‘Dear Prudence’ Advises Reader: Maybe Tell Your Christian In-Laws To Shut Up The Jesus Talk

‘Dear Prudence’ Advises Reader: Maybe Tell Your Christian In-Laws To Shut Up The Jesus Talk BY: TRISTAN JUSTICE for The Federalist

Poetic Justice is an advice column that offers counter-advice to submissions at other publications whose contributors have failed the reader.

A reader wrote to Slate earlier this month dismayed at the faith-based well wishes of her in-laws. The solution proposed by “Prudence,” in the event that tolerance is too much, is to tell the in-laws to knock off the Jesus talk.

The full submission is below titled, “Help! My In-Laws Think Jesus Is Going to Help Us Find a New House.”

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Dear Prudence,

My partner’s family are fairly religious (church every Sunday, religious art, religious music in their homes), while he and I are not. I’ve never overtly stated my religious beliefs to them (agnostic, but definitely not Christian), and my partner and I believe they think he is still somewhat religious, just less so than them. We are a straight couple in our late 20s/early 30s and live completely independently from them, though my partner is fairly close to his family and we live nearby.

My problem is that it’s almost a verbal tic for them to say things like, “I’m praying for you” or “Jesus saves” to me (and everyone) when any sort of issue, large or small, comes up and it’s starting to REALLY grate on me. I don’t at all push my (lack of) religion on them, and I do not believe that Jesus will help us find a new house! Can I gently ask them to knock this off? I have some other, unrelated tensions with them so I’ve hesitated to bring this one up. Is this worth it or should I just suck it up?

— Jesus Ain’t Coming

To Slate’s credit, Prudence began her short response with a plea for tolerance.

“‘Is it worth bringing up’ is a question only you can answer,” Jenée Desmond-Harris wrote under the penname “Prudence.” “Personally, I find it easy to take these comments for what they’re worth and accept them as well-wishes. It’s not as if someone who says ‘I’ll pray for you’ is asking you to lead the family in prayer before a meal.”

A few lines later, Prudence adds, “But I’m not in your head, and I can’t tell how upsetting it is for you to hear these remarks or how much of a betrayal of yourself it feels like to simply say ‘thanks for that.’”

Continue Reading / The Federalist >>>

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