Ugh, so it's been an entire month of holiday garbage. From the passive aggressive nature of my family during their meal time prayers or my parents trying to shove their Catholic bullshit down my young son's throat.

I want to scream at them, but I don't. I keep the peace and don't respond to their faces how angry they make me. So here it is, every response I have kept in my head.

"No mom, I may not believe in Jesus but I still like celebration because it is time I get to spend with my family. If you haven't noticed everyone in your generation is in their 50's now and all but one of my grandparents are dead."

"Really Dad? None of us deserve presents because we don't go to church? I pulled your depressed alcoholic son out of his funk by moving him back to his familial support system. He has a job, a truck and is back in school because of what I manage to do with my life...but please, tell me how bad of a person you think I am."

"Oh my uncle found Jesus a week ago? Jesus told him it wasn't his time? What a miracle, because to me it seems like he's dying from three different infections after numerous invasive surgeries. Oh wait, lets talk about this in the lobby, because the doctor is here to remove his breathing tube."

"Mom, please tell me you are just pretending to be so ignorant as to compare homosexuality to pedophilia. One is consenting adults trying to have the basic human rights as everyone else, and the other is someone who lusts after and molests CHILDREN."

"No I will not be teaching this Catholic garbage to my son, because even though my childhood was mostly not miserable 100% of all of the most horrible things in my life are connected to this religious bullshit. From being molested by my grandfather and being told that his sins were washed away by some imaginary sky dad to the terrifying fear of hell that kept me in an abusive relationship for the better part of a decade. I also won't be baptizing my second child."

"No, I do not want to go to church with you, I am not confused, I am not angry at god, I am not lost. I am an atheist."

"Oh? The Jahovah witnesses are cruel for not believing in blood transfusions? Tell me again how you support the Pope's anti-condom stance in Africa? Oh! Because if you are only having sex with your spouse you won't spread AIDS? You do know that you are still putting someone you love at risk of catching fucking AIDS right? If you have kids they could have it, and then spread it to their spouses... but what the fuck do I know right?"

"No, not agnostic. Atheist."

Views: 332

Comment by _Robert_ on January 17, 2013 at 3:59pm

Whenever another ex-catholic atheist posts something, it's like..yep, ahh hu, exactly. The dysfunction of that religious culture is, well "catholic".

Comment by _Robert_ on January 17, 2013 at 4:00pm

..and you are right, they love making fun of baptists and JWs, etc...ok folks..your pope is a Hitler youth.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on January 17, 2013 at 5:07pm

lol, Robert.

I'm sorry Carol.  Being with family is its own "reward."

Comment by Mabel on January 17, 2013 at 6:42pm

I'm sorry you had to focus on keeping your head from exploding during the holiday. Don't feel alone.

Comment by Carol Foley on January 17, 2013 at 11:40pm

Thanks folks. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to scream at my parents, but after burying quite a few people the past six months I am more willing to try and keep the peace. Wish they would return the favor.

Comment by Cristynfaye on January 18, 2013 at 1:37am

Something fun you can do is called Bug-me-Bucks.  It's from Stuff Christian Culture Likes http://www.stuffchristianculturelikes.com/, which is an excellent blog, and she also has a facebook page which is also quite excellent.  Anyway, I'm gonna copy and paste the description and rules for this fantastic game which is sure to help anyone through a holiday with the family:

"Last year my friend told me that she and her husband survive the holidays with Christian culture family members by making a game out of it. They call it Bug-Me Bucks. It’s kind of like fantasy football and it’s kind of brilliant. 

 

Before the visit you make a list of which family members will say or do a particular thing that they always do that really bugs you. Assign a dollar amount to each transgression. As each event happens, tally it in your head. Then you get to spend that money on whatever you want (shoes, pixy sticks, weed) without grief from your life partner because that is YOUR hard-earned money. 

 

Example: Will your sister-in-law tell her kids to "have a happy heart like Jesus"? Then you get a dollar. (Or however much you assigned to it.) Will your mom’s eyes glaze over and loll back in her head if you accidentally say "dammit"? Another dollar! Will you father-in-law give you his trademark side hug instead of a less-erotic regular hug? Will your in-laws remind you that having gay friends will destroy your marriage? That one gets at least three dollars. 

 

Important: don’t tell your family you’re doing this. Only you, or your spouse or other like-minded family member can know. Bug-Me Bucks exists only for your comfort and survival.

 

I tried this at a recent family reunion and my anxiety and suicidal ideation were much much lower than they usually are at family gatherings. And I made $43 in a week."

Enjoy!

Comment by Strega on January 18, 2013 at 11:24am

Hi Karl,

I'm a Brit but have been living in the USA for two years now.  You won't believe the extent that Christianity is embedded in the culture.  You know how it is in the UK, where people just mumble, "oh, I'm not really religious"?  Here, being an atheist is loosely seen as some kind of belligerent self-imposed aggressive deformity.  In the North Eastern states, lie Vermont where I am, it is not too bad, but head south physically and you'll head south mentally, if you know what I mean.

As you read these forum threads, you'll see - 21st century my arse, Here in the US, they are still considering approaching the 20th century as far as religion is concerned.... and they're not too keen to get there :)

Comment by Strega on January 18, 2013 at 7:35pm

Karl, it's the loony majority viewpoint!  It pervades everywhere.  Last Easter I found a chocolate Jesus fish and a chocolate crucifix in the aisle that we would have had chocolate eggs and bunnies in.  I bought them and sent them to my team in London, who found them bizarre.  They ended up being onward-transmitted to colleagues in Germany, who sent us the funniest cautious thank you email I think I can remember.  Here's a pic of the crucifix....

Comment by Ed on January 18, 2013 at 8:58pm

If you really want to elevate the rhetoric ask your family why it took the Catholic Church until 1992 to extend an apology to the then imprisoned Galileo for stating that the world was indeed not flat. Or why they used "stretching racks" and other methods of torture on the wayward Cathars back in the middle ages for a period of 800 years! The Inquisition was a marvelous achievement for the Church.  Or that Hitler nor one of his Nazi followers was ever ex-communicated by the Vatican for their unbelievable genocide of Jews.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on January 19, 2013 at 12:29am

I like that "Bug Me Bucks" thing. Like a drinking game, only better! My family is chock full of Catholics, Woo-seekers, and/or Southern Baptists.  Also, half of them are extreme repulicans and/or republicans pretending to be libertarians.  Then there's the fact that my branch of the family is filled with black sheep (I get to be the purple sheep...and pink unicorn).  Add on some narcissists, a couple of passive agressives, four or five know-it-alls, and perhaps a psychopath (or two, unfortunately) and it's more like a test of endurance that a holiday.

Also, they are very loud. Imagine the loudest, most crass people you have ever heard. Now imagine the same volume and tone, but with pompous xtian piety, intellectual snobbery, and republican self-righteousness. And the same stories over and over again.  Does anyone else's elders do this? On my mom's side, 3 to 4 people will be yelling across eachother with up to three completely unrelated conversations, and they all can follow each one--and they all enjoy this!  I had to learn to yell with/at them just to give my ears a rest while they 'listen' to me. :-)  I get so frustrated by family get-to-gethers that I have to take a "breather" at least five times in so many hours. 

There are a lot of nice, sensitive, and interesting people in my family too who understand how to have polite social interactions.  There's even an agnostic and another mystery atheist...it's too shameful for Grandma to tell me who the other atheist is.  It's just a struggle to put up with family in order to enjoy family. 

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