family with morally reprehensible views

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Izawwlgood
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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby Izawwlgood » Thu Nov 17, 2016 1:42 pm UTC

I don't want to claim any sort of ownership over being the only person with this issue, so, where the conversation goes is where the conversation goes :)

LaserGuy wrote:Just going back to this, what do your parents think about secular Judaism? Is their problem that you can't have morals without religious practices, or you can't have morals without God?
Eh, it's fine. 'Less serious Jews who will eventually get it together'. To be clear though, for extra irony, my mom is for all intents and purposes a Jew in name only - she's the opposite of spiritual or into any of it, goes to synagogue when my dad says it's a responsibility (for funeral services and high holidays only, really). My parents almost got divorced about 10 years ago when my dad was starting to become more religious, wanted to make the kitchen kosher, and my mom refused.

But I don't think there's any real ire towards less religious Jews. I don't think they'd recognize the term 'secular Jew', and just instead think 'that person is a Jew who doesn't go to services regularly'.

LaserGuy wrote:Likewise, on the issue of racism, do they have similar feelings toward, say, the Ethiopian Jewish community?
Probably not, because, and I loathe to say, they'd consider them Jewish first, 'black people' second. I've had a pretty horrifying conversation with my mom wherein she said the reason the Cosby show was so good was that it was about black people 'not being black'.

KnightExemplar wrote:Going back to my "Matrix" example, you're basically saying shove a red-pill down their throat. That's simply not going to work, and is instead only going to lead to a more frosty relationship.
I absolutely recognize that this is who they are, and they don't want to change their minds, and I recognize that that is at least one thing we have in common. I do think one of the issues is that they're only consuming Fox News and alt-right media, which, given that Fox News is about the furthest to the left news they consume, makes me think we simply live in realities with different facts.

Weeks wrote:As Zamfir said, one kind of owes some slack to the people who raised us. Just a little, though.
Valid.

KnightExemplar wrote:Been there, done that. Animals don't have souls and therefore don't have morality. It helps explain the gay penis fencing from Bonobos or gay dogs humping each other (which is immoral in their view of course, but its not a problem for animals to behave like that)
Heh, i've always loved this religious double standard - homosexuality is unnatural! Whats that, it happens in nature? Uhh, homosexuality is bestial!

The goalposts, they just keep moving.
CorruptUser wrote:How come civilizations managed to exist and societies managed to have laws and rules prior to Jesus? After all, there WAS a Rome that managed to keep from tearing itself apart until long after the Pope showed up.
Hilariously these political divides are pretty well documented then too. Oh humans. We are so dumb.
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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 17, 2016 4:17 pm UTC

My family is a bit different when it comes to my religion, of sorts. My father would probably disown me if I married outside the faith, but mother wouldn't. Sister said she'd back me if I did, mostly because I'm much older than I should be when you first have a serious girlfriend, let alone married, though almost not too old just yet, so WTF do they want from me. Interestingly, my mother would disown me if I married a black girl, but father would be fine if she was Jewish. Sister wouldn't be too happy, but she'd bite her tongue. Grandmother would be upset but bite her tongue if I married non-Jewish, but only if she was white; one cousin is in serious relationship with a Polish guy and she's "fine" with it, but other cousin is in relationship with Chinese girl and my Grandma is upset because she isn't even white. Apparently racism against East Asians is still a thing.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 17, 2016 5:54 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:How come civilizations managed to exist and societies managed to have laws and rules prior to Jesus? After all, there WAS a Rome that managed to keep from tearing itself apart until long after the Pope showed up.

Then again, denialism is a strong thing.


There was, of course, religion prior to Jesus. This isn't going to get you anywhere.

I suggest asking them to envision a world in which they somehow became factually certain that God didn't exist. Would they immediately go out and start looting and pillaging?

The envisioning is a hard part. They get hung up on that. But if you can get people past that, they usually concede that no, they would not. It can be a useful tool to get them thinking about it in a different way. But, be careful not to actually get sidetracked on arguing over if god is real or not, just treat it as a hypothetical.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby morriswalters » Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:05 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:I've had a pretty horrifying conversation with my mom wherein she said the reason the Cosby show was so good was that it was about black people 'not being black'.
That is an interesting take and worth thinking about.
CorruptUser wrote:so WTF do they want from me.
What they want is for you to be as they each expect you to be. Which means like them. An impossible task. Families are messy.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby LaserGuy » Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:28 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:How come civilizations managed to exist and societies managed to have laws and rules prior to Jesus? After all, there WAS a Rome that managed to keep from tearing itself apart until long after the Pope showed up.

