Recently my 15th birthday was upon me,this is about what my grandparents decided to do.And my Rage that followed
So my dad has these weekly phone conversations with my grandparents telling them how me and my siblings are and what not. It was one of these times my dad was telling his parents that their grandson is an Atheist.(Note to readers: My Grandparents are strongly religious,but not practicing Christians.) So when my birthday came by, or a few days after I got a package in the mail. When I opened the package just so happened to be the day my grandparents call,Meh right? Wrong.
Inside that conspicuous box, was the spit in my face.By both my dad and them. A bible, Not a normal one but a teen one which they just so happen to get me for my birthday.Perfect timing may say them. Not only was I steaming mad, I was forced to thank them for it.They said "if you ever have doubt in yourself you can open it up" Yea I have a school consular which I could tell anything to. But this,She has a few crosses in her office which makes me feel uncomfortable with this situation,if it ever came up.My dad shouldn't have done this, Almost betrayal, I've talked openly about my atheism to him and he did this?Feeble mindedness mess...
How should I go about this? They want to sign it when they come for a visit in April.What should I say to them when they ask? I know it sounds disrespectful to them but I need your opinon,My friends were no help.
Thanks for reading and such.
-Andrew

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I've never been in a situation like this. I'd probably have to know your relatives really well before giving accurate advice. My first instinct was to tell you to find some very violent bible verses, and ask your grandfather to explain them. Tell him that you've been reading your new bible, and you have alot of questions, and just wear him out; pepper him with questions. That's one approach. Another approach would be to grin and go along with it. You could also just flat out say that this isn't a gift that you can use, but they may take that as rudeness. It's tricky. Come back and tell us how it went down.
Well I really could use the first one on anybody else but i forgot to include that they no longer go to church because of my grandmothers ever changing state of health. I think my grandpa would have a go at me with that but I'll try it since I know some of them.
Thanks
Your grandparents want to sign your bible? I thought that's what the author did. Wow, they must really be old.....
That is a fairly normal reaction from parents. At least you should be thankful that they are not disowning you or kicking you out of the house or sending you to some teen Christian camp. Many of my friends still afraid to come out to their parents about their disbeleives.
I know how it feels when you think that your parents are trying to force religion down your throat, at 16 my mom forced me to attend some silly teen church for a few month. I felt enraged myself.
Just let it go. Try to talk with your parents about other religions, read that Bible and take it as a challenge. Don't worry eventually they will accept you. At least that was my experience.
You could poilitely say: Yes, I've been reading the bible you gave me, but it doesn't make any sense. It's validating my original position. Make sure you have the contradictory bible verses ready to go. You could say stuff like "i know you want the best for me", or "I appreciate the sentiment".

Ask him about the gods with similar birthdays to jesus, and who also rose from the dead after 3 days. Ask him how much of the bible is literal. If he says that it's open to interpretation, can 100% be wrong?, 90%?, 75%? Ask him why people born in different parts of the world believe in a different god. Tell him that science has debinked many things in the bible, and religion has debunked no scientific theory.
I had a similar thought before reading this reply. I dug up a famous internet letter to Dr. Laura Schlessinger that you could adapt to send to your grandparents.

Thank them for the Bible and tell them that you have been reading it with interest. Tell them that you have questions about a few passages, on which you would like their help. Then paste on the following, and adaprt as needed:

When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. How should I deal with this?

I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.

Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Can you clarify?

I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?

A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 10:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Can you settle this?

Lev. 20:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?

I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God's word is eternal and unchanging.
Really, if you don't already own a Bible, you should thank them. There's no better place to get arguments for atheism than the Bible itself. I assume that, being a "teen" Bible, it's got all kinds of extra commentary and whatnot in the sidebars or includes "study guides" or something. That's just even more fuel for the fire.

I've been an atheist for about 30 years and just last month, I bought a new Bible for myself. I have a King James version, but got a different translation to see how it compares.

Think of it as a research tool to confirm and reinforce your atheism. Though I'm sure that's not what they intended when they gave it to you, it's a great present for just that reason. :-)

Good luck!
Yeah,go through it and highlight all the naughty and disgusting bits in yellow and make sarcastic notes in the margins. If you need help finding these bits, we here can help you.
Once done,wait a year or two for the dust to settle and drop it off at a thrift store...By then all the adults involved will have most likely forgotton about it and some unfortunate teen who gets said bible will have a good laugh at your remarks.
None of my kin ever did this,even though I stopped going to church when i was 13.
ROFL! I love this idea! I may have to buy some bibles just to do that. ;-)
Motion seconded?

I'll carry it! =)
What do you normally do when you get a gift that you really don't appreciate? It happens to all of us and typically one would politely say thank you and move on (I don't agree with you being forced to thank them but it is the mature thing to do). Now I realize this is different as it was not given in the spirit of giving, it was given with the hope that you would realize the error of your ways. But this is your grandparents. They mean well and want the best for you. They are misguided for sure, but IMO you aren't going to change their minds by being confrontational. If it were me, I would let them sign the book and thank them nicely and never mention it again unless they ask you first. I would try to talk to your dad about how you feel about the gift though. He should know that you feel betrayed by him. That you were open with him about your feelings and you feel like he didn't respect you. You didn't really mention how religious your parents are and depending on how he feels could color his motives very differently (is he just "going along" or does he actually wish you weren't an atheist). Then maybe you can ask him to go over some things in the bible with you. ;)

Good luck. I too would like to know how it all works out.
Hey, I feel really sorry for you...My birthday's in 3 days, and I can't imagine what it would be like to get a bible...

So, here's my advice. I, for one, would let your grandparents know the truth. Call them up or sit down with them, an calmly let them know that you were offended by their gift. Try to explain your position to them, so that they know how you feel.

I think asking them to go over things in the bible with you would be a ridiculous idea; it would just get them angry at you and give you that "rebellious child" sort of semblance. You want to avoid this, though, and this is best done through frank conversation. You want to let them know that this is your life philosophy, and that you want them to accept it for what it is.

So, yeah, that's my two cents. I'd really like to know how this all ends. :)

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