I need some help...
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12-01-2016, 06:30 PM
I need some help...
So a little over a year ago, I went through the deconversion process. Within the last 6 months, my dad has really strengthened his Christian belief. We've never really talked about it until recently. It has literally taken over his life. He doesn't go out and do anything anymore, and it's about to drive my mom (also a christian) insane. All he wants to do while he's at home is sit and read his bible or listen to a certain Christian preacher on youtube. He'll never admit it, but his recently he has really kind of been a drag due to his going back to church and his strong views on Christianity.

Tonight, he brings it up to me, and starts in on how the nations of the world will turn on Israel, and when that happens it's almost time. He also tells me that he knows I think he's crazy, but his Dad told him all the same stuff but he didn't believe it. But now, he's seeing all of these things happen that his Dad warned him about. Apparently God talks to him as well. Tells him about what is going to happen.

I so desperately want to ask him all these questions, but I don't want to give away my cover. As far as I'm concerned, he'll think I'm a Christian until the day he dies. I don't want to hurt him.

But I'd love to ask him why God talks to him, but not me. I went through a serious religious spell where I honestly asked God to come into my life and forgive me of my sins... But I got nothing. Nothing but a bunch of head talk (me talking to myself). I want to ask him if there is an age requirement to talk to God. Will he talk to me when I turn 51? Why doesn't God just rid the world of evil? Why send his "son" to die for us? Why play so many puzzle games? I don't understand it!

Sorry for the rant, but I came straight off this conversation with him and had to express myself to someone. My wife is a Christian as well, but she's open minded to me. But at the same time, I hate to press all of my issues on her when she doesn't agree with everything I necessarily say.

I honestly don't see us having a good relationship for the rest of our lives due to our different belief. He's pushing me to take my daughter to a church, but that's out of the question unless my wife takes her somewhere on a whim. I hate to break away from my Dad, because I love him so... But I can't spend the rest of my life living a lie of this magnitude.
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12-01-2016, 06:41 PM
RE: I need some help...
Damn.

If you can’t avoid it and he continues to push you and your family into a corner you have to put some distance between you or else confront him, your happiness is just as important as his.

Good luck.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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12-01-2016, 06:44 PM
RE: I need some help...
I'm sorry your dealing with that. I don't think any amount of conversations with your dad is going to convince him that his faith his a lie. He just seems in too deep and more importantly, does not want to come out from delusion. Imo, any convos with him will only end in hurt feelings on both sides. I would just let that subject be. If you don't feel comfortable telling your dad you're an atheist, don't. I have several older relatives who think I am still a believer. I think it would severely upset them to where they would stay up nights worrying about my very soul. I don't want to put that on them--especially over something that is an imagined and delusional fear.

My mom is religious. I told her I didn't believe, however, she acts like it's a phase and acts like I still do believe. My dad passed away several years ago. She likes believing she will see him again in heaven. That is how she chooses to believe. Instead of debating my mom on Catholicism, I steer any convos away from that type of thing and change the subject. When I do spend time with her, I make sure we do things we both enjoy--things that have no religious base. I understand that is hard with your dad since he seems to be quite the homebody. But what about playing a board game or watching a movie with him? Or seeing if he would like to go to the park with you and your daughter?

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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12-01-2016, 06:50 PM
RE: I need some help...
(12-01-2016 06:44 PM)jennybee Wrote:  I'm sorry your dealing with that. I don't think any amount of conversations with your dad is going to convince him that his faith his a lie. He just seems in too deep and more importantly, does not want to come out from delusion. Imo, any convos with him will only end in hurt feelings on both sides. I would just let that subject be. If you don't feel comfortable telling your dad you're an atheist, don't. I have several older relatives who think I am still a believer. I think it would severely upset them to where they would stay up nights worrying about my very soul. I don't want to put that on them--especially over something that is an imagined and delusional fear.

