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I am with my family for the weekend, for my younger brother's graduation. Today they planed to go out to eat to celebrate after church. I'm the only atheist in my family, and when I asked them what time church was over so I could meet them at the restaurant, they just said "If you went, you would know" and then wouldn't tell me the time.

GregM 5 May 5

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Oh for christ sake, how fucking petty can they get......for sure they are "children" of god.


Hmmm, I'd go to the service.

I know, just hear me out. There's a tricky line to walk now. You want to be embarrassing, but not humiliating to your family. Just enough to send a message. But it's your brother's big day, so play it carefully. And you have to appear a willing, nay, slightly over-enthusiastic participant.

So, slightly over-dress. Put on after-shave liberally. Stand up and sit down just a bit too late. Smile at everyone. When people kneel for prayer, use this as an opportunity to check out the fellow parishioners like an alert meerkat. You don't need to participate in the prayers, but appear respectful. Sing the hymns enthusiastically, and if you don't have the greatest voice, double your volume. When the collection plate comes, noisily empty a large container of change into it.

At the end of the service, be super-fiendly, and super-truthful. You're here to support your brother and because your family insisted, but no, you don't attend church because you don't believe in God. If anyone presses you about your non-belief, just tell them sorry, but you're here for your brother and you don't want to be a distraction or an embarrassment on his big day, but your family kinda insisted on your presence. If that's a problem, perhaps they'd like to take it up with your family.

Good luck.

That whole scene would be perfect! Not sure how the family would react but I chuckled all the way through your discription.

Can we please be best friends? This reply is perfection!

Meerkat.... splutter.....

@Donna_I in real life, I turned up to usher at my sister's big church wedding with a freshly shaved head and eyebrows. It was wonderful watching everyone's curious expressions as they tried to work out why my face looked so... expressionless.

@MrBeelzeebubbles lol! It is amazing how much eyebrows change a face. Was there a reason for your bit of mischief?

@Donna_I I'd like to say it was deliberate, but it was the result of NYE shenanigans. I was working, caught up with mates at a party in the city just before the countdown, proceeded to drink way to fast on an empty stomach to "catch up", and woke up on a couch the next morning with half a goatee, one eyebrow and a rather rude word starting with 'C' shaved into my head. So, all the hair had to go, and my sister's wedding was a week away.

@MrBeelzeebubbles oh no! what a way to ring in the new year. I hope your sister wasn't overly upset.

@Donna_I She thought it was kind of funny. The rest my family were exasperated, I guess. By this stage, they'd pretty much given up. I was the token family relatively harmless weirdo.


I would have waited until they left for church then packed my bags and gone home. Nobody should put up with such spitefulness and disrespect.


go to the restaurant early and be leaving when they arrive. maybe hug your brother.

You are brilliant!

@KKGator thanks.


Funny how a religion that teaches love always acts so hateful if your not in their “tribe”


I would never have sat down and shared a meal with those people after that.


You choose:
Succumb to blackmail, go to church
Wait for church to be over and follow, ignore their coercion
Pack up and leave since they only want your company if you're submissive and compliant

Know this... This behavior will not change, if you don't stand up to them you are, in fact, bowing down to them. How much that means is for you to decide.


Take your little brother to a strip joint next Sunday! Instead of church.

zesty Level 7 May 5, 2019

Pack up & LEAVE, NOW!


I would've suggested that you might take a book and wait until you see them either leave the church, or show up at the restaurant. How sad that they were so rude and intolerant of them.


That is rude and controlling behavior contrived to instill guilt. I am sad that you are being treated this way. I hope you find a way to get past it and enjoy the time with your family.

LB67 Level 7 May 5, 2019

Depends how annoyed you are. Go to church with them. Weather permitting, wear cargo shorts, flip-flops, and a controversial T-shirt (Jesus was a Palestinian refugee). Bring your mobile and tablet; text and check your email ceaselessly. Sing out of tune (I can do this without trying.). For every hymn, ask loudly what page it's on. Make sure all responses - standing, kneeling, sitting - are a full five seconds after everyone else's. If it is a Roman Catholic gig, when you offer the signe de la paix (cannot remember the English), give a loud, sloppy kiss to whatever decent looking females are within range. Do all of this sincerely with a huge, radiant, innocent smile.


In my experience, when it comes to xtian family members the unconditional love they talk about comes with conditions.

Tell me about it!


Hang out with those that value you. There is really no need to waste your time with those who don't.


Tell them if they knew they wouldn’t go (Church)


You should have told them you would google the website...all churches post their times on the web...or not go...they are quite passive-aggressive...beat them at their game

Not this church. Its in the back woods area of the country where a lot of people still don't have internet. The whole county is basically a third world country!

@GregM wow--I hope you find people who can support is tough to be the one on the outside looking in all the time...good luck!


Wow sorry your fam is a bunch of a-holes


If they don't want you to know, why would you want to sit through a meal with them giving you that attitude? Sounds like they only go to put up an appearance if that's how they act towards their own family, typical of fake christians. Id try to make separate plans with my brother to celebrate with him, if that can't happen just tell him you're sorry they had to treat you that way.


Fuck 'em. Eat somewhere else.


What a bunch of jerks! Fuck that shit


go to the church, do not enter, wait for them to come out, follow them to the restaurant, when they are all seated go inside, sit down and eat like nothing happened.


I'd go eat by myself. I NEVER let someone's religious beliefs dictate my actions. Their loss, yes? Never succumb, never explain. That's my motto.


I think I'd be packed and gone by the time they got back. Screw that petty BS, you don't need it.

Remi Level 7 May 5, 2019

Crimeny, sad to hear. Hopefully you let them know that they have betrayed you, and that they are becoming one of those horrible families whose love has conditions on it. Tell them they seem to value a religion, an idea, a thought, more than their own family. That's not right. Thats is not how it's supposed to be!

"Valuing an idea more than a human being." Let that sink in. When people value an idea more than a human being that gives them permission to hurt that human being to protect that idea. That is logically, morally, and ethically wrong! This is what leads to the ripping apart of families, the hurting and killing of people by religion, and ultimately every act of terrorism. Every act of terrorism has at its core the idea that religion and God is more valuable than someone's life. That. Is. WRONG. They are doing and supporting something wrong!

Tell them your love for them is always unconditional, and not even their mistreatment of you caused by their deranged beliefs in their harmful religion has the power to destroy it. You would never choose religion over them, over family. In fact, you value them more than any idea of god. You would never betray them as they have betrayed you. You value Family more than Religion...but they apparently do not. And they should be ashamed.

Wonderful answer.


A lame way to force you to church. Maybe text your brother!


I'd be heading home, with a quickness.
I can't be around people who are that disrespectful to me.
I don't even know that I'd attend another "family" gathering, for any reason.

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