ANSWERS: 41
  • i say stand strong for your own thoughts, after all, it is your own choice to be an atheist. personally, i'm looking for truth before i deny all religion, but that is how i think.
  • your family should respect ur religious beliefs if you respect theres. if you do not want to go to church dont go and tell them u respect their beliefs and you would like them to respect yours
  • If you don't want to go, don't go. There are many other things you can do as a family besides attend church together.
  • Go ahead and go if you want to. You don't have to believe, or even listen. Do it to spend time with the family. It is also good "information gathering". You might find reason to believe in God, or you might confirm that you are an atheist. Either way, your family will enjoy your company.
  • Depends on the bribe I would go for a good bribe. If you are strong in your beliefs you will not turn into a weird clothed christian from one visit (unless the present is in the form of sandals or a cardigan). What does it say about your families values that are willing to bribe you to go!
  • I'm an atheist too. Different people have offered me subtle bribes to go to church, and on occasion I have agreed to go - to hear a friend's choir solo, to see a Christmas program and so forth. I don't mind hearing a sermon once in awhile. It's interesting to me to know what is being conveyed in churches and I don't consider it threatening to my personal philosophy. Discussions of religious beliefs, or listening to lectures about religious belief, are not hypocritical activities for an atheist. However, I wouldn't go to church to appease someone. If I were asked to go, I would agree only on my own terms. I would make sure the person who asked me knew that I was going simply out of respect for their beliefs, and tell them I expected them to respect my thinking as well.
  • Here's a thought: don't go.
  • Depends if the bribe is worth a few hours of boredom...
  • It is not hypocritical to go IF you say that you don't believe in it and are only going to pleas them, and IF you do not, when in church, say things you don't believe just because it is the "thing to do" at that point in the service. But yous should be clear to them that you are doing it only to please them, and you are accepting their payment to do what they want in the same spirit that you would accept payment from your employer to do what he wants. Treat is as a job, and reckon whether you are being paid as much for your time as you would to work. (And declare it for tax?).
  • My Grandmother bribed me to go to Church, and I am not ashamed to say that I took it. I got some money and she got to see her granddaughter go to church, win/win situation.
  • It depends-how old are you? Are you still living under your parents roof? Are they supporting you one hundred percent? Can you work and support yourself? Do you know what it is to respect those who support you? If you are capable of supporting yourself then nobody can bribe or force you to do what you don't want to do. On the other hand if you are still being supported by your parents then out of respect for them, stop your whining and go. If you are too young to support yourself and you have a nice roof over your head and you're not starving to death, then they are doing their job, the least you can do is be respectful of them. But like I first stated-if you are capable of supporting yourself, then do. Just curious: If you have a boss and he tells you to do some part of your job but you don't want to. Do you do it? Do you rebel and say no? If so then that job aint gonna last and why should it if you are not willing to do your part? We all have things we have to do whether it is doing what our parents tell us to do or our boss's. Part of being a child is learning how to take orders, unless your Donald Trump-and he even has to take orders once and awhile. Plus, I'm sure he was respectful to his parents and did what they said, when they said it. Good luck!! In His grasp, <:))))<><
  • Lets be realistic. First off, you can do whatever you wish and believe what you want to believe. Some would say your participation would be hypocritcal, some wouldn't. Does it matter? What does matter is the amount of grief you will get if you continue to resist and whether you are able to tolerate it easily. If however, the constant bribing, nagging etc is driving you around the bend, it may be easier to go if it means an end to the being badgered all the time. If you are an atheist then the whole church and religion thing means nothing to you so why be worried over not beleiving and going anyway so you get some peace.
  • Fortunately there is not an atheist "Final Judgement" where you are rooted out for not being a proper atheist. ;) There aren't any rules, and you can only be hypocritical by telling other people to do something that you wouldn't do yourself. So, it's not hypocritical to participate in a church service as a non-believer, and people do it all the time. I go along when family is involved, such as when someone is singing in the service or being married or baptized and I've been asked to come along. Generally I'll observe the basic rituals of the thing as far as singing and standing up, but I don't take communion and I don't pretend to pray. This seems to work out best for everybody, I get to be included in some major events without doing anything I'm uncomfortable with or pretending to be something I'm not. However, do your folks want you to go with them all the time, like, on a regular basis? Bearing in mind that people will assume you ARE a believer, and that the people encouraging you to go are doing it either for the benefit of other people (to see you there and assume you are a believer) or in the wild hope that it will eventually rub off on you, going along to church in this situation is more of a pose than anything else. It's a false promise that you will one day relinquish your atheist stance. It's a fake pose that you're religious like the rest of your family. I'm sure that will make your life easier with your family, but can you live with that? It's up to you. Perhaps some middle ground can be reached, like, you'll go to a service now and then but you won't go to Sunday School, and you won't sing. Or you'll just come along on the major holidays, or to support a family member at a major event. Or whatever you're comfortable with. If you really don't want to be there, you've got to explain your stance to your family and be ready for some uncomfortable reactions. Finally, if you really want to get out of church, you could try dressing like a freak, wearing a pentagram, etc. I bet they'd stop trying to bring you in a hurry, ha ha.
