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Help me...my family is religious!

 
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Joined:
January 5, 2005
Posts: 915

PostPosted:     Post subject: Help me...my family is religious!
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If you have a religious family, please share how you deal with their beliefs.
Are there constant arguments?
Mutually agreed upon subject avoidance?
Mutual respect for each other's opinions?
Bloodshed and B---- slapping?

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chief60
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Posted:     Post subject:

`I've never told anyone that I don't believe in God. I knew a long time ago that I could never change their minds, and that telling them would just start a riot. Even my wife just always took it for granted that I believed. I just try hard to always avoid the subject.
This might not be for you, but it's always worked for me.

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ihumanable
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.I struggled with my lack of faith for a long time. I look at the language that I just used and realize how ridiculous it is, it is not a lack of faith, it is an overabundance of common sense. I heard so many people talk about how they felt when they converted to their religion and how much joy they felt and I couldn't relate until I openly and honestly told people that I was atheist. My born again mother hated it, my christian girlfriend couldn't continue on with someone damned to burn in hell, and some of my more religious friends never looked at me the same again. Ask me if I regret my decision and I will tell you not one bit.

The act of being honest and steadfast in your convictions is the most liberating and amazing experience, I'm glad I was able to have the strength to do it. I can't make the decision for you, but my story has some happy endings, my mom is not thrilled about my decision but after discussion she realizes I'm not rebelling and that as fulfilled as Christ makes her feel, knowing that this is our life to live makes me just as fulfilled and she supports me. I have been able to repair most of my friendships and the ones I have not probably weren't ones healthy for me anyways.

You can never be wrong when you are speaking the truth, but know that there are consequences and that it might be difficult. The rewards though are great, no more fretting about people finding out your secret, no more living a secret second life, no more denying the truth of life.

It is my sincere hope that no matter what you do you find happiness and meaning. Know that you are not alone, you are not the first to deal with this, and that for everyone that stands up and says they don't believe in the invisible man -- they are lowering the bar for the rest of the forced believers. It is our time to help our fellow man who know that religion is the rationalization of the unknown by primitive peoples and that we are now smart enough and have learned enough to not live in fear anymore.

Nothing in life worth doing is easy, this is no different, best of luck to you.
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sane1




sane1

Joined:
June 4, 2008
Posts: 1

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`I can relate to your problem. In my family there is a certain amount of subject avoidance. It is difficult if not impossible to change some peoples minds about their religious beliefs. The problem is getting them to think honestly and critically about WHY they believe what they believe, which is ultimately because someone influential in their lives led them to believe the dogma that they subscribe to.

There are many ways to debunk scripture and dispute the power of prayer. Many very learned authors have provided us with facts and insight to carefully articulate our reasons for not subcribing to religion. The problem, as always, is getting religious people to carefully consider their reasons for believing. Monotheistic religions take great measures to terrify people into not questioning the law of God. For centuries the penalty for this transgression was torture and death. The penalty hasn't changed, only in some countries you get your sentence on the other side of the grave.

I will paraphrase an author who is much more learned than myself by saying that religion is the only sphere of human discourse in which it is considered noble to to be absolutely certain about things for which you have no domonsrable evidence. In any other context this sort of certainty would be considered madness or stupidity.

Maybe we could try explaining to our lovedones that we feel that the same system of assurances that provide the foundation for our beliefs on other matters should apply to religious beliefs as well. We could explain to them that something that requires such commitment as to mandate the structuring ones life should not be entered into on faith alone. After all, banks don't loan money on faith, you must prove that you have the means and the inclination to repay the loan. People in the US don't enter into marriage on faith, there is a binding contract between them with penalties for violating the terms of the contract. Corperations do not hire employees on faith, adoption agencies don't place children on faith, there is no area of modern life in which important decisions are made soley on the basis faith. And yet we are told by the faithful that we should enter into a life of servitude, self deprication, and repression on the basis of faith in a God described in ancient books written by ignorant people during the infancy of humanity. One of many ancient books that assert the existance of gods that have since been relegated to the realm of mythology.

If we tried this approach we would probably be stopped well short of making our point. We would be met with some vague incoherent explanation of how our lack of faith prevents us from being able to resolve the questions we have about God.

