I need some advice...

First of all, I just wanted to thank the Webmaster for this incredible, insightful, informative, encouraging website. It has been a life saver for me.

I left the church 6 years ago and have found the most difficult part of all this is dealing with my family. I love them very much, that’s the problem. I can’t just walk away from them even though sometimes I wish I could.

My dad’s a minister and EVERYONE, including my immediate family and cousins far and wide have their heads so far up their assess with this religious cult that I simply cannot get away from it.

How do you deal with trying to spend time with your family when they think you are “lost?” How horrible is it to see the sadness in your mom and dad’s eyes thinking you are going to burn in hell forever? There is no reasoning with them, they will never understand. This is heartbreaking for me because we used to be so close and they are otherwise good people.

I would appreciate any advice any of you can give me.



Anonymous said...

You can't change people,BUT if they aren't going to be respectful to you and your choices, you can promptly and politely tell tell that you are respectful to them and their choices and they must to the same. remember, even though you love them doesn't mean you have to put up w/ this. They most certainly wouldn't for you. Hopefully, one day maybe one of them eill see the truth. Until then surrond yourself with tolerance and like thinkers.

Lavanya Raj said...

Dear jessica,
Right now you are in a better position to undersatnd them, because the mind set they have right now, you had it once a upon a time. Love is nothing but understanding. And these are your people. It is true that it is difficult and that thye do not respect you for what you belive but i think it would be too bad if you would reciprocate the same. Tell them you love them and tell them what you think love means to you. and tell them they are very important to you. But remember not to get into any guilt. And promise them that you will be there when they need anything and show them that. Let them see this for themselves. And also show them a life away from the christian belief has made you a happy and wholsome person.Things can get better.

But if not, I guess you should look for the similarities and as you say they are otherwise good people. Work in that level.

If things get worse, for example, they begin to hate you or if they would condemn you, tell them this is not love. Ask them what happenend to the family ties? the relatedness? And in these circumstances, you could still put up with everything and can fight it well and good. Hopefully atleast one of them will see the truth.

SpaceMonk said...

"How horrible is it to see the sadness in your mom and dad’s eyes thinking you are going to burn in hell forever?"

However hard it gets at least remember that you're not alone in this.
I have the same reactions from my parents. My Mum breaks down in tears, and I know she mourns over me knowing my 'eternal fate'.
I love her and so I hate what christianity is doing to her and Dad, so I try to explain why I believe I'm not going to hell, etc. but that only seems to make it worse.

Then I think that if I did convince her she'd have a nervous breakdown, because she's been psychologically dependent on Jesus in every aspect of her life since childhood. She wouldn't know what to do in life without that 'protection'.
It's frustrating that it's such a catch-22 situation, with nobody a winner.

Anyway, there's some good advice here, and in the rest of the site. Sorry if I'm not adding to it, but I just thought it may be helpful to remember you're not alone.

Anonymous said...

You are so right Spacemonk, it IS such a catch22 situation. I know that my parents would probably either have a nervous breakdown or die of sorrow if their “religion” was taken away from them; they are so dependant on it. I too hate what Christianity is doing to them and everyone else in my family, including my nieces and nephews who’s little minds are being brainwashed.

“They will be far more receptive to you if they see you are serious about your actions but are not about to cut yourself off from them but rather make yourself more useful to them in their spiritual walks.”

Good point, dg-mayor of kwc. You are so right.

Thanks Avie, I am going to use that speech you used on your family. It’s such a simple concept, honesty….but that’s what it’s all about, right? How can we deny who we are, especially to those closest to us? Wish me luck.

Heyram, thanks. “Love is nothing but understanding.” Sometimes I can get defensive. I need to realize that I may never change them but I can work on being an example of what truth is.

Anonymous, you are right when you say “they most certainly wouldn’t for you.” I doubt one day any of them will see the truth.

Anonymous said...

I imagined you already tried the, "Would YOU send me to hell? No, right? So, what makes you that that a god of love will send me there?"

