Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest bad_one

Parents that won't stop trying to convert me

Recommended Posts

Guest bad_one

I have told my parents a long time ago that I did not want their church or religion. About 17 years ago to be exact. They still do not quit with it though. It is like I was talking to air. Any time I have a problem they say "Did you pray about it?" . I get Bible verses emailed to me. I am going through a rough patch now and my family is more relentless than ever. My mother gave me a bible with marked pages to read. She also send me an article in the mail about ex-gay christian therapy groups. Being gay does not mix well with her christianity.

I love my family but they are about to drive me nuts with this. Talking with them hasn't worked. Its almost to the point where I don't want to be around them but I don't want to loose the family bond.

:ugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mother gave me a bible with marked pages to read.

 

Take those marked pages, go over to the skeptics annotated bible site and compare that person's notes with the verses that you mom marked out for you, and use that information to your advantage in showing why you hold your stance against the religion. :shrug:

 

 

I agree, this isn't the best advice, but it's a start.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bad_one
Take those marked pages, go over to the skeptics annotated bible site and compare that person's notes with the verses that you mom marked out for you, and use that information to your advantage in showing why you hold your stance against the religion.  :shrug:

I agree, this isn't the best advice, but it's a start.

 

Not a bad idea. I might do that.

I do try and avoid the religion topic as not to fight with them but they do not do the same for me. Maybe I can wear different t-shirts with big letters on them....I can start with "ex-christian" :grin:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think maybe it is a sign that they care for you. They see you are in a barrel about to go over the falls, and they want to fish you out.

 

It is hard to see one's own parents as just people with kids. When they hit you up with this stuff give them a big hug and a sloppy kiss and say I love you too. That should heap the burning coals on to their heads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A similar method would be sending them some "propaganda material" from whatever other faith you want... islam, buddhism, even satanism :fdevil: ... and attach a note asking them "How would you feel if I sent such stuff to you each and every day, knowing very well that you don't want it?!".

 

Of course, that's a very drastic measure, so it may be too much of a good thing in your case. :scratch:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A similar method would be sending them some "propaganda material" from whatever other faith you want... islam, buddhism, even satanism :fdevil: ... and attach a note asking them "How would you feel if I sent such stuff to you each and every day, knowing very well that you don't want it?!".

 

Of course, that's a very drastic measure, so it may be too much of a good thing in your case.  :scratch:

 

Sorry, but I think this only will make things worse. For the Christian parents, it is not a questions about being fair or polite. It is a matter of life or death, so they will by all available means try to save their relatives.

 

Unfortunately, I do not see any good solution for this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have told my parents a long time ago that I did not want their church or religion. About 17 years ago to be exact. They still do not quit with it though. It is like I was talking to air....She also send me an article in the mail about ex-gay christian therapy groups. Being gay does not mix well with her christianity.

I love my family but they are about to drive me nuts with this. Talking with them hasn't worked. Its almost to the point where I don't want to be around them but I don't want to loose the family bond.

:ugh:

 

Hey Bad One,

 

I can relate, man. The gay thing for my family and I was a HUGE issue and really never goes away. Surprisingly, my parents deal with me and my partner (and the whole related identity issue) better than the siblings. Go figure.

 

An old friend once told me, "It's just coincidence that you're related to these people." What we make of our relationships with family members who are simply hardheaded and insensitive is up to us: there is no "best" scenario since there is no ideal parent/child relationship.

 

I'd venture to guess that this will come to a head at some point, and you may have to tell them that if they want to even have a relationship with you, they'll have to back off on the religion/gay issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My husband tried giving his mom some books and articles on the historical Jesus so she could understand his doubts. It worked a little, but now he gets chastised for being gullible more often than he gets told he's going to hell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
She also send me an article in the mail about ex-gay christian therapy groups

You could tell her, thanks, you are spending some time with an ex-christian gay therapy group. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I have told my parents a long time ago that I did not want their church or religion. About 17 years ago to be exact. They still do not quit with it though. It is like I was talking to air. Any time I have a problem they say "Did you pray about it?" . I get Bible verses emailed to me. I am going through a rough patch now and my family is more relentless than ever. My mother gave me a bible with marked pages to read. She also send me an article in the mail about ex-gay christian therapy groups. Being gay does not mix well with her christianity.

