Recently my 15th birthday was upon me,this is about what my grandparents decided to do.And my Rage that followed
So my dad has these weekly phone conversations with my grandparents telling them how me and my siblings are and what not. It was one of these times my dad was telling his parents that their grandson is an Atheist.(Note to readers: My Grandparents are strongly religious,but not practicing Christians.) So when my birthday came by, or a few days after I got a package in the mail. When I opened the package just so happened to be the day my grandparents call,Meh right? Wrong.
Inside that conspicuous box, was the spit in my face.By both my dad and them. A bible, Not a normal one but a teen one which they just so happen to get me for my birthday.Perfect timing may say them. Not only was I steaming mad, I was forced to thank them for it.They said "if you ever have doubt in yourself you can open it up" Yea I have a school consular which I could tell anything to. But this,She has a few crosses in her office which makes me feel uncomfortable with this situation,if it ever came up.My dad shouldn't have done this, Almost betrayal, I've talked openly about my atheism to him and he did this?Feeble mindedness mess...
How should I go about this? They want to sign it when they come for a visit in April.What should I say to them when they ask? I know it sounds disrespectful to them but I need your opinon,My friends were no help.
Thanks for reading and such.
-Andrew

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Well I would read it but where i "put" it has been discovered and,well nobody has confronted me in my house about it.*whistles*So I don't know or really care what that person did with it but i'll look 'round for it.
My grandfather, an absolutely staunch anti-Catholic, gave me (a catholic lad) a book deriding the Pope -- "The Roman Mischief-Maker". I thanked him kindly, and left it as a prank in the priests' common room at college where they all taught. Nary a word was said -- I guess they got the caretaker to take it out and burn it:-)
Its hard at 15, I can understand the last thing you want to do is start a conflict in your house. I think you should get them a copy of "The God Delusion" and and put it away as a christmas gift for them this year. :)
I know I don't know you or your grandparents, but I come from a large family that was mostly religious, and I had a similar experience to yours when I was seventeen. So I'm going to make some assumptions when I say I doubt very much your grandparents were trying to "spit in your face" by giving you a bible. To them it was probably a "nice" gift for their grandchild. So unless they are forcing you to attend church and read the bible it probably wouldn't be such a bad thing to just thank them, do what ever you want with it and move on with life. Their are bigger and better battles out there than trying to get your granny and grandpa to understand your atheism.
Argh! My mom did this to me when she realized I am definitely not a christian (she hasn't been told I'm an atheist yet) so I just flip through it highlighting passages I know she'll find uncomfortable.

The bible can be a useful tool for argumentation so you might thank them by saying, "Thanks for the new material."

As Anne Landers or Miss Manners or one of those ladies says, "If you can't be kind at least be vague."

I want to add that it sounds like you didn't want your dad to share your atheism with your grandparents. Did you tell him not to drop the bomb? It might be helpful for you to ask him not to 'share' and let you do the honors of telling the people you choose to inform - though this method isn't foolproof and people have big mouths.
Just thank them for their generosity but use it as a means to show them that the books is as flawed as their logic was when they decided that should be your birthday gift! ;)
my friend, the bible is the most powerful tool that deconverted me and used for deconverting other christians. utilize it to your advantage!
When we were young, I was 6 and my brother was 4 our maternal grandmother started trying to give me christian themed books and games for christmas and birthdays. It was my father who made it clear to her that if it continued then she would not be welcome in our house and would not be allowed any further contact with her grandchildren.She soon stopped.
Wish I was that lucky. ;)
Listen good guay when there are aggression or ill-logical arguments to deal with, we must deal them strongly. But when comes the question of loving relations, one must be a little more careful. Thier reactions are usually based upon loved based fears. your grandparents might be worried about your going to hell, which is quite natural according to their belief. And no one wants their beloved child going to hell or getting into undesired ways of life. You are perfectly right at your place. A person living in this age of science and technology cannot belive in myths of thousands years ago. But your elders might also be right in their own place. so just try to solace their worries in some way. Best of wishes.
Thank them, as you would anyone who gives a gift meant to help you. They are not trying to harm you, but in their minds trying to protect you! So be kind and attentive.

You might also find a good book such as Dan Barker's, Losing Faith in Faith, or Sam Harris', The End of Faith, or John Armstrong's, God vs. the Bible. (John is a Deist but takes the bible to task at being outright wrong on many levels and is a very good read). Get one of these (read your own copy) but DO send them a copy!

And as they ask how you're coming along with the bible you can also make sure they too are doing the requisite reading of what you sent them. They'd have no right to ask you to read the bible if they are not reading what you sent them. It levels the playing field.

Also be sure to give your Dad a copy! You might be surprised how willingly a Dad will stick up for his son once he figures out what's up.
A lot of people are giving you advice and some of it is sound. The main thing is to remain calm and civil. We don't convince others that atheists are reasonable, sane, thinking, rational people unless we act like reasonable, sane, thinking, rational people.

I've been an atheist for nearly 30 years now and I have quite the collection of religious texts in my house. I have various versions of the Bible, the Book of Mormon (now there's some loopy stuff), the Quran and several more.

From your grandparents' perspective, this was a thoughtful gift designed to save you from Hell, a place that they believe is real. They probably truly believe that they're doing you a great service. Accept the gift in the spirit it was given. Again, be calm and civil.

One thing you can honestly tell them is that it's not something you'd get for yourself.

Do talk with your father openly about this. He expects you to respect his opinions and it's time he started respecting yours. Don't be confrontational. You might start with something like, "Dad, I really wish you hadn't told Grandma and Grandpa that I'm an atheist. That was really my call, don't you think?"

I have a couple of kids a few years older than you and my son is starting his exploration of the world's religions. I've made it clear to him that it's his decision but I hope he approaches it with the idea that nothing is above questioning and that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I've also made it clear that if he chooses to become religious, it's not changing my mind. He's known for years that if he disagrees with me, I'm a fierce debater and won't pull punches when I think an idea is asinine.

Good luck, whatever you do. Keep us informed about how this unfolds.

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