Parents Don't See The Irony
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29-07-2014, 10:07 AM
Parents Don't See The Irony
I must say, thank goodness for my theist grandparents, because they get it.

They were the start of the "mormon lineage" in my family, and got slammed by their baptist families because of it. Consequently, it is my assumption that this very fact is the reason for their kindness to my wife and I as we came out as atheist. My grandparents get it. Though I don't think they fully understand that I reject all and any forms of a greater power just yet (though I have used the term atheist), I am glad they don't persecute my wife and I for our stance on the whole god argument.

My parents on the other hand, very funny. I'm not mad at them anymore, but I find their refutations humorous, especially my mothers.

Luckily, my parents and I can have debates or conversations regarding their religion and my lack there of and live on to still speak to each other afterwards. This has not always been the case. But still in conversations they might let some strong language slip and the other day I tried to have my mother see the irony in it. My comparison went like this, tell me if it is a good way to explain this:

1) Jesus was a counterculture public figure. He went against the grain, was slain and crucified (assuming he existed), and now several million follow him for it.

2) The Huguenots in France were largely persecuted and in the end...millions are now protestants, living happy, normal lives.

3) Then in the 1830's, Joseph Smith comes around and creates mormonism. He was also strongly persecuted for his beliefs (or inappropriate sexual advances on other married women, but that's another story), but his followers were also persecuted and were told that they were deceived, but now, almost 200 years later, millions now follow this church.

4) Then, in the late 1980's, my mother meets my father who was a missionary in Spain and get's baptized. Her father never tells her to never go back till she is 18 and her sisters think she has been deceived and are very vocal. But now my mother has a happy life and a family that may carry on the mormon tradition (my siblings).

So I emphasize to my mother that all of these people including herself were rebels to an extent, and were treated quite harshly because of their beliefs.

I then tell her:

5) Then I, her son, 24 years later will come out as an atheist and reject the whole mormon church shortly after being married. Her son, me, will then experience strong slang expressed by his mother and father such as "anti-christ," "you and your evil doctrine," and "you have been deceived by the devil." Though as an atheist, these sentiments should mean nothing, but when I came out they were still very hurtful. I was compared to the worst of the worst in the eyes of the mormon church. Some rumors were going around that my wife and I worshiped the devil. Crazy stuff.

So I make this point to her:

The way your savior (Jesus) was treated, the way his early christians were treated, the way your fellow protestants were treated, the way your prophet and founder was treated, they way you (my mother) was treated when leaving have treated your sun likewise because of his change in belief or abandonment there of. Don't you see the irony in that? The same distress and shunning that you experienced shortly from your family, you did the same to me?

-----But, then the real answer comes out, the half explanation:

She replies "well I still believed in God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost."

Ah-ha! So the total issue is not that I left church, but that I left God as well.

I found that extremely interesting. I then went into explain her own church doctrine, and according to it, I am deceived and a liar, and subsequently a Son of Perdition, and consequently will be thrust into the pits of hell only because I rejected the only true church, the Mormon Church. So does it really matter if I believe in a god or not? Either way I see the same fate because I refuse to see eye to eye with the Mormon Church.

At this point my mother didn't really know what to say to that. At which point I tried to sow the seeds of doubt with this:

"Look at me, mom. Am I a terrible person? Have I committed crimes against humanity? Are you willing to stand by a religion that teaches that your son's soul is now nonredeemable? Because I assure you, I will never return. Are you willing to stand by a religion that says a person like me can't go to heaven and spend eternity with you?"

Then my mother says: "Well I don't even know if I will go to the Celestial Kingdom (heaven)."

I say: "What?! Mom, you are one of the best people I know! If God exists, and he rejects someone like you from entering heaven, surely this god is a dick. Why do you feel guilty? Why have you allowed a religion to manipulate you and make you feel guilty where the worst thing you have done are a couple communication errors? Can you not see that the church has designed it's followers into guilt in order to stabilize them and collect tithing? "

Anyways, this is the conversation we had, anyone experience similar conversations?

"A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be."- Albert Einstein.

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Steven Hawking
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