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I'm actually kind of surprised today; I thought the generation before mine in my family at least kind of knew me. I got two unrelated random messages from my uncle and mom today. My mom sent me a link to a website of Christian devotionals even though I've been very clear I'm atheist and have even said I'm just as likely to go back to Christianity and I am to convert to Islam or Scientology. And my uncle who likes to send me the lamest/least funny boomer memes you can imagine just sent me a cartoon with caricatures of black people on a plantation eating watermelon, thinking I'd find it funny. I just know some of you people could relate to having such clueless family. It's very hard to feel close to any of them as we are so different, and they don't even realize it. Everytime I talk to my uncle he goes on about how we are so alike but I don't get how he thinks that at all. He was a military recruiter who is conservative Christian and I went to art school for starters. 😅😥

ClaytonE83 7 July 19
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7

When people send me religious content or post it to my social media, I send them links to atheist pages and/or articles. My family no longer posts their devotional t-shirt sales pages and such to my feed anymore.

Leeshi Level 7 July 20, 2019

I'm not trying to get left out of my mom's will, but I could send my uncle some AOC content lol

7

Hate when family and friends do that!

6

No one sees you or knows you like you do. NOBODY!

5

Keep calm and be you. I know it's an imcofortable family situation. I have the same issue with relatives who adopted to be in Catholics, Adventist, Mormons, Christians, Pentecostal and Jehovah's Witnesses. I love them but I stay miles away from them to keep my mental health in good shape.

Thanks, I'm staying me lol I was just disappointed in their learning disabilities...

5

Your family sees you as they want to see you. They don't see that you have grown as a person with beliefs that differ from them.

5

Could also be a sign of declining mental faculties with age. Some people start to lose their 'theory of mind', the ability to see others as full individuals as opposed to extensions of themselves. It's part of the loss of mental flexibility that makes people more likely to be conservative as they get older.

I’ve never heard this before. It’s interesting. Is it your own thoughts or do you know of any studies that show this?

@JacobMeyers
Sorry, these only have the abstracts publicly available

For Alzheimer's:
[alzheimersanddementia.com]
More characteristic in frontotemporal dementia:
[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
Cognitive flexibility and aging
[ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]

Yeah, they are getting up there, definitely not as sharp as they once were but I don't think they are senile, yet.

@MrBeelzeebubbles awesome thanks. It’s cool stuff

4

Well my siblings and I used to take it in turns with my Dad -and by the time I was in my 20s he was fairly well cured of most of the more racistt things he'd been taught. We made it a point to expose him to our more colorful friends and he was the biggest supporter of any of my friends who were "different" by the time I was bringing them home from college. (So some people can be changed). (My older siblings all helped with this endeavor too).

Now your Uncle may be too old to change. And he probably realized after you replied that you were the wrong audience to appreciate that particular tidbit. He may have a few buddies who still do. (sigh). Who knows with the open racism in the country right now?

Your Mom however is probably all worried about your soul and such (You remember the make believe premises she functions from) so just be firm and reassure her you are fine as you are.

I know my Dad was worried "I'd need religion one day". And there was just no explaining to him that I was way better off without it. So we reached a sort of detente.

Good luck with your relatives. May they have other fine qualities!

4

I think they think that this is just a faze you are going threw. It will all blow over and you will come to their way of thinking. Don't worry you just live your life the way you want to and be happy.

Thank you 😊 it's a long phase though..

@ClaytonE83 Yes, it is, however don't give up. Just keep your council and do what you think is right for you.

4

Well you know what they say, " you can't pick your family but you can pick your nose" my family consists of those around me who accept me as I am

Lucky duck!

3

When I was young , Mom and I went to Sunday school and church. Dad never did , and my brother stopped while still young . A few years later I stopped going as well . After we retired , I was surprised that one day , my brother ended an e-mail with a God bless you . I sent back , ,"Who are you , and what have you done with my brother . Turns out his wife was very religious , and he'd suddenly picked p on it . We laughed . It was the last time that came up .

Glad he didn't take it too seriously

3

They are listening to their preachers telling them you are in mortal peril, and so are they if they do not try to convert you. Very sad!

This is true. My experience as a Christian is that preachers want you to ram it down peoples throat. I call it the Used car salesmen/preacher approach that if you don’t do exactly what I say right now with no hesitation then youre going to lose out on this great deal/go to hell. Same manipulation tactic

3

Yeah I have relatives who are believers but the don't push it in my face I remain polite and non judgemental and polite we respect each other and leave it at that

bobwjr Level 10 July 20, 2019
3

Minds are not changed by a single confrontation. It can often take several months or years to affect a change on another's outlook.

