I've no sympathy at all. Why did this kid feel the need to post this video in a public forum? Maybe he doesn't feel like he has anyone in "real life" he can talk to about this. Do you think that people who go on internet forums and ask for advice in dealing with manipulative or abusive family members have poor taste? Was I wrong in using a personal anecdote describing my grandmother's marriage in another thread to show how controlling fundies can be? Maybe I should just shut up about all the troubling things in my life related to my atheism and spout rainbows and butterflies from here on out. I wouldn't want anyone to think I was in poor taste for airing "dirty laundry."


I think there are vast differences in kind here in the different situations mentioned.  I understand not having sympathy for this mother, she was being at least slightly abusive to this child by yelling at him for what he believes, but on the other hand it might have been a bit deceptive or underhanded to be videotaping her without her knowledge. 

It is certainly appropriate to discuss concerns about family life in a forum, you've never seemed to post anything that was in bad taste. I have no argument with you or anything you've ever done. My concern was limited to the seemingly surreptitious videotaping of a conversation and later posting it online.  I think it is not OK to videotape someone without their knowledge or consent and then broadcast the results.

If there was abuse of a criminal nature involved it would be a different matter.  This case seems like a heated discussion, certainly, but it did not seem to me to rise to a level of abuse.  Parents do raise their voices when speaking to their kids, it happens every day.

Granted that the kid was right and the mother's position was baseless and reactionary.  And I agree that it is important to discuss what can happen when people divulge their lack of a religious affliction.

My concern is only about secretly videotaping and then publishing a conversation thought to be a private family interaction, I still think that was inappropriate.

#6
Storybook

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The mother was being abusive in the video.  I think abuse should be exposed.

#7
FlatEarth1024

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I guess I'm an evil little Vogon, but I've no sympathy at all. Why did this kid feel the need to post this video in a public forum? Maybe he doesn't feel like he has anyone in "real life" he can talk to about this. Do you think that people who go on internet forums and ask for advice in dealing with manipulative or abusive family members have poor taste? Was I wrong in using a personal anecdote describing my grandmother's marriage in another thread to show how controlling fundies can be? Maybe I should just shut up about all the troubling things in my life related to my atheism and spout rainbows and butterflies from here on out. I wouldn't want anyone to think I was in poor taste for airing "dirty laundry."

It is certainly appropriate to discuss concerns about family life in a forum...My concern is only about secretly videotaping and then publishing a conversation thought to be a private family interaction, I still think that was inappropriate.

I think the distinction here is that if the boy was part of a forum such as ours, and he explained the situation and posted a paraphrasing of the conversation that would have been perfectly fine.  The anonymous relating of the tale takes away some of the intimacy of it.  By submitting the video, it lends the situation sort of a "camera in the bedroom" feel...almost a voyeurism that really accomplishes little but making the viewer feel uneasy and unwelcome.

So, while the mother is a sicko and the father is a wimp and the story needs to be told, an ambush video was probably not the best choice of venue.

The mother was being abusive in the video.  I think abuse should be exposed.

I disagree.  Hysterical, insane, psychopathic...yes.  But not abusive.  For all her howling, she did not strike the boy.  She did not make demeaning comments or tell him he was worthless or such.  For all her carrying on, deprivation of Christmas presents was pretty much her biggest threat.


***NOTE*** I have my doubts as to the authenticity of this video.  What are the odds that the photographer produces his camera at just the right moment?  Then remains un-noticed as he films the entire exchange...completely in focus...with good sound quality?  I think something's rotten in Denmark here.  This has "staged" written all over it.

#8
Ungodly

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To The Force:

I'm really very sorry if my comments touched a raw nerve, or if I made you feel hurt or rejected in any way.  I think your ideas and sense of humor are fantastic, and I hope this thread has not harmed our friendship, one that I value highly.

As FlatEarth pointed out, my concern was all about the surreptitious nature of the videotape.  As an amateur photographer who wishes he was a pro, I've had to learn about the legal issues around photographing people and getting their consent, and it was these types of concerns that prompted my comment.  A person has a reasonable expectation of privacy in their own home, in a public place it is a different situation.  To videotape someone in their own home without their knowledge and consent is arguably an invasion of privacy.

Yes, this woman was being emotionally abusive to her son, but we did not see the entire conversation.  We do not know in what manner he presented his atheism to her.  Was he yelling too?  Was he rude or sarcastic?  Maybe this type of interaction is normal in this household.  I'm certainly glad that my mother never treated me this way, but it would not be true to say that she never once raised her voice when speaking to me.

