Saturday, April 7, 2007

this is probably boring, but it is how I feel

8:41 PM Posted by: M., 2 comments

It is interesting and a little frustrating to be around my parents so much lately. I lived completely on my own 3,000 miles away and now that I am back with parents, it is weird for a lot of reasons.

But right now, I am finding it difficult to keep up christian appearances with them. I decided not to tell them of my de-conversion until I move out (which hopefully will be soon) and after I pay them back a couple thousand dollars I owe them. I want to be pretty independent of them because I anticipate a really negative and harsh reaction from them that might lead to some bad relations for a while.

Anyway--the day-to-day Christian discussions are getting harder for me to handle. They talk about certain things about church and the latest church gossip, and whose kids aren't christian, and what God is doing--just a whole mess of stuff that I have to listen to, nod my head to, and try to pass off without getting into an argument. It is hard because sometimes when my mom speaks, I get this bad feeling in my stomach--tonight we were talking about my friend's mom who worries a lot, and my mom was like, "Yeah, I think God is really working on me to worry less--like about being late to things..." and I just feel weird. I really can't explain why, but I just feel gross when they talk about a lot of faith issues that I don't believe anymore. I wish I didn't feel that way.

It is hard because my parents can be really cool, caring and nice, and I don't want to dissapoint them. I mean, their dream is to have a perfect Christian kid, and their nightmare is to have a non-christian kid (like me).

Things on the whole are pretty good, but it is difficult to go through these motions.

This whole thing is still so bizarre. I am looking forward to the future when this is not so fresh. But it is weird how now I am more sympathetic to atheists than christians, and how I am trying to figure out what things I really think are wrong rather than what I was scared into thinking. Right now, I will admit that I am overcompensating away from christianity I think because I spent so many years as a christian and so little time as an unbeliever--so I feel I need to explore "the other side" more. Also it is just weird that I feel so alien around Christians now. I work part-time in a flower shop/salon my friend manages and I was there this weekend--and the hairdressers and their clients are all christians, talking about God and Jesus and all this stuff, and I wanted to join in and I wanted to feel like a good person, but I just felt like kind of a little monster or something.

Anyway, I am sure that this stuff will pass--I am just in a place of transition and I am starting to be introduced to all that entails.


JumpingFromConclusions said...

Hi Marie,
I feel you on this. And I don't think my family is as explicit about Christianity as it sounds like yours is. I am very worried about "coming out" about it to them (not saying I definitely am not a Christian, but I really don't know what I believe right now). My sister (older) does not believe in Christianity, and I know she has at least talked about it with my mom. But I think they probably already thought she might not be a believer. As for me, I'm the kid who picked a Christian school to go to and was a member of my high school's Christian group. So I feel like it would be very disappointing to my parents if they thought I was no longer a Christian.

As for feeling sympathetic for atheists, I'm with you there too. I think after realizing that they have reasons they don't believe and we (as Christians) can be quick to condemn them, I feel sorry for them. But also, their arguments just seem to make so much more sense to me-- it's like they can be totally honest, since they don't have a book they have to base their beliefs on. Now when I read Facebook notes (basically blogs on facebook) and they talk about how good God is to them, and how they just can't believe God's goodness and love and how He is working in their lives, in my mind I kind of trash them for being simple-minded. I want to trash them for calling God good when they believe He throws the majority of the world's population into eternal hell. I know these thoughts are not good, and I know I shouldn't be condescending (especially to people for believing in a God that I might still believe in), but I'm just being honest here. I'm sorry that I have those thoughts, but they dash through my mind. Anyway, I understand what you are talking about and I am going through some of the same stuff. I am even with you on the whole 'over-compensating on the atheist side' thing. . . I also need to work on this. But I am learning about all these different viewpoints for the first time instead of just getting Sunday School lessons thrown at me, so it is interesting.

Anyway, I hope you had a good Easter!

Ed Lynam said...

Two points: 1) I agree that it is weird for someone to assert that God is good to them, yet plans to throw the majority of people into eternal fire. For me, the hope of apocatastasis and belief in God's goodness is much more grounded. 2) I feel sympathy for atheists, UNLESS they use double standards in evaluating evidence. I had a long interchange with an atheist over at philalethia ( ) with an atheist. I found his approach to the evidence of miracles at Lourdes to be frustrating. It seems he'd accept reports of scientific investigation that show evidence for something he'd like to believe in (i.e. evolution) but refuses to accept evidence for something he doesn't want to believe in (i.e. miracles). I feel I do better at remaining unbiased. For example, I am a Christian, but I think evolutionary theory is fine. I am very willing to acknowledge that the words in the Bible were written by people and there have been some purposeful and accidental errors in transmission over time. But I also assert that the words in the Bible can be made alive by the Holy Spirit and transform the hearts and minds of people. And there is evidence that that has happened over and over again through the ages. There is also ample evidence that people who claim affiliation with Christianity can grossly misuse the Bible and do all kinds of evil to others. To me, that just shows exactly what the premise of Christianity is: that we are free moral agents, hopelessly adrift and in need of change from within as we submit ourselves to the God who made us.