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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Attentively and critically reading the bible is one of the surest routes towards confirming one's atheism.  After all, disillusionment with the antics of preachers and congregations could be dismissed as human frailty interfering with god's message... but if you go straight to the source, study the source, and observe its contradictions and inanities, you have first-hand evidence to support your atheism.  Besides, then you could engage with Christians in reasoned debate on their home turf.

Finally - and I mean this as serious advice, and not as facetious paradox - tell your parents that after much meditation, you've come to the faith that it was god's plan for you to become an atheist, as an example and a test for your parents.  In the time that it takes them to unravel this mystery, you would be able to complete your biblical exegesis. 

Secret Origins of the Bible by Tim Callahan is also a great book to reference for writing your essays. Also, there is a certain "know your enemy" advantage to having read the bible as a atheist. Someone will invariable say to you "well, if you'd just read the bible, you'll come back to jeebus" and you can say "I have read the bible, cover to cover, so there!"

Knowledge is power!

Go find the Brick Testament and remember that the serpent told the truth about the apple.

I know you directed this towards Tyler, but i would be interested in your knowledge about the Bible. I've been reading it on and off for a while but I've reached a point were I actually want to sit and read at least a page a day. 

I disagree with most of the advice.  The more you talk about it the more your parents will preach at you.  Finish reading the book, provide short summaries, don't include your opinions since your parents will then want to discuss/argue with you.  


My opinion is that you will not convert your parents so any discussion on the subject will drive a wedge between you.  Try to get the matter closed out, avoidance is your best option.  If they give you another assignment refuse.  Be firm.  If things get heated, take a walk.


Might help to stress that it is your choice to make, not theirs.




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