Help me with my overly religious and bigoted dad

? Never said it did.

Someone else who gets it, thank you :slight_smile:

Aren’t you gay? Is he not bigoted about that?

I was asking him, not you.

Given that it was the fourth reply, it’s not clear why “finally” would apply, but given that the reply consisted of suggesting that he ignore the issue, and it seems pretty clear the OP was already finding it hard to ignore it (hence the thread, you know, existing), that the suggestion is not exactly “common sense”.

That’s nice. There haven’t been that many people saying that. In fact there haven’t been any, but obviously that’s not going to stop you.

Two, preceding your post. Why should no one ask that question? Lots of people don’t have relationships with our parents for all sorts of reasons. You’re pretty outraged just at the possibility of suggesting someone not spend time with their parents.

So, then, what exactly is your problem with people offering up the entire range of possible options? Why are you so angry that at least some people are not trying to actively talk the OP into just putting up with it? The OP’s got a bunch of options, and it seems reasonable to consider all of them. Why in the world should no one bring them up?

Lol, continuing the thread, I’m sure you’re in full agreement with the poster two posts later than yours arguing that it’s totally okay and not racist to emit racist outbursts for no reason.

Naw, that judgment should be reserved for those who can’t handle paragraphs the way any adult should be expected to handle.

drew, my dad is similar, but he’s almost 80. He’s always been opinionated, especially about politics, and somewhat prejudiced, but in the last few years, he’s gotten more right-wing and opinionated, and I can’t even have a decent argument with him without him getting mad and yelling. It’s obvious he’s lost some of his filtering ability and his ability to hold his patience, at least compared to what he was able to do before. I’ve basically decided to mostly just let him be due to his age and try to ignore a lot of his ranting instead of coming to blows about it.

With your dad in his 50s, it’s probably not the same age issue, but you might want to suggest getting him checked out physically if you think things have changed with him. Has anything changed recently with his job situation or finances or something major in his life? The bad economy has scared a lot of people and has caused a lot of people to cling to certain beliefs and be more afraid of “the other”.

Otherwise, I would mostly just shrug it off and/or let him know that you prefer if he lay off around you.

If it’s clear he thinks he’s being funny, try telling him, “You don’t flatter yourself when you joke like that.”
I’m sorry, this is going to be painful either way for you. You’ll piss him off being honest and he may never change anyway or you’ll quietly fume until it bothers you so much you cut him out of your life w/o a word.

What’s it to you whether your old man believes a lot of crazy stuff? LOTS of people believe a lot of crazy stuff.

My advice is, next visit, lay off politics and religion, and go to a baseball game or something. :stuck_out_tongue:

To answer/adress some of the other posts…

when I was growing up my dad was openly homophobic and outright hateful towards gays (ship them all to australia was his refrain most of the time, if not hoping they would all just die from AIDS). Since coming out, he has accepted me, and is openly hospitable and nice to me about being gay, and being supportive of my relationship with my current boyfriend. I still don’t think he supports gay marriage, and wasn’t too happy about the end of don’t ask don’t tell I don’t think, but he keeps those opinions mostly to himself now, and is pretty nice to me overall.

To those of you who think I’m full of myself, that I’m being overly reactive, or anything along those lines, I think you need to go back and read my posts again. I never even claimed to be open minded, or the most open minded person in the world. I’m a middle class white male, and I recognize that I’ve lived a pretty charmed life overall. I haven’t been exposed to many, many things in my life, and I’m sure I’m very ignorant of many international cultures, beliefs, etc. I try my best to keep an open mind to change, but I believe in some traditional things as well. I’m pretty middle of the road, and I don’t think that makes me any more open minded than anyone else, my father included. I don’t even like the term “open-minded”.

I’m trying to ask for advice, calmly and rationally, on how I can make an uncomfortable situation better. I’m not threatening. There are no ultimatums here. All I said was that sometimes, I get to the point where I FEEL like I just want to cut things off, because I get so annoyed with the rants and bigoted statements. I’m sure all of us have irrational, or unintentional feelings from time to time. So, I think you are painting me with too broad a brush when you say I’m full of myself, etc. I also never called him a “true racist” (is that like a true scotsman?), and yes there are people far more racist than him. But I also hear him talking about how he can’t stand having a “black man in the white house” so he’s pretty racist from time to time.

Also, he did just recently have to close his business down, and may lose his house if he can’t refinance. So he’s under a lot of financial stress. He doesn’t have any savings really, but he’s still very generous and supportive with his money to his relatives. His recent divergence into christian fundamentalism may have something to do with that.

My dad is overall a good guy, at least in his day-to-day interactions with most people, and I respect him in many ways. I look up to him and try to model myself after many of his better qualities. So I don’t want you all thinking I’m here just to try to vent against my dad or rant about him. If I wanted to do that, I’d have started a pit thread.

This is getting off topic at this point, but I also want to address one more point. Those of you who are arguing that age just makes you more conservative or more of a troglodite, that is 100% untrue. My mom is about his age and harbors none of the same bigotry/racism that he does. Similarly, my grandma who is in her mid 80’s is nothing like my overtly racist/bigoted grandfather to whom she has been married for 60 years. Age does not necessarily make you hateful/fearful of new things.

You’ll have to be the adult in this relationship. It’s what I have to do with my parents. And remember, don’t try to change him. The only way to change others is improve one’s own self - and hope the others will come along.

I’m glad to hear he’s decent towards you and I hope you and he can maintain a positive relationship.