I love my family but they are about to drive me nuts with this. Talking with them hasn't worked. Its almost to the point where I don't want to be around them but I don't want to loose the family bond.

:ugh:

 

Clearly your folks are in error with the way they are dealing with thier disapointment. It it obvious that they love you though. Some people are disowned by thier falimies because of thier sexual orientatin and/or nonbelief. It's very natural that you are flustrated with thier reactions. Very natural.

 

You can try debunking thier faith, but failing that, you can continue to at least get them to respect who you are. It might be good to remember that we are not always in control of people places and things. Make sure you are around people who totaly respect who you are. Make some time for that especially, if you can. Continue to post here, you know there are people here who see that your identity is valid. You are Valid.

 

Who are you? You are the same person that they knew before you came out. Accentuate the positive. Maybe that way they will slowly come to terms that you are still the same person who is worthy of love. You are thier flesh and blood afterall.

 

If you can handle it don't give up on them. In thier misguided way they have not given up on you. If you maintain the same likeable and lovable qualities that you always had maybe they will come to realize that they have not really lost you afterall.

 

The thing that makes it tough on you all is the doctrine of hell. They are wrong, but they do love you. Maybe they will just decide love and respect you for the amount of time they have with you in this life. I hope so. Since they do love you, it seems likely to me. Just continue to be the person you have always been. They may come around.

 

I am sorry that superstition is throwing sharp rocks in the way of your life path. It is YOUR life path. You are who you are and you deserve love and respect.

 

I feel for ya bad_one I really do. I hope they come around.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
About 17 years ago to be exact. They still do not quit with it though.

 

I am so sorry! der.. I've only had 3 hours sleep cramming for finals exams. I am kinda rummy. Sorry man.

 

If they have been like this for that many years.....

 

They still love you though. You may be stuck with things the way they are. I hope you have a circle of friends that are just like family to you. Maybe that will keep you sane while you put up with your families attempts at changing who you are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bad_one

Thanks so much for all of your input. It sure helps to have people to talk to that can relate.

My parents did throw me out when they found out I was gay but I had just turned 18 which made it easier. The whole basis for it was their religion. We didn't speak for years...about 6 years. Going to counseling helped me come to terms with what had happened and finding my own self. I also came to see that they are not going to change. I have since worked at building back a relationship with them. What is weird now is that they don't speak to my other 2 sisters who are christian/married with kids.

Things are coming to head with the whole trying to convert me thing. I am going through some really rough stuff now and they want to "help". Yesterday my aunt ...who is also equally as religious as my parents....threw everything she had at me. The getting saved story, how to believe, that I have been fooled and I am believeing lies, she even cried. I was able for the first time to counter each arguement without getting angry. I told her that I know she is telling me this out of love and that I loved her.

I guess it bothers me too that they see me as "damaged goods".

I thought I had most of the christian parochial school and being a pastors kid out of my head but when it gets thrown at me like it has been lately my head feels like it has been in a blender.

Anyways...thanks for letting me vent here and for some great advice. I am glad this site is here and that you all are here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello Bad one, I haven't had a chance to welcome you to the forum yet, so welcome! :)

 

First thing you have to realize that they have genuine fear for you. Their fear is so great it consumes them. It is fear that makes them come across so strong, no other emotion does that to people.

 

I went thru, and at times I'm still going thru that with my mom as well. I try to sawed my mother to use her 'god' given logic skills to decipher lies and bs.

 

I think your parents also to a degree feel they have somehow failed as parents, and want to fix it. I know that's one of the main emotions my mother feels, She feels she's going to have to stand in judgment for my lack of faith. I assure my mom that she was a good mother, although deceived by the cult (It's what I call the Church) I have blatant contempt for them, and don't hide that fact.

 

However, back to the failing thing, The truth of course being irrelevant, they didn't fail, but because you didn't turn out how they envisioned, they feel somehow they have failed you and god.

 

Point out to them your good qualities attribute your good qualities to them, How you are a critical thinker, You take pride in being an individual. You feel secure in your search with your creator, and you're skeptical when it comes to doctrines.