I throw lines like that at my fundy husband everytime the issue arises. He may never deconvert from his faith, but I think he's started to believe that "god" isn't as horrible as he's been made to believe.

Remind them that "god" has a soft spot somewhere for people like you.

Note: I do not believe that bible god exists or sends anyone to hell. I am just suggesting that you "play their game" with them.

Steven Bently said...

This is a Christian Nation! We were all raised in the Jesus Myth to forgive us of our ignorant folly, such as slavery and killing all the Native Indians.

The colonist brought over their good book with them to get instant forgiveness for them for all their conquering evils against the prevailing humans that already a had a claim on this land.

The Native peoples were called heathen and infidels because they would not accept whiteman's Bible God that was forced upon them, so they found pleasure in killing the Indians in the name of their God and Jesus.

Columbus was credited as discovering America, but it had already been discovered by the Indians, the Indians did not force their religion on the settlers, nor did they claim this land in the name of a God or Jesus.

America is a land that who's people is driven insane by false beliefs and myths that was conquered in the name of a false deity and savior.

The majority of American people have been so terrorized by the threat of a imaginary hell and a judgement from the false Jesus, that the American people cannot function from a state of collective sanity.

This is the reason that the country is divided among itself, we have a democrate and republican party whom neither one represents it's people and we have a nation of brainwashed loonies pretending to worship a false God and savior, and each one knows that their beliefs and party are the correct one, when all the while they are all false.

It's so sad that we have let those insane tyrants control us, it's been going on for way too long, we were all were raised in it and it appeared to be the norm, but now alot of us know better.

The Bible God and Jesus has innocent blood dripping from it's pages.

Anonymous said...

Dear Jessica,

Tell them that you want to be a good person, and that you don't have to be a Christian to be a good person. In my life, I have met so many hypocritical, judgmental, and even mean, Christians, that I made the decision I don't want to be that kind of person. You have the right to decide for yourself who you want to be. My two cents is that it is more important to be a decent human being who works hard, treats people well, and doesn't judge others. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Ben, Excellent, maybe I will add this to the end of my speech with my folks.

Steven Bently said...

Yeah thanks Jessica. Tell them before 1492 there was not a single Bible or church on American soil.

Had a Muslim landed here, we would all be bowing to Allah 5 times a day.

We are a product of indoctrination from our forefathers, just about every person will tell you that they were told by a parent or their grandparents that the bible is the absolute truth, and telling them otherwise, it would make them look like they have done a miserable job of raising you, because they have been stupid enough to believe that people are going to hell in the first place.

They always say "You are going to hell!" But if after you die all is left is your soul, then a soul is invisible, it cannot feel pain, an invisible spirit cannot be burned, it's all just a fallus lie, the invention of hell and a soul was to get people to go to church so that the preacher could get his money, without having to work for it, like all honest people do.

Had they not invented a threat of a hell, no one in their right mind would attend a church, ever!

So there you have it, no one in their right mind attends a church!!!

They've all been coerced by fear of a hell, yet they do not have enough sense to question the fallacy of an invisible spirit burning in a physical fire.

Fire is physical, spirits and souls are non-physical, so they do not exist, only in the imagination.

If you tell your kin that you no longer believe, then you can expect them to be furrously mad at you.

First tell them you would like for them to read about Sodom and Gomorrah all preachers like to say it's just like Sodom and Gomorrah right now, and all the congregation will shake their heads up and down in aggrement.

Read Genesis 19, Lot stated that his daughters knew no man, but yet they were married, and then God punished his wife for looking back at SaG, but it was ok for Abraham to look back, then verse 30, Lots two daughters got Lot drunk and had sex with him and each had a baby by him, actually I believe Lot killed his wife, so that he could have sex with his two daughters, yeah Sodom and G. is just like it is today. Everyone should read Genesis chapter 19.

The people that need to be in a hell are the people that wrote the bible in the first place.