Let's try a different approach. Let's enter into an agreement with our religious friends. Let's offer to read a chapter of the Bible (Quoran, etc.) and do a short report on it's significance and in return our friends will write a short
report on how they became introduced to their faith for the very first time. Next, we read another chapter followed by a report (listing our questions and comments) and we have our friend reserch the the origins of their holy book using various sources and provide a report. We read another chapter and ask them to do a report on the crusades. Another chapter and they report on the inquisition. Another chapter and they report on the role religion played in the confederate arguement prior to the civil war in the US. Another chapter and they report on the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia.

In this manner we may be able to allow them to discover some facts for themselves that they ordinarily would not accept from us. For our part, the research will only bolster our arguement as the inconsistencies and contradictions in the Holy scriptures become manifest under the light critical scrutiny. It is however, requisite that the person of faith be reasonable and intelligent in all other matters aside from religious belief. People who lack the capacity to comprehend what they read will only make the research conform to their beliefs. They will find God between the text.

I hope that this helps you. Congradulations on being intellectually honest enough to question that which defies reason. Unfortunately, we are a minority.

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andy41




andy41

Joined:
May 2, 2008
Posts: 2

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`I, saw a recent poll that 92 percent of americans said they believed in god,I would say that realy their are closer too 10% rabid athist,10-15% total believers and 75-80% are fence siters,regarding the existance of god ,but wish they were'nt, but have been brainwashed into believing morality,society,being a good person,everything to them is based on religon.The way some religious people can't even have a sensible discution on Atheisum shows their faith is far more fragile than my atheistic beliefs.Glad to be rabid Athiest, reason,logic,truth the only true god.

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palegal




palegal

Joined:
June 29, 2010
Posts: 3

PostPosted:     Post subject:
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`My family is very religious...especially my mother and my grandparents (my grandparents are from Central America, so they are crazy religious.) I live with my mother and we have had many arguments about miracles, the existence of god, and creationism. Inevitably she gets angry with me and is baffled because i 'went to a good Christian school!' I suppose she's surprised I developed my own thoughts as I got older.
I haven't told her I'm an atheist because I'm fairly confident she would never speak to me again.

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bluesbassman




bluesbassman

Joined:
June 24, 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted:     Post subject:
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`Fear not little one. It might surprise you to know that 70% of all MENSA members do not believe in the fairy tales created by people centuries ago. In a time when people just didnt have enough scientific knowlege to be able to sort out fact from fiction. Im sorry that it has put a strain on your family dynamic. Sadly, like most of us here, that is the case. But trust in the fact that you are a stand out with the ability to think outside the box of ancient lore handed down from generation to generation. Find solice in the fact that there are others, many others out there who share your beliefs, and are just afraid to take it to the next level out of fear of being shunned. Here in my neck of the woods, these bible thumpin rednecks think that athiest means you worship the devil, who also does not exist. But then they think "W" was a great president too! LOL

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thylight
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Well it all depends on the degree to which they are religious, so dont take anyones advice too seriously (some religious people may do dangerous things if they find out youre not a member of their religion lol).

I have a religious family as well, they know I do not share their beliefs, and they use it to often mock me (my mom loves calling everyone who does not share her religious beliefs "primitive") and treat me as almost an inferior in all serious debate, which annoys the hell out of me, but nevertheless I seem to win every debate against them even 3 vs 1 haha. Logic ftw.

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dave82




dave82

Joined:
November 13, 2010
Posts: 3

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`I came from a religious background, but the only one who doesn't know I'm an atheist is my grandma, and that is just because I don't want to break her heart. The entire rest of my family knows and that fact is a huge liberation. If someone is wondering how their family will react to them "coming out of the atheist closet", then test them by putting the burden on someone imaginary. Tell them you met a girl (or guy, whatever your preference) who is an atheist and ask them if they would hold it against that person if they ever met them. Their reactions should tell you if it's safe to tell the truth. If you already have a gf/bf that they know, then just say it's a friend. The point is how they react to you communicating with an atheist will tell you how they would react to you being one. I am a very active atheist and I prefer everyone come out, but if it will cost you your family then it's just not worth it. However, if you have a family that would be OK with it and still stay closeted, then I see no reason for that. If the test shows they wouldn't disown you, then by all means, tell them. What good is a family that doesn't even know the real you? Like I said, my grandma thinks I'm religious, and it kills me that she doesn't even really know me. Every time I talk to her I wish she could know who I really am, but I am not so selfish as to break her heart and risk our relationship over something like that.

