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Question for people raised Christian that no longer follow Christianity...

Do your family members and friends all know about your change in religion? And do they respect it?

The reason behind this question is... My husband was raised Catholic, well sort of, they are Catholic at Christmas and Easter :p
Anyway his sister is no longer Catholic, but very religious in another Christian denomination. My husband is an atheist and has been for probably 20 or so years, since he was a teen. She always pushes religion and praying on him. Always talking about the power of God and prayer, which is fine if you believe, but he doesn't.

How do you deal with that? Do you point out that you are atheist, or do you just let them go on about it?

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Asked by SleepingBeautee at 7:38 PM on Jan. 25, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 45 (192,108 Credits)
Answers (19)
  • I don't claim to be an atheist, but we don't follow any certain religion, etc... My whole family, and most of our friends belong to some kind of church, and that's fine. We choose not to, and no one seems to care. We don't tell others to follow our beliefs, so they don't push theirs on us. I guess we've gotten to a point in our lives where we don't surround ourselves, and our kids with people that we don't like to be around. So I say just stay away from them if you don't want to hear them preach about it... Family or not, it doesn't mean you have to be friends with them...

    Answer by MrsLeftlane at 7:44 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • My dad and stepmom always knew that I didn't believe, regardless of if they wanted to acknowledge it or not. They're pretty respectful and don't talk much about religion, except for the occasional joke "You'll get your reward in heaven" when I do something I don't want to do. My biological mother and I always had a bad relationship, and the last thing we fought over was religion, 4 or 5 years ago. It certainly wasn't the only problem we had, though. We haven't spoken since, and she is not welcome in my life.

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 7:52 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • Yes they know. Yes they know why. Respect, understand and accept it? Not so much. I've learned to just be quiet and let their comments roll off my back.

    Answer by geminilove at 7:59 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • I was raised very much "in the church"!! We went Sunday morning, Sunday Evening, Wednesday night, and as teens we even had to go on Friday nights for Youth Group too!. Out of 8 kids, I'm the youngest and the only one to completely denounce the B.S.
    I've had to lay it down as... "if you feel the need to talk about the bible or your god when we conversate than I don't want to speak to you" and vice-versa.. I will not discuss my lack of religious faith in your presence.
    We can always find other topics to discuss!! Once they realize how serious I am about leaving the subject alone they always cooperate with me.

    Answer by FeelinYummy at 8:04 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • Some of them know, and some don't. Some close relatives have their own doubts or changes in beliefs as well. I think some may know that I'm not a Christian, but may not know exactly what I believe now. The only ones that would really pressure me about anything religious are distant relatives that I only see occasionally anyway. I'm usually pretty private about my beliefs, but will talk to anyone about them if they're interested and I've had an impression that they will be respectful of differences. If I don't know, I just avoid the topic as much as possible.

    I was worried about my in-laws when I first got married--my FIL was a preacher for a short time and teaches theology at a Southern Baptist University, but they are way more laid back about what others believe (more so than when they were younger I've heard). I always tease that my BIL and DH must have broke them with all their questions as kids. LOL

    Answer by pam19 at 8:35 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • Yup and yup. I have great family!

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 9:18 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • Yes they do and for the most yes, the do respect it. My dad is trying to convert me, by sending me those silly chain emails, that are strictly christian,....

    Answer by Kaelansmom at 10:01 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • I was raised Christian and now I'm Pagan and yes, they know. I don't' hide it. The only one that freaked out was my aunt and she said something to my sister but not me. Probably because she knew I would tell her where she could put it.

    Kaelansmom ... ugh! I know what you mean about the emails ... I get those from my aunt and my sister.

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 11:08 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • Some of my family knows and some don't. And some that don't I think know that I have different beliefs, just not exactly what those beliefs are. As for dealing with pushy relatives, I'm the type of person to just lay it all out and tell them that my beliefs are different and to please respect my feelings by not preaching to me. I think it's important to be true to yourself. Those around us will either respect us or they won't, but we shouldn't hide who we are.

    Answer by KelleyP77 at 11:16 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

  • I would just ask them not to talk to me about it anymore.

    Answer by Anna92464 at 11:40 PM on Jan. 25, 2011

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