This is kind of a f/u to a post I made @ Thanksgiving here:
Anyway, DH hadn't talked to sister about this until yesterday. He's been slammed with the last few weeks of the school semester. She called to wish him happy bday yesterday evening & he decided to bring it up - also, 1st time he's talked to her since the incident.
He basically told her "I can't change who your friends with, but this hurt me b/c ..." She said that her goal is to save ex's soul (SIL has become really, really fundamentalist over the last year), & that ex comes to church with her a lot, & DH doesn't, therefore she's closer with ex. DH is an atheist & "came out" to his family about it last year. She goes on & on about how the reason we feel upset is b/c we're not right with God. Oh, & the fact that ex has assaulted DH in front of SD & is emotionally abusing SD is okay, b/c she's trying to get right with God. Ummm, whatever.
After 45 mins of this craziness & lots of over the top preaching, DH hangs up. Within a few seconds, SIL calls him back & starts grilling him on why we celebrate Hanukkah even though I'm an atheist. DH corrects her & says I'm more agnostic than anything, but that my Jewish heritage is very important to me & we try to maintain the cultural aspects. She starts going on about how that seems rather hypocritical, she'll pray for me, blah blah. DH was just like & had to leave, so he hung up. I'm pretty hurt that she could even question why a Jew would celebrate Hanukkah, agnostic or not. The fact I had family that lived behind a wall during the Holocaust has significance for me outside of the "does God exist" issue. I told him I would call her after Ari went down & explain to her what being a Jew meant to me. If his family doesn't understand how hurtful they are being, they'll keep doing it. And obviously I can explain how important this is to me better than he can.
I called SIL & told her that I wanted to offer a little more explanation about the issue. She states she was satisfied with DHs answer, but she'll pray for me. I calmly told her that I was hurt by the question, but understood why she asked, & offered a quick explanation of what Jewish culture means to me. She says that I only flip flop on whether God exists b/c some days I don't like what life dishes out (!!!!!! uh no, but thanks for ASSuming), that I'm a total hypocrite for even calling myself Jewish, that we need to make sure Ari hears about Jesus so he can be saved from hell b/c that's where he'll go if we raise him Jewish, that only a real Jew should celebrate Hanukkah, & I am a wishy washy flip flopper, not a real Jew. If I was hurt by her question, it's b/c I'm a sinner in God's eyes.
No actually, I was just trying to explain to you the lens through which I see this, so you can understand. But you're not really listening, so I'll let you go & have a nice night.
So now my fundamentalist SIL who knows nothing of Judaism has concluded that I'm a phony Jew. Thanks for the judgment, I'll be sure to let God (if he exists) know that you've already decided this for him.
Let me clarify, I'm not knocking being deeply religious - SIL's church is bordering on cultish & if you use religion as an excuse to turn your back on your brother, I have an issue with you, not religion per se. Several family members are actually concerned about her church & her religious fervor, & DHs family is pretty religious.
This post is long, sorry. I'm just really hurt, but I know I should probably let this roll off since SIL has become pretty crazy over the last year. If it was just her, it would be different, but its not.
Thanks for listening. I guess I just need to be done with all of this, but it's hard to be "done" with ILs. Christmas at MILs will be even more awkward this year. Yay.