Monday, January 17, 2011
How To Behave(With Mormon Family)
To understand where I am coming from, both early on, and later, in this post, you need to know a bit of my upbringing. I was never raised as an Atheist. I was never taught that there was no god(s), I was never taught that all religion is bullshit. In my home religion was a non-issue. We just never talked about it. At the time, my dad( a very vocal Atheist now) was not very talkative about his beliefs, at least not with me and my siblings. If we had questions he would answer them, but we were always told the decision was ours when we got older. We weren't allowed to go to most church things as children, but we were told why. My dad didn't want us to feel like we were outsiders, or those poor kids who haven't had god. He didn't want us to be indoctrinated, preferring to teach us to look at all things skeptically. I was personally OK with that. I went to church a few times and I thought it was a waste of a Sunday, and I went to the scouts once and was bored the entire time. So I was never told to dislike religion, only to look for evidence.
Back to my family. As a child I knew it was kinda expected that I not talk about that kinda stuff. As I started to get older, I could definitely tell that my opinion was not wanted. It was fine for my uncles and aunts (and, on occasion, cousins) to express their opinions on religion, but not me. I always thought that being quiet on the topics of religion and politics was polite, that it wasn't my place to share what I thought and make everyone uncomfortable, or even angry. And for a while I was OK with that. Keep to myself, don't make waves, keep the family happy.
Now that I am in, and moving through, my 20s, I have begun to see another view. Why should I have to be quiet? I am every bit as much a part of the family as they are. Why should I be expected to keep my mouth shut when they can openly spew their opinions? Now, when it comes to my family, I'm not necessarily spoiling for a fight, but I have recently taken to enjoying making them uncomfortable with my mere presence (it's like they can just sense my liberal-atheistness). I would never openly start an argument just for shits and giggles, but anymore I have come to believe one thing. If they feel they need to share their opinion about something, I feel they have invited me to share mine, feelings be damned. I am truly tired of having to be the silent party just to keep the peace. Why don't they not talk about it? I'm tired of feeling like a second class citizen within my own family. If they find what I have to say too shocking, they shouldn't talk it about while I'm around. I am insulted that I have to be the one who keeps quiet, while they can say whatever they want and it's OK. I want the same respect that they expect me to give them. I may be younger, but I am not a child anymore.
I love my family, and I always will, but love means never having to apologize for who you are. I feel like sometimes they want me to.