Sarah - posted on 03/23/2010 ( 5 moms have responded )
My parents and sisters are extremely religious. Christianity is everything to them and their life revolves around God. Praying, Bible reading, the whole nine yards.
My mum usually comes out to visit me and Jonah once a month and it's usually a very laid back event. However, I decided this last visit to make an inarguable statement that I knew she had been dreading I would make: "Hi Mom! I'm an atheist."
Hehe Ok, so I was a little more tactful than that.
I just wanted to give a few pointers; seemingly little things that made a big difference.
1) Stay calm. Remember, you have nothing to be defensive about. (After all, YOU are not the one who believes in an invisible perfect being who defines himself as love yet condones rape, murder and slavery in his "holy" word!)
2) Be as matter-of-fact as possible. Don't try to get in a huge debate.
3) Be clear about where you stand, but don't bash their beliefs.
4) If they start going on an on about how GREAT god is and how they would be nothing without his love and mercy and you think you might explode.... just ask them a question you KNOW they won't know the answer to. Or, ask them several.
5) Let them know that you don't feel the need to discuss your beliefs again if they don't. If they have questions you will gladly answer them but tell them it's kind of a hush-hush agreement. You hush about yours if they'll hush about theirs!
6) Tell them IN NO UNCERTAIN TERMS that you do not want them 'teaching' your child (in any manner, to any extreme) about their religion.
In my talk with my mom, she must have said "I don't know" or "I can't answer that" five or six times. Is she still a Christian? Very much so. But she sent me an email a few days later saying that she appreciated my honesty and she was glad that I "made [her] think".
It's easier to keep your cool when you're right. ;)
Thanks all, for this awesome group. Honored to be a part.