Then again, denialism is a strong thing.


There was, of course, religion prior to Jesus. This isn't going to get you anywhere.

I suggest asking them to envision a world in which they somehow became factually certain that God didn't exist. Would they immediately go out and start looting and pillaging?

The envisioning is a hard part. They get hung up on that. But if you can get people past that, they usually concede that no, they would not. It can be a useful tool to get them thinking about it in a different way. But, be careful not to actually get sidetracked on arguing over if god is real or not, just treat it as a hypothetical.


I've definitely heard some Christians go with a line to the effect of "Oh yeah, I'd totally be murdering you right now if there weren't a God."

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:36 pm UTC

That's also informative, albeit horrifying.

It's much easier to make the case that they're the ones with an ethical problem, though, when they're straight up saying how they'd be murdering and what not. You can merely point out that obviously, you're not doing that. Clearly, they're missing *something*.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby CorruptUser » Thu Nov 17, 2016 8:54 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:so WTF do they want from me.
What they want is for you to be as they each expect you to be. Which means like them. An impossible task. Families are messy.


Wasn't asking a question; it's my flippant response to them if it ever comes up.

LaserGuy wrote:I've definitely heard some Christians go with a line to the effect of "Oh yeah, I'd totally be murdering you right now if there weren't a God."


Try not to be friends with those people. If someone I didn't know had said that they have overwhelming urges to rape/steal/murder/molest/etc but only their faith holds them back, good on them for keeping themselves in check but I'm not letting my kids near them.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby morriswalters » Thu Nov 17, 2016 9:40 pm UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Wasn't asking a question; it's my flippant response to them if it ever comes up.
Good for you. I'm more direct.. A simple fuck you generally works for me.
I've definitely heard some Christians go with a line to the effect of "Oh yeah, I'd totally be murdering you right now if there weren't a God."
I'll take from the "in effect" that what you are actually doing is making shit up and that they said something different which I guess you took that way. I mean, context is king.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby TwynBip8 » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:12 pm UTC

I second the recommendation trying to set the line at "we agree to disagree on politics and not to discuss them any further for the being. How is cousin X nowadays? ". If one parent (your father?) is more inclined to accept that, I'd guess you could try to get him convinced of this first so you'd have mediator if the discussion starts to go downhill when everybody is present.

This has sort of worked for me with my father, but our agreement "not to discuss politics" has evolved mutually since when I was teenager, so we never had any kind of "the discussion" on how don't we discuss certain political themes. I believe we are just good at guessing what we should not talk about... so I'm sorry I can't help you how to have that kind of discussion.

However, I think someone posted about "hate of Trump supporters' bigotry" or something along that lines (I didn't read very carefully all the other responses). Now, I don't actually even live in your country and my major means of learning about Trump is these forums and a pocketful of news outlets and blogs, and I know only couple of posts worth of the particular peculiarities what you parents believe about Trump. But I think there are some similarities and general "tendencies" in the larger Western culture... so maybe it's worthwhile to say this: I wish that you consider now how much of your parents' opinions really are about "hating other people", and the re-evaluate how much weight you should give on those kind of accounts of how much hate there is around, really. At least, judge how morally reprehensible your parents' views are by their own account, on what they say and do; not on what some liberal bloggers say about Trump and Trump supporters.

For example, one my disagreements with my father concerns recent European immigrants and certain political parties, and I believe by many, especially in "liberal academia" where I currently spend much of my time, he would easily dubbed as a racist for some policy opinions. But when I was studying philosophy we could manage good and fruitful discussions on the history of Western philosophy, including ethics and morals and many other things, and he has always had more "person of color" friends (via religious activities) than me... so on that prior, I am quite certain he is not evil man fueled on hate, just mistaken about various things, and still someone I can respect enough not to severe ties totally.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby Liri » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:27 am UTC

I wish I had seen this earlier. My girlfriend's dad is like your mom, Izza, from what I can tell. The last time I was at her parents' house - prior to the election - her dad said, "Trump's my man" and went on to say it was precisely because he liked Trump's ... ideas ... about Muslims. "I don't trust 'em."

I held my tongue because I was in their house. It was still difficult. They, her parents, were going to visit us for her birthday this past weekend and I told her I wouldn't be polite if I ever saw them again. She gave some white lie to her mom to get them to not come, but she's still planning to spend Thanksgiving with them.

