Oh, goodness. Every time I think everything’s okay and we’re all good, something else happens. So for the past year or so, things with my extended family on my dad’s side have been rocky. It started with my aunt and uncle and cousins not coming to my younger sister’s graduation or graduation party — they said that they didn’t think that they were invited What?! They got an invitation, and we even invited them personally before the paper invites went out. Here’s what the real issue was: they had committed to help out at some church car wash or something (they say), but they did that just like the day or two before the graduation ceremony (after they would have received the invite). (A bit of background on them: they’re incredibly religious. Like, church all day Sunday and sometimes during the week too, Bible study each night and prayer before every single meal, preach to everyone they meet, religious. So they’re constantly doing stuff with their megachurch and ignoring everyone else. And they’re constantly trying to push their religion on everyone). It would have been alright with them not coming, but they didn’t even congratulate my sister, or send her an apology for not coming. She was really upset. And it’s frustrating because we had just been up there the weekend before to go to my cousin’s “graduation” the weekend before (she didn’t really graduate — they were homeschooled (barely), and she hadn’t even taken her test to get her GED yet (and I still don’t think she has), so it was basically a “let’s go to a park and we’ll give you the homemade diploma we printed off” situation). Things were really, really rocky for the six or so months after that (until Christmas, really), but my dad and my aunt finally kind of made up. Still, that’s been in the back of our minds since this summer.
So the other night, the drama returned with them. My younger sister got on Facebook and saw that a kid she went to church camp with with my cousin had posted about gay marriage. He was pretty belligerent about it, saying that it was, to him, just as bad as taking drugs and such, and that the Bible is totally against it. My sister (who is Christian) couldn’t resist commenting, so she told him that she didn’t think that the Bible really said anything about it, and that she thought Jesus would accept anyone. She even told him that we don’t really know much about Jesus, but even if he took drugs and was gay himself, that she would accept him. So they got into a big fight where he told her that she was “lowering her Christian standards by supporting gay marriage,” she told him to go fuck himself, and that was that. I thought that was the end.
No, of course not, because the next day my sister got a Facebook message from my aunt. This whole thing was filled with Bible passages and talking about how my sister obviously hadn’t read the Bible, and that she was “defaming Jesus” for what she said. She even implied that she should go to the church camp with our cousins again so that she could learn better. Then she ended it with “Hope this doesn’t cause a problem between us. Love you.”
“Hope this doesn’t cause a problem”? Really?! How could this not cause a problem, especially since we’ve all been rocky since summer? And just in general, what makes you think that you can tell someone that their beliefs are wrong and that they’re “defaming Jesus,” and not get some sort of backlash? And how dare you tell someone that their religious beliefs are wrong, just because they vary slightly from yours? What should it matter so long as you both believe the same basic, important tenants?
This is just one thing that really gets on my nerves about their church and their form of Christianity (Baptist? Maybe? Who knows, I can never remember what they are — they’re just incredibly zealous in my book). Their church tells them exactly what to believe and if you don’t believe it, you’re wrong. And then they tell them to go out and tell everyone else what to believe, and to correct them if they’re “wrong.” And they create camps (like the one my sister went to with our cousins once or twice) where they basically go and brainwash their kids into believing whatever they tell them to (and because it didn’t work when my sister went, suddenly she’s “defaming Jesus”).
I think what really annoys me the most about all of this is that my aunt expects an apology from my sister for things that she wrote that my aunt happened to read. My aunt wasn’t involved at all — she butted in, and then demands an apology because she was offended by what she voluntarily read. You know what? If you don’t like it, don’t read it. And definitely don’t push yourself into the middle of it. (She’s done this a few times before, by the way).
Ugh. I honestly can’t stand that side of the family, and it’s really just these huge religious issues that are the root cause of it. Otherwise, my aunt’s a great person, and so are my cousins (my uncle I’m not a huge fan of anyway, but that’s mainly because he has the most blah personality). I love being around them (for an hour or two), but all that goes away as soon as religion comes up. It kind of reminds me a quote from The Perks of Being a Wallflower when Charlie is talking about his family: “I am very interested and fascinated by how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other.” There are very few times that I can think of when I read something and just went “YES!” That quote is so unbelievably true, and perfectly sums up this situation.
I guess we’ll see where all this goes. When my sister told my dad, first he was unhappy, but okay with it (because he didn’t want to tell his sister that her beliefs were wrong), but then, after thinking about it, he was pretty pissed. I think he’s planning on writing to my aunt. So we’ll see what happens with that. Again, expect an update.
Oh, and an update from my last post: the girl whose “Atheism” picture I commented on just deleted what I wrote. Honestly, stuff like that drives me crazy because how can you grow or learn about someone if you never talk to them about touchy issues? I always respond to people, even when I disagree. I guess I just expect people to do the same, though they rarely do. But I guess that’s the end of that (until she posts something else, of course).