Should I confront my atheist sister?


#1

Recently, my sister sent me an email joke in which the author asked questions such as, What if the three wise men had been three wise women? At first it seemed harmless; the answer was the women would have asked for directions. However, it went downhill from there and even had the women making snide comments about Mary and her virginity.

My sister knows how much my faith and church mean to me - well I suppose she really doesn’t since she is a non-believer. Here’s my question. Am I turning my back on God or the church for not confronting her about this email? She’s my sister and I love her. Since she is an atheist, can she really understand which Catholic jokes are funny (some are very funny) and which ones aren’t? I said nothing - I simply deleted the email.

I would just like to hear opinions from others on what to do, if anything. Thanks.:gopray2:


#2

Maybe you could gently tell her that although you love hearing from her, and you love a joke as much as the next person, but this type of humor isn’t your cup of tea. That way you are making your feelings known without coming across as confrontational.


#3

My sister sent that one to me a few years ago also. I ignored it. At the time it just wasn’t worth getting in a fight about since she obviously saw it as a harmless joke rather than a way to bash my faith. Your relationship with your sister may vary…


#4

This is a lovely way of handling it. Good suggestion.


#5

This is well put. If there is a way you can comfortably point out that is not your type of joke, you’d be happier with standard silly-animal photos…

My sister has planted her own two feet firmly in the agnostic non-Church going camp… It breaks my heart. Really the single best thing I have found is not to confront, but to keep her in my prayers. From time to time, I ask that Masses are offered for her. In time - even if I don’t know about it, good will come of it. I absolutely believe that.

If she will not even hear you out to meet you half way on the joke forwarding, maybe to keep the peace you would do just as well to delete forwards when it becomes obvious that they offend our Catholic sensibilities…


#6

I do the same thing for my sisters - I have two non-believers, so I keep them in my prayers. I haven’t had a mass said for either yet, but I like that idea. That could even be my response to the email.


#7

I occasionally get similar spam from family members, although in reverse as I am an atheist. Usually I will skim over them to see which horrible death/eternal suffering I will supposedly endure and then delete them. In my opinion, the sender does not usually consider that the receiver may have different beliefs and may be insulted by the e-mail. I could inform them, but they believe that my beliefs are wrong, so it is not worth getting into an argument over.


#8

This is well put. If there is a way you can comfortably point out that is not your type of joke, you’d be happier with standard silly-animal photos…

My sister has planted her own two feet firmly in the agnostic non-Church going camp… It breaks my heart. Really the single best thing I have found is not to confront, but to keep her in my prayers. From time to time, I ask that Masses are offered for her. In time - even if I don’t know about it, good will come of it. I absolutely believe that.

If she will not even hear you out to meet you half way on the joke forwarding, maybe to keep the peace you would do just as well to delete forwards when it becomes obvious that they offend our Catholic sensibilities…


ASimpleSinner, if more people were like you and treated people and prayer like that, it would be a much much nicer world! I don’t believe I have any advice to add to this thread. You did a wonderful job! :thumbsup:


#9

I’d just let it go. Completely.

Also, worrying that you’ve done something wrong, when she’s the one who sent the joke, is heading into the realm of obsessive. Do yourself a favor, and don’t sweat it.


#10

Just pray for her. Don’t make a big deal, although if she e-mails another set of jokes, you might reply and say ‘not funny dude’ or something like that. Keep it light and don’t rant at her.


#11

Thanks for a view from the opposite side of the street:D
It is true that we believe what we believe. It’s either there or it isn’t. I did just delete it. My relationship with my sister is more important than an email that has been forwarded a kajillion times.


#12

rules for offensive e-mail from friends and family
inform them that you were offended any why, that you do not denigrate anyone else’s religion and appreciate the same consideration, and that you will block the sender and report as spam offensive messages in the future. then do it.

rules for confronting family members who have fallen away from the Faith: read Patrick Madrid’s Search and Rescue. saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can be worse than saying nothing at all.

rules for e-mail that is a forwarded attachment from who knows where before it got to the sender, delete unopened. that’s where most viruses come from. who has time for this nonsense anyhow?


#13

Thanks for everyone’s opinions. I guess because it is so close to Christmas, I was especially sensitive. Of course jokes like this wouldn’t bother her because she doesn’t believe. And, if she doesnt’ believe, she can’t understand my viewpoint. I haven’t said anything and won’t. To her it was simply a joke about men versus women or women versus women.

Thanks again, all!:thumbsup:


#14

Good point. She does forward jokes that have been around the block a few times. I should just delete them all. I really DON’t have time for them:eek:


#15

I had to tell a family member that she couldn’t send Christian (read anti-catholic, anti-Jewish, anti-everything, everyone is going to hell) forwards to me at work. If she really felt compelled to send them then she had to send them to me at home. I haven’t gotten one sense. :thumbsup:


#16

Send her a Hail Mary.


#17

My brother, a self professed “flaming liberal,” regularly sends out political emails. The first couple of times I got a Bush-hating email, I just ignored it. But since they kept coming, I sent him back a light hearted reply with the subject; “there’s an enemy in your camp” and just saying, If you don’t mind, I’d rather not receive the political emails since we pretty much disagree on those topics. For the most part they stopped, although every now and then one gets through. I just delete them, and chalk it up to a mistake. If I were you, I’d wait and see if this was a pattern or a fluke. If it’s a pattern, then just request that she not send religious jokes to you, since you and she look at these things differently. Be general about your guidelines, because it is true that she may not be able to judge which jokes would offend you and which ones wouldn’t.


#18

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