Atheist and dealing with religious parents

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    Feb 26, 2012 4:01 PM GMT
    I just got off the phone with my dad who I haven't been in touch for a while because of his job working abroad. and the first thing he asked is if I go to church icon_confused.gif


    I told him straight up I don't believe in a god and He told me I won't be successful otherwise. In response, I told him i would be and he was like alright we'll see..

    which pisses me off, It's like those very same pastors at one of my family's churches saying the same kinda shit "you can never do anything in life or be successful without God.. blah blah"

    how do you guys deal with this? I'd like to hear perspective.

    For background purposes, I come from an evangelical/pentecostal background

    I only chose atheism because it makes so much more sense and there's more equality and love around and less problems when religion is absent.

    EDIT: my mum is hindu but it plays no bearing in this as she belongs to an organised family, she doesn't shove her religion and only offers her blessing which i think is cute and well meaning.
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:03 PM GMT
    Your Dad's wrong.

    ...and I'm christian. icon_wink.gif
    Bill's atheist.

    -Doug


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    Feb 26, 2012 4:06 PM GMT
    meninlove said Your Dad's wrong.

    ...and I'm christian. icon_wink.gif
    Bill's atheist.

    -Doug




    Thanks Bill & Doug!

    my mum's actually Hindu but she never shoves her religion down my throat like my dad's family the only thing she ever does is offer her blessings which I think is cute and well meaning but.. man does my Dad piss me off when he gets religious
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:07 PM GMT
    FootballHawk saidI just got off the phone with my dad who I haven't been in touch for a while because of his job working abroad. and the first thing he asked is if I go to church icon_confused.gif


    I told him straight up I don't believe in a god and He told me I won't be successful otherwise. In response, I told him i would be and he was like alright we'll see..

    which pisses me off, It's like those very same pastors at one of my family's churches saying the same kinda shit "you can never do anything in life or be successful without God.. blah blah"

    how do you guys deal with this? I'd like to hear perspective.

    For background purposes, I come from an evangelical/pentecostal background


    I only chose atheism because it makes so much more sense and there's more equality and love around and less problems when religion is absent.
    Well a lot depends on the relationship you and they have.
    YOU make up the 'rules' of your relationship, not them.
    A 'rule' should be: NO mentioning of religious tones, talk or activities otherwise conversation is immediately terminated. ( but you must enforce that rigidly)

    The first time that happens, they'll learn. Trust me they will!
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:09 PM GMT
    I'd ask him (assuming you want to get into it) to define "success".

    If you're in school, should you spend more time in the library or praying?

    If you're starting a career or business, should you spend more time working or praying?

    In the worst case, hopefully you can agree that "God helps those who help themselves" and that you're going to do your best and if God wants to chip in... great.
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:10 PM GMT
    You Mom has the right idea.

    warmly,
    -Doug
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Feb 26, 2012 4:22 PM GMT
    I belong and go to a church, but it isn't critical for ones success.
    Your parents were raised and see life in a certain way and you in another.
    My suggestion is that you are always honest with them, but don't let it be a problem in your relationship. When you Dad challenges you on the question, let it go past you and move forward. If he chastizes you, just say, "yeah, right, whatever Dad" and change the subject. Don't let the issue rule your scene with your parents.... negate it and move on.
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:24 PM GMT
    I'd tell him that if he wants to be a nosy bitch, to start paying your bills.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Feb 26, 2012 4:29 PM GMT
    the three richest americans are all atheists
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:30 PM GMT
    I actually didn't choose to be an atheist. It was much like being gay, more of a discovery of myself than waking up one day and saying "i think ill try that atheism out today"

    My parents and I don't talk about it...that would just end in me shaming them with logic.

    Atheism feels like a much more genuine way of living...

    Anything i do for someone is because I'm a nice person, not because my imaginary friend told me to

    Anything I believe is completely what I believe, not what someone told me to believe in

    Any success or failure I have is my own responsibility

    Nothing to hide behind! Makes me feel so much stronger standing on my own two feet
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:30 PM GMT
    You're the guy who once wrote asking if I thought I was Jesus. Interesting / disturbing.
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:33 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 saidYou're the guy who once wrote asking if I thought I was Jesus. Interesting / disturbing.


    that was satirical, don't take the internet too seriously
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:37 PM GMT
    FootballHawk said
    Jockbod48 saidYou're the guy who once wrote asking if I thought I was Jesus. Interesting / disturbing.


    that was satirical, don't take the internet too seriously


    The Internet / or religion. I keep both in perspective - - - which still leaves me puzzled as to your sarcastic question asking if I thought I was Jesus. I'd never mentioned Jesus. I think the question here might be: What is your hangup or preoccupation with religion?
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:41 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 said
    FootballHawk said
    Jockbod48 saidYou're the guy who once wrote asking if I thought I was Jesus. Interesting / disturbing.


    that was satirical, don't take the internet too seriously


    The Internet / or religion. I keep both in perspective - - - which still leaves me puzzled as to your sarcastic question asking if I thought I was Jesus. I'd never mentioned Jesus. I think the question here might be: What is your hangup or preoccupation with religion?


    well you were pointing out all the flaws of Steve Jobs at the time, as though implying you were some holy knight yourself with so much success, that's why i said that.
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:42 PM GMT
    Your family name is Kapoor and your father is Evangelican? That is really very strange.

    Anyway, my parents always talk a lot about God. My mother actually can't believe that there are people out there who don't believe in God, just like she didn't know what gay meant. What I do is I let them talk. I either change the topic or let them know that I want to talk about something else or sometimes I just don't pay attention. The best thing is to cut it out. If you are going to get into an argument, it won't take you anywhere and will leave everyone bitter.
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:43 PM GMT
    ricky1987 saidYour family name is Kapoor and your father is Evangelican? That is really very strange.

