Sharing the Holidays with Religious Family

About two months ago, I “came out” as an atheist to my mom, who did not take the news well. I actually expected her to be accepting or at least not be bothered too much by my new belief systems since she is not particularly religious or spiritual. I was wrong. We got into a heated (and silly) argument via email for a few days that consisted of her telling me that god would show himself to me, and then she asked me never to speak the words, “I don’t believe in god,” to her ever again.

Now’s it’s Christmas and we packed our family into the wagon to drive seven hours to visit Grandma. For the two days since we arrived, not a word has been spoken about my profession of non-faith. It’s as if nothing has changed.

My mother’s bibles (she owns four) are still covered with the dust of 10 years of non-use. She’s still smoking, still poisoning her body with prescription drugs, and still being dishonest to her husband about her spending habits. So I have to wonder, why the big fuss about my choice of life stance? It makes no sense to me.

At least we’re not arguing, and the kids are having a great time. The best part? I can be who I am because she knows who I am now. I feel so free.

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