I believe my elderly uncle is a non believer.  There have been signs.  He has not attended church since my grandma died in 1996 - except for funerals.  Refuses to lead prayers at family gatherings, although, he will mumble along eyes open with the rest.  Did not pray at my dad's (his brother's) funeral last summer.  Avoids religious conversation and changes the subject when it comes up.  Never gives a reason why he doesn't go to church even with his long time girlfriend. 


My dh thinks my uncle is an atheist.  I have asked my cousins and they think he is a backsliding believer.  I tend to agree he's at least a doubter.  I talk to him more than any of them.  How do I talk to him about his lack of faith?  How do I assure him it's okay, I don't believe either?  I don't know how to talk to him about this or even if I should.  He seems to be okay with being religiously ambiguous. Maybe I should just leave well enough alone.  He's an old man.  He's obviously happy with his life and being cagey about his faith. 

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He is your uncle, you know him better than us strangers, so it ultimately should be up to you to decide.

My guess is since you are saying he is old and happy, then why bringing up such a serious subject with an elderly person?)) Maybe you need this conversation more than your uncle does?

P.S. I didn't realize you really still have 'family prayers'! I mean, saw it in the movies but from there it still looked fictional. I've never taken part or seen a family prayer! Thank god for that! hehe ;) )))))


Idk. It is at least possible that he is a believer only not terribly fervent about it. My stepdad showed similar signs of not being a believer the entire time my mom was raising us as Baptists. I thought that that was at least one thing I could admire home for.

Then one day I am arguing w a very theist half brother about evolution vs creation. I asked him to explain the mountains of physical evidence in support of evolution. My sibling responded that the devil may well have put them there. My step father then comes to interject something. I figure one person believing something this ridiculous is incredible but two would be simply impossible. Instead of offering anything reasonable tho he says that I am an idiot for being so gulable as to believe in dinosaur bones as I have never seen any. Then while I am standing there with my jaw on the foot, he follows it up with how I also am an idiot for not accepting Pascals wager.

He didn't refer to it as Pascals wager, of course. And actually I have visited the La brea tar pits and seen evidence of prehistoric animals with my own eyes. I was simply so caught by surprise and dumbfounded by the stupidity and the arogence of it that I was speechless momentarily.

I have went on for some time with this, sorry. My point tho is that you could be wrong, just as I was. My stepdad simply didn't like people enuf to tolerate going to service. And I mistook this for some type and level of doubt in his faith, at least. Where, in fact, he simply hadn't thought about it enuf to question faith in the least.

I hope this is not the case with your uncle.
Yep, my family stll prays around the table at mealtimes.  I have always hated it and dumped that as soon as I left home.  He is happy in his level of belief or disbelief.  I do think he's my least religious relative.
Hey, I'm pretty elderly. I like talking honestly with everybody, including my relatives, believe it or not.

Why do you want to talk to him about it? Are you concerned about his welfare? Do you think he might be lonely?


You could simply start talking about your own discomfort with family religious events because you are an unbeliever, an atheist and see how he reacts but you are probably taking a chance if you have not outed yourself already.




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