Friday, April 03, 2009

Better Know a Kofer - Gaius Octavius

UPDATE: I accidentally screwed up and posted an earlier draft of the interview with Gaius that got mixed up with the finished version. I will post the updated responses to the questions in red text. Sorry!

The second kofer we're meeting in our series, is Gaius Octavius, a single professional working in the financial services industry who lives in New York.*

Gaius grew up in a moderately prestigious yeshivish family but became a kofer as a teenager. However, he pretended to be frum for many years. Currently, he publicly lives an openly secular lifestyle except when he's around certain groups of people.

Here is my interview with Gaius.

* Some identifying details have been changed, as Gaius prefers to remain anonymous, for reasons that will become obvious shortly.
----------------

Can you describe the religious environment which you grew up in?


I grew up in a yeshivish community where secular education and knowledge were proscribed. However, English was my first language and I had more exposure to the outside world than if I was chassidish.

My family was yeshivish before it was common to be yeshivish. I have a grandfather who was a prominent rabbi. However, in a strange way, being from such a family probably meant that I was in an environment that made it easier to question frumkeit. The primary reason that frum people give why to believe is that even if you do not understand, there are rabbis who are much smarter than you who did figure everything out. But if you are around the people who are considered daas torah, it is easier to see that their motives are not always religious devotion but self interest.

What was the primary impetus for your decision to stop being frum?

It was an intellectual decision. I became an atheist when I was thirteen, when I was first exposed to the theory of evolution. Even after becoming an atheist, I never considered the possibility of leaving Orthodox Judaism; I never knew anyone who did, and as a thirteen year old, I could not imagine it could be done. I assumed I would spend the rest of my life living as an Orthodox Jew while secretly not believing any of Judaism's claims. It was only when I was older that I realized that I could leave.

When I was thirteen, I was in a boarding school, (yeshivish people call them “out of town yeshivas”) where no radios were allowed. I was always a curious sort, interested in world events, so I smuggled in a radio. I was already having doubts about what I was being taught, primarily gemara. The amoroim seemed so primitive in their understanding of the world, and we were supposed to believe they were all-knowing. I toyed with the idea of becoming a karaite, even though I assumed (falsely) that there were no karaim left for hundreds of years. I then became a tentative atheist after I decided Chumash itself seemed untrue. Then one night I heard Jay Diamond on WABC radio interview the famous atheist Madalyn Murray O'Hair, an evangelical Christian who was a “creationist” and a Catholic priest who believed in evolution. Madalyn Murray O'Hair was very persuasive (at least to a thirteen year old). But I was amazed by the fact that the Catholic priest believed in evolution. I was led to believe that people believed in evolution because they were hedonists who needed to deny god’s existence so they could pursue their immoral desires. Thus, I could not make sense of a priest believing in evolution for any reason other than that it was true. Because I believed that evolution was incompatible with the existence of god, I have remained an atheist ever since.

Did you ever encounter any rabbinic or religious figures that you felt addressed your questions in a satisfactory way?

No, I never asked. I thought it was best not to.

Did you ever meet anyone who might have been open to even hearing your questions?

No. But although I never asked, I knew exactly what answers I would have gotten had I asked.

Can you highlight one of the very first ways you crossed the halachic line?

Since I was young, I always hated pashas zachor. On the shabbos before Purim, everyone is required to hear the torah portion in which god requires the Jews to remember that the Amalek people attacked the Jews in the desert when they were wandering to the "promised land" and as such, the Jews should heed god's command to wipe out the Amaleki people. Even as a child, I thought genocide sucked, big time. I learned in yeshiva that I was required by god to hear every single word of pashas zachor. Thus, I would always cover my ears for one word to assure that I was violating the religious requirement to hear pashas zachor.

How did you family react to you becoming non-religious?

Actually, my parents don't know that I'm not frum. They think I'm "modern orthodox." I put on a yarmulke when I visit. They'd prefer that I be ultra-orthodox but they're accepting of the fact that I am not. Of course, they would be very disappointed if they knew that I am an atheist who does not observe anything, which is why I do not plan to ever tell them.

