Discussion by: Mirelurk44
My dad, age 50, was recently diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer and a 3 month life expectancy.
He is an anaesthetic doctor with a strong passion for natural history and biology. We are a family of atheists but my dad especially is very militant in his thinking. He's also very quiet and tolerant – He didn't protest when my mum insisted on baptising me, but refused to attend. He would never push his beliefs on to anyone, and avoids discussing his opinion with people he isn't well acquainted with.
My mums side of the family are devout Christians and live in another state, but mum remains in contact with them. My dad hasn't spoken with them in 10 years after moving us away to be raised without religious influence. Since they've heard of my dad's condition, they've taken it upon themselves to 'save' him. They mail us books and bibles, have requested to pray with him over the phone, have advised my mum that his cancer is punishment for his atheist lifestyle, and personally warned my dad that he is destined for hell. My dad is an extremely intelligent person and I find this highly obnoxious and patronising. I KNOW that it annoys him but he will not assert himself.
Why do these people, so distant to my dad, think it is their business? They are disrupting precious time that my dad is enjoying as an atheist, having accepted he has lived a very full and happy life. How do I politely tell these people to STOP – It would be so easy for me to cut ties completely, but they are still very important people to my mum.