(25-05-2012 08:57 AM)BadKnees Wrote: Hi everyone,
I've been consciously atheist for about 8 years or so, having been non-religious for at least 10 or 15 years before that. I grew up in a very religious household though, and only decided to "come out"to my parents a couple years ago. They are very old and very religious. After an initial confrontation, they let the matter drop. I thought they were simply in denial (and maybe they were for a while) since they kept treating me as if I had never said anything to them about it. Their speech patterns have always been littered with religious phrases, but other than finding that a bit annoying, I decided to try and put up with it in deference to their age and ill-health.
Recently however, I have noticed that they (especially my dad) have gotten more aggressively religious in our conversations. I'm still not sure how much of the "pray for us" and "leave it to the lord" type phases are simply force of habit or conscious goad, but it feels as if they are slowly pushing toward a confrontation. I'm an adult in my mid 40's, and certainly don't need their approval for how I live my life, but as their eldest son and closest (geographically) relative, it often falls to me to deal with their care, and I usually have at least 1 phone conversation with them a week. I have no intention of initiating the conversation, I have already said my peace, but if they force it I tend to be a "cards on the table" kind of guy. I just don't want that conversation if and/or when it happens to be driven by my annoyance with their denial and on-going religious tweeking, so I'm looking for some ideas as to strategy to keep the conversation civil and adult, since no one can turn me into a petulant teenager faster than my parents, and obviously that won't help anything.
Thanks in advance!
You more than anybody should know your parents. It sounds like you can't put the genie back in the bottle, or shove the cat back into the bag. Why did you "come out to them" in the first place. Do you want to change their beliefs? Did you feel like you were lying to them if you didn't come clean? You have to figure out why you broached the subject in the first place.