My sister is making me go to church, help please?

My 20 year old sister is forcing me a 16 year old, to go to church because I am an Atheist (well humanist),and she claims she knows more on the subject than me. Her words on Christopher Hitchens were "He was just mad at God because he had cancer" and Carl Sagan "Devil Worshiper" I did not mention Richard Dawkins because she might have said something more ignorant....But she is making me go to "find all the answers and restore my faith in God". Do I go? Do I absolutely refuse? (Tried that actually resulted in "your a minor you have no choice"), or Do I "forget" and sleep in? Either way, I need advice also, if she makes me go, do I stand up and point out all the fallacies or do I just sit there and ignore every ignorant word? Edit: and NOW she wants to make me join a Youth Group! Dear Flying Spaghetti monster please guide me with your noodly appendage through this train wreck of crap my sister is making me do!

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Comment by Kenny Howse on January 14, 2012 at 3:43am

When I was in school I studied religion and even won the bible prize! Wayhay, that's my claim to fame when I get challenged about my lack of belief.  In my humble opinion being an atheist is fine but being an ignorant atheist is just as bad as being a xtian!  I believe in the old saying "knowledge is power" the more you know about their belief system, the more you can trash it for the nonsense it is!  Onward Pastafarians!

Comment by Citizen Atheist on January 14, 2012 at 6:45am

You don't really have a choice until you are 18... but you know the truth and you can just go to say you went.  Now is not the time to rebel - wait until you're 18 and can say "no, church is a waste of my time".

Comment by Citizen Atheist on January 14, 2012 at 6:50am

As a matter of fact, you can take notes to use in a blog where you dissect Christianity.  Use it as research.

Comment by Michael on January 14, 2012 at 7:25am

Does your sister have legal custody of you? If not then she has no grounds to force you to go to church. I would ask her to sit down and have an intelligent discussion with you about why it would be better for you to go to church. Use the time to try and beat back some of her ignorance, Carl Sagan a devil worshipper WTF?! Make sure you prepare for the conversation. She will probably quote bible verses as her reasoning behind why it is good for you. You then simply ask her to demonstrate why the bible should be considered good and accurate. She will then say because God said so and you can explain to her what circular logic is. I would also show her a list of the many happy and successful atheists/humanist who have contributed greatly to society. One more thing, tell her Hitchens couldn't possibly be mad at something that he did not believe existed.

Comment by Michael on January 14, 2012 at 7:27am

Or you could just go to church and be the shining example of free thought and rationality. When you start making people question their irrational beliefs I am sure your sister will beg you to stop going.

Comment by Ron V on January 14, 2012 at 11:56am

I agree with some of the "learning experience" posts- how about considering the following-

From now until you're 18, get copies of and read Who Wrote the Bible (Friedman), Jesus, Interrupted (Ehrman), The Rejection of Pascal's Wager (Tobin- also a good web site), and Atheism, The Case Against God (Smith) before, and possibly while you are in, church (perhaps in the car on the way so you can discuss topics with your sister).  Bring the copies of these books as you are reading them to church like a churgoer brings their bible - should make for interesting discussion.  If your sister insists you don't read or bring these, ask her if she sees censorship and suppression of knowledge as a repetitive theme in religion.

Comment by Ron V on January 14, 2012 at 11:58am

If you get through the above, read How to Become A Really Good Pain in the Ass and start critically analyzing the claims/arguments made in church and/or by your sister.

Good luck!

Comment by Samantha Kedzierski on January 14, 2012 at 1:15pm

you may be a minor and there are things minors HAVE to do, but being forced to go to church is their own ignorance they feel they can force on you. legally, they cannot force you to go to church. if you were a baby, then you wouldnt have a choice. you have a choice being 16.

Comment by Kenny Howse on January 14, 2012 at 1:18pm

Totally agree with Samantha!

Comment by Colleen on January 14, 2012 at 1:29pm

It seems that she really can't force you to do any of these things, but she can and likely will continue to badger you and/or withhold other privileges that she mediates until you do.  My boyfriend was able to strike a deal with his mother: he reads a book of her choosing and she reads a book of his.  I might try to go this route, but it doesn't sound like she'd be too open to the idea.  So go, prove her wrong.  It's not like you'll burn in a fire the second you cross the threshold, and so long as you continue to think critically and learn and grow, I would not worry about being brainwashed.


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