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Had Another Holy War With Dad


bluewizard
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It all started with me wearing my Morbid Angel hoody to eat out last night and he said I was disrtespecting his religion by wearing an inverted cross and an inverted star and I explained that he was disrespecting my religious beliefs by making me go to church every week. I explained that the guys in MA were atheists, not Satanists and he said they needed the hell beat out of them. I told him it's stupid for me to go to church every week and be an atheist and he said he hates atheism and hates all atheists. He said he hopes by me going to church God will speak to my heart and I'll go back to Christianity. He then proceeded to tell me I was a miserable person inside and that I'm not truly an atheist, WTF. I explained to him how the Bible is fucked up and how it promotes torture, genocide, repressing the lifestyle, and discriminating against gays and women. He ignored me and told me I was going to burn in Hell and I'm going to be saying "I shoulda listened to you Dad". He can't understand how I can grow up in a church and be an atheist and blames me being an atheist over "stupid fuckers" on the internet. I told him I think for myself and I'm not going to believe something just cause the preacher or anyone tells me. He said he knows he;'s right and said "I know I'm right Derek" when I posed the question what if you're wrong. He also thinks a dream of his where a dead relative visits him and speaks with him is proof of Christianity being true. He told me this "God's going to make you miserable inside and you're going to convert to Christianity someday and the pain will be so bad you can't take it". I told him when I get out of here in 3 years and graduate I'm moving away from here and never going to church again. I unfortunately had to go to church today but fuck, it's just a waste of my time, and it damn sure didn't bring me closer to religion today, I hate the way my Dad is about shit.

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Some parents do a great job of leading not by example but by fear. Part of his motivation for trying to get you to "repent and turn from your ways" is to keep you from spending an eternity in a place that is yet to be proven even exists... hell. I think the majority of it, though, is his own insecurity. He can't stand to be questioned and when he's confronted by views that oppose his own, he resorts to empty platitudes and common quotes that he's heard from the pulpit time and time again. All that makes him is a follower. You're on the right course by refusing to be the same.

 

Every time you are forced to attend church, use it in your favor. Learn from these people. Not what they're trying to teach you, mind you... you will be learning why you're right and they're wrong. I believe it was Varokhar who said this in a recent topic... "Keep your friends close but your enemies closer." If you really want to be able to stick to your guns, you're going to need to be able to think like these people and refute and disprove everything they throw at you. Keep at it, man. You're doing fine. Plus, you're got all of us "stupid internet fuckers" backing you.

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Yeah, I say shit like that all the time :)

 

If you have to go, and there's no way out of it, use it as a learning experience. Observe their behavior, see what they leave out of the Babble (usually the stories about God being oppressive and evil), and learn why Xianity sucks. Reinforce your position through observation. And take the time to mull over what you believe in as well, and develop your own spiritual path. Any time I ever went to church after deconverting or being on my way to, I used it to think. It was of immense benefit.

 

It sucks that your dad just can't realize the truth, but many parents aren't great with that, especially with their children. No matter how old you get, your parents will always think they know better and will always try to persuade you in some way to do what they think you should. Generally, this seems to be the case with most folks, no matter how well they mean. My own parents mean only good towards me, but also think they know better than I do, insist on seeing all the events of my life through their own eyes rather than with objective ones, and always try to get me to do what they think I should be doing.

 

Blah :ugh:

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Yeah, I say shit like that all the time :)

 

If you have to go, and there's no way out of it, use it as a learning experience. Observe their behavior, see what they leave out of the Babble (usually the stories about God being oppressive and evil), and learn why Xianity sucks. Reinforce your position through observation. And take the time to mull over what you believe in as well, and develop your own spiritual path. Any time I ever went to church after deconverting or being on my way to, I used it to think. It was of immense benefit.

 

It sucks that your dad just can't realize the truth, but many parents aren't great with that, especially with their children. No matter how old you get, your parents will always think they know better and will always try to persuade you in some way to do what they think you should. Generally, this seems to be the case with most folks, no matter how well they mean. My own parents mean only good towards me, but also think they know better than I do, insist on seeing all the events of my life through their own eyes rather than with objective ones, and always try to get me to do what they think I should be doing.

 

Blah :ugh:

Cool avatar by the way. Yeah, I definitely observe how manipulation works but I'm not going up to some altar just because he preacher says something stupid like "We're not leaving church until everyone's saved", I've only been to one service like that at a revival when I was an early teen.

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Cool avatar by the way. Yeah, I definitely observe how manipulation works but I'm not going up to some altar just because he preacher says something stupid like "We're not leaving church until everyone's saved", I've only been to one service like that at a revival when I was an early teen.

 

That's totally sick. What happens if you try and leave? Do they forcibly restrain you? Bloody hell!

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My friend got a new step mother when she was 13 who was a fundamentalist Christian woman of borderline intelligence. She was one of thus big butchy Christian women. My friend said that her stepmother would tell her to convert and then beat her because she refused.

 

My parents are fundamentalist Christians too, but they have never said a cross word to me because of my deconversion. They are very intelligent and likely feel pretty sheepish that they introduced me to the religion in the first place. If they had to live their lives again, I'm sure they would choose to reject the religion, and thus they are very deferential to me as I do so.

