So I'm 18, and still live with my parents. I've also been an Atheist for two years now, and have never looked back at my former Christian faith.
So my mom and family still think that I'm a Christian, and they haven't really asked me much about my faith, but recently, my mom is really making a push to get me to read the read the bible, pray, etc. , and it is really starting to make me feel very uncomfortable.
The point is, I want to tell my family that I'm an Atheist, but I'm not sure how. If I just come out and tell my mom, she's going to kill me, I just know it, and may even take away my laptop and android tablet.
Does anyone have any experience with this and can offer suggestions? I really need help! I don't want to keep pretending to be a Christian! I want my family to know who and what I am, and I don't want to keep it a secret.
You can also forget about having to feel guilty about secrets while you wait until you're emancipated from your parents home. Remember, …a personal belief, or personal non belief is just that; personal. Not telling them, or waiting to tell them is like that, a personal choice. You're neither betraying your parents nor any kind of non believer "ideal".
Yeah .. really cool Richard.
Well said, David. Well said.
That's my plan. I feel quite guilty, but I'm going to stick with it.
Id say read the bible while your at it. It never hurts to read what ever the literature, then you can start pointing things out to your mom like How would they have possibly gotten 2 of every animal on a small wooden ship and How did an old man climb a mountain twice and just to talk with a burning bush. Then you can say the things you learned while going through it properly was also a deciding factor against religion when you eventually come out to your parents.
The story of the crazy warlord dynasty, eh?
I would agree that it's sound advice to read through the bible. It will certainly keep your family happy even though you are being deceptive, as well as enlighten you to the many contradictions and hypocritical claims therein.
And waiting until you move out to drop the bomb is a good idea too - remember that you will have to live with the repercussions of anything you admit to your parents while you are under their roof. Stay strong and look forward to a good time at college!
I waited until I was out of my parents' house and financially independent to come out to them as both gay AND atheist (but not at the same time -- came out gay in 2009, and atheist just last year). Bizarrely, they took my being an atheist hardest of all. But there's no way I could've done either while still living at home and not gotten (if you'll pardon the expression) hell for it.
Excellent advice. I have firmly decided that I don't dare tell them until I move away, because I know that my mom will bombard me until I 'succumb' if I tell her my Atheism. I will not let that happen. It'd make my life living torture.
Yeah. Consider that you're living at home, under their rules, and there's the threat of retaliation (like you said, taking away your laptop, tablet, etc), it's not worth it. My parents would have for sure dragged me in front of the church elders. My dad actually tried to exorcise demons from me once because he thought I was possessed. Your parents sound as fundie as mine are, and it was hard enough interacting with them after coming out to them because every conversation would lead to an attempt to "bring me back." Once my dad exclaimed, "I guess you just want to go to hell!" But they had no sway over me as an adult. Eventually you'll be able to do the same!
I have read it, and pointed out the things like that to myself. I've also used resources like the Skeptics Annotated Bible and the "Evil Bible." I don't dare point out that stuff to my mom yet, though. Since she's a pretty diehard Christian, she certainly won't take it very well, and might catch on to my skepticism. That can't happen now, it's too early. I need to wait until I go to college and have a place to go if things get heated, because my mom and my sister will certainly not let me go 'unsaved.'
Yes. My approach to Twitter and social media was formed by being with my fundamentalist family. When you start thinking about every piece of communication that you're sending out and how it's going to be interpreted, you become much more intentional. It's easy to get into a sort of seige mentality, where every interaction is a potential battle. My advice would be to just disengage as much as possible from "spiritual" conversations. Be polite, but walk away as often as possible. They might be puzzled and concerned, but for now be Switzerland.
I'm going to sound like an echo here, but indeed, until you are a free agent, keeping your atheism private is the best choice for you.
And sure - read the bible - read the parts that NO ONE TALKS ABOUT. Neat stuff in Leviticus about seafood and in Deuteronomy about women and rape. Judges 19 has a LOVELY passage about how a father apparently feels about his daughter (as it happens, I'm a father who wouldn't do what that that guy did with his daughter on my WORST DAY!). The Skeptic's Annotated Bible has all sorts of this stuff.
Oh, and LISTEN ... to Dawkins and Harris and, of course, to Hitchens. They're all over YouTube. Use headphones if you have to, but do listen. These guys have inspired the daylights outta me, and they could do the same for you.
Most of all, get to know who you are, atheism and all, and be strong in yourself. That way, when the day comes that your folks HAVE to know, you can stand your ground and NOT back down. No, that's not easy, not remotely, but when you tell them that this is no "phase" you're going through, that this is part of who you are, maybe you can at least start the seed of some respect for your position in them.
One last matter: you need help? YOU GOT HELP. Granted, I can't do much from here on the North Coast, but if I can answer a question or find you a needed reference text or video, I'll take my best shot.
Do please hang in there, Alex. You Are Worth It!