hey all (srry bout bad spelling, doin this on mobile)) but my parents, mainly mother, wants to go to this southern baptist church. I have a predisposition to get migraines, and this church has everything that gives me one. old people perfume, makeup, heat(stuffy), excessive noise, and the noise being fundamentalist christian ignorance (i have nothing wrong with modern/intelligent christians, but i haye facebook open christians bcuz they r so ignorant. my mother is a strong believer in the "perfect christian family" mentality. how do i convince my mother to let me stay home? please help, this church is literally painful!

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Tell her the salient stuff, particularly that the noise and smell and other factors exacerbate your migraines.  If she says that the spiritual atmosphere will solve your problem, ask her if she wants to stop by the emergency room after services?

Seriously, your health should mean a bit more to her ... and you can point that out as well.

She just thinks I'm trying to get out of going to church

Couple questions, then:

  • Have you been clinically diagnosed as having migraines?
  • If so, are you taking medication for them?
  • Is she aware of the diagnosis?

Here's a thought: if you have been diagnosed, give your doc a shout and tell him/her about this and have the doc talk to your mom.  With luck, your doc can convince her that church is doing you more harm than good.

If that doesn't work, the only other alternative I can think of is legal and unpleasant and involves demonstrable allegations of child neglect and/or abuse, and I doubt you want to go there.

Have you perhaps told her honestly why you don't want to go? I assume you are at least 18 to be posting here (I thought you had to be at least the age of consent). An adult can make up his or her own mind and decisions. What does mommy have to do with anything?

You will earn a lot more respect in life if you are honest. 

When you say "She just thinks I'm trying to get out of going to church" is she correct?


"If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities." -- Voltaire

As someone who also gets migraines, I can commiserate in your agony. The pain of migraines is hard to convey to people who don't get them, and you really need to stick to your guns and get the point across to your mother. Put aside the fact that you don't want to go to that church and focus on the physical illness that results. I'm with Loren-enlist your doctor if you have one. But you can also go online to somewhere like the mayo clinic and look for symptoms that reflect your own. Bring this to your mother and show her it's not just you that suffers from this.

They might have the idea that you will just be sleeping in and lolling around on the sofa playing on the xbox (or what have you) while they're out being a "perfect christian family", and so you might also want to consider negotiation with your parents. Instead of going to church, you'll cook the noon meal for when they get back, or you'll vacuum and dust so the house is clean (or all of that even), and maybe even have a discussion when they return on what happened during church that they wants to share with you. Be prepared for some give and take. (If they take you up on the cooking thing, let me know and I'll share some good recipes!) Good luck!


No sweat on the spelling -- I hate those stinkin' phone 'keyboards'!

At around Christmas time, just before my 4th birthday, I told Mom that I didn't want to go to church (Baptist) any more.  The only reason I could give was that the adults there acted crazy, and it scared me.  I suppose my mom would today be called a 'cultural Christian' -- that is, she strongly believed that religion is necessary to be a good member of society, but that one needn't worry about the hocus-pocus.  She offered me a deal: To avoid church, I had to read the Bible every day and be prepared to discuss it at any time.  Her reasoning was, "You needn't be pious, but you shouldn't be ignorant" -- made sense.  And so that's what I did.  That book is a tough read for a little kid, especially the old testament, but I made it through in a little over 2 years.  The reading and the discussions confirmed my atheism, and not long after, Mom stopped going to church too.  I re-read the whole damn thing again as a teenager, just to be sure that my little kid mind hadn't misinterpreted it.  That brought home the realization that not only is almost the whole thing boring & stupid, but large parts of it are vile & disgusting.  There are some decent bits here and there, but nothing that any reasonable person wouldn't figure out on their own.

Much will depend on your parent's view of the value of church.  Some may feel it necessary to hear the lessons from the mouth of a 'man o' God', while some may put emphasis on your membership in the religious community, including their shared experience.  Still others, like my mom, may simply want you to know what their religion is about.  Try having an open discussion, and don't make it all about headaches.  If you don't believe what's being preached, try to find a diplomatic way to say so.  You know your parents better than we can, and should try to understand what your disbelief would mean to them.  Sometimes you have to moderate the message, but honesty is important enough to make at it least a long-term goal.

I (and I assume many here) hope the best for you.  Please keep us posted.


