Phone Call with religious mother

So last night(march 1st), I received a call from my dad and all we talked about was how school was going for me and just life on campus.

He then handed his phone to my mom, who sooner or later asked me if I had been going to church. Mind, you my parents don't know I'm an atheist per say, but I've given them hints that I don't like church (Not getting up to give money during 'offering time'). I'm usually on the phone for about 3-5 minutes with my parents, but this time was different.We talked for over an hour. I told my mom "You know I no longer go to church," and she said, "Since when?" I then said "Remember when I told you last November that I don't go to church on campus anymore?"

Well this conversation went back and forth for a while with her trying to tell me that we don't do things by ourselves, but God is the one in control. I then asked "Do you even know what an agnostic is?" She kept stuttering and said "I have an idea, but you tell me what it is." I had a feeling she didn't know what it meant, but I really wanted her to define agnosticism. She couldn't, so I told her. Then right after that, I told her I am an atheist. (Want details, message me :))

Long story short, she said she was disappointed in me and that she's seen more in her lifetime that would warrant God as a powerful creator, so I shouldn't feel like I've found all the answers (Basically, I should give God time, haha). I told her that I don't like any religion and that religion is just to control people. She seems open minded about my atheism so far, but I don't think she understands atheism just yet. We will see when I get back home for Spring Break. ^_^

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Comment by Ralph Dumain on April 17, 2009 at 9:59am
Everyone has different standards and tolerance levels, but it seems to me that the key issue should be to get your parents to stop nagging you about church. If you are financially dependent on your parents, there are limits to what boundaries you can set. In general, though, I think one has to teach others how one insists on being treated, which often rests on teaching them not to impose themselves on you. As for discussing and debating belief systems, I'm more inclined to tell people to mind their own business than to explain myself to them. Parent-child relations are, unfortunately, not so simple.
Comment by Greg Lammers on March 2, 2009 at 12:19pm
Great post. By being patient, allowing communication, and most importantly standing for your position you are accomplishing some great things. Hang in there!
Comment by NH Baritone on March 2, 2009 at 9:44am
Gird your loins and prepare for an onslaught. (It never hurts to be ready.)

Pendulums swing, and depending on who she talks to, her open-mindedness can easily move toward a strong effort to convince you that you're wrong. Her interest in your attending church and her insistence that "you don't have all the answers" suggest that she has a powerful internal arsenal of criticism. CJ said the hardest part is over. I'm not certain that's true.
Comment by cj the cynic on March 2, 2009 at 9:09am
It's good that she's open-minded. You'll probably just have to educate her on what exactly atheism is. Congrats, the hardest part is over.
Comment by Dani on March 2, 2009 at 3:16am
I really hope she keeps an open mind so that the two of you can come to a meeting of the minds...where you can at the very least be comfortable in each others' presence although there is great opposition.
I totally understand your angst and hope the very best for your Spring Break!
Im here for you, please keep us updated!



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