Christian family with ill FM, son is atheist physician

Curious what you all would think/do/say.

Mom is dealing with leukemia at an advanced age. I'm a physician wo is (over)-trained in internal medicine and critical care and psychiatry.

I have a few family members that are cool with me asking for positive thoughts and energy. But most of my parents friends are impressed with the recent "power of prayer". She has a lot of friends who pray but I think you know what I mean. It's hard for me to respond to them. I appreciate their love for my mom, but honestly they arent doing much for her.

For my parents, I continue to thank folks but never for their prayers. Its bad enough that I'm a doc and am helpless to do more for my mother. But my dad is kind of weak-willed and needs things like prayer and religion and hope and...

It's hard to not be "out" to them about my atheism. Even most of her nurses are "praying" for her. Jeez, I thought coming out as gay was tough.

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I'm gay and atheist as well. I'm sorry that you gave to deal with all of this. I went out to eat with my family tonight and my mom started talking about my Uncle who died in the 70's. While he was alive, most of his life, he was an atheist and I never knew. Then she told me that after he was arrested and their mom came to see him in prison, he said that Jesus sat and talked with him. That was when he believed in Christianity. Also, he was black and in racist Mississippi in the 70's and I'm sure he was treated badly before he was beaten to death by policemen. I'm sure that he transitioned from an atheist because people tend to become more religious when they know or feel that no one else can help them. My mom said she and my grandma felt better because they believed that they'll see him in the afterlife.

Also, I don't think hope is a bad thing. Religion and prayer definitely are arbitrary rules and rituals but hope doesn't belong to a religion. Hope isn't synonymous with faith but more of wishing things fall in your favor. Hope isn't determined by anything except just trying to look for a better ending.

You shouldn't hide. Not even in this time. I read a post and it made a huge impact on me. If you're in a hospital and you see nurses or doctors praying...find another hospital. You don't have to be like, "hey, I'm an atheist and you're not doing krap for my mom so stop!" You dont have to sit there and hide from them either.

This is a very hard time for you to deal with and wow, am I sorry that you're going through this...scared and alone it seems.

*pat on the back* always be yourself. Just be there for your mom. let her know you love her. That's all she needs. With or without religion, gay or not gay...you're her son and she loves you.

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