I have an elderly mother whose belief is pretty much all she has.  Because of how she was raised (quite frankly, a bit brutally), she's never been responsive to alternative ideas such as christianity as a philosophy, or social justice.  For her, the world is very black and white:  You're a sinner, and you need Jesus.

 

Unless there ain't a Jesus -- and therein lies the problem, as far as I can tell.

 

As her only child, I'm slightly stuck with a legacy of mental anguish and torment.  As nearly all of her living siblings believe the same way as she does, she's well girded -- ironically and sadly, by the stupidest arguments, and the weakest of defenses.  At least in numbers.

 

But she's still my mother.

 

As much as I know that "coming out" would be something beneficial for me, I simply don't think it's cool to give myself strength props, at the expense of my mother's emotional pain.

 

Please tell me I'm not the only person who feels this way... that it's okay to continue sitting on it.

 

O.R.

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For my two cents it's okay to sit on it for as long as you like. In the end they're your beliefs, your decisions, and your choices, likewise, who you choose to share those decisions and beliefs with is also your choice.
I personally have told my parents, but I never told any of my grandparents before they died. I have one living grandparent left and she will go to her grave thinking I go to church every Sunday. Her believing that makes her feel better and there's no sense in giving her something to worry about for her remaining days. As they say, sometimes ignorance is bliss.
I debated this with myself for many years. For a long time I had no necessity to tell them since I moved away from my family. At one point it just became senseless for me to hide who I am and to tiptoe around my family's sensitivity. I really feared the worst but I've been very lucky in that none of them have disowned me. The distance has a lot to do with that though, I suspect.

Even if you decide that "sitting on it" is the best way to go you may not always feel that way. You have to live your life the way that seems best to you and you can only temper that for so long, even for your mother's benefit.
i think you have it better off than i do ! sometimes i give myself a headache listening to religious radio or tv just to prove to myself that i am right .i am not only surrounded by muslim family but also muslim friends and acquaintances . and i have come to the conclusion that its better off that i keep my mouth shut for now. whatever i have to say will be accepted more easily if it comes out like opinions here and there as apposed to a confession of being atheist . after a confession whatever i say will be taken as an argument or debate against their religion/God.
I think you're right. Within our family's culture, we at least have a few denominations -- and those nearly always end in disagreements over interpretations. And while I know very little about Islam, I'd imagine that it's not easy to stray from a fairly confined area.

Funny you mention Islam, because I totally understood what the NASA director was saying recently; leave it to Fox News and Christian biases to ignore the contributions of Arabic nations in physics, astronomy and mathematics. Leave it to the media to be largely unaware of where Arabic numbers come from, for g-d's sake.

It sounds like you've got a decent thing going, however. They'll at least talk to you about a difference of opinion. And in any case, H.Q, you ain't the only one that has to keep your head down.

Thanks also to everyone else who replied. I appreciate it.
Wow, hadn't thought of this from an only child point of view- I too have an elderly hyper religious mother but she more or less knows that I 'don't like church stuff' as my older sister puts it (I haven't exactly come right out and stated my nonbelief just that I ain't going to church no more). My problem is that she hasn't exactly given up; just recently she gave me my old high school bible, which I honestly thought I had thrown away! How it migrated back to her house is a mystery to me...my therapist tells me to treat it as a 'gift from her heart', but I think that her heart sure likes to try and control my brain! My family is very into passive aggressive end around crap like this instead of direct confrontations...so I just honestly try to stay away from her and them...they tried once to get me to live with her, apparently god has told them that THEIR families are TOO important for Mom to move in and disrupt but my single life looked entirely just right...so much for jesus love...

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