A few hours ago I called my grandmother to wish her a happy birthday and near the end of that conversation she asked me if I still went to church, I proceed to tell her that I no longer believe in the existence of a god and she began to lay into me with the usual its a phase type routine, I cut the conversation short, but near the end she said she wanted to talk about "god" at another time. Know normally I am usually not timid in regard to this issue, but around family I really don't like to bring it up as relations in my family are already tense enough without even bringing religion into the equation. I'm just wondering how I should handle this situation; should I go the direct route and confront her when she brings it up again, side step the issue entirely, or something else. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I'd agree with her, accept that I'd be a bit more aggressive just because it sounds like they know and are badgering you about it. You told her once in a nice respectable manner, in my eyes any further assault on you because of your choice is a blatant disrespect and should be met with equal force. I would not bring god up again, but, if she brings it up. I’d stop her mid sentence and say something to the effect of, "grandma, I love you but I refuse to chat about religious issues with you because the approach you take is disrespectful to me and to my decision." I'd follow up with "if you are curious about why i made this decision I’d be more then happy to explain it to you, but I will not debate this with you as I do not want any wedges driven between us." I have had to do the same with my family. Finally after being the broken record, they know that religion is an off limits topic with me. They don’t beg me to go to church, and I don’t disrespect them when they pray over dinner at family gatherings.
Hard call. I told mine I was atheist and she just looked at me with her kind soft eyes and said, "I love you."
My DOG! I felt like a little ant. So now I respect my elders and just smile and suck it up. I don't have to be in everyone's face. Once I am more secure with my non belief, it does not matter if I shout it out. She was being kind and I was an ass to her and I will never do that again.
My family is / was very good at emotional manipulation, and your story just brought back a lot of memories about my families reaction.
I agree with Sam Jones above (You told her once in a nice respectable manner, in my eyes any further assault on you because of your choice is a blatant disrespect and should be met with equal force).
They have to have respect for you and your decisions or you will always be a child in their eyes.
My elderly mother was visiting, out of necessity because an ice storm had left her home without power.
Somehow, the subject of God came up in the conversation, and I told her I didn't believe.
"What! You don't believe in God? Where do you suppose everything came from?"
I then asked her where God came from. I could almost hear the rusty wheels grinding - she hadn't thought about that before. She looked visibly shaken. There was no further God talk.