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?

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Amy, I know exactly how you feel. My family sometimes does the same thing. I don't put them down for their believes, nor do I say stuff like, "I'm praying for you."

I understand the world doesn't revolve around just me, so I can expect people to think something is "wrong" with me and others who don't believe in their "God," but quite frankly I tolerate less and less this notion that I need to be "prayed" for. I'm not a bad person or lost in the wilderness. I’m just an average person, like most, holding up my responsibilities as a human being.

So when I‘m confronted with these condescending sentiments, I typically challenge them now. I just did that last week with my sister. I had in fact just come from church because my daughter gave a presentation that day and I wanted to support her. I texted my sister to say how proud I was of my daughter, even though the speech she gave could have been secular as well as Christian.

Later, my sister and I talked on the phone and she felt that I was being sorta hypocritical in terms of me allowing my children to attend church while I don't even believe in “God.” Well, first off, it’s my wife who drags our children to church. And I’m not anti-church or even anti-god belief. My children will someday have to make up their own mind about their convictions when it comes to “God.” In the meantime, they get both religious and atheists outlooks from their parents.

I did though argue well with my sister. She really had to start listening to me because she lacked sounds arguments for her own convictions. I told her I understood why she and others need to believe in god and the “after-life“ (for it’s like having a sense of hope that there’s more to life than what is experienced in the material) but that hope doesn’t prove the existence of a god or supreme being.

She asked how could I be an atheist when I grew up being a christian? And I said well like many people I grow and learn. Just because I was raised to believe something doesn’t mean it’s true. I used many of the popular atheist arguments of today, such there being no evidence of a god. And that in many cultures throughout the world, people have little or no concept of the god that christians believe in. The bible is basically made up of mythical stories, etc, etc.

The more I talked, the more she actually started to listen. She won’t stop believing in god any time soon, but she will have second thoughts about looking down upon me because I don’t believe.
I'm fairly sure that my mother (and probably other members of my family) are praying for me, but since they don't tell me about it, it doesn't affect me at all. :D

I do get the occasional all-hands email like Gaytor describes, although I think I've been taken off a lot of those lists after I started responding to them and taking them apart point by point, usually with links to Snopes and other sources included. I guess I was spoiling the fun.
HAH. I hope she was being facetious. But if she actually deleted's hard to think of it that way. The entire religious mode of thinking is so illogical.
The subject of religion was brought up in my english class and some people learnt that I was an atheist. One of them even gave me an english-translated copy of the Qur'an to try to convert me (I've always wanted to get my hands on a copy and then one flys out of the blue). I've had a short read through and it held my attention far better than the bible but it failed all the same.
Then the same guy said that 'god will save me if he wants to'. WTF. I thought that that was his (or her, or it) thing. Saving people from a forever of torment of his own creation. Anyway, several weeks on and I'm still an atheist.
Their sky-god seems happy for me to remain an atheist.
That is so unbelievably condescending. And who is he to talk? - he's an Atheist as well, just to a different degree. He believes in one single God - so why is he discrediting the Olympians? Norse Gods? What makes his so damn special?
Atheists just take the logical step from what they already admit.
I completely agree. Everyone has taken steps to becoming an atheist, we have just gone one set more.
. I must believe because she "feels the lord's presence and he has helped her through difficult times."

Sometimes this happens to me when i see something that one might take as proof as the almighty. Then i realize that it is just random event that gives the illusion of the divine from one perspective. A pattern is only a pattern if you look at from the right angle; otherwise it is just chaos created through fundermental laws.


A great personal response. A statement given as a fact due to personal afflictions.

. Being an atheist is hollow and there's no reason to live or be happy, so it's best to be a believer

I'm very happy. What is she going on about? Anyway, I hate large groups that take an extreme interst in me at the personal level; debating theroies is just fine. but I feel as if i'm being judged

I obviously have not read the awe-inspiring, divine words written in the bible, because if I had, I'd be a believer.

I've read it and it never held my attention for that long. Reading science essays is a lot more fun, especially about genetics and biodiversity!

My mother heard the voice of god when she was a child. She was struggling to learn to whistle and this man's voice suddenly told her, "If you want to whistle, just whistle," and then she could.

A god granting wishes to make people whistle? Why couldnt she do it before, what a bad design. Maybe this god could help other people to be more rational and not kill each other.
First of all I have a message to moderators about this post! I am NOT a mod, but I believe that this post deserves to be featured! Please feature Amy's post! It's awesome!
OMG!!! Amy that is EXACTLY the same thing that my Protestant family has said to me! It gets on my nerves to no end when my family [esp. my mother] makes comments like "You're just going through a phase, you will mature as you grow up." I AM NOT GOING THROUGH A PHASE!! AND I THINK THAT BEING A SKEPTIC IS FAR MORE GROWN UP THAN BEING AN ADULT THAT BELIEVES IN AN IMAGINARY FRIEND IN THE SKY!! She also annoys me by saying that "I am obsessed with atheism." WHAT?!! I am not obsessed, am I? I mean I feel I must stay vigilent to watch for religious infringement on my civil rights and I feel annoyed and am constantly reminded of my atheism when I pass a church every ten feet and see signs on the road like this:

and this:

and this:

I can't fucking leave my house without being bombarded with christian propaganda signs!!!
And he created a small universe to play in. Like a child building a sand castle only to destroy it while pretending to be a dinosaur! A good metaphor!

My Christian younger sister claims she finds this offensive, but she's fine with all the signs outside churches.
(As I mentioned in another thread, though, she's not good with any challenge to her faith, no matter how slight or even unintentional. I think it's because deep down she knows that her faith will not stand up to examination, so I'm giving her time to come round on her own.)
I love this.


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