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View Full Version : My mom wants me to go to Christmas services at her church and I don't want to go.



pillar
22 Dec 2015, 09:23
Last year my mom reasserted her chistianity and started going to church regularly. A first in the 36 years I've been alive. Then Christmas rolled around and she said it would be nice for us all to go to Christmas eve services as a family. I told her I'm pagan and didn't want to go to a service for a religion that wasn't my own. A discussion followed about my beliefs. I told her and my father I believed in the gods and an afterlife to which they said sounds like atheism. I explained atheism to them and after more discussion they said it still sounds like atheism. I said either way I'm not going to church because there are a lot of things in christianity I disagree with.

A few days later my mom asked me again to go to the service. I told her I'm not going to go to a christian service because I'm gay and the bible is antigay. She said she'd never heard that, I assured her it was true and I wasn't going. Then a few days later she asked me again. Finally I told her I don't believe Jesus was real because of all the similarities between the Jesus story and the Krishna story that came way before Jesus. So she didn't make me go.

This year is the same thing she asked me twice to go but both times all I said was it wasn't my thing and that I'm pagan and didn't want to go.

Then I was showing her my eye of Horus necklace I bought and explained its meaning to her. A short time later she said she'd really like to me to go to the service. I told her again that I was pagan and that I didn't want to go. She said ok, but do you believe in Jesus? To get her to drop it I said yes.

Am I wrong not going when it makes me uncomfortable? Should I be more accepting and just go to make her happy even though I know I'll hate the whole experience? Was I wrong to lie about believing in Jesus?

Do you think she is trying to turn me Christian or in the least trying to save me, as christians say?
Could it be she is just forgetting she asked me? Sometimes she'll ask me something one day then a few days later ask me again and I'll tell her she already asked me and she says she thought she did but was just making sure.

What should I do about all this?

EndlessCravings
22 Dec 2015, 09:29
If you don't want to go then you just don't want to go. Don't let her pressure you into doing something you're uncomfortable with. Tell her you changed your mind and you don't want to go anymore. If she gets upset then oh well. You're grown, she's grown, I'm sure the both of you can come to an understanding. And if she gets upset then she'll just have to be upset. She'll get over it.

anunitu
22 Dec 2015, 09:54
Not being Ann Landers....But I think your Mother thinks if she keeps pushing,you will cave. Now I wonder if you are kind of Financially dependent on her,because it seems she has leverage on you kind of,and if not,you should be able to say no,and that is the end of it.

EndlessCravings
22 Dec 2015, 10:02
Not being Ann Landers....But I think your Mother thinks if she keeps pushing,you will cave. Now I wonder if you are kind of Financially dependent on her,because it seems she has leverage on you kind of,and if not,you should be able to say no,and that is the end of it.

I'm going to turn Anu's thought into a question. Are you financially dependent on her?

DragonsFriend
22 Dec 2015, 10:13
Some mothers have and use the guilt card on their children long after there is any financial connection. Some

DavidMcCann
22 Dec 2015, 10:33
I'm going to disagree here (nothing new, then). It's Christmas. She's your mother. If the pope can go to a mosque, a pagan can go to church on one day of the year. The fifth maxim written on the wall at Delphi was Γονεῖς ἀιδοὺ "Respect your parents".

iris
22 Dec 2015, 10:33
I can't help but think maybe, just maybe, it means something to her to go with you. I'm not saying you should go, but you might be able to find some other tradition that could work for both of you. Like you two taking a walk before church or something. She seems, if not understanding, then at least kind of accepting of your beliefs.
My mother in law has been trying to lure me to church on christmas too. I just tell her that I like that she goes, but it makes me uncomfortable - I also use the 'there are too many people in church on christmas, it feels stuffy and makes me uncomfortable'. She doesn't know I'm pagan.. but she's not asking because she wants me to give in, she just really wants me to join in the tradition.
anyway, she can't make you. and if you don't want to, you shouldn't just to please others. It's ok to say no.

pillar
22 Dec 2015, 11:35
I am not financially dependent on her. And it seems there is some confusion in the first reply I never told her I would go, I gave in and told her I believed in Jesus.

I can see respecting my parents and doing things they want me to do in most cases, but were talking about about going to a religious service for a religion that says I should be put to death for being gay. I feel I have to be true to who I am, and doing anything that looks/feels like me condoning a religion that says I should be killed for who I am, to me, feels like I am selling out myself and other homosexuals.