Please read Genesis 19 and tell me what you think about it, ok? TC

Hellbound Alleee said...

Well, you eventually do what everyone does--there has to be a little more separation between you and your family. You have to establish yourself as an independant individual. Of course, I'm assuming you're an adult. If not, you have to sort of back off until you aren't dependant on them materially. But if that's taken care of, it's really important to simply live, be successful, and be happy with your own life. If not, they can't help but see you as the kid you once were.

Basically, if you are an independant adult, and live that way, they are going to have to accept it. It's not like they can force you to do anything!

Establishing true independance means you have to make the strong moves. As someone said before me, you are the one better able to "accept" or understand their shortcomings, as you don't have the clouds of beloef in your eyes. You establish boundaries. If you need to, make the subject of religion off limits for awhile (this one's hard).

It's all about forging a new relationship with family as one adult to others--and we all go through it. That is, as long as no individual harms you. If that happens, you remove yourself from that.

RSM said...

Jessica, it's so good to see another person in the same situation as I am. One person suggested what to do if your family starts to condemn you. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think the way they are acting because they think you will go to hell IS condemnation. They would not think you will burn in hell if they had not judged you and found you wanting. That is my take on it.

Of course, I don't know what things would be like in my family if relationships had been good before. But they never liked me anyway. They are actually nicer to me now than they were before. I think the reason is that they think they have to love the sinner and perhaps she will see her error and repent. Somehow, I find it more offensive to be loved as a sinner as to be hated for being me. The first is a knife in the heart up to the hilt. The latter is twisting that knife.

Anyway, I don't have much contact with my family nor do I want it.

Anonymous said...

Ok Ben, I read Genesis 19. God, I can’t believe I used to read that shit! What did I think of it? It’s fucked up and perverted. The church will say that’s what it’s like today (whatever, do they mean we have too many gay people or that we have too many daughters sleeping with their fathers???) but then they will contradict themselves and say that the Old Testament is obsolete because “Jesus” became the intermediator between us and that “angry” God of the Old Testament. I just get so angry when I see all these obvious fallacies, can’t anyone else see this? Why are Christians so fucking blind?

Hellbound Alleee, when you said “it's really important to simply live, be successful, and be happy with your own life. If not, they can't help but see you as the kid you once were,” that really hit home. In some ways, they do still think of me as a kid and I think that by being sure of who I am and what I believe in, that will change.

Chad, excellent point, “I would work on accepting the probability that you will never ever enjoy the kind of intimacy you experienced with your family while a Christian--you can't have your cake and eat it too.” It’s so, so true….

Steven Bently said...

Jessica, just like you said!! it's total insane shit!!! And that is just the 19th chapter, what happened to lets kill everyone during the flood because they were so wicked and Noah and his family were so well favored by God? Genesis ch. 8 Apparently Noah and his family turned out not to be such a good example and purification of human seed..huh???

And from there on out it gets so ridiculously insane, and we somehow suddenly need a savior to save us from our sins, who saved Adam and Eve from their sins??? Satan???....lol It's so fucked up, can you believe there is adults pretending they believe that SHIT???

My family is just like yours, when I enter their house there's Bibles everywhere and pictures of Gzus, whatever he looked like and Billy Graham materials with his sad profile and mad ugly face, he looks like he's mad because he has to pretend he believes such garbage, he's made a public commitment and he can't get out of, so he's fucking mad!!!

Here we are in 2006 and Christianity is just as strong as ever, even Mel Gibson gets drunk, but yet his film The Passion is considered pure fact as if he fucking knew first hand or even fucking cared, what a fucking asshole..huh?

Good luck on your telling your family, although they will most likely disclaim you, although they would have more respect for a broke down drunken preacher than they would you, my parents look like Billy G. just sad and waiting for Jesus to call them home....what a bunch of freaking idiots!!!

Now if you want to sing gospel songs or country songs or pray that is just fine, but just do not step on their religion fairytale.

