Grandmother says I'll be killed.
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30-08-2012, 08:31 AM
Grandmother says I'll be killed.
So my grandmother, whom I love very much and am very close to just told me I am going to be killed. I'm a junior at a public college in New Jersey, not really an intolerant place and I'm taking a bible class that is looking at the bible from a historical context. I thought it would be interesting and it fulfills a history requirement for my history minor. I called my grandmother to tell her about the class, in the class my professor asked what our religious views are so he count get a sense of where we were all coming from. It seemed like an open and purely academic enviromemt so I told them I was an atheist. I was met with no hostility with my admission. But when I told my grandmother about the class she said "you shouldn't tell people you're an atheist you're going to get yourself killed, just keep it to yourself". This hurts me, a lot. I'm the only atheist in my family and I know me talking about it makes them uncomfortable so I try not to. But recently it's become a big part of my identity and I hate the idea that someone that I love do much thinks I should live my life in fear just because I have an unpopular opinion of the world.
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30-08-2012, 09:08 AM
RE: Grandmother says I'll be killed.
(30-08-2012 08:31 AM)Oxiate Wrote:  So my grandmother, whom I love very much and am very close to just told me I am going to be killed. I'm a junior at a public college in New Jersey, not really an intolerant place and I'm taking a bible class that is looking at the bible from a historical context. I thought it would be interesting and it fulfills a history requirement for my history minor. I called my grandmother to tell her about the class, in the class my professor asked what our religious views are so he count get a sense of where we were all coming from. It seemed like an open and purely academic enviromemt so I told them I was an atheist. I was met with no hostility with my admission. But when I told my grandmother about the class she said "you shouldn't tell people you're an atheist you're going to get yourself killed, just keep it to yourself". This hurts me, a lot. I'm the only atheist in my family and I know me talking about it makes them uncomfortable so I try not to. But recently it's become a big part of my identity and I hate the idea that someone that I love do much thinks I should live my life in fear just because I have an unpopular opinion of the world.

Your grandmother's reaction is exaggerated, but undoubtedly stems from her love and concern. Take it in stride, give your grandmother a big hug, and carry on.

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30-08-2012, 09:12 AM
RE: Grandmother says I'll be killed.
(30-08-2012 09:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(30-08-2012 08:31 AM)Oxiate Wrote:  So my grandmother, whom I love very much and am very close to just told me I am going to be killed. I'm a junior at a public college in New Jersey, not really an intolerant place and I'm taking a bible class that is looking at the bible from a historical context. I thought it would be interesting and it fulfills a history requirement for my history minor. I called my grandmother to tell her about the class, in the class my professor asked what our religious views are so he count get a sense of where we were all coming from. It seemed like an open and purely academic enviromemt so I told them I was an atheist. I was met with no hostility with my admission. But when I told my grandmother about the class she said "you shouldn't tell people you're an atheist you're going to get yourself killed, just keep it to yourself". This hurts me, a lot. I'm the only atheist in my family and I know me talking about it makes them uncomfortable so I try not to. But recently it's become a big part of my identity and I hate the idea that someone that I love do much thinks I should live my life in fear just because I have an unpopular opinion of the world.

Your grandmother's reaction is exaggerated, but undoubtedly stems from her love and concern. Take it in stride, give your grandmother a big hug, and carry on.

The Terse One is correct!

I think many older people also have a problem with just the concept of atheism. So she may be operating from that outlook.

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30-08-2012, 09:16 AM
RE: Grandmother says I'll be killed.
Granny's advice was probably good counsel at some point/situation in her life. The question is if she's aware of something at your school that makes it particularly hostile to atheists. Did you happen to ask her what/where she's seeing a danger?
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30-08-2012, 09:19 AM
RE: Grandmother says I'll be killed.
(30-08-2012 09:12 AM)KidCharlemagne1962 Wrote:  
(30-08-2012 09:08 AM)Chas Wrote:  Your grandmother's reaction is exaggerated, but undoubtedly stems from her love and concern. Take it in stride, give your grandmother a big hug, and carry on.

The Terse One is correct!

I think many older people also have a problem with just the concept of atheism. So she may be operating from that outlook.

At least she didn't tell you that you're bound for hell and she'll miss you...(had that happen...lol)

You can always tell her that you put faith in Christians to actually follow Jesus' plan of nonviolence - after all, why would a god-fearing, loving Christian wish to do harm to a fellow human being and risk putting their everlasting soul in jeopardy by committing a murder? Isn't that against one of those commandment thingies that they love? Wink

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30-08-2012, 09:36 AM
RE: Grandmother says I'll be killed.
Chas is right - give Granny a reassuring hug and let her know it's your world now.

Granny's perspective could come from anywhere - you don't really know what kind of life she's lead. However - that's her perspective of her life and time - not yours. That's why you are going to college - to find yourself.

Granny may not have been as lucky as you. Did she have the opportunity of higher education? Her world may be a bit more isolated than yours, and this can give her a fearful view of your larger world. Let her know you can handle it - show her your bravery - she'll not only love you all the more, she'll respect you for it. She deserves to see her heirs flourish, especially if she didn't get as much of a chance to do so.

Oh - and once you've got Granny's respect... the rest of the family just might fall in line. Thumbsup

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31-08-2012, 05:25 AM
RE: Grandmother says I'll be killed.
Everything they said.

Grandparents are too old to be told about atheism and all that. You can do that with your parents, but grandparents are much harder. Just let it be. Even pretend in front of your grandmother if you need to. Just don't go preaching atheism to her, that would just set you too apart.

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01-09-2012, 04:00 PM
RE: Grandmother says I'll be killed.
You know I'd love go to a place that would become hostile at the mere mentioning of the word atheist. I think the violence would be fun and refreshing. It's good exercise.

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02-09-2012, 09:19 AM
RE: Grandmother says I'll be killed.
That sir, is hilarious.

They tell me I'm the shit, I'm like 'duh...'
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03-09-2012, 07:33 AM
RE: Grandmother says I'll be killed.
Says much more about granny's expectations of christians than atheism.

My mum says the same to me from time to time about keeping my mouth shut around muslims. You would think that my risk of getting killed on religious grounds would be slightly higher but religion has never been much of an issue here. There's no islamic proselitysation, they just get on with praying their asses off and sort of ignore everyone else.

'The world holds two classes of men: intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.' - Abdallah al-Ma'arri
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