I see that the incident on this video touched a sore spot for you, and I'm sorry you have that to deal with.  Yes, this mother was a jerk, and she may yet regret her actions, but let's pin down our definition of abuse as it applies in this case.

If this video had ended with the young man picking up the phone and dialing 911 to report that his mother had yelled at him and poked him with her finger, would you expect the local police to dispatch an officer to the scene?

There are all sorts of levels of abuse, yes this was a type of abusive treatment. And certainly any good parent wants their child to form their own view of the world.

I have a great deal of respect for your hard work in school and I feel certain you'll be contributing to the body of science in your career. I think you're cool.

Bottom line is, I hope this has not caused a rift between the two of us, I value your friendship and I very much want to keep it.

Steve

#9
Storybook

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[color=blue]Ungodly, I appreciate your sensitivity

#10
The Force

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Hey guys, I realize I kind of "flew of the bat" myself with that last post, and I want to apologize for not considering the very valid "invasion of privacy" points that were brought up here.  I was being a drama queen, and I irrationally extended WC saying "that's in bad taste" to "you have bad taste."

If this video is authentic, which I believe it is, then the mother's privacy was violated without her consent, her anonymity was compromised, and that's wrong. I wouldn't like it if someone posted a video of me on YouTube in one of my less civilized moments without my knowledge or permission.

I don't want there to be a huge debate in which people's feelings get hurt here, and I'm sorry for the minor tantrum I threw earlier. I took WC's comment personally, which was dumb. There are much more important things to get worked up about for me, which now include worrying about going to class and getting shot by a psychopath on campus. Sigh.

#11
Ungodly

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All is well that ends well....

And it is a very bad thing for a parent to yell at a teenaged child about what they do or do not believe.  It is the primary responsibility of teenagers to question what they have been taught, it is a very important developmental process.

I always taught my kids two important points:

1) However you feel inside, your feelings are always OK. You can't be wrong until you DO something wrong.
2) Question everything you are taught, including what I teach you.

I stressed these points with my kids often.  Neither of my 2 surviving kids is afflicted with any religious beliefs today.

This contrasts sharply with yelling at a child because they do not believe in a particular group fairy tale.

#12
The White Coyote

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I irrationally extended WC saying "that's in bad taste" to "you have bad taste."



I didn't make a post on this thread. Are you talking about another thread? I am sorry if I said something to hurt you.

#13
FlatEarth1024

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I irrationally extended WC saying "that's in bad taste" to "you have bad taste."



I didn't make a post on this thread. Are you talking about another thread? I am sorry if I said something to hurt you.


She meant Ungodly.

#14
Ungodly

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I irrationally extended WC saying "that's in bad taste" to "you have bad taste."



I didn't make a post on this thread. Are you talking about another thread? I am sorry if I said something to hurt you.


I think she was referring to the first reply in the thread, which was mine.  It seems a logical mistake to confuse one of us with the other since we are both such clever and good looking guys.  Of course, I'm much sweeter :-)

#15
The White Coyote

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:puker:

#16
The Force

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Sigh, foot, meet mouth. Sorry, WC, I convinced myself it was you who said that. I'm being real observant today. I'm just gonna shut up. :snork_burn:

#17
The White Coyote

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No biggy. I just figured I'd said something stupid somewhere else and couldn't rememeber where. I actually don't take anything I see on YouTube seriously so I really haven't got any comment about it one way or another. I like a lot of the videos but since anyone with a webcam and an imagination can post one there it's better not to get all involved with it. THe old saying, "Consider the source." comes to mind. I still luvya Forcey, your my favorite Alien. :alien: :cyclopsani: :alien:

#18
TopHat

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I think that it is interesting to see.

If we accept that it is real, it offers an insight into homes. We constantly allow ourselves to see life as a place which, yes has problems, but to see the problems extends sympathy. An example of this would be the picture taken of the dead Iraq soldiers' coffins. Was it wrong? It was put up without the parents permission, so I'd say I'm borderline.

#19
The White Coyote

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You make an interesting point TopHat. The difference being the coffins were not open and the faces or identitys of the soldiers were not shown. But I see where you are coming from. But again, it's YouTube and is it real? Who knows? Those coffins were real however and it was a good thing for the American people to see the ugly and sickening part of war. In Nam they just shoved you in a rubber bag with some "mothballs" to keep you from rotting too much. It was easier to fill the plane if the bodies were in bags.


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