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Getting Through A Visit From Christian Relatives


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I mentioned on another thread that I was in a bad mood. It's because my apocalyptic prophecy-obsessed mom is coming from out of town for a 3 day visit today. She only has two topics of conversation: whatever BS is on Fox News and Bible end-times prophecy. Looking for suggestions on how not to lose my mind.....thanks :-)

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Call a truce?  No politics or religion?  If that doesn't work I've got nothing.  Sorry.

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Maybe I can distract her with, I don't know, anything.....I don't want a confrontation. Families are the hardest.... I wish I could do Jedi mind tricks "this isn't the dogma you're looking for..."

 

Maybe just sneaking a post here and there on here will make it a little better. Talking to same people and all.

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How about just repeating "I don't want to talk about politics or religion".  Stay polite but stick to it.

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Thanks mm, that's my usual tactic. I just dread it. It'll stop her for a while, and then she forgets, or something will come up and she's back at it. I know, it's impossible. Maybe I'll have some end-times gems to post later--trying to think on the bright side :-)

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If the "I don't want to talk about it" tactic doesn't work, either a confrontation or a sullen silence seems inevitable.

 

No easy answer to this one, I'm afraid.

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Disconnect the cable from the TV so she can't feed.

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My brother is helping her install a Bible app on her iPhone. So far not as bad as I thought. Thanks all....I hope you don't mind me posting on this thread so much, it's helping retain my sanity.

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Mom went to bed. Me and my bro are drinking Captain and cokes, well deserved...

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Christian relatives Day 2: I survived Day 1 YAY

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I mentioned on another thread that I was in a bad mood. It's because my apocalyptic prophecy-obsessed mom is coming from out of town for a 3 day visit today. She only has two topics of conversation: whatever BS is on Fox News and Bible end-times prophecy. Looking for suggestions on how not to lose my mind.....thanks :-)

 

Hide? Tell her it's all baloney. Maybe she will shorten her visit. Pull out the Ouija board ?

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^^^  haha!! If only I could get away with that!

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Day 2: hanging in there.

 

Christian roadside kitsch has always amazed me. My mom was showing off a foot long wood and leather cross she got at a roadside stand on the way here. I always wondered about the cross fetish. Is it so you'll fit in? Is it to prove you're Christian in case anyone doubts you? Is it a reminder, to convince yourself you are indeed a Christian? Why the need to advertise?

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Day 2: hanging in there.

 

Christian roadside kitsch has always amazed me. My mom was showing off a foot long wood and leather cross she got at a roadside stand on the way here. I always wondered about the cross fetish. Is it so you'll fit in? Is it to prove you're Christian in case anyone doubts you? Is it a reminder, to convince yourself you are indeed a Christian? Why the need to advertise?

I've often wondered how different Christianity would be if Jesus lived in 19th century France. Their symbol would be the guillotine. If it was early to mid 20th century America it would have been an electric chair. 

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Survived Day 2 and am free at last. It's mind-blowing just how constantly my mom thinks about religion. She says grace at restaurant meals and approves of anyone who drops God into the conversation. It's really naive the way she assumes religious = good.

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My fundy dad visited me for a month one weekend. Just ignore and address another topic. Do not acknowledge topics you've already ruled out. Ignore, move on, ignore again. Do not explain yet again. Ignore and pick your own topic. Smile.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's also mind-blowing how one-dimensional people in that situation are. When I was still a fence-sitter, my father would ask the common question, "I just want to know what you think about ..." which means, "Does everyone still agree with me?"

-- I get it, was raised with the Bible and the Wall Street Journal. Jesus / Ronald Reagan ... now did Jesus use an astrologer as Ronald Reagan did? Anyway, you have my sympathies. The one-dimensional nature of some people used to bug me, even as a Christian, once I passed my early 20s. It bugs me a lot more now as an atheist, but ironically, a lot less, since I am no longer trying to make sense out of their nonsense.

I try to play the part of the anthropologist, the active observer in those situation. But, of course, for all of us, it's the memories, the fear of Hell, the cognitive dissonance, and all.

I understand your challenges. Some people don't and are willing to forego relationships. I have yet to tell my own parents -- I'm in my 40s and they in their 70s. I fail to see how it could do anything useful for them. My mother knew I read Francis Collins and C. S. Lewis at one point, and I did admit some of my reservations at that point. But now that I'm completely deconverted, I have a hell of a lot less to prove, be it to myself or anyone else. It's hard when it's your parents, though. Family dynamics are just that difficult when people are that dedicated to their beliefs.

What made me a "double-minded Christian" was that lack of dedication to beliefs: I would always place people above beliefs. Now that I'm out, I can see why they spit out the words secular humanist, with such vitriol. It terrifies them that humans could be more important than what humans believe about invisible entities.

 

Leo

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