Religious Family
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19-12-2011, 01:07 AM
RE: Religious Family
Just openly announce that you're an atheist,they obviously already know.
Might as well be open about it...

The meaning of peace is the absence of opposition to socialism.
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19-12-2011, 05:31 AM (This post was last modified: 19-12-2011 05:43 AM by Malleus.)
RE: Religious Family
(19-12-2011 01:07 AM)znk666 Wrote:  Just openly announce that you're an atheist,they obviously already know.
Might as well be open about it...

That like button, so close to "Reply" Big Grin

I'm not sure that is good advice.

I personally believe that gathering your family together and going: "Dearly beloved, I have an announcement to make. I am an atheist. Questions?" is a very poor approach.

First of all, by doing so, you give them the false impression that they have a say in it. That is your personal position and you have the right to make the choice alone as it only concerns you.

Second, you are making a big deal out of it, you may shock them, you force them to swallow all at once and they will have a negative reaction to it. Many people don't even properly know what being an atheist means.

I remember a comedian quoting her mother: "Not believing in God, that I can understand, but being an Atheist too? What the fuck?"

I am not closeted, I didn't even have that choice. I was fully trained to become a priest. My family paid good money to get me there, for 10 years. They had good reasons to expect it to happen quite soon. They had been jokingly calling me "father" most of my life. I had been conducting prayers at all our family events for many years. I was their go-to guy for all religious matters and not only.

I had to give good explanations why it will never happen and why they should completely stop hoping about it.

Everybody who cares about me knows fully well that I no longer consider myself a Christian, that I am no longer religious and I no longer believe. I am no longer expected to go to church (except weddings and funerals), or to fast or to pray with them. And when they say something about god, religion, saints, miracles, I get to say exactly what I believe about it. When you manage to accomplish that without burning your bridges, some people will ask at some point "does that mean that you're an atheist now?" And when you say "Yes, I guess I am" that's not a shocker any more.

My family never asked that question, but that is not the point. They understand *me* and who I am without putting me in a box. They see I am happy, that I actually did something with my life after dropping religion and they are very proud of me. If anything, they trust and respect me now more than ever, but I think we would have walked an entirely different path if my way of breaking the truth to them were "Hi, remember me? I'm an atheist and what do you think about that?"

Oh, no Hallucinations 4:11 says the 'gilded sheep should be stewed in rat blood' but Morons 5:16 contradicts it. (Chas)

I would never shake a baby unless the recipe requires it.
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30-12-2011, 03:11 PM
RE: Religious Family
Thanks a lot guys, it realy helps knowing I'm not alone in this, appreciate your support!

Today I had an argument with my mom about religion, and she said I should go to a Rabbi and confront him with all the contradictions I threw at her (contradictions in religion in general and Jewdaism in particular).
I replied I won't waste my 1 free day in the week (Im in the military) on debating stupid subjects such as religion with some guy.
She told me I don't want to talk to the Rabbi 'cause I'm scared of breaking my atheist world view, and no matter how much I tried to explain to her it was laziness rather than fear, she repeated that stupid claim over and over again.

Don't get me wrong, I love my mother, but she's kind of a religious zombie.
For instance, in the argument, she actually asked me to present evidence for the lack of god, and no matter how much I explained that you can't prove a negative, she ensisted on it without even listening to my logical explanations.

Any ideas about how I relate to her so that she can actually understand what I'm saying without shutting down and going on the defence?

(16-12-2011 07:29 PM)Azaraith Wrote:  I feel very similar... My dad pretends that I'm still a Christian. He makes religious statements, says he's praying for me, etc even though I've made my beliefs known. My mom acknowledges my beliefs and 'debates' with me, but has made comments along the lines of "Christians think atheists are stupid." Hint hint, I think you're stupid for being an atheist.

My boss is worse though, he asks if I've found a church, attributes my skills to God and says that we shouldn't have a separation between "life" and "work," but do everything in the glory of God. I only put up with it because it pays significantly more than any other job that I know I could get right now, especially in this economy. He doesn't know I'm atheist though, as I've kept absolutely quiet about that at work. I wouldn't want to put my job/career in jeopardy...

Wow man, I thought my story is tough, but your's really takes the cake.
I live in Israel, where religion isn't as big a deal as in the US, so if you claim to be an atheist, you wouldn't pay a price of loosing your job or something.

(19-12-2011 01:07 AM)znk666 Wrote:  Just openly announce that you're an atheist,they obviously already know.
Might as well be open about it...

(19-12-2011 05:31 AM)Malleus Wrote:  
(19-12-2011 01:07 AM)znk666 Wrote:  Just openly announce that you're an atheist,they obviously already know.
Might as well be open about it...

That like button, so close to "Reply" Big Grin

I'm not sure that is good advice.

I personally believe that gathering your family together and going: "Dearly beloved, I have an announcement to make. I am an atheist. Questions?" is a very poor approach.

First of all, by doing so, you give them the false impression that they have a say in it. That is your personal position and you have the right to make the choice alone as it only concerns you.

Second, you are making a big deal out of it, you may shock them, you force them to swallow all at once and they will have a negative reaction to it. Many people don't even properly know what being an atheist means.

I remember a comedian quoting her mother: "Not believing in God, that I can understand, but being an Atheist too? What the fuck?"

I am not closeted, I didn't even have that choice. I was fully trained to become a priest. My family paid good money to get me there, for 10 years. They had good reasons to expect it to happen quite soon. They had been jokingly calling me "father" most of my life. I had been conducting prayers at all our family events for many years. I was their go-to guy for all religious matters and not only.

I had to give good explanations why it will never happen and why they should completely stop hoping about it.

Everybody who cares about me knows fully well that I no longer consider myself a Christian, that I am no longer religious and I no longer believe. I am no longer expected to go to church (except weddings and funerals), or to fast or to pray with them. And when they say something about god, religion, saints, miracles, I get to say exactly what I believe about it. When you manage to accomplish that without burning your bridges, some people will ask at some point "does that mean that you're an atheist now?" And when you say "Yes, I guess I am" that's not a shocker any more.

My family never asked that question, but that is not the point. They understand *me* and who I am without putting me in a box. They see I am happy, that I actually did something with my life after dropping religion and they are very proud of me. If anything, they trust and respect me now more than ever, but I think we would have walked an entirely different path if my way of breaking the truth to them were "Hi, remember me? I'm an atheist and what do you think about that?"

Maybe I haven't made myself clear, I'm not a closet atheist, my parents know im an atheist and I'm not shy or apologetic about it.

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to
believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
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