@ThereAndBackAgain thanks for the encouragement! I feel that I was definitely indoctrinated as a small child. My mom lead me in the "sinner's prayer" when I was 2 years old. WTF? Why? All I want now is to help my brother see that he was indoctrinated too. But none of the conversations I've had have been productive.
I've gone back and forth with my mom over the past few days. It's been a little frustrating. I had no idea how crazy my parents beliefs had become. She mentioned the "overwhelming evidence of God." When I asked her about that evidence she said, "all the healing, visions, prophetic messages, miracles and angel appearances, plus the people who have died, gone to heaven and come back to tell us about it, including grandma's dad (her grandfather), you have decided you know better than anyone else." I immediately responded, "Well, I don't believe a single one of those things has ever actually happened." Her response, "Why do you think none of those things ever happened? Why would people make it up?" OMG, seriously? Why would people make it up? I said, "I can't infer motive on anyone specifically but I can say that there are a lot of reason to make stuff like that up. Things like attention, power, and money to state a few. Sometimes people will make up a story just to try to make their point of view seem more valid in the eyes of others. Stories often get embellished and exaggerated. Someone hears one of these stories, believes it to be true and repeats is to others as "truth". There are endless possibilities for the questions of why these stories exist. That's why we should require proof. It's like the story I was told once of a guy eating a steak from Outback that someone peed on. I believed it without proof and a private investigator showed up at my door asking me where I heard the story. He wanted proof. He had spent months tracking this story just trying to get to the bottom of it. Why would someone make up a story about someone peeing on their steak at Outback? I have no idea! When we stop thinking critically about the things we are told and we stop asking for proof, we can start to believe many things that aren't true. There are still people who genuinely believe the earth is flat!" (The private investigator from Outback is a true story. Taught me a serious lesson about not just believing everything you hear, even when you think you have a reliable source.)
She replied with, "I was healed once and I didn't make it up. I'll tell you about it if you ever want to know."
I'm not going to respond anymore. I think both she and my dad are to entrenched in their beliefs. I'm not sure about my kids. I never want them to tell my kids that they deserve hell unless they believe. I'm ending the indoctrination of children that has spanned my blood line for generations. I'd be okay without my parents in my life but I don't want my kids feeling like they missed out on knowing their grandparents.
I keep thinking about all the crazy things my parents do. They just bought a new house and yes, God told them to buy it. They're in their mid 60's. All their kids are gone and they upsized from a 3 bedroom house to a 4 bedroom house on a lake. They seriously said that God told them to do it. Who upsizes in their mid 60s?
I could go on all night with all the crazy shit they say and do. OMG it feels so good to get this all out. I've only had my wife to talk to about it before now.
@DarkBishop thanks for reading and the warm welcome.
@SkepticsApprentice I'm glad my story connected with you. I agree wholeheartedly that we can't live the only life we get just trying to please others. That's the reason I'm out with my family as being agnostic/atheist (I'm not sure what to call myself). Take your time though. Don't feel rushed but certainly don't feel like you have to live a lie just to please them.
@DarkFlash so glad to meet you.