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Hi everyone!

 

I am glad to have found this site and to be able to discuss things with like or similar minded people! I hope that we can have many interesting discussions and provide great support for each other. So, here's my story as boring as it may be lol.

 

I was raised catholic. I went to catholic school until 7th grade. I was forced to go to church every Sunday. The thing is that i never ever held any belief in god. I remember sitting on my bed, before my first communion with the mass book trying like hell to feel this great belief or presence of god. It never happened. My mom would lecture me "you would get so much more out of church if you just participated" because I wouldn't say any of the responses and prayers, nor would I sing the songs. You'd think this would have been her first clue LOL. I made my confirmation because that's what I was supposed to do (and really, being a minor living under my parents roof - did I really have any choice?). The ceremony meant nothing to me. My mother was very authoritarian. It was her way or no way. If you told the truth she'd argue with you until you lied and told her what she wanted to hear. She looks down on every religion (especially other christian faiths) as inferior. My brothers wife is raising their children christian but not catholic and she can't wrap her head around this (my brother is atheist). When the catholic church I was raised in was remodeled, her opinion was "Ugh, I don't like it. It's so....protestant!". Yet when I married a Methodist, she and my dad were trying to convince me to convert my husband because "they are pretty much the same"...huh?!? Hello hypocrisy! So telling my parents was not something I felt comfortable doing. When we sent the kids to public school my dad was shocked "You are going to let your kids learn about evolution?!?!" ummm we never knew you didn't believe it! 

 

I have spent my whole life playing the role of the dutiful daughter. Doing everything to appease my parents. Getting married in a catholic church, baptizing my kids, sending them to ccd. All so that I appease my parents. We would go to church on major holidays so that my kids wouldn't have to lie about going and major fights wouldn't be started because we didn't go. My dad has dementia and is essentially in a vegetative state right now or he would be a part of this next section. I'm not saying this to garner sympathy or anything. Just so you know why he's not a part of this story. About six months ago I decided that I was sick of living my life to make everyone else happy (this was a culmination of other things too that lead to this decision). I decided that while I would not initiate any religious discussion - I would be truthful if asked. About 6 weeks ago my mom and i were alone, and out of the blue she asked me "do you still attend this church?" I said no. She asked me "is this your brothers influence?" (mommy issue! hence my screen name. She thinks I'm completely incapable of independent thought. Anything that I do or think that she doesn't agree with must be me trying to be cool or have been influenced by someone). I was livid, even though i knew this would be her first question. This for me shut down the whole conversation. I was not willing to discuss this with her or trust her to understand why I believe what I do. I looked at her and told her "no, I am a full grown adult and I am capable of independent thought and coming to conclusions on my own without being influenced by other people" and she said she knew this. She kept at it finding external influences. "The church does a lot of good!" I know, they can do that sometimes. "The church does have it's problems, but they are working through it" Ok but that's not the issue. "This faith was a gift handed to my mother from her mother and it was handed to me. It was a gift your father and I tried to give to our children". Ok but that's not a reason to believe in it. Now she says she doesn't understand why I don't trust her to tell her why I "have abandoned your faith". Because you don't trust me to have come to these conclusions on my own, if you hadn't blamed being influenced by someone first thing it might have been a very different discussion. And you can't abandon something that wasn't there in the first place. So MommyIssues is primarily because she's the only family member that can't/won't understand or support me (i really didn't expect her to). 

 

So now I'm out. I have come clean about my lack of beliefs. She keeps wanting to talk about the "why". She wants me to open up to and be honest with her. So i'm here primarily looking for stories as to what challenges did family present to you? What arguments did they try to make and how did you handle them? Has your family ever come to terms with your non-belief? How can you present your beliefs in such a way that they will just leave you alone about them instead of incessantly trying to "bring the lost sheep back into the heard"? 

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It's not easy, but you will find support here. Welcome!

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What an interesting story, I really like how you write. You should start a blog. smile.png

 

Welcome here, and look forward to more of your posts!

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MommyIssues, Welcome to ex-c! And thank you for sharing your story. We understand what you are going through. I personally am so glad for you that you figured out all this at such a nice young age. Now you can begin (as you are not going to spend your life people pleasing anymore...bravo for you !!) to figure out your very own worldview. We'll be right here with you in case you need a little input to some of the confusion you may go through! Glad you're here with us!!

 

hug

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MommyIssues: Good OP. There are really good books available to answer your mother's questions about your losing faith. Actually you didn't lose it. You were smart enough not to buy that drivel in the first place. There are a bunch of good books listed here at Exchristian in the book store. A real good one is by Thomas Paine entitled "The Age of Reason".  You could make a gift of the book to her and tell her that it sets forth most of your reasons for having no religion.I don't know that giving her books will be any more successful than talking it out with her, but at least you could delay an in depth discussion until she has read about the reasons for your position. After all you were compelled to go through all that brainwashing that the church put you through. The least she could do is to become familiar with your reasons. 