Welcome aboard to sanity, and keep in touch with us, and tell us what is going on in your life, ok?

Thanks for your input and article!!! TC, Ben

Anonymous said...

I had to drop all contact with my family for a number of years. Eventually they decided they missed me too much and wanted me back.

I gave them the terms: accept me, and my partner or no deal. They said okay.

We now have a very good relationship.


Anonymous said...

Rubysera, I so agree with this “Somehow, I find it more offensive to be loved as a sinner as to be hated for being me. The first is a knife in the heart up to the hilt. The latter is twisting that knife.” I hate them feeling sorry for me, going out of their way to love me EVEN MORE, telling me “they will always be there for me.” They are just WAITING for me to come back crawling on my knees. This is truly the worst. Love me for me damn it, not what you want me to be!!!!

LOL Ben…sometimes you just have to laugh at your family and this fucked up society or you will just go crazy. Of course I will keep in touch, this site keeps me sane! ?

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica, If you tell your family that you no longer believe the Biblical nonsense, then you can expect the "Persecution Card" to be played, Christians are being persecuted for their beliefs in Jesus as prophesized, by some so-n-so idiot in the bible over 2000 years ago. Then they will say that they are the victims, and you and nonbelievers are the aggressors.

Keep in mind that they are under the influence of a hypnotic mind cult. They are "BRAINWASHED ZOMBIES," and their only thought and being and purpose in life is to glorify Jesus and they walk with God and have a personal relationship with God and Jesus, if you take that away from them they will loose their moral compass and start worshipping Satan, so they have been told and believe.

It's tough, you either have to sit there and pretend that you are a Christian and agree with their nonsense or keep what you know to yourself. It shouldn't have to be that way, religions and xtianity shouldn't take presidence over common sense and rationality.

Best wishes in your journey.

Anonymous said...

"I gave them the terms: accept me, and my partner or no deal. They said okay.

We now have a very good relationship.

No offense, but isn't that how many atheists would describe the terms God puts on us?

Anonymous said...


An ultimatum is an ultimatum.

Anonymous said...

No offense, but isn't that how many atheists would describe the terms God puts on us?

Which God????

Atheists = nonbeliefs in Gods!!!!

You're at the wrong website, bud!!! Spouting your silly chilhood beliefs!!!!

That insane bullshit is the very same bullshit Jessica knows she's getting ready to hear!!!

You xtians are totally mentally insane!!!!

Anonymous said...

"An ultimatum is an ultimatum."

If the implication is that the ultimatum in Onanite's post is a "bad thing", then essentially you're saying that the "terms God puts on us" is EQUALLY as bad(presupposing God exists, of course). If the implication is that an ultimatum is a "good thing"---then consider that "take it, or leave it" is not quite the same as "take it, or leave it.....but if you leave it?... I'll set you on fire!"

'Slight difference = )

Anonymous said...

What I would consider doing if I were in that situation is just play along with the craziness. I have given up expecting irrational people to behave rationally, and if it makes them happy to think I'm just as nuts as they are then so be it. Just as long as they aren't trying to make me waste my time by attending their rituals.


Anonymous said...

Yeah it's done been confirmed in their mind that Jesus is real and that the bible holds the key and all the answers to universal existance.

They'll just say she's beside herself and possessed by Satan, or under his influence, she's just lost her mind, like they haven't!!!

Why can't christians see how ridiculously pathetic an imaginary savior is? To save your soul, yeah your soul needs saving alright!!! Bullshit!!!!

What if they had never heard of a bible, where would they be now? In hell of course.

A belief just shows the rampant ignorant mentality of the American people. The Hindu's worship cows atleast they can see the cows.

The only difference between us and the starving people in Africa having flies going in and out of their mouths is, we have automobiles and modern conveniences and they do not.

The American public lives mentally equal to people living in a third-world country, in their beliefs. Think about it!!!

Anonymous said...

