Talking to my Religious Mother
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25-08-2013, 07:42 AM
RE: Talking to my Religious Mother
Tell her to watch this.




But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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25-08-2013, 02:40 PM
RE: Talking to my Religious Mother
(25-08-2013 05:30 AM)PharaohKatt Wrote:  Thanks for the advice. I guess I was so caught up in what she had done to me, I forgot what her parents did to her. I understand the fear of hell all too well. I used to lie awake at night thinking my friends were going there.

I do feel like I need to discuss things with her, though. We didn't leave on a happy note and I'd rather not leave it that way.

Well, you can think of it this way. If talking about that sort of thing makes her worry about you then all you are really doing is hurting her to try to make yourself feel better. That doesn't seem fair. She will never understand. You will never get to her see your side. Trying to talk about it will only be a continual reminder to her that her baby is going to suffer torment forever and ever. So unless she wants to talk about it, I really think it's better to leave her alone...even if it's difficult for you. I mean, it's your mom and sometimes we have to do things for our moms, you know what I mean? You could call her just to chat, send her some flowers, take her to dinner, something that makes her happy but doesn't put pressure on the two of you to discuss the topic that is so upsetting to her. Good luck to you!
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25-08-2013, 04:49 PM
RE: Talking to my Religious Mother
(24-08-2013 04:33 PM)southernbelle Wrote:  I had a brief experience with something similar to this four years ago in the 8th grade. My mother found out I was atheist and would continually try and convert me. I eventually just went to pretending I had been converted back to Christianity to make things easier. Since you don't live with your mom, you're in a much better position than I ever was.

Maybe I'm not the best person for advice for this being only 17, but I feel that living in such a heavily religious area I know how Christians' and other theists' minds work. She'll never be completely okay with you being atheist, but she can learn to respect it. Think about it from her perspective, though. Her religion tells her that upon her death she and all other Christians will go to heaven to be reunited with their loved ones. Everyone else will go to hell. In her mind, she won't get to see you again in heaven, and you'll be condemned to an eternity of hellfire. It comes from a place of concern about you and wanting what she thinks is the best for you. She's scared for you. Now I'm not saying that by her believing this, she can disrespect your lack of religious beliefs, but it helps to understand her position.

Now, moving on to what I think might be the best approach. Start by telling her that you did not take your de-conversion lightly. The best way of helping her understand that you aren't trying to spit her or god is by finding something about Christianity that you like. Tell her that you understand where she is coming from and you appreciate her concern, but that her trying to convert you back is only driving you further into atheism. Even if you know you will never convert back, tell her that the best thing for her to do is to let you be. That if there really is a god it's something you'll need to come to realize on your own. Tell her you respect her religious beliefs, and you think it's admirable how committed to them she is but it's just not the right path for you. I don't know how well any of that will work but that's the best I can think that. Some of it might be white lies, but it's better for you to say a few little white lies in this discussion and still be able to have a relationship with your mom than be fully honest and have her no longer be a part of your life. All of what I told you is what I'm planning to tell my mom when I tell her that I am atheist several years down the road. I wish you the best.

Only 17? You are wise beyond your years! Very nice post. Welcome to the forum.
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31-08-2013, 07:07 AM
RE: Talking to my Religious Mother
(25-08-2013 02:40 PM)Dena Wrote:  
(25-08-2013 05:30 AM)PharaohKatt Wrote:  Thanks for the advice. I guess I was so caught up in what she had done to me, I forgot what her parents did to her. I understand the fear of hell all too well. I used to lie awake at night thinking my friends were going there.

I do feel like I need to discuss things with her, though. We didn't leave on a happy note and I'd rather not leave it that way.

Well, you can think of it this way. If talking about that sort of thing makes her worry about you then all you are really doing is hurting her to try to make yourself feel better. That doesn't seem fair. She will never understand. You will never get to her see your side. Trying to talk about it will only be a continual reminder to her that her baby is going to suffer torment forever and ever. So unless she wants to talk about it, I really think it's better to leave her alone...even if it's difficult for you. I mean, it's your mom and sometimes we have to do things for our moms, you know what I mean? You could call her just to chat, send her some flowers, take her to dinner, something that makes her happy but doesn't put pressure on the two of you to discuss the topic that is so upsetting to her. Good luck to you!

That's a good idea. Thank you Smile

“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?”
― Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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