Of course, there are many hints that should clue them in, but denial is a powerful thing and the hints are simply ignored.

What connection do you currently have to Jewish identity, religion, or culture?

I'm interested in learning about a lot of cultures, including Jewish cultures. I'm more likely to see films with a Jewish theme and I have a particular interest in Jewish life in places where Jews are an extremely small minority group. Note that I use the plural "cultures" because being Jewish has different meaning in different places and there is no such thing as a single "Jewish culture."

On the other hand, I find the Jewish religion to be meaningless to me. At the core of the belief is the idea that a god appeared at a mountain a few thousand years ago and said you are special people and if you just follow these special weird 613 rules, you will be blessed. I don't believe in that myth. When you take away the myths, there is simply no reason to see value in the Jewish religion.

Are there any behaviors or perspectives from your past religious life that are still dominant in your life now?

I'm sure if I was more self aware I could come up with something, but offhand, I can't think of anything.

Now that you've left, how do you view the religious community?

It demands extreme conformity and a willingness to sacrifice the right to engage in independent thought. It must be comforting to believe that there are people that are much wiser than them and/or have a direct connection to god who have everything figured out. I could never believe in that, but for those who do, the community probably works fine.

What are some of the drawbacks of your decision to leave? Do you regret it at all?

The biggest drawback is that I'm more distant from my family. This is to be expected of course, as I don't share in their joys the way they do. When my sister tells me excitedly how her kid is making a siyum mishnaois at his bar mitzvah, I feign happiness while secretly thinking, he's a smart kid, why couldn't he spend his time learning something useful like AP algebra.

With that said, I never regret for a moment my decision to leave. If I had to do things over, the only thing that I would have done differently is that I would have left earlier on. It's emotionally hard to live the double life.

Are there any particular struggles or challenges that you find especially difficult?

Dating is more difficult. At some point, I would like to marry and have children. Many women are put off by my background and bothered by the fact that me marrying might somehow impact my relation with my parents (who expect me to only marry a religious Jew, being that they think I am modern Orthodox.) As such, I prefer dating people who are more liberal minded but also come from a culturally conservative background. They can relate to the conflict I feel.

I often joke that when I meet women I want to say that I am an orphan; it would make my life much simpler. But I obviously would never start a relationship based on dishonesty.

Can you name something you are currently doing in your life that would have been difficult, if not impossible, in your former life?

Exposing myself to a multi-cultural environment in which I could have close friendships with people from diverse backgrounds. I am really interested in other people's experiences, (I should have been a sociologist), so cultural diversity is important to me.

What surprised you most about the world outside ultra-orthodoxy?

The world outside of ultra-orthodoxy isn't monolithic so it's hard to say. I can only comment on the portion of it that I've interacted with. With that said, I found that it's more carefree and less intellectual than I expected. You would think people who have greater freedom to think would take advantage of it, but many do not. I guess its like when the Eastern European counties became democratic. In the first election, everyone voted, but after a while, people took it for granted and fewer people did.

What is one misconception or stereotype about ex-frum people that you'd like to correct?

I think that there are a lot of misconceptions, but I'm past the point that I care to address them.

When you left the frum world, were there any stereotypes about general society that you found to be true?

I became a non-believer at such a young age that I really don't remember buying into this caricatured view of general society. I actually have difficulty articulating how I perceived "general society." Thus, I can't really say whether those perceptions were true or not.

What's the best thing about not being frum?

The ability to read and say what I want without having to worry about whether it's kefira (heresy) or is in violation of communal beliefs.

What's the best thing that you recall about being frum?

Cheesecake on Shavous. We associate the yom tovim with heavy fleishig meals so having a milchig meal on Shavous was great.

Are there any parting words you'd like to tell the frum world?