My mom is religious. I told her I didn't believe, however, she acts like it's a phase and acts like I still do believe. My dad passed away several years ago. She likes believing she will see him again in heaven. That is how she chooses to believe. Instead of debating my mom on Catholicism, I steer any convos away from that type of thing and change the subject. When I do spend time with her, I make sure we do things we both enjoy--things that have no religious base. I understand that is hard with your dad since he seems to be quite the homebody. But what about playing a board game or watching a movie with him? Or seeing if he would like to go to the park with you and your daughter?

We usually have a family game night on Sundays. He'll play with us every once and a while and have a good time. But, other then that, anything else is pretty much out of the question. It's usually just work and home for him. Thank you for your post.
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12-01-2016, 06:56 PM
RE: I need some help...
(12-01-2016 06:50 PM)NutraSteve Wrote:  
(12-01-2016 06:44 PM)jennybee Wrote:  I'm sorry your dealing with that. I don't think any amount of conversations with your dad is going to convince him that his faith his a lie. He just seems in too deep and more importantly, does not want to come out from delusion. Imo, any convos with him will only end in hurt feelings on both sides. I would just let that subject be. If you don't feel comfortable telling your dad you're an atheist, don't. I have several older relatives who think I am still a believer. I think it would severely upset them to where they would stay up nights worrying about my very soul. I don't want to put that on them--especially over something that is an imagined and delusional fear.

My mom is religious. I told her I didn't believe, however, she acts like it's a phase and acts like I still do believe. My dad passed away several years ago. She likes believing she will see him again in heaven. That is how she chooses to believe. Instead of debating my mom on Catholicism, I steer any convos away from that type of thing and change the subject. When I do spend time with her, I make sure we do things we both enjoy--things that have no religious base. I understand that is hard with your dad since he seems to be quite the homebody. But what about playing a board game or watching a movie with him? Or seeing if he would like to go to the park with you and your daughter?

We usually have a family game night on Sundays. He'll play with us every once and a while and have a good time. But, other then that, anything else is pretty much out of the question. It's usually just work and home for him. Thank you for your post.

That's hard. He seems like he's chosen to isolate himself a bit (never mind the religion thing). I am sure you will make the right decision--whatever you decide. I would just go through several outcomes in your mind (i.e. if you tell v. don't tell) and make a decision from there.

"Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and stars mirrored in your own being." -Rumi
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12-01-2016, 08:57 PM
RE: I need some help...
Now that I've had some time to settle down and think about things, I think it will be better to just "nope" my way out of those discussions and do my best to keep conversation on other things. It's just so hard when everything is the Devil. I'm taking my wife and daughter on a Disney Cruise in a couple of weeks, and then in November we're going to Disney World. He even found a way to rag on me about that. Said I should take my family out to the woods and how them God's natural beauty instead of a corporate theme park. The more I think of that, the more it pisses me off.
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12-01-2016, 09:24 PM
RE: I need some help...
It must be very hard to have to tamp down so much of your natural reactions when dealing with your dad. If your dad is getting older, his religious ideas may feel more urgent to him.

My father, who was already very religious, has become much, much worse--in terms of talking to us about religion (he knows we are atheists)--as he has gotten older and various body systems have started failing him. He feels strongly that it's important for us to hear about god and jeebus, just in case this is the time when we're going to be converted, because it's more important that we hear, again, the gospel, than that we enjoy our time together.

I think one way to approach is to kind of uh-huh through the conversations, without indicating that you think his views are wrong, so that then you can get to a part of the visit where you can enjoy doing something with your dad. (This assumes you enjoy spending time with your dad, it's just the religious conversations that you don't like.) I do think if you have some activities, like games or movies or walks, etc., to look forward to at the end, it will be easier to listen to the religious stuff.

Another way of approaching is to be honest and debate, but a lot of families, mine included, are just a little too fragile to survive this choice.
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12-01-2016, 09:33 PM
RE: I need some help...
(12-01-2016 06:30 PM)NutraSteve Wrote:  So a little over a year ago, I went through the deconversion process. Within the last 6 months, my dad has really strengthened his Christian belief. We've never really talked about it until recently. It has literally taken over his life. He doesn't go out and do anything anymore, and it's about to drive my mom (also a christian) insane. All he wants to do while he's at home is sit and read his bible or listen to a certain Christian preacher on youtube. He'll never admit it, but his recently he has really kind of been a drag due to his going back to church and his strong views on Christianity.

