||[May. 16th, 2011|06:10 pm]
The Question Club
Ok, so the backstory is that my husband and I are both non-religious (it's really a complete non-issue in our lives, and almost never comes up). My mom and dad started going to church late in life, largely because that seems to be the easiest way for my mom to feel like she's part of a community. She and I get along ok at this point in our lives, but she's also a passive/borderline passive aggressive person who likes everything to be "nice," and will manipulate people to behave/act that way. I try to keep things light when I'm around her.|
Twice in the past week she's said the following to me, totally unprovoked, in the middle of really generic conversations about what's going on in our respective lives:
"...and I know you guys are atheist or agnostic or whatever you are, but I really feel like everything happens for a reason and really see God's influence over what's been happening."
This makes for some discomfort because a) it's dismissive, especially considering the fact that she's NEVER asked us what we believe or why, c) my husband and I never bring up our personal beliefs so it's not normal territory at all, and b) this is the most religious stuff she has ever said...ever. : /
Each time she's said it I stayed quiet until she finished, then changed the subject--but at the rate she's going, it seems likely she will say it again. The last time happened in front of my husband and dad, ON MY BIRTHDAY, and it turned into this prolonged "crickets chirping" kind of silence until I was like "Oh hey, there's a cat!" and walked off.
If this were you, how would you handle it? Stick with the ignoring and changing the subject? Say something? Bring it up privately? I've tried to think of anything I might've said, but the only thing I could think of was "....and I know you're church-going, but unless you'd like to have a longer conversation about what we believe and why, it's probably best if we don't talk about this."
TL/DR: Have any wacky stories about conflict with people who have a different belief system than you?