My mother and I have never really clicked.
In fact, that could be the understatement of the century. But I accept it. It's what I've become used to.
What I cannot tolerate, however, is her sympathy. Her 'pity' for my godlessness.
It's the condescending, 'Oh, sweetheart, you'll see someday. You'll get over this radical collegiate phase,'
It's that, 'Bless your soul. I'll pray that you find the truth,'
Or, my absolute FAVORITE -
'Why are you doing this to yourself?'
And she rolls her eyes. Shakes her head. Appeals to heaven.
[Rinse with holy water, and repeat.]

The woman thinks I am dooming myself to a bleak worldview; she finds my lack of faith almost masochistic. Her line of thought goes something like this (be warned - it's based entirely on religious assumptions):
-------> God exists and He is good.
------>With his goodness, God has created everything in the universe.
----->Thus, good human beings owe their goodness to God.
---->Humans, then, who credit their goodness elsewhere (say, to their upbringing or personal moral compass) are self centered and ignorant of the larger picture.
--->This blind here-and-now humanistic worldview will result in the individual foolishly and blasphemously disconnecting his/herself with God.
-->Without contact with the divine, the individual will induce misery and bring about his/her own demise.
->Thus, I, as an atheist, am subconsciously, tragically dooming myself to depression and the pursuit of profane, fleeting pleasure as opposed to a lasting peace with God.

Right. Of course. Silly me. Because that's such tight logic, right?

On top of this, my uncle promised that he would pray for me so that I don't eternally burn with the sinners and heathens. He also called my brother a worshiper of the Antichrist because he listens to metal music.
Has anyone else encountered condescending sentiment similar to this, or is it just my Polish Catholic family?

Tags: argument, atheism, condescending, family, intolerance, pity, prayer, psychology, rift

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Nope, think it's just you. Interesting, never heard that they were praying for us... ;)

Guess I was lucky to grow up in a family that thought I was a freak for going to church. But they never really said anything, and they were happy when I came to my senses.

Good luck. Ahh, let them pray.
Oh, they can pray as much as they want.
Cause it's not gonna do a damned thing =]
I don't get it to my face from immediate family. Frankly they'll get insulted for their troubles. I don't think that any of my family members are religious, they just can't imagine another option and to be good Americans they should be Christians.
I do get it in emails though. It's a perfect ground to retaliate. If I get a chain making some fantastical claim about history or religion, I'll reply to everyone. I'll include links to supporting facts and just lay down the gauntlet. I'm sure many replies that I'm not privy to go back and forth. As long as the message is sent that I'm not a outlet for your propaganda is received, I can land on a carrier with a big banner that says Mission Accomplished.
Maybe a good question is, "Can you give me an example of Atheist becoming a Christian due to Prayer?" Given that there are 4.5 Billion Non-Christians on the planet, there must be countless examples that clearly resulted from prayer. A success rate of 1% even? Surely God can bat .01?
I need to get to that point with my family - I need to establish with them that I am not to be messed with concerning my logic. If everything is tight beyond a doubt, they won't bother.
As of now, it's extremely difficult to even explain to them my reasons for the NONexistence of a God as I'm getting scoffed at the whole way through.
Bah. People need to learn how to listen.
Also, kudos to you for refuting those emails =] someone has to do it.
I believe that you should get the same credit for your beliefs as are the many religions afforded theirs.. I just wonder if your Mother would accept it if you came home and said you were pregnant but had not had sex, in this day and age would she believe you, I think not, but she can believe that Jesus was a virgin birth.
Ask who they are praying to, and for them to show you whoever it is and not ask you to take their word for it, as they have taken the word of the bible. Maybe that believe that Harry Potter exists after reading the books.
Hey, believing in the world of Harry Potter IS comparable to believing in a kingdom of heaven.
But I do constantly ask that: give me proof. And the best part is, she can't tell me that it's some personal, ineffable experience because I've been there. Thanks for the Catholic schooling, mom ;]
Um, feel free to join in my ranting. It's much more fun with a friend ;]
I don't live in Poland - my entire family is just Polish, and very, very dedicated to the Church.
They seem to hate the government, though. Funny. They're so damn similar.

Was Black Metal really meant to combat Christianity? I assumed that stereotyping all of metal as anti-religious must have come from somewhere, I just didn't know where.

And you know what...you're right. I suppose I do pity them a bit as well, but I more attribute it to the blinding powers of established religion. Perhaps there's a little bit of foul play on both sides...
On the other hand, I don't condemn them to hell, or give them meaningless prayer. I give them an intellectual debate.

I find it UNBELIEVABLE that he prays - right next to you! I - I don't even know what I would do.
There is no devil, though the closest thing to it would be ignorance.
You keep listening to your music!
(and if you wouldn't anyways)
Hi. You just became my new favorite person.
[I am so doing this the next time she wants to play this game]
I'll lay odds on the reaction being shock, followed by some spluttering about how that isn't funny, then she'll get offended at your assumptions on her beliefs (disregarding her assumptions about yours).
Philip, I think you have the right idea. Give her a dose of her own medicine....and back it up with facts. Just a little bit of research into 'church history' for instance is an eye opening experience for those who have never thought to question anything they've been told.
Marilyn Manson was really good at that "pissing off the xtians" thing. He was a bit more mainstream so had greater exposure to really get the job done. If you've ever read his autobiography, you can see why!
Haha, considering that one of his songs was called Personal Jesus, I find that easy to see. Or, for the lyrics, "I'm not a slave to a God that doesn't exist."
Subtle, Marilyn.
[Istilllovehim]

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