He's also given a good litany of short comments in car rides about the "negroes". He'll make some off comment so quickly that it takes a moment to think, "did he just say that?" It's like a practiced art of flying just under the radar of meriting a response. Her mom quietly goes along with her dad's politics. I don't really know what she actually believes, but she told my girlfriend to not bring up that she was sexually assaulted in a Facebook post about Trunk being elected, so fuck her, too.
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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby sardia » Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:29 pm UTC

There's always short term solutions. Always have an escape route ready, rhetorical or physical. Instead of staying all day at Thanksgiving, only stay for a quick dinner, and then take a smoke break outside. (use a vape so you don't poison yourself). Focus on your phone or take a call whenever the conversation gets unpleasant.

As you can tell, it's not perfect, but it's better than cutting off communications.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby The Great Hippo » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:14 am UTC

I think I can sympathize; I've dealt with family members who are pretty certain I'm going to hell, hold absurdly racist views, and even think Obama is a secret Muslim. They've all been people I love and communicate with. It's not easy -- though it sounds like most people here have already given a lot of excellent advice?

In my case, I've gained a lot of ground by moving laterally; putting aside my sense of outrage, asking questions about their views, letting them express what they believe -- why they feel it -- and then delicately, gently prodding at the cracks. Not so much in an attempt to change their minds as a way of making them realize that while I love them and respect their thoughts, I still don't agree. It also gives me a chance to try and understand how people with vastly different views than my own think.

Your mileage may vary, though -- there have been times this hasn't worked for me.

I think one other thing that might help you navigate this is to remember that there's probably no one alive who doesn't have parents who stress them out. That isn't meant to dismiss what sounds like a rough experience for you -- but just to maybe put it into context? It's pretty natural to find your parents aggravating; it'd be super-weird if you didn't disagree with them on a lot of points.

I've gotten through a lot of it by focusing on things we agree on; for example, when one family member brought up the whole 'welfare queen' schtick, I started talking about how I think we can all agree that whatever issues you take with welfare abuses, welfare abuse itself isn't the problem -- the system needs to be overhauled. When another family member started talking to me about Jesus, I started talking about how much I like the core message of Christianity (forgiveness and grace), and my fascination with the story's themes.

I understand if this doesn't work for your situation, though -- there's at least one family member who I'm pretty much incapable of having a conversation with. I know that it's hard to listen to someone you care about express something you find horrible.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:26 pm UTC

I've tried underlining at times that there are strong parallels between what the Jews experienced in Nazi Germany and what both has happened in America and what may happen, but that's washed away as being hyperbolic. I've also tried pointing out that their fears were unfounded and nothing came of them (Obama is coming for our guns, the America Works Act will bankrupt the country, BLM will riot and murder all white people, Obama will open the door for terrorists and make Israel suffer, etc, etc, etc), but they point to the fear mongery horseshit that Breitbart has pushed and talk about how 'corrupt Killary is'.

What I'm trying to underline here is that my family is not operating in the same America that I am. I don't mean they're crazy, I mean they are simply operating on a different set of facts, and finding common ground is very very difficult for it. So I can talk about science, but it tends to lead to how the 'educated liberal elite are part of a climate conspiracy'. I can talk about friends that they know, but it mostly circles around how I don't only have white heterosexual buddies and some of their struggles are reflected by things my parents openly support. And fwiw, something I'm having a really hard time with now is how there was wall to wall shit throwing during Obama's presidency, and now they're telling me to 'just give Trump a chance'. I remember how deep my moms research into Obama went, how she was terrified because of what Ayers and Wright 'must absolutely mean about Obama', and how literally none of that matters now and none of it is being applied to Trump.

The safest thing really is discussion of movies/tv shows/books, but frankly, that also requires a bit of ignoring prevalent themes as le gasp, some stories talk about race, sexuality, and/or economic struggle.
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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby PAstrychef » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:06 pm UTC

It might be time to just tell them that you find these comments hurtful and unsupportable, and that you won't have them. You can send holiday greetings, and try as much, or as little, as you want to change their views. But just like they are free to believe crap, you are free to disagree and not heap anxiety and stress on yourself.
You say they are in a world of different facts-but the ideas they are espousing are not, actually facts. At best they are denials of fact, like climate change and equality under the law. Your oarents might nit like admitting it, but the things they believe about Hillary Clinton are provably false. That they cling to belief isn't surprising. If you must talk to them about this stuff, try asking them why they hold these beliefs. Perhaps you can get them to glimpse an inconsistency or two.
Otherwise, love them from afar.
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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby ucim » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:33 pm UTC

PAstrychef wrote:...but the things they believe about Hillary Clinton are provably false.
This does not matter if they believe that I've already been taken in by the Great Conspiracy, and that the Truth has been suppressed and it lies in websites like beforeitsnews.com.

