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Had A Late Xmas With My Family


AKR
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i spent xmas day with my gf's family, but last night, my parents, sister/kids, my gf and i got together for a late xmas thing. i always feel so fucking awkward around them because they seem so ignorant, and full of fundiness. so first, we had dinner, that of course, started with a prayer. no bid deal. i just sit there and ignore it, staring at the food. but then, before we opened presents, my mom decided to do a little bible thumping, but tried to be sneaky about it. "oh, i have an idea; how about we go around and each person can say something they are thankful to god for."

 

hmmm, the first xmas time i spend with my parents as an atheist (i've been an atheist for a while, but we don't usually do xmas stuff together anymore), and they do this, when i don't remember them doing it before. sure, we always had a birthday cake for jesus at my grandparents, but i don't recalling sit around my parents house, thanking god for shit.

 

anyway, my sister starts going off, thanking god for all sorts of shit. "i'm thankful for a sound mind, and i'm thinkful that i can choose to have one." wtf does that mean? you're bi-polar and you have to take meds every now and then. and how do you choose to have a "sound" mind, and what does that even mean? "i'm thankful that everything has order, because how could this just happen on it's own? and i'm thankful that snow is white. it could be BLACK!"

 

my sister is 34 and she has the comprehension level of a cracked out 10 year old. my gf and i just sat there, and said nothing. i was waiting to be prompted, but i wasn't. so we opened presents, and while i was helping put together legos for the kids, i could hear my mom and sister in the other room, rambling nonsensically about god. my sister is just as much of a crazy fundy as my parents, if not more so. they did a good job raising her in that respect. part of me just wanted to sit down at the table and school them into the ground, but it wouldn't help anything.

 

 

next year, if they ask me over, i'm going to request that my mother does not start a god-fest out of things, because it makes my gf and i very uncomfortable. it feels like a culture shock every time i get around them.

 

i don't go around telling them their god doesn't exist and xmas is originally a pagan holiday, so they should shut the fuck up as well.

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Sorry they got fundy on you. A birthday cake for Jesus? Sounds like Ramen666's lament about his family singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. Do they know you're an athiest?

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next year, if they ask me over, i'm going to request that my mother does not start a god-fest out of things, because it makes my gf and i very uncomfortable. it feels like a culture shock every time i get around them.

 

I don't know how your mother and sister will respond to that kind of statement but I would not for the life of me tell my family that it makes me uncomfortable when they talk about God.

 

Why?

 

They would take that as evidence that the "Spirit" is "working." That I am feeling guilty for my unbelief. They would do whatever they believed necessary (how they felt "led") to nurture the "Spirit's" "work."

 

I will do what I can not ever to get them thinking I am suffering for my unbelief. My one sister automatically believed that I had lost my peace just because I deconverted. Or because I finally had the courage to come clean and stand up for my beliefs.

 

I don't think they will ever believe that I never believed. That would be outside their frame of reference. If they think about it, they know that I have asked deep questions all my life. What they refuse to do (maybe they are incapable) is to make the connection between my questions and my present religious position.

 

I am prepared to tell them all about this if ever the time is right. It is my vengeance for a lifetime of suppression, ridicule, and just plain "shut up"! I asked only the most burning questions--but ONLY the ones I was allowed to ask. The most important question I was never allowed to ask. I have tried to explain to them in recent times what this question was, and that it is because of lack of answers that I am no longer Christian.

 

The fact of the matter is that there is no way they could have answered my question and remained Christian. I am thinking this might have been a good thing. Perhaps enlightenment would have come a generation earlier.

 

After all, a little child shall lead them.

 

But only if they follow.

 

If they throw stones at this little child or beat it into submission--at least outwardly--the child cannot lead. A leader needs followers. A person becomes a leader only when others follow.

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I hear you about the culture shock... that is how I feel when around my family and fundy friends.. it is a litle overwhelming and hard to swallow. I try to ignore as much as I can.. this too was my first xmas as a agnostic/atheist some how xmas just wasnt the same.. and hearing all the baby jesus crap.. when everyone knows it wasn't december 25 that he was born on.. which I ended up getting in a discussion with my mom about which was pointless... but I can't stand to let her babble on forever anymore I have to say something. Does you family know you aren't xian anymore, maybe they are like rubysera said trying to get you to come back by being overly fundy...

