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Old May 11, 2006, 07:37 PM   #1
Smidgey
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Atheists and Family/Friends

I am an atheist, and have come from a familty of atheists, but I have heard stories of atheists from religious families causing a lot of upset or anger when they tell their relatives they don't believe in God. I was wondering if any of you had the same experiences as I have read elsewhere. It is always interesting to read about these things, see how you dealt with it and what your current relationship with your family is. Do you ever bring up this topic infront of them? Or has it become hush hush ?
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Old May 11, 2006, 07:57 PM   #2
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I am not a religious person at all. My parents, relatives aswell. Although i have been bathised when i was a baby, so i guess officially i am a catholic, but quite frankly the only times i've been in a church was for funerals of my grand parents and few weddings. I don't think i qualify as a religious person just for that.

My friend however is religious and a lot.. she is jew and her mother, grand parents are very religious, basically the whole family. I have no problem with her reguarding this since i respect it and she does respect aswell my view on the.. if you excuse me.. the whole thing.

I've had some serious discussion about how does the Jewish religion works with her. I was very curious about why they have to do this and that so and so. We are together since 5 years now, i know i'll have to go through the religious rituals in a year or two if everything goes as planned and i'll be honest and tell you i'm quite nervous about it! Because, this mean so much for her and her family but frankly for me it doesn't. Now thats where we had some rather hot discussion about the matter with my friend.


I don' believe in any gods/religion so of course it doesn't mean much, if at all anything for me to get married at a church, beit knesset, masjid... But since i do respect her faith, i can do it. I just need time i guess.
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Old May 11, 2006, 07:59 PM   #3
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My Grandma on my dad's side is very, very religious. One of my favorite people in the whole world, but she has become such a chore to be around because she feels she needs to save my soul before she dies.

Basically I've told her she's wasting her time because she doesn't have, pardon me for this, a prayer.

Also, my stepbrothers are Mormon, but only one practices. He tried for a couple of years but has given up. Finally. Thank God! At least with him I could tell him to get on a bike and sell it to someone else....couldn't very well tell that to grandma.
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Old May 11, 2006, 07:59 PM   #4
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That's what happened to me, being in one of the most religious and conservative nations on earth, I had lost faith and not told anyone. I did it by giving myself a 'what if' trial period of 1 week. In that one week I may have found inner peace, and not having to worry about eternal damnation. Slowly I began to discuss contradictions with friends and family, picking carefully who I tell and who I don't.

Now, only people close to me know, matter of fact one of them was even influenced by my ideas. Most people don't know, because I can get into serious trouble if they knew, so I keep quiet. Slowly, and with my help, more people will hopefully begin to realize that they are wrong.
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Old May 11, 2006, 08:01 PM   #5
jamiethearcher
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeeek
I am not a religious person at all. My parents, relatives aswell. Although i have been bathised when i was a baby, so i guess officially i am a catholic, but quite frankly the only times i've been in a church was for funerals of my grand parents and few weddings. I don't think i qualify as a religious person just for that.

My friend however is religious and a lot.. she is jew and her mother, grand parents are very religious, basically the whole family. I have no problem with her reguarding this since i respect it and she does respect aswell my view on the.. if you excuse me.. the whole thing.

I've had some serious discussion about how does the Jewish religion works with her. I was very curious about why they have to do this and that so and so. We are together since 5 years now, i know i'll have to go through the religious rituals in a year or two if everything goes as planned and i'll be honest and tell you i'm quite nervous about it! Because, this mean so much for her and her family but frankly for me it doesn't. Now thats where we had some rather hot discussion about the matter with my friend.


I don' believe in any gods/religion so of course it doesn't mean much, if at all anything for me to get married at a church, beit knesset, masjid... But since i do respect her faith, i can do it. I just need time i guess.
will they allow you to convert to judaism if you are in reality an athiest? It seems to me that converting you in name only is just as bad as letting an athiest marry into their religion.
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Old May 11, 2006, 08:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenochtitlan
That's what happened to me, being in one of the most religious and conservative nations on earth, I had lost faith and not told anyone. I did it by giving myself a 'what if' trial period of 1 week. In that one week I may have found inner peace, and not having to worry about eternal damnation. Slowly I began to discuss contradictions with friends and family, picking carefully who I tell and who I don't.

Now, only people close to me know, matter of fact one of them was even influenced by my ideas. Most people don't know, because I can get into serious trouble if they knew, so I keep quiet. Slowly, and with my help, more people will hopefully begin to realize that they are wrong.
If you found "inner peace" in one week, please do enlighten the rest of us. actually, dont. save your thoughts, write a book, and make yourself some money!
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Old May 11, 2006, 08:03 PM   #7
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I'm from a very religious--though not very conservative--family, and quite frankly I'm too afraid to say anything about it.
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Old May 11, 2006, 08:22 PM   #8
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Where are you from Tenochtitlan?

