Easter Dinner with my Christian Family... help!

Hey there, any of you had this experience, uncomfortable... embarrassing... my folks are coming over for Easter Lunch tomorrow, getting Lamb, my Mum is cooking a special Symnal Cake in which bits of the cake represent different pieces of the Easter Story (in marzipan)... it's the most religios day of the year and my Fundie Mum and my Vicar Dad are spending it with us... any of youdoing anything similar?

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Comment by Robert Karp on April 23, 2011 at 8:00am
I wish you well Chris. Sounds like you have a fun afternoon planned. I think being subjected to religious events is all part of the Atheist journey.  I recently attended an orthodox jewish wedding and found myself so uncomfortable yet at the same time it reaffirmed my own confidence in the unbelief.  These events mean a lot to your family so I hope you can let them be present and enjoy it without projecting.  However, if for some reason your lack of enthusiasm is questioned, I hope you speak up with confidence and patience and calmness about you liberated mind. Happy Magical Bunny Day!!!
Comment by Chris Lambert on April 23, 2011 at 8:12am
Cheers Robert, It's my kids I worry about, they get so confused...
Comment by Discern on April 23, 2011 at 8:46am
I haven't 'come out' yet, so I still get asked to pray for the food.. XD
Comment by Janet Richter on April 23, 2011 at 10:11am

Around religious holidays this issue comes up for any non-believer.  Being both a cynic and an optimist I find that if I concentrate on the nice things, it helps.  Families getting together for any reason is a generally good thing.  Your kids getting to spend time with their grandparents is wonderful even if the event may be a little confusing.  Part of being a more rational human being, it is important to respect other people's beliefs.  I know I hate when someone tries to shove God down my throat, so I don't shove my beliefs down theirs.  I love a rational debate but find that holidays are not the best time to do so. 


In fact holidays are probably the worst time because you would be challenging not only their belief structure but the tradition that they so love - making for an angry, angry family and a bad day.


As far as the kids are concerned it seems pretty simple.  I would explain that their grandma and grandpa believe one thing and that I believe something else.  AND that your children have a choice when they get older to choose what they believe.  Just provide them with a lot of science books and history lessons to help them along the way.  LOL

Comment by Robert Karp on April 23, 2011 at 11:34am
I have kids too. I don't see anything wrong in having them get into the easter bunny and joy of it. It had nothing to do with christianity in the first place. At the point where anyone tries to make the association between christ and the bunny i will draw the line. But for me finding an easter basket, or bunny basket for little ones is harmless and so much fun. I take little bites of a carrot and leave a trail. The idea of a child having an active imagination is important to me. It's only when adults who's imagination trumps reason the problems come in.
Comment by Chris Lambert on April 23, 2011 at 2:55pm

Cheers guys this is very helpful. Lee's first sentence sadly sums them up, that is precisely what they are trying to do and they have been trying to do it for the last 20 years. (I've been an Atheist since I was 18ish do the math and work out my age!)

I'm just getting fed up with shutting up about it and find the whole experience stressful.

Comment by Chris Lambert on April 23, 2011 at 2:56pm
Janet Richter you say some really helpful things, thanks.
Comment by Chris Lambert on April 23, 2011 at 2:59pm

Ah Discern, I feel your pain. Although I have "come out" as an Atheist - I still allow them to pray at my table, it just makes them, happier. It just annoys me, "Thank you God for providing this fabulous meal" - Er no I provided it and my wonderful wife did most of the cooking thank you very much. And farmers tended the crops to make them grow blah blah blah...

How about starting your "grace" with a thank you for the farmers, oh pray to nature instead!

Comment by Chris Lambert on April 23, 2011 at 3:10pm

Thanks Rich... I shall keep changing the subject... however...


Dad: Thanks for the red wine it is the blood of Christ

Chris: (should have opened the white) Is it, you know I got it at Aldi only £6 a bottle recommended to me by a friend of mine, Paul.

Mum: And does not Paul teach us to celebrate the eucharist as Christ did?

Chris: (Dammit) Yeah he's a policeman works in Oxford.

Dad: Ah we were in Oxford recently.

Chris: (Oh good) Really, what did you do.

Dad: Our friend's son was ordained. Our friend's SON. Now a priest.

Mum: He's such a nice Christian boy. Married a lovely Christian girl.

Chris: (Teeth grinding) Really.


And so on... I will change the subject and they'll keep bringing it back...


Wish me luck, I'll get back to you tomorrow with how it goes... thanks for the sage words

Comment by Walter Maki on April 23, 2011 at 3:26pm

I will be following this saga. I want to how the subject change pans out.

I have willfully changed subject on issues I don't want to address at that time.

My wife has pointed out moments of subject change...my response is..." well I don't really want to talk about it right now"


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