 

Unfortunately, my folks can't leave the religion because they are career missionaries and so is my sister and her family

 

Blue Wizard -- how old are you?

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going to church is a personal choice. It is about you and god and not you and the father and god. People who go to church, they go with the mindset of thinking about their god. It is useless for you to go to church for all the wrong reason and one of them, as you mentioned, is being forced to go. Use the bathroom as an excuse when they want you to do some crazy activities at church like walk up to the alter. Stand up straight and scream on top of your lungs, "how come I don't see god" and just hope that you will not get burn at the stake for doing so.

 

Just go to church if daddy tells you to go. You know where your position is at when it comes to church so don't worry about the part when your daddy tells you that he hopes the power of the holy spirit will cast upon you. If you are firm in what you believe in then that is all that matters.

 

True question should be consider is what would you do if your dad die of a broken heart because you failed him as a son? Reverse the question and you get...what would he do when he's already dead and he failed you as a father?

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Ugh. I feel for ya. No offence to your dad but he sounds like a total douche-bag. Then again, when do ANY fundies not sound like that?

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I'm 18.

 

If you are 18 and in the US, then you are legally an adult and he cannot legally force you to go to church. If he threatens physical violence, or has committed acts of physical abuse against you, that is a crime. Tell someone.

 

If I were you, I would get a job after high school hours if you are still in school, and start saving my money and planning on moving out ASAP.

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It's a tough case, BlueWiz, when we lock horns with our dads.

 

Sounds like he's afraid on a number of levels. If he's a die-hard fundie, although he probably loves you, he's afraid for you. He really is scared that that ol' god's gonna vent his wrath on you. That would make him feel like he failed you. So he's trying to scare you by threatening you with hellfire and saying he hates atheists, etc. He's probably never known anything else but fundie xianity, which IMO is a malevolent religion. But if you've never known or looked for anything else what have you got? Here you are, a young adult, asserting yourself, your own beliefs, and he just can't handle it.

 

You're responsible for your own life, young man, and I really hope you and the ol' man can come to terms with each other. If you show him you're still a good kid worthy of his pride, despite your not going along with the family religion, it may help you two to find a common respect for each other. That may happen, or it may not. If not, it wouldn't be the first case where xianity broke up a relationship.

 

But at the end of the day, Wiz, you're the one that's got to be satisfied with your life. I hope it's for the best.

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An easy way out of this is to get a job with Sunday hours (or just say you have Sunday hours) whenever church is. Job always seems to trump god in every household without fail. Sure, no sleeping in, but you're not doing that anyhow.

 

mwc

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everybody so far tells you to fight against the system..

 

what I tell you to do is to go with the flow. How much harm can going to church be? Sure it may seems like it is a big waste of your time but you do things just to shut your father up.

 

When you still living under someone's roof and they react like your father, you just give them what they want to shut them up. Don't fight it but go with the flow. In this way, your relationship with your father will escalate and maybe he will get it through his fundie skulls that even a person who is going to church but their mind is not at church will make the practice of going to church useless..

 

He's your father so he should know what is right for you but you're his son, you should know what is right for yourself.

 

just like how someone on this site who controls the board and gave me that funky internet troll as an avatar, they know what was right for me..

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Would this do anything?

 

***

 

Dad,

 

I'm writing this to you because it seems that every time we talk about this issue we both end up saying mean things to each other. I want to try to explain this to you without all of the emotion.

 

I've been trying to think about this from your point of view. All of my life, you have tried to teach me what is right and wrong. You want the best for me and believe that true happiness is found in Jesus Christ. More than that, you believe that without Jesus, I will face eternal torment in hell.

 

For you, my rejection of the faith not only robs me of true happiness, but also threatens me with eternal punishment from God. You want to keep me safe from that. You are afraid for me. You are frustrated that I just don't see it your way anymore. I, too, am sorry that we are not on the same page.

 

Dad, the problem is just this: I don't feel what you feel; I just can't believe what you believe. I don't want to get into all of the issues that I am having with Christianity, because this isn't about debating you; it's about finding a way to move past this, at least for a while.

 

I live in your house and under your rules. I realize this. I know that I'm not in a position to tell you what I will and will not do. All I can do, then, is ask that you let me make my own decision about church. I don't like going and being forced to attend is not making me appreciate it any more. I think you want me to go because you hope that God will speak to me in something that goes on there. But, Dad, if God is real, can't he speak to me anywhere? I have to tell you, that when I'm in church because you made me go, I don't exactly have the most open attitude in the world. In fact, I'm usually sitting in the back sulking about it.

 

If you're afraid that I don't know the gospel, I assure you that isn't the case. You've taught me that all my life. The gospel is just that God created humanity, we were separated from him by sin, Jesus died for our sin, and accepting Jesus' sacrifice on our behalf makes us clean and sinless before God and enables us to spend eternity with him. Without Jesus, we cannot stand before God and will face eternal punishment. I know the words, Dad, I just can't make myself believe them any more.