 

I went and spent some more time with my family... my sister told me that my mom calls yoga yogurt and that if I do meditations I am opening my mind up to Satan... and I should talk to my moms friend who got quite high up in "yogurt "and knows all about it.... I just laugh and say no it doesn't.. and it's yoga not yogurt. Funny thing is I haven't done yoga in months but want to start doing it more regularly. It is kind of my way of breaking it slowly to my family that I am not buying into the whole xianity stuff... but it's not really working so well.. they just think I am doubting and getting weird information from somewhere or want to refer me to some xtian book to read..

 

All that happened from my telling my mom about not believing the bible was gods divine word and how horrible Paul's writtings were in regards to women was the latest books on women from the xtian bookstore as my xmas presents.. not just one but 2! I am almost tempted to read them, but I already basically know what they are going to say.. and it would be a waste of my time.. after all I have several free thinker, skeptic and athestic books to read that I bought myself. I am not ready to tell my family that I am an atheist.. I am just coming to the conclusion and accepting that myself..and wondering how I happened to breakfree from xianity everyone else around me is still in the cult.

 

I need to be more comfortable in this new skin of mine, before I can try to explain it to my entire xian family.. well minus my one uncle who has nothing much to do with the rest of the family, and who my mom called behind his back a heathen and a pagan...who doesn't celebrate christmas or care about family.. so um I know what her reaction is going to be when I eventually spell it out to her.. but don't plan on doing that anytime soon. I just can't spend too much time around her because all this god crap is hard to ignore for long.. and the praise radio station she listens to in the car make my blood boil.

 

My aunt dropped by today at my house unannounced and she almost found my tarot cards and free inquiry magazine and evolution books... I tossed the tarot cards out of site.. yes I know silly silly.. I don't really put any stock what so ever into them but I know it would totally freak out my fundy aunt to find them. I just put my magazine and book on the botom of the coffee table. I didn't want to have that conversatiion with her today...and then have everybody upset...

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My aunt dropped by today at my house unannounced and she almost found my tarot cards and free inquiry magazine and evolution books... I tossed the tarot cards out of site.. yes I know silly silly.. I don't really put any stock what so ever into them but I know it would totally freak out my fundy aunt to find them. I just put my magazine and book on the botom of the coffee table. I didn't want to have that conversatiion with her today...and then have everybody upset...

 

I know how that goes. I used to be paranoid about my parents finding my books and stuff, even though I'm an adult and live on my own.

 

You could just not invite them in if they are unannounced or say you've got plans to go someplace, it is somewhat rude to just drop by at someone's house without calling or e-mailing first.

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Sorry they got fundy on you. A birthday cake for Jesus? Sounds like Ramen666's lament about his family singing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. Do they know you're an athiest?

 

 

oh, we did the whole "sing to jesus" as well with the cake. and yes, they know i'm an atheist. they know full well. i think i know how to shut them up pretty fast to when i tell her about next year. if she says, "oh, but we can't just hold back on expressing our faith." i'll just say, "well, then, we won't hold back on our lack of faith. and i guarrantee you i know twice as much about your religion, and i will spill all of it's dirty little secrets IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN."

 

which will either result in "ok, don't come," or "oh please don't. we'll shut up."

 

either way, it'll be better than this year.

 

i'll be back to read the other replies later. bed time.

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Heh, I was wondering if you were going to post about this (I'm the above-mentioned GF of AKR.)

 

It would have been one thing if she'd said "name things you are thankful for" and the others had said "I thank God for..." but it was specified that we were supposed to name thing we were thankful to GOD for. No way out but to not be allowed to say what you are thankful for. SHe did say we didn't have to say anything if we didn't want to, but it was pretty sneaky how she basically set it up to talk about God or sit there unhappily.

 

I think that if they get to discuss their religion, I should get to discuss what the holiday means to me.

 

It's REALLY culture shock to me, as, even when I still believed, my family has never been like that. Just a bunch of half-assed Catholics. All I dealt with for Xmas was a passing invite to Mass. I wasn't even asked to start the chow prayer this time.