 

See, my problem is that my wife refuses to discuss or read about my position on Xtianity. In a way I think it  is to your advantage that your mother wants to know your reasons. This way you can let the books by the experts do most of your talking and ask her why she doesn't agree with specific points raised in the books. This should put the ball in her court. But ask anyone here and they will tell you that Xtians are nothing if not hard headed. I doubt you will change anybody's mind because refusal to reason is the very core of Xtians thinking. That shouldn't be your goal anyway, However it may make her back off a bit. And it will possibly put a seed of doubt in your mother's mind.  I wish you the best of luck. I know it's a pain in the tail;  bill

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Hi.

 

Yikes...yeah.  Religious conflicts between mother and daughter can be very dicey.

 

For the most part, my family is very mixed religious-wise.  My dad is an agnostic, so when my mom was alive they didn't discuss religion much.  My dad's sister's uncle is very hard core Pentecostal.  We've had some intense discussions.  I think he knows I'm gay because he's tried to ask me whether I believe that homosexuality is "acceptable before God."  My response was that I didn't place much value in an archaic text that was written in another part of the world two thousand years ago   It got him somewhat riled up.  But after that, we stopped discussing it.  He also knows better than to try to convince my cousin, who is a strong atheist.

 

It's not officially known that I no longer believe in Christianity in its organized form.  But I anticipate few problems when I do.  As for that uncle...he lives in Alaska, so the concern there is non existent.

 

I don't know if it helps or not.  But ultimately, as a song says, you have to be true to yourself.

 

Andrewyellow.gif

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Evening.

 

Strikes me that you need to take control of this (not that you haven't already - but in the face of constant attempts to raise the question, it's as well to keep your guard up).  Do you want to discuss this with your mother?  If not, simply don't - tell her you've no wish to to do so and, if necessary, walk away.  If yes, make sure it's on your terms - time and place of your choosing and take control of the conversation but getting her to answer questions rather than just asking them.

 

Bottom line here is that her eagerness to talk sounds like an attempt to bring pressure to bear, and you can probably do without that.

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Evening.

 

Strikes me that you need to take control of this (not that you haven't already - but in the face of constant attempts to raise the question, it's as well to keep your guard up).  Do you want to discuss this with your mother?  If not, simply don't - tell her you've no wish to to do so and, if necessary, walk away.  If yes, make sure it's on your terms - time and place of your choosing and take control of the conversation but getting her to answer questions rather than just asking them.

 

Bottom line here is that her eagerness to talk sounds like an attempt to bring pressure to bear, and you can probably do without that.

 

I have no idea what questions to ask. I don't particularly care what her beliefs are nor do I care how or why she believes what she does. I already know the why anyway. So could you suggest what questions I would ask of her?

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My parents and I have had an uneasy truce concerning religion since I deconverted in 2003.  We've never really discussed it because I already know what they believe and they don't really want to know what I believe.  However, I recently sent my father a copy of "The God Virus" by Darrel W. Ray and he actually read it.  He says he'd like to discuss it with me sometime when we have time to sit down for a proper conversation.  My mother even made the claim that she was going to read it, too; but she says a lot of things...

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Evening.

 

Strikes me that you need to take control of this (not that you haven't already - but in the face of constant attempts to raise the question, it's as well to keep your guard up).  Do you want to discuss this with your mother?  If not, simply don't - tell her you've no wish to to do so and, if necessary, walk away.  If yes, make sure it's on your terms - time and place of your choosing and take control of the conversation but getting her to answer questions rather than just asking them.

 

Bottom line here is that her eagerness to talk sounds like an attempt to bring pressure to bear, and you can probably do without that.

 

I have no idea what questions to ask. I don't particularly care what her beliefs are nor do I care how or why she believes what she does. I already know the why anyway. So could you suggest what questions I would ask of her?

 

 

Personally, if I was faced by someone determined to talk about these subjects, and I did not want to just refuse to talk, I'd go on the attack by asking her to justify why she believes some of the more outrageous stuff.  How can an omniscient god create a race knowing that he will throw 99.9% of them into everlasting agony and then expect to be called a god of love?  How does genocide display god's justice and mercy?  That type of approach would be my choice - but frankly anything to take the initiative from her.  Whether you care about her views or have heard it all before seems less of an issue than having control of the conversation.

 

Alternatively, if you care so little for her thoughts, simply refuse to talk - though the persistence you describe suggests to me you may also have to walk away.  It then depends on the extent to which you want to maintain contact with her.

 

I'm just suggesting you think tactically about how to deal with this

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