Religious mother/atheist daughter
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
07-04-2012, 09:39 AM
Religious mother/atheist daughter
With Easter being upon us, my mother seems to be having trouble with not shoving her religion down my throat. I grew up christian and haven't been an atheist for very long. I don't feel comfortable coming out but I feel as if I am being forced out. Knowing her, she would literally have a breakdown if I use the A - word. She is very sensetive and protective of her faith. She keeps pressuring me to go to church with her and bring my kids along because she "wants us in heaven with her when its all over". She knows I have issues with church and the bible but doesn't know that I flat out don't believe this crap anymore. She is not above using shame and guilt to make me feel bad so I am stuck here. My kids are very close with her and I don't wish to ruin that for them. How do you reject someone's faith being pushed on you without sounding like an asshole?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes AtheistAmy's post
07-04-2012, 10:06 AM
RE: Religious mother/atheist daughter
That is the sucky thing about some religious people. They only have a one sided idea of respect. You respect their ideas and they expect you to walk on eggshells around them. Does your mother have the same approach to your beliefs (or lack there of)? Of course not, at least for the moment.
Pick and chose your fights. Coming out of the atheist closet on Easter is probably a bad idea, but eventually you should tell her. Family should be able to be truthful to each other. It took a few years, but now the inlaws and parents respect that we are raising our kids to be smart in science first, and once they get old enough to make their own decisions then they will make them and I will love them regardless.
Difficult decisions.

"Praise Sweet Baby Jesus!" - RevJ. Cool

My Sites: www.jesuschristarcade.com - www.facebook.com/jesuschristarcade - Twitter@jesusarcade
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like reverendjeremiah's post
07-04-2012, 10:25 AM
RE: Religious mother/atheist daughter
It might not even make a difference if you were to reveal your atheism.
My wife's parents are heavily religious an her mom is always asking her I she wants to come to church no matter how many times she says no.
My wife isn't big on confrontation and isn't actually a proclaimed atheist anyways so she's never said anything other than no. But you'd think they would take the hint.
Oh and we live with them Sad so she gets asked every Saturday. They don't ask me because while I haven't confronted them with being an atheist I'm sure they've heard me listening to carlin or Seth. They must have seen me reading one of my science books or my anti theism books.
I'm also pretty sure they blame me for her not going to church and being a good Mennonite girl which is only partially true. She stopped going to church when given the option at 13.
My only conversion assistance comes from how I've helped her become more independent and less reliant on what men think. Mennonite culture is extremely mysoginistic and she was very enveloped in the idea that women should ask a man and leave the thinking to them.
It took a while before she would just tell me what she wanted without askin me what I wanted.
I'm very proud of her.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 2 users Like lucradis's post
08-04-2012, 02:47 AM
RE: Religious mother/atheist daughter
I do not consider myself closeted by any standards. I made it very clear a while ago that I don't do church and praying and that I deeply despise religious leaders. Whenever they discuss any kind of supernatural topic in my presence, I make it clear that I don't believe that crap. If they want to know why, I tell them. It took years to get where I am, but I was talking to my christian mother yesterday and Easter came up.

I told her that business is kind of slow due to holidays and I use that as an opportunity to rest a bit. I was so proud of her! She didn't even mention church. She only asked how my wife and I are celebrating and I told her that we will probably go out and do something fun, which is absolutely true, or so I hope.

However, I never dropped the A-bomb on her. I mean, if she ever asks me if I'm an atheist, I will say yes and she won't be too surprised, but I didn't do an official "coming out". I didn't gather my family to tell them "dearly beloved, I want to let you all know that I am an atheist" because I think that's dumb.

First of all, you give them the false impression that they have a say in it. They don't. Second, you give them the opportunity to team up against you and it can end up badly. Third, you are making a big deal out of it and you are begging for repressive actions like disowning, getting excluded from all family meetings and pathetic attempts at "opening your eyes". If you walk in your family's home and you find 38 of your family members and friends, all carrying letters and speeches, ready to confront you for your atheism addiction, you *really* mishandled your coming out and/or, you may want to consider being an orphan in the future. It's really going to suck to be you. Last, but not least, I take no pleasure in making my mother suffer. Telling her that I am an atheist would only cause her unnecessary pain.

For some reason, "I don't believe any more" and "I am an atheist" are completely different things to them. Right now, they know exactly who I am and what I think and what I believe. They don't think that anything is wrong with that. Calling it "Atheism", even if that's exactly what it means and nothing more, would make it wrong. I don't think that teaching them semantics is worth the pain.

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.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Malleus's post
08-04-2012, 03:07 AM (This post was last modified: 08-04-2012 03:11 AM by Logisch.)
RE: Religious mother/atheist daughter
(07-04-2012 09:39 AM)AtheistAmy Wrote:  With Easter being upon us, my mother seems to be having trouble with not shoving her religion down my throat. I grew up christian and haven't been an atheist for very long. I don't feel comfortable coming out but I feel as if I am being forced out. Knowing her, she would literally have a breakdown if I use the A - word. She is very sensetive and protective of her faith. She keeps pressuring me to go to church with her and bring my kids along because she "wants us in heaven with her when its all over". She knows I have issues with church and the bible but doesn't know that I flat out don't believe this crap anymore. She is not above using shame and guilt to make me feel bad so I am stuck here. My kids are very close with her and I don't wish to ruin that for them. How do you reject someone's faith being pushed on you without sounding like an asshole?
I am not sure if you have ever actually been religious. If not, I think it might be very difficult to understand where she is coming from. I know when I was extremely religious many years ago, I did not consider the possibility that I could be wrong, was wrong and that there was an alternative. It was the only way I knew, the only thing I knew and I knew I was right. Period. Opposing views were wrong, god was the truth, and it came down to the fact that I just needed them to understand how much they needed jesus in their life so they could be saved.

