There’s a Black Sheep in Every Family

Posted: December 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

My Dad is a hard man to argue with. Mostly because he’s my dad and this is the first year I’ve ever attempted to share my views with him. I’m still a little intimidated by the whole experience. I have a great deal of love and respect for my father and we’ve always shared a special bond.  

This summer, through an exchange of emails I announced to him that I am a non-believer. It was a tremendous event for me, but he didn’t seem surprised. He didn’t say much about it at all.  The next time I visited him he talked at length about a book by some Christian author. We touched (very briefly) on the issue of displaying the Ten Commandments in public places also. I mostly just nodded my head, grunted and listened.  

Yesterday I went for a visit. The conversation eventually came around to religion again. We were mostly in agreement. I even brought up the hypocracy of Christians who cherry-pick which parts of the bible must be taken literally and which are just “things they did back in biblical times.” He told me I hit the nail on the head. The one glaring difference was that even though we share the same views of religion (in the organized sense), he believes there is a God (complete with the begotten son and all), and I don’t.

Truth be told, when it comes to believing in a god, Dad’s beliefs are some of the more sane I’ve come across. I just can’t wrap my head around how someone who is as smart as he is could believe it. I don’t even know if it’s important.

I’m so gung-ho lately about advocating for skepticism, but when it comes to my family I feel overwhelmed by old roles. The things they believe in shaped my life from birth. I moved away and was able to grow. Why was I the only one? The things I talked about with my Dad are things I would never bring up in front of any other family member besides my sister. Is it worth it to even try?

One of my biggest fears are that it will always be a topic of conversation. I don’t mind questions. I don’t mind teasing (like they do about my vegetarianism). I just would rather not have to be the only one to have to explain my beliefs at every holiday and reunion. What makes me so special? Hell, I don’t know, what makes you so ordinary?

Well, as arbitrary as picking the start of a year to do something, maybe I can make it a goal to push myself out of the comfort zone this year. I want to be closer to my family and I feel like this is keeping me from them. Even if they drive me crazy about it, I at least want them to know who I am. I’m tired of being quiet and I’m tired of stressing so much about being “outed”. Chances are, I’m the only one who cares anyway.

Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if they already know.

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