I'm having a problem with my parents.
I know this might be a frequent problem spoken about on this website, but I don't know for sure because I'm new here.
My parents are trying to force-well, forcing me- to go to church. This only happened after I told my mother that I'm an Atheist. When she thought I was a Christian she wouldn't force me when I said I didn't want to go.
She even said to me "You can't go through life believing in nothing."
And my father told me this when I asked why they're forcing me, "Because your mother said so, and she's your mother."
Great reasons, huh?
I'm asking for your opinions, what should I do about this situation?
I tried to talk to my mother about it, and asked her why she is forcing me. I didn't raise my voice, because I'd rather not start an argument if it means her and I could just agree to disagree and she just let me believe whatever I want to. Mainly, her reasons were "Because I want you to experience it." and "Because I enjoy it". I explained to her that it's not something that I would enjoy and I kept asking her why. Of course I know the answer why, I'd just like her to say it. But of course, she didn't. She avoided answering the question, and after talking like a normal person for about five minutes she got angry and acted like a child. She walked out of the room and said "There's nothing else to talk about.".
I think it's ridiculous that she can't say it herself, she'd just rather treat me like a little kid. I even tried asking her to talk to me as another person, and not her kid so that she wouldn't go and tell me "Because I said so" again.
Thank you for all your help, guys, I'll try to keep you updated a bit if I can and if you want.
I still have a full week to convince them not to force me to go.
Replies are closed for this discussion.
Exactly. There are other ways to bond.
Your parents are probably not 'forcing' you to go to church for 'quality time' ... but because they are being irrational as to what 'Atheism' actually means. They are literally afraid that your soul might suffer for eternity in Hell. This is something that is most likely going to be a life long battle. They may also be completely embarrassed to be around their congregation without you there ... God forbid anyone asks why you don't go to church ... that in itself 'may' reflect poorly upon your parents. But that isn't your issue.
It might impress your parents if you give them a list of notable atheists of the past few centuries? Also, like I mentioned before - tell them what you DO believe in.
I don't like the idea of pandering to your parents ... they are there to love you unconditionally ... so if they stop loving you ... they aren't your parents. You simply share genes with them - Your mother will turn out to be the 'woman who gave birth to you'. Your father will become 'The man who impregnated the woman who gave birth to you.'
Just continue being yourself - That should be enough. Also - How old are you? (I can't seem to find an age - as that may matter a little)
It must have been a little nerve wracking to tell your parents you are an Atheist. I know it was for me. Fortunately they accapted it and did not try to force me.
You have taken the first step and now they know.
Just remember that it may take them a little while to get used to the idea. I am sure you did not stop believing overnight, so just remember it's new to them.
There is a lot of good advice for you here, so think carefully about what you want to do.
If things go a bit rough, you can always come here to talk about it with like minded people who will not judge you.
Yes we would like you to keep us updated.
I hope your parents will come around and accept your views soon.
I waited until after my Confirmation to decide I was leaving the Church. I gave it more than a fair shake and had lost my faith even before the ceremony. I was pretty much doing it to make my Grandmother happy. It did, so it wasn't really a big deal. I never told he I was an atheist and I think it was better that way.
When I first floated the idea by my mother, it was around Christmas. She half-heartedly tried the "well, then you'll get no presents." She didn't mean it, but I countered with, "That's fine, but wasn't Jesus born closer to June than December? I see the season as a time to spend with family and show people you appreciate them." How can you argue with that? Both my parents went to Catholic schools, so I knew what I was up against. I just let it sit, I didn't push the issue. If they wanted to go to Church and asked me to go with them, I would, because it meant spending time together as a family.
Sometimes, I do things that I don't want to do for the benefit of others. I don't think that there's a chance of you converting during a Sunday Mass, but if going to Church is something that your family does and wants to include you in it, you can go, it doesn't mean that you have to believe any of it. Before and after I left the Church, I went to Jewish, Protestant and other religious ceremonies. It didn't change my opinion, but people appreciated that fact that I was there. I still go to weddings in Churches, because I'm there more for the people that invited me than what is being said.
It comes down to how much you want your family to be a part of your life and how much you stand to lose.
By the way, my wife and I were not married in a church, (we were married in Hammond Castle by a J.P.) and no one has ever questioned us about the fact that my twin daughters were never baptized. Acceptance came, but the religious take time to come around. (In my case.)
Hammond Castle in Gloucester, MA?
Dude my husband's band performed there at past faires it's hosted!
The now-defunct band was Bedlam.
(I'm that Foster ;) )
If you are under eighteen, it may just be easiest to attend the weekly church session. Although I had not arrived at point of atheism in my teens, I had certainly rejected Catholicism. Nonetheless, I attended compulsory mass plenty of times.
Honestly, I am glad that I did. After realizing that the entire service was just a manmade charade, I was able to view it with an objective eye. I analyzed the readings and prayers. I watched the adults around me participate in (what I now saw as) bizarre rituals. But the most important things that I learned were while listening to the homily, or the priest's spin on the Gospel reading. Picking apart the priest's generally terrible use of metaphors, anecdotes, and Glenn Beck-esque connections was a great exercise in seeing how religious people attempt to relate scripture to current events.
Basically, I am glad that I went to church as a non-believing young adult because I gained a deeper insight into the daily workings of religion.
However, I'm not sure what type of church your family attends. My parents never made a public issue of my doubts, nor did they ever instigate any sort of special prayer service to "save" me. If your family's brand of Christianity is more fanatical than my experience, I would amend my answer. If you are being called out and publicly ridiculed in church because of your unbelief, then I would consider that a form of child abuse and not condone compulsory attendance.
As long as you are allowed to just sit quietly in the pew unnoticed, I would honestly just attend and treat it as a learning experience.
I'd say u go to church...just because u r there doesn't mean anything at all.
i know it's annoying to do something against ur will but u have to compromise...remember u r still dependent on them.just going there deosnt mean u have to participate :D
Put up with it, they'll eventually fall off when they realize it's not going to "fix" you.
Also, if they're just lazy like my parents, and never want to get up early on sunday mornings, then it should go away pretty quickly--My parents went through phases of "we're gonna go to church!" every once in a while, but it was never a regular thing--they're just too lazy.
You could also sleep in church--that usually embarrasses them. Bring a notebook, and write(I did this during a trip to New Orleans when I was forced to go to a Catholic Mass), or bring another book, and read. Completely ignore the sermon. Yes, this is rude, but you don't want to be there. You shouldn't have to be there. And if you weren't there, guess what? You wouldn't be there, being rude.
I was also prayed over once at a christmas gathering with my dad's family(which I do NOT get along with), but luckily I've managed to stay out of the way and keep apart from the churchers where I live.
I love the you can't go through life believing in nothing bit..
This is what I tell my family when this happens..
I do believe in something I believe in my children, my life, the blood that courses through my veins. I believe that the earth will tilt on its axis and we will have 4 seasons every year.
I believe that if humans did not take time to work their buts off we would not have money to buy food, we would not have food to be sold.
If we did not believe somewhat in ourselves and our ability to do something we would not have technology as we have it, we would not have shelter over our heads and we certainly would not have a million different off shoots of one set of ideas, that are trying to prove all the other off shoots wrong.. No they don't like that too well but it is true.. I hope you get it worked out..