My Mom is an atheist--she has been one since shortly after my brother died 25 years ago. For comfort, she decided to read the Bible cover-to-cover, and when she was done she didn't believe in it anymore.
I am also an atheist, but came to it through a different route. I learned of my Mom's newfound loss of faith because I wanted to call her and taunt her with MY lack of faith--as kids will do--about 20 years ago. When I told her I was an atheist she said, "You know, I am too. It just doesn't make sense to me." And then she told me how she had come to that determination.
So that's the background, just to set up that I am in no way responsible for my Mom's atheism.
My mother has a sister, my aunt, who is VERY religious. However, my mother never told her that she was an atheist because she didn't want to hurt he feelings--but she did tell my aunt that I am an atheist. So, as far as aunt is concerned, I am the evil heathen bad influence.
My aunt is very demanding about what I must do for my Mom--including having chaplains visit--preferably Lutheran. I'm fine with that, as my Mom is in hospice care and the guy they sent was very cool and doesn't proselytize--just chats with my Mom. I should note that the aunt never offers to contact and send a chaplain--I have to do that. I'm also supposed to read her Bible verses. . .
The last time she visited, I came home from a hair appointment to find a cross nailed to my Mom's bedroom wall. My Mom's aide described how she had brought her own nail, but couldn't find a hammer, so she had helped them look for a hammer after my Mom said it was okay. (The aide knows my Mom is not religious)
I came home to find this giant thing that had made a huge hole in the plaster wall. My aunt jumped up quickly to explain that my Mom said it was okay. Well, OF COURSE she said it was okay--she has dementia, for one, and also doesn't want to offend her sister. But even when my Mom was a believer, she NEVER had crosses on the walls.
When her sister left, my Mom told me to "take that thing down." So I did, and put a little picture there. But EVERY time aunt calls, she asks my Mom about the cross. So I said, very loudly, that Mom had asked me to put it on her bedside table so she could hold it. Now I will have to make sure to get it out of the drawer every time aunt comes to visit, lol.
So here's the dilemma. I have no problem with people of faith--nor does my Mom. But my aunt seems to think i am putting atheist cooties all over my Mom or something, and her religious demands are getting oppressive. It's not like I don't have enough to do without arranging clergy visits also. So, should i tell my aunt that my mom has not been religious for 25 years?
I am tempted to tell my aunt that my mother was an atheist a long time ago--before I was. But I don't want to hurt her, and she also might not believe me because Dementia Mom might contradict me.