Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
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23-01-2014, 02:22 PM
Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
So I recently decided to take a couple of weeks off to go surprise my family back in Mississippi. Everything was great and I was generally having a good time putting aside our different opinions and just concentrating on loving my family. This changed after one conversation with my dad. In a nutshell he brought up God a religion almost every conversation with little blurbs like "well gotta thank God" and such. It got to the point that after two days I had to leave. But all of this aside I've noticed something about my family and the area in which we are from. The town I'm from has this effect on its people especially blacks, it slowly overtime just beats you to a pulp mentally unless you get out. There are no jobs the ones that due are crummy and everyone has a very negative and closed mindset. The only thing keeping them going is their belief in something better after death.

Now back to my dad. This trip help show me something I really didn't like to see. We moved to this town back when I was five and before then my dad had this ambition and drive about himself and I looked up to him dearly. He use to question things and even once around my teenage years I remember us getting "kicked out" of a church because of my dad trying to better understand the bible by asking questions. Fast forward to today. I don't know what it is but my dad is....hopeless. He's in a way looking forward to death to have a better life so to speak. He's become a heavy drinker and his mindset is just a mess. Every time I try and speak with him calmly about religion and such he just ends up yelling and cursing or trying to switch the subject. At one point in time he got angry at me because I sounded "too white" meaning I didn't talk like a....well you know where I'm going. I think this upset me the most.

Anyway sorry for the rambling just wanted to vent about all of this. I guess family is relative and just because someone shares your bloodline doesn't entitle you to like them.
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23-01-2014, 02:29 PM
RE: Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
Sounds like depression, or maybe fear of death?
Doesn't sound like he wants to hear anything. Just let him be.

Atir aissom atir imon
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23-01-2014, 03:32 PM
RE: Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
There is nothing "white" about speaking with proper grammar, correct pronunciation and a vocabulary that would distinguish you from uneducated (by choice) and ignorant (by choice). There is nothing "black" about using words like "ain't" and a dazzling amount of double negatives.

If someone cannot speak properly, then I will not hire them. What could they possibly contribute?

So the way you communicate is very important...if you ever want a decent job.

Now, I'm sorry about your dad. Do you need to speak with him about religion at all? Other than to tell him to respect your lack of one?

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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23-01-2014, 06:49 PM
RE: Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
Maybe he's looking back on his life and wondering what he's actually achieved? He sounds like he needs the idea of heaven and it has become an emotional crutch giving meaning to his current existence.

He'll be bringing the subject up all the time because he emotionally doesn't want any doubt on the subject and the fact that you are an atheist opens up the possibility that he is wrong. It's probably best to avoid religious discussions with him and if he persists just lay it on the line. tell him that he won't be able to convince you otherwise and that you should both respect each other's beliefs.
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26-01-2014, 01:52 AM
Re: Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
This seems like a issue many may deal with. Try and remember that your father is seeing times change right before his eyes. The older generation can't deal with the Millennials. Homo sexuality is a most likely something he has his on opinion on as well. Times are changin with or without him. Your father and those in the withering town are waiting to die. God or no god that's not the way to livebthis life. It can be heaven or hell. Its your choice. Good luck to you my friend and always question everything. Why? Because we can.
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26-01-2014, 12:02 PM
RE: Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
I saw the similar thing in my grandma. She often prayed god wouid just "take" her to heaven because she was so tired of living what she felt was a crap life.

It's sad because obviously the point of living life was lost on her.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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30-01-2014, 08:57 AM
RE: Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
(26-01-2014 01:52 AM)Mrmojoblues Wrote:  This seems like a issue many may deal with. Try and remember that your father is seeing times change right before his eyes. The older generation can't deal with the Millennials. Homo sexuality is a most likely something he has his on opinion on as well. Times are changin with or without him. Your father and those in the withering town are waiting to die. God or no god that's not the way to livebthis life. It can be heaven or hell. Its your choice. Good luck to you my friend and always question everything. Why? Because we can.

Yes he has a big problem with homosexuality my entire family does. I can tell that he is disappointed when he talks about events in his life and in a way he lives through the accomplishments of myself and my sister. I think that's why he is so caught up on me not wanting kids at all too. To him its just not natural seeing as the old ways is to be born grow up fall in love have kids and die and go to heaven. It just pains me a little to have someone I looked up to so heavily seem so...weak and hopeless.
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31-01-2014, 11:56 PM
RE: Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
For what it's worth, although my father knows I'm an atheist, he still pretends I'm not... and I let him. There's no harm in it, and if I get sick of hearing him ramble on about religion, I change the subject to sports or politics, and that's the end of that.

Softly, softly, catchee monkey.
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02-02-2014, 05:57 AM
RE: Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
I sympathise with your dad. I'm freaked out that my life may just be filled with disappointments. I've almost given up on the whole marriage thing. In fact I've had many conversations with the maids and other family members questioning the point of marriage in this day and age. I guess I'm secretly trying to turn myself away from wanting to marry one day. I feel like my life is in a rut. I often fantasise about asking cops and security guards to shoot me dead.

8000 years before Jesus, the Egyptian god Horus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life."
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03-02-2014, 07:30 PM
RE: Seeing family for the first time since I've announced my atheism
You're just going to have to accept what your dad is going through and try to mend bridges. As long as he's not constantly admonishing you for your personal opinions, you'll be more comfortable around him.

I can relate to you when family members are always saying things like, "May God bless you", or, "I'm praying for you". At times, I find their remarks rather insulting, especially when I'm thinking to myself they should have the mindfulness to not have the audacity to say things like that to me, around me, or about me, especially when I don't share their same convictions. You can't change people into being more considerate about your opinions on matters they're too ignorant to not be myopic on, but what you can do, is try to divert the conversation to something else and focus on topics you'd both rather off enjoy.

He's your father and that will never change no matter what his belief system is. I'm sure there are many things about him that will mostly remain constant whether or not his belief system will change. All you can do now, is appreciate those values he still has, and try to focus on things other than religion as the topic is obviously hampering your relationship. You should also appreciate his previous insatiable desire for seeking the truth. From what you've told us, I can safely assume he's going through a tough time, and he's using religion as a crutch to help him. If indeed, he finds protection in that and it keeps him from going on the loose end, you should support him.


We can't change people, they can only truly change themselves. Let him come around, and if not, don't worry, he's still your father in the end and you should focus on other topics. When he brings god into the conversation, just try your best to divert the topic to another topic, that will keep him like a dog chasing a frisbee before he starts chewing on it. I know it's bad to think about it like that, but it works! If it grants everybody peace in the end, then there's no harm in manipulating conversations for everybody's comfort and helps you see the dad again you thought you once knew.

Everyday is judgement day. Use your judgement, use reason.
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