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Goodbye Jesus

Religious Fluff


StandingRoomOnly

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I have been an ex-C for over 10 years now. I came out to my parents about a year after deconverting, right when I was about to move out of the house after college. My parents took the news very hard, and have periodically gone through times of being more showy religiously around me and others of keeping it to themselves. I should say it is mostly my mom being the showy religious one... It is usually through emails, and usually the same religious "filler fluff" over and over...most common being, "we're always praying for you", "only god brings peace", "keep looking up", bible verses, or a many number of others. My response has 99% of the time, to ignore all the religious talk and just comment on what is real in the email.

 

Does anyone else get emails from certain Christians and the emails take on this pious fake tone to them when they start talking about religion? I can completely tell when my mom is being real and when she is not--not being, she sounds like a rehearsed robot talking about religious things. Almost like someone in a cult repeating back what they had just heard and deciding it is perfect absolute truth. Or that they are so much above you and you are the little pion that needs saving. I'm at the point where it is starting to get annoying to hear her sound so fake in the emails...I think it's the fake sounding cultish mom talk that bothers me the most, not so much that it is religious.

 

My husband and I have set boundaries with my parents in regards to "preaching" to our kids, and I've told her I don't want her forwarding religous emails/spam to me....but where do you draw the line? I think I'll probably just live with it... As complaining to her about it will just feed the fire of, "oh she must be uncomfortable with the emails because god is convicting her" ...sigh ..you just can't win either way I think.

 

Small rant over.

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I'm hearing ya- love the xtian catchphrase way of speaking. It's like they lose their vocabulary or something. There's no independent thought there anymore.

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My parents took the news very hard, and have periodically gone through times of being more showy religiously around me and others of keeping it to themselves.

 

HI Standing Room. It must be hard having very religious parents. If it was me, I would speak to them face to face about it. Perhaps reassuring them that you have respect for their religious beliefs and have respect for people who have a faith, but telling them clearly that you dont share that faith due to x, y, or z. Good luck.

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This maaay help, or may make the problem worse, but I had the thought that you could tell her exactly what you say here: that you can be ok with her talking about religion, but it's disturbing to "hear" her speaking so much in catch-phrases and platitudes. Maybe ask "if you want to discuss religion with me, please make it something real. Tell me about some biblical research you did, or new views you've developed from your spiritual growth. I like *you.* I want to hear about *you,* not read through a bunch of repetitive fluff."

 

If she does it, then main problem solved. And if she's *unable* to do it, then that could eventually lead to her not writing that sort of.thing, but needing to recognize her inability to express herself when she's most religious might give her something to think about.

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  • Super Moderator

It's always a no-win. You either put up with it or you don't. I don't, but you may be nicer.

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It is usually through emails, and usually the same religious "filler fluff" over and over...most common being, "we're always praying for you", "only god brings peace", "keep looking up", bible verses, or a many number of others. My response has 99% of the time, to ignore all the religious talk and just comment on what is real in the email.

I know exactly the kind of thing you're talking about. I think your strategy to ignore it and comment on what matters is a good one.

 

There are times when it gets to be a bit much, though.

 

Does anyone else get emails from certain Christians and the emails take on this pious fake tone to them when they start talking about religion? I can completely tell when my mom is being real and when she is not--not being, she sounds like a rehearsed robot talking about religious things. Almost like someone in a cult repeating back what they had just heard and deciding it is perfect absolute truth. Or that they are so much above you and you are the little pion that needs saving. I'm at the point where it is starting to get annoying to hear her sound so fake in the emails...I think it's the fake sounding cultish mom talk that bothers me the most, not so much that it is religious.

I think the comparison to a cultic robot is quite valid. If I recall correctly, Steven Hassan talks about this tendency in cult members -- almost like a switch is flipped -- and I have seen it happen among certain Christians. It's like a kind of "in-language" and associated thought processes that can erupt at various times and obscure the person behind it. It can be helpful sometimes to think of it a little like a comfort or defense mechanism for the people who use it. At least, framing it that way can sometimes make it a bit easier to deal with.

 

There is a book you might like which I think might also go into some of this... When God Becomes a Drug by Father Leo Booth.

 

My husband and I have set boundaries with my parents in regards to "preaching" to our kids, and I've told her I don't want her forwarding religous emails/spam to me....but where do you draw the line? I think I'll probably just live with it... As complaining to her about it will just feed the fire of, "oh she must be uncomfortable with the emails because god is convicting her" ...sigh ..you just can't win either way I think.

What I do in situations like this depends a lot on the context. If someone sends something to me personally, I take into account how often it happens and the kind of relationship I have with them (and want to have with them). If it happened a lot -- as in, they either mistakenly thought I appreciate that kind of thing or are trying to "make a point" -- I would talk to them about it.

 

I am on a mailing list for a particular topic where certain members do this kind of thing as a way to comfort each other, so these things are not sent just to me. In their world it's a way of being supportive. I try to be understanding in those cases and just leave it alone.

So far nothing religious has been posted there which has tweaked me so hard that I felt the need to respond to it some other way. Certain things do tweak me pretty hard so I guess it could happen, but it hasn't yet, thankfully.

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Welcome to our club!

 

I do get Jeebus-juked fairly often, especially by my parents. Dad is usually at fault here. Ex: we'll be talking about something horrible in the news--say, the video that had Muslims rioting and killing people. He mentions how you never see Xians doing that, or if only they had god in their lives, or some such rubbish. The Jeebus-juking inevitably leads to a heated argument.

 

You can't really control what your parents say or e-mail to you, unless you ignore them, but of course you're not going to let religion cause a familyfeud. So just deal with the stupid comments, but absolutely draw the

line at anyone--anyone--evangelizing your children. They can convert

when they're older, but now is when you teach them the difference

between harmless spirituality and dangerous garbage. Don't let anybody hijack your kids' brains.

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Thanks everyone! Interesting advice mling, i would love to be that open with my mom, but having done that before in a different instance, she's the person to deny and/or point blame in the other direction. I think that would work on some people, but my mom would claim everything she says is real and genuine, and then take it very personally and start crying (very emotional person).

 

In general, I'm fine with ignoring it. Small rants are nice every once in awhile. And I agree, I will fight tooth and nail to keep my kids from being preached to or preached at.

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I think that would work on some people, but my mom would claim everything she says is real and genuine, and then take it very personally and start crying (very emotional person).

 

I'm not surprised that she thinks it's real. From the way I've seen this language used, the intent behind it can be real even though they have flipped into very canned, jargon-y language. She'd have to step outside her religious group's frame of reference to realize how that language sounds to other people, and when people are immersed, it just seems normal. Some people also strongly identify with the group so much that they regard things like the special in-group language to be part of their "real self" even though it actually isn't. From that kind of perspective, to criticize the group (or something like it's language) directly is pretty much the same as criticizing them personally. It can be hard for people in that mindset to separate the two out.

 

I don't know if it would help you to sort-of "translate" things she says for yourself... i.e. if she says "I'm praying for you," you can think "that's her way of saying she cares about me" or something along those lines.

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