No, because I don't think that they would listen. From a very early age, frum people are raised with the idea that everything about the frum world is the greatest. They take a lot of pride in that belief. Thus, they engage in irrational denial when faced with the possibility that not everything is so perfect in their utopia.

---

Update: Gaius posted a follow-up the following week.

57 comments:

Alex said...

well this post wont generate a a quarter of the comments that the one with Sara did. This guy is a "square" a Kofer as it gets. His reasoning for leaving the faith was completely inside the box.

Alex said...

I'd like to read between the lines here. The guy's nickname is Roman maybe in reality he left the faith because he wanted to make his horse a consul of Rome and have sex with his sister?

The Hedyot said...

> His reasoning for leaving the faith was completely inside the box.

I'm curious, what motivations do you consider "inside the box", and which "outside the box"?

Alexbmn said...

well inside the box reasons are basically "the faith is irrational, the community stifles independent thought,the Torah is historically inaccurate"

XGH said...

Another stupid interview. Are you ever going to get someone secheldick? This one is also going to get the XGH treatment.

Mark said...

Well, the cheescake is Milchig, the Seudos are Fleishig, but this guy is as Parve as it gets, in fact so Parve, he is almost Treif. I hope this is an interlude for something even beter than last one, maybe a scientologist, a committed Marxist, something entertaining.

On a serious note, I'm happy for the guy, it seems like he minimized the crap some of us go through. The only piece of advice I would offer (not very humbly I admit) is to let his parents in on the 'secret'. Why not. I mean he is so removed from the whole life, just have them get over it. But that's really none of my business, just a suggestion.

The Hedyot said...

XGH, I'd love to satisfy you. What kind of story would you like to hear?

Mark said...

XGH,

I'm waiting impatiently, it's definitely funny, but what;s your beef. Alright it's not up to standard, but the guy just didn't fall for it and got out. I say bravo. I agree it's not as clorful as some of our experiences, Nu so what.

XGH said...

> XGH, I'd love to satisfy you. What kind of story would you like to hear?

It's not the story. It's the person. Can you find someone with (a) a brain, and (b) who didn't convert to Roman Catholicism. Thanks.

XGH said...

> I'm waiting impatiently,

Done!

Freethinking Upstart said...

Maybe you should change the questions... The answers it's evoking from the people you interview just aren't cutting the mustard.

The last interview created a raucous about Catholicism and this guy looks like one of those obnoxious 13 year old atheists that grow up to be complete squares.

Baal Habos said...

>Thus, I would always cover my ears for one word to assure that I was violating the religious requirement to hear pashas zachor.

LOL.

>Even after becoming an atheist, I never considered the possibility of leaving Orthodox Judaism; I never knew anyone who did, and as a thirteen year old, I could not imagine it could be done.

But you knew someone who became an Atheist? I reiterate my question below.

> I became an atheist when I was thirteen, when I was first exposed to the theory of evolution.

Thirteen is kind of young to be so certain of yourself and I don't see how Evolution alone is an upshlug to religion in that there are many who believe in Evolution as well as revelation. Unless what you're saying is that your community claimed that evolution is false and you began mistrusting your rebbeim, family, etc.

Like Sara's story, it sounds a bit incomplete.

Mark said...

Gayus,
You didn't need to cover your ears. If you didn't go to a Shul that didn't repeat Zochor, and Zaicher, and have a Yemenite Lain, a Sefardi, a black rapper, an Englishmen, and an ape, you were Meileh not Yotzhi. It's a Mefureshe Din that you must Lain it in all these accents to be Yotzi (I'm sure if the right person asked R' Elyashav, they'd get that answer).

Mark said...

"If you didn't go to a Shul that didn't"

That should be "If you did go".

Baal Habos said...

Mark,
>You didn't need to cover your ears

But it's cute, I can just see a thirteen year old kid "See no evil - Hear no evil"

Mark said...

Cute, but stupid in my opinion.
It reminds me of the famous joke about some Maskil who was asked why don't you do Aveiros L'Hachis, to which he answered "L'Hachis whom"?
Chapish.

