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How do you deal with things like this?

This may apply more to the atheists,agnostics, pagans and satanists...but all can reply! When you are in the company of family or friends who happen to be Christian or any other religious belief, and you say you are atheist, agnostic, etc....and they come back and say, "Oh no your not! Don't say that!"
How do you deal with this? Why do you think people cannot respect that you have a different belief than your own? It frustrates me to no end, as if I am a joke because I am an atheist.
Usually I just smile and say, "yes, I am." And move on. But it is frustrating!

Answer Question
 
sahmamax2

Asked by sahmamax2 at 1:37 PM on Oct. 19, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 37 (88,208 Credits)
Answers (15)
  • its very frustrating, but i only get it from my husband family..my family couldn't care less what my religion is, and they are mostly christian...my husbands family assumes everyone believes in the christian god, and if you say you dont, they laugh and say your just lost, and you'll be found soon...its so very annoying.

    necro1134

    Answer by necro1134 at 1:40 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • My mom told me I wasn't Pagan for a while after I came out of the broom closet lol. I just kept telling her that yes I was, and that it wasn't bad or evil or anything like that. I shared my beliefs with her, told her why I believed that. Eventually she came to accept it. It's all about sharing. Once people are truly exposed to an idea, and not keeping themselves distant because of fear or lack of knowledge, they come around. They might not agree, but they accept and stop judging.
    Ati_13

    Answer by Ati_13 at 1:43 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • Ati_13 im glad your mom was able to accept your beliefs, even if it did take a while...i wish my inlaws were like that, when asked about my beliefs (satanism) i'll tell them everything they ask, then tell me im lying about what satanism really is (they think its evil) and tell me once again i'll be found ugh...

    necro1134

    Answer by necro1134 at 1:46 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • I really hope I don't offend you with this response as I assure you it is no my intention.

    I don't mention my religion in front of people who don't like my religion. When religion and politics come up I change the topic or start a conversation with other family members. We were all raised Catholic, but many have converted or don't believe in God. When the Catholic Church comes up(as it will because our family history is saturated in the church) those who are no longer Catholic don't push their beliefs and when I do speak up I know what I will get so I take it.

    Kind of like, this is a Catholic house with a bunch of Catholics, we are all family but lets leave our differences outside. I hope that makes sense, I am trying to not offend or come across as defensive. In short, I keep it to myself.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:47 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • I'm christian, Catholic to be specific, and I think that attitude comes from people misunderstanding what you're all about (in general). For people who don't have much info on some of those when they hear "satanist" or "atheist" they only have negative misrepresentations to go by, like images of people worshiping the devil or people who don't believe in anything at all because that's what they've heard or read about in fictional books or seen in movies. I don't know why it's so hard for some people to just live and let live, I'm not one of those people, but being Catholic and having the same types of attitudes shown to me at times I do feel for you and I understand where your frustration comes from.
    whittear

    Answer by whittear at 1:48 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • Usually I just roll my eyes and walk away - doing onto those others as they just did onto me.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:49 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • Tell them that you're not part of their church so it's not their place to judge you. Actually Jesus said to love everyone and keep your religious judgments out of your family. If people want to come to Jesus that's fine and wonderful but if they don't all your terrible behavior is just going to push them further away. Tell them to look it up and watch this http://searchablesermons.com/
    mrsjonzy

    Answer by mrsjonzy at 1:57 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • Well, honestly, that type of thing doesnt ever come up.
    The only time it has is when my grandfather died in July and my grandmother was out of sorts and begged me to get away from the witchy stuff and come back to church cuz she wanted her family to be together in eternity. She even went behind my back to my husband and asked him to get me out of it,etc.

    I understood her mental state at the time, she'd just lost her husband of nearly 68 yrs to a quick and unforeseen death and she never got to really say goodbye and it took over her whole being for a while.

    All we did was nod our heads and say dont worry about it, we will be together, its alright. It comforted her and didnt cause any upheavals about the fact that we were not changing our beliefs,etc.

    Thats all I will ever do if the subject comes up(which it wont cuz my family pretends it doesnt exist and my friends dont care).
    Amaranth361

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 1:58 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • I rarely bring it up with my family. For those who know, they think it's just a phase of questioning I'm going through. I'm happy with leaving it at that.
    anng.atlanta

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 2:03 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

  • Honestly? I usually giggle and say "Yes! I am!" in that same shocked tone they used to ask me. It hasn't happened in a while though because most people already know I'm atheist.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:12 PM on Oct. 19, 2009

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