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'Parents cancelled my sister's sweet sixteen after a dinner argument over the election.' UPDATED

'Parents cancelled my sister's sweet sixteen after a dinner argument over the election.' UPDATED


Ideological differences can tear a family apart.

"Parents cancelled my(F17) sister's(F16) sweet sixteen after an dinner argument."

My parents are very religious and are leaders in their church, and we've had past arguments based on religion. They are also very politically opinionated, and this argument involved both things (a previous argument was mom disliking when my sister and I took dinner to our rooms whenever they were watching political content while making/eating dinner).

My parents wanted to do a family dinner with some church friends before her sweet sixteen for something more intimate on her actual birthday (the sweet sixteen would've been shortly after on a weekend), and they took her to a restaurant. But while we were there, mom began talking about Tr*mp to one of her friends, and my sister (Laura) asked her not to talk about politics which mom didn't like

Mom told her that she was being disrespectful and that she could talk about whatever she wanted. But when Laura told her that they were there for "her" birthday, she said it didn't matter and told her to mind her business. Laura then asked if she could sit somewhere else, but mom told her no, and that made Laura upset.

She said she was tired of hearing about Tr*p (they watch his clips on YouTube/videos about him at home too) and that she didn't get why she supported him too. But when mom's friend asked why she felt that way, Laura said he didn't act like a Christian and called him a "false prophet" who was "tricking Christians by pretending to be one while committing adultery and other crimes."

But when mom's friend said that you vote for the party's values instead of the candidate, Laura said that that shouldn't give him a pass before mom changed the subject. On the ride back, mom scolded her for acting "ungrateful" and that she'd talk to dad about her behavior before telling her a few days later that she wasn't getting a sweet sixteen anymore for "embarrassing" them in front of her friend.

We already had people invited, but my mom has since cancelled the venue too. I tried to tell dad that it wasn't fair to cancel her party when she already invited friends (along with how mom shouldn't have taken over her birthday), but he wouldn't listen or change his stance when we talked.

I asked Laura if she wanted to do something else with me instead, but she said no and mostly kept to herself since, and they've confronted her about it in her room too.

I just want to ask if I can do anything to cheer her up or support her more than telling her I agree with her stance (which I already did) because I don't know if there's anything else I can do at the moment, and she seems really down about the whole thing

Not long after posting, OP shared a small update.

EDIT: Lauren's birthday already passed. Her birthday was the day we went to a restaurant with church friends because it fell on a weeknight, and her sweet sixteen was gonna be on a later weekend that worked better for everyone to attend/ I love how she's strong enough to stand up to them on her morals.

But also afraid that it'll cost her college because our parents are currently paying for mine and hers, and they were willing to cancel her sweet sixteen over something as stupid as talking politics at her birthday when she asked not to. They already cancelled invitations they sent out along with the venue too. Laura also doesn't want to do any activities in place of the sweet sixteen at the moment

The internet had a lot to say in response.

Friendly-Client6242 wrote:

So your parents showed those great Christian values of love and grace by cancelling her sweet 16?

She will be NC in 2 years. She may be quiet, but she’s biding her time.

Good for her for speaking up. Shame on your parents for disallowing her to have an option that differs. Welcome to Christian Nationalism. You could bring her one of her favorite snacks and a card. Tell her you’re proud of her and you love her. That will go miles. FWIW I’m proud of you for having empathy for your sister and wanting to cheer her up.

OP responded:

That sounds like something she might like if she doesn't want to go out or do anything else. Thanks for providing the suggestion.

MedicineConscious728 wrote:

Hope your mom doesn’t mind that she’s got a year before Laura never speaks to her again.

jailthecheeto1124 wrote:

Laura, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone else but your parents are zealot magas. Bite your lip so they pay for college and when its done go NO CONTACT and tell them exactly why.

salvagemania wrote:

Your parents need to learn some manners. It's rude to talk about politics during a dinner.

OP responded:

And her birthday dinner on her actual birthday, then ruining her birthday by punishing her for asking not to talk about politics.

HydroPaladin wrote:

Maybe if you surprised her with small things? A handmade card, a cupcake with a candle in it; possibly face time friends to sing happy birthday?

OP responded:

I think a small card sounds nice and maybe a cupcake, but her actual birthday was when we went to the restaurant with church friends, and the sweet sixteen was on a later weekend because it wasn't gonna work on a weekday for who she wanted to invite, so her birthday already passed and was the night of the dinner.

sixpackofducks responded:

Could you all meet up at a park or food court or somewhere free where you won't get kicked out and see if everyone would be willing to bring snack each? Even just chips lollies etc.