Depending on your views of this, drawing a clear line in the sand can be a very difficult thing to do.

My wife's mother is a hardcore catholic. She has no idea (at least right now) that I am an atheist OR that her daughter is agnostic. No idea. At some point I realize I may end up having the difficult conversation when me and my wife decide to have children. But that point is neither here nor there.

I have told my wife though: If I have to be the bad guy. If it means protecting my children so that they can think freely and decide for themselves someday at the cost of my relationship between me and her mother, so be it. She said she hopes her mom is understanding of it, but I think deep down we know it won't work out that way, but you'd have to know her mom to understand that.

Protecting relationships can be very difficult. The easiest way to first approach it is diplomatically.

This is the way I would try approaching it first, but again, this is only my opinion on the matter.

"Mom, I understand and respect the fact that you have your own beliefs. I think you know though that I do not agree with the bible and am not particularly religious and I haven't been for a great deal of time. I understand how you feel about heaven and that you want my family there but I think that my children are far too young to be able to make up their mind about religion. It's something that should be left for people to decide when they are adults, they are young and impressionable and are taking a lot of information in at their age. I want you and them to have a great family relationship and I want you and them to be able to enjoy each others company and I think we can do that without including religion in the mix, especially at their age. I understand you may not agree with me and it's hard for me to draw a line in the sand about this, but I hope you can understand. After all, I am their parent and it is my call."

If she pulls a shame and guilt card, I would say that is pretty low. Unfortunately, I am also used to having this card pulled on me and my wife from her mom. I remember when my wife made the decision to move 1500 miles to finally close the gap on our long distance relationship, her mom pulled a guilt trip on her saying she was selfish and wanted nothing to do with her family, refused to talk to her for months on end... it was crazy. We actually got married without any ceremonies including religion or such first for tax purposes (we had a wedding date set as a "traditional" wedding a year out, but she had no insurance, so we figured hey let's go ahead and do it this way first, help us out and then worry about the other wedding later, paperwork out of the way, make life easier). We went ahead and threw a 'traditional' wedding to appease her side of the family, but when they found out we were already married her mom flipped the fuck out and even resorted to sending MY PARENTS hate mail for my parents "allowing us" (yeah because it was their choice) to get married without her knowing. We knew she wouldn't understand which is why we never told her, but one of the witnesses decided to tell her (how nice of them).

Truth of the matter is: This is your life, you are their parent, you are responsible for raising them for how you feel is best. While I think yes of course, family is blood and we of course want it to go the best we can, sometimes we do have to make difficult decisions, draw a clear line in the sand and set boundaries and that people need to understand that they need to respect them.

I've had to resort a few times to refusing contact with some family members over extreme situations and still to this day make no contact and pretty much act as if they don't exist. I set boundaries, they broke them, they disrespected me and my family, that was that. Perhaps that sounds cold, harsh, blunt. But life in my eyes, is far too short for drama, disrespect, harassment and things that cause our lives to be a living hell (figuratively speaking of course).
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Logisch's post
24-05-2012, 04:11 AM
RE: Religious mother/atheist daughter
in my opinion, do not avoid the issue, sit her down and talk it out in a calm collected manner.

I'm an atheist and always have been, my wfe used to be a Fundie Baptist (until she met me) and her family is the same way. When our son was born my mother in law came to visit. The VERY FIRST SUNDAY after my son was born they tried to dress him up to take him to church and baptize him. The did this without my wifes or my approval. I admit i got angry, but i sat them down and told them "listen, i know your very adamant about your beliefs...but i do not share them, and as my son cannot speak i speak for him and we will not go to church until he makes that decision for himself". My in laws left that day, calling usheathens and that we were damning our son to an eternity in hell. We did not speak to my in laws for 6 months.

Its going to suck, and they are going to get either violent or angry. But, we have never regretted our decision.

Shock And Awe Tactics-- The "application of massive or overwhelming force" to "disarm, incapacitate, or render the enemy impotent with as few casualties to ourselves and to noncombatants as possible"
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Likos02's post
21-06-2012, 04:43 AM
RE: Religious mother/atheist daughter
Welcome to my world.

My mother is a relativist christian. While she refuses to think people are atheists, she tries her best to tolerate my beliefs. We've sat down and discussed things, yet she'll always doubt whether a person can die with out belief.

Any new discovery in science I'm excited about, I have to sit down and make sure it doesn't conflict with her beliefs first. So we don't have to go down the "what ever truth works for you" route. Where she starts to inject christianity in at certain points with out realizing it.

Now I avoid those things with her, and save them for my atheist friends.

Member of the Cult of Reason

The atheist is a man who destroys the imaginary things which afflict the human race, and so leads men back to nature, to experience and to reason.
-Baron d'Holbach-
Bitcion:1DNeQMswMdvx4xLPP6qNE7RkeTwXGC7Bzp
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: