In the past week I came out to my parents as an atheist.  I accepted their shock, as I would be absolutely asinine not to expect it, but I was given a great ride.  My father decided to inform me that god is real, and is a force to be reckoned with.  I was told that I was going to burn in hell also..  My parents cry and cry because their wonderful, intelligent son is now possed by a demon and has died.  That was difficult to swallow, I admit.  But it gets better.  My mom tells me that in order for my life to remain normal, and to never Go to church again, I must read the entire bible and give her a summary of each chapter.  She told me that she would rather me die than have me torture her.  Advice on what might correct her programmed and crazed mind?

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Thanks for the advice!!  Still looking for suggestions.
Hi, Tyler. :)

My family's given me bibles, which I suppose I'll read some day, in case of debate, I suppose... but I haven't read them. I have little desire to and much better things to do with my time.

That said, I'm not under their roof. I'm also an adult. Coming out as an atheist while a minor is very brave, but it's not without its pains and this is one of them. To be fair, they are coming from a place where they are faced with losing their son for all eternity. It's the same place any christian parent of a non-believer ends up. I can't tell you the many times my mother has danced around things in order to not think about the crispy daughter she'd end up with if their hogwash was legit.

It is upsetting to know that this mindtrap hurts them by putting them into such a position. Like as not, though, you will likely have to live with that... Believers don't tend to break away from their belief sets easily, and especially in later years, it tends to have a deathgrip on them.

So, looks like you will have to read each chapter, under pain of sunday school. At least, on your own, you won't have to face the filter of spoonfed nonsense. Read it critically, make your own conclusions, and make a case for each one. Read both apologetics and skeptic summarizations afterward. Stand up for your conclusions and give them point by point. Your parents won't like what they hear--don't be surprised if they move the goalpost and determine you're going to church anyway.

The good news is that you won't always be a minor. When you're old enough, you can move out and go to college or get a job. Or both! And that will be an exciting time for you. It really will.

In the meantime, we will be here, to help you through rough times.

I reckon do the essays but expose how immoral the bible can be, also put little captions around the points where the snake talks to Adam and Eve (like what!!?) or show the similarities between homeless people who talk to burning bins with Moses talking to the burning bush... Id have fun with it:)

I'm sorry you had to go through that man, it does suck being ostracized for something as intangible as a belief, hope things work out!!

Try using the Skeptic's Annotated Bible as a resource. After the first few "Chapter Reports" your mom may relent.

Thanks for this link. Its helpful in pointing out that the apostles could't even agree on what happened. After all, around 40 years had passed before they wrote anything down. Memory can be faulty even in the absence of Alzheimers. 

Your parents are acting normal and consistent to what they taught you to believe ... if they truly believe fundie dogma.  I am sure they will not sleep well at night for at least a year...  the fear of you burning in their idea of hell is real and a emotional terror as real as you getting cancer.  So as much as they hurt you by there attemp to cure you of this deadly athiesim, they will start seeing you being the same you... It takes time...and most times gets better.


First of all, let me say I can highly sympathize with your situation.  I was raised in a household that sounds very similar to yours and at times it was contentious, condemning and more than a little scary.  My advice is to do the essay from a scholarly point of view, highlighting what we actually know about the stories and their appearance (or lack thereof) in contemporary literature.

Toward that end, I recommend that you check out some books and videos that do neutral, scholarly expositions on the Bible.  I highly commend to your attention the lectures and books of Bart Ehrman, the very detailed discourses by youtuber brettppalmer and the deconversion series on YouTube by Evid3nc3.

Bart Ehrman - Stanford Lecture "Miquoting Jesus"


Bart Ehrman - Commonwealth Club Lecture "Forged"


What the Bible Got Wrong Part 1 - brettppalmer


Deconversion Series by Evid3nc3


The Bible with Sources Revealed

I have found all of these resources very useful in my own deconversion experience, as they take a lot of the scariness out of theology, removing it from the supernatural and exposing it as very human and ordinary.

Tyler, i just want to say that i'm sorry for your unfortunate experience.  i too was a teenage Atheist (long ago, i'm afraid) but it wasn't something that i ever spoke about.  unlike today, i had nowhere to turn to except my local library, whereas today, you have so many wonderful resources at your disposal.  use them, and use them well. 


read your Bible, as many Atheists know it is often a great reinforcement for what you dislike about religion.  i fear, however, that if you are honest with your evaluation of their Good Book (what a misnomer, right?) the conversation with your parents won't get very far. 


i might suggest you write them a letter explaining yourself.  they may not want to hear the words come out of your mouth, but if it's on paper they are more likely to give it it's just due.  they may even take it to their priest for his evaluation.  mission accomplished.  and at least your opinions can be flushed out, and not interrupted by anyone.   

This thread has been here a while and there's some good advice but I thought I'd throw this in.  Why not do some thorough research not on what the bible says but where it came from, how it became what it is, etc.  That kind of research really cinched things for me.  Christians memorize the book without ever, ever, EVER learning the truth about how it came to them.  Thinking minds can not ever consider the bible a valid book if they know how screwy its history is.  ...of course devout christians rarely have "thinking minds."

Thank you for all your replies!

If you are still not yet an adult, then I would approach the assignment from a critical perspective. Point out the contradictions and demonstrable falsehoods. Point out just how immoral many Biblical teachings are. Anytime something is metaphorical or the product of its times, that's another way of saying it is wrong. This book--or collection of books--was supposedly written at the instruction of an omnipotent and omniscient deity. Anything that is not literary, factual, and logical perfection is evidence that it is false. The very premise of Christianity is immoral in the extreme. We are born guilty for something we never did (I've never met a talking snake--have you?) and for being a way that is not our fault (why did God make us sinful?). To get around this, God becomes a person and his own dad (where did JC get his Y chromosome?) and had himself tortured and killed. The gruesome death of this innocent man somehow makes us all less guilty and not more so. The virtue of suffering and especially vicarious suffering has got to be the most immoral, unethical, cruel, and barking mad idea ever invented by the psychotic minds of priests.


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