 

I know it's hard to convince people who refuse to see it any other way but their own way. I would also point out to them that each of us has our own paths in life, your path isn't their path so on and so forth. The old Jewish proverb goes, There are two paths to God, One yours and One mine.

 

this is my $0.02

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the same problem with my parets, except they aren't as agressive. They kind of suspect I am an atheist now and even the preacher at the church I attend has given up on me. lol I do think they care but it just seems kind of stupid now cause I am almost a grown man.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
.... I have since worked at building back a relationship with them. What is weird now is that they don't speak to my other 2 sisters who are christian/married with kids....

 

I guess it bothers me too that they see me as "damaged goods".

 

Sounds like they've got some problems just getting along with others. It's sad. So they've alienated their two other grown kids, too? Lordy. My folks tell me every once in a while that they've had to learn to listen to their grown children and then keep their feelings to themselves (I think my dad's words were, "just keep my mouth shut"). Hard lesson for some. Maybe some in your family need you to show them the way to actually act like a grown up and get along with others in the sandbox :) .

 

Hmm...the damaged goods comment is really right on. This is what happens to most of us gay folks and it really takes a lot of inner strength to go beyond it, especially when those around you are treating you like that. Being referred to constantly as an "abomination" gets real tired, real fast. You seem to have taken a higher road of tolerance and acceptance: someday hopefully they'll see that.

 

Take care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dont see the point in debunking your parents faith. I tried it for a short period of time and it was a disaster. With negative life long concequences. Most christian parents I know invest way too much of their self worth in how their kids turn out and beliefs, and because of this they are totally unaproachable and defensive when it comes to disagreeing with thier faith. they cannot be rational in this state of mind.

 

If I could do it all over again, I would just keep my mouth shut or say whatever to keep them off my back. even if it means lieing, like " Yea, I am going to church blah blah blah." And change the subject to the weather.

Whatever too keep them safe in their imaginary bubble of family togetherness.

Unless of course you come in contact with your parents everyday, then I suppose this situation wouldnt work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest JeffB

My mom still won't just let it go...I'm in the same boat (and I still have to live at home and go to a Catholic high school for another year). No amount of pointing out biblical inconsistency and removing all reason to believe in a creator, the bible, etc. can convince her that I actually know my shit and can take this alone. There was an article in the Sunday Paper entitled 'Honest Science Points to Creator' by some idiot who knew hardly anything about evolution, that basically said that because there isn't a 100% complete fossil record backing up evolution, it's better to believe in the Creationist principle (anyone else see this as like saying 'I can't see the other three walls around me, so I therefore have undisputable proof that God is keeping the rain and wind on the other three sides'?) and laughed when I said it was horseshit and took it apart piece by piece - and she still can't be convinced that someone who agrees with her can lose an argument (apparently, being in your late 40s *and* a Roman Catholic renders you completely incapable of being wrong). I asked her at the end, 'Don't you find it a bit strange that you never hear this from an actual scientist - you know, those people who study and research and are *qualified* to speak of science?' Not only am I stuck with this, they are convinced that they're horrible people if they can't convert me back - they had to go to *therapy* so they wouldn't be convinced that it was 'their fault' - I may be missing something here, but wouldn't that be implying that something *bad* happened? None of this will get me anywhere, but on the bright side I'm only stuck here for another year, then it's off to somewhere far away with me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest bad_one
I dont see the point in debunking your parents faith. I tried it for a short period of time and it was a disaster. With negative life long concequences.  Most christian parents I know invest way too much of their self worth in how their kids turn out and beliefs, and because of this they are totally unaproachable and defensive when it comes to disagreeing with thier faith. they cannot be rational in this state of mind.

 

If I could do it all over again, I would just keep my mouth shut or say whatever to keep them off my back. even if it means lieing, like " Yea, I am going to church blah blah blah." And change the subject to the  weather.

Whatever too keep them safe in their imaginary bubble of family togetherness.

Unless of course you come in contact with your parents everyday, then I suppose this situation wouldnt work.

 

The first time the subject was brought up about my faith was when I was 17 and they asked me why I didnt want to go to church anymore. I simply said that I dont get anything out of it. They went nuts! Screaming ,crying hiting me. I try and avoid the subject when I am with them or talk on the phone but they always bring it up. Ya know the lines..."Just pray about it" "Have you tried trusting god?" "god has a plan" "come to my bible study" It is nonstop.