3

Sounds passive aggressive. May also be an inability to know how to relate, so they just declare you are like they are, lol. I've had that happen a few times...although that still seems passive aggressive.

True, he was probably somewhat offended that i told him that picture wasn't funny to me and that was his knee jerk reaction.

3

Check out atheist experience on YouTube. Matt has an episode where he talks about getting a religious birthday card from his parents who know what he is. Not that there’s any earth shattering revelations there but you’ll see that you are not alone and sometimes that helps.

Thanks, yeah the part about my surprised me less than my uncle; he didn't act racist around me that I can remember growing up. Surely some of it could've gone over my head in the past but I thought he was a little more socially aware...

@ClaytonE83 My stepdad is pretty racist.I freaking hate it with a passion but he doesn't obsess about it so it doesnt manifest too often. I just totally ignore it and he moves on. On the rare occasion he says a few racist things in a row my mom stops him so i don't have to deal with it. Ive known this forever though, Hard to imagine what it would be like to be surprised by it.

@JacobMeyers I had a super racist uncle in law, this one surprised me a bit. I didn't think he would think I'd like that cartoon

3

Not to make light of it , but fear makes people say and do the darnedest things . Do your best to continue your journey and stand your ground when you need to.

Thank you, and yes it does. My uncle is afraid of things changing but he won't even be around much longer to see it. Oh well...

@ClaytonE83 the pattern of what is happening seems to be consistent to say the least . The older generations seem to be trying to hang on to their deluded perception of life , most of them not realizing that they are merely clinging to a system that keeps them enslaved perception wise .

@Outsideit67 Sadly, it’s not just older people who are racist.

@UUNJ That’s true ! We live in a system that continually perpetuates this esoterically , as well through the customs we embrace.

3

Your mom is doing that in hopes of convincing you to revert perhaps like my mom does. My family is pretty much how you've described yours. You have my empathy.

Yeah, but trying the same thing over and over again is supposed to be insanity right? Lol
I haven't made it clear enough that I loathe Christianity or at least aspects of it I guess. But I don't want to upset her too much. We have an okay relationship as far as an atheist son and very religious mom can go but everytime she randomly does this stuff I can't help but shake my head...

@ClaytonE83 Same thing here...my mom even is the president of her church women....

@Larimar well isn't that fantastic? Lol

@ClaytonE83 , I have a brother in law who will pursue bigoted topics. My standard reply to him is 'I love you and we are not going to have this conversation'. Yesterday it was about the damned 'wall'! He didn't even know the country people were coming in from. Called Gutamalia- Puerto Rico.
Then I let him have it with both barrels.

@freeofgod I've hung up on my mom more times than I can count when she tries to insist on talking to "convince" me. There's a reason I live three states away....

3

Families, what can you do? Yer can't kill em. You never know when you might need a kidney
My big brother used to argue with my racist dad all the time. Now I listen to him and my nephew, It sounds like the same record, only that my bro now sounds like my dad.

Bummer, sad how people regress.

@ClaytonE83 It is not about how people regress. Its more about how society progresses and some people do not. If my dad were alive now, I would talk to him about Lous Armstrong then we might have some common ground. If I were you, I would try your uncle on Jimmy Hendrix

@273kelvin in not trying to change my uncle. I need to worry about my shit show of a life. Not a bad suggestion though. My uncle used to be a pro wrestler and was actual friends with Booker T who was one of the most famous black pro-"wrastlers", so this caught me a bit off guard. He said it wasn't meant to be racist, more about nostalgia though and I commented back with this. But only because he asked what he did after I said I didn't want to get into it

@ClaytonE83 Nostalgia for the good old days when white people didn’t have to worry about being called out for racism. Sad. I met my aunt and uncle when they flew across the US to vote to keep men of color out of the Loyal Order of Moose, a fraternal organization. Sometimes we aren’t proud of our families—this was one of those times.

3

Yup. Very similar. My aunts pull that crap all the time. I hate the 'good ol' days' memes. Completely ignoring that everyone who wasn't a middle class white dude was likely suffering. I'm glad they loved their childhood and all, but anyone of color, and most of the happy little house wives were freakin miserable.

