Daughter of Matt Slick (CARM) speaks out against him

patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2013/07/15/the-atheist-daughter-of-a-notable-christian-apologist-shares-her-story

Sadly she became an atheist because his system and his intimidation

It just seems to me the upbringing wasn’t very Christian. Based more on pride of knowledge and being stainless than anything else, and that just won’t end well. It almost broke my heart to read that blog post. Sadly, I know Catholic families where the parents are authoritarian and the children rebelled once they left for college. Still hoping they find their way back.

Oh, did you not read her essay? Her father isn’t the reason why she stopped believing a God exists.
She says it was because she began asking questions about biblical discrepancies once she got out of the house…and she experienced a turning point moment when the religion of Christianity didn’t make sense to her anymore.

.

You know what I noticed (aside from the article itself) about that page? If you scroll through all of the comments, most posters are agreeing that theists cannot be rational, religious reasoning leads to false conclusions, and critical thinking must automatically discount a belief in Christianity. And yet not one of them were generous enough to provide concrete, indisputable, scientific evidence to back those statements up.:cool:

With regard to the article itself: I was thinking to myself that it sounds like she had a pretty tough childhood. Not that there was anything wrong on her father emphasizing the need to think critically (that’s a good thing), but that he appeared to (according to her) militantly overemphasize it to the point where she may have lost the natural enjoyment of childhood that partly comes from indulging in wonder, fantasy, imagination, and self-discovery. Speaking personally, I think that would have stressed me out completely and I probably would have rebelled as well. (Though I assume in her mind the choice to become an atheist was not born out rebellion, but a natural result of intellectual enlightenment.)

Her narrative is incomplete in many ways though, most especially because she doesn’t elaborate upon what drew her toward atheism, aside from being disappointed with the answers to questions that bothered her. Or, more specifically, *which *questions did atheism answer for her that Protestantism could not? What conclusions about life and purpose has she reached through her critical thinking skills? What is this freedom she speaks of - is it absolute, it is free from external influences? She answers only this:

There was no miracle to cure me of the fear and pain, no God to turn to for comfort. But it did heal. Eventually. I only barely fear Hell now, and my instinct to pray only turns up on rare occasions. For a while now, I’ve been educating myself in science, a world far more uncertain than the one I left, but also far more honest.

Someone once asked me if I would trade in my childhood for another, if I had the chance, and my answer was no, not for anything.
My reason is that, without that childhood, I wouldn’t understand what freedom truly is — freedom from a life centered around obedience and submission, freedom to think anything, freedom from guilt and shame, freedom from the perpetual heavy obligation to keep every thought pure. Nothing I’ve ever encountered in my life has been so breathtakingly beautiful.

Freedom is my God now, and I love this one a thousand times more than I ever loved the last one.

Maybe she provides further elaboration in another essay.:shrug: I would be curious to read it, because this one disappointed - it had a lot of build-up, but the ending was flat and empty.

The fact that she didn’t hang in there long enough to investigate* says to me that at a fundamental level she was looking for a way out. Her parents had given her an unappealing experience of religion and family life to the point that she refused to bring this question to her father before abandoning everything she knew.

*The answer to her question is that some things are inherently moral or immoral (Such as murder or almsdeeds) but others are morally neutral. Many things which are morally neutral were forbidden by the Mosaic Covenant for disciplinary reasons, and those disciplines were relaxed after we were delivered from the law.

It is so obvious that you cannot force faith onto anyone.
We recognize that it is a “gift”. Some people decide to accept it early others late in their life and others still decide to reject it alltogether.

We as parents try our best we hope and sometimes we fail miserably, what we cannot fail to do is in praying for our children that they may decide to accept the gift.

Excuse me I need go pray some rosaries. :blush:

Peace!

There are two sides to every story, so I won’t pass judgment on Matt Slick’s parenting skills. She brought up the fact that fornicating with her boyfriend made her feel guilty, but primarily, that’s not because of Matt Slick’s parenting. That guilt arises because God/Allah designed her with a conscience.

I don’t know…some things about her story just don’t add up, so, again, I don’t want to jump to conclusions.

You’re correct, we don’t know the other side of the story. I often wonder why people put personal info online… but that’s another thread.
It IS a fact however, from my own personal experience among fundies, that thier children often times reject the religion they were brought up in, in a very etreme manner. I have seen this time and time again.
The system fundamentalism is born out of leads logically to this result.
Nevertheless, we pray for Matt and his daughter.

So very true!

I am sure it goes without saying for both sides of the Tiber. :rolleyes: People naturally rebel against authority. Adam and Eve. I do not agree with Mr. Slick and as stated I am sure there are many sides to the story. We can pray for of those who have fallen away from a certain faith. It is never good to turn your back on God for any reason. As much as it pains me to say this, I feel bad for Mr. Slick and will pray that God will bing their family back together in love and Christ.

