Christian Parent
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27-03-2011, 08:26 PM
 
Christian Parent
As you can tell from my name, I am a teenager that is an atheist. My mother, on the other hand is christian. My mother attacks me everyday because i dont believe in this God she speaks of. I have tried to speak to her about attacking me. When i do this, i am called an "asshole". I have tried to get her to see that if she doesnt except me as i am, she will lose her only son. I do love my mother but she is beating me up for being an atheist. What are some ideas that could get her to understand what i mean by "accepting" me
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27-03-2011, 08:48 PM
RE: Christian Parent
I had a similar problem with my father (although my dad is just plain an asshole, but he has a huge problem with my atheism). What I did was learned as much as I could and calmly refuted wiped away his claims as he drooled them out his mouth. He pretty much avoids the subject nowadays, and whenever he does bring it up I quickly push him down. It really depends on your relationship with your parents though, me and my dad have a pretty bad relationship, so I wasn't really worried about ruining it, if you want to sustain a healthy relationship with your mother I am sure somebody else will have a more helpful suggestion.
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27-03-2011, 09:32 PM (This post was last modified: 27-03-2011 10:03 PM by Efrx86.)
RE: Christian Parent
This happened a few years ago: my mother is a Catholic, and at first I was pretty much a closet atheist (I still am, to some degree), until one day my sister told her I was an atheist. She was keen on telling me to believe in god and whenever I tried to say something she would shush me to prevent me from saying anything "blasphemous", and one day she even told me that she wouldn't acknowledge a son that didn't believe in god. My dad was within earshot and he got very upset (he claims to be simply non-religious and uses the G-word every once in a while but I'm pretty sure he's also a closet atheist) about that and told her in private that if she was worried about me, she could pray for me, but it was unacceptable for her to say something like that. She apologized to me and we have agreed to disagree ever since.

So I guess that in your case:
1) If you have a not-very-religious or non-fundamentalist dad it helps, but don't try to pit him against your mother because most likely it's not going to work.
2) Try to talk to her about agreeing to disagree, and agreeing to avoid talking about god or religion, and simply being a normal mother and son. She probably thinks you say you don't believe in god out of teenage rebellion (saying "this God she speaks of..." definitely doesn't help). So if she says something related to her religion or god, just nod along instead of defiantly saying that god is imaginary, and if you have already agreed to disagree, tell her something like "mom... you know how I feel about that, let's change the subject".

The God excuse: the last refuge of a man with no answers and no argument. "God did it." Anything we can't describe must have come from God. - George Carlin

Whenever I'm asked "What if you're wrong?", I always show the asker this video: http://youtu.be/iClejS8vWjo Screw Pascal's wager.
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27-03-2011, 11:44 PM
 
RE: Christian Parent
Thanks for the advice. I try this is our relationship hasnt been destroyed on this day
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28-03-2011, 03:54 AM
RE: Christian Parent
Well, lets see. How does she attack you? If verbally, such as yelling or insulting, then I don't think that is quite so bad - in my opinion. You can ignore her and when she tries to argue you can logically smash her. If she is forcing you to go to church and youth group etc, then you might just have to bear with for the time being. Remember, a few years may seem like a long time right now, but you will be out of the house and living the rest of your life free(ish) from hassle in due time. If she actually hits you, you may want to seek help unattainable from a forum.
Aside from that, all I can do is point you towards the infallible advice of Russell Glasser:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xkzj75E2X3o

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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29-03-2011, 03:27 PM
RE: Christian Parent
Teen:

I applaud your convictions. I don't have much advice for you, because unfortunately that's the life of a contemporary atheist- especially in parts of the world that are very religious.

I guess the only advice I can give is two parts:

1. Don't antagonize. Teenagers by the very nature love to antagonize people- especially people they see every day. So don't berate your mother's beliefs, even she berates yours. It is every atheists responibility (IMO) that we set the example in our behavior and in our choices. We must show so-called Christians that we are not the devils they make us out to be. If she wants to have a rational discussion, then entertain her. Parents and their children should always share ideas. But if either one of you drops an insult or starts yelling, that's the time to walk away.

2. If you feel you are being abused, tell the authorities. If you are being verbally or emotionally abused, talk to your school counselor or a teacher or any youth leader. If it is physical, you need to call the police right away.

