Brother Ron Barnes
Founder and Pastor

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My Intolerant Atheist Parents

Dear Brother Ron

No one ever forced me to become a Christian. I became a Christian on my own free will. I'm not open about my Christian beliefs unless people ask me. I want to know if all atheists really feel intolerant towards Christians. I've met many nice atheists in real life, but I'm not sure if their nice act is real or fake. When atheists are being intolerant towards you, does it mean they unmask their facade to the Christians?

My parents and my brother are atheists. They pretend to be nice to Christians, but they always bash them behind their backs. They even bash me. My parents have been pushing me to stop being a Christian. They say they're doing this for my own good because Christians have mental illness and they are stupid, delusional, retarded, brainwashed, judgmental, etc and deserve to be made fun off and stepped on.

I can't believe how ignorant my family is. Not every Christian is the same. The problem is they won't stop disrespecting me unless I stop being a Christian. They won't stop shoving their atheist beliefs down my throats. They're forcing me to throw away my bibles and all the things related to Christianity. I have a right to be a Christian and be respected by people closed to me, but it seems like I have no choice. I have to live with my parents to protect myself from my dangerous ex who stalked me (I got a restraining order against him).

I need to understand my parents. I'm not trying to change my parents' minds. I just want them to respect me and stop bothering me about my religion. I don't want to lose them. Can you please help me out with my situation?


Dear Stacy

Your parents live in the world of here and now. All they can perceive is what their physical senses tell them. Being a realist is a good thing up to a point. But in a way, it's kind of like being tone deaf. You know there's a noise but you can't enjoy the music.

From your question, it sounds like that's what your parents think spirituality is-just a bunch of noise. I feel sorry for them because they are unable to enjoy and make use of the beauty and power of the Spirit of God within them. Obviously, I would not suggest you tell them you feel sorry for them as this will just cause more harassment.

You might explain it to them in the words of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy: "Some people see the way things are and ask why. I see things that never were and say why not". You might also check out the movie "What the #$@& Do We Know". You can get it from Netflix or Blockbuster. It talks about spirituality from the perspective of quantum physics. I dare your parents to say these people are suffering from a mental illness.

You might also remind them that you have made no attempt to convert them to your beliefs. Tell them that, although you love them, they are going to have some respect for you even though they might not agree with you. Otherwise, they are guilty of the same narrow-minded prejudice they accuse Christians of.

Anyway, know that you are in good company. People of faith have been accused of mental illness for hundreds of years. Just remind yourself that, just because they can not hear the music, that does not mean it isn't real. And no matter what your parents say, God still believes in you. He even believes in your parents.

Best always
Brother Ron