U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 12-03-2011, 05:00 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
3,568 posts, read 6,185,471 times
Reputation: 5402

Advertisements

I have this in-law who is INSISTENT with her religious-ness if you can call it that. Every birthday card, christmas card and present has to jesus related with literally the ENTIRE side of the card filled with psalms and prayers and paper crosses falling out of the cards you get the idea. She gets my daughter angels that pray when you push their hands and such and I feel like I grind my teeth in an attempt to just give it back. I understand she is being thoughtful and I let it go on but I dread anytime we cross paths.

I fully plan to raise my daughter athiest and do not plan on baptisms and such. I want to approach this in an adult manner but the hints the just aren't going through you know. I feel like I need to just come out and be like "look lady". I'm trying to tread carefully here but I'm not sure how to do this with grace. How would you approach this ?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 12-04-2011, 02:15 AM
 
39,217 posts, read 10,895,806 times
Reputation: 5097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbottoms View Post
I have this in-law who is INSISTENT with her religious-ness if you can call it that. Every birthday card, christmas card and present has to jesus related with literally the ENTIRE side of the card filled with psalms and prayers and paper crosses falling out of the cards you get the idea. She gets my daughter angels that pray when you push their hands and such and I feel like I grind my teeth in an attempt to just give it back. I understand she is being thoughtful and I let it go on but I dread anytime we cross paths.

I fully plan to raise my daughter athiest and do not plan on baptisms and such. I want to approach this in an adult manner but the hints the just aren't going through you know. I feel like I need to just come out and be like "look lady". I'm trying to tread carefully here but I'm not sure how to do this with grace. How would you approach this ?
How about if you just treat them as toys and crummy jokes out of crackers? The paper and card can be recycled. The angels are not as much fun as playstation or whatever the kids do now. Make it clear that it is no more serious than Santa and no harm is done.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2011, 02:31 AM
 
Location: Terra firma
1,374 posts, read 1,356,980 times
Reputation: 1097
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbottoms View Post
I have this in-law who is INSISTENT with her religious-ness if you can call it that. Every birthday card, christmas card and present has to jesus related with literally the ENTIRE side of the card filled with psalms and prayers and paper crosses falling out of the cards you get the idea. She gets my daughter angels that pray when you push their hands and such and I feel like I grind my teeth in an attempt to just give it back. I understand she is being thoughtful and I let it go on but I dread anytime we cross paths.

I fully plan to raise my daughter athiest and do not plan on baptisms and such. I want to approach this in an adult manner but the hints the just aren't going through you know. I feel like I need to just come out and be like "look lady". I'm trying to tread carefully here but I'm not sure how to do this with grace. How would you approach this ?
From my personal experience with these situations you will eventually have to tell her to cease and desist, and then you will have to tell her a few more times after that before she actually does stop trying to "save" you. You have to bear in mind that ironically even though she is pushing the supernatural and thus irrational by definition, she sees you as the deluded one so she will resist your misguided (in her mind) attempts to rebuff her. You don't have to be nasty, just firm. You will have to be as single minded and tenacious as she is. Good luck.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2011, 06:53 AM
 
2,319 posts, read 4,097,610 times
Reputation: 2076
Yeah, if hubby and I have kids, we will have to cross this bridge with his family. My best friend also had to do this with her parents since she now has an infant. It was her sister who pushed her to the point where she said, "Yeah, you know, I don't believe any of it." Her sister wondered if she meant prayer and holidays or God, and my friend said, "All of it. I don't believe any of it - Jesus, prayer, none of it." Her sister was shocked but didn't act nasty. My friend said, "I just don't want the family to kick me out." Her sister said they wouldn't, told their parents, and the parents took it pretty well. Of course, the religious emails started a few months later from her dad.

I think it's one of those things that you have to keep putting to bed, which is beyond annoying and frustrating, IMO. People really should respect your right to not believe, but I think they view it as a serious, life threatening illness that must be treated. At least, that's how the more extreme like my in-laws view it, I think.

I do wish you the very best. I know how difficult it can be.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 11,577,680 times
Reputation: 3235
My entire family is fundamentalist evangelical Christian (mostly Southern Baptist), and I have just learned to ignore their preachiness and religious proselytizing. I've told them that I don't believe, and that it's not up for discussion. When they drone on and on about god/Jesus/etc., I just ignore them and try to change the subject.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2011, 03:02 PM
 
29 posts, read 22,430 times
Reputation: 19
Hi. Interesting post. IMHO, if the cards and gifts bother you, I would suggest not opening them. After all, there is nothing in there that is of interest to you. Just say "thank you" for remembering the occasion and toss the stuph out of the inlaw's sight. Gifts to your daughter might be a good time to remind her of your take on religion, like saying, "That's a pretty angel figure, isn't it? You know they are make believe, right?" Or whatever.

Emails can be trashed without opening as well. After leaving the "fold" myself, I have lost at least one friend who consistently sought to remind me of my unenlightened past (my opinion.) I think that if someone does that and will not let it go, they are not my friend.

Good luck to you, and remember to take a breath once in a while!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2011, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Earth. For now.
1,227 posts, read 1,777,809 times
Reputation: 1264
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbottoms View Post
I have this in-law who is INSISTENT with her religious-ness if you can call it that. Every birthday card, christmas card and present has to jesus related with literally the ENTIRE side of the card filled with psalms and prayers and paper crosses falling out of the cards you get the idea. She gets my daughter angels that pray when you push their hands and such and I feel like I grind my teeth in an attempt to just give it back. I understand she is being thoughtful and I let it go on but I dread anytime we cross paths.

I fully plan to raise my daughter atheist and do not plan on baptisms and such. I want to approach this in an adult manner but the hints the just aren't going through you know. I feel like I need to just come out and be like "look lady". I'm trying to tread carefully here but I'm not sure how to do this with grace. How would you approach this ?

Sometimes a polite "No thanks" works for people who are themselves polite and respect your point of view. They get it because they understand the world is filled with different people with differing points of view. I have friends like this, and we remain friends because we both care far more about that friendship and respect than about an adherence to any dogma. They are good people and there is a love that shines through.

Then there are those who are a bit more insistent, hoping to persuade you with their world view. And a firmer response is needed. If they are decent, they will eventually back off, feeling that they "gave it their all" but still respecting your own views. These people may not become or remain good friends, but there is still a respect for each other. They may remain acquaintances or even friends, and might tease you or goad you into a conversation about the issue - which can be fun - but who nevertheless keep themselves at a bit of a distance.

Then there are those people who you describe in your first paragraph. They firmly believe they are right and you are wrong. Dangerously wrong. Their "concern" is not really concern at all. It is an ego-maniacal belief that everyone must share their point of view and are damned if they don't. It therefore becomes their holy mission to convince you of your error. And they never back off. They hover like a deer fly and try to take bites out of you whenever they can. And your answer - as much as it may pain you - is found in your second paragraph...

"Look, Lady..."

Last edited by Astron1000; 12-04-2011 at 08:43 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-04-2011, 09:16 PM
 
Location: Sitting beside Walden Pond
4,609 posts, read 4,117,789 times
Reputation: 1399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweetbottoms View Post
I fully plan to raise my daughter athiest
Then you are asking for trouble. If you have any sense, you will let her decide on her religious beliefs.

I am a lifetime Atheist. I didn't tell our children about any gods, but they both choose to believe in a god. That's fine with me. Our kids (38 and 33) get along with us wonderfully.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-06-2011, 08:47 PM
 
Location: Wilsonville, OR
1,262 posts, read 1,871,195 times
Reputation: 2326
Quote:
Originally Posted by hiker45 View Post
Then you are asking for trouble. If you have any sense, you will let her decide on her religious beliefs.

I am a lifetime Atheist. I didn't tell our children about any gods, but they both choose to believe in a god. That's fine with me. Our kids (38 and 33) get along with us wonderfully.
I disagree. I believe it is better to teach one's children to illuminate the world using the light of reason, rather than to risk even the remotest chance of them becoming parasitized by an ancient and extremely virulent and ultimately harmful and useless cultural meme.

It isn't about forcing atheism or skepticism per se, so much as it is about giving them the tools they need to examine the world skeptically, using intense critical thinking, so the problem of finding religion doesn't come up in the first place. If I ever have any children, they will certainly be receiving a 100% skeptical upbringing.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-08-2011, 11:36 AM
 
428 posts, read 400,247 times
Reputation: 541
Sweetbottoms (hehe, what a cutsy username!), if this woman continues to send you all that religious crap even after repeatedly saying no thank you, start sending her Merry Krismas cards and pro-atheist pamphlets to her children. She'll get the message.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Religion and Spirituality > Atheism and Agnosticism
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top