I see where you are coming from. My whole family and all my relatives are Roman Catholic. They all go to church and when i decided I was agnostic and atheistic... they all of a sudden "decided" I could not be an atheist because... you know..... Atheists are evil ravenous monsters that eat other people's babys and burn in a lake of fire for all eternity.
That may seem dark and ominous, but the kind of funny thing is-they dont really control what you believe. In their minds, sure, maybe your the little innocent baptist in their family..... but that is just a null point because it is only in THEIR minds that it is true.
All in all, it comes down to what you believe. You don;t have to announce or make a public statement in your beliefs-as long as you are content and happy with them you are the winner here. If they want to pretend as if they control your beliefs like they have some neurological parental control device.... more power to em', you know? It isnt about them here.....
Hope that helps some bit. Good luck and all... I know how hard it is
I am not trying to convert you. (Jews don't prostilyze we don't have to. We took the law, no one else wanted it)
I am a Jew as well.
In judiasm one only needs to attend Shul four times during the year on high holy holidays. (Holy in Hebrew means seperate from.) Passover, Yom Kippur, Ninth of Av and Rosh Ha'shana.
It's not the amount of time one attends any religious denomination that makes them spiritual. It is the relationship they have with the world.
I am a vegan thirty-one years (and a recovering agnostic lol ) I find that my relationship with G-d and the world is in conjunction with my love for all life. And that my being vegan and living that relationship within the world brings me to a more compassionate stance. That is how I experience my Judaism. Many Jews are vegan and there are actually kibbutzes that are centered around the Jewish vegan!
Our holy scriptures and our people are given the word from G-d to make the world a beautiful place for his arrival. We live in twenty-eight day cycles and on Sabbath celebrate the new moon (Rosh Kodesh) We uphold all life.
My veganinsm is so enveloped in that and the more I study (With the help of rabbis) I understand the love of our creator for his creation the better I feel about my relationship with him. And the world.
It always amazes me when people want to tell others what they can and cannot believe. Especially those who believe in a supreme being who can hear and respond to billions of people murmuring to him at the same time. I have never understood a loving god who when he doesn't get what he wants takes delight in torturing lesser creatures. Isn't that what a sociopath does?
You don't need to argue with anyone to do what you want to do. I just tell people who want to convert me that I am uninterested, and doubt that they are in a position to make an informed decision since faith is a core tenet of their way of life.
Hey Sara - The problem with what your mom is saying is that you are stating that you don't believe in something. Saying that you have to give reasons for this is like giving reasons for not believing in the tooth fairy or unicorns. What reason does one give for not believing in these - that they don't see enough evidence to convince them that they exist. It's no different with god - an atheist simply doesn't see the evidence that such an entity exists. Now, if you chose to believe in something, like god or purple people eaters, then your mom would have a good argument - you should be able to articulate why you choose to believe in something. But, one does not believe in atheism - one is simply an atheist because one does not believe that a god exists.
I know you posted this a long time ago, and I hope you have worked things out.