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aubreytang




aubreytang

Joined:
November 27, 2011
Posts: 1

PostPosted:     Post subject:
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`Hi there,

I am so glad there is such a community out there sharing this. I grew up in a Christian family, my father eventually became a pastor because he really wanted to have a post that he can be proud of. My parents are typical hypocrites like the rest of the church. I have tried to engage my parents in talks about their religion and sent multiple emails showing them how silly their religion is. However, my parents just choose to avoid this topic. I have now pretty much severed all communications with them because I just don't like them. My mom continues to send me emails asking me to reply because she is worried about me. I find it disgusting that she is always just trying to make herself feel better instead of really trying to reconcile with me.

My main problem is I don't know why I am so harsh on my parents. Partly, I blame them for being so stupid and lied to me all my life about god, hell and heaven and used religion as a guilty stick control over me and the rest of the family. However, I know that this is not their fault, it is only because they were also corrupted as kids and lied to. I am trying not to blame them or hate them because it is a waste of my time. Any good methods out there?

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user4574




user4574

Joined:
March 2, 2012
Posts: 2

PostPosted:     Post subject:
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`aubreytang, I know what you mean. I disconnected from my parents for two years before talking to them again. In those two years, I had learned to become my own person. I've seen them very very occasionally since the break. I told them up front that I was an atheist, and they respected it. They treat me like my own person now, which they never did before. I was suppose to think what they told me to think, and I never can get that part of my life back. I did eventually forgive them. Restarting a relationship with them is difficult though. It's a long road, but I know who I am and that's what is important to me.

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richturing




richturing

Joined:
March 25, 2012
Posts: 4

PostPosted:     Post subject: It is like coming out
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For many straight people this is a very close experiece to a GLBT person coming out. Your shunned and beat up by your own family's words. Perhaps your not even on speaking terms with them after the admission. Just like the gay folks often do , you cut your losses and "move to town" and make a new family.

I had Thanksgiving last year with a very wonderful diverse group of 'groupies' we were all colors and former religions Straight ,gay, TG and you know I shed a tear or two knowing my life took me this new direction and even worse my traditioanl family would never approve the diverisity in my life now a days. I was so sorry I kept this to my self and endured this religious bull for so many years to keep the family happy,, life is too short to be miserable. Even if you loose one family you will gain another.

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losingmymind01




losingmymind01

Joined:
June 2, 2011
Posts: 1

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`I'm not sure how I came out to my family. Just through discussions I guess. Once they realized, they tried to convert me through emails. lol Once they realized they couldn't do that, they stopped talking about it. If they try to push it on me or my kids, I just simply stop talking to them. If they want to be a part of our lives, they must respect my beliefs.

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kurtwagnerx3




kurtwagnerx3

Joined:
February 29, 2012
Posts: 1

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`aubrytang look people get set in they're ways and trying to change they're mind attitude or behavior is a lost cause for they're faith has become a psychological disorder that cannot be defeated with reason or facts keep in mind that most of the people who "believe" have never even read the bible (Koran book of Mormon what have you) and never will they just take it on faith that what other parishioners tell them is in the book is actually in there and anything they believe to be contrary to they're belief structure is a threat and must not be tolerated so the fact is that you cant save your family from ignorance but you can rise above it and love them anyway same as you would any other less fortunate person you dont have to like them but you can stand tall and do the morally right thing not because the bible tells you so but because you inherently know the right thing to do all you can do is lead by example and hope that they notice that the atheist is actually a more enlightened and socially evolved human being family is family and your bound to have someone you dont like in yours no matter who you are but being that you have decided to take a path of freedom and truth you have to try to be a better person than the person who was duped into servitude of pure fantasy and mental slavery i say if we rise above the biggotry and we do as much as we can to be the better "man"(or woman in between or otherwise) then we can overcome that which holds us all back which is religion i agree that it must be expelled like a cancer for our species to survive but its not gonna happen overnight unless we take a stance that mirrors the behavior of that which we are combating and let me be clear we are trying to fight against inequality and close mindedness are we not?

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amandamllr




amandamllr

Joined:
June 17, 2012
Posts: 1

PostPosted:     Post subject: Re: Help me...my family is religious!
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My family is also religious, mine just gets a tad annoying on the subject, but theres no "B---- slapping " lol. I get eye rolls, and pointed comments, but I tend to avoid the whole religion topic with them. I share a lot of atheist materials on my facebook page that pisses off my sister a lot, but so far no serious arguments over it. So I guess its a very stressed mutual respect for eachothers beliefs, even though I hate religion and everything it implies.

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