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If your family does indeed know you are atheist, I think you should tell them that and see what the response is when next year rolls around.

 

I don't even want to think about next xmas... I just hope that this new year is better than this current year.

 

It is the hypocracy of the holidays with my family that drives me crazy... they don't do the happy birthday thing... but talk about the reason for the season all the time...and how good they are for being xian and how terrible those that aren't are.. and the only time that we ever say grace is when we have a large celebration... I just don't understand.. we never would say grace with everyday eating.. well my other half of the family did but my mom's family and us never would.

 

I spent my whole life being hurt by xians who are suppossdly showing the love of jesus...and wondered why I wanted to be a part of it all..... then I figured out who Jesus and the god of the bible really were and now it all makes sense. They are just following by example of how horrible and unmoral they are.

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I hear you about the culture shock...

 

the next time someone offers you a book, offer them a book that is quite skeptical about christianity or religion in general. see what they say about that.

 

as for our house, once we move in, there will be books on evolution, atheism and other such things in plain site. my gf is wiccan, so there will probably be a penticle here and there, which will probably keep them out of my house.

 

 

btw, my mom is the same about yoga. fuckin fundies. oh, and i hate that damn praise music. yuck, it makes me want to listen to death metal afterwards...and i don't even like death metal.

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Heh, I was wondering if you were going to post about this (I'm the above-mentioned GF of AKR.)

 

It would have been one thing if she'd said "name things you are thankful for" and the others had said "I thank God for..." but it was specified that we were supposed to name thing we were thankful to GOD for. No way out but to not be allowed to say what you are thankful for. SHe did say we didn't have to say anything if we didn't want to, but it was pretty sneaky how she basically set it up to talk about God or sit there unhappily.

 

I think that if they get to discuss their religion, I should get to discuss what the holiday means to me.

 

It's REALLY culture shock to me, as, even when I still believed, my family has never been like that. Just a bunch of half-assed Catholics. All I dealt with for Xmas was a passing invite to Mass. I wasn't even asked to start the chow prayer this time.

 

the more i think about how she worded things, the more it bothers me. i really don't know what she was thinking, so i might be reading more into it, but it felt like "you can't say you're thankful unless you say it's from god." that's pretty much how it felt.

 

i'm much more comfortable around your half-assed catholic family that i've known for 5 years than my crazy family i've known for 27. when i flat out told them i'm an atheist, your mom was in disbelief, but wasn't really shocked, and she never said anything about it after that. i don't feel your family treats me any differently or really gives a shit.

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Hhhmm she keeps asking if I have any books that she can read.. meaning fluff ficton which I do have some of.. but maybe I should offer her Jesus and the lost goddess or the God Delusion or something by Carl Sagan...

 

I have been kind of trying to keep the books out of sight from my family..but I think it is time to buy a nice bookcase to put in my livingroom with all my new books that I have been reading the last couple of months.

 

Hhhm and maybe I should make a meditation corner too... that would keep not only my family away but my fundy friends too and then maybe I won't get asked to babysit for free anymore..though that might mean also that I don't get to be godmother anymore or see the kids.

 

I know my mom plays the PRAISE station, as a means of trying to convict the lost, she will make sure she plays it if she knows she has a non-believer in the car, not that she is willing to admit that I am an un-believer. All of her music drives me crazy anyhow, but especially when the sicky sweet dj is on taking prayer requests/praise reports from people UHH can't take it.

 

Okay off to re arrange my house. and get rid of fundy crap...

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i'm much more comfortable around your half-assed catholic family that i've known for 5 years than my crazy family i've known for 27. when i flat out told them i'm an atheist, your mom was in disbelief, but wasn't really shocked, and she never said anything about it after that. i don't feel your family treats me any differently or really gives a shit.

 

After you left the room when you told them you're an atheist, my mom commented on a former neighbor and family friend that was atheist. Pretty casual. I'm pretty sure she's seen my Pagan book too. I wonder what your mom would do if she saw that?

 

That former neighbor's a Mormon now, though :Doh:

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I'm pretty sure she's seen my Pagan book too. I wonder what your mom would do if she saw that?

 

 

she wouldn't say anything. she would politely leave the room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and fetch some rope, sticks, and gasoline.

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