Well, I went to my fathers church today, where he pastors.

 

I sorta had to:

 

I have been living in South Korea for the past 2.5 years, and I came home for the month to visit. My parents have been talking about, and updating all the church people about what and how I have been doing and told everyone there that I'd be in town. I felt pretty obligated to go just to say hello to people and shake a few hands. I do plan on not attending for the rest of the month, but it seemed like I would have been the bad guy if I hadn't attended.

 

Thing is, my father has been talking about how people are praying for me and basically letting me know in any offhand way that he hasn't "given up" on me yet. I'm sorta annoyed but not as I know where his mind is and I know he means well, but I am annoyed at the fact that he's attempting to validate himself against me by saying the things he does... Anyhow...

 

Today we had lunch in the park together. We sat at a picnic table, and we were ready to eat. My dad asked me to pray. I was immediately reminded of this thread, and began to think over whether I wanted to pander to my fathers needs, stand up for my own beliefs, or if I was just respecting his wishes. It seems he wanted confirmation that I still had faith, and he was forcing me to admit to it.

 

I said "uh........."

 

After around 10 seconds, the longest 10 seconds in my ENTIRE life, my mother spoke up and said to my father "You just do it" and while the tension dissipated, I felt a bit like something was wrong and that my father lost something and my mother wasn't all that thrilled with either of us.

 

I wonder, should I have been more active in my stand? Did I do it the right way? I know I was NOT about to pray, and I'm actually VERY amazed that he asked me to do it... Either way, I am not 100% sure I handled it right. I think I should have said more than "uh....." but I still have a strong reluctance to be entirely up front to my father.

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Comment by Rosemary LYNDALL WEMM on August 8, 2011 at 11:41am

You were put in a very difficult manipulated postion.  I think you handled it about as well as you could have, considering that you were put on the spot and no time to prepare a "brilliant" response. Don't kick yourself.  I've had similar experiences where I've done my best to be socially appropriate while trying my best to hang on to my intellectual integrity.  It is not easy and I am rarely, if ever, happy about the compromises I make.  In the end, we have to make expedient decisions that maximize our chances of continuing relationships that are socially and economically important to our optimum survival. 

Just be thankful that you are not a preacher who has to lead religious services long after he or she has lost their religious beliefs.  The cognitive dissonance in these cases tend to rip people into quivering little psychological pieces.

Comment by IEatDinosaurMeat on September 16, 2011 at 2:51am

Sorry, I didn't correct this earlier. The lunch in the park was just with family. It wasn't in front of a large group.

Also, my dad loves me and I love him. We have an odd relationship, that has it's issues... And sometimes I'm really hard on the guy, but I know that no matter what I do it won't change. He has put forth effort to be a good man and a great father. We just have religious differences, and I know his dedication to his religion. I understand, I just don't always know how to act, if I'm acting appropriately, or if I'm being fair.

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