Then what?

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby PeteP » Mon Nov 21, 2016 6:36 pm UTC

You install an super annoying virus on all their internet capable devices and hope they just give up on using them.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby morriswalters » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:58 pm UTC

Consider the relationship between belief and fact. One is a small subset of the other. Add .001 to 100. The relative magnitude of the number doesn't change much. And not everything is as much of a fact as we might like to believe.

However if you want to shake the tree, bring a guest who challenges their view of reality. Assuming the guest is an understanding and forgiving friend. Check out a movie from the 60's called Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? It's faintly relevant.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby Liri » Mon Nov 21, 2016 8:21 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Check out a movie from the 60's called Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? It's faintly relevant.

Is it Satan?


Regarding the fake news thing, I looked at the postings of a woman in Tennessee who made a right-wingy comment on some article that popped up in my feed. I scrolled through 20-30 posts, the vast majority of which were either demonstrably false or were a misleading take on something close-ish to reality, like "Trump fires 500 Obama staffers!" The rest were full-on "Obama is a Kenyan Muslim who is destroying America and Hilliary is running a pedophile sex ring." Then I noticed that I'd only gotten back to the day before in her post history.

If we have blinders on, ourselves, they just aren't comparable.
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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby plytho » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:28 pm UTC

Spoilered for non serious business.
Spoiler:
Izawwlgood wrote: I've also tried pointing out that their fears were unfounded and nothing came of them (Obama is coming for our guns, the America Works Act will bankrupt the country, BLM will riot and murder all white people, Obama will open the door for terrorists and make Israel suffer, etc, etc, etc)
Izawwlgood wrote:What I'm trying to underline here is that my family is not operating in the same America that I am.


Are you saying your parents live in House of Cards' America?


Here's a captain awkward post/letter/article? about boundaries that might apply to your situation.
he him his

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:44 pm UTC

A lot of my Facebook friends post stuff from like, OccupyDemocrats.com and DemocracyNow.com. I wouldn't consider those particularly exemplary news sources. But even Fox News has featured stories about how fake news outperformed real news this election cycle, and given that I think Fox News actually tried to fact check and push back against Trump for some things, I think we've come very very low.

morriswalters wrote:However if you want to shake the tree, bring a guest who challenges their view of reality. Assuming the guest is an understanding and forgiving friend. Check out a movie from the 60's called Guess Who's Coming To Dinner? It's faintly relevant.
There's a big divide now - their friends are people who share their views. People who don't are acquaintances. About a dozen of my moms Facebook friends in the last two months have messaged me that they're unfriending her and they hope I can change her views, and one of the things I overheard them talking about is how 'duped' some close family friends are because as Jews they didn't vote for Trump.

PAstrychef wrote:It might be time to just tell them that you find these comments hurtful and unsupportable, and that you won't have them. You can send holiday greetings, and try as much, or as little, as you want to change their views. But just like they are free to believe crap, you are free to disagree and not heap anxiety and stress on yourself.
I think this is what's going to happen moving forward. I don't expect Thanksgiving to be pleasant, but my wife and I have been talking about how we'll do our best to make it as civil as possible while politely pushing back against what ever bigotry we hear, and how in the future, we will be limiting our exposure with my parents if this is the views they hold.
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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby morriswalters » Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:50 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:There's a big divide now - their friends are people who share their views. People who don't are acquaintances. About a dozen of my moms Facebook friends in the last two months have messaged me that they're unfriending her and they hope I can change her views, and one of the things I overheard them talking about is how 'duped' some close family friends are because as Jews they didn't vote for Trump.
Just an observation. I suppose what you are seeing is the way in which echo chambers are formed. The whole gist of this conversation for me is about maintaining the lines of communication. What is happening in her feed makes their problem worse, not better. Both parties lose something by allowing this to happen. When you don't communicate you are no longer bound and it is easy to forget that the other exists. And it's easy to walk away like that. To stop engaging. It is much more difficult to keep talking.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:08 pm UTC

Very much so! I absolutely recognize that my echo chamber is simply non-overlapping with their echo chamber, and I think that's a problem for multiple reasons, and what led to the rise of post-truth America. It's why I'm saying we live in different worlds.

