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Have religious family? Can it get awkward?

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Federika22

Have religious family? Can it get awkward?

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I was just curious about other agnostic/atheist peoples experiences with their families...????I am pretty lucky that most of my family is not very religious. Some of them are christian-lite, meaning they probably believe in Jesus but they don't read the bible or go to church or talk about it- maybe it's a left-over comfort from their childhood or something. My mother's side is fairly open minded. I have one atheist aunt (but she doesn't study or talk about it), one uncle who is a published author of a couple of Zen books, and a bunch of other aunts, uncles, and cousins who aren't atheist but aren't religious. My mother (to our great consternation) turned christian after my father left her 6 years ago or so. She found the support she was looking for in a local church so she went for it, despite her former skepticism. She doesn't read the bible much, nor can she answer some of the questions we ask her, but she does think christianity is the only way to go. My brother flipped out when she told him that she wants him to be in heaven with her. My father's side is catholic, but it's definitely more of a cultural thing, rather than religious. My little grandmother has her statues and rosaries and such, but when my cousin decided to name his son Noah, she had no idea where that "weird" name came from.My father, himself, is another story. He started with Buddhism, Zen, and the like but soon got into New Age stuff. Now he practices with a small group who read the gnostic gospels, channel, and talk to yeshua. It is definitely very interesting. I don't have a lot of awkward moments with my family because for the most part they are accepting of whatever you want to do as long as you don't push it on them. However, I know that most of them prefer a person to say "I don't know what I believe in" to saying "I'm an atheist." For some reason that crosses the line, and I know this because I've heard them talk about my atheist aunt. My mother and I have gotten into discussions here and there, especially because she keeps encouraging me to join women's groups in her church. For a long time she still insisted I was going to heaven with her (because "God knows your heart") until I pointed out scripture from the bible saying otherwise. I'm not trying to torture her but just to get her to think again, not to just ignore the controversial parts of the bible, yet tell me I need to read it...that kind of stuff. I do have some family friends who live in Georgia (I live in CA) who want me to come out there for visits, and that is awkward because they are very christian and want to pray all the time in groups. When I have been around them before I've been the only one at the table not joining hands to thank jesus for the meal. The two people on either side of me have to stretch across me to hold hands. It's the kind of thing I might have gone along with when I was younger to be polite, but I hate that's it's acceptable to draw someone into something you know they don't believe in just because so many people go along with it. They always add a prayer for me after thanking jesus for the food. Needless to say, I don't see them very often... Edited by: Federika22 at: 9/29/06 12:41 am
funda62

Re: Have religious family? Can it get awkward?

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I'd say you are very lucky!My mother is uber religious. Whenever she says, "I'm praying for you" I just say "Thank you" and move on. She doesn't believe I'm truly an aethist because I was saved and baptized as a teenager. Whatever works for you mom.The last time I was in the states I went to church with my dad on Father's Day. It was awfull. The preacher talked about lustful girls who trap good god-fearing boys into getting them pregnant and then into letting them have abortions. I finally walked out and sat with my DD in the nursery until it was over. As long as I can help it I'll never set foot in a church again.My fil is retired imam (muslim religious leader), but except for asking me not to wear short pants wh en I visited, he was very nice to me and never asked me to cover my hair or anything like that. DH's family are all muslim, but it is more cultural than religious. I do not give my girls an option about believing in god. I know some people may blast me for that, but as someone who was indocternated from birth on religion I think it was extremely distructful to my life. I sometimes tell them stories from the bible as I think they need to know them for their education, but I call them "biblical fairytales" just as I call other things, "grimm's fairytales" or "greek myths". Funda
Federika22

Re: Have religious family? Can it get awkward?

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Funda, you really have had some interesting experiences. My mother is in denial about my salvation like yours and I have mixed feelings about this. Sometimes I want to let her be with her comfort and sometimes I want her to respect the fact that I have different views. In your case there is something written in Hebrews about the unforgiveable sin of knowing Christ and turning away. I wish I could remember it offhand. In my opinion, teaching your girls bible stories like other fairytales is a great things to do. Like you said, they will know them for their education, which is especially important in understanding our world of today. Like you, I'm not going to give my children a "choice" about religion until they are adults. I think it is irresponsible to do otherwise. Edited by: Federika22 at: 9/29/06 12:46 am
tomiichi

Re: Have religious family? Can it get awkward?

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I have strong Christian family, Catholic family, and Mormon family. Then there is my sister and I, atheist. I find it enjoyable to watch everyone praying for each other that one day they will convert and be able to see each other in heaven. Each group thinks the others are going to hell. Because of all the differing sides, my atheism is just another disease with the rest (according to them). I'm not bothered by it. Like I said, it's more comical to experience than anything.
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Re: Have religious family? Can it get awkward?

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My mom pretty much falls into the born again category and my sister is now faithful as well. The funny thing is that neither will discuss religion with me, they almost seem afraid of the information I have. And they know better than to preach at me.We get along in most other respects, but religion is a forbidden subject (their choice).Later
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