Atheism Turning non-Religious Family into Fanatical Christians
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
01-01-2014, 06:48 PM
Tongue Atheism Turning non-Religious Family into Fanatical Christians
I'm just curious if anyone else has faced the dilemma of your family going jack-ass batty Christian once they knew of your atheism?
I have been an agnostic since my teens, as have my brothers. My sister found religion in prison - enough said on that one. However, I have been a rather vocal atheist since 2000 - the beginning of the "rein of Bush/Perry"....I'm from Texas.
I knew one brother had started to believe in the Twin Towers conspiracy around 2004, but that was somewhat common among our friends. He still was not religious in any sense yet.
Our mother died in 2007 - horribly difficult - but still no religion, no belief she was in a "better place", no funeral - I am the oldest and she knew I was not going to go that route and was okay with it. Life went along, no religious complications that I was aware of. When the economy crashed in 2008, my brother's advertising business went under, and times were not as easy, but not as difficult as it was and is for others. In fact, he started another business which prospered and still does.
When our grandmother died in 2012, we were going to make preparations for her funeral - because she had already set it up in the 60's! My brother and I had a little tiff over the day and date, but nothing that we couldn't resolve - I thought. It was at this point, for reasons unknown to me to this day, that his mind took an abrupt turn to the dark side - jesus. I just never saw it coming at all. But it's a very strange kind of jesus worship because apparently he has now never met a Jewish person he could trust, nor a scientist who isn't trying to destroy the world! (Let me include that my husband is an astronomer and has worked at the devil's own workshop - NASA!) The weird thing in this is that neither he nor his whole family came to our grandmother's funeral.
Now I get emails, snide remarks from his children - he and I do not communicate directly anymore - and now my youngest brother is just sure there is something "out there greater than we are". How arrogant we must be to think we don't have a loving fill-in-the-blank deity looking over us and the universe...a universal mind, they say, if I can't "call it god".
It's just all so screwed up now that I can hardly deal with any one of them anymore. I don't know if it's their guilt of fill-in-the-blank causing this to happen or if my vocal opposition to religion was the catalyst, Huh but I would appreciate any suggestions or ideas. I sure don't plan to sit down and have a conversation with brother one, but the younger (46) - I don't want to lose our relationship, but I'm not interested in "shutting up" either.
I sure appreciate all of you.
Becky

Faith is believing what you know ain't so ~ Mark Twain Facepalm
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dangerous Thinker's post
01-01-2014, 07:17 PM
RE: Atheism Turning non-Religious Family into Fanatical Christians
Yes, I've seen it turn nasty.

Those that cannot separate ego from beliefs have a hard time with criticism.

I've seen some flip from a comfort-zone state of not really thinking about it to a new comfort-zone state of an in-yer-face, fill-in-the-blank adherent.

This usually is to do with the impact of change.

When managing change, one recognises that we are taking people out of their comfort-zone ("I can") and into a learning-zone ("I will") but aware that the panic-zone ("I can't") is not far away. If someone is in their panic-zone one must help them back into their learning-zone or they will flip back to comfort-zone ("I won't) and your fucked... they ain't moving from there.

The question then is, how much effort do you want to put into dislodging them from that zone. Some people get to the point where they are beyond economic repair.

Have you ever tried taking a comfort blanket away from a small child?

Resistance to change can be destructive for all concerned so tread carefully for you tread upon their dreams / delusions / egos.

Good luck.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like DLJ's post
01-01-2014, 10:33 PM
RE: Atheism Turning non-Religious Family into Fanatical Christians
The deaths in your family have probably taken a toll. Not everyone deals with grief by maintaining rational beliefs. I can't deny the healing feeling of the fantasy, especially when it comes to death and family.

I don't think the changes in your family are anything to do with you at all. It looks like each family member has an agenda.

If I were you I would recognize that I was not the source of the problem, and understand that my family has their own issues to deal with privately. I wouldn't take it personally. It isn't really about me at all.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness.

-Karl Marx
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like Dark Phoenix's post
02-01-2014, 05:40 PM
RE: Atheism Turning non-Religious Family into Fanatical Christians
Valuable advice already given to you, DT, and I will just say I feel your pain as I live in Mississippi. I've been able to stay on good terms with my predominantly Christian family, friends, BF, etc., by focusing on what we have in common and value. I'm not saying it's easy all the time, but family is family and usually worth preserving that tie. You have to balance that with being yourself also.

Godless in the Magnolia State
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes cjs's post
03-01-2014, 12:03 AM
RE: Atheism Turning non-Religious Family into Fanatical Christians
You have to understand that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. You can't oppose what your family believes (vocally oppose them) and still be accepted as a member of that family. That's simply asking too much of people. People just can't do that.

Religion is such a deep psychological response that opposing it openly is the same thing as openly rejecting the person who is religious.

Sometimes I think the most faulty thinking people engage in is to think that it is "right" for others to accept them for who they are. Life just doesn't work that way. If you are one person and you want two people to like you, you have to conform to the two people--they will not conform to you. That is fundamental social psychology.

But I do wish you good luck in dealing with family. That's never an easy task. No
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Gordon's post
03-01-2014, 12:28 AM (This post was last modified: 03-01-2014 01:12 AM by Dark Light.)
RE: Atheism Turning non-Religious Family into Fanatical Christians
Contrary to what Ed says, it seems to me as if your family member is the one opposing what the family believes. If you are interested in continuing a relationship with them, I'd suggest just avoiding the topic of religion and ask them to do the same. If both of you are emotionally invested in your beliefs, I don't think it can work. You gotta decide, and so do they. Good luck with you issues. I hope you can find some peace on this.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Dark Light's post
03-01-2014, 01:05 AM
RE: Atheism Turning non-Religious Family into Fanatical Christians
(01-01-2014 10:33 PM)Dark Phoenix Wrote:  The deaths in your family have probably taken a toll. Not everyone deals with grief by maintaining rational beliefs. I can't deny the healing feeling of the fantasy, especially when it comes to death and family.

I don't think the changes in your family are anything to do with you at all. It looks like each family member has an agenda.

If I were you I would recognize that I was not the source of the problem, and understand that my family has their own issues to deal with privately. I wouldn't take it personally. It isn't really about me at all.

Thanks Dark,
You are absolutely right in that we all have our own agenda in our family. Mine is to live as reasonably and rationally as possible, while loving and caring for family and whatever part of the world I find myself in. I was just curious if anyone else had the effect of making a family member almost "psychotic" over that way of living and walking in the world. I normally don't respond, nor push my views on family or friends, unless someone brings it up and refuses to let it go - even if I don't respond. I guess when I said vocal, what I meant was honest. I also tend to take things personally, and that is usually to my disadvantage.

Faith is believing what you know ain't so ~ Mark Twain Facepalm
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
03-01-2014, 01:14 AM
RE: Atheism Turning non-Religious Family into Fanatical Christians
I appreciate the thoughtfulness and insights I'm reading in response to my original post. Thumbsup

Faith is believing what you know ain't so ~ Mark Twain Facepalm
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: