How to deal with religious fanatic parents?
I live on my own, am married, etc, but they still keep finding ways to fuck with my life.
It is exhausting. Every family gathering, every dinner, every social opportunity ends up being an attempt to bring me into or keep me in their church.
Before you start defending Christianity, I should say that my parents' relationship with it is not healthy. They use it as a way to deny personal responsibility for all their problems and hate on people who are different from them.
If anyone has stories to share about their own experiences with religious fanatic family/friends, please do.
I am just trying to make sense of it. There doesn't seem to be a possibility of any relationship without sharing their (unhealthy) beliefs.
They just keep lying, manipulating, bullying to try and force that belief if it doesn't happen naturally.
Either set your boundaries by laying down the truth or don't go to these family gatherings any more. So for example, either: A- "I'm atheist and I do not want to hear about your religious views any more, please. Can we just enjoy our time together as a family? I'm not looking for an argument, I'm just tired or hearing about that stuff and I'd appreciate it if you guys could stop."
Or B- "I will not be spending time with you guys any more because it seems that talking about your religious beliefs can't be avoided and I'm tired of being subjected to it."
You ask why because you know it's not something which can be explained, and that attempting to do so will only ever succeed in dragging down the person trying to explain to your defeated, sorry level.
no, I'm not looking to start shit. OP just sounds fed up, so I tried to write an example of what he could say without coming off as rude, yet still assertive. Of course, OP knows his parents better, so he could take the examples and change them to fit his feelings better.
What the fuck is wrong with YOU. Take a step back and really think it over.
OP being fed up in this case would be his own problem, not his parents' and not their religion. It's a matter of him not understanding what's important, not them.
I had a friend freshman year in college who was really cool, had similar interests as me. I didn't know he came from a religious family, until I was hanging out with him and friends at his house and someone said "god dammit" by chance, which prompted his dad to interrupt us with a stern talk about the use of the Lord's name in vain, really killed the whole vibe and it was awkward. And it sucks, because I had in my mind I was gonna start a band with the guy but then he later got a tattoo of a crucifix and I had to tell myself it wasn't gonna work between us, Christians have strong communities among each other but damn, I think you just gotta find more people like yourself or the relationship will never feel right.
Look, I have no problem with Christianity.
No need to get defensive, anons.
The problem is that my parents are toxic people. They get involved in churches on a really unhealthy level. Nothing is good enough for them...not attending services seven days a week, not giving all of ones resources and money to the church...having any social life or work life outside of the church is seen as unthinkable. Having any interests "the church" (read: my parents) don't agree with is seen as unthinkable. And these are often totally harmless things, like hiking, or painting. If it takes your focus away from repentance, feeling shitty about yourself, or being exploited by the church or the family, then it is seen as wrong and sinful.
I am burned out by it.
I don't want their misuse of religion impacting my own faith life.
Honestly, it is becoming more and more difficult for me to even have a faith life, because I am starting to associate religion in general with abusive relationships due to their constant harassment.
You don't even know me. I'm trying to understand your POV, so just vaguely saying that I'm rotten and to think it over is not constructive.
And yes, OP's parents are the problem because, according to OP's post, they cannot have simple family time. Yes, their religion is important to them but OP is an independent adult and can choose not to be religious. His parents can just as well show tolerance towards his life decisions and try to enjoy their family time together.
Good for them. They're good people with good heads on their shoulders and strong will/senses of morality.
You're the piece of shit son who thinks he's too important for God.
Snap the FUCK out of it. I would've done anything to have had parents like yours. Count your blessings and stop being a stupid piece of shit.
Have you tried sitting your parents down and talking to them about how you feel about their behavior? Perhaps you could reach some sort of compromise.
I understand how you feel: if my parents were like that, I'd fucking hate it, too -- and I'm pretty fucking religious.
Perhaps you could at least agree to disagree with them, or something.
I'm an agnostic atheist stuck in the bible belt, married to a pagan with a large, extremely religious Christian family. You either walk on eggshells or cut people off. There is no middle ground, when it comes to people like this.
>You're the piece of shit son who thinks he's too important for God.
How can one think that they're too important for something they don't believe in? I could say the same thing to you for not believing in any one of the thousands of gods out there. Your thinking is illogical.
>They're good people with good heads on their shoulders and strong will/senses of morality.
No. I've known people like OP has described, and they're anything BUT good.
I don't know what kind of personal shit you're projecting onto this situation, but you have no idea what you're talking about. Believing in God is one thing, but a church is a human institution, and there are good ones and bad ones. It sounds like the particular church OP's parents are in skews a bit more towards the "cult" end of the spectrum. Religion can be a positive thing in some contexts, but deeply negative in others. It's all a matter of interpretation. OP's parents, it seems, have interpreted the Bible poorly
I'm sorry, I didn't realize I hit a nerve.
Look, I don't know what your problem with Christianity is, but just remember: Jesus was a carpenter.
Have you tried following in Jesus' footsteps and doing carpentry to become closer to your family?
>Have you tried following in Jesus' footsteps and doing carpentry to become closer to your family?
Jesus Christ, I fucking love these carpentry posts. I've been seeing them everywhere for the last week or so.
A cult is directed towards a cult of personality. Christianity is literally the diametric opposite of that. It's self-sacrificing. That's synonymous with goodness. OP's parents are straight up good people, with all their actions directed towards their church's benefit. That's how life is meant to be lived. Take it from someone who has seen all there is to see.
You can't not believe in God. The fact that you or anything exists at all entails necessary 'belief' in God. God is the Absolute. You are by default and definition apart of that. Denying it is just empty words based purely on confusion.
>No. I've known people like OP has described, and they're anything BUT good.
They appear bad to you because you're bad, and good to you therefore appears evil.
See directly above.
>They appear bad to you because you're bad, and good to you therefore appears evil.
You don't know anything about OP yet you're implying a whole lot.
You're welcome to my alcoholic, passive aggressive dad who can't deal with any problems or be honest about anything in his life, and hides behind the church. He claims it is because Jesus taught him to "turn the other cheek"
You're welcome to my violently abusive mother who used to accuse my sisters (when they were children, 11 or 12 yo wearing modesty dresses) of being sluts and whores.
Your welcome our childhood of not being allowed to make friends, not being allowed to talk to anyone at school, and being told that you have been "given to god' and are never allowed to have a relationship or marry (read: you are expected to stay home your whole life, with your parents)
Let me tell you about spiritual discipline, motherfucker.
From ages ten to eighteen, I did not watch television, movies, read magazines, or listen to non christian radio programs. I participated in spiritual fasting, eating one meal a day three months out of the year. I did morning and evening prayer and bible study every day. I attended church every day of the week. I started working at age 14, and had to turn all money I earned over to my parents and the church. I studied and prayed and tried to be a good person and loved god. And none of it bothered me. It made me a stronger, more disciplined person.
What fucking bothered me was how my parents used religion as a cover for all of their own dysfunctionality. They used it as an excuse to control and manipulate everyone close to them. And I am sick of it.
"The church" for them is simply a means of controlling their children and never having to deal with their problems. It gives them a surface veneer of looking like good people, when they are some of the most heartless narcissists you could ever meet.
So go ahead and defend them. You've played right into their game, while they make a lie out of Christianity.
You don't actually know OP's parents, or how they practice their religion. There is no way you can know whether or not they're good people.
Plenty of people -- entire cultures, even! -- have used Christianity and the Bible as an excuse to be dicks, and to oppress people, and to hide the truth. OP's parents could be one of those people. It's not for you or I to pass judgement upon them, but the people who know them.
>"You can't not believe in God"
...what. Of course you can. "God is the Absolute" is a meaningless phrase.
I'm a pretty serious Jesus freak but my brother is an atheist and I'm fairly certain he would laugh in your face if you told him that shit.
>going to church makes you a good person
Now I know you're a troll. Ever heard of lukewarm christians? You can still be a bad person if you go to church. Now, fuck off.
>They appear bad to you because you're bad
No, they appear bad to me because they're genuinely bad people. They do horrible things, like lie, steal, cheat and use, then think they can wash it all away at the end of the week.
>You can't not believe in God.
But I don't. I'm certainly open to it, if someone can provide me with evidence, but I have yet to see evidence.
>The fact that you or anything exists at all entails necessary 'belief' in God. God is the Absolute. You are by default and definition apart of that. Denying it is just empty words based purely on confusion.
Followers of various beliefs use that argument all the time, rendering it useless.
>Goodness is all in a person's beliefs
Ok, I see what you're saying. What you said doesn't take away from the fact that OP has the right to make his own decisions about how to live his life, even if you and people like you see that as wrong. Second, Christianity and any religion CAN be cult-like, depending on how it's being practised. OP doesn't agree with the Christianity that his parents are following, and that's his choice. Thirdly, I don't see how being completely devoted to the church, being pushy and puritanical towards your children displays any Christian values. What about tolerance and forgiveness?
You can input the words "I don't believe in God" onto a computer screen, but they do not mean anything. When you're speaking in terms of Absolutes and necessities, like as with God, you do not decide whether or not your words are meaningful.
>Plenty of people -- entire cultures, even! -- have used Christianity and the Bible as an excuse to be dicks, and to oppress people, and to hide the truth.
The problem is when people with such scarce knowledge like you open their mouths and try to pass judgements. You don't understand the reasons those people were being 'dicks' or why they were 'oppressing' people or why they felt it necessary to 'hide' the truth. You have no real knowledge about why those things took place and are restricted to an outsider's perspective. So really, you need to shut your naïve little mouth and begin paying more attention.
> What fucking bothered me was how my parents used religion as a cover for all of their own dysfunctionality. They used it as an excuse to control and manipulate everyone close to them. And I am sick of it.
You're wrong. That's all their is to it. Stop being a selfish little self-important fucking brat and start trying to see things from their perspective.
>You're wrong. That's all their is to it. Stop being a selfish little self-important fucking brat and start trying to see things from their perspective.
Okay, you're either a troll or a deeply misguided person projecting their own issues on to OP. You don't know anyone in this thread, or who they're related to, and therefore, have no business judging these people.
I don't really care why people think it's necessary to hide the truth. That doesn't change it. Evolution is real whether or not creationists want to teach it in public schools, for instance; I'm bisexual whether or not my dad wants me to admit it in public.
Also: "That which appears to explain everything, invariably explains nothing." As far as I can tell, shit like "when you're speaking in terms of Absolutes and necessities..." is fucking meaningless. If other people can't parse your words, they're not communicating anything... which is the whole point of them.
It sounds to me like OP has abusive parents who he is trying to emotionally distance himself from for his own wellbeing. I don't really see anything wrong with that.
>b-b-but you're wrong!!!
>it's not true!!!
Realistically speaking? As in, would he still be able to consider himself an at all moral human being if he took advantage of this 'right' you speak of? No. He does not have that 'right'. What he has is physical agency to do the wrong thing. That is, he possess the bare physicalistic, animalistic, chaotic potential to do the wrong thing. But that is not by any reasonable stretch of the moral term his 'right' to do so.
Christianity cannot be cult-like unless it is a literal cult which does not attempt to imbue Christian values. Like when some guy thinks he's the second coming and simply wants people to kiss his feet. Anything else, any sect of Christianity can never be considered a cult. What you're doing is confusing it because it is so drastically different that your mind just gives up on the distinction altogether and sees it as the same thing.
It's not his choice. Religion is passed down. To say that humans have moralistic agency to deny that just is not true.
>Thirdly, I don't see how being completely devoted to the church, being pushy and puritanical towards your children displays any Christian values. What about tolerance and forgiveness?
Tolerance and forgiveness must, like everything else, be tempered. Sometimes cold water can be refreshing to bathe in, but if you exist in it, you will succumb to hypothermia and die.
