My name is Tyler. I'm a 26 year old dishwasher at a local hospital and am an atheist. I say this because I live in the "bible belt" of the USA and was raised Baptist. However I've run into a situation that I don't know how to react to and frankly, it makes me very sad.
Recently I "came out" to my family that I'm an atheist...and let's just say it wasn't taken lightly. My mom is "ok" with it and doesn't treat me any different than times before; but my father is a different story. See, my dad is what I would consider to be an "insane bible thumping, right wing republican." That's putting it gently because my father has literally said, when asked about gays in the military fighting for his rights to spew the hate that he does, he replied: "Good, I fully support them joining the military...I wish they ALL would so they could ALL get killed at once". ...I didn't know how to react.
But recently it's gotten so bad that is has, I'm afraid, forever changed our relationship...he won't talk to me, talks down about me to my siblings and makes me feel as if I've "failed" in his eyes. I'd even go as far as questioning if he still loves me anymore...
So I just don't know what to do or how to act about all this. I'm lost. I cry all the time (sad for a 26 year old grown man, right?) and I feel as if I'm losing my father. I'm getting married soon and would LOVE for him to be involved but I just can't see that happening "peacefully". Any suggestions, advice, or counseling anybody may have would be great.
Thank you all for listening and I apologize for the lengthy story.
Sorry to hear about your dad's response. This is pretty much the reason my folks only know that I've "experimented", ie read the Buddhist Catechism etc. This way they think I am merely polluting my mind, not abandoning god. :)
That said, I can offer two pieces of advice. One is to "come to your senses", submit to being paraded in church as the prodigal son and all that. In other words, lie.
Second, simply be yourself. Send your folks an invitation, and if you Dad goes off on a hate-filled rant, simply reply "Ok, so that's a "No" for dad. Mom, what about you?"
Both options suck in ways. But think on this, do you really want your kids to be raised the same way you were? Do you want them to hear the things you hear? Emotional extortion works because we give in. Your dad probably isn't bluffing, and will likely cut you from his life if you don't "return to the fold". You just have to decide which is worse. Realize though, that if you give in, he will never change. If you stand your ground, he may.