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For fuck’s sake, it’s just a piece of wood October 7, 2007

Posted by Teen Atheist in anecdotes, family, rants.
Tags: , ,

Yes, this is going to be another “my mother and I were talking in the car” story, which took place about four months ago.

My mother mentioned how she and a few friends used to play with a Ouija board when she was a kid, and how it successfully managed to predict the nicknames of both her first boyfriend and her husband. I asked her if she was actively looking for a guy with the name the “spirit of the glass” mentioned. She told me that she wasn’t. For the sake of this story, let’s pretend my father’s name is Nathaniel. Everyone in college knew him as Nathaniel, but the Ouija board said my mother would marry a “Nate” (or a more obscure nickname that you wouldn’t guess was derived from Nathaniel). It was only later on in their relationship that my mother found out that “Nate” was my father’s childhood nickname. OMG SPIRITS!!!111

In another Ouija session, the girls asked “Who are we talking to,” and according to my mother, the glass moved violently in this order: S…A…T…A…

At that second “A,” the girls let go of the glass and ran out of the basement screaming. OMG SPIRITS!!!111

My brother Pete* is a scaredy-cat bitch, the kind who was actually too chickenshit to even visit the Peter Answers website (I don’t want to spoil the fun for you, but here’s what happened: skeptic that I am, I tried it a few times despite Pete’s pleas not to, noticed the automated replies which were all variations of “I can’t answer that,” Googled “Peter Answers” and found out that it was a nifty online trick). So obviously, Pete totally bought into this story. I didn’t, however, and I asked my mother if I could buy a Ouija board and try it out myself.

“No!” she squawked. “You don’t want to mess with the spirits! They’ll haunt our house!”

(I’m not kidding.)

“The spirits like to prey on the weak of faith,” my father added in a not-so-subtle insinuation that I was weak of faith. He always plays the “weak of faith” card whenever I bring up the several times he’s verbally abused me. You won’t forgive and forget because you’re weak of faith! You’re an atheist because you’re weak of faith!

“What about those who don’t believe?” I asked.

“It’s even worse for them, because they have no one to save them.”

I wanted to sneer. I wanted to roll my eyes. But I couldn’t, since that would have given them a hint that I was, perhaps, a non-believer (I was closeted at the time). Instead, I stared out the window and tuned them out with some Radiohead.

They can say what they want about me, but I’m not the one living in fear of a piece of wood. It’s funny that I’m the one who’s “weak of faith” when they can’t even trust their deity to protect them from a frickin’ Ouija board.

Stevie Wonder was on to something with that song of his: “If you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer…”

[Note: Hey, I may not believe in this superstition hooey now, but if you have some interesting OMG SPIRITS!!!111 stories to share, I’d love to read them!]



1. overcaffein8d - October 7, 2007

“What about those who don’t believe?” I asked.

“It’s even worse for them, because they have no one to save them.”

Reminds me of something I read in The God Delusion (this might be paraphrased; I googled it):

In Peter Freuchen’s 1905 “Book of the Eskimos”, he is talking to an Inuit native who has recently encountered a missionary, and who relates this tale to him:

“Now that I know of Your God and Your Savior, I must follow their rules or go to Hell, yes?”, asks the Inuit.

“Yes, that is so,” replies the missionary, “but eternal paradise awaits you”.

“Yes,” muses the Inuit, “but tell me, if I had never heard of them, would I still go to Hell?”

The missionary pauses, “Well…No, no if you had no knowledge of the glorious truth, you would not go to Hell.”

The Inuit looks up, and asks, “Well, then why did you tell me of them!?”

There’s nothing more useful to the Church than fear of eternal damnation.

2. Show-Ender - October 8, 2007

Jeez, that is SOOOOOOOOOO un-Christian of your parents. Waitasec, Christianity is riddled with supersition. Oh well.

3. Nicest Girl - October 8, 2007

Just wanted to give a thumbs up to your choice of “tune out” music. Radiohead is #1. ^_^

4. Martin - October 10, 2007

Ouija boards are funny. :))

I think I heard either Point of Inquiry (a podcast by the Center for Inquiry) or The InfidelGuy show take on Ouija boards one time.

To replicate its effect, take any object, say, a roll of toilet paper, and have six people place their hands on top of it.

OMG TOILET PAPER MOVING LOL!11!!!!!111oneone!1!!one

5. stacy - October 11, 2007

I can’t tell you how many times the boyfriend and I have been on IM in the last 48 hours and typed OMG!! SPIRITS!!!!11 and cracked up.
Ahhh, you made my day.

6. yinyang - October 13, 2007

My school newspaper ran a column which prominently featured an Ouija board, which was supposedly used to communicate with someone’s dead cousin. I reprinted the story in my latest post if you would like to see it.

7. Teen Atheist - October 14, 2007

Thanks, yinyang! OMG SPIRITS!!!11

I have seriously got to try the Ouija board one of these days. XD

8. spectacularseculardeveloper - September 13, 2008

Okay – you are seriously going on my blogroll. You may be young, but you are a lot more with it than plenty of those older than you. I found this story, after hearing Stevie Wonders “Superstition” performed, and thought to google for it with the word atheist. The Peter answers website will be a cool education tool for those who don’t see that they are being fooled. I was lucky in that I was brought up by very tolerant hippy parents, but even then, I had to assert that I did not believe the other new age BS they had floating around.

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