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I came out as agnostic to my family 2 days ago...

(7 Posts)
IWishIWasAFrog Wed 23-Sep-09 12:38:40

Sooooo,

I'm due in 3 days and all the family is here. Was having a cup of tea with M and MIL, they said they have been praying for me throughout my pregnancy (I've had a super preganancy) and one thing led to another and I kind of came out as being agnostic. Was raised in a Christian home, both sets of parents very religious (say they are, but sometimes action speak louder than words...) and they are very shocked at my 'revelation'. Que my mum in tears saying she will pray for me so God can 'reveal' himself to me, etc. etc. All quite upset. MIL parting comment was that I should have the baby christened to 'give it a chance' hmm

I used to be a christian, but over the last 6 years or so my faith has slowly ebbed away. Moved to the UK about 4 years ago. Not been affiliated to any church for many years. I am v happy in myself, but they are quite unhappy about it, and I'm worried about the consequences... the comments have started already... walked through the Harrods Christmas shop with them yesterday and kind of got the feeling from them like 'what are you doing here?' Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I do not want to cause a family rift, but I can only swallow these comments so many times... My DH shares some of my views in private, but do not want to tell his parents, and since this conversation he has decided he should take more 'spiritual leadership' in our marriage... think his mother gave him a talking to. Personally, I think I am just voicing what many people in our family/ circle of friends think anyway, but will not admit to, because we come from quite a traditional, church-centred society.

Please help, any advice on how to deal with this situation will be much appreciated. I didn't really want them to know this about me, it just kind of came out. Also, I am quite a private person and HATE anyone knowing anything about my private life, whilst my M and MIL live in the same (small) town, gossips a LOT and shares everything with everyone, my mum is much less discreet than MIL, IYKWIM. Anyway, I digress, any advice, please?

Have to collect MIL form the station, so will check back later... thanks for reading anyway, if you got this far!

LadyMuck Wed 23-Sep-09 12:42:36

I'd probably be tempted to make some comment about "Oh, I wouldn't have a problem with God, but its the church I can't stand", and let is sink in.

What does your husband taking "spiritual leadership" actually look likegrin?

Anyway if you are about to sprog I suspect that will take any attention of you for a short while!

Pinkfluffyslippers Wed 23-Sep-09 20:55:41

Well done for being so courageous - it can't have been easy. Wish I could offer you some advice but have never been in that situation.

Good luck with the babe - at least that will take everyone's mind off your revelation!

serinBrightside Thu 24-Sep-09 23:16:32

Don't they as Christians have a duty to accept your way of life? Point them in the direction of the good samaritan story.

Good luck with your imminent birth, they will 'forgive' you anything once they see new grandchild grin

Mouette Fri 25-Sep-09 20:59:30

I am sorry. It is never good when you can't express your views and no one should ever be put under pressure to join a religion or remain in it. As you don't want to cause a rift the easiest path is probably to avoid the whole subject as much as possible, and ignore the comments (I know it must be difficult). Hopefully the birth of the baby should deflect attention and you can always say that you're so busy and tired you really don't have the energy to discuss religion. Then do your own thing. You don't say which country/culture you come from, or which church your family belongs to - in the UK most people are agnostic. An intermediary solution would be to find a different church, where you won't be badgered about your beliefs, and that your parents/parents in law don't go to. The Church of England is full of agnostics who only come for the music, honest (even Richard Dawkins has been known to sing the odd carol). You could quite happily go there and tell your parents/in laws you belong to a church, thank you, without compromising your beliefs.

TessaK Wed 21-Oct-09 14:41:32

Well done. It's not easy to tell your parents that you don't believe what they do. They can feel it as a real betrayal. My mum is still praying that I'll come back to the church after more than 20 years of atheism.

They will be distracted for a bit once the baby is born but then there will be the issue of christenings, maybe church schools and so on. You could say to them that you will tell your child about all religions and that they don't have to have one at all if they don't want to - and then let him/her make up her own mind when she's old enough.

You could always offer to have a naming ceremony instead of a baptism so you'd still have a ritual - and rituals are important. Then the religious ones could say a silent prayer if they feel like it.

GrimmaTheNome Wed 21-Oct-09 15:03:10

Oh dear. It is hard. I was brought up in a Christian family, it took a long time before I 'outed', because I knew they'd be upset. In my case it happened over the phone when mum asked when we would be getting DD christened and when I said that we weren't I had to explain that I didn't believe any more. Fortunately, apart from sending me the odd book and telling me about lovely things at church they haven't hassled me about it. I just say, 'thats nice' and leave it at that.

You have a right to your beliefs. You have the right to enjoy and participate in traditional festivals like Christmas.

On the other hand I guess your mum has the right to pray for you. (It'll make no difference but does you no harm) Tell her that's fine if it makes her happier.

Good luck!

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