    Anyway, my parents always talk a lot about God. My mother actually can't believe that there are people out there who don't believe in God, just like she didn't know what gay meant. What I do is I let them talk. I either change the topic or let them know that I want to talk about something else or sometimes I just don't pay attention. The best thing is to cut it out. If you are going to get into an argument, it won't take you anywhere and will leave everyone bitter.


    No it's my mum's that the Kapoor, I never was that close to my dad's family even as a child I grew up in my maternal grandma's palace.
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:48 PM GMT
    FootballHawk said
    Jockbod48 said
    FootballHawk said
    Jockbod48 saidYou're the guy who once wrote asking if I thought I was Jesus. Interesting / disturbing.


    that was satirical, don't take the internet too seriously


    The Internet / or religion. I keep both in perspective - - - which still leaves me puzzled as to your sarcastic question asking if I thought I was Jesus. I'd never mentioned Jesus. I think the question here might be: What is your hangup or preoccupation with religion?


    well you were pointing out all the flaws of Steve Jobs at the time, as though implying you were some holy knight yourself with so much success, that's why i said that.


    What a lot of rot. "All the flaws of Steve Jobs?" I'm not interested in running down Steve Jobs. He's made brilliant contributions to the world. He has added countless jobs and products to benefit us all. The only thing he did that I (and other historical association members) didn't approve of was to tear down a property that was historical. The fact that many Californians wanted that property preserved doesn't make us "Jesus".

    You have some issues.
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    Feb 26, 2012 4:50 PM GMT
    Jockbod48 said
    FootballHawk said
    Jockbod48 said
    FootballHawk said
    Jockbod48 saidYou're the guy who once wrote asking if I thought I was Jesus. Interesting / disturbing.


    that was satirical, don't take the internet too seriously


    The Internet / or religion. I keep both in perspective - - - which still leaves me puzzled as to your sarcastic question asking if I thought I was Jesus. I'd never mentioned Jesus. I think the question here might be: What is your hangup or preoccupation with religion?


    well you were pointing out all the flaws of Steve Jobs at the time, as though implying you were some holy knight yourself with so much success, that's why i said that.


    What a lot of rot. "All the flaws of Steve Jobs?" I'm not interested in running down Steve Jobs. He's made brilliant contributions to the world. He has added countless jobs and products to benefit us all. The only thing he did that I (and other historical association members) didn't approve of was to tear down a property that was historical. The fact that many Californians wanted that property preserved doesn't make us "Jesus".

    You have some issues.


    yes i have some issues over some guy i dont know over the internet. kthxbye icon_smile.gif
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    Feb 26, 2012 6:48 PM GMT
    My dad used to say the same thing. I never got pissed off at him because I knew that he believed it in his heart and was worried because he loved me. Why stress yourself out because you disagree with him. I'm sure you don't get pissed off everytime you disagree with someone so why should this be different.

    In your perfect world he would agree with all of your arguments that you are right and he is wrong. I'm sure in his perfect world the reverse would be true. So you don't agree with each other. Let it go at that. He may not like it but will eventually accept that you don't agree with him.
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    Feb 26, 2012 6:52 PM GMT
    Your mom's right...
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    Feb 26, 2012 6:52 PM GMT
    Folks with false belief systems will defend them vehemently. Understand, ignorant folks don't know they are; that's why they are ignorant.

    Understand, however, that there is nothing rational about false belief systems. They are what they are: a leap of faith / hope / imagination.

    Religion is the root of most evil, and employs any number of psychological weapons. Don't get caught up in all that crap.

    This is an argument you cannot win. Don't invoke it. Walk away from it. Tell your parents "We'll agree to disagree." If they continue to try to manipulate you, end the interaction; walk away. They need to accept that you are an adult, period.

    There are lots of very successful atheists, and we all know that. There's nothing wrong with a rational belief system (atheism) that is supported by The World around us and is evidence based.

    I tell the religious nuts this: if there is a god, my god understands I am imperfect, and understands that I erred on the side of science, rationality, and straight thinking, and is not a hateful, vindictive, punitive, god. Few religious nuts have a sound rebuttal for that.

    Religion often persecutes / shuns (a psychological weapon) non-conformists. In yesteryear, folks were executed for saying The World was round. Of course, we know that's the case now. Religion preys upon ignorance and fear and seeks control via manipulation.
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    Feb 26, 2012 6:57 PM GMT
    Well, you can do what most adult children do when they don't get along with their parents, make yourself scarce. If your father wants to have contact with you and see you, he might want to fix his attitude first. Otherwise he might not have an adult son to see.
  • mizu5

    Posts: 2599

    Feb 26, 2012 6:59 PM GMT
    Go get a list of highly succesful atheists. I'm sure there must a few floating around the internet.
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    Feb 26, 2012 7:01 PM GMT
    True religion for me is someone who doesn't judge others.

    You have to look at it from your father's perspective though. He believes that non-believers will burn in hell for all eternity.
    If you were walking along a path and you were seeing another path leading to fire, flames, poison, decay and death. You would think to your self, why is that path there and who would walk it?
    Then you saw your own son. You are watching him as he is walking towards a path of doom and eternal agony. Wouldn't you do everything in your power to save him from that path? Wouldn't you spend every waking hour, trying to save your own son from agony and anguish?

    I'm not saying atheists will burn in hell, because I don't believe they will. Your dad does (from what I can read).
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    Feb 26, 2012 7:02 PM GMT
    chuckystud said

    This is an argument you cannot win. Don't invoke it. Walk away from it. Tell your parents "We'll agree to disagree." If they continue to try to manipulate you, end the interaction; walk away. They need to accept that you are an adult, period.

    This ! (emphasis mine)