Anyway, as for me, I have already said that I am from an atheist family. However, when we were having a discussion in religion education (a long time ago ) the teacher, out of curiosity asked people to raise their hands to see which religion they followed, if any. There were only two atheists in the class (which is surprising, considering in my country only 12% of the population are actively religious). It caused a lot of heated debate but no name calling or anything. I find it easy to tell people that I don't believe in God,but I often wonder what it would be like if I lived somewhere else.
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Old May 11, 2006, 08:23 PM   #9
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From an uber religious family. They just pretend to not know. I get told that I am going to participate in things like funerals 20 minuets before the service. I then tell them that I wont be doing anything more showing up and get called disrespectful. My rebutle is that it was disrespectful to assume that I as an athiest would take part in a religious ceramony and it was disrespectful not to ask and then get mad at me.
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Old May 11, 2006, 08:34 PM   #10
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I was brought up in communist Poland - 98% Roman Catholic and over 80% practicing. It was a fairly religious society - most of our traditions were tied to Catholicism and Jesus somehow.

I was brought up to be a skeptic - due to the general hate of communism around me. The government and the Russians threw propaganda at us - and at an early age I already understood that nothing they said could be believed and should be questioned... just not out loud

At the same time I was being indoctrinated with the belief system of the Roman Catholic Church by everyone around me.

And what do my parents name me? Thomas! Is that prophetic, or what?

After a while I figured out that things that I was being taught didn't make sense - and that I should do some independent research to figure out what was going on. I eventually came to the conclusion that most of what I was being taught didn't make any sense.. and that I couldn't believe in it without compromising my personal code of intellectual integrity.

So.. I just stopped going to church. My parents didn't understand and got mad - they thought I was just being lazy. They probably still do!

They didn't understand that I could be intellectually opposed to the belief system they were trying to push on me - and assumed that I was just a rebelious teenager without any clear idea of what I was opposing or why.

They didn't force me to go to church if I really didn't want to go - and while we had heated disagreements over the issue I just refused to go.. and eventually it stopped being an issue.

My aunt called me the anti-christ a couple times.. but she has a great sense of humour So I don't really mind that.. Actually, I think it's pretty funny.

In any case, I'm drunk, so I'm gonna go now.

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Old May 11, 2006, 08:44 PM   #11
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I'm pretty sure my parents know i'm not religious, but it's not something i like to discuss because I have nothing to gain by angering my mother(my father is not religious and doesn't care)
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Old May 11, 2006, 09:10 PM   #12
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I just tiptoe around the subject with the more religious members of my extended family. Many of my family members are somewhat aware of my feelings on the matter, but I don't particularly care to press the issue. Family is too important a thing to let philosophical differences harm.

My mother is somewhat religious and I know she isn't that positive about my atheism, but she's generally supportive. My father doesn't care, he's not religious.
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Old May 11, 2006, 10:48 PM   #13
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My family was never outright religous but my dads sid of the family is and so is he. I became an atheist 2 years ago before that I was an agnostic and didn't pay much mind to religon. At first my mom was like WTF. And my parents tried to force me to go to tempals and such and we used to fight a lot over it. Eventually she got over it and gave up trying and had to deal with it. My relatives found out recently and they're real depressed and such, Bloody conservatisim in Indian society I guess.
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Old May 12, 2006, 01:39 AM   #14
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My parents are religious, and weren't exactly happy when they learnt I had lost my faith, but they didn't raise hell over it either, and I still have good relations to them.

As for my extended family, I don't know what they know or think, and I don't care either.

Most of my friends are irreligious.
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Old May 12, 2006, 01:59 AM   #15
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My mother and her family is religious, but it seems they have accepted the fact I am going to end up in hell
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Old May 12, 2006, 03:51 AM   #16
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I was baptised as a baby and underwent nearly the whole indoctrination. The only thing I did not do was Belijdenis (creed when I was 18.

Later on the church threw me out.

My family has 0 problems with it.
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Old May 12, 2006, 04:01 AM   #17
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I am an atheist,my entire family is religious.If told them that I dont believe in God they would probably disown me and/or tie me up and send me to some priest for exsorcism.

So I must remain covert ops about it.Well until they all croak that is.
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Old May 12, 2006, 04:13 AM   #18
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While I am baptized, my upbringing has not been particularly religious. My mother is agnostic and my father is non-practizing. I was always told that the stories of Jesus should not in any way be taken literally, but that their message of compassion was still good.
None of my friends or family has any problem with my atheism, but I think it is because the general norm in Denmark is to be either agnostic or non-practizing(most of our churches are nearly empty on normal sundays). I also have no problem talking openly about my beliefs(or lack of same) in Religion classes at high school.
My grandfather is very religious, though, so I try not to be openly atheistic around him.
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Old May 12, 2006, 04:37 AM   #19
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My grand father was very disappointed when he realise that none of his children were religious, and also none of the grand children. He tried to get me to do confirmation, and for a while I gave in, but I started feeling like a hypocrite, so I gave it up. My sister he just asked once, and she didn't want to either. My parents made sure never to tell me their believes until I figured mine out for myself, which I'm kind of grateful for
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Old May 12, 2006, 04:37 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rik Meleet
I was baptised as a baby and underwent nearly the whole indoctrination. The only thing I did not do was Belijdenis (creed when I was 18.

Later on the church threw me out.
Threw you out? That sounds somewhat dramatic - care to give some further detail?

I'm still formally a member of my parents' church, and have no plans to terminate that formality.
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