I was raised irish catholic and someting always botherd me about the whole thing.Later I married into a ready made family my wife whom I love dearly is 16 years my senior we have now been together for 14 years.She had two daughters when we met,they are both married now and have children so i am now a grandfather in my thirties,which is great but i have trouble with it due to my beleifs on religion.you see everyone else in my family is christian and it really gets to me to hear them refer to the grandchildren as christians they are way to young to even comprehend the meaning behind all of this.one of them actually thinks that jesus lives at wal mart.
the point is that i am between a rock and a hard place with all of this and it causes a lot of uncomfortable family moments.i dont say anything about the holidays or any of those things its only the daily madness that gets to me,the constant attempts by these kids to sway my beleifs and the utter lack of proof when it comes to god and or gods.anyhow here i am searching for someone or something hoping that somewhere out there is the answear i am seeking.

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Jesus lives at Wal-Mart, eh? So that's where I can find the little bugger!

Anyway, you're the Grandad, so you get to speak your mind. That's the rule in "Christian Households," dontcha know? If the kids say stuff to you, you have the right to say anything back to them.

I often wished my dad would've said something. He was atheist all the time and I didn't even know it.
Welcome to the Nexus, Cory. If you leave out the "grandfather at 30" issue, it's safe to say that most of us are in the same boat, at least to some degree. We don't want to hurt or alienate our friends and families, but we also want to be accepted as we are. There's no easy answer. We all have to feel our way through this. But you're doing the right thing. Hang out, ask questions, listen to the successes and failures of folks in the same position and you'll find something that works for you.

My only piece of urgent advice (don't worry, there's tons more that I'm sitting on for the moment) is that you assure your grandchildren that the fate of your soul is not in their hands. They are getting pressure from family, friends and church to pray for you and to convince you to turn your life around. This is a very heavy burden and it's cruel to put children through this. Let them know that you love them and you're glad that they love you. You might even tell them that there are grown-ups that are trying to make you change - just to help them feel like they're not under so much pressure.
So true. Like being told in health class it's your responsibility to get family members to quit smoking cigarettes; the church tells kids they have to "save" your soul for you or you'll burn forever and they won't get to see you in heaven. Rough gig for a little one.

That said - you can be the calm counterpoint. One thing is to just encourage the grandkids to pursue critical thinking; interest them in the sciences and maybe watch or read programs together on evolution, the age of the earth, etc. My brother is the only other family I have who is atheist, and it was science the did the trick for him. For me it was the study of religion (specifically islam, jehovahs witness, LDS and $cientology). Encourage them to ask questions in general, and teach them it's okay not to have all the answers. I think those ought to help. Good luck biting your lips :)
Very interesting story, Cory. My best wishes to you in your marriage and your status as the young grandfather.

Other people in the thread have basically said what I would say, only to add that if your family members' ONLY fault is in their religious views, then the problem is not that bad of one. Since you're the elder in the family (albeit a very youthful one!!!), you have the prerogative of being the "weird" one in their eyes. But focus on the important stuff first. Being a younger man who loves an older spouse is already an excellent model of manhood that not many families get to have.

Otherwise, I can't offer anything that matches up to what others have already said here. Best wishes to you as you find your way through this situation.
Hi Cory.
You are not alone. Most of us have people in our lives who feel that we are damned and either want to save us or reject us completely. Even though you don't agree with their way of thinking, be glad that they love you enough to care in their own wacky way. I totally agree with Mark about relieving the children of the burden of saving your soul. Save the salvation arguments for the adults and let the children know that grandpa is a safe harbor who will love them with open arms and honest (age appropriate) answers.

Angie hit the nail on the head when she suggested exploring science with them. If they are very young you can start with looking at the stars to ignite the spark of science and then fan the flames as they grow. They will eventually start asking deeper questions on their own.

Good luck to you!




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