to wish my mum would accept I'm an atheist?

(81 Posts)
WidowWadman Sun 08-Dec-13 20:39:12

I'm not rubbing it in her face or anything, but she's not happy my kids aren't christened, I only had a registry wedding, etc. She seems to believe (or at least makes comments suggesting) that I'm just going along with my husband's wishes.
I find this insulting to both me and him - as if I was just following someone else's lead (I'm not) and as if he orders me about (he doesn't).

I've no problem with my parents' faith, and don't ever attack or criticise them. Our decision not to christen our children is not a criticism on them having christened me. They did what they believed was right, and that's cool. Doesn't mean that I have to believe that that's the right course of action for my parenting.

Our kids learn about Christianity just like about any other religion. We even asked for a kid's bible as a first christmas present for our eldest - knowing the stories which influenced our culture so much, is important.

I don't want to discuss religion with them, as I accept that they believe and don't feel the need to upset them, so why raise it with me? Again and again and again?

AngelaDaviesHair Tue 10-Dec-13 13:19:48

I'm not sure Quakers believe in Hell, do they?

Ephiny Tue 10-Dec-13 13:36:28

I think you just have to keep on persistently 'not engaging', politely changing the subject or saying you'd prefer not to discuss it. Yes it's wearing, but if they won't stop, and you want to maintain contact with them, there's not much else you can do.

My parents are the same, my mum especially. It's a difficult thing, because I can see it is genuinely distressing for her, given the strength of her beliefs. But I can't pretend I believe something I don't. It's really prevented us from having any kind of relationship with each other as adults.

SatinSandals Tue 10-Dec-13 17:35:04

As Christians I really don't see why you would expect your children and grandchildren to be 'heading for hell'. Perhaps they ought to go and talk to their vicar or priest who could explain that places are not doled out according to how often you go to church and whether your children are christened! Unless they are one of the 'bible bashing, hell fire' churches they are not going to believe in it anyway.

firesidechat Tue 10-Dec-13 18:08:47

I'm sure this has already been said, but here goes anyway - lots and lots of Christians don't have their children baptised. If it's ok for them then I'm sure it ok for you OP and perhaps your mum needs a chat with a friendly vicar. Being baptised does not make you a Christian, faith does.

I don't personally know of any churches that believe a child is going to hell if they aren't baptised, but I'm not too sure about Catholics. Do they still believe this?

Snowbility Tue 10-Dec-13 18:32:17

My DM is ashamed that I'm an atheist. My refusal to pretend to be religious is something she finds deeply embarrassing. She made me go to church every week till I was 18, even though she knew I thought the whole thing was a joke, at 18 I said no more...and I bloody meant it, I'd had enough! She mutters about the lack of God in the house, especially since my dad came out as an atheist too.

nooka Tue 10-Dec-13 18:39:50

I'm an atheist from a fairly religious family (two of my siblings are non believers, the other one is a vicar!). My mother is obviously very sad about my decision not to believe but never really complained about us not christening our children. She does proselytise a bit which I find incredibly annoying, but I think she's generally more in the lead them to the water kind of mind frame. So far neither child has been actively resistant, but I suspect the time will come when ds asks her to stop, and she will be very upset. I tend to be generally noncommital and move the conversation on (she likes to recommend things for me to read etc to 'overcome my doubts')

I just don't talk about religion at all with my sister. Our view points are too different and our friendship too precious to risk I think.

On the hell side, I have been to many churches (mostly Catholic occasional CoE), and only recall one priest who did the whole hellfire and brimstone stuff (he was quite fun to listen to!). Mostly I think priests focus more on the heaven is about being with god and hell is about being separate from god. This is still of course upsetting for the true believer, especially I think when you see your child actively reject something that is fundamentally important to you.

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