I’m grinning from ear to ear! I think you may just have hit on one of the best tactics ever. I only wish I’d heard this advice years ago…

Someone did give me another good piece of advice: when you’re arguing with someone close to you – a family member – (and not just strangers on a discussion board!) – only say it once. We have a conditioned desire to hear people acknowledge us, but with this sort of thing, it doesn’t happen. So just say what you’ve got to say, and then drop it. Repeating it (or saying it more loudly) doesn’t do any additional good. They heard you, whether or not they ever show it.

Even before I read drewtwo99’s answer regarding his father’s age, your statement struck me as condescending and uninformed. Even actual “old people” come in all kinds of different flavors and express those opinions in many different ways. Some “old people” are actual belligerent racists rather than racist poseurs, while others are heroes in the fight against racism. By comparing them to teenagers who are pushing boundaries, you somehow manage to insult both old people and teenagers.

I think you’re right about his fear. I’m of about the same age as your dad, and I can tell you that there are some things that make me more than a little anxious about what I read in the news these days, especially regarding economic issues. Since you say he has suffered financial losses, his behavior, which you say is uncharacteristic for him even though he holds strong opinions, might be arising from anxiety and frustration. Since he also has some issues involving race, it kind of makes sense that he would direct his rage in that direction. That doesn’t excuse the behavior or mean you need to be exposed to it, but it might explain the change you see in him.

I’m glad you’ve decided to talk to him digital-face to digital-face. From his reaction to your coming out, it sounds like he is concerned with your feelings and thoughts and won’t outright reject them just because they contradict his own. He might not be able to change what he believes about race and he might continue the behavior when you’re not around, and he has that right. It sounds to me like he loves you enough to modify his actions when your present because they cause you distress, and I think it’s appropriate for you ask that of him.

I gave the obvious answer anyway, since somehow you weren’t getting it. But don’t let that stop your hissy. Oh wait, you didn’t.

Because I didn’t think the others quite qualified. I would have thought that conclusion was obvious.

In my opinion, yeah, it is. I thought that was obvious too. Sorry this is so hard for you.

Yes there have, but at this point it’s clear reading comprehension isn’t your thing here.

:rolleyes: Where to start

1 - It’s a horrible suggestion in this situation IMO.
2 - Repeat: in this situation. I was not talking about you or “lots of people.” Sticking to the actual topic and specifics of the posts also clearly isn’t your thing.
3 - I wasn’t outraged, I said it was scary. That word doesn’t indicate anger (never mind “rage”) FYI. More reading comprehension issues, tsk
4 - I never said anything about simply not spending time w/ a parent, but the idea of totally severing the relationship, esp over something like this.

What exactly is your problem with me saying that the more extreme ones I consider bad, even scary ones? Excuse me for having a differing opinion.

lol, way to put words in my mouth. Wow I’m so surprised you did that.

More childish snippiness. Another big surprise.

Just wanted to add a general observation if you’ll excuse the brief sidetrack: I have often found on sites like this that people claiming or acting as if they were so open-minded or “enlightened” are often some of the most close-minded, bigoted, hypocritical people around and are so quick to rip anyone who dares to question them, while people like you often are quite the opposite. And contrary to what many seem to believe, being a white male is not a sin, you are not responsible or behind the actions of all “bad” white males who came before you, and there are plenty of “bad” people who are female and/or minorities.


Good luck with your dad, however you work it.

Wasn’t trying to paint everyone with the same brush, but I don’t think it’s outrageous to suggest there is a peer group egging him on. From what I’ve seen, there can be major peer pressure among that age group to watch lots of Fox News and dump on liberals. Check out some photos of those “Obama birth certificate” demonstrations from a few years ago… mostly gray hair all around.

You should try *meeting *some actual “old people” (and if you think gray hair equals old, baby, you’re in for a rude awakening) before you generalize what you see on television to the reality of the human population. I don’t think you’re being intentionally ageist; I think you just don’t know enough about real-life people (rather than those fed to you by media outlets) to make accurate judgments.

Heh, I’m about the same age as the OP’s father, and my mother was the first feminist and the first peace protester I knew. She’s still a Wellstone Democrat in her 80s. You accuse her of watching Fox News and she’ll toss you headfirst into the peonies.

Recommend you read Lucretia’s post again. The best answer I have heard and probably effective too. For the record, I am 75 and believe the world is going to hell, but it’s all the people who cannot attend to reality (global warming, income disparities, …) that are sending it there. Even so, I try to be tolerant. For example, my religious DIL never hears of my disdain for her beliefs.

And I appreciate the fact that this board has much more of the wisdom of age than most other online forums. It’s a commodity in short supply online.

Point taken, I apologize for making generalizations. I may be biased because I was once a stubborn nasty teenager and generally only attract other stubborn nasty people IRL (of all ages) so it’s easy to get jaded sometimes.

Yeah, I was a stubborn nasty teenager once, too. I plan to be one again if anybody puts me in a nursing home.

Now I have to go erase those gray hairs I drew on my LC Strawhouse voodoo doll ;).

I disagree; there’s a lot of people his age who don’t have those attitudes. “It’s all society’s fault” may have sounded original at some point, but nowadays it’s a very tired little line.
Personally I wouldn’t write, I’d produce a Time-Out in the conversation (actually, in Spain we often use the gesture and expression from basketball, but I don’t know what are those pauses called in English… are they timeouts too, like for kids?) the next time he does something you consider it unacceptable and point out that you’d appreciate it if he could refrain from using such expressions in your presence. Doing it after the fact is like punishing today the dog who peed on the bed yesterday, it doesn’t work.

As for refusing to acknowledge the behavior, that only works once you’ve indicated which behavior is unacceptable. Otherwise it’s just terribly confusing and may lead the person who’s suddently being ignored at apparently random times for no evident reason into deciding there is something wrong with the ignorer… maybe he should see a doctor?