Sam said...

You should have named him Gaius Baltar, so at least something about this interview would have been entertaining.

Baal Habos said...

>Cute, but stupid in my opinion.

He was 13!! What do expect? (Which is why I find it difficult to fathom him coming to such a decisive conclusion at that age.)

threejews said...

I don't believe in that myth. When you take away the myths, there is simply no reason to see value in the Jewish religion.

I'll ask GO the same question I asked Sara: did you consider Conservative or Reform Judaism. Major segments of both are based on the premise that there is value in Judaism, even if some stories are myths.

Bruce said...

Sorry --- that comment was from me.

Baal Habos said...

>Of course, they would be very disappointed if they knew the truth, that I am not simply modern orthodox, but rather an atheist who does not observe anything, which is why I hope to never tell them.


Contrast the difference - http://baalhabos.blogspot.com/2009/03/honor-thy-father-mother.html

Mark said...

>He was 13!! What do expect?

True.
I see that you were never Yotzi Parshas Zochor either, because you didn't understand my description of a 'true Parshas Zochor Leinen'.
Now I finally realize why you became such an Apikores, you Amoleki.

Chasid Kofer said...

I don't understand, why people are so negative and feel like they have to knock other peoples experiences. His story is valid, and justified.
I am sure if he would have changed his opinion since he was 13 he wouldn't be a Kofer (looks like his continued inquiries, validated his early conclusions). I admire him for not being so gullible at such a young age. I wish i was more skeptical back then.

True the information provided is not earth shattering, but this is the experience he had, that he was willing to share with us. If you feel that your experience is superior or more interesting, then let hedyot write you up.

Most skeptics lead more difficult lives because of our skepticism. We should encourage each other, not ridicule.

Mark said...

Sorry for the double comment, and BHB, I hope you took it as a joke.

B. Spinoza said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Hedyot said...

> I don't understand, why people are so negative and feel like they have to knock other peoples experiences. His story is valid, and justified.

It's kind of sad that people do this (I confess to being guilty of it myself in the past), but I'm glad that it's being brought out in the comments. It's quite clear that most people will usually dismiss whatever the basis for the decision to leave is, regardless of how sensible or reasonable it might be.

There seems to be this condescending attitude among people that if you're not going to leave religion for the 'right' reasons, then your choice is obviously illegitimate. This attitude seems to come from both sides of the fence - the religious guys who want to diss anything non-frum from appearing credible, and the ex-frum super skeptics who only want to hear some super skeptic kefira story to totally demolish the religious side.

Jewish Atheist said...

Wow, I'm surprised to see so many negative comments. Gaius's story is rather straightforward and I'm glad he shared it. I would advise him that he should be somewhat more honest with his parents -- being OTD is not something to be ashamed of.

I'd be happy to do an interview if folks like XGH thought it would be good -- but people probably already know these things about me.

Anonymous said...

I apologize if what I said was misunderstood, but why is questioning or trying to understand considered being not nice?????? BHB

G*3 said...

The right-wingers are right! He was exposed to the evil evoluotion, and look what happened. Nebach, he totaly submitted to the yetzer hara!

On a more seroius note, there has to be more to this story. Where did he learn about evoloution? And why did this make him an atheist? Evoloution and creation are not mutually exclusive. Was this what started the questions, or did he immidiatly become an atheist upon hearing abput it?

Just wondering.

BHB said...

G3, no it's assur to ask. Just nod your head and say atta-boy. BHB

Freethinking Upstart said...

For those that disdain the criticism and would have preferred pats on the back and high fives all around, isn't there a skeptical blog where that's available?

If you don't want criticism, don't let your story get on a public forum. This guy was totally aware of where these interviews can lead. Just look at the last!

The Hedyot said...

No one minds honest questions. But there's no need to insult people and be dismissive.

I want there to be questions. That's the only way to spark a discussion. But mocking ("this guy looks like one of those obnoxious 13 year old atheists") and being dismissive("Another stupid interview") does nothing to foster discussion.

