Family gatherings are getting harder. Religion is unavoidable, and it's making me very uncomfortable. Some are sensing that i'm pulling away. I recently skipped a baptism and made an excuse. It was my niece's baby daughter. When talking to my nephew about original sin, he had no idea what i was talking about, and he says that he's catholic. It makes me wonder if all parents actually know what baptism is. At a recent birthday party my niece (who never attended church) was all of the sudden going with her new boyfriend, and everyone thought it was such a good thing that he demanded that my niece's son (8) go to church. I thought i was going to have a chance with that kid, but it's not looking good now. So at the birthday party, they were talking about the new church, and all eyes were on them, and i was looking at the ceiling. So now, i'd say that it's official - I don't get along with my niece's boyfriend. He told her that i make him uncomfortable. Sorry guy. I'm sorry that we can't talk about deer hunting, football, and your new church. So, after a while i couldn't stand it. I somehow got into a conversation about early humans with my aunt, and she blurted "we're not mammals!" It's like everything went silent, and all eyes were on me. Half of them probably realized that we were mammals, and half probably wanted me to leave; but all are believers. One more tidbit - An older cousin (female) took two of her daughters to see john edwards the medium/intuitive/whatever. I forgot the amount they paid (it was alot), but they drove to Texas and sat in the front. My mother told me that they didn't really find out anything, but when leaving they saw a quarter on the ground, and thought it was a sign from their dad and her ex husband who recently passed away. I have plenty of stories. My point is that now I really don't enjoy going to family gatherings. It's torture. I don't feel close to anyone in my family except my mother, and it's just depressing. 

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Hard luck there!  I'm not even close to my mother anymore.  At least, my wife is my best friend.  I was almost 30 before getting married.  It took that long to find a fellow atheist with similar interest.  I also get along with my in-laws.  The point I'm making is some times you have to look out side of family for meaningful connections.  You don't have to isolate yourself, but you sure don't have to put up with any guff either.

It's encouraging to see that you found a fellow atheist and married her. I understand about finding outside connections. I don't think that I know an atheist in my circles; unless they're in the closet. I'm just upset that family members are forgetting who I am, and focus on belief. I guess that I'm mourning the loss of those relationships. 

shit sucks.. good thing there's extended family through freethinkers is all I'm saying.. shame really

i selected like because it's the truth..

It is painful to see loved ones fall for a scam, but it is probably a mistake to pull away. Your family cannot be replaced. Don't worry if they think you're wrong -- you will never be able to convince them otherwise. If you smile and stay true to your principles without worrying if anyone else does, you'll have a positive influence and you'll have fun doing it.

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