Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
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30-04-2013, 12:49 AM
Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
So a while back I went out for lunch with my mom's side of the family. My aunt and uncle came up to visit from Tennessee and since it has been a while since I saw them I decided to go with. BIG MISTAKE! The whole experience was awful. The subject of church came up and me being the only atheist in the family I was pretty uncomfortable. My aunt started saying how I need to start going to church again. My uncle heard this and not knowing that I am an atheist he yelled across the table, "What's the matter Jen?! Don't you believe Jesus loves you!?" So, at this point I'm already turning red from embarrassment. People at the tables next to us were staring. I don't do well at all when I am put on the spot, I have social anxiety, so I wasn't sure how to answer. About a minute goes by then my uncle starts singing "Jesus Loves You" to me loud enough for half of the restaurant to hear. Keep in mind that I am 20 years old. People are staring. I'm shrinking into my seat. The rest of my family is laughing. Later on he came up to me and told me he was just joking...I don't know if I can quite forgive him for that. All I wanted was to spend time with people I haven't seen in years, and that's what I walked in to.
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30-04-2013, 01:27 AM
RE: Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
Sorry you were embarrassed. Don't let some self-absorbed numb skull push you into holding resentment. Yeah, he's an ass. But he's family. And someday when you're farther removed from the struggle of this time in life, hopefully you'll be able to laugh at his cluelessness instead of grind your teeth at it. I've been there. It's tough. But as you become more comfortable with the circumstance of being the black sheep, you'll actually learn to be amused by your family's blatant delusion. In short, it gets better. Hang in there.
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30-04-2013, 03:20 AM
RE: Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
Next time, stand up on a chair and shout

"No...I don't believe Jesus loves me because he's as dead as a fuckin door nail. If you wanna argue with me I suggest we step outside."

No one can hurt or embarrass you if you proudly stand up for what you believe.
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30-04-2013, 05:41 AM
RE: Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
...or maybe you could have stood up and apologized for your uncle to the rest of the patrons by saying something like:

"I'm sorry everyone, everytime my dear uncle get high on weed he gets like this."

or "forgets to take his medication."

or "I'm sorry everyone, my uncle suffers from alzheimers, he'll calm down soon."

In situations like that one its very difficult to keep your wits about you and come up with good one-liners. Onedream's advice is probably good to remember. File the event in your memory and next time you'll be ready whether it's your uncle or some other blowhard.

Welcome to the forum!

"Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.” ~ Ambrose Bierce
“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 in Eruption
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30-04-2013, 07:20 AM
RE: Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
I know its hard sometimes but don't let those thing embarrass you. He's the one who should be embarrassed or perhaps as he said he was just joking around. A non-committal "Yes I am sure he does" could perhaps defuse the situation.

I sometimes try to embarrass my kids in a similar manner for my own entertainment if they are getting too full of themselves. I am not saying you are full of yourself but perhaps he was just trying to have fun. I liked the one-liners that were suggested.
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30-04-2013, 07:25 AM
RE: Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
(30-04-2013 12:49 AM)clevergirl Wrote:  So a while back I went out for lunch with my mom's side of the family. My aunt and uncle came up to visit from Tennessee and since it has been a while since I saw them I decided to go with. BIG MISTAKE! The whole experience was awful. The subject of church came up and me being the only atheist in the family I was pretty uncomfortable. My aunt started saying how I need to start going to church again. My uncle heard this and not knowing that I am an atheist he yelled across the table, "What's the matter Jen?! Don't you believe Jesus loves you!?" So, at this point I'm already turning red from embarrassment. People at the tables next to us were staring. I don't do well at all when I am put on the spot, I have social anxiety, so I wasn't sure how to answer. About a minute goes by then my uncle starts singing "Jesus Loves You" to me loud enough for half of the restaurant to hear. Keep in mind that I am 20 years old. People are staring. I'm shrinking into my seat. The rest of my family is laughing. Later on he came up to me and told me he was just joking...I don't know if I can quite forgive him for that. All I wanted was to spend time with people I haven't seen in years, and that's what I walked in to.

Was he trying to be a religious asshole, or was he emulating a religious asshole just to jerk at your chain and embarrass you?

I come from a family that likes to try to embarrass one another, I get used to it.

Evolve

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11-05-2013, 07:45 AM
RE: Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
Hi clevergirl, I can relate as I live in the Deep South and have to deal with people trying to convert me, though I haven't had a dramatic display such as what you had to endure. Apparently down here there is a double standard regarding the First Amendment: Christians (often southern baptists) have the right to ram it down others' throats and pray in public and be a nuisance to nonbelievers, but if we disagree with them, we are not afforded the same freedom or courtesy. I'm lucky in that my mother is also an atheist and most of my family aren't judgmental and consider religion or lack thereof your personal business. I do have a Pentecostal brother, but he's figured out after eons that our mother and I are not going to convert. It took years, but we agree to disagree since family is more important. Maybe in time your family will see that you are still the same good person you always were. It can be a long process, but as the rest said, it will get better , and you now have some good comebacks like the medication or weed retorts suggested above if this spectacle occurs again!

Godless in the Magnolia State
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11-05-2013, 08:06 AM
RE: Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
tell him you will accept his apology when he can stand in front of the others and say it. I also live in the south and their 'just joking' usually isn't--far from it--it is a bullying tactic.

If you can rip on family (and supposedly those that you love) in public then you can stand up in public and apologize to them when you fuck up.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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09-08-2013, 12:02 PM
RE: Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
I don't know if your Aunt and Uncle are as bad or worse than mine.
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09-08-2013, 12:28 PM
RE: Lunch with my southern Christian Aunt and Uncle
(30-04-2013 12:49 AM)clevergirl Wrote:  So a while back I went out for lunch with my mom's side of the family. My aunt and uncle came up to visit from Tennessee and since it has been a while since I saw them I decided to go with. BIG MISTAKE! The whole experience was awful. The subject of church came up and me being the only atheist in the family I was pretty uncomfortable. My aunt started saying how I need to start going to church again. My uncle heard this and not knowing that I am an atheist he yelled across the table, "What's the matter Jen?! Don't you believe Jesus loves you!?" So, at this point I'm already turning red from embarrassment. People at the tables next to us were staring. I don't do well at all when I am put on the spot, I have social anxiety, so I wasn't sure how to answer. About a minute goes by then my uncle starts singing "Jesus Loves You" to me loud enough for half of the restaurant to hear. Keep in mind that I am 20 years old. People are staring. I'm shrinking into my seat. The rest of my family is laughing. Later on he came up to me and told me he was just joking...I don't know if I can quite forgive him for that. All I wanted was to spend time with people I haven't seen in years, and that's what I walked in to.


Sounds like your idiot relatives need a respect check and to learn how to treat others in public. They not only made it harder on you but stepped on the toes of a bunch of other diners eating and probably not wanting to be part of your family or conversations. Rude as hell they both need a lesson in how mature adults act towards one another regardless of philosophical views.

At 20 years old you are plenty old enough to call them out on this child like behavior and ask them never to treat you like this again and to have the same respect for your beliefs that you do for theirs if you don't act like this in return to them, which it sounds like you do not.

Family is not always what we need or want. The blood means nothing. The only thing that matter is how people treat you and how you treat others. They made the choice to treat you with disrespect and you should not do the same, but they do deserve to hear your mind on the topic.
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