The Hedyot said...

Hey Everyone -
I just want to bring it to your attention that I accidentally left certain sections of the interview out. I've put them back in, and you can tell which is the new part by looking for the red text. My bad!

Gaius Octavius said...

>> The only piece of advice I would offer (not very humbly I admit) is to let his parents in on the 'secret'. Why not. I mean he is so removed from the whole life, just have them get over it. But that's really none of my business, just a suggestion.

I would like to “just have them get over it,” but it is easier said than done. I think that they would view my being irreligious not only a rejection of god but also a rejection of them. It would make my life easier but I simply could not do it to them.

Gaius Octavius said...

>> I'll ask GO the same question I asked Sara: did you consider Conservative or Reform Judaism. Major segments of both are based on the premise that there is value in Judaism, even if some stories are myths.

No. The only reason that most people believe in the religion that they practice is because that is what they were raised to believe in. I was not raised to believe in Conservative or Reform Judaism. Thus, once I concluded that the sources orthodox Jews rely on are not true, there was no more reason to consider becoming a Reform Jew than there was for me to consider become a Christian, Zoroastrian, Mormon or Bahai.

e said...

Hedyot, thanks for bringing us these interviews! They're really interesting!

To all the obnoxious commenters who are upset that Gaius' story is too "boxy": This is real life. Not all kofrim have crazy life-stories. Some are just regular people who just don't like Judaism and who want to have a life that doesn't read like a novel.

And it's horribly rude to say that someone who left frumkeit is still "in the box." Hello!! He did something that none of his friends or family ever did or would approve of!! That's rather "in the box" for a fictional story, but it's very out of the box for someone to do in real life.

Gaius, I respect you for doing what you've done. May all other closet kofrim have the courage to do the same.

Lucy said...

Gaius: I respect your decision to try to understand your parents' perspective and minimize their hurt. Good for you.

abandoning eden said...

gaius- great interview, thanks for sharing your story! I want to comment on the telling your parents thing...for me personally it was too painful to be living a double life and at some point I became sick of lying all the time to my parents- but it has definitely come with consequences (although for me the consequences were relatively minor until I told my parents I was marrying someone not jewish, at which point my mother disowned me and my dad didn't react too well either).

My (also not religious) brother has the same attitude as you and has kept his irreligiousity secret from my parents- now he has been dating a non jewish girl for a year and a half and is planning to move from my parents house to his own apartment, and to have his girlfriend move in like a month later. I have no idea how my parents are going to react to finding out that TWO (out of three) of their children are kofers with non jewish partners, but I don't think he can keep this a secret for the rest of his life, or even for more than a few months once they live together.

So I guess my question is- are you planning on dating only jewish people, and what will happen if you happen to find/fall in love with someone not jewish? Do your parents ever visit you? How can you keep this secret up? Also - and forgive me if I missed this part- I was wondering how old you are, how long you have lived away from your parents, etc.

abandoning eden said...

Also this: "Many women are put off by my background and bothered by the fact that me marrying might somehow impact my relation with my parents"

It's weird, I never had that problem with any of the men I dated. Then again for many many years I specifically dated jewish non religious guys (until I started dating non jewish guys), and didn't really talk much about my background until we were starting to get more serious.

My fiance was never scared off by my crazy parents and all the crazy things they threw at us...but he tends to be contentious and had already dealt with telling his own parents that he was an atheist (he grew up very religious catholic). Plenty of people have parent issues, religious or otherwise, don't let it be a self imposed barrier to dating people (but don't bring it up on the first date either- that's like 4th date info). :)

Haliczes said...

I share some of Abandoning Eden's curiosity about future relationship plans. Honestly, it was getting to a point where I wanted to be free to look for a life partner that spurred me in into making a definitive break, including "coming out."

I also find it amusing that both Gaius and myself have gotten criticism for being too "square"--him for having too conventional of a story and me for having too religious of a lifestyle. Interesting.

