The 'joys' of a religious family..

Mini-rant time!

A conversation between my aunt and my grandmother went like this last Sunday morning upon the appearance of an article in the paper about non-religious summer camps;

G-ma (with shock); "Non-religious summer camps?!"
Aunt (derisively); "I bet they're teaching them that new-age crap"

It's so hard not to speak up in situations like this where people are blatantly and unapologetically bigoted. And that really is the problem. Many people in my family see this sort of bigotry as a positive quality, and encourage it among their children.

For instance, I have an aunt who converted to catholicism from judaism, and has jewish parents. Her 3 year old son apparently told my aunt's mother "Grandma, you're going to hell!"

My own grandmother related this story to me with an "oh, isn't that cute" attitude, something bordering on glee.

Scary, no?

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Comment by Peter D. Buckland on August 15, 2008 at 6:40am
I agree with Brian above. You have to be able to pick your battles and do what you can do where and when you can do it. I'm sure that as your beliefs grow and evolve you'll become more willing and able to take the stands you hope you can. Or maybe you won't be able to pick that fight with them for reasons of family cohesion. It's not for us to judge that and dictate the "should" that you carry out in your family.

My immediate family are freethinkers so I have had very few of these issues with my mom or dad. My extended family: that's another story.
Comment by Brian Barrish on August 1, 2008 at 9:05pm
You are correct, Sondra. It is essential to know when to choose your battles in life. Sometimes, especially with family, discretion is the better part of valor.

Always be passionate about your ideals, but remember that they must be tempered with pragmatism in the real world. In your situation, little can be gained by creating a major conflict with your family... but it could create major problems!
Comment by Sondra on August 1, 2008 at 5:47pm
Jason, I don't think you'd be so quick to say that if you realized my situation. I'm financially dependent on my parents and it would be very difficult to finish college without my dad's job's tuition exchange program.. As soon as I am on my own, none of this will be tolerated.
Comment by Sondra on August 1, 2008 at 4:10pm
Thanks for your comment. I am the first person that I know of in my exceedingly large family to be an atheist (then again, it's such a repressive familial environment that if there were any other atheists, they'd be closeted as well)

I'm looking forward to the day when I can come out.

Thanks for your good wishes :)



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