I'm sooo confused on what to do. My mother in-law was visiting and discussing her beliefs and was shocked that I am an atheist. I tried explaining my views and thought we were having a nice conversation. She has now accused me of verbally attacking her and most of my family has taken her side and made me an outcast. what I find strange is all I did was say what I believed. We both really got along before this and she thought a lot of me. now I am a lost soul who has no morals and should not have a family along with killing myself because I have no purpose. This is all sooo insane and I'm at a loss how to deal with this. she wont even talk to me until I accept jesus for christs sake. GOD I HATE RELIGION
I know where you are coming from! My children now understand that I "have atheist views" but my mother in law and step father have no idea what I think of religion today. When I worked in a factory, my atheism got me into discussions that more than shocked others, and got me in trouble for "talking." These days I'm a security guard over property owned and controlled by a very religious family. I can't say much naturally because I want to keep my job. Just last night a fellow security officer told me he thought the world was so wicked that he "was surprised that god hadn't destroyed us already." I had to bite my tongue. Being just right for a guilt trip, I then understood why this man had become a Christian.
Two days ago I got a phone call from my step father who was devastated by the news that his 95 year old sister was dying. She's in the hospital and her body is shutting down. Dad is scared shitless because he knows that "he is next" and the two of them are the last of the family. Death scares the bejesus out of him, and he called me for solice knowing that I studied for the ministry once. I talked him trough things not saying anything about god or Jebus. He felt better then, but his normal day is to watch Jimmy Swaggert 24/7 saying "oh, praise god, praise god" while the cigarette smell in his house is so strong it will knock you down. A Pentecostal smoking fool, I can't even stand too close to him. His desire to smoke is stronger than his belief system, but dad hasn't figured this one out yet. It means that secretly he knows god is a myth and religion is a lie.
In your situation all you can do is give it some time. Enough time slowly fixes everything. Let's face it. If you become "converted" and they all act so proud of you saying "he used to be atheist but now he has come back to the fold and accepted Jebus again."--who would really believe it? Not you and not even them really, although you would often be "drinking the blood of Jebus" in some church ritual. Deep down they all know that god is imaginary but nobody wants to die. God is the insurance policy.
"Hey, I'm God and I created you. It's reasonable service for you to worship me even if I wanted to destroy all mankind more than once, and I killed thousands and was very jealous, but that was the Old Pesterment. Now I offer you a new deal. I came to earth and let you kill me just so you would believe. To prove it all, I came alive again. and if you believe then you will forever be with me and be where I am. We can sing and you can be here worshiping me forever. The Easter Bunny is here with me also."
Good luck. Some things just take a little time. Your "offended" mother in law will believe she was "attacked" because that is what scripture teaches her. The Buybull told her so.
I've heard that some religious folk don't have sex standing up because it looks like they're dancing.
The business of believers' feeling as though an atheist is attacking THEM when they criticize religion is a long-standing phenomenon. It stems from the fact that such believers EQUATE themselves with their religion; it is that much a part of their identity. So, of course, when we point out the absurdity of their religion, it gets construed as a personal attack on them!
I'm no psychologist, but that strikes me as pretty poor judgment (if indeed any form of judgment is involved!) to allow oneself to be so dependent on something like religion and therefore so vulnerable.
It would be great if I could find an article or part of a book describing this phenominon. I could show my family and hopefully they would then see what really happened. Would appreciate a link or name from anyone who may know of such an article etc..
Take your family to a high school football game and take seats among the home team's supporters.
Oh, have them (not you) wear the visiting team's colors and cheer for the visiting team.
I agree, but many Christians consider it an attack upon them to simply IDENTIFY oneself as an atheist, much less point out idiocies.
Indeed. There is a technical term for such people. They are called: "ouch cubes!"
Oh my goodness, I love that, thank you Loren!
I just hope things are cool between your wife and yourself. The rest don't matter that much since you don't live with them anyway. You can think of this experience as the shattering of one more illusion.
I had a friend once go on about how Christianity is being attacked and how she feels attacked by ANY criticism towards religion. I almost lost her because I had posted articles about children who died from failed "faith healings" to show that medicine denial for children should be illegal. We're better now, but there will always be that no mans land that we have to walk around to keep the peace.
People tend to be super sensitive about religion because a lot of them think that their religion makes them what they are. They can't separate them their beliefs to that they can analyze them. It's all emotion. I do agree, however, that time will help some of these issues...but if it doesn't, point out that she was expressing her beliefs and that you were able to handle it...she should friggin man up and stop being a baby over it. But that's if you don't care how far down the rabbit hole this whole thing goes.
Just do what you can.
Rachel, religion becomes them. Think on that -- religion becomes them. It's like a smoker who cannot quit and you see that they have leather pouches both for the cigarette pack and the lighter, and their names or initials are on these! That's a pretty strong statement for smoking, so no wonder they can't quit. Religionists look at their belief system the same way. "God said it, they believe it, and that ends it." I'm not surprised that they cannot quit, and this strong statement for their religion shows also that anyone who disagrees with them will be viewed as "attacking them." I might also add again that "being attacked" is viewed as proof that their belief system is the right one.