I just want to introduce myself. I am a 75 year old African American who have felt uncomfortable with my family most of my life because I could not believe in their Christian values. As a young person I used to pretent I shared their ideas until I realize I had the right to believe what I believed even though it was against all my family values. Once I declared myself an Atheist I was more or less isolated so I have been seeking something like think Atheist for some time.
Welcome to the site Marie, hope you enjoy it
Greetings and felicitations, Marie.
Greetings and welcome to the site
Have you had occasion to ask members of your family why they believe what they do? Most theists have not really thought intently and seriously about why they harbor the religious notions they have. You and I know they are a product of their environment/upbringing in which the plague of indoctrination was started at an early age. It is sad and shameful that family members are willing to sacrifice a relationship with one of their own simply for being honest and open. Meaningful relationships should never be predicated on religious agreement but rather tolerance to opposing views.
How can I explain the deep religious belief my family holds. My parents were sharecroppers in Ms and because they were so poor the only hope they had were to belief that god would see them through inspite of the horrible things they had to live through. For some reason their beliefs were instilled into the next generation even though a number of us are educated. Because of this the generation following me also holds these beliefs even though they are more educated. Even my children, I have five who shared these religious belief, and some of them are afraid for me because they feel I am going to hell and they will not see me there.They feel a relationship with god is more important than a relationship with me.
Thanks for your kind words. I have lived with this for sometimes and my children and I do share birthdays,and holidays and on other occasions we do get together in fact we have an extended family Christmas party every year and of course I have to endure the prayers unless I can find and excuse to leave the room.
I am glad to be a member of TA.
As someone who is also from Mississippi, I share your pain at the thick religious fog that covers the entire place. In the four miles between my home and my school, there were no less than eight churches, and my family didn't go to any of them. They instead went across town to another one. One day I asked my father why we went to that specific one and not one of the others, and his response was, "Because those others are crazy."
"They feel a relationship with god is more important than a relationship with me."
I've never understood why it has to be that way. Surely there is room for both. But I would be remiss if I did not mention that my atheism has generated a fair amount of strain in my own family situation.
Welcome to the community. I hope you enjoy the company. :)