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Dealing With Devoted Non-Fundamentalist Parents


bleedblue22
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I sometimes wish my parents were the crazy young earth creationist kind.

 

I tried talking to my dad the other day about my reasons for being skeptical of Christianity and why I no longer believed in any particular god. My parents are devoted Christians who have always dragged me to church on Sundays and are strong believers, but they are so flimsy when it comes to talking about what they really believe. It is really hard to talk to people who keep changing the goal posts and think that science, history, and reason do not apply to matters of faith. I honestly kind of respect certain Christian apologists who attempt to make a reasonable case for the truth of Christianity instead of my dad's insistence that you can't analyze the Bible or claims of the Christian faith with logic and reason. To him, it all comes down to faith. He claims that he gets good feelings when he worships in Church and that people of faith are much happier and productive because of their faith. Every time I try to turn it into a rational discussion of whether or not Christianity is true, he claims that you just have to have faith and he thinks I am just not open to believing.

 

I find many of the Bible's claims to be demonstrably false and would like to share with my parents my very valid, rational reasons for not believing in Christianity. When I attempt that, they never respond to my objections other than saying that I just need to have faith. It seems they care nothing about the truth of it, they just like the way believing feels. It drives me crazy how this is such a big part of their lives, yet they can give no intellectual justification of their beliefs! It is all just emotional and they expect me to be fine holding an entire worldview with nothing more than blind faith supporting it. My rejection of Christianity is driving our otherwise good relationship apart as my parents complain about why I don't just "have faith" and why I try to over think things. I can hold no belief that I don't have good reasons for and they don't seem to understand this.

 

Anyone else have experience dealing with these purely emotional believers who don't feel the slightest bit threatened by evolution and science because they just don't care to think through their ramifications? The type of people where they're like "Oh you don't have to take the Bible literally" but don't even bother to put forward a plausible reason for things like Noah's Ark being an allegory?

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Sounds like my parents.  It's frustrating.  We've been reduced to talking about the weather and TV shows.  Neither of us feel like we can be ourselves without opening a can of worms...

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Like Marty, I generally confine myself to neutral topics when it comes to my parents.  I visited them this past weekend and my mom got all teary-eyed and told me that they weren't mad at me for not believing anymore; it was just difficult for them to see me running toward a cliff.

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Like Marty, I generally confine myself to neutral topics when it comes to my parents. I visited them this past weekend and my mom got all teary-eyed and told me that they weren't mad at me for not believing anymore; it was just difficult for them to see me running toward a cliff.

So switching from anger tactic to fear tactic.

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Like Marty, I generally confine myself to neutral topics when it comes to my parents. I visited them this past weekend and my mom got all teary-eyed and told me that they weren't mad at me for not believing anymore; it was just difficult for them to see me running toward a cliff.

So switching from anger tactic to fear tactic.

 

Nah, from my mom that was nothing more than a play at making me feel guilty.  She's inhuman in the way she employs guilt.

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This is instructive.

My mother in law is Methodist. I have not brought this up at all, we don't discuss religion with her parents. Mostly because their daughter, my wife, has gone more evangelical. I know tradition is important to them, and I would do nothing to interfere with that. But how does your parents' situation work?

I mean, are they afraid you're going to Hell? Apparently, not all Christians think we atheists are the pigs at eternity's pig roast. Sure, this is true of Fundagelicals, where they believe the mass murderer who comes to Jesus on death row gets the prize and we nonbelievers who are decent people get to fry. It might be instructive to find out what it is your parents are actually afraid of.

I have my own challenges, it would probably make the Wife more uncomfortable than it would her parents, to find me out as an atheist.

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