Gaius--good answer to the whole conservative/reform question. I will never understand why people can't seem to grasp that leaving Jewish religion doesn't mean leaving some parts of Jewish religion.

Brian said...

I honestly don't understand how a person can claim, at the age of 13, to really know enough about a topic as complex as evolution that he can make such a decision.

When I hear stories like this, it seems more logical that when he was 13 he wanted to do something the the torah forbade him, so he went looking for some logical basis to invalidate those rules, thereby giving himself a justification for chasing after his taivos.

Gaius Octavius said...

>> So I guess my question is- are you planning on dating only jewish people, and what will happen if you happen to find/fall in love with someone not jewish?

I have no problem with dating non-Jews and have done so in the past. However, as I noted, some non-Jewish women are put off by my situation. In my most serious relationship, the woman I dated was very much bothered by the fact that she could never meet my parents.

>> Do your parents ever visit you?

My parents have visited but it is not a problem. They would not come unannounced. All I need to do is put up mezuzah cases. I find my tefilin and leave them on my desk for added impact. Other than that, there is not much to do to prepare for their visit; it is not like my apartment is a shrine to Charles Darwin or something. Why would their visiting be a problem?

>> How can you keep this secret up?

I started lying at a very young age, so I got good at it. It will only be a problem if I marry, but I will cross that road when I get there.

>> Also - and forgive me if I missed this part- I was wondering how old you are, how long you have lived away from your parents, etc.

Because I want to preserve my anonymity, these are questions that I cannot answer.

e said...

@Brian

typical frum response: Part of his story doesn't make complete sense to me, so obviously I can reinterpret his whole life story in a frumkeit-reinforcing way.

e said...

@braian (tzum tzveitn mol) he didn't start indulging in ta'avos when he was 13. For years his biggest sin was not hearing parshas zochor!

Maybe it's actually more logical to say that he was a smart thirteen-year-old. All those gedolim's genes inside of him....

Gaius Octavius said...

>> I honestly don't understand how a person can claim, at the age of 13, to really know enough about a topic as complex as evolution that he can make such a decision.

When I was 13, I did not understand all the nuances of evolution. (Although the basic theory is not very complex.) But to the extent that I believed in evolution, it was because I became aware that there was a broad general consensus among scientists that the theory of evolution via natural selection explains the biodiversity of life. It was a decision to accept the authority of scientists on scientific matters over the authority of rabbis.

>> When I hear stories like this, it seems more logical that when he was 13 he wanted to do something the the torah forbade him, so he went looking for some logical basis to invalidate those rules, thereby giving himself a justification for chasing after his taivos.

You are wrong on two counts.

Firstly, when I was thirteen, it never occurred to me that I could become irreligious because the world outside of ultra-orthodox Judaism was so foreign to me that I never thought I could assimilate successfully into it. Thus, I stayed religious in almost every way for many years after becoming an atheist. Its not like I became an atheist so I could do lines of blow off of Japanese hookers; I was an atheist who was spending my days in yeshiva living a fully religious life.

Secondly, you create a false dichotomy. You assume that there are two possibilities, either (A) at thirteen I understood all the nuances of evolution or (B) I accepted the theory because I was looking for a justification for chasing after my taivos. By concluding A is impossible, you conclude that it must have been B.

But in determining whether exposure to evolution could have caused me to become an atheist for reasons independent of taivos, it would matter whether I genuinely believed that I understood the theory, not whether I actually did. Because it is possible for a thirteen year old to believe he understood it, your conclusion that it must have been my taivos rather than genuine belief that caused me to become an atheist is unjustified.

Anonymous said...

Gaius Octavius:

Thanks for the interview. It was very brave of you, knowing that the fanatics will attack you, and attempt to undermine you in any way.

The fact that they do that sheds light on their insecurities with their own belief - to the point where they feel threatened enough to become aggressive.

Brian:
>'I honestly don't understand...'

