When tragedy strikes, some people turn to religion to find answers.
But conflict can arise if not everyone is on board with seeking solace from the same source.
Redditor cousinandreligion recently found himself at odds with his religious cousin over a personal tragedy, so he turned to the subReddit "Am I the A**hole" (AITA) to see if his reaction was out of line, asking:
"AITA for making a disrespectful comment about God because my cousin wouldn't shut up about my accident?"
The original poster (OP) laid out what happened.
"I'll admit I'm (M26) dealing with some heavy stuff right now. I was in an accident last December that killed my best friend &left me paralyzed from the waist down."
"This is a dramatic change in my life that I still struggle with, not being able to walk again, losing someone I love, dealing with survivors guilt and other emotional stuff that leaves me in a dark place."
"Before this, I was never religious and neither is anyone in my family except my cousin. She's tried for years to drag everyone to her church."
"It feels like ever since this happened, she's used my accident to prove God is great because there was a high possibility I wasn't going to make it and he 'saved me.' It's all she talks about with the family."
"While dealing with all the physical and emotional trauma that comes with this, my cousin hasn't stopped bothering me about going to church with her to thank god for this miracle, which still doesn't feel like that to me but I'm trying to work that out in therapy."
"I've told her many times that's not my belief and church is the last place I want to be."
"It's got worse now that the church services are online so she literally comes to my place so we can watch together. I ask her to leave and it takes a few times until she does."
"I reached my breaking point last week when again she insisted when we were all having breakfast. At the table she talked about God having a plan and how sometimes he makes things happen mentions my accident so we can open our hearts to him."
"So I asked her, 'you're saying God's plan was to almost have me killed and leave me in a wheelchair just so I could thank him for not killing me after all?' My cousin didn't know how to answer that and I bitterly told her 'no offense but your god sounds very toxic.'"
"A few of my cousins thought it was funny but everyone else didn't know how to react. Then we just changed the subject but she didn't talk anymore after that."
"Ofc (of f**king course) I get the txt from her about how she was just trying to help and she deserves an apology for being so disrespectful about her religion."
"Everyone is kind of annoyed with her too and my mom says she doesn't like the way she's been using my accident either. My dad feels I did go too far and should've just kept my mouth shut because in her mind, she believes she is in fact helping me."
"I'm glad I at least have some peace since she's not talking to me but she now she's spreading word around that I insulted her when all she's done at this point is 'help' me through this period in my life."
"Don't know if I was being a justifiable a-hole, complete a-hole or not one at all. Guess I'll leave that to all of you."
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You're The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Everyone agreed that the OP was NTA for standing up to his cousin.
"NTA your cousin needs to stfu"—miller_230
"Exactly! I'm Christian and still this God of hers sounds extremely toxic."
"Well said OP, I think I would have been a lot less kind in your situation! You are following Jesus teachings better than your cousin."—Lentilfairy
"NTA. Your cousin is being pushy and insensitive, and you don't need to deal with her harassment on top of everything else. You tried to tell her nicely and she kept pushing."
"Wishing you peace and healing."—ImpatientCrassula
"Nta, if anything you didn't go far enough."
"Even after repeated times of saying no, kicking her out and not going to church and she still wanted to push the issue? You were a lot nicer than I would have been."—whitewer
Just because the OP's cousin is religious doesn't mean she has the right to bombard people with it.
"NTA. having religion is like having a penis, it's ok to have one but don't shove it down peoples throats."—Animal0315
"My view on religion is everyone has a right to one, but no one has the right to shove it down others' throats, peer pressure, or gaslight them."
"My go to lines for those making me uncomfortable, usually those ever present hardcore Christians/Catholics/JWs who pray Jesus be with me or my soul or whatever, are:"
- "'Everyone has their own religion and we all think we're correct but no one has concrete proof of anything, so stop forcing your religion on me.'"
- "'What if I worshipped Satan and every time we disagreed, I said 'I pray Satan be with you' or 'I pray Satan finds your soul before you die'? Would you be creeped out? Would that make you uncomfortable? Exactly, so stop making me uncomfortable. It's that easy.'"
- "'Does telling people they're going to hell ever really work for you? Would you convert to a religion that said you would spend eternity in a pit of fire and pain? 'Cause that's just soooo enticing. Sign me up for the eternal fire pit of doom! Satan's got nothing on me, bro, let's go!'"
"Lol. Not the best, but fairly effective in getting people to leave me alone and much more effective than my middle school comeback to my friend—turned super Christian judge-y conservative girl in school—who tried to hand me a Bible everyday because my soul needed saving."
"My crime? Putting BCE (before common era) instead of BC (before Christ) in our history project."
"My response? 'I don't need to read anything you give me, especially not that whale blubber!' Yes, middle school me called the Bible whale blubber..."—WaterEarthFireWind
You don't believe in her god. She is not respecting you or your wishes and using your accident as a prop for her religious theatre."—SeeSockRun
Some even pointed out just how manipulative the OP's cousin was being by trying to convert him during such a dark time in his life.
"NTA she was trying to use your tragedy to get you to join her religion and that is some manipulative sh*t"—SaltySloth342
"She was taking advantage of your misfortune to try to push her religion on you."
"She literally thought you would be more susceptible to her religion because your trouble would have weakened you. That's disgusting and she deserved to be checked hard. NTA."—usernaym44
"A lot of religions and cults (and everything in between) try to recruit people at their lowest moments so that they can mold them into whatever shape they like."
"Why do you think these religions look for drug addicts and prisoners?"—Vagrant123
The OP can be confident knowing he was well within his rights to stand up to his cousin and deal with his grief and recovery in whatever way he sees fit—even if it doesn't involve her God.