Be polite.
Be efficient.
Have a plan to kill everyone you meet.
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30-03-2011, 09:32 AM
RE: Christian Parent
I particularly agree with ConditionYellow on #2. A parent calling their child "asshole" show a serious level of immaturity and a lack of emotional control. If it gets worse I would definitely notify someone of authourity (police, teacher or guidance counselor, CPS, etc.)
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05-06-2011, 05:30 AM
 
RE: Christian Parent
I stumbled upon your post by accident while I was searching to help a friend who's teenager is an atheist. As I read your post and that of other young people, I can certainly understand why you would not want to be part of a "religion" that you see as degrading and hurtful for those who believe differently, especially from one's parent. Unfortunately, in the world we live in this happens every day.

While I am sure you would rather not hear this, I will simply pray that God would bring peace to your home and to your relationship with your mother and that one day she would be able to model the faith she professes to believe in.

The God of the Universe made you and loves you and no matter how far a part from God you are, he is always there with an open heart. His love is unconditional but his promises hinge on our faith.

Taking all religion out of the equation, I would encourage you not to engage in conversations about your beliefs and if you mother chooses to, out of respect, simply listen for a moment and change the subject or go do your homework. No child should ever feel rejection from the people who love them the most.
May God bless you, keep you safe and bring peace in your home.
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05-06-2011, 10:46 AM
 
RE: Christian Parent
(27-03-2011 08:26 PM)TeenAtheist Wrote:  As you can tell from my name, I am a teenager that is an atheist. My mother, on the other hand is christian...

Your mother claims to be Christian, but she calls you an asshole, when you try to ask her to respect your point of view?

Your mother has one heck of a way of demonstrating what it means to be, Christ like. Confused You might want to approach it from that angle. Tell her, the next time she calls you an asshole as you're trying once again to get her to accept who she gave life to, that it hurts you that she feels as a Christian that Jesus would approve her using such language in order to insult her son. What would Jesus think?

Approach it using her own beliefs, to see if she accepts the tenets of her faith first. It doesn't sound like she does, else she'd show her child more respect than what you're saying she's already demonstrated she lacks in that regard.

You have to live with yourself, first. Certainly you live with your mom under her roof for now, but ultimately when you become an adult you have to live with who you are. You have to accept yourself for what you know to be true in what you believe as who you are and what it takes to make it in this world.
You don't need her permission to be an atheist. One who does not share or respect her faith as something you wish to live for yourself. She is your mom, and it's because of her that you exist. And as such she deserves respect as your parent.

However, being disrespectful of you insults her and lends a poor impression of how she chooses to live her life calling herself a Christian, because she hates the idea you hold no faith in god at all. If she's an example of what that faith makes a person to become, you made the right choice. Wink And it sounds like she's not going to accept you, because she's berating you when you try to tell her who you are. Then again, she doesn't have to accept you for you to be you.
Find someone to talk to that will respect you enough to listen and give you support. Gain strength and confidence from there, from that resource, and you'll be strong enough to live with your mother. Who you can simply stop talking to about what you have chosen as your personal philosophy, per atheism, and simply live your truth without trying to reach a woman who demonstrates she's going to erect a barrier against that by insulting the young man she gave birth to.

Does she take you to church? Can you refuse to go and remain home instead? These are often big hurdles to overcome because they don't speak to you, in the rites and rituals that are afforded in them, as they honor that what you don't believe exists.
If you are dragged to church, instead of letting it impact you negatively, take the opportunity that short visit affords and use it to your benefit. Sit there during the service and get in touch with all that's going on. Watch the people, subtly without gawking of course Tongue , and witness what their faith does for them. Notice their eyes, their color as they sing the hymns. Do they glow with the joy their faith instills, as they sing praises to what you don't accept is listening? Do you know them, outside of church? Are they good people, in your opinion? Do they change personalities when they enter that house of the holy? Do they live the spirit of their faith? How's it feel to listen to that Minister tell you what life is about, with a god you don't believe in, as the universal watcher? The judge and executioner of the choices he created humans to make?
Take the opportunity to reinforce your rational decision to become atheist. Grow from what you have to endure in this. See it as an opportunity to know who you are, by the challenge that faces you to take stock and hold strong to what you now believe.

Some people think if they insult you enough, you'll change your mind and come around to their way of thinking again. That's insecurity on their part. And fear. You're striving to go where your mom would never dare. How much do you believe you know who you are now, when you say you're an atheist?
Take this opportunity to find out. Because your mother can not live your life for you. And she can only make you change your mind about the life you want to live, how and as who you believe yourself to be, if you let her verbal abuse succeed overcoming your self determination.
Life is choice. You can't make her accept you. What matters is you accept yourself. (HUGS) I wish you strength, peace and success. And I wish for your mother's heart to soften, as she grows to hush and listen to the only son like you that she'll ever have in her lifetime. Smile
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