Overbearing Christian Family Members!

I'm a 23yr old college student in the South. I've always thought a little (lot) differently than the rest of my Christian family, and at about the age of 18 I began to realize that things weren't quite so simple as everyone around me believed. 

Personal experience had me constantly trying to figure out all the ethics questions and contradictions in the Bible that I believed in so much. I finally came to realize that logically none of it made any sense whatsoever and even my own "personal visions, experiences, etc" could not convince me otherwise.

I'm a lovign person and simply cant accept the fact that God would create mankind and then blame us/hold us accountable for his mistakes in our make-up. My family is very homophobic and self-righteous, and I've come to resent them in many ways.

They are all Evangelical Conservatives and we frequently get into political and religious debates. I usually try to bite my tongue but they do bait me in very well.

I would love to hear how others in similar situations handle overly-oppressive religious family members and how they deal with being told they're going to burn in hell all the time... ha

I'm trying to not become bitter & judgemental towards Christians, (in turn becoming what I hate) but its so hard especially in this political climate (in the South they hate liberals, gays, muslims, anyone different from themselves). I hope not to become like them, but its hard when you constantly hear how "the gays are rightly gonna wipe themselves out with AIDS, because its God's judgement"  and other equally-ignorant statements all the time....

Sigh... I hope others on here can understand my frustrations!


jica jica
22-25, F
9 Responses Mar 9, 2009

I went from Episcopalian to Agnostic - recently. It is not easy. I have had to unfriend my MIL twice!! (she keeps refriending me...lol) I started questioning things years ago but no one in church would ever answer my questions "you just have to have faith". Really? Is that the best you got???? I have legitimate questions - With SO many religions... how can there be just ONE that is right... how can all those other people bewrong and will go to hell for believing in something diferent? What about cave men? What about dinasours? What about stuff that isn't in the bible? What about much of the stuff IN the bible - scary!! slavery... rape..... What about the catholic church and how judgmental they are on homosexuality but the number of priests who have raped little boys (I don't put homosexuals and ********* priests in the same category) ;) .. and as religous people started getting a more pushy and more judgemental - all it did was steer me toward what I already was feeling anyway... That maybe there is no one God - maybe different cultures have come up with their own beliefs of what happens when we die to make it eaiser to accept? How do I know who wrote the bible - and whether or not all those stories true. Joseph Smith wrote the book of Mormon - do you know who he was .... a NUTJOB!!! He was a crazy treasure unter that grew up during the Salem Witch trials and would stick his head in a box and claim that he knew where treasure was (spoiler alert - he never found it) But one day - after he married a girl from PA against her parent's wishes.... he sat down and told some guy to start writing - he told the man that God was speaking to him and told him to write this book. The man wrote down everything that was said without question and there you have the book of Morman. He (amazingly) developed a following and it was a good gig until he started telling the other men's wives that he wanted to marry them. A few found out and left the church. I am telling you ...crazy!!! Who am I to say whether Christianity is any different? -no proof - just faith. By the way - Mitt Romney was one of the top Elder" leaaders in the Morman church - and people wondered why I didn't vote for him. Sarah Palin and her religous craziness - and people wonder why I DON"T want to be associated with people who think like her. I say this ... stand for what you believe in and be proud in the fact that MANY amazing.. smart... famous people are agnostic!! My mom told my crazy cousin that she had some doubts herself and that looney sent my mom a 4 page letter that isn't even coherent - it's like she has been brainwashed!! My philosophy.... be nice, do the right thing, have a kind and giving heart and pay it forward.... (((peace and hugs)))

Are you suggesting the Bible promotes rape and slavery?

If you could clarify for me, what mistakes did God make?

Thanks, I know its been a while but it helps to hear others' stories!<br />
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I've begun thinking about distancing myself from certain family members lately. Just recently I was berated at dinner for believing in evolution and science, and told I was naive and gullible for listening to my professors and textbooks. Apparently college makes you elitist and stupid... Oddly enough, the same ones who tell me I'm naive for believing what professors teach are the ones who base ALL of their beliefs on the bible, written also by men, but by ones they've never even met who lived centuries ago. <br />
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The contradcition completely baffles me. I'm close to cutting ties with certain people...

The problem so many millions have with evolution is that it's based on the assumption of Gradualism and Common Descent, not fact.

For example, in what units are Gradualism measured in and Common Descent quantified with these: http://bit.ly/18b2Jxe http://bit.ly/12K0jnv

I completely understand what you're going through. My mother is an agnostic liberal, but my father is a pretty conservative catholic(in case you were confused about that match, they got divorced after five years). I spend most of my time with my mother, and I myself am very liberal, but whenever I'm with my father, we have some sort of political or religious debate. It's so frustrating, because whenever my dad talks about things like how being gay is wrong, it really makes me mad because my brother is bisexual(hasn't come out yet) and what he says is very offensive to me because I know that my brother's sexual orientation doesn't change him as a person one bit. <br />
So if you ever want to talk about annoying ignorant parents, I'm here for you (:

Thank you all for your comments. :) I try not to think too pretentiously, but I definitely do think there is a direct correlation between education and religious tolerance. It's hard for me to even get into discussions with them withut coming across as an 'elitist,' apparently. <br />
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However, I have definitely told them that very thing, vexedvixen, that their judgemental attitudes towards others actually hurt their cause much moreso than they can imagine.<br />
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But also like you said, that probably doesn't even register with them... sigh.

I would respectfully tell your family that they are doing their church a disservice by being so critical. The bible itself says "Judge not, lest ye be judged" and "what ye do to the least of my brethren, you do unto me." I would remind them that it is for god, not them, to judge. <br />
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Of course none of this will sway them, no doubt but at least you have the satisfaction of saying it. :)<br />
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I'm agnostic as well, btw. It's a sign of an open, intellectual mind and NOT a character flaw by any means!

I think people are like sheep. If something sound good they will follow. They don't went to open there eyes to see the truth. The truth is easy even a child can understand. People try and make it bigger then what is real said.

Thank you, and I agree! I try to have friends of all kinds, but apparently my family is more conserned with saving my eternal soul and escaping judgement for "letting me go to hell" for not believing the Bible.<br />
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It's really quite sad. They're told to be "fisher's of men" and they take that to mean "go buy a bunch of 'effing harpoons and stab the life out of others." <br />
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tisk, tisk...

don"t get bitter about what they have tough you. You can see the truth and there nothing wrong with that. God said do not be judged or you will be judged. There is all types of people out there in the world. You can be a friend to anyone. Some of your friends you don't like what they do, but you can be a friend and help them. I tell friend of mine that are guy,from a different relgion. that has long as you know how I feel and not try and chang me I will not try and change you. We all have to stand in front of God and answer to him.