My husband and I have been atheists for almost a decade now. We have two little girls and currently another on the way. We both work full time, pay our bills, are responsible adults. We go to all of our family get togethers (his parents and my parents), and everyone is aware that we are atheists....and it has never been an issue, never seemed to matter. Until now.
I suffered some complications from my pregnancy and was out of work for two weeks, which was pretty debilitating to our finances. So, we turned to our parents to borrow some money until next pay day for groceries. His mother, after waiting a while, responded with the rebuttal that if we would pray and ask god for forgiveness then he would more than likely bless us with everything we needed. I tried to remain calm and explain that I was asking her to ‘bless us’, and not even that, just loan us a bit of money till next pay day, we’ve never asked before.... even helped fund her road trip to Kentucky to see her other grandchildren a few years ago. The answer was still a repent or NO.
So I turned to my parents and was met with basically the same thing.... keep in mind, my christian pill addicted brother constantly gets money from them, that is never repaid... but he’s a christian so they can keep funding his habit, but not help their daughter’s family eat for two weeks.
I can’t say I’m not ridiculously angry, because I am... and hurt. Hurt mostly because of their illogical way of dealing with things... hurt because we have always been self sufficient and they speak love and kindness but won’t help their pregnant daughter and her family in her time of need. If we make it to next pay day we will be fine...I only asked for 200 dollars from them, because we know how to be thrifty... We don’t qualify for any assistance and yesterday I went to three food banks (which are churches, I didn’t want to, but I’m running out of options) and was turned away because we work- or make to much, they require you bring your pay stubs- with no never mind to the fact we have bills to make sure get paid, we even put some off until next pay day so we would have SOMETHING to buy a tiny bit of food with.Today I ended up setting up a gofundme.com account to try to raise a bit for some groceries... which was way embarrassing... I don’t like asking for help as we have always found a way to be self sufficient.
I’m sort of still in shock that our families won’t help us simply because we won’t bow to some unseen deity that makes no sense. Just because of that. Not because of something we did, but because of something we refuse to believe. I almost can’t wrap my mind around it.
It's possible that they gave a fake reason for denying you, but just as likely that it was a "religious" one. In Pentecostalism the AG branch believes strongly that God "wants you to prosper just as your soul prospers." If you are not financially ahead and making money, they might even come together with you and pray, wanting to know what you are doing WRONG that hinders your money flow. I know that sounds stupid, but I have heard of it in the AG's. Other denominations could be somewhat the same. After all, what makes a denomination? "We don't believe that way, so we have started a church over here." This is why church denominations are like flies and there are so many of them.
With that much said, it's just as likely that your relatives wanted to be able to say and brag, "we gave them $200 and they repented and came back to the Lord. Isn't that wonderful?" NO it isn't wonderful. It's stupid, ignorant, and a bribe! It's also a selfish act, but they will believe that acts of this nature are OK if it helps God in any way, or helps belief in him. Keep in mind that these people don't understand why we are atheists in the first place. We have read, studied, and understand more than most do. They want to ask "why are you angry with God?" They constantly hang on to a belief in deity even if the writings and source material are proven wrong or dubious at best. This is their "safety net."
Lastly, do not feel badly because you had to go to church sponsored food pantries or outlets for help. This their job to do, but they are not doing it properly if somehow you do not qualify. Feel badly rather that they turned you down. We are all people, and if the sponsored food pantry really helps your community, you should have gotten some food. I would have even went to a higher up if they denied me. Be persistent. Charity is a virtue and has many faces.