I've been an athiest since I was 12. I came out when I was 13. Ever since then my dad has hated me. [I'm 18 now!] Even when I've been able to prove to him God isn't real and we shouldn't wish he was real he still hangs on. He threatened to put me in a group home when i was 14!!! I'm moving out as soon as I can, but I wish I wouldn't have to cut off ties with my family. I love my mom and grandparents and stuff, even though they are Christians they accept my beliefs and don't push religion on me. But Dad refused to let me opt out of religion class in highschool, dragged me to church every Sunday and made me go discuss my beliefs with the priest! I presented the facts calmly and rationally so he gave up... I lost a friend when I came out bt the rest of them respect athiesm even though they are Christian. Anyway! Back to Dad. We hate each other's guts. Now what? He can't force me to attend church anymore, but we can't even tlak to each other.
I was hoping for an update as well....
I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to comment anyway. I feel bad for your father..he is the one that is losing here. If he could just get past fiction and love his daughter regardless. I have 3 daughters, they all know I am an atheist. They are not. I have one daughter that is married to a devout christian that is planning on becoming a preacher. He plays in the church band and volunteers every minute he gets. He is a good man..she is a good woman. None of them try to convert me, because they know I am who I am. None of them treat me differently..he comes to my house and eats dinner with us..he would do anything for me and my family..and I them. If any of them start a discussion based in religion I will certainly not shy away..I know what I believe and why I believe it.
I love my daughter no matter what..but, then again I am not a christian so it is easy for me to accept her for who she is and I am glad she feels the same of me.
I am sure you have tried this but maybe going to him or writing a letter to him explaining that your differences are just differences and that your love for him is separate from your religious beliefs..and lack thereof. Ask him if he can do the same for you before it is too late. If he cannot, then the relaionship is severed and you can move on knowing that he is not the man he should be. If I were a christian I would gladly burn in hell for my children.
I'm sorry you and you're dad aren't getting along.Religious people just don't understand how we see the world.I could fake it and go to church and act as if I believe but the fact is I don't.Always be true to yourself.
As others have said, you will be alright once you can get out on your own. No matter where you go, there's always more people like us for you to confide in. One of these days, your father may realize the mistake he has made by distancing himself from you. I have had to cut ties with my mother's side of the family with the exception of my aunt. My mother's family are devout Christians, and there you have me, an atheist and my aunt, a lesbian. But you know what? If they aren't going to love me for who I am, than there is no sense in me trying to force them to. I can't say I know your situation completely, but I have been there when it comes to family conflict. I've been getting "crusaded" for a while now. I've blocked all their phone numbers as well. If you ever need any advice, I'm just a mouse click away! Take care of yourself, and I hope your situation gets better.
There's two issues:
1 - Do you believe in God? No.
2 - Do you want to be a cultural Christian? ...
If your Dad is at least partly motivated by wanting you to be culturally Christian, and you are wanting the same, then you might be able to meet him halfway and agree to go to church and play along on the grounds that you want to be educated in Christian morals and belong to a Christian community.
This would put you in an uncomfortable place, having to restrain yourself from continually blurting out "I'm not really a believer" but maybe you could call yourself an agnostic instead of atheist and that would muddy the waters somewhat and avoid confrontations with people.
I'm twice as old as you and, looking back, family and community relationships are extremely important and worth maintaining.
So, if I were you, I'd think of myself as an agnostic and cultural Christian, go along to church, avoid talking about your beliefs, play a small part of the Christian community, and basically just try to keep all the pieces of your life together.
Here's a video of a similar situation:
This is pretty normal in our circles. Your father is equally responsible for yours and his relationship. Have you been amiable? I am sure. Have you been compassionate? Most likely. Then you as a person have done all you can to make your relationship a fair and loving one. As hopful as we can be in reguards to the people in our lives. It is up to them to pull thier collective weight in our intra-personel relationships. Not yours. He is using your fear of not having a relationship with him to intimidate you into bending to his way of thinking. Apathy works wonders on these people. Forcing them to be the one to close the door on the relationship. Continuing to rationalise with him only gives him the ablity to shift the balme to you and your "godless" life.
Your Father probably thinks his behavior will make you get out of your little phase:) They really don't like facts presented in a calm, cool manner. Always try to do that. I'm not sure if he hates you, because i think in his mind, he's trying to do what's best for you. You probably just need a break from him. Time will tell. Don't blow your top though.