Since Trump got to him I don't even want to pull the "that's racist" card, it might make him dig in more. Plus I fit some of the negative stereotypes of "liberals" so I don't expect him to take me seriously... He just asked if he made me mad and I responded I don't want to get into it. I'll just let him drive me away from him without arguing. Maybe he'll put two and two together, or not.. lol

@ClaytonE83 You're nicer than I am. I reply to them with a logical and stinging response. Send me that crap, and I'm going to call you on it.
Below is what I replied to my aunt on one of the good ol' days email. Keep in mind, this one was pre-trump.

"Wasn't that also the time of rampant racism, lynchings, housewives with an alcohol problem, excused domestic or child abuse, limited to no options if you were a woman, childhood diseases and before any real civil rights kicked in? Slower life would be nice, but I'd rather live a faster life if it means I live in a more egalitarian or compassionate time."

@CommonHuman he asked what he did wrong after I said I didn't want to get into it and I would feel bad giving him the silent treatment if he is really so clueless so this was my reply I just sent. I didnt put a ton of thought into it or I'd be editing and erasing things all day.

@CommonHuman

@CommonHuman your response was great. My run on sentence not so much lol

2

It's the "duty" of religious people to proselytize, your mom is no exception and that's why she hasn't thrown in the towel for you. Now, your uncle is probably a racist or at worst a bigot.

Yeah, but his age and where he's from I should expect it; but it took him 30+ years for him to decide to send me racist shit.

@ClaytonE83 guess he thought better late than never, ha ha ha

@Mofo1953 maybe he used to suppress his racism because of societal views on it but now that our prez is not concealing it he decided he doesn’t have to anymore

@JacobMeyers sounds about right to me

2

I TOTALLY relate, which is why I left the "bluegrass state" and NEVER WENT BACK. #fuckIgnorance

I haven't been back to visit Texas since I was in my teens, I'm 36 now, nothing makes me want to go there. I would've liked to see my uncle but I honestly don't feel much desire to hang out with any Trumpers although I can tolerate some of them for a while; I'm not gonna go out of my way...

2

I feel you.
Still have a christmas card from my father and his wife (#4), buried under other stuff
on my desk. I opened it, saw who it was from, and that it was chock-full of religious bullshit, stuck it back in the envelope, tossed it aside, and haven't looked at it since.
My father knows I'm an atheist.
His wife is a holy roller.
Evidently, she wins.

Yeah, he might not want to stir the pot with her. I actually responded to my uncle and got this back, Trump is really bringing out the worst in people. I did not expect this response.

1 of 2

It's like he's suddenly trying to piss me off

@ClaytonE83 It really sucks when people who should know better, don't.
It's worse when they're your family.

@KKGator i don't know how to respond to him, I told him I think he has the wrong number lol
But it's interesting he jumped to "go Trump" he either consciously or subconsciously correlates racism with Trump...

@ClaytonE83 I've had to excise quite a few people from my life.

@ClaytonE83 that’s exactly what I thought. “Here’s some racist stuff. Go trump” well at least we agree that Trump’s platform is now unabashedly racism.

@A2Jennifer yep, won't be calling him up for a casual chat anytime soon, I still care about his wellbeing but he can talk Trump bs with my other extended family back in Texas...

1

Another difficult call be your own person I know I don't like watermelon unless it's a jolly rancher watermelon. And of course there's no end to the abrasive memes and caricatures.

Im not offended about everything, but those old cartoons weren't just done as jokes; the illustrators obviously legitimately looked down on black people.

@ClaytonE83 I know the caricatures as you speak of, of multiple races yes they are demeaning. I have a Polish last name I grew up in a rural community outside of Cleveland. Do you know how many Pollock's it takes to change a lightbulb? One I changed them to LED a long time ago.
Granted not to the same extent but I've heard that shit my whole life. 😉

@oldFloyd maybe we are distantly related, I have polish relatives from Ohio. I don't really know them though; my mom does. I only visited them once on a road trip as a kid.

@ClaytonE83 a good possibility my father was one of 12 children one didn't reproduce to my knowledge.

1

Ughhhhh!! 😖

1

Be whoever you want to be. Imagine white people sitting around eating watermelon without the plantation. Better yet, can we believe that the whites who owned the plantation never ate watermelon? I hate when people give me things like this as a stereotype.

The watermelon wasn't really the bad part, I was just describing the cartoon, I used the term "pickaninny" to describe it and someone here was giving me shit for using the word but that guy is an idiot and I blocked him.

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