Frustrated by my mother's intolerance - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 04-30-2003, 03:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What is the deal w/ some people? While I know my mother (who is a Lutheran Christian) disapproves of my religious beliefs (pagan/heathen), she seems to even more vehemently disapprove of my sister's.

My sister is being baptized LDS next weekend, and my mother loses no opportunity to make it clear that she thinks this is a terrible choice, that they're a cult, etc.

My sister has received a great deal of support and encouragement at the mormon church, she's told me the missionaries kept her ex-boyfriend from beating her on several occasions, she enjoys going to church there, etc.

My response has been to encourage her to actually read the Book of Mormon and the D&C so she has a better idea of what she's getting into, I certainly think there are worse things for her spiritual future, and the social well being of her and of her daughter (she's a single mom). She's stopped drinking (not that she ever drank much), stopped smoking, etc., and just generally has become motivated to make improvements in her life.

My mother refuses to see the benefits, and only sees what she was taught to see, mostly by reading books sent to her by her father when she first moved to Idaho written about Mormons by non-Mormons with a skewed view that sees them as a cult.

While I'm as about as likely to join the LDS church as I am to...well, join any Christian church, I see it as a step towards stability and fulfillment for my sister, and if that's the spiritual community where she feels she belongs then more power to her. As a result, I am the only member of our family who will be attending her baptism next week.

I see some of this intolerance recently directed at me as well. I asked my mother, when discussing my sister's baptism, if she'd refuse to attend my baby's naming ceremony, and she said that if it's a pagan thing then no, she wouldn't, and if my husband and I finally got around to having a wedding, she wouldn't attend that if it was pagan, either.

Family bonds are very spiritually significant to me, and it totally bums me out that my mother can't respect our differences and be supportive of her children because they're her children. I didn't refuse to attend her wedding because it was a Christian ceremony in a church.


breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling Heathen parent to my little Wanderer, 7 1/2 , and baby Elf-stone, 3/11!

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#2 of 7 Old 04-30-2003, 03:40 PM
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All I can say is . That totally blows. It is so hard to have a parent like that. My mom is like that too...very no accepting of what I choose..in any area of my life.

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#3 of 7 Old 05-01-2003, 04:42 PM
 
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I think a lot of us here can relate.

I try to model positivity, and I refuse to sit with my Mom while she bashes my sister's religion--even though I DO agree with her on most points about my sister's church. It's not OK get all wrapped up in the way we might think someone else should believe.
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#4 of 7 Old 05-05-2003, 02:13 AM
 
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That really stinks!

I feel bad for your mom that she will miss out on some very important moments in her children's (and grandchildren's) lives because of her intolerence. It's very sad.
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#5 of 7 Old 05-12-2003, 02:18 PM
 
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Ravin, my mother was the most intolerant person
I ever knew and then I met my sister-in-law's mom,
and she was almost my mom's twin..in attitude. These
people are not happy with life in general, and they attack
other people's happiness. My mom made fun of
my religious beliefs, at the same time saying *she* was
also of the same belief!! Huh?! :
Somewhere along the way of growing into a mature
person, I decided that I have a right to live my own
life, and allow others to live their own life, also. I try
not to interfere with my grown children's lives, and
their beliefs...unless of course they are heading toward
a big cliff! (very dangerous decision, I mean)
I would try to not get into discussions with your mom
over your beliefs, and definitly not discuss your sister's
beliefs! You are not going to change your mom! Be
patient and stay loving. When my mother was dying of
brain cancer, I moved in with my parents, and cared for
my mother. I loved her, I hugged, I kissed her, I bathed
her, I dressed her, I literally carried her around when she
was too weak to walk anymore, I fed her when necessary,
but I never drug up the past to her. I let old hard feelings
go, and I do not regret that decision. She was my mother,
and despite all the old hurts, I dropped it. My unasked advice,
is...let it all go, and just love her. Don't be *in your face* with
her (which you probably are not anyway! )
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#6 of 7 Old 05-12-2003, 02:27 PM
 
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Ravin, my mother was the most intolerant person
I ever knew and then I met my sister-in-law's mom,
and she was almost my mom's twin..in attitude. These
people are not happy with life in general, and they attack
other people's happiness. My mom made fun of
my religious beliefs, at the same time saying *she* was
also of the same belief!! Huh?! :
Somewhere along the way of growing into a mature
person, I decided that I have a right to live my own
life, and allow others to live their own life, also. I try
not to interfere with my grown children's lives, and
their beliefs...unless of course they are heading toward
a big cliff! (very dangerous decision, I mean)
I would try to not get into discussions with your mom
over your beliefs, and definitly not discuss your sister's
beliefs! You are not going to change your mom! Be
patient and stay loving. When my mother was dying of
brain cancer, I moved in with my parents, and cared for
my mother. I loved her, I hugged, I kissed her, I bathed
her, I dressed her, I literally carried her around when she
was too weak to walk anymore, I fed her when necessary,
but I never drug up the past to her. I let old hard feelings
go, and I do not regret that decision. She was my mother,
and despite all the old hurts, I dropped it. My unasked advice,
is...let it all go, and just love her. Don't be *in your face* with
her (which you probably are not anyway! )
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#7 of 7 Old 05-16-2003, 11:37 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are feeling so persecuted by your mom! As other Christians here can attest, that is a problem many of us have - our stereotype of being "intolerant" is true too often! As you may know, most Christian denominations teach that Christianity is the "one way" and we are to bring others to know the love and sacrifice of Jesus. This, however, often manifests itself as showing only judgement, not love. It becomes about law and judgement and legalism.

Your mom would not be risking her soul to go to your pagan naming ceremony and wedding, but she is sure risking her relationship with you and your sister! I'm sure she's been to non-religious weddings before in a hotel or backyard! I sure have, and didn't blink an eye - to a Christian, non-religious, pagan, Buddhist, etc...all come under the umbrella of "non-Christian". Maybe you could point that out to her, (if she has been to a non-religious ceremony) LOL! Sure, I wish everyone would get married in a Christian ceremony in a church, but how would that be realistic or even "right" - for them or the church??

She is probably scared of and unfamiliar with the pagan aspects of a naming ceremony, etc. Could you walk her through it, tell her your expectations for her involvement? I know in an infant baptism ceremony there are often godparents - pretty much ceremonial, but asked if they would bring up the child in the Christian religion if the parents were to die. I would have loved to ask my BIL to be godfather - but he's not Christian, how could we ask him to go against his beliefs and lie to say he's raise dd a Christian, LOL? Your mom probably wouldn't want to participate in such a way (i.e., making promises she couldn't keep), but she sure could be there, out of love for your family and her grandchildren.

I pray things will become better for your family and that your mom will be able to show the love her religion is based upon.

Meghan, mom to 11yo, 8yo, and 3yo 

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