Tonight, he brings it up to me, and starts in on how the nations of the world will turn on Israel, and when that happens it's almost time. He also tells me that he knows I think he's crazy, but his Dad told him all the same stuff but he didn't believe it. But now, he's seeing all of these things happen that his Dad warned him about. Apparently God talks to him as well. Tells him about what is going to happen.

I so desperately want to ask him all these questions, but I don't want to give away my cover. As far as I'm concerned, he'll think I'm a Christian until the day he dies. I don't want to hurt him.

But I'd love to ask him why God talks to him, but not me. I went through a serious religious spell where I honestly asked God to come into my life and forgive me of my sins... But I got nothing. Nothing but a bunch of head talk (me talking to myself). I want to ask him if there is an age requirement to talk to God. Will he talk to me when I turn 51? Why doesn't God just rid the world of evil? Why send his "son" to die for us? Why play so many puzzle games? I don't understand it!

Sorry for the rant, but I came straight off this conversation with him and had to express myself to someone. My wife is a Christian as well, but she's open minded to me. But at the same time, I hate to press all of my issues on her when she doesn't agree with everything I necessarily say.

I honestly don't see us having a good relationship for the rest of our lives due to our different belief. He's pushing me to take my daughter to a church, but that's out of the question unless my wife takes her somewhere on a whim. I hate to break away from my Dad, because I love him so... But I can't spend the rest of my life living a lie of this magnitude.

I'm sorry you're going through this with him.

First, it almost sounds as if he's had a life threatening fright. Has he been ill? Has someone close died? He could be having fear of death response to something. Also, be careful of strange behaviors (believing god is talking to him) for dementia. Maybe speak to your mom privately about it.

Secondly, if you are not going to come out to him then you will have to suck it up because someone so obsessed with religion is not going to change. Avoid conflict by steering the convo in another direction and try not to get involved in his delusions.

You will find lots of help here and many different views that will be of value to you as you learn to navigate this difficult situation with your dad.

Be well. Smile

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12-01-2016, 09:35 PM
RE: I need some help...
You could call his bluff and tell him you've decided to emigrate to Israel to join the IDF and prepare to take your part in the prophesy. Out-crazy him until he has no choice but to relent.

'Murican Canadian
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12-01-2016, 10:08 PM
RE: I need some help...
(12-01-2016 09:33 PM)Heatheness Wrote:  I'm sorry you're going through this with him.

First, it almost sounds as if he's had a life threatening fright. Has he been ill? Has someone close died? He could be having fear of death response to something. Also, be careful of strange behaviors (believing god is talking to him) for dementia. Maybe speak to your mom privately about it.

Secondly, if you are not going to come out to him then you will have to suck it up because someone so obsessed with religion is not going to change. Avoid conflict by steering the convo in another direction and try not to get involved in his delusions.

You will find lots of help here and many different views that will be of value to you as you learn to navigate this difficult situation with your dad.

Be well. Smile

You actually hit on a couple of points here. This all started back in the summer time... I have it pin pointed down to a couple of events. First, we were all watching old home movies that my cousin had found at his house. I thought we were all having a good time watching, however I noticed Dad wasn't really enjoying himself. My grandparents (his mom and dad) were on there a lot and I think that triggered some of this.

He went out to the back deck and smoked most of the night. I'm wondering if seeing his parents on film, hearing them talk, maybe brought back some memories. Possibly holding out some hope that he'll be able to see them again, so he made the decision to get right with God.

Second, he fell off a ladder over the summer which created a small break in his neck. Maybe the idea that we're finite creeped in to him and he turned to God?

My mom and I have talked about it, and he's told her that he believes the devil has gotten a hold of her because she's not on par with him. She's been going out with her cousin exercising and just hanging out in general. He's not a fan at all of this. She's gets teary eyed whenever the whole situation is brought up.

Mom thinks that he's had some sort of premonition that something bad was going to happen to one of us if he doesn't "change his ways".


Thank you all for your posts. It really helps having other people to talk too!
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