OP responded:

I can see if she'd like that, but when I asked if she'd like to do something instead of the sweet sixteen away from her parents, she said no because she was embarrassed with her parents cancelling the invitation with her friends.

A few months later, OP shared another update.

I wanted to add some closure to my original post because I received a lot of great advice. A few people suggested telling her friends what happened (at the restaurant) and arranging a surprise party separate from my parents for her.

However, after putting myself in her shoes, I decided against it because it'd be wrong for me to control the narrative of how she wants (or doesn’t want) to tell her friends.

However she chooses to tell them is her choice along with any alternative celebrations she wants to have, and I wouldn't like it if someone told my friends about something personal that embarrassed me (since she was embarrassed with how our mom told her off at the restaurant along with telling her friends' parents that the party was canceled).

It's not my place to control her narrative, so I instead went to her room and asked if she wanted me to treat her to ice cream instead, but she said no and that she only wanted to talk. So we talked in her room, and she vented to me, and I'll mention a few details The restaurant was not the first time she got into an altercation with them about politics.

There was a Sunday where the pastor of our church made a jab towards gays for whatever reason some time back (during pride month), and people in the congregation egged him on as he did. My sister (Laura) and I were not among them (we're past the age of Sunday school and sit with our parents in church), and my sister called my parents out for it in the car.

She said that his jab being the most enthusiastic moment/reaction in the service epitomized what was wrong with modern-day Christianity. Too many Christians care about roasting gays instead of what Jesus was actually about; helping those in need out of love. But our parents argued that Christians are supposed to call out wrong when we see it, and that included g*y marriage in their opinion

We touched on that briefly because Laura said that Trump's presidency exposed the hatred bottled up in many Christians by making them feel validated in voicing hatred brashly similar to Trump's brashness, and she said Christianity lost a lot of credibility because of him too. However, she also said that he exposed fake Christians which was good because Jesus wasn’t about h*te.

The last thing I'll mention is that dad came to her room to reinforce that she was disrespectful at the restaurant (when all she asked was to not talk politics at dinner).

But when she told him that Christians couldn’t give Tr*mp a pass for his crimes (some against the ten commandments) despite being a republican/conservative, dad reinforced his belief in voting for the party instead of the candidate because "Christians had to vote against gay rights and abortion that Democrats were for", and he even said he'd vote for Hitl*r if he was the republican nominee too.

Both of us have permanently lost respect for him because he basically admitted he would vote for any candidate regardless of actions if they championed conservative/Christian views. My sister also decided not to have a party this year because she's not in the mood, and I respect that.

She said she told her friends and that they respected her wishes not to do anything too. She also promised to take me up on ice cream in the future. But if we do, it'll just be the two of us because she doesn't want any more than that.

The internet supported OP and their sister.

rem_1984 wrote:

"Really interesting and sad read. So these kids would’ve been 8/9/10 when trump got into office. Remember all those kids at all the events? This is them now, brain development. They remember all the stuff their parents taught them abt being good Christians before trump showed up, but their parents are mad about it :(

FriesWithShakeBooty wrote:

"Jesus and the devil could run for office, and OP’s parents would vote for the latter if he said the right words"

johnnyslick responded:

"And I mean for the s**tiest of reasons too:

Jesus: I believe in universal health care

Satan: Hey guys you know why I created Hell? IT'S FOR THE GAAAAAAYS

Republicans: oh yeah that's great you know vote for the party not the man

Chinaroos wrote:

"Christianity was partly a reaction to the commodification of religion during the Second Temple. It's hard to express just how much Jewish life revolved around the Temple's sacrifices, and every sacrifice cost money. During the Roman occupation, the Temple would only take donations on shekels (at that time a dead currency) and controlled the exchange rate from denarii to shekels.

So Jesus comes along and says, "you don't need to do any of that because I am the sacrifice." Now the Jews have an out--suddenly the extortive Temple becomes an "option", if only you believe in Jesus' sacrifice.

It was cultural evolution in the same way that Judaism evolved an idea of God that could not be put in a statue and did not require human sacrifice. But like the Temple, Christianity (particularly American Protestantism) has become corrupted.

Now any transgression, no matter how vile, can be forgiven with the right words. This Christianity is a societal enabler, giving people license to indulge the worst sides of themselves while still being accepted by the community. Thanks to Tr*mp, the mask is now off. They will never be accepted outside of their community again, and so demand submission, by vi*lence if necessary.

Tr*mpism and their counterparts are the supernova of 200 years of American culture and will destroy the cultural institutions connected with it. But it's not all bad. Like a forest fire, these destructive movements can't last forever. Something new will rise up from the ashes. Our great task is to sew those new cultural seeds and get them ready to grow.

Hopefully, OP and their sister can move far away from their parents' stronghold.

Sources: Reddit
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