How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
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26-02-2017, 10:10 AM
How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
I will try and make this as short and sweet as possible. Smile -- So I recently had a life change and have moved back to my hometown (in the South) and that means I "go" to church with my family (maternal grandmother [she knows i'm atheist]) my paternal grandparents (have not ever had a religious discussion with them since i've been an adult, am 28 yrs now) and my father (whom i believe is a bit oblivious to the whole thing but i just assume it is because he is religious and has been his whole life.)

My mother and little brother know I'm not religious as well. [got reaaaally tired of my family not knowing so I let them know a few years back] And that is only because I knew they could handle it and handle it well with no qualms. Same for my maternal grandmother (I am close with her).

My issue is I don't want to waste my Sunday mornings on worshiping some silly man in the sky (who in my opinion does not exist).

I have asked my maternal grandmother and my cousins (who are not religious) about my predicament. They tell me either to leave it alone or say "it's not my thing" well i can't very well say that, seeing as I live with my family (for the time being, going back to college). For the reason that I went every Sunday for 18 years until I moved away.

~~ I would like some advice, maybe from people who have been through similar situations on how to handle this. And coming from my perspective, I am SO tired of "living in the closet" as they say. It's more than slightly frustrating at this point.- On top of this seeing as how old I am. I can understand why a teenager my not say, but this is getting ridiculous in my opinion. Their feelings(my family that is in the dark still) about it should not be so soft as that!
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26-02-2017, 11:19 AM
RE: How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
(26-02-2017 10:10 AM)TaketheRoadnotTaken Wrote:  I will try and make this as short and sweet as possible. Smile -- So I recently had a life change and have moved back to my hometown (in the South) and that means I "go" to church with my family (maternal grandmother [she knows i'm atheist]) my paternal grandparents (have not ever had a religious discussion with them since i've been an adult, am 28 yrs now) and my father (whom i believe is a bit oblivious to the whole thing but i just assume it is because he is religious and has been his whole life.)

My mother and little brother know I'm not religious as well. [got reaaaally tired of my family not knowing so I let them know a few years back] And that is only because I knew they could handle it and handle it well with no qualms. Same for my maternal grandmother (I am close with her).

My issue is I don't want to waste my Sunday mornings on worshiping some silly man in the sky (who in my opinion does not exist).

I have asked my maternal grandmother and my cousins (who are not religious) about my predicament. They tell me either to leave it alone or say "it's not my thing" well i can't very well say that, seeing as I live with my family (for the time being, going back to college). For the reason that I went every Sunday for 18 years until I moved away.

~~ I would like some advice, maybe from people who have been through similar situations on how to handle this. And coming from my perspective, I am SO tired of "living in the closet" as they say. It's more than slightly frustrating at this point.- On top of this seeing as how old I am. I can understand why a teenager my not say, but this is getting ridiculous in my opinion. Their feelings(my family that is in the dark still) about it should not be so soft as that!

To what degree do you feel that your housing depends on going with them to church? On being perceived as a Christian by your father? Would you get kicked out for not going to church?

If not, I say go for it.

If so, make it less about the church in general and more about that church in particular. Say you've been invited to a different church one Sunday and you want to see what it's like. (You don't have to lie, either. It's the South. You can score an invite.) Then say you're going to explore different churches and stop going with them. Actually go to the other churches for a month running and then after that just drive off Sunday morning, without saying what church you're going to, and just go somewhere and do something fun instead of church.

"If I ignore the alternatives, the only option is God; I ignore them; therefore God." -- The Syllogism of Fail
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26-02-2017, 11:27 AM
RE: How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
I like all of Reltzik's advice!

I'm moving to live near my family again in a few months, so this predicament has been on my mind too. Right now, I think that I will go with them every so often and definitely on Christmas and other holidays. Or, if my mom has been singing in the choir and wants me to hear the music she's been learning. I still appreciate the music and sensory experience of church services. And the feeling of community. A lot of the churches my family goes to have full meals afterwards -- yum, free food!

