Project Genesis

Dealing with an Intolerant Parent

My father and I go “head to head” over many issues. His mother recently died, and ever since then he has become extremely intolerant of any religious views that do not match his own. I know that I am supposed to honor my parents, but I am struggling as he seems unable to even listen to ideas besides his own. My mother tells me to write him off, but that is easier said than done. What do I do?

If it is impossible to have a rational discussion with someone, it is best to avoid controversial subjects when talking to that person. You will have to tell your father, in a polite tone of voice, something to the following effect: “I respect your right to have your own opinions, and I would be happy if you would respect my right to my own. However, you see that arguing over these opinions only leads to unpleasantness and I have decided not to bring up these subjects any longer.” If your father then brings up the subject, gently remind him that you are no longer having discussions with him on these issues and, if he persists, leave the room.

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