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Do you feel so strongly about your beliefs that you try to push them on someone even when it is not wanted? Please read entire question...

My dad is dying of cancer, he has less than a year to live. He is not religious, he claims to be Presbyterian, but hasn't gone to a Presbyterian church in the past 30 years. He will very rarely go to Catholic mass with my mother if it is an important event, like a baptism or first communion for a grandchild, but is uncomfortable and obviously would rather be anywhere else.

My mom's family are all Catholic except one sister, who joined the Mormon church as an adult. When my Grandfather (Mom's dad) was dying my aunt tried to give him the Mormon blessing, so he could get into heaven. He didn't want it and refused it. She waited until he was incapable of getting up and when my Grandma went to church and gave him the blessing anyway. He was greatly offended and told her not to come back. And told my grandma to never leave him alone with her again. It was not wanted or appreciated, and my grandparents and the entire Catholic family were quite offended.
Fast forward 25 years, it is now my dad who is dying and she is again insistent that she give him the Mormon blessing. He doesn't want it! And my mom who is still angry about the blessing her father received is livid. She called me this morning to make me promise that when my father is incapacitated that he never be left alone if she has to leave the room because she doesn't want her sister to try and sneak in the blessing.

My mom lied to her sister and said that he has already had the Catholic blessing and is going to have the Catholic annointing, which he has also refuse. And my mom who is so offended by my sister pushing her beliefs, is doing the same thing. She is trying to force my father into getting the Catholic blessing and anointing.
Both are so blind to the wishes of my father, it is sickening.

Would you push your beliefs on someone past the point of refusal? Are your beliefs so strong that you think they should trump a dying man's wishes?

And how would you deal with people like this?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:17 PM on Mar. 26, 2011 in Religious Debate

Answers (31)
  • I gladly share my beliefs and do attempt to bring more people to Christianity, but if I'm told "Hey, not interested" I leave it alone. Pushing people to agree with you only pushes them further away.

    Answer by shaysmommy5810 at 1:21 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • I would make my beliefs known and stand firm that I could not be swayed by others but as far as pushing them on someone because I felt that they needed faith? I would not. I would let them know that I am here should they choose to talk or wish to know more, I will answer anyone honestly and to the best of my ability, but in the end, it is up to each individual to make the choice of what they believe and even if they believe in anything. That's why we were given free will, so that we can make the choice for ourselves. I would never allow anyone to lead me blindly into something that I did not have faith in.

    Answer by Sessy89 at 1:22 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • religious people are ca -razy

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 1:23 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • I do not think that at a time when people are dealing with death (or the possibility)that it is a good idea to open up the discussion on beliefs-one way or another- I think that it adds a layer to the issue that is not needed- in times like this, I believe you take the cue of the people you are trying to support an go from there-
    Even well intentioned "support" of the wrong kind is difficult on any family-

    Answer by soyousay at 1:23 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • There really isnt' much you can do. Sometimes it doesn't upset you as much if you put the shoe on the other foot for a minute. It helps you to at least understand, without condoning behavior.

    What I am seeing are two people who are very grounded in their beliefs losing a loved one and want what they believe in their hearts is best for him. Maybe they aren't going about it the best way. But I'm sure their intentions weren't negative at all.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 1:23 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • What they are both doing is wrong and offensive, but something for you to keep in mind, and discuss this with your father, too. Those blessings only have as much power as you give to them. If your father does not believe, they might as well stand by his bed chanting Mary Had a Little Lamb. The same is true of your grandfather - what your aunt did was babble some meaningless words by his bedside. That doesn't justify what either has done, but you should take comfort in the fact that, in the end, they both "lose".

    Answer by NotPanicking at 1:26 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • I completely agree with NotPanicking. What they are doing is wrong in trying to push their beliefs on your dad but is he doesn't believe then really they are fighting for nothing.

    Answer by jnb71584 at 1:30 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • I think that I see their point of view, if they believe they can save someone they love then they are going to do anything they can. I think I'd be glad that they cared that much about me, if I truly did believe in something else I'd realise that the rest was nonsense and may go along with it appease them anyhow.

    Answer by kayalouise at 1:36 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • Both your mother and your Aunt are being disrespectful of your father. It is going to cause him undue stress when he is already ill and leave him to die resenting BOTH his wife and SIL. If either of them cared for him they would respect his choice regardless of their beliefs.

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 1:40 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

  • I do have to agree, if he doesn't want it, it should not be pushed on him unwillingly. It seems a shame your aunt can't see the forest for the trees. As a Christian, if I had a family member on their death bed,and I knew they weren't saved, I would be concerned for their soul. If they were in control of all their capacities,and their spouse was staunchly against it also, would I force them? No, I would pray they would want it before they pass, but it's just wrong to force anything like that, or what your aunt is doing. I really do hope she sees how wrong this is. I know she cares, but she's really not helping.

    Answer by cbk_mom3 at 1:44 PM on Mar. 26, 2011

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