So I need some advice. I did some sharing on facebook, mostly from the thinkingatheist about evolution, science, math, history of religion, ect.... WELL my Christian family took offense to these posts and shares and unfriended me, telling my mother to relay that they never wanted to see my face again.  I de-activated my account to take some time off and save my relationship with my sister.  I guess now that I'm thinking about it, why shouldn't I be able to share what interests me? Isnt that what the social networking site is for?? Why is it that anything I post that doesn't fit their ideals and ways of thinking is deemed offensive and an "attack" on their religion? Now I am being told to "fix it" and basically grovel in forgiveness. I'm not sure what to do as they are my family yes, but they are incredibly judgmental, hypocritical, and just plain stupid when it comes to religion and politics. Bottom line I dont respect their beliefs. What do you guys think?

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I'd say.. be true to who you are. Not to mention it is your page, so you have has much right to post atheist themed things as they do religious themed items.Besides if they can't accept who you are.. Do you really need them in your life..?

well they clutter our pages with religious nonsense, so why cant we  cover our page with truth and facts?

Another very sad story about family members shunning an atheist relative. Think Atheist gets a lot of these stories. I wish things were different. Are you seriously saying some of your relatives never want to see you again just because you shared some atheist things on your Facebook, or did they mean they just don't want to see your face on their Facebook any more?

They literally meant my face.....they wouldnt care if they never saw me again. Nice huh? oh yeah AND after this that very night my hubby and I came home to find crosses in oil all over our doors.

Whoa!

Motor oil?

Did you call the cops and say your hose was vandalized with vulgar imagery of bronze age torture devices?

yikes......I guess some Christians feel like 'family' means 'christian family' and anyone who isn't a christian isn't part of their 'christian family' and therefore should be an outcast.

Stay strong, you definitely didn't do anything wrong.  I've had extremely close friends defriend me on FB and block me - One friend who was my best friend in college - we did everything together and I cared for her a lot and didn't care at all that she was Catholic.  Well, one day she blocked me without any comment and I'm pretty sure it was because I posted 2 things on my wall (not hers nor did I share it with her out of respect for her) regarding the Catholic sex scandals and something about how the church stole babies from mothers and lied to them saying they died.   

You shouldn't grovel...but respect their beliefs as they should with you.  Maybe forgiveness won't happen over night on their part...insure them your intentions weren't meant to be hurtful, but these are your beliefs and they should respect them as you do theirs.  They need to be adults about it and if they disagree with you on certain matters that's fine.  Just as they have a right to express their beliefs so do you.  They can even debate you about it, but not so much were tempers flair and people are dis-owning one another.  Now I know all this is easier said than done. Let things calm down...express your apology that it wasn't a personal attack on any family member or individual...and let them make the next move.  If they choose to reconcile or carry the grudge that's on them.  Sorry that your family is upset with you but let cooler heads prevail and hopefully everyone will realize blood is thicker than water...good luck #FSM

I'm debating a letter expressing that exactly, and then put the ball in their court.

I absolutely disagree that you should appologize, unless you original posting had some sort of specific, unjustified personal attack against your family members. Keeping such a respectul distance from people's religion is a soft form of politically correct bigotry that constantly grants religion a special place removed from rationality.  By all means express that you weren't attacking anyone personally, but never back away from your wording on the grounds that it might have offended someone! Some people need to have their world completely upended, for their good and the good of the world. Tiptoing arround the possibility of giving offense is tantamount to admitting, as the religious would like, that their beliefs should be beyond question. Let them know that you want everyone to know about your atheism because you believe it's good for you and it'd be good for them. Make clear that your beliefs are not subject to their approval and that you, while openly defiant of their beliefs, do not believe this difference to be one that need come between you personally. In such circumstances in my life, I've had trouble refraining from condemning such people as petty and small-minded, and that usually comes across as offensive, so you're best off to just take the moral high ground and hope that they'll consent to meet you there. 

The statement 'Just as they have a right to express their beliefs so do you' and its better-worded corollaries are, when spoken by atheists, incalculably harmful to the spread of reasonable discourse and rational thinking.  It grants something that no one has the power to grant, and something that no person should be entitled to; freedom from the obligation to think critically about everything. 

in my experience, christians have a persecution complex and feel that anything that goes against Jesus and the bible IS a direct personal attack against them as well.  Perhaps it is sort of like this - let's say you have a wife who apparently sleeps around and is rude to children and kicks dogs on her way to work.  Then a family member points these things out to you, the husband, and you get really angry at this person who criticized the woman you love.  Christians feel like Jesus / God is a real and personal relationship and if you criticize that, you are criticizing them as well.  Poor analogy?  Possibly, but the closest thing I can come up with..

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