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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Hey Gabrielle,
As most all the advice i have has already been stated, I will only reiterate some key points that helped me.

I also knew I was an atheist at an early age, but luckily for me my parents gave me the choice about whether or not I wanted to attend church when I was 10-11ish, after I threw a particular nasty hissy fit.
I never went back and soon my parents decided they liked camping and boating more than going to church so the topic never really came up. They were however both still christians and I was scared of their reaction. I was not in a position to be shunned and I knew it but still I did not want to disappoint them.

When I started college I decided to take some religious studies courses because I had admitted to some of my friends that I was an athiest and during our debates I realized I needed more information in order to better make my case. The classes really helped because I was now able to compare and contrast all the worlds religions, their simulaties, origins and differences. This allowed me to better articulate my views and once I had a full grasp of what I felt and why, I was able to come out.

I did tell them that some of the basic values of christianity had served me well; but that I could not be aboard with the supernatural aspects. I also proceeded to explain about the history of world religion and the simularities of them to Judeo/Christian disiplines and how I viewed all religions as maps to guide your life by but not to taken at word value. It did seem to help them accept it, even if I did stretch the actual amount of respect that I had for religion (which is not much) I saw no reason to kick them while they were down and feel my gentle approach helped their egos.
Well, it's been about a year so far since you posted this. I'm curious how things have developed for you since then. I am a fan of gradually coming out to deeply religious parents. Consider how it will make them feel if you drop/dropped the bombshell all at once. If they care about you, they will be heartbroken most likely, but should not abandon, shun or disown you if they truly love you. Based on their beliefs, your chosen path leads to your own destruction so they would naturally be upset about it.

My mother was able to witness my conversion to the atheist fold occur in real time for the most part depending on how soon she began to notice my lack of enthusiasm and willingness to participate in worship at our church. We had occasional conversations about things when the topic arose but I never shied about from telling her where I stood. I told her I searched for god as the bible proscribes but found nothing. She seemed to accept that fact but that's not guarantee your family will as well. The full truth was I was dissatisfied with the entire religious experience and didn't want to base my life on something that was essentially false.

If you do decide to come out, be as sincere with your family as you have been and can be with yourself. they will appreciate your honesty and sincerity if they value it and can see it in the way you express yourself.

When you tell them they will naturally try to convince you that god exists and he loves you and he believes in you. The most important thing you can do is to successfully communicate to them why their "evidence" and assurances do not satisfy you. You may also want to express any and all respect you have for them, their values (as they correspond to yours of course) and what not.

Finally, I would just repeat my injunction to come out gradually. Also, weigh the benefits of revealing against the cons it may cause. Since you are still quite young and dependent on your family I would remain reserved about how you feel.

Noor here from India. 18 years old.

I am also a closet Atheist. I belong a very deeply religious and dogmatic religious/Islamic family.
I always think about coming out but I also just try to think otherwise. I believe its not a safe option to come out. especially, when you belong to a religion where a lot of people are intolerant.
Who knows, I might also get physically abused or whatever. also, the place/area I live is full of narrow minded people. so I think its rational option, not to come out of closet.

so, if anybody who is in similar situation as me. I really recommend not to come out.
Welcome Noor. I am amazed, humbled, and filled with hope that someone from an environment such as yours is able to at least internally question the religion you've been brought up in.

Glad you're able to hide out here. Here's hoping one day you don't have to hide, but until that day do what you need to do to be safe.
Don't even think about it for at least three years. Give yourself a chance to grow up without a lot of unnecessary drama. When the time is right, you'll know it and will be prepared. For now, live life, learn, and have fun.
@ Thinks4Herself (Deb)
I totally agree with you. The best thing is that nobody can control us. Its not a big deal even if I have to live in closet. I get shelter, food and money from my parents. what else do I need then apart from being in closet? Also, I am thinking about doing my masters from abroad maybe. after two years or something. hopefully it will go in good way. can be more free with that though.

@ Jo Jerome

Thanks for appreciating words. as I already said. the first thing is to hide and be safe , out of trouble. Survive till better situation comes ;)

@ AcesLucky


I totally agree with you as well. I used to think to tell my parents. but I gave up the Idea. its frustrating at times but you know I just know how to deal with it now. and plus, as I said earlier, I might go abroad for doing some masters or something maybe. so lets see.
At 15, you are still very dependant on your family, and I am guessing now is not the time to "come out". Nevertheless, it does not hurt to prep family with what they might expect from you by asking them the same questions you ask yourself. How reasonable is it to believe that a god exists? Is faith more important than common sense or rational thought? etc...

After a while they will begin to see that you ask harder questions than they ask, or are used to answering, and eventually will expect you to be more skeptical than your average kid. :) good luck. :)
I'm sorry to hear about your plight. When you no longer live with your parents, run your life the way you want to. Eventually it will become clear to them that you don't attend church, etc. You will have so many things that you will need to be responsible for - putting a roof over your head, attending school, keeping a job, maintaining a relationship. Dropping church will add so much more peace & time to your life that you will end up feeling more secure that this is the right way to go. What can your parents do to you then?

If you are responsible for yourself, then you have the right to be who you want to be. I hope they don't chop you off the family tree. However, if you bring the right kind of people with similar views, that can soften the blow. If you are happy & at ease with yourself, that's what counts. No one should have the kind of the security that requires you to shut-up. For now, that may be the case. You don't have too long.




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