I recently have come out of the Broom closet to my very religious family. I am constantly getting unwelcomed preaching and my grandmother just recently gave me a bible! How do I tell my family to stick it?!
Frustrated from Unsolistiated Preaching
Welcome to the first year(s), depending on your family’s persistent nature, of coming out of the broom closet to a well-meaning and yet annoyingly loving Christian family. I remember those first years of annoying preaching, blackmailing into attending church and being gifted Bibles left and right. This time can be mildly insulting, or highly insulting, as your family can be; A- Believing you are in a rebellious teen phase, B-Believing you are fully insane and need to be admitted, C-Believing they are saving your immortal soul or D-All of the Above. The family get-togethers can turn awkward quickly as everyone either tries to convert you back to the accepted religion of the family or ask those repetitive questions everyone does, making you wish you had just printed out that FAQ you found online. I want to assure you that it eventually does get easy but in the beginning, it is one of those things you are just going to have to roll with.
Remember my new witch, the three mainstream religions have been powerhouses for some time now. Paganism/Heathen ways were melded into the mainstream three and were pushed to the side. Even though Paganism/Heathenism/Spirituality is becoming more mainstream, we are still slightly sitting in the unground, personally one of my favorite places to be, and waiting to be accepted as an “normal” religious practice. It is getting there but we have some time to go. You are going to have to be patient with your well-meaning family.
I know that being patient is going to be difficult on occasion. They are going to irk your soul and your freshly re-aligned aura as they ask questions, tell you that your immortal soul is going to go to hell and just poke and prod you. It will be tempting to get into religious debates with your family. DO NOT FALL INTO THIS TRAP! You will just waste your breath, get frustrated and you are not going to convert your Uncle Fred or Nana Lorane into dancing naked around a fire with you. Those family members that wish to debate religion with you, 9 times out of 10 just want to hear their own thoughts being spoken aloud and feel superior, or try to, as they attempt to stump you with some of their holy book scripture. Although it can be fun to use their own scripture against them, I did this when I was younger, it will not sway them. They will only stomp away in a huff and even if you have that minute of victory of scoring a point, you will just come off as an ass to the rest of the family.
So what should you do if Nana Lorane gives you a Bible, Quran, ect? Should you use this other religion’s holy book as rolling paper? How about defacing it with witchy sigils? Should you underline what you view as hypocrisy and hand it back to them? Use it as kindling during an esabat fire? In my opinion, none of the above. It can be tempting to take a Bible or something similar, that has been constantly shoved in your face and gleefully stomp on it but resist. It is just rude to destroy another religion’s holy book. The gifter offended you, the book itself did nothing to you. Thank the gifter for the book and then turn around and donate it or keep it. We are a very Pagan household and we have five, I think five but I could be wrong, Bibles and a Quran. I know it can be difficult to show respect to someone who is disrespecting you. However, remember that it is an individual that is showing disrespect, not the entire religion itself.
So, long story short, at this point you can either just smile and bear with it or you can avoid your family until they forget you are different than they are. Give it some time to show to them that you are not going through a “phase” or that you are going to be slaughtering some poor innocent virgin during Thanksgiving dinner. There is tons of misunderstanding that comes with Paganism/Heathenism and you will have to show them that you aren’t going to go crazy. Patience is the key at this point.
Until next time witches. May the brew in your cauldron never burn and your broom never splinter.
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