I know I am an atheist. To me that's a fact very much in the same why the sky is blue for me. My dad as much as I love him he's a baptist. Last night was very interesting because we talked about my being an atheist. For once this talk didn't have the usual level of screaming and carrying on by both sides. He asked me if I could "try on GOD for 30 days"...I shit you not. Now, he wanted me to promise him I could do this. And my reply was I could not. There are personal reasons, but as well as deep philosophical reasons why I do not believe in the existence of any God or Gods. In some ways I think he kind of understood that and in other ways I think he doesn't understand how I could've gotten to this point. Now, I told him when my mother used to abuse me she at times would quote bible scripture at me. He knows this now. I still told him all those painful memories aside for me the philosophical issues, and beliefs one must believe in order to be a Christian let alone a believer in any faith is a deal breaker for me. I have people I occassionally go to church with on Sundays. I like them as people, I like talking to them after services are over. I care not for their beliefs I just enjoy their company. Tonight I am going to bible study with him, because I do enjoy the debating that goes back and forth as they try to indoctrinate me. Of course I'm highly resistant. And for them they're not the angry hostile Christians you come across at times but they are devout, and I love them for who they are not what they are. I say all of this to ask this question:

How do I get my dad to understand my atheism is not a phase? How do I get them to understand that the issues I have are not only with their faith, but faith itself the concept of it? That the very structure of religion and how it's setup and what wills people to do completely upsets my stomach and makes me cringe.

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All you can really do is lay out your reasons for being an atheist and let him see for himself that it is not a phase. If he wants to believe your atheism is a phase, he will cling to that as hope that you will return to religion. There isn't much you can do to change that other than showing him that it is not a phase. That will take time.
Tell him you are not lost or confused, and that you didn't decide one day to become atheist. It was a learning process, and you finally feel at peace and sure of yourself. You may have to tell him that he cannot feel what you are feeling. You're dad is convinced that he's trying to do the right thing. Tell him that christianity is not the only right or moral path. As i'm telling you this, i'd be surprised if this doesn't become heated. I don't know your dad, but in my experience, it always blows up because of the other person's frustration. You can say "i once was lost, but now i'm found:)"
to be honest i don't know if you can show your father that this is who you are. it obviously frightens him that you chose your own path in life where he didn't even think much about it. i would remind him if i were you of the good things that you have done and continue to do and maybe he'll stop getting so emotional about it. remind him that Gandhi was not a christian, or that since mother Theresa's diaries or letters were made public it became revealed that she had doubted the existence of god and the soul.
just ask them the same thing you said above, "love me for who i am, not what." i think that this is something irrefutable.
I don't think he can accept or understand your atheism.

But you can let him know you honor him as your father, and want him to love you as his son.

When he presses for one of these conversations, ask if he can allow you to work it out on your own, and repeat that you honor him as your Father and thank him for that.
Sounds like youu're doing ok. Your issue is that your parents dad won't accept your atheism, but he doesn't seem to be too negative.
Things like 'try on god' as catch phrases that believers think will convince us because they don't respect our covictions. More importantly, they misunderstand that you did try on god. That's he problem. Under honest examination, gods are false and her frequently hateful and insecure,".
You have an opporunity to engage in comparative religion and study. Point out the ethical implications of the passages the preacher presents and the bible study group. This won t make heir god exist but if your dad asks you to I vestigate his religion, it's not the worst thing to follow his wishes. He might be more careful what he asks for after he sees how things turn out.

A second option is torediret from his god to your relationship. This way you can focus on mutual respect t, the importance of family and most importantly the boudaries you have as individuals. He has his religion an you don't want to strain your relationship by challenging his religion . And vice versa. This is slightly less likely to lead to a confrontation.

As several people have mentioned, he's unlikely to change. Only time, and months or years p seeing you live happliy as an atheist will help him to accept your beliefs. Be careful not to damage the relationship by tring to rush the process.
Some people no matter what their faith are willing to let it go because they realize that your life and your beliefs have no personal influence over them. Others won't. My solution to that one is that I usually avoid religious debates with people because most of the time I have found it ends with someone in tears and then not speaking for several months if not years. You can't win all the time. Not everyone is willing to understand the fact that you don't believe in god, nor will they understand the difference between believing god doesn't exist(atheist) and not believing in god(them when they have "lost their way"). My sugguestion would be to avoid the topic for these people, as you can't get them to understand your viewpoint just as much you can't understand their beliefs.

I have rarely found a person who is so in-your-face-asshole about it that I can't just change the subject, usually for those, a good old, "fuck off" works well. But then again, I've been out since the day I was born, I don't even see it as a battle, just steering clear of retards. Which is difficult because this is your father. Give him time.

Plus there's a quote somewhere for something that works with some religious people that they shant try to force their beliefs upon others or some such. I've used that one on one of those bible-thumpers handing out watch-towers and she thanked me for making a good point and may I have a nice day. It was weird.
I agree with Sophy but suggest to discuss this topic thoroughly one last time and then openly refuse (not just avoid) to discuss it again whenever your father brings it up, eg by asking if he has anything new (and substantial) to add to what you've already discussed, and if not, just telling him you're not interested in the discussion.
However, I must add that your going to church once in a while may fuel his hopes for your re-conversion. It would be probably more effective if you just don't show any interest in any questions related with religion and the Bible.




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