But I still can't shake the slight feeling of guilt for not making my mom happy. She's doing the same thing to my brother, she asked both of us when we were with her a month ago and we both said no. And just the other day she mentioned that she, my father, and brother were going but that she was going to ask him the next day. Last I knew he was atheist, but that was back in high school and the two of us haven't talked about religion since.

Briton
22 Dec 2015, 12:13
A few days later my mom asked me again to go to the service. I told her I'm not going to go to a christian service because I'm gay and the bible is antigay. She said she'd never heard that, I assured her it was true and I wasn't going.

You're not obliged, of course, to educate your mother about her own religion, but if you value your relationship with her you're going to have to show her how it is anti-gay, because the church she belongs to will try to weasel out. Some church out-and-out say homosexuality is wrong, and to their credit at least they're being honest about Christianity. Combining the laws of the Old Testament with what Jesus purportedly said that the law is not going away should demonstrate it, along with the first chapter of Romans amongst other things should do it.


Then a few days later she asked me again. Finally I told her I don't believe Jesus was real because of all the similarities between the Jesus story and the Krishna story that came way before Jesus. So she didn't make me go.

I don't know whether you're talking about the legend of Jesus, or the man Jesus. As first century historical figures go, Jesus has more written about him than Hannibal. Nobody, not even those opposed to Christianity, ever claimed he did not exist, nor tried to back such a claim. Most reputable scholars and historians who know anything about "historical fact" would not deny Jesus existed, atheists such as Bart Erhman have made good arguments. You may be interested to read this about the historical Jesus: https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-best-evidence-for-a-historical-Jesus/answers/863434. As for the mythology of Jesus... well I think there are bound to be coincidences, but the Jewish early Christians had an agendum and writers such as Matthew really tried hard to shoe-horn the "prophecies" (prophecies which involve the awesomeness of people are not really prophecies, because people can fulfill them) into Jesus' life. Not very well, but well enough. Jews who may convert to Christianity would have no reason to do so because of Hinduism.


This year is the same thing she asked me twice to go but both times all I said was it wasn't my thing and that I'm pagan and didn't want to go.

Then I was showing her my eye of Horus necklace I bought and explained its meaning to her. A short time later she said she'd really like to me to go to the service. I told her again that I was pagan and that I didn't want to go. She said ok, but do you believe in Jesus? To get her to drop it I said yes.

Whoops. Did you mean the same thing as she did when she asked if you believe "in" Jesus?


Am I wrong not going when it makes me uncomfortable? Should I be more accepting and just go to make her happy even though I know I'll hate the whole experience? Was I wrong to lie about believing in Jesus?

No, not wrong to not go somewhere that makes you uncomfortable. I wouldn't go to a Far Right march, a Black Panther event nor a mosque. If it weren't for the "anti-gay" thing I'd ask why you'd hate the whole experience. I find Christianity to be a sham which stole nearly two decades of my life, but my parents are Christian and I would go to a midnight Christmas service with them if they wanted me to. My wife, an atheist, partook in a carol service for Christmas and I sat in the pew and joined in when it was the audience's part. If it weren't for the anti-gay part, which I very much understand, I'd say just do it for her sake.


Do you think she is trying to turn me Christian or in the least trying to save me, as christians say?
Could it be she is just forgetting she asked me? Sometimes she'll ask me something one day then a few days later ask me again and I'll tell her she already asked me and she says she thought she did but was just making sure.

What should I do about all this?

No I think she knew and is just wearing you down, but you know her better than I do. I would suggest kindly telling her that she should make up for lost time with her god by herself before moving on to other people. It's not your fault she went so long without her religion. Be really clear you are not going to go so either she stop asking or you will have to find a way to demonstrate you don't want her to have the opportunity to ask, if you get my drift.

Medusa
22 Dec 2015, 12:20
In reality you do not have to attend anything you don't want to for any reason or non reason you choose. This is a given. In reality that can seem easy on paper but not in a real situation if you aren't strong enough to speak up about it.

But. My mother was Catholic. A loving mother. Didn't push her beliefs on me. As an adult I would take her to midnight mass. Because I thought the service, the atmosphere, and being with her was special.

Do what you want.

I've been a Satanist since I was 15 and am now 44. If I go into a church with my mother (now deceased) I'm still a Satanist. I'm just a happy one because I'm there with my mother. And I'd take her to church every day now if I could. But I can't. But I'm glad I did when she wanted to go because it was important to her and it made her happy.

Take religion out of the equation. You have a mom who wants you to go somewhere with her for the day. Go. Don't go.

Spiny Norman
22 Dec 2015, 12:25
But I still can't shake the slight feeling of guilt for not making my mom happy.

