This is what my mother wrote to me on fb...

Take it from ur Mom that loves you. Be careful what u post on Fb, u never know who is reading - Atheist symbols???? Omg!

I want to ask her what she meant by it, but I don't know... You would think after all this time she would have seen on my fb, my posts, the quotes, the discussions that I have with my friends about religion that I'm an atheist. When I first realized that I was starting not to believe, she even helped me look and she said maybe you are an agnostic I guess to her that is not as bad haha... Now I see that is going to be an issue when I tell her MOTHER I'M AN ATHEIST and that's that woman!!! lol 

It really doesn't bother me what she thinks about it, I just don't wanna have to hear it in family conversations for the rest of my life. No matter what I will stand for what I believe in and that's that.

Any opinions on how I should break it down to her? I mean is pretty obvious that she saw the symbols but... how do I bring it up?

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Well I feel your pain. I actually told my mom I would not be accepting her friend request on fbook because I knew it would either lead to the religion, or politic debate with her. At first she when I told her I wasn't accepting her she was all like what? Then I explained to her my reasoning and she seemed to mellow out about the issue...
So any how as far as advice for your atheism coming up all the time at family gatherings, and functions I do not think it necessarily has to, or will. Most family get togethers and holidays even the "religous" holidays, religion is observed for what? Maybe 5 minutes before the meal when someone prays for the food (how you handle this situation I try to distance myself from this as much as possible). The key for you if it does become an issue is to try, and gently remind her that you would love to spend time with her, but doing stuff you two enjoy, and fighting over your choice to be a rational atheist isn't something that's all that enjoyable.
Yep I added her to share pictures of the kids and now I want to delete her so bad hahaha
I've always been up front with my fundamentalist christian parents, and to my surprise they have been supportive of me in my atheism, they always remind me they love me and are praying for me, which, given their world view, I have learned to take as genuine love and not some dig at my choice. They are obviously mystified how God does not reveal himself to me, but if I am to reach them, the best I can do is show that I am a humble, learning person who admits my mistakes readily, is open and honest, and loves them as much or more than they love me.

So, I'd encourage you to show your parent(s) some respect for all they've done for you, and be honest with them, and always remind them you love them.
Thanks Ryan! You are awesome!
I think the fair thing to re-post there is "no problem. I wouldn't post anything I'm embarrassed about or ashamed of". That addresses her concern at least to some extent. You could add "is there something that's a problem?" if you want to put a point on it.
You may or may not want to have a face to face discussion, but it's fair at least to let her know she's making you nervous.
I like your comment Jason! Thanks!
I wouldn't worry. Take it from a mom, she already knows, I guarantee it. She's just getting used to the idea and she's a little worried about you getting criticized or hurt in some way. Let her get used to it, don't worry about anything.
If you want to be able to freely post things on Facebook without getting static from your mom or anyone else, you can filter these people out without having to delete them from your friends list.
I use Facebook a lot; my own mom is unaware of my atheism--and since I didn't want to muzzle myself entirely, I found a way around it. Very simply, it's this: Whenever you post something in your status update, there's a privacy filter you can use to decide who can and cannot see that post. When you go to post a status update, just under that little window you'll see a symbol that looks like a padlock (just to the left of the "share" button). It gives you little drop-down menu with the options of who gets to see your post--the bottom option is "customize". Click on that, and it will allow you to choose people on your friends list who CAN'T see that particular post once you put it up. Once you click on it and make your selections, it also gives you the option to save that person (or people) in a customized list that you can then select any time you want to post something that they can't see. That way, anytime you want to post something that you know will ruffle some feathers, you can choose who you don't want to see it.
This is also true for your photo section (you can customize photo albums or individual photos the same way), and you can also do this with your "religious beliefs" section as well.

The larger question of coming out is of course a tough one--ESPECIALLY with regard to your family. I'm 40 years old and EVERYONE in my life knows I'm an atheist EXCEPT my mom. She recently got an inkling from something I posted on Facebook (it had just never come up before), and she didn't react well. I realized, "OK, I'm a big boy, and there's no reason I should have to tiptoe around it", and realized that I had a decision to make. A big reason for my decision to play it off and ultimately keep it from her was the fact that she's in her late 60's and recently widowed. She has enough heartache in her life. On the one hand, I could have looked at it as a matter of being an adult and taking a stand and insisting that my mom accept me for who I am, irrespective of my religious identification. On the other, I realized that to make that symbolic statement of my autonomy the main priority was ultimately selfish, and that it was more important to me to NOT put any more heartache upon her than she was already dealing with. So that's a long way of saying that it's ultimately a personal choice, and that everyone's reason for "coming out" or not to their family is a very subjective and individual thing. There's no right or wrong answer.
PS: Your mom DOES have some very good advice, though: you really CAN'T be too careful about what you post on social networking sites, because as she rightly warns, you never know who's reading (or how it can come back to bite you later on).
Thank you Stephen!!! It was easier for me to tell my mother that I liked women.... lol
My pleasure. All the best of luck--it ain't easy. Funny, though, when I told my mom I liked women she barely batted an eye. Weird, huh : )


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