  • If you don't believe in God, going to church can't damage you spiritually, right? If you do go, you might get some exposure to something you had not before experienced and come around to a different point of view. If you don't, your family can't think any less of you. It's no more hypocritical for an atheist to go to church when they don't believe than for a person who says they believe to go to church to be seen going while continuing to lead a life choked with the cares of the world as 99% of supposed Christians do. Let me explain. An atheist says there is no God and relies on their own efforts to succeed in life. Most Christians say they believe in God, but still depend on their own efforts to succeed in life. Also, keep in mind what G.K. Chesterton said about God. "If there were no God, ther would be no atheists."
  • Im an atheist, but I dont mind going to church. I only do it rarely, and sometimes to appease someone else. Someday when your're a bit older, I think family should probably accept your position, and that you've chosen to go to hell.
  • If I were you, I most certainly would not go. I think if you were to buckle under and go, I'd call you a coward for not staying true to what you believe, not to mention you'd be bored out of your skull for hours on end and face the possibility of being brain washed by mindless religious grannies. It's happend to me before. My wife's religious, she is, Im not. Anyway, there was a time when she pressured me to go to worship. Naturally I refused and we had a minor argument. We've now learned to respect eah other's beliefs and keep our thoughts about worshiping completely to ourselves.
  • When I think of all the rotten things I've had to do to earn money, being bribed to go sit for an hour and listen to some people singing is a relatively minor activity by comparison. I don't think it is hypocritical at all for an atheist to attend church to make loved ones happier. I do it all the time for Christmas with the folks. It is a couple hours for Christmas Mass and then its back to the otherwise secular holiday.
  • I dont think anyone should have to do anything they dont want to do (in their personal lives anyway!). If you truly dont want to go, dont go!
  • I don't believe bribing people to conform to a way of thinking makes any sense.
  • Well, there are lots of gods I don't believe in either, such as Buddha, Vishnu and Allah, but would be interested in seeing how their worshippers worship and if I could learn anything useful from it. Neils Bohr, the Nobel-prizer winner in physics, hung a horseshoe up over the door to his new lab. A visitor expressed shock that he should believe in such an outmoded suspicion and Bohr said "The nice thing about horseshoes is that they bring good luck whether you believe in them or not." Give it a try--you may find out that you're not an atheist, just an agnostic. And it's a LOT easier to be an agnostic.
  • You can go as a way to spend time with your family if you WANT. You should never have to do anything. If they are just trying to get you to go with them that's one thing, it's completely different if their message is for you to change faiths. My sister goes to church but doesn't know what the heck she believes in and she goes because "hot guys are there". So everyone has their reasons I guess.
  • What kind of bribe are they offering? Go if it benefits you to go.
  • I think its hypocritical to do anything to appease someone elses beliefs... whether you go to church or not... I also think its even more hypocritical on behalf of the person expecting such a thing...
  • Yes, go for the learning experience, also just to trip out on the people.
  • If you are a true atheist, it would be the same as going to WWE wrestling or a play or something else you do not think is real. If it makes for a more pleasant family experience, take one for the team, it won't hurt you in any way. ALl the years I was an Atheist I had that militant attitude about religion and religious people, and I never understood why Atheists get like that. If you do not believe in it, it cannot harm you. Yet I had that feeling like THEIR faith was somehow a personal attack on me, and I was wrong about that.
  • If you're under 18 then you should do what your parents tell you but if you're an adult, well they had their chance. It's pretty sad that there is no one who can speak to you in a language you'd understand. I'm a baptized christian, I believe in God, I try to obey him but I must admit church can be a drag even for me. Read the Bible at least once. Okay, I won't be there to see if you did or not. Then pay attention to the real world. From what I've seen now is a really dumb time to be ignoring God because there is stuff in the Bible that would have looked like nonsense when it was written that actually makes sense when read today. Just one example, the Bible talks of a time when all the fish will disappear from the sea. My science magazines have been worrying about this for the last ten years - we're sending out more fishing boats but only catching the same number of fish, average sizes are smaller. Think of all the industrial pollutants that could easily destroy the sea these days. Feel free to doubt (God does like it when you use your brain) but keep your eyes open. Some of the best religious leaders started life as atheists until God came and grabbed them. (I'm not sure whether that comforts you or not!) Good luck.
