Edit:Problem is solved, but feel free to reply with any opinions.***



On christmas I told my mom that I wasn't going to pray when it was time for dinner. She respectfully said "That's fine", and went on with her day. When it was time to eat she made everyone hold hands, I said "I'm not praying" she said "You don't have to, but hold hands". I refused and everyone at the table started to glare at me, then start yelling at me till I caved in. 


I know it's not technically praying if I hold hands, but it still feels like I'm partaking in an activity that I don't want to be apart of. I don't have a problem with them praying, let them do what they want, but don't make me do join you. And I know this is going to sound completely trivial to a lot of people, but it's still the fucking concept. I mean christians wouldn't hold hands with Muslims to pray, so why should they expect me to do the same? I know my sister just goes along with it (She's an atheist as well), and some of you might. But for what reasons should I HAVE to?


When I approached my mother afterwards I merely said "Why did you make me do that, why did you make me pray?". She got hostile towards me, even though my tone was normal. She responded with "You weren't praying, and if you don't want to take part in this family then you can go sit in the corner". I just stopped talking about it after that, I feel like I've just been pressured into something that makes me feel uncomfortable (even if it is a very small issue). 


So should I show resistance and go sit in a corner next time this happens, or should I follow the way of the sheep? 



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Your refutes are golden man. I used your gun metaphor tonight, and also used the spitting in your hands argument; my dad laughed haha.

Unless your mother is abusive and this young man's doesn't sound so, you have no right to to be rude to your mother.


I am an atheist mother.  If one of my kids wanted to pray I would think that was rude also.  Especially if they made a big fat hairy deal about it.  Same goes here.  And yes you should respect the customs and cultures of people you are sharing a meal with or absent yourself. 


I don't like religion, but I do not disrespect people who have prepared a meal for me.  I might not attend but I wouldn't go and then disrespect people. 


You can totally disagree with people, even people you love and care for and still be pleasent and polite.

In a social setting.  It sounds like things worked out.  Good. 


But as I don't like religious people imposing their values on me, I don't impose my values on them.


I think doing the hand holding bit and then after everyone ate and was relaxed had a great discussion about his beliefs would have been better recieved.  And not rude. 


Nobody cares if you’re a mother, or an Atheist.
You’re just claiming that I should respect everyone’s beliefs, while getting yelled at for asking if my own beliefs be respected. What happens, they violate my requested respect by making me conform.
I HAVE NO PROBLEM with them praying, I just have a problem with them making me do so.
I talked to her beforehand and in no way raised my voice. I just said “I’m not praying” at dinner, and everyone yelled at me. They’re the one’s being rude. I never said anything that should have offended anyone.
“I am an atheist mother. If one of my kids wanted to pray I would think that was rude also”
You say you’ve gone and prayed out of “Respect” for various cultures, yet you still call them rude? Where is your logic? You don’t like something, yet you’re still doing it. So isn’t it then rude for my family to ask me to pray? You just contradicted yourself.

Respecting their customs is what I intended to do. Your argument only lies in MAKING me join their customs.

To Dustin:


Actually it does have a lot to do with the issue. Those of us who are on our own may sometimes forget that no matter how cordial and respectful his request to his mother, he is still legally a minor and under their care. There is a degree of decorum set up for those sort of things and the mature thing to do would hardly be picking your nose and wetting your hands as an offering. That's a bit childish and meets their narrow views on tolerence towards their sons belief system with an equally narrow and absolutely combative counterpoint. Bad advice all the way around.





   It never hurts to be polite or respectful to the mother or family regardless of your feelings on the subject matter. Acting an ass will get you only contention. I think you ( Bronson ) need to seriously look at weighing your situation before you follow advice from a bunch of charged up and opinionated folks who do NOT have to live with the consequences good or bad, of the advice that they give you.


There is an old adage that I mentioned to you before. It is about arguing and it works VERY well in this situation and under these circumstances.


"You can be right, or you can be happy!"


Maybe that is something to maturely consider in the situation. And apologizing to your mom speaks very highly to you as a person, regardless of her complicity in the situation. You want them to respect your values and beliefs? Then respect theirs and swallow that ego a bit.


When you are on your own you will not only be able to set your own rules, but you might just be happier for having made concession for your family while you were under their roof.

The finger in the nose and mouth thing was meant as a joke - Sometimes my dry humor doesn't show and my comments or suggestions can be taken too seriously.  


It's not like I never say please or thank you at dinner time. And you know what? I would never tell someone they couldn't pray in my house. I would let them if they truly wanted to, but I wouldn't take part in their activities. I respect their beliefs (To some extent letting them do what they want, even though I criticize religion all the time). It's they who don't respect my beliefs by making me conform. And my comment "I'm not praying" is the most innocent and apathetic of all things to say before prayer, yet they still yelled at me for saying it.

Alright so I ended up talking to this about my mother saying;

Me:"I don't want to talk about this situation if you're going to act hostile, so just listen to what I have to say first". 

Mom: "Why, what's this about?".

Me:"I want to talk to you about the whole praying at christmas dinner thing. I talked to you before dinner, and you seemed reasonable then, but acted hostile towards me afterwards".


I then explained to her that I'd like to talk to everyone beforehand next time we have dinner (If they're going to be mature about it at least). How we could implement the whole if you want to pray, then close your hands instead. 


She seemed to understand more so now then she did around christmas time, so there are no more issues presently. Yet again, that could change around dinner time. Which is why I have to talk to the rest of the family about such things as well so as not to start any unwanted tension (Which is something I tried to avoid in the first place). I never once raised my voice, I just simply said "I'm not praying". I guess that gives them the right to yell at me. 


It's over now so no worries. I thank all who contributed, but the best thing to do was to just talk it through.


honestly I just do it out of respect for my parent's religion. Even if they dont respect my views, I usually try to avoid conflict. If you think that situation is bad though, you should have seen what it was like to grow up in my family. I used to have to close my eyes, bow my head and hold hands before eating a number 1 value meal at McDonalds.

I'm sure that's what paedophiles tell their children too.


Forcing religion is abuse. If you have a kid, it is your duty to provide for the kid. It doesn't mean you have a right to force your religious views on the kid. Making the kid perform a physical act when he doesn't believe in it, is even worse. It is called bullying.

The difference, though great, is in degree. Not in kind.


What if it involved forcing you to eat something you hate AND it is bad for health? Where would you place that?


Well if family comes first, that applies for everyone. Hell, it should apply for the mother first. If she is willing to consider her own son "not family" because he doesn't yield to her religious bullying, then she is the one not following the principle of "family first".


What a sad world it would be if children and young adults are deprived of their individuality because they were given some candy and were cared for and protected by parental obligation.  


Children and teenagers have a voice too.  All you have to do is be a loving parent and talk to your child about what they are feeling and what their problems are.  Be supportive and engaged.  


Apparently his mother has done this the last time they spoke.  Good luck with everything, keep us updated!  


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