Advice please...
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18-09-2017, 05:19 PM
Advice please...
My father-in-law is a methodist preacher, and a hypocritical, arrogant, militant one at that. He has stated on previous occasions that he would enjoy pounding christianity into non-believers. He is truly one of the most unpleasant people (aside from his wife) that I've ever met. The man preaches the gospel on Sunday, and spends the rest of the week hating people (including his wife), and just generally being a grumpy dick. He never, NEVER says hello to me, my mother, my grandparents when we enter their house. I've never seen anything quite like it. He no more embodies the shit that he spews on Sunday than the "devil" himself.

My wife is the most wonderful person in the entire world, and it constantly amazes me that she is the offspring of those two. I no idea how that happened. My wife, like myself, was raised in the methodist church. Her father didn't become a preacher until a few years ago, but now it consumes his life and has afforded him a bully pulpit (literally) from which he can lord power over the feeble sheep who truly know nothing of who he really is. My wife is what I would describe as a casual believer. She loves the old hymns, and certain scriptures that make her think of her grandmothers, but I really don't think she believes in all the hokus-pokus bullshit of the religion itself. She understands that I am a total non-believer and is fine with that. We never go to church, on our own, as a family. The only time we do actually go to church is on holidays. Then we go to my F-I-L's church. It's torture, but I make that sacrifice for my wife.

So, my issue is that I am desperate to tell my F-I-L that I am an atheist both to get it off my chest, and to drive a wedge between his bullshit and the indoctrination of my children. I have no idea how to go about it though. I can guarantee that he will fly off the handle, probably yell, and I wouldn't rule out that he might take a swing at me. It would almost certainly taint our relationship for the rest of his life. Has anyone else had to deal with such a situation? Did you confront the problem or suffer in silence? I want to remain calm when confronting him with the facts of why I'm an atheist, but I know that will be almost impossible. Does anyone have any strategies for debating a man like this?

Thanks in advance for any and all advice. It's much appreciated.
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18-09-2017, 05:35 PM
 
RE: Advice please...
Where does your wife stand on you telling him?

Being family doesn't mean that you should deal with abusive crap.

You can distance yourself for now without explaining why. Sounds like he is a rude jerk who you don't need in your life and don't need as an influence on your kids.
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18-09-2017, 05:40 PM
RE: Advice please...
Before telling him consider that this knowledge might push him into wanting to "save" your children from you.
There really is no telling what hardcore Christian like him might do.

I've recently grown rudimentary legs and am now making the move from water to land.
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18-09-2017, 05:51 PM
RE: Advice please...
(18-09-2017 05:19 PM)50years Wrote:  So, my issue is that I am desperate to tell my F-I-L that I am an atheist both to get it off my chest, and to drive a wedge between his bullshit and the indoctrination of my children. I have no idea how to go about it though. I can guarantee that he will fly off the handle, probably yell, and I wouldn't rule out that he might take a swing at me. It would almost certainly taint our relationship for the rest of his life. Has anyone else had to deal with such a situation? Did you confront the problem or suffer in silence? I want to remain calm when confronting him with the facts of why I'm an atheist, but I know that will be almost impossible. Does anyone have any strategies for debating a man like this?

I don't see any reason to tip your hand to someone you dislike and don't trust. You and your wife have the right to raise your kids as you want, and you should make sure he knows that. Telling him you're an atheist or trying to debate him won't help. Those approaches only work with people you can trust to be reasonable.

You have a right to your privacy from such a person. Defend your privacy.
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18-09-2017, 06:09 PM
RE: Advice please...
Your kids your rules. You don't like that Jesus shit around your kids cut it the fuck off. Tell your wife he needs to shut the fuck up about it around your kids. If it continues tell him yourself. I suggest "Keep that fucking Jesus bullshit away from my kids, Goddamnit."
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18-09-2017, 06:49 PM
RE: Advice please...
I'm in favor of not telling him you're an atheist, but instead use his own religious beliefs to control his behavior.

If he believes this shit so strongly, threaten him with hell. Tell him that god is watching all the mean & cruel things that he's doing and he sees that you don't regret doing any of it.

Say "I won't have my children around someone who treats other people so horribly. Either change your shitty behavior or we won't be over to visit. Make a vow right here and now to god that you will change."

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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18-09-2017, 08:35 PM
RE: Advice please...
Bullshit

A grown man shouldn't be hiding behind lies
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18-09-2017, 08:47 PM
RE: Advice please...
(18-09-2017 08:35 PM)ImFred Wrote:  Bullshit

A grown man shouldn't be hiding behind lies

Somebody had to say it. Big Grin

NOTE: Member, Tomasia uses this site to slander other individuals. He then later proclaims it a joke, but not in public.
I will call him a liar and a dog here and now.
Banjo.
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18-09-2017, 09:12 PM
RE: Advice please...
First of all, I just realized I probably posted this in the wrong category. Sorry about that.

Second, thank you to all for your advice. It is a difficult situation, but thankfully my wife actually broached the subject this evening. I wasn't expecting it, but I'm so thankful she did. We had a great conversation, and it just reconfirmed for me that she's in my corner.
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18-09-2017, 09:45 PM
RE: Advice please...
(18-09-2017 09:12 PM)50years Wrote:  First of all, I just realized I probably posted this in the wrong category. Sorry about that.

Second, thank you to all for your advice. It is a difficult situation, but thankfully my wife actually broached the subject this evening. I wasn't expecting it, but I'm so thankful she did. We had a great conversation, and it just reconfirmed for me that she's in my corner.

What, you mean you didn't automatically know which forum is which on a site with dozens of forums that you're new to? FOR SHAME! No Tongue

(For future reference, Personal Issues and Support is probably the best forum. It's got some nice rules protecting posters from abuse and harassment that aren't in place in this forum. Maybe a nice mod will move this thread there.)

I was about to say that the kids were the important factor, but with your wife on the same page as you, you don't have to worry about fighting with her as well and restricting his access to them becomes a LOT easier. You won't need to tell him you're an unbeliever. Just a simple "no you can't" is all it takes.

He's already verbally salivating over the prospect of violence against atheists, so you should consider safety a factor. Yeah, maybe it's just talk. Maybe it isn't. Once he's made aware of your non-religion, you should be prepared to have all encounters with him in a neutral, public place, with witnesses. Do not invite him into your space, and do not go into his territory -- not his home and not his church. If you're looking for a more passive way to get out of spending the holidays with him without outing yourself, say you're going to spend it with your side of the family.

Do a bit of research to find out what's involved in getting a restraining order. Hopefully it won't be needed, but just in case it is have the tools and forms and knowledge lined up and at hand so that you can get one with minimal delay.

Oh, and one last piece of advice. I don't know her, but your wife was perceptive and alert enough to know that you were fretting about this and on edge and she spoke up. She's volunteered, on her own, without even being asked, to take your side and the side of basic human decency, against her father. She's awesome. Be sure to tell her that a dozen times over the next week.

I am an antipistevist. That's like an antipastovist, only with epistemic responsibility instead of bruschetta.
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