How do you deal with family differences involving religion?
I am from a Southern Baptist family. Unfortunately in my experience, the stereotypes are pretty accurate.
My father is 73 and his health is bad. I’ve always been close to him – yet as an adult have started to notice the conflict in our views.
Lately, he has been calling me everyday (I think he feels his mortality) and I want to support and love him, but all of his conversations are gossipy and judgmental of people in the family for being gay or not going to church or something. Quite frankly, talking to him brings me down and makes me frustrated.
My first cousin suddenly died at age 44 probably from overuse of drugs and abuse of his body. My father starting sobbing to me that he didn’t think that he was going to heaven (!). This cousin has a daughter who is gay and just had a baby with her partner and it is really beginning to break my heart to hear his negativity about their relationship.
My first instinct is to not speak to him as frequently, and I definitely dread visiting. Alas, he is very sick and all he wants to do is hear my voice and talk to my daughter. I think he lives in fear that everyday may be his last.
I have tried effective communication techniques, such as changing the subject to something more pleasant but he just seems to ignore me and talks about something else negative and depressing.
I am curious how my fellow jellies (who are generally open-minded and educated) have resolved family communication issues like this.
by the way, this is just scratching the surface with my ackward-bass family; I have “adopted” my other gay cousin as a sister who was deserted by her family
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