Daddy,

I disagree with you and point this out. This will be my one and only post. I am Catholic because of the witness of my Father. He took me to mass, served in the Holy Name Society, was bright, educatated, charitable and I rarely heard him speak negatively of what other’s believed although he could explain it.

My dad was always very congenial to those he debated, and most viewed him as charismatic — though his debate tactics were ruthless and often more focused on efficiency than relationship-building.

It became a sort of game to watch him go “Mormon hunting”; if he saw them on the sidewalk, he’d pull up in the car to engage them in debate.

Matt Slick as a Father was an example of what he believed, thought and taught and some of these memories may have been less than positive.

I spent too many hours with too many Protestants and if my only exposure to Christian thought was with Calvinists, Arminians, Baptists, Fundamentalists and Evangeligcals or Protestant of whatever stripe then I too would have questions about the Christianity that they know. I, fortunately had something to compare these thoughts to and fortunately found the mire of disagreement and confusion, confusing.

There was one belief I held onto strongly, though — the one that eventually led to my undoing. I promised myself “I will never believe in Christianity simply because it feels right, otherwise I am no better than those in any other religion I debate. I must believe in Christianity because it is the Truth, and if it is ever proven otherwise, I must forsake it no matter how much it hurts.”

She did not leave Christianity, she was exposed to Calvinism, and sadly based on this blog has nothing to compare it to. I met too many Fundamentalists that became Athiests, because when they discovered that Fundamentalism had too many loopholes and things that could not be proven having been taught that everyone else is wrong all they could do is bceome Athiest.

And when confronted with “The Bible is True” and this is your only authority then…

The Bible is not infallible, logic whispered from the depths, and I had no defense against it. If it’s not infallible, you’ve been basing your life’s beliefs on the oral traditions of a Middle Eastern tribe. The Bible lied to you.

Sola Scriptura fails…

then of course as stated earlier…

Though I had left Christianity intellectually, my emotional beliefs had yet to catch up.

She left Calvinism and hopefully she will pursue an intellectual pursuit of all that she missed and all that you and others have been exposed to on this forum and hopefully will understand that there is more to Christianity than Calvinism.

Tough situation, especially for a Christian parent.

Coptic, it’s good to see you again!

You make some really good points. In my view, I’ve seen several parents mistake a guiding ,disciplined, and loving faith with pounding bible trivia and facts into their children.

Reading between the lines in the daughter’s self congratulatory rebellion, I also would hazard to guess that there’s more to this story than we’re getting.

Wow - interesting story. Especially the question that killed her faith:

This changed one day during a conversation with my friend Alex. I had a habit of bouncing theological questions off him, and one particular day, I asked him this: If God was absolutely moral, because morality was absolute, and if the nature of “right” and “wrong” surpassed space, time, and existence, and if it was as much a fundamental property of reality as math, then why were some things a sin in the Old Testament but not a sin in the New Testament?

It’s interesting to see how different people struggle with different things. I mean, I think I have a pretty good answer to that question. I assume most posters on this board do too. But for whatever reason, she didn’t get an answer she could accept. That’s a shame.

The fact that her “stumper” question is such a simple one sadly illustrates the watery soup that is the basis of much fundamentalist / Calvinist education and reasoning.

Did she never have rules as a child? When Dad said “No” to a sleep-over request once and yes another time did this confuse her as well? To sneak out of the house and over to the friends would not be a sin because sleep-overs are sins, but because abject disobedience of one’s parents is a sin.

Man, I can pose much harder questions than that one and I’m a believer!

I am curious, how old is the girl? Does anyone one know?

Early to mid twenties.(Perhaps even late teens)

Ok. The reason I ask is because you can often tell a lot about someone’s opinions by their age. I really don’t trust anyone under 25 to give me their opinion of reality, and of what is reasonable or unreasonable. They are overly emotional, and their sense of reason is severely lacking. Of course they think they are adults, and consequently mature and intelligent, but they are still kids. They are hopeless idealists who think they understand the world, but they dont. It is a rare case that I trust their opinion. A good example is the kid from Florida who stood up at an Obama townhall meeting and was out of breath in excitement over the fact that president Obama came to town. He then asked something along the lines of what the president would do to help McDonald’s workers get better benifits. It explains some of the arguments as well.

That said, if she would have made a good argument I wod have respected it.

Does he have to call his daughter an unsaved sinner whose going to hell like he does to Catholics?

Ooooorrr maybe because she had a controlling religious fanatic for a father.

Teenagers often rebel in their late teens early tweens against authority, in pursuit of freedom. Once bitterness fades, if it does, and the realization that the sweet taste of freedom doesnt taste as good as it did in years past, they may return. It is not something that is restricted to militant parenting styles.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.