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.
Go to the church as requested (you will only need to do this once)
Put up with the blah blah blah
At the end (better still at the beginning if you can) ask to speak to the priest/vicar/whoever.
Tell the religious rep that you are there against your will and ask what his/her opinion is on parents forcing their offspring to attend a religious ceremony against their will.
Do this in front of you parents if you can.
They will be really pissed off initially but at least they will take your non belief seriously.
To me, your course of action should ultimately be decided by what kind of parents you parents are. I am going to make the assumption that you are still of the age that you are still dependent on your parents. If so, you may have little other choice than to just deal with it and go to church as requested... at least once or twice. It will really depend on how religious your parents are, and how you think they will react to you being more 'aggressive' in your Atheism.
Best case scenario, they aren't overly devout themselves and are more or less going through the motions (although they still believe). In this case, making a scene in the church, simply asking too many 'pesky' questions, or simply debating your parents on specific points may grant you freedom from going to church.
Worst case, they are devout in their belief and any acting out will cause them to make your life a living hell, or even disown you. If this is how your parents are, as bad as it will bore you, you will likely have to continue going. But if you do, all is not lost. Use it as an 'educational' opportunity. As has been said before, nothing shows how ridiculous the Bible is more than reading the Bible. Use it to hone your arguments and to know your stuff. I can tell you from personal experience, that nothing throws a theist off more than when you know more about their holy book then they do.
In most cases your preferred path will lye somewhere between my examples. SO if you want to give us any more info, I'm sure we'll be happy to help you out. One thing I would address though, it the misconception that we 'don't believe in anything'. Reassure that you 'believe' in reality as it can be scientifically demonstrated or explain that you are not 'empty' and 'sad'. You still see beauty in the world and care for your parents just as you always have. However, a god simply isn't necessary for such emotions or a healthy mental attitude.
Also, don't worry about asking a question that may have been asked already. When it comes to family dynamics, every situation is different. I do bid you good luck on your quest for understanding from your family and hope you will be sleeping in on Sunday's before long.
We had a huge long discussion when I told my parents. They thought it was something I was doing to rebel or something. After the yelling subsided, they ignored it for the most part. The only time I was forced to attend church was at christmas.
I still get the "You can't go through life believing in nothing" spiel and its been nearly 20 years. I believe in things, just not in magic sky wizards. I believe science explains things much more nicely than religion. I believe in reason and evidence. I believe we have only this one life, so we should live it like we want and do the best we can, help others, and be kind. I believe I dont have all the answers, nor do I need them in order to live right. I dont believe I need to fill in my gaps with myth and superstition.
Eventually they will see you are serious. Question them, question the priest/pastor/what he calls himself. Do not let them bully you in to pretending you believe something you dont. Seems like Dad will support you first if you talk to him alone about it, so make him an ally. Tell him you feel uncomfortable in a church and ask him to support you in your decision. He does not have to agree with it, but he can respect you! Then move on to Mom.
Y'know, I remember a few weeks ago my mother saying that she would love her children no matter what their beliefs, and now she's doing this. My father agrees with her on this, and doesn't even give it a second thought.
not even a "Hmmm...I wonder how this is making my child feel."
If you are sure they won't beat you - Speak to the Priest and tell him you think religion and church / God is all a nonsensical delusion and fabrication.
Tell him you don't want to live a lie - And tell your parents all this as well.
Make them believe you. If they still 'make you go to church' - Then just sit there silently. Don't do anything. Don't sing - Don't pray - Do nothing.
If your parents keep badgering you - Keep telling them you deserve respect and you think it's all made up mythology. Be honest and sincere.
Tell them what you DO believe in. You do believe in things, don't you? (Truth, Honesty, Respect, Freedom, Education, etc.)
Good Luck - Keep us updated.