Fourteen years ago, my brother Mike ceased all contact with me after a family dispute. He insisted he would never write, or speak to me again. I didn't ask questions, or inquire why, I merely put it out of my mind. If he wanted nothing more to do with me, the feeling was mutual.
Three days ago, imagine my surprise when an envelope arrived with his name and address displayed prominently. Before opening the envelope I thought to myself: 'After fourteen years with no contact at all, what would he finally have to say to me, if anything?"
I opened it, and there was a Christmas card - with a full manger scene on the front (though everyone in the family knows I am an atheist) and with the words written inside by Mike's own hand: "May the Peace and Love of our Lord and SAVIOR. Jesus Christ, be with you!"
To me, if after 14 years this was his form of contact, he could as well have remained incommunicado. I mean, you don't say hoo, boo or hello to your brother in that long a time then you send a religious card when you know he's an atheist? That's like spitting in someone's beer.
Also inside was his business card which featured his web address for "Pastor Mike's" Net church. I went to his site and checked out various links wherein I saw a number of references to me painted as his "self-proclaimed atheist brother". Clearly, I was being expediently used as a stage prop for his site, to contrast his being "saved" and my being "under Satan's spell". At various other links he implored the faithful to pray for me lest Satan take me.
To take the wind out of his sails, I posted an atheist article I'd recently written about the God-Man myth - and its being plagiarized by Christians from earlier pagan sources- into his "Guest Book".
He then replied hours later, saying:
"I originally planned to delete my atheist brother's messages but decided to leave them so everyone can behold Satan's hold on him!"
Eventually, the article must have proven too Satanically powerful since he removed it as well as a more recent reply to his response. In addition, he password protected the guest book because - in his words :
" I WILL NOT allow my Lord's name to be blasphemed on this site !! , nor allow it to be used as a ' soap box ' for Satan and his demons of deception !!"
At which point I really did believe Mike to be certifiably insane. To reinforce this perception, he further added:
"Due to my atheist brother's spewing his anti - Christ rhetoric in the "Guest Book " section , I was forced to 'password protect ' it , as I REFUSE to give Satan (via this brother) , an opportunity to destroy and pollute any more souls with his 'venom' "
And to that was appended his extended "Open letter" to me recounting his "justified" reasons for locking me out of his site, even to the extent of disallowing a response to his off the wall "Open letter".
Following this segment of his missive:
"I also go by GOD'S LAW - NOT 'MANS LAW ' !! I realize that is a foreign concept to Non-Believers . I am the Lord's servant and messenger!"
I rendered a final response in an e-mail to him, which read in part:
"You're a putz, 'Pastor Mike, and always will be. You say one thing and do another, and I am not even sure you buy half the BS you've reeled out. "God's law" - "Man's law" - that's all diversion. Red herrings. At issue here is how true you are to yourself as opposed to being a pompous, posturing ass. My reading of this letter is you can dish it out, but you can't take it. You have to password protect everything in order to make sure Pastor Mike and his Thought Police encounter no "demonic words" to entrap wayward minds. Rather than provide people a chance to weigh and measure different world views and perceptions, you opt to censor.
Of course, whether Inquisitor or Witch hunter, this approach is always the fallback for the doctrinaire.
As for your “contact” via the Xmas card, it clearly had an ulterior purpose: to try to get us to your deluded “salvation”. You “ceased ignoring” us for that reason alone, not because you genuinely deigned in your heart of hearts to renew viable contact – but because it satisfied your subtext and agenda to exclusiveky renew it on YOUR terms! You wanted contact under the proviso it was understood by me that "God talk" would be included. In effect: "Hello again, and btw, take this spit in your eye, bro!"
As for "needing something" - yes I DO! I need you to remove ALL references about me from your site. Do that and we are squared away. I don't need or want to be a tool" to advance your religious pseudo-bullshit.
And also, don't bother to ever contact me again! I don't want to hear you again, or see anything from you again, ever. "
Hopefully, my religiously -blinded and reason-challenged brother will endorse that plea, and in the process make life easier for both of us. What a pity that one can choose one's friends but not one's family.