A child doesn't need to understand theories to realize that the same thinking that got us airplanes, cellphones, and antibiotics leads us to discard all the bullshit that doesn't really work.

The Hedyot said...

FYI: I've turned comment moderation back on because people are posting using 'Anonymous'. Please use a pseudonym when commenting.

kisarita said...

Dear Gaius, I'd like to suggest that as with most of us, your motives in hiding from your parents are not purely altruistic, there is probably some fear lurking there. Fear of consequences to the relationship, or an irrational fear- our parents sometimes have a larger than life hold on us not based on reality.

we are human beings. we don't sacrifice our future and our other relationships strictly out of altruism.

kisarita said...

I am not an atheist but I don't believe in a divine Torah.

I first came to that conclusion, not upon reading any science anything, but upon reading a book by a psychologist.

He wrote about a patient of his, who lived a neurotic life and fear of sinning, inculcated into her by her mother who was some kind of christian denomination, i think catholic. He himself is a religious man, but he wrote about how he helped free her from religion.

I had read the same book a few years earlier and it had no effect on me. I guess it was just not a safe a time in my life.

But all of a sudden, just like that, I saw the parallel btw that an my own life. And all of a sudden I realized I hadn't believed all along deep down but was just afraid to come out with it. All of a sudden all the questions and struggles that I had with the whole thing were answered. It was like 3 am and I started crying and crying, because I was free at last.

kisarita said...

ps gaius I think i know you- anyway please email me

Gaius Octavius said...

>> Dear Gaius, I'd like to suggest that as with most of us, your motives in hiding from your parents are not purely altruistic, there is probably some fear lurking there. Fear of consequences to the relationship, or an irrational fear- our parents sometimes have a larger than life hold on us not based on reality.

There is some concern about the unpleasantness of telling my parents the truth. However, if I were simply looking out for my own self-interest, I would tell them. I do not think that they would disown me, but they would feel very bad and I could never do that to them, unless I had some reason to do so. Meeting someone that I would like to marry would be such a reason.

>> we are human beings. we don't sacrifice our future and our other relationships strictly out of altruism.

I am not sure why you think I am sacrificing my future by not telling my parents that I am not religious.

kisarita said...

you've said yourself, because it makes it difficult to meet someone

a mature adult woman is not going to take seriously a man who sneaks around hiding from his parents like a teenageer. and if she has any self respect she's not going to be interested in living a lie with you.

kisarita said...

i had a dream about this topic once, here

Baal Habos said...

>a mature adult woman is not going to take seriously a man who sneaks around hiding from his parents like a teenageer.

Kisarita, you totally don't get it. It's been around two years now, since I've told my wife about me. She'd much rather that I didn't. I disclosed to her out of desperation, but it really was a selfish act on my part.

Gaius has nothing personal to gain, he's not hiding like a teenager, he simply wants to spare his parents unnecessary grief. A mature woman would understand that.

(Just curious, would you similarly chastise a gay individual who did not want to break it to his parents?)

"Truth" is not the only ideal there is out there.

Greg said...

Apropos to this and the prevous piece, you'd enjoy seeing this short great Woody Allen piece on "picking your religion." & Catholicism

A Must See!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJd3MgIcbnA

kisarita said...

i'm sort of in the opposite situation, I TRY to be honest with my parents but they say things like "don't talk about things like that in this house" (and we're talking some very tame things). So, the outcome is that I don't have a real relationship with them, because I have nothing to say.

It is not selfish to want a real relationship with the closest people in your life. It's a basic human need.

But, I take back one thing. I can not speak for all mature adult women. Though as per Gaius's report, there are a lot out there who feel the same way.

Yudi Benamou said...

this guy seemed quite desperate to not become frum, seeing that he never bothered asking anyone to answer his questions. even if this guy was roman catholic, buddhist, even a darwinist, if he wouldnt ask questions, he would also go off the derech. he says that "although I never asked, I knew exactly what answers I would have gotten had I asked."--well duh! if you dont ask, what do you expect!!??!