Easter Weekend Play-by-Play

For an ultra-religious family like mine, a combination of putting them all in the same space and giving them an occasion to talk about and celebrate Jesus, well, let’s just say it’s hard for them to talk about anything else. Here’s a play-by-play of an Easter weekend with my crazy Lutheran family.

Friday

7:04 p.m. – Attend an hour and a half long Good Friday service.

9:34 p.m. – Listen to Sister and Mother rave about the amazing and moving service and how one song brought them to tears.

Saturday

9:18 a.m. – Mother & Pastor-in-law discuss chanting, hymns, and use of the divine service, and church politics for about 44 minutes.

4:35 p.m. – Sisters argue about whether Jesus was really in the ground for 3 days or 1.5 (Friday evening to Sunday morning), and they decide that no one knows because time was measured differently in the Bible.

6:28 p.m. – At dinner, the family discusses the different Good Friday services they attended, specifically hymns and service order, and go on to talk about why people shouldn’t be joyful or celebrate Easter on Friday or Saturday because Jesus was dead, until Sunday morning, nor should people celebrate with secular egg hunts and dyeing or Easter bunnies.

Sunday

8:00 a.m. Mandatory Easter morning church service. Mother forces me to sing along to the hymns. Pastor-in-law delivers a sermon focusing on what if Jesus never rose from the dead? One problem with that, he said, would be that it would mean that Christianity itself is a big waste of time: bible studies, worship services, devotionals, prayer, the whole thing would be nothing but a huge waste of time. Like usual, all I could do was stay silent and keep my screams and comments (no, it didn’t happen, and yes, it is a huge waste of time) inward. He also said that Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope, and if he never rose, then we would instead have despair. I mean, I don’t personally find despair in my belief that that never happened, but just because something gives you hope and saves you from despair doesn’t mean that it’s true. He also went on about how Jesus’ bodily resurrection means that we will all have bodily resurrections because if heaven is just a bunch of souls floating around, then it doesn’t count as eternal life because we need to have our physical bodies which will rise from the dead. I don’t know if he meant our bodies rise as soon as we die (which obviously they don’t), or if they will all rise after the rapture (which: what? ew), but to me, that part of the sermon was pretty much a bunch of nonsense.

10:28 a.m. Everyone discusses what was good and bad about the service (good: the aforementioned sermon; bad: the senior pastor wasn’t specific enough about who can take communion; he said you can come as long as you believe in God but really you have to be a confirmed member of the LCMS).

11:04 a.m. Family laments about Family Christian Stores closing.

11:46 a.m. Sister says if we watch TV, it should be about Jesus.

2:18 p.m. Sister says atheists are bad influences.

3:50 p.m. Two sisters makes hymn lyrics their Facebook statuses.

6:24 p.m. Sister: “If Britney Spears had had Snapchat in 2007, then maybe she wouldn’t have had her crisis because she could have just used a filter to see what she would look like bald.”

That last quote doesn’t really show how insanely Christian my family is, but it might give you an idea of some of the other crazy things that come up at family dinner and why I do actually love them rather than hate them. Happy Easter!


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9 Replies to “Easter Weekend Play-by-Play”

  1. Maybe I should have been a Lutheran because my family never discussed church, and my cousin was the pastor! The question of how long Jesus was actually entombed was something I obsessed over; no one else really cared or gave it much thought. I do think that a lack of a resurrection rendering Christianity pointless is a false dichotomy. Jesus would still have died for our sins, and he could have still appeared in a spiritual form. Many Christians believe the angel of the LORD was a theophanic Son.

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  2. This post was a trip down memory lane, although my entire family wasn’t as religious as yours is (not for a lack of my mom trying when I was young, though). It sounds like you might not be able to talk to your sisters about what you’re going through, which is a shame. Are they all younger than you? If so, they might end up maturing to a place where you can talk to them. My siblings have, though it took a while.

    Best wishes to you as you recover from yesterday’s festivities.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello CA,

    I wish you the very best in all that you do. I know these confrontations can be a bit overwhelming. Please, when you have your chances, implant self care into your life. Maintain your questioning and research. Work on becoming your authentic self, no matter what your religious college and family expect of you. You don’t have much longer to continue biting your tongue. You are young and in that lies miles upon miles of doing what is best for you, and not what is expected of you through a religious screen.

    CA, you are far wiser, braver and healthier than what I was at your age…by far. You can make it through the difficulties. I wasn’t nearly as confident as what you are. I also didn’t have as many non religious resources in books then as you do now. There was also no Internet at the beginning of my questioning. I was at a Bible school as well while I was your age, doubting scripture and doctrine. Unlike you, I stayed stuck for another two decades. You, however, are a success!

    I’m also certain that you are not alone in your ideas. I guarantee you that there’s a few fellow students questioning the same beliefs that you are doubting. At the same time, there is no pressure for you to come out about your non belief. You come out whenever you are safe and able to do so.

    CA, I’m old enough to be your mother. I don’t know you well at all. However, from what I’ve read of your articles, I think you are an amazing person. I am so proud of you!

    If you ever need to reach out to someone, please email me if you’d like.

    Happy Spring and be encouraged,
    Charity

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    1. Wow, I couldn’t imagine going through this without the Internet or nonreligious books! I know there must be other closet atheist/agnostic/deist students at my school, but there’s no way to know who they are, which is frustrating. Thank you so much for your support and well wishes! Happy spring to you too. 🙂

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  4. good gracious. I grew up in what I thought was a fairly ‘religious’ family, but I don’t believe we ever ever discussed religion and biblical behavior at all, ever. The only times we ever did bring up the subject, it was about my cousin Richard and how he had been railroaded into the Jesuit order years earlier by his overbearing mother.
    Being Catholic was nothing we felt that required vast discussion, and while it was a part of our lives, and while we lived the religion, we didn’t dig holes and climb in.

    I can see why you hesitate to let anyone in your family know how you feel, it does seem that unless they figure it out for themselves your best bet is to be very far away from the lot of them, physically, before you tell anyone, or better yet not tell them at all. If this kind of family discussion is any indication, wow…

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    1. I’m planning to wait to tell them till I am married in a couple years, one reason for which is because right now, I’m one of the youngest siblings and even though I’m in college, I’m not regarded as an adult. Today I got a couple lectures on how I should attend church when I’m up at school, or at least listen to sermons or read the bible. Whether or not I’m Christian is invalid: I should be and if I’m not, I’m wrong. If I wait until I’m married, then I might be regarded as more of an adult and their equal rather than just a child who doesn’t know or care that much about Jesus.

      Also, the constant conversation about the bible and church and Christian matters in general, while annoying, is just so normal for us. If it wasn’t constantly being discussed, I honestly don’t know what they would talk about. I’m used to it.

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