Yes, it's tricky, but I think you should be true to yourself in this situation. If you don't want to go to church then don't go.

pillar
22 Dec 2015, 14:49
to Briton

She probably meant do I believe "in" Jesus, But at this point I really don't care what she thinks. I've told here I'm pagan many times and my beliefs a couple times if she doesn't get it by now she never will.

On why I'd hate the whole experiece, well besides the gay thing. The Christian god punishes you in the afterlife with an eternity in hell. Not a week or 10 years but forever. To me it seems possible that two people who are really great Christians and best friends could be separated one in hell for eternity the other in heaven for eternity thinking about his friend in hell all time just because he did something he didn't ask forgiveness for. I'd have to sit in a room full of people who think a god that acts like this the greatest. I mean punishing someone with eternal torture, possibly you best friend or family member. Knowing people think thats ok, and then having to listen to them talk about how great their god is would just drive me mad. And then everyone prays, bowing their heads while I just sit there looking at them thinking what horrible people they are for praying to a god that behaves that way.

Plus, I would just feel left out. Because unless you follow Christ you're going to hell. What motivation do I have for caring about the supposed virgin birth, and all that stuff.

And on the gay thing recent polls show only half of Christians think it's socially acceptable to be gay. So roughly half the people there would just as soon I not be.

To me the whole experience would just highlight that I'm different than everybody and don't belong. I guess I would be lonely. And since I'm the only person in my area who is gay or pagan or even a democrat(theres very few of those around here, most elections there aren't even democrats on the ballot for local offices) I'd much rather not put myself in situations that highlight how isolated I am.

To me the experience would be like attending a far right political rally where I disagree with everything they said, and was angered by what the ideology does to people.

Oh and I checked out you link about the historical Jesus and found it interesting apparently I was going off of outdated research.

Medusa: good point about my mom wanting me to go somewhere with her. But we see each other very often, as it is a couple hours won't make that much difference.

TxanGoddess
22 Dec 2015, 15:01
What should I do about all this?

Just keep telling her no.

I mean, several people here have advised you to consider going with her, and your rejoinder is why you don't want to go. So if you are decided not to go, I'm not sure what any of us can do for you.

It sounds aggravating, of course, but you're not going to be able to control whether she wants to ask you or not, nor should you be able to. So just answer "no".

EndlessCravings
22 Dec 2015, 15:11
Just tell her no. You will have to make the decision at one point.

thalassa
22 Dec 2015, 15:16
if you don't want to go, don't go...

...but don't use the excuse that Christianity is anti-gay. SOME denominations may be, but not all of them are. I was raised in a Christian denomination that has gay clergy and performs gay weddings. And they can defend that theology through scripture, just like the anti-gay denominations do. Because the Bible can be interpreted to say whatever you want it to...and there are plenty of ways people have done this (http://godmademegay.blogspot.com/p/letter-to-louise.html).

I don't know what denomination your mother is, but the Christian god is only as small minded as his followers AND his detractors make him. If you put him in a little box, then he's a small and small minded God for small and small minded people.

pillar
22 Dec 2015, 18:13
Thanks for the link thalassa it has certainly given me much to think about. I have read an ebook about homosexuality and the bible but it concentrated only on translations of the words interpreted as homosexual and didn't give the same meanings as your link in all cases. I thought the case the book made for the bible not being anti-gay was rather weak. This link was much better than that ebook was. The link also made a case for Christianity being fluid and open to interpretation rather than a cast in stone set of rules I thought it was. Maybe I will go to Christmas eve service after all. I'll have to think about this some more, thanks everyone.

Bartmanhomer
22 Dec 2015, 19:53
I don't want to sound mean or anything but I say forget your mom and do what you do best. If you don't want to go then don't go at all then. If she still got a problem with that well too bad then. It's your decision not her to make.

anubisa
22 Dec 2015, 20:22
It's your decision. Every year I go with my parents and my sister's family to services on Christmas Eve to the Catholic church. I am uncomfortable in the church, but it is the only time each year I go. I do it because I love my parents who are Catholics. They know I am Wiccan and they aren't going to try to change me. Like I said, it's your decision.

kalynraye
22 Dec 2015, 22:22
I have to agree with Duce and Thal here. When in Texas around christmas or easter I go to service with my Nan, in fact we all go to service with Nan on those holidays. Regardless if we are christian, if we are fighting, whatever we go. Why? Because we love her and it makes her happy. It doesn't change or threaten my faith to be in someone else's house of worship. The thing I like to remember is the bible was wrote by men and compiled by men which means there is room for plenty of error.

So short end if you don't wanna go then just don't go but don't feel guilty about it.