Hello everyone! I'm pretty new to this site, but I love it by far.
Okay, so I'm a 15 year old and I belong to an extremely religious family. I hate it when my family talk so badly about disbelievers. It's pretty obvious why I wouldn't want to tell them I don't believe in god/jesus/holy spirit. I'm not telling them anytime soon, but can you guys give me advice on how I will tell them in the future? The last thing I want is to disappoint my family and be crossed out of our family tree for being an atheist. I really don't know what to do anymore.

Anyone have any advice on how I'll tell them in the future?

Thanks in advanced. :)

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If you were to let your family know that you don't like it when they say nasty things about non believers would they stop bringing it up in front of you? Do they insult other groups of people as well? Maybe you can make it seem like you're too PC to be comfortable with that conversation.

I think that once your on your own if you're consistantly apathetic about religious topics, and absent from religious gatherings they'll start to get the picture. The shock might not be so bad for them once they've had time to suspect it and accept the possibility. When you feel ready to come out to them, come out. You don't have to tell all of them at once. You know your family, start with the person you feel the most comfortable telling. Let everyone else know at your own pace.

Let them know that rejecting their religion isn't a rejection of them. People have close bonds despite differences in belief all of the time. You might have to open their eyes to this.
I think you will find the proper way to address this issue as you grow older and mature. At your age, you may be struggling with how to properly define your atheism. Devoting significant time to study and reflection will help you become more comfortable with your own beliefs and will allow you to broach the subject with much greater confidence. I know it may be tough living under their roof, but just remember that you'll be on your own before too long.
I had the same problem......I waited until I had moved out on my own (17) before I 'came out' as an atheist because I didn't want the drama.
I think in the situation described in the original post, this is probably a wise idea. Things change dramatically once you are no longer living in your parents' home. Of course, only you can decide if you are willing to wait that long.
For me I came to the party only recently (Im 27) I came out to my wife (a kinda sorta twice a year catholic) She was upset a little, and confused, and we have worked it out and everything is better. That being said my mother is very active in the church I grew up in (Episcopal) and I don't foresee a day when I will come out to her, it just doesn't serve a purpose. My in laws are equally religious and I know that if I tell them I probably wont be ostracized, but it may not be much of a stretch.

I tend to be very pragmatic, what is the perceived benefit vs the risks. Everyone around me knows that I have been hyper critical of religion for many years, I've never been shy about it. If you want to "ease" them into it start with some basic questions that you could say you have been thinking of.
I'm 19 and sorta standing in the closet door, waitinv for anyone to ask, but not about to go spread the word. I think it might be better to wait, as others suggested. The more you define your own beliefs, the easier i will be. Also, becoming more independant at an older age helps.
Try to look at it like this. What is a family built upon? Trust, Love, and Honesty. Granted you telling them that you are an Atheist is going to unquestionably get some anger from that but realize that anger should pass. There maybe no question as to their love for you, but do they respect you enough to respect your thinking and where you stand on this issue? To be banished from family over such a thing can be indeed very painful and heart wrenching of an experience. However, it has been my position that in order for a family to be close they must not be uncomfortable around eachother. To keep such secrets eventually is going to leave you with a headacge and your just doing lip service everytime ya go to church, say prayers whatever have you. Just realize that telling them that you are an Atheist is not to cheese them off, but simply that you are old enough to decide this issue for yourself. And you are going to have to be strong in your defense of your atheism. They are going to challenge you about "WHY" and "HOW COULD YOU" become in fact an Atheist. If they truly wish to understand they will listen, if not then for the moment they are consumed by their own anger. And you are going to have to be strong enough to deal with that. I told my father I was an Atheist when I was about 13. Till this day we still get into our debates about why, because the GOD question is largely a philosophical one wrapped up in religion. Was not easy. Never really yelled at me, but he wasn't enthused with my decision. It will take time. To me and this is just my opinion but life is to short not to try and do, and dream boldy. If you feel you can share this with them and the outcost be no that detrimental then do so...but if you still wish to maintain that closeness with them and you think telling them is going to cause great harm. Wait, and in time reveal. Because eventually it's going to come out.
This is the true powers of Christianity and Islam. Teaching kids to believe that to become a nonbeliever is to become the worst that one can be. A person unworthy of not only the love of their god, but also of their friends and family, and only good enough to be roasted over flames for eternity. Can anyone think of better basic tenets for a belief system that could more efficiently keep people in the faith.

For your particular situation I really don't know what to tell you, revealing a lack of faith in some families can be a life shattering experience. Perhaps you could move slowly, and just throw out a sly question or statement once in a while, that will get them thinking, and slowly work into a full statement of disbelief as you judge their reactions.

I wish you luck, and congrats for keeping your rational self alive during such a prolonged assault. Keep us informed on your progress.
I never had to deal with particular situation because I got the whole deal over with when I was a 5 year old who would say what was on his mind compulsively and randomly. (My mom found out that I was an atheist when I announced that "I don't believe in God, I believe in Science" in the middle of a soporific Yom Kippur service.) So, I can't give you any advice from experience. Compulsively, I would probably say something along the lines of "if your family won't accept you for the way you are, then there's no point in keeping connections tied." However, just announcing it frankly would probably be the worst thing to do, due to the fact that you're still stuck with them until you go to college; you'd just end up making your next three years of life a living hell. Personally, I would probably announce it while in college, because a) I wouldn't want to withhold it forever and b) the internal pressure would probably be just too great.

On the other hand, this could be a valuable opportunity to teach your family the truth about atheists...
I'm 22 and was raised in a very religious family as well. It seems like they all got more religious as I became less so. I started to seriously doubt my parents' religion when I was 17, and it took me until I was 20 to become comfortable with my atheism. (Lucky you for the head start!) I still haven't come out to them, but its getting closer all the time. I'm fairly close to my parents (considering I live 10 hours away), and I'd like to come out to them because I'd like them to know where I am in my "faith" life. I don't want to be forced into the conversation with my grandparents/other extended family though. I think they would be much more abrasive and dismissive, and so far I've left it there.

Sorry if that didn't give you any advice, but I thought you might like to know that there are others in a similar situation.
Sounds like your family is more hard a** than mine was...My mother was the religious one,but she never really discussed atheists,so I have no idea how she felt.
When I was 13 i said i was not going to church anymore.
She did not ask why and that was that.
I was lucky to have my religious mother feel some sick sense of pride because I told her that it made me love her even more giving me the tools to make my own decisions and teaching me to love nature (she went to vet school at NC State). I was lucky to have her support my environmental adventures by buying me research material as a young child to learn about animals. That is really what put me on the path to atheism. So its her fault that I'm atheist by encouraging me to learn as much about the universe as I could.




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