  • Yes, but don't accept the bribe. Give it to a poor person or put it in the collection plate. Take a pillow. Don't annoy your parents. I'm not an atheist but my parents had to force me to go to church when I was a kid. Even though I liked the preacher, it was soooo boooorrriiiinggg. I liked Sunday School though. To help pass the time, read the Bible while you're there. After you've read it all once, feel free to skip over the boring bits next time. Most of it is interesting and fun. Proverbs and Ecclesiastes are probably the most interesting, even for an atheist. One or two things in Revelations should look remarkably familiar in today's world. If you're up to date with modern history in the Middle East (I'm not), a couple of other bits might look familiar too. No, you're under duress. How can you be held liable for decisions made under duress?
  • you should go. coming to know god has changed my life. you'll be amazed the things that he can do if you just believe, he died for you. give him a chance.
  • I think making someone believe something is futile. I appreciate your viewpoint and know there is nothing that can change it. What would you do in church? Its kinda funny actually.
  • I go to church sometimes. I try to make a point of it on Christmas Eve. I like the music and the ritual. Nothing wrong with that. If there are reasons- like getting your family off your back or a hefty paycheck - that make you want to go then by all means go. I think it's bad form of them, however. +5
  • I used to go to church with my Dad and Step-Mom. I only did so as I was forced to when in high school. As an adult, I simply attended as a favor for my Dad. By all means go, but let them know your only doing it as a favor to them. Because, once your an athiest, you have seen the truth. There is no going back. Almost like when you finally figured out that Santa Claus never visited you. You can't just go to an assembly every Sunday to reacquaint yourself with a God or Jolly Old St. Nick for that matter. Don't fool yourself, or your folks.
  • Hypocritical? A bit. Why is the majesty of their god and their belief so necessary for them to stoop to 'bribing' you so that they can maintain appearances?
  • I think I answered this once, but your question stayed in my mind during the day and made me want to ask you as an athiest, how you can claim to be one. To me, an athiest is someone who states there is no God. He can only do so by proving God does NOT exist? If you say you can't prove there is a God, how can you prove there is not a God? Therefore, all that's left is Agnosticsm. Athiests are really only Agnostics who have an ax to grind with the believers.
  • Depends how good the bribe is, and if you think its worth it. Going to church as an atheist is no different from going to a play, or a magic show or seeing a Disney movie.
  • If you do go, you wouldn't become the first atheist to do so. You're going to have to be the best judge of this yourself. How "atheist" are you? Are you vehemently anti-religion, or do you just simply not care? If the latter, then you'll probably not be too concerned if the "bribe" is good and all you lose is a few hours of your time. If the former, then you will have to ask yourself if you can live with sacrificing your principles. Also, you may want to factor in the nature of the church itself, the event etc. I know there are many churches whose services I would never ever want to be a part of - because I find their message absolutely disagreeable and I don't even want to appear to be implicitly supporting them. Bare in mind that just by attending, you may be lending support to small extent to what the church leaders say. (Preachers are encouraged by large congregations.) e.g. I know some churches that preach hatred against gays. They infuse current day politics into their sermons. They denounce non-believers or believers of other faiths as hell-bound or inferior in some way to Christians. They ridicule evolution and scare children away from science. Not all churches do that of course, but I'd avoid doing anything to support those that do. If, however, you don't really have any disagreement with the church in question and are okay with going with your family as a courtesy to them, then I think you shouldn't be too concerned. As an atheist, I've attended many church services myself. It's one reason why I'm so familiar with Christianity. It helps me make informed judgments on questions of religion, faith, and non-belief.
  • Woody Allen wrote a movie with the answer.. Take the money and run. ;)
  • It depends if your family cares if you actually believe or if it just appears that you believe.
  • Yes it is, but you have to look at each situation individually. I have gone to church dozens of times but I am a contented Atheist too...I just consider my time there either wasted, or required like at a funeral, or as doing something to please my host and to honor them and make them happy. Going to church isn't a bad thing - it can be fun, it can be enlightening, or it can suck big time - consider your feelings first in this matter, then the feelings of others second - and base your decision on what serves you best here. But whatever you do, never feel pressured to believe in something that you know in your heart isn't so...you will make your life miserable by doing so.
  • I have very-Christian family and they like me to do stuff like bow my head when I eat with them or go to church even though they know I don't believe in ANY God. I think it's just disrespectful myself. As for church, I think I would just go play golf or watch television and let them have their fun. :-)
  • Sure, go if you have nothing better to do. Admire the architectural achievement of blind-faith. Enjoy any snacks, cake & tea. Watch the rites like 'a fly on the wall'. ...and smile away the many religious bores you are bound to encounter, by just saying "Jeez-us!" They will never know if you were adoring or swearing... ;-))
  • Hand me a $1000 bucks and I'll go to church on a Sunday and say Hal LA Looya too..Pennies from "heaven" and all that.. Now if the bribe is something like, "We'll let you kiss our feet" I'd tell em to go piss up a rope..

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