I just had a mind blowing conversation with my fundamental christian mother. We discussed the bible, evolution, the universe, and other light subjects.
She tearfully admitted that she does not believe the bible to be infallible. She said that it was obviously, "too full of man".
She politely asked me to stop because I was, "crumbling the last foundations of her faith".
I informed her that I wasn't attempting to do that, but that I was glad she was willing to talk about it with me.
I never thought this day would come.
She told me that she thought I was very intelligent and thoughtful and that she admired me.
Up until today, I was only described as wayward and sinful.
Oh, happy day!
That must've been SUCH a gratifying moment! I hope your relationship continues to grow. "Coming out" isn't easy for anyone...admitting you've been wrong in a deeply-held belief. Good for her. (And, I'm very sorry about the ''wayward and sinful'' insults. Those must hurt.)
My introduction to Christianity was having the elders in my family telling me I was going to burn in hell if I sinned. They didn't tell me what sin was and I didn't ask because I thought if I didn't know what it was I could get away with it. I think I was an atheist right out of the chute! I was constantly asking questions about the loving god and his role in disasters, starving children, wars and all the other stuff that seemed out of step with an earthly Christian paradise. I am constantly amazed at seemingly stable, Intelligent people who would gladly have the bible as the law of the land. Brainwashing is hard to overcome. I hope your mother finds the peace she seeks.
Coming away from fundamentalist thinking is huge. You could maybe introduce her to scholars like Joseph Campbell who somewhat "bridge the gap" between fundamentalists and atheists. The concept of The Bible as metaphor.
“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.”
― Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor
My 72 year old Southern Baptist sister has gotten much more liberal with age--and two bouts with cancer. When she told me that evolution had to have taken place, I nearly fell over. When she said that IF god existed (and she was quick to say that she believed "it" did) that NO ONE understood what "it" was, I did fall over. Her faith gives her comfort and she hurts no one; she does not try to convert people. Let her have her faith.
My 87 year old mom lives by, and will die peacefully in her faith. Of her five children two of us are atheists. I'm disturbed that kids are indoctrinated like I was before they have a chance to decide. OTOH my brother and I did decide and are doing great in our freedom to explore, but I digress. Confronted with the reality that her beliefs taught her to believe that we were going to hell, rather than accept that horrific nonsense her beliefs have evolved in such a way that she sees the grace of God as being sufficient for all of us. Too bad more Christians aren't like our moms. Namaste!