i need some help in how to respond to my older sisters religious bs
she has thrown in my face that i am huring mom b/c i don't believe and i refuse to go to church
i moved back home to take care of her b/c of she has cancer.
my older sister and little sister are coming on easter and they are all expecting me to go to church, do i go agaist my values and go or not go?

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There are few instances in life when you absolutely must compromise your integrity for the sake of compassion. In my opinion this just does not seem to be one of them.

This is what I did: Don't go, but don't make a big deal about it. If pressed upon, don't go on a tirade. Just stoically say "I don't go to church." Any proceeding questioning or challenging should be met with equal simplicity in response.

You should not be chastised for not doing something. It's not on you to explain why you don't do something, if anything it's on them to tell you why you should. And if that's not good enough reason for you (spoiler: it won't be), then that's that.

thanks...the only thing is my older sister will make it a big deal b/c she is a newly x-tian (supposely).

Would your older sister be content if you went along and believed the whole thing was stupid?  Does she think you can choose to believe or not believe?  Why not point out that your utter disdain for the process would contaminate things, and it is the polite thing to do, to not go and spoil the party with inner sniggers?. 

Tell her your conscience is such that whilst you won't preach atheism at the rest of your family, neither will you live a lie and attend something you despise.  Tell her this is how it's going to be, and she can turn it into a drama if she thinks that would make your mother happy (unlikely), or she can quietly accept it. 

The fact that you won't be going is just that, a quiet fact.  The choice as to whether to turn it into a big drama or not, is entirely hers.

Thank you for very good points.  She would be very content. 

 When I first moved back here to take care of her, my mother knew I didn't believe.  Back then, 2 years ago I would go into church with her: I wouldn't sing, pray and mostly roll my eyes.  I would leave during the sermon b/c one sermon the pastor told blant lies (go figure).  I couldn't stomach it so I would walk out during the sermon (like my dad did when we were kids).

Another issues my older doesn't respect me.  This last summer before my dad past away, she would bagger me and just be mean.  I didn't say anything to her b/c she did it in front of ma.  But when she baggered me over text...I shot right back.  So for me to tell her whats on my conscience or my feelings don't matter and she denies being in denal about anything b/c you know she is perfect.      

There are probably a few bible quotes you could throw at her, but in the end, I expect she wants to use your atheism to reflect the glory of her own beliefs.

So when she starts, just tell her she has become rather boring, and walk away.  Keep the 'boring' theme going, if she insists on ranting.  Occasionally you could inquire how the rant was going for her.  But a vague airy brushing off would probably work best. Just chuckle a little and stick your nose in a book - the God Delusion might be a fun one to be reading.  It takes two to argue, and you won't be playing.

again thank you...really like your ideas..

"Atheism: the Case Against God" is much meatier in a philosophical way, but less firebrandish.  It argues against god by arguing against god, not by arguing against what his followers do, or by pointing out that god is an asshole (which doesn't prove that he doesn't exist, it just proves that if he does, we will get crapped on, because that's quite literally what assholes do).

Not that she would look and find out.

Anyhow, I know you weren't asking for book recommendations, but I do think Strega might have the most effective psychology of your response nailed.

How about just plain ol good manners...

Your sister would like you to be there.

Try to put your own personal beliefs aside because this is not about you ... its about her.

Support her ... Wheres the harm?

The harm is in being made to feel that it is bad manners to not believe in god.

Just let your sisters take her, if they make a big deal of it, that's their problem.

I don't think it's "going against your values" to go to church one time. Atheism isn't about a set of values, it's simply disbelief in God. I've gone to church on Easter a few times at the invitation of my parents. I don't give a darn. The sermon is always lame and unconvincing, and mostly my wife and I point out silly items in the church bulletin to each other. I'm not betraying my beliefs or anything remotely as profound as that by going to church to make my family happy.

I think you're over-thinking this.

For a Catholic Mass, if you go to church but do not accept communion in is usually because you are under mortal sin, and have not yet received absolution.

A mortal sin is any sin whose matter is grave and which has been committed willfully and with knowledge of its seriousness. Grave matter includes, but is not limited to, murder, receiving or participating in an abortion, homosexual acts, having sexual intercourse outside of marriage or in an invalid marriage, and deliberately engaging in impure thoughts.

Of course, the risk is that if you die while under mortal sin you are denied heaven. Period. Plus If I go into a Catholic Church, the holy water boils.


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