We've had an interesting discussion in our household this morning.

We have a fundamentalist Christian relative staying with us for the weekend. Now, let me preface this by saying he is terminally ill and I am not in a position to cause a fuss over anything he says or does, so I have spent the last couple of days painfully biting my tongue. ;-)

But, it has got us to thinking about double standards.

Yesterday, he sat down in the lounge room and rather ostentatiously drew out a Christian book and proceeded to tell us what a great read it was.

Last night he decided he wanted to go to church today, so he asked me to find out what time the service was.

This morning, I got up early, drove him to church and arranged to pick him up again when it is finished.

Back home, Mum and I got to discussing what would have been the reaction if the tables had been turned.

I turn up at my relative's Christian house and ostentatiously draw out my copy of Hitchens' "God is Not Great" and begin expounding on how wonderful it is.

Then I say, "Oh, by the way, there's an atheist meeting happening somewhere nearby tomorrow. Can you find out when and where it is for me and drop me off and pick me up?"

Of course, I would never do that - but it seems perfectly acceptable for Christians to do this in atheist households.

I must admit I did crack a little this morning when we were met at the door by a church full of smiling Christians who, when told I would not be attending, reached out their hands and started repeating, "Join us, join us, join us!" Honestly, it was creepier than the Annual Brisbane Zombie Walk! My reply, "Not in a million years!" was probably a little less than tactful, but hey, I'm human! ;-)

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There are no double standards
they have standards
we simply don't
Well, we had the "I'm worried about your immortal soul" talk as I drove him home yesterday. I said, "Let me get you off the hook here. There is nothing you could do or say that would make me or Mum believe what you believe. Your job is done. You've tried. I've told you to back off and that you're wasting your time."
He said, "But I have to warn you there's a spiritual catastrophe coming!"
I replied, "Well, you've warned me now so you've done your duty."
He said, "But I have to keep trying to convince you!"
I said, "No, you don't. We respect your right to believe as you wish and we don't come into your home trying to persuade you to our way of thinking. We expect you to show us the same respect. If, in the unlikely event we change our minds, we know where to find you. But, I'm warning you that that won't happen."
He responded, "Well, thank you for being so frank with me."

I think he was glad to be 'off the hook' spiritually. He could rest easy knowing he'd tried and had been told so unequivocally that no argument he could make would make a difference.

I could have fought and argued and debated but, as my friend Lurline says, "You can't reason with a fencepost." Sigh!
I agree that there is a double standard. I live in a very Christian home, and Im the lone atheist. Apparently, its great that my parents go to church and want to be in a faith-enriching environment, but its not okay for me to be on these forums, in an atheism-enriching environment. They hate that I'm on these sites.
Its about time atheists stood up and have places to be active in either on the net or in "the flesh". Our numbers are rising all the time!
I am in exactly the same situation, except, my parents sent me to a christian college. The good part is I see every argument from christians, so I know how to respond
Cory...I feel for you! I was born and raised in Cleveland and just moved back. Lee University is full of fundies. Are you still at Lee University?
I chose to go to a Catholic university for my education. >.> But they never sought to convert anyone there who wasn't Catholic, which was nice. It was easy to forget it was a religious school until the drama about condoms from a company offering free AIDs/HIV testing.
It's hard when you're living under your parents' roof and depending on their financial support. We were lucky our parents were cool with whatever we wanted to do. My Dad was an atheist, my mother and grandmother spiritualists, but when my brother and I decided to go to church they were happy for us to go. We experienced no pressure to conform to their beliefs and they let us explore our own. Result - my brother became a fundy, and I became an atheist. They loved us just the same.

I would be interested for someone with this problem to post a thread asking what atheist parents would do if their teenagers wanted to go to church.

I'm sorry I have no useful advice. Whatever you do, you are not going to change your parents. The only thing you can do is work hard, get an education, and become financially independent. You know you have all the support you need here.
How old are you now?
I stopped going to church when I was 13.
They cannot force you to go to church,concerts,etc. if you don't want to go,just say no...You really need to start standing up to them.
Oh man. I bet you cant wait until you move out.
So,be grounded...You really need to put your foot down.
Just don't go. Refuse to go. They cannot force you. You have a mind of your own now.
It's not the end of the world...On the up side,if you are grounded,that gives you more time to be a bad influence on the children!!!
If they drag you to church,just get up and leave mid-service and go outside and read a book,or play a game. Do this every Sunday,no matter WHAT. If you embarrass them enough,they will stop taking you.
Another option is to set your alarm clock for earlier than they get up and leave a note reading :
"Gone for a walk,see you at lunch". And simply don't be in the house.
My mother said nothing to me when I told her I was not going to church anymore...She did nothing to make me go,she just walked away.
But there comes a time when you either fish or cut bait. it's time to do a little fishing!
When I told my father that I was meeting up with an atheist group in the area, he told me he didn't want me around "those people." Gee, Dad, yeah, atheism, drug dealers, child traffickers. We're in the same category as people who seek to harm others or something. >.X

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