You could also join a gym or start taking a community ed class that meets on Sunday mornings.
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26-02-2017, 01:09 PM
RE: How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
I think it's more of a situational thing. I probably wouldn't object to going to church if you know it'll cause unnecessary friction with people you don't want to cause friction with. You could look at it like a learning experience if you do go, if you're at all interested in theology. However, I do find it a little ridiculous when family causes stress over something that is your own personal choice.
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26-02-2017, 01:26 PM
RE: How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
I think that if you've moved back as an adult, it's reasonable to have conversations, adult to adult, about issues like this. You don't have to make an argument about it. You can be polite, but resolute.

And...I imagine if several members of your family know you're not religious, the rest of your family knows also. They may be counting on you not objecting to going to church and hoping that Jesus will strike your heart, etc., but this is not a game you have to play. You can reassure them that you're not trying to influence their behavior while also stating that you won't be going to church.
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26-02-2017, 01:29 PM
RE: How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
Take a roofie first and snore through it. Or go drunk, that works too.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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26-02-2017, 01:37 PM
RE: How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
Appreciate all the advice. I think I may go with the "church hunting one" where I eventually find another church and just go do something else in the morning. Seems to be the most subtle way without ruffling any feathers.
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27-02-2017, 02:24 AM
RE: How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
G'day mate, and welcome. Smile

I'm a little confused; I'm not sure why—particularly at the age of 28—you're afraid/embarrassed/dubious about simply telling your family that you're an atheist. Are you really that unassured of your true status in the world? Why are you still browbeaten by family pressures to attend a church every Sunday? Doesn't that seem a bit hypocritical anyway?

As you go through life, you have to be confident in and of yourself, and state your case firmly (whether for religion and/or anything else confrontational) and assert your personal beliefs—as you have every right to.

My advice would be to simply tell your family you've considered all the relevant issues, and are now following an atheist lifestyle. If they have any issues with this, then it's their problem, and not yours. You owe it to yourself to live your life as meaningfully as you can, unencumbered with the minor trivialities of religion.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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27-02-2017, 08:35 AM
RE: How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
Can you provide insight into your need to live with your family? If you had an adult conversation with your immediate family about your non-belief would your current situation be in jeopardy?

(1) I suggest an exploratory conversation to bring the topic up and test the waters/reaction. If that goes well, continue down the road of adult conversation. If it goes poorly and you think you may be entering a real heated/emotional argument, I'd back down and read point 2 below if you need to live there.

(2) if you are living at home, there are rules of that home. Going to church as a non-believer is not the end of the world and if the rent is free, then it is still a bargain. If your family was vegan and you didn't agree with that would you be upset if you came over for dinner and they didn't have a steak for you?

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored- Aldous Huxley
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27-02-2017, 08:59 AM
RE: How to tell my family that I'm not keen on church anymore.
(27-02-2017 08:35 AM)devilsadvoc8 Wrote:  Can you provide insight into your need to live with your family? If you had an adult conversation with your immediate family about your non-belief would your current situation be in jeopardy?

(1) I suggest an exploratory conversation to bring the topic up and test the waters/reaction. If that goes well, continue down the road of adult conversation. If it goes poorly and you think you may be entering a real heated/emotional argument, I'd back down and read point 2 below if you need to live there.

(2) if you are living at home, there are rules of that home. Going to church as a non-believer is not the end of the world and if the rent is free, then it is still a bargain. If your family was vegan and you didn't agree with that would you be upset if you came over for dinner and they didn't have a steak for you?

I agree and I think that is a very good approach and well thought out.

If for some reason I were have to move back in with my parents (I hope not since I'm 46 lol) I would obviously have to follow the flow of the house I enter. That's not to say that I would be "expected" to attend church since I've been an atheist since the age of 14 and even though they disagree we have come to a mutual understanding and it is just an accepted fact. I don't try to disprove or discount their beliefs (even though I certainly disagree) and they afford me the same curtiosity even though they certainly disagree with my nonbelief.

I wish you luck with your situation. Some very good advice has been given so far.

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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