Every Sunday I get together with a few members of my family and we eat dinner. Usually Bob Evans because I'm hungover and it's comfort food city there.
ANYWAY, so this evening my mom told me that if I go to church with her on Easter Sunday she'll take me out for a big Easter dinner.
Ok, so you also need to understand that I'm in college and I will do almost anything for free dinner. I know that going to church isn't going to convert me or make me rethink my choice to be an atheist so I could go and zone out and enjoy some delicious ham later. Right? Negative. What would more than likely happen is I'll get pissed about 5 minutes into the praise and worship and the delicious ham will be ruined for me.
It may just be stubbornness, but I'm not going. I think it's evil there and I don't really want any part of it. Even at the cost of free delicious ham.

What do you think about people trying to bribe you to go to church?

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When I was little I used to fake belief in Santa Claus to receive free presents. I suppose my example is not a bribe per se....

I'm glad that you have decided not to entertain their request for free food. I'm sure your mom just wants you to experience her spiritual experiences... and I hope she learns that you probably already understand the motivation behind her beliefs.

I wouldn't get angry at them, though, but good job for making a stand in the name of personal integrity! No more pretend Santa Claus for me; I'm glad to say that my family is at a point where we support each other outside of the (holiday/religion/necessitated-gifting)-sphere.
I'm in one of those moods again..
My suggestion would be to go, and as the nice pastor unfolds the Easter-Zombie story to the quiet congregation, add in some of your own commentary.

"How come only his mom and Mary were there to open the tomb?"
Wait for it...
"Because his so-called faithful disciples were hiding like bitches so they wouldn't get strung up next!"

I mean, you are free to insert your own observations since I'm sure you are familiar with the whole thing..
Because then it would be a delicious victory ham.

Or you can just tell your mom that you know going will lead to resentment, so why don't you skip that part and just have dinner WITH her.. at home?
I mean, if you can find a way to still spend time with your family during their holidays, it will be easier for them to accept that you are still the same kind and caring person they raised.
Another suggestion I sorta always make is to consider it your holiday gift to them. I know people that can't afford to buy presents, so they trade favors. Consider your church going her holiday gift from you. It's not selling out then... it's doing something that makes her feel good at no financial cost to your broke-ass self.

And if none of the above work for you?

Then cool! Right on for standing up to what you believe in and not being tempted away by hot and comfy food.
I'm also broke ass poor.
I know what a challenge it is to give up a treat for the sake of your morals.
Good job and good luck either way!

First, thanks for the humorous post.  I often wonder how many closet Atheists are doing things just to make their Theist, etc. family members happy.  The fact that you were bribed with dinner is ludicrous and your reaction in my opinion fucking rocks!  Good for you!  The reality is that the whole thing is a fucking bribe.  Pascal's Wager is for those that are such sniveling spineless cowards that they will do anything to be on the winning side, no matter what.  It makes me think of Bill Maher in "Religulous," exclaiming after he just spoke with the parishioners of the trucker church, "it's like the lotto, you can't get saved if you don't play!"  I feel that if a family member really loves you, I mean, that unconditional love which is really supposed to exist with people that you regard as your family---in essence, what defines family---then they should love you regardless of what you believe about said fictional characters which may have little houses where they act out the make-believe, etc.     


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