That said, the point that there's simply no overlap, no common ground, and no changing minds is still valid. So I'm not sure exactly how to navigate that divide.
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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby KnightExemplar » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:40 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:Very much so! I absolutely recognize that my echo chamber is simply non-overlapping with their echo chamber, and I think that's a problem for multiple reasons, and what led to the rise of post-truth America. It's why I'm saying we live in different worlds.

That said, the point that there's simply no overlap, no common ground, and no changing minds is still valid. So I'm not sure exactly how to navigate that divide.


I think that the mindset of "there's no overlap" leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you enter the conversation without any optimism, it will be harder for you to find the opportunities to connect.

Chances are, your mother would want to rather connect with you and you would like to connect with your mother. And I would bet that (especially if you both are still on speaking terms), that that connection is stronger than her political convictions. Sticking with base familial bonds is a safe choice.

Don't hold it as an ultimatum or anything of course. But just be happy with that connection.
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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:38 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:connection is stronger than her political convictions
Ehhhhhhhhh... Like I said, the past 8 years have demonstrated that my mother would rather fight about politics than connect.

KnightExemplar wrote:Don't hold it as an ultimatum or anything of course. But just be happy with that connection.
I was uninvited from Thanksgiving when the conversation started.

I have hope that my wifes tactic of just smiling and talking about neutral subjects will prevail, but we'll see!
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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby LaserGuy » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:49 pm UTC

Izawwlgood wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Don't hold it as an ultimatum or anything of course. But just be happy with that connection.


I was uninvited from Thanksgiving when the conversation started.

I have hope that my wifes tactic of just smiling and talking about neutral subjects will prevail, but we'll see!


Do still try to talk to your father if you can. Though I'm guessing the balance of power in your parents' household when it comes to these issues are firmly in your mother's camp.

There's a big divide now - their friends are people who share their views. People who don't are acquaintances. About a dozen of my moms Facebook friends in the last two months have messaged me that they're unfriending her and they hope I can change her views, and one of the things I overheard them talking about is how 'duped' some close family friends are because as Jews they didn't vote for Trump.


Honestly, I don't think that there is much you can do at this point, and from what you're saying, I'm not entirely convinced there's any benefit to you, or to her, in engaging in any of these issues. Any evidence you present, no matter how compelling, is going to be dismissed out of hand as lies, conspiracy theories, or distortions by the so-called liberal media, and you and everyone else who may believe otherwise are just caught in the web of lies. Try not to burn any bridges, and just hope Trump makes such a mess of things that she's forced to admit he was a terrible choice for President.

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Re: family with morally reprehensible views

Postby KnightExemplar » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:27 pm UTC

My Thanksgiving story btw... before Thanksgiving.

Got a Trump supporter uncle. I'm generally cool with most Trump supporters (ie: I respectfully disagree with them, but can overall listen without getting "triggered", so to speak). But this one uncle of mine...

The racism thing came up with regards to Trump vs Clinton when I was talking with this particular uncle. After feeling out his viewpoints a bit, I did try the "racism" angle... mostly pointing out that Obama isn't a Muslim (I gave him an out: I use Jerimiah Wright to point out that Obama has a tenuous connection to "Black Power"... although the Jerimiah Wright incident proves that Obama is a Christian).

And my uncle's response? He decided to crack a Jew joke.

I mean, I know what he was going for, he was simply trying to fluster me from the conversation. And it worked really. Anyway, he's going to be at the party tomorrow so... I guess I'm just mentally preparing myself for this jackass. (and I can call him that. He decided to get into a fistfight with my Dad when I was like 7... while my Dad was lending a room of our house to him to stay at. He's an uncle on my mom's side btw... anyway... I truly can call him a despicable jackass)

----------

But yeah, my approach with "Obama is a Muslim" is pointing out the Jerimiah Wright controversy. Most Republicans do remember that event. The only way you can square the Obama == Black Power movement is if you remember that Jerimiah Wright is a Christian pastor. So its an angle that generally works.

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EDIT: Obnoxious uncle wasn't there, which kinda makes sense now that I think of it. There's a family event that happened this year so there wasn't a big unified Thanksgiving. I still talked a little bit of politics when it came up, apparently I'm the only person who voted for Clinton this last election.

Figures. I'm fine with disagreeing with family, its just this one uncle that really does bother me though. For the most part, discussion was smalltalk and family stuff, politics is soft-banned in most Thanksgiving situations and most family didn't want to "go there".
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.


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