 

I was thinking about something I learned in church. Proverbs 22:6 says, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." At this point, I can't imagine ever believing again, but you believe and your own Bible tells you to believe that "when I am old" I won't depart from the faith in which you trained me. Personally, I don't see it happening, but you've definitely trained me in the way I should go, so can't you just let me make my own choice now and hope that it turns out the way this verse says it will?

 

Anyway, I'm really sorry that this has come between us. Please understand that I'm not trying to hurt you. I'm not trying to change the way you believe. I just can't believe any more and would like to be given the freedom to make my own choice in this matter.

 

I will respect your decision, but I hope you will allow me to go my own way for a while.

 

Derek

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This kind of conflict with family just generally sucks. Because of these kinds of fights (and their really offensive statements that I can't let go), I don't live near my family anymore. With my parents in not the greatest of health, it's hard for me, it's hard when I can't see myself moving nearby.

 

If you can find a way to make peace with your father, I'd say give it your best shot. It might be that these holy wars lead to some kind of truce with mutual respect, but that will take years. It might be an idea to move away for school or work for a while, too, get some distance on the problem. At least, maybe enough to talk about things more respectfully.

 

Or it may be that you end up like me, loving your family, but needing distance from them. For me, it hurts that there is a lot of my life I can't share with my parents, but it's something I've had to make peace with. I have to live my life accepting that I disappoint them, in order to be at all satisfied with myself. You have to do is make sure you live your life in a way that satisfies you.

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Carolyn, your post sounds exactly like my situation. I don't have much to add. All I can say is that it feels good to know I'm not the only person who has had to draw such a hard line with family. I don't like to think what life without the internet would be like. On the internet we can support each other in a cold and harsh world. Yes, that is supposed to be the christians' exclusive line but the way they pretend to be the persecuted minority and therefore assume the right to persecute us left and right and center, we need to salvage what we can from the ruins of our christian past.

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As long as you are stuck under the same roof with your dad...do this little maneuver...take a Bible, hand it to your dad when he gets in to one of his moods...tell him to show you book chapter verse where it says you are to force people against their will to believe and don't back off until he puts up or shuts up. When I have confronted other Christians on various issues that is not in their Bible, you can pretty much shut them up because it shows you know their own book better than they do and it embarasses the shit out of them....Just an idea...

 

If you're gonna do this you just better hope he doesn't bust Deuteronomy 13:6-10 out on you. Stonings aren't any fun.

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Then again, his father is probably oblivious to what is actually in the "good book" and might be horrified to learn about killing people. Then again, cultists have an excuse for anything they dont want to belive in.

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Carolyn, your post sounds exactly like my situation. I don't have much to add. All I can say is that it feels good to know I'm not the only person who has had to draw such a hard line with family. I don't like to think what life without the internet would be like. On the internet we can support each other in a cold and harsh world. Yes, that is supposed to be the christians' exclusive line but the way they pretend to be the persecuted minority and therefore assume the right to persecute us left and right and center, we need to salvage what we can from the ruins of our christian past.

 

It is a cold, harsh, judgmental world. The internet is a godsend when you feel alone. There's always someone out there who has been through the same thing, and has a few words of encouragement.

 

I'm sure it's not unusual, especially for people who chose to live a life their family doesn't approve of, to have to draw a line. For the longest time I tried to live my life according to my parents' wishes. It left me miserable. I think my parents never really saw me as a person separate from them, with my own desires and thoughts. My successes still are their successes as parents, my failures are because I didn't listen to them, and I did something they disapproved of. After a while, I stopped asking for advice, or letting them know enough to even offer advice. I went away for school, deliberately, and while I've missed friends, family, and the places of my youth desperately, I just don't feel I can go back and stay myself yet. I really envy people like my husband, who talks to his parents most days, and who has a comfortable, adult-adult relationship with them.

 

I love my family, but I can't talk to them, and I need to make peace with that. Discussions about values have always been them correcting my faulty ideas, or, if I object to their sweeping condemnations of groups of people (gays, muslims, arabs, sikhs, anyone who isn't them, really), it's about telling me how I'm naive. I don't talk politics, because they can't understand that I might see things differently (I could even handle a thoughtful attempt to change my mind through listening to me). I don't talk about social injustice, because to a certain extent, they're selfish, and don't think they have a responsibility to society and the world as a whole, only to their family, to their little tribe.

 

I don't talk about my classes or work (I'm going back to earn, hopefully, my PhD) because now that their working lives are over, both are disappointed with them, and want to live their lives through me in different ways (my mother, through my being a doctor like she thought she couldn't be as a woman, my father through my having a high status, well-paid job, that he thinks he should have had). I want to do research, my mother just claims it's all over her head, my father seems to put down things he didn't learn as unimportant.

 

I said I was an agnostic for the first time when I was nine, which was the first time I realized that religion was a belief, and the first time I heard the terms agnostic and atheist. My mother said I was not. I didn't think much of it at the time (and continued to be christian), but I've got the same response when I've said I am not christian as an adult, with an added "you'll understand the truth as you get older".

 

I don't know what I'm saying, other than parent-child relationships can stay difficult for a long time.

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