I did try having a convo with my Mother once and it went badly. I had one last week with my aunt when she pulled out all the stops to convert me. It ended badly.

I think its best to just stay away from the subject and just let those statements roll off your back.

I do talk to my parents at least once a week. That makes it more difficult. I think if I did fake being christian they would start setting me up with blind dates with "nice men" from their church :Doh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

maybe I am being dishonest, but I dont see anything wrong with misleading your parents if they freak out like this, I mean think about it, all you have to do is say something like, " I have repented and come back to the lord.' and instantly your parents will think everything is fine, and no more of the akwardness.

Noone knows whats really going on in your head. If it makes your parents feel comfortable, when you use a few christian phrases, like "God-willing" and " Praise Jesus" at the end of a few sentances ,

then ( at least to me) its worth the sacrifice if your parents are not strong enough to keep from creating dysfunction as a resuilt of your lack of faith.

If I could do it all over again, this is what I would do.

 

A perfect example is my little sister, who returned from a 2 year mission trip in Japan, Ok so she knows I am exchristian, and the conversations are always awkward, their is always some wall and seperation their, and its really depressing...

So then a few weeks ago, she called me up and we had a really good talk for a few hours about church and stuff... I choose not to say anything negative about christianity, I told her I was going to a Luthern church now, and I encouraged her to look for a non fundy church, ( since she is sick of fundy-ism), and you know my sister opened up too me and for the first time in years she communicated to me in a real honest and positive way... the whole reason being is I never mentioned the Athiest word. I never mentioned my negative attitudes towards christianity.

when we talked I tried to talk about the positive stuff about faith and belief, and tried to encourage her in the positive aspects of her faith.

 

as a result she opened up more to me and the communication was void of the awkwardness, if I had gone ahead and made a statement like

" christianity is a cult", ' Hell is evil" " Biblegod is a monster" etc. then she would have been on the Defensive and the result would be more family dysfuction.

 

Too me at least , its worth the sacrifice of not letting my true opinions verbalized, if it means my family and siblings feel more comfortable around me. because I would much rather have a positive relationship with my family, then freaking them out with antichristian opinons... you know what I mean?

 

I could care less what other people beleive, I only care about my own self-development and education. If my culture cant handle my opinions without creating dysfuction and seperation, its not worth vocalizing my opinion then. And if the time arises sometime in the future, where my family and siblings VALUE my opinions, then I would be more honest. Until then I dont see anything immoral about avoiding the subject and playing along, because in exchange you have family members who feel more comfortable around you. Too me at least its worth the sacrifice a hundred times over.

Cuz family-sibling bonding, I feel is more phycologicaly heathy, than the satisfaction felt vocalizing personal opinion that conflicts with everyone elses faith.

 

what do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The first time the subject was brought up about my faith was when I was 17 and they asked me why I didnt want to go to church anymore. I simply said that I dont get anything out of it. They went nuts! Screaming ,crying hiting me. I try and avoid the subject when I am with them or talk on the phone but they always bring it up. Ya know the lines..."Just pray about it" "Have you tried trusting god?" "god has a plan" "come to my bible study" It is nonstop.

I did try having a convo with my Mother once and it went badly. I had one last week with my aunt when she pulled out all the stops to convert me. It ended badly.

I think its best to just stay away from the subject and just let those statements roll off your back.

I do talk to my parents at least once a week. That makes it more difficult. I think if I did fake being christian they would start setting me up with blind dates with "nice men" from their church :Doh:

 

Oh my god, BadOne, they actually hit you? Wow...I'm really stunned. You are being an absolute saint to even speak with them. A very tolerant daughter, IMO.

 

Just incredible. Whenever I hear people saying, "oh you homos have it okay now" I just groan. "Sorry, honey child, but no we don't."

 

Yeah, the drag part of faking it are the annoying hetero-pushing consequences: constant matchmaking, having to say grace before meals asking the lord for "that special guy" and all that bs. Much cleaner to be tolerant and avoid the subject, but that sounds like a brick wall at the moment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.