>A cult is directed towards a cult of personality. Christianity is literally the diametric opposite of that.
In an ideal setting, yes. In other settings, there are priests/preachers who literally ARE running a cult of personality, and the shit they preach has very, very little to do with Christianity. Most Christians don't actually read the Bible or know what they're doing, they trust their church to interpret it for them, and some people abuse that power.
I was raised Catholic, I have no problem with Christianity, but it's not absolute like you're making it out to be. Not all churches are good. A Christian isn't supposed to follow the demands of a preacher, they're supposed to try to follow the teachings of Christ, and sometimes those are two very different things. Look at the Westboro Baptist Church or any other hate group that uses Christianity as a justification. there's nothing even remotely Christian about that behavior, yet they are living with their actions directed toward their church's benefit, just like you said
That's funny, I don't think Jesus ever said that we should limit ourselves in our attempts to love and understand other people.
Sure, you can't be tolerant all of the time, but you can at least be tolerant most of the time. People aren't going to come to God if they think he's a dick who sees them as a disappointment.
I think it's really important to emphasize how much God approves of everyone for who they are, and for who he made them to be. If you're a Christian, your sins have been removed from you 'as far as the east is from the west". He's hardly a disapproving parent.
The only thing you can ever judge a person by is their beliefs. What little words you have said tell me all I need to know in that capacity.
>Also: "That which appears to explain everything, invariably explains nothing." As far as I can tell, shit like "when you're speaking in terms of Absolutes and necessities..." is fucking meaningless. If other people can't parse your words, they're not communicating anything... which is the whole point of them.
The point of communication is not to convey one thing to another person. But simply to render something conveyable. If another person does not receive it, the communication is not at fault. The person who couldn't receive it is.
>Evolution is real whether or not creationists want to teach it in public schools, for instance; I'm bisexual whether or not my dad wants me to admit it in public.
This tells me you are a sick human being with a diminished sense of boundaries.
OP's parents, their personal faults aside, are the opposite of that. OP is going to ruin his life by running away from having a good sense of boundaries and it will be too late once he's realised what he's run from.
That's exactly why protestants are a perversion of the Christian church.
It has nothing to do with limitation. It's tempering something. That doesn't imply limitation.
Human beings are human and it's only so long before one begins to conflate tolerance with acceptance, and then so do the rest. That can't happen.
>I think it's really important to emphasize how much God approves of everyone for who they are, and for who he made them to be.
God has a path for everyone. He did not 'make' any one person to 'be' a certain way for them to stay that way. That's disgusting.
All of those things are premeditated by their beliefs. Belief is the pinnacle, the handle, the thing which controls all else.
This is a perfect question.
If salvation really exists, then why are the saved still posting on 4chan?
This is the place where lost souls go to fap and wander for a bit. If you were once lost and have since been found, you'd be somewhere else, mate.
It's like that Twilight Zone episode with the hateful radio talk show host, who finds he no longer has commercial breaks or censorhip or even has to stop to eat or sleep. He thinks he has been given an endless soapbox to rail against the evils of the world from his studio, a gift from god. But actually he is living out an eternity in hell, in an echo chamber where his own voice is the loudest and most powerful, and he is too entranced by his delusions of power and importance to leave.
I'm on the advice board of 4chan because people need help and guidance with their issues.
Fuck off with your irrelevant, out of place analogies trying to stop people who are seeking help from getting it. I don't stand for that.
Just gonna tell you this:
I am an hardcore atheist who thinks that all religions are just perverse systems for retarded people - that includes you. I am laughing at all those poor nutjobs who were indoctrinated to join a church without actually understanding what that means. I am here to sometimes help people and fap to loli porn, not to be converted.
It does not work. You can take a hike. And all religions can take a hike as well.
Just in case there was an actual change to trigger you. Don't even bother responding. Just wanted to hurt/trigger you. It gives me a perverse pleasure triggering perverse people.