I totally sympathize with you. My parents made me attend a tiny fundamentalist church until I turned 18. I just had to put up with it. I basically had to think of the sermon as entertainment so I could stand it. It can actually be quite amusing to hear that much bigotry, ignorance, and circular reasoning in 40 minutes.
Anyways, I'm at a very conservative Christian university right now (don't ask how I ended up here; I don't understand it myself) and I have to attend mandatory worships and vespers. It's awful and irritating. At first I brushed it off as a minor hassle. The more I have to sit through the more it bothers me, and I'm usually a bundle of nerves by the time it's done. I can't stand listening to the bigoted and ignorant things they say. Even though I have to attend worships during the week, thankfully church is not mandatory here.
My 14-year-old sister rarely attends church anymore and my parents don't force her to. I guess they saw that it didn't convert or benefit me in any way so they've given up. Maybe if you can show your parents that you truly aren't interested and aren't going to change your mind, they'll listen to you. Mine thought I was just going through some youthful rebellious faze and would grow out it if I kept attending church.

Show her following quotes from the bible:

1 Timothy{2:11} Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. {2:12} But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

1 Corinthians {14:34} Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but [they are commanded] to be under obedience, as also saith the law. {14:35} And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

1 Peter 3:1-2 Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

Tell her that this is her position in her religion.

I can agree with your not wanting to attend, but my parents made me attend and what I really wanted was to stay home on Sunday nights and watch "Bonanza" on TV. I knew that God wouldn't mind. It was during this time that decisions were made for me to study for the ministry, and today I am an atheist. Go figure.

Sorry to hear about your situation, I had something similar happen when I was 14.  When I turned 16 I decided I'd had enough and told my mother I wasn't going anymore and stuck to it.  After a year or two my parents stopped asking me to go.  I guess it really depends how old you are and how much you're willing to sow discord with your mother.  At some point, you'll either leave the house and she won't have a say in the matter or you'll have to confront her and tell her you're not going.  The younger you are the harder this is and I don't think that there's any easy way to do it.  Make sure when you do though, that you stick with your decision, if you cave in when she tells you that you have to go, you'll be stuck back in that routine.

Try and picture the situation from her perspective though.  In her eyes, you not going to church puts you on the path to Hell.  It is very difficult to convince a parent to let you make your own decision, especially when in her opinion, your soul is at stake.

My advice to you is to wait it out until you've got some amount of independance and when you do decide its time to stop going, don't back down.

Ryan, how close are you to emancipation? There is a time when fighting mom and dad is a normal and natural part of becoming adult. That stage can be relatively peaceful or as traumatic as Hell on Earth. Only you can decide the strategy to use.

Many mothers want a "perfect christian family" and don't know how to create a healthy family. Some think the answer is in religion, with children sitting quietly in pews listening to sermons based on Bronze Age sheep herding tribal people.

Others think the process of healthy family making is to listen to each other, speak honestly based on critical thinking, and do not seek perfection, but seek participation in communication, problem solving, conflict resolution. These have absolutely nothing to do with religion. 

At some point, like the young eagle, it has to fly on its own. Momma and daddy can't fly for you. If you rebel, simply to create chaos, you lack wisdom. If you rebel because you think things through, know in your mind the difference between right and wrong, then you are ready to fledge. 

Christopher Hitchens at his best (1)

"Segment from Christopher Hitchens at the Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, TX, Nov. 18th 2010.
The last 30 secs are absolutely beautiful. He might have deconverted some kids at the school. Loosing Christopher would be a great loss for us all, but he won't really be gone because we will keep him alive online in videos like this and in his work.

I'm sorry you're going thru that Ryan. I grew up in the Bible Belt South and was forced to attend assembly of god and pentecostal churches with my mother. Course, we were so poor, going 'anywhere' was a big event to us as I knew after church we'd go out to a real restaurant too :)  I don't know you're age but if you're under 18, you may not have a choice going. As a young child, I suspected about the smoke-and-mirrors trickery of religion and viewed it as silly, fake and money-making. I asked my mother if I could go sit in the 'family/nursery' room which included lots of stained glass art images. Albeit the stained glass has 'religious' images and the sermon audio was piped-into that room... hardly anybody was ever in that 'family/nursery' room so I enjoyed privacy and could block-out the religous audio by day dreaming about all the beautiful stained glass art. You might consider finding a secluded church room to go into if your mother forces you to go and does not belive you about the headaches - then take your hand-help video game or a cool book to occupy your time while there. Hopefully your mother will think you're absorbing the religious messages and just be happy you're there (she may be simply wanting company going to church). Then when you turn 18, you'll can state you don't want to go to church. Good luck.




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