Deamond, thanks for your comments.
"now, the question is, are they merely anoying or are they fanatical? there's a difference there? Or is it more that they'r pulling away from you? That can be even worse." They are anoying and yes, they are pulling away from me which is really, really sad. You are right, it's all up to me. No matter what, I will not compromise what I have become. I am proud of it and wouldn't change the peace I have now for anything else in the world.

Nvrgoingbk said...

Ben you're so right brother! When a Christian speaks about the "love of God" they might as well be using vulgarity, because that's what it sounds like to me. The "love of God" is a twisted love, and that's why so many of it's cult memebers are so fucked up in the head and tormented. Bible god is jerk! If Jesus was so wise and the "son of GAWD" you'd think he'd bestow some awe inspiring wisdom on his followers. You'd think he'd have some HOLY SHIT kind of ideas and some original ideas, but he preaches the same ideals that Buddha, Krishna, Confucious, etc taught. Shit, even his birth, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection were borrowed from other cults! He couldn't even die in an original way. Yet we're supposed to believe in the crucified Jesus when there are other crucified man-gods, born of virgins, resurrected saviors out there who were around ALOT earlier than Jesus. How do we know that we have the right crucified savior? If I was Krishna and I was the savior of the world i'd be pretty pissed off to see the people of the world comming up with all of these counterfeits. Also, if Jesus DID really die that way, if he WAS the son of God, and the only way to be saved, why didn't God prevent the other religions from comming up with the same ideas centuries before? That is pretty fucked up don't you think? That's like telling all of your kids to pick a Wonka bar out of a stack of identical Wonka bars. You tell them only one of the bars has the golden ticket. Whoever finds the golden ticket gets to live forever and all of your other children fry in hell with their chocolate bars! What the fuck is THAT?!? How do we know which Wonka Bar to pick? They all look alike! They all have a crucified savior said to be born of a virgin, visited by wise men, miracle workers, who had twelve disciples, were God and man, died on a cross, resurrected, will save men from their sins, blah, blah, blah...Which Bar is the right one?

And fuck, what about ALLAH?!? He seems like one mean mother fucker, right? What if none of the Wonka bars had the ticket and ALLAH is the only way to Paradise? What if we shouldn't have been picking from the Wonka bars at all? Shit, if that's the case, we're in for one miserable eternity, cause ALLAH is one bad-ass dude! Maybe I should pick the Allah bar just in case since he's got the worst Hell to choose from.

Christianity and all dogmatic religions that claim to have the ONLY WAY are a boil on the ass of humanity!


Anonymous said...


When you have your speech with your parents, remember this: no matter how much they have protested in the past, no matter how firm you believe they stand in their faith, they also love you as a daughter (they will always love the little baby that you were). And if you speak to them calmly and firmly, it CAN make a difference. I've had to do the same thing with my incredibly intrangient father. I never thought he'd budge. I had many years of therapy before I could confront him. But when I did, gently but firmly, and as an adult, he had to give in on many levels. He didn't give up everything but I was surprised how much he did. Their love for you is much softer than they can admit and can overwhelm their hard-line beliefs without them even knowing it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks Naomi...

Anonymous said...

Hi jessica....first of all, be your own person. Always.
I am an atheist and most of my friends and family are either religious or agnostic in some way.
They don't bug me because i accept them for who they are and i expect the same in return.
Acceptance is Love. So is tolerance. You don't have to reject your family. Just accept them and their beliefs and stress that you do so whenever they bring up the subject. Sometimes when i tell people i am an Atheist they either think i am joking or they are shocked and say" Don't say that". As if i just said i am a 'devil worshipper'.
It's incredibly difficult to come to terms with yourself when you bcome an Atheist. It took me a long time to admit that i don't believe in God. It still feels kind of strange to say so at times, that's how well the brainwashing techniques of religion work. (I was raised catholic and went to catholic school!).
Good luck to you!

Pageviews this week: