Well about a week ago I came out and told my mom I was an Atheist. She didn't go off like I expected her to but she is none too pleased to say the least. She and I had a debate on Sunday when she had woke me up (ironically to go to church) and asked me then and there if I believed in God. Instinct told me to lie and say yes, but she said don't say it if it isn't true and I confessed. She heard me out and tried to argue me down. A couple of days later she asked me if I was ok with the fact that my soul will be in Hell for all eternity. I then told her that Hell wasn't real and that there is no afterlife, which made her angry and combative. She then questioned me about the baby that scientists allegedly cloned and asked me what happened to her (I admit she had me stumped). She then went on to say that scientists know that there is a god and that they've been trying to "match wits" with him for years because that is their job. She so far hasn't brought anything up again about my Atheism even though she insists that I've been led astray by someone and I guess involved in the wrong crowd or whatever and she's skepical of my Internet use. Another thing that she did which I consider a very low blow was to bring up my late grandma, a very religious woman who took care of me mosty up until she died when I was 14, we were VERY close. She told me that she wishes she were here to explain the bible to me and that it would break her heart if she were here to see me deny the word of god like I am, this was said through tears (which by the way quickly dissappeared when I didn't fall for what I believe was an attempt at a guilt trip).

Anyways I think she's starting to accept it and I just wanted to share my experience with you guys.

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Comment by Rayven on December 20, 2009 at 5:53am
Congrats on standing your ground and being true to yourself.
Comment by Sir James-a-lot on December 19, 2009 at 1:53pm
Thanks for sharing, Courtney. I still haven't come out to my family. I have been thinking about doing this lately and then just two weeks ago we were talking about someone we saw on TV and she said she didn't like him for two reasons: 1. He didn't believe in marriage and was just living with the same woman for many years and had several children with her and 2. because he didn't believe in God. And I just kept thinking to myself "Oh, mom . . . if you only knew!" lol!
Comment by Christopher Wilton on December 19, 2009 at 12:32pm
Excellent work, you've done everyone of us proud by standing your ground in what is perhaps the most pernicious, deceitful and insidious mechanism of the religious delusion.

The macabre way religion uses our loved ones against us - like pawns or puppets - has something of gothic horror in it; how it drives our own parents to manipulate and cajole us with false tears, emotional blackmail and thinly veiled threats of eternal damnation.

You have done well to weather such a storm.
Comment by TinaFCD on December 19, 2009 at 7:45am
Wow, you were brave to do it around christmas time! Good for you!
Comment by Johnny on December 18, 2009 at 11:49pm
Oh and she gives low blows? we can give em right back. Now, I don't know how angry you are and I sure hope that you never reach the breaking point that I did, but I absolutely blew up on a friend of mine who tried to kick me in the balls with hell.

"Ok. Say I'm going to hell. I am going to a place of no salvation where I will burn in anguish forever. No hope, nothing to look forward to. Just anguish. I will have no purpose but to SUFFER for ETERNITY. My screams will be endless. Timeless. You will be happy up there with your demon god looking down on my anguish and being glad that it isn't you? Is that the extent of your love? of your compassion? Your guarantee of eternal salvation while others burn in oblivion for simply not having any reason to have blind faith like a sheep?

And you call ME deluded. You call ME off the path of goodness. Your beliefs sicken me. May they die with this generation. "

Now... just demonstrating a low blow back that should get them thinking. Not suggesting you use it. You know the relationship better than I do.
Comment by Johnny on December 18, 2009 at 11:38pm
good job =) its always hard.

I'll pick at it a little bit though. Atheists generally like to learn from input unlike those "faithfuls" ;)

well from what you said it seemed like a stubbornness contest. She made some empty comments at you and you made them back. What was all this about the cloned baby thing? You didn't explain it or how it stumped you.

I try to diffuse things by saying this: "I didn't say that there's no god. I said prove it. If you can't prove that there is a sniper out the window this second with a crosshair on your head, don't be paranoid about it."

That's it. Make them prove it. They'll try and fail.

They'll usually try something like pascal's wager. It is a favorite, so get veeeeery familiar with it and its arguments. It will be popping up for the rest of your atheist life.

Cheers! Good luck with your family and happy theist-hunting =)
Comment by unholyroller on December 18, 2009 at 10:47pm
Mr. Dunn is correct. "To thine own self be true." Anyone can saddle up that horse nemed Guilt, drag it over, and put the rains in your hand. You do not have to get on and ride.

Clone Jesus?? Didn't he go to heaven? Where is the DNA coming from? How would anyone prove iwas the real deal instead of the DNA from any one of thousands of people who were crucified during that time? Or are they going to use the shroud of Turin? Minds that need examining want to know!
Comment by Howard S. Dunn on December 18, 2009 at 9:31pm
Be who you are. If there is any reason that, of the ten billion or so people who have ever walked the earth, you are here - it must have something to do with who you are. I don't think we are just redundancies or whatnot.

Good for you.
Comment by Robert Madewell on December 18, 2009 at 8:50pm
Ahhh! The laying down of guilt and threats of eternal damnation. That was a low blow for your mother to use your deceased grandmother as leverage. Well, what can you do? I can just imagine that it was very hard to respond to that.

I have had a coming out of my own. My father is a minister. When I told him that I am no longer a theist, he just sighed and said, "Well, I love you anyways."

Anyways? I don't ask for love despite my non-theism. I just ask for love because I'm his son. It was somewhat demeaning. I suppose, I shouldn't expect acceptance. If tolerance is all I'm going to get, then I guess I'll have to be happy with that.
Comment by Ian on December 18, 2009 at 7:46pm
Hi Courtney, it isn't a confession - that implies you are doing something wrong, and all you are doing is being honest. It was easy for me since I grew up in a family of atheists and even my grand-parents were not religious.

As for the 'cloning a human" - it has never happened. Your mom may be getting confused by an internet hoax from a few years ago. A good place to check on the accuracy of internet rumors is www.snopes.com. Here is their page concerning a (fake) project to clone Jesus from his DNA:

The cloning success rate for animals is less than 2%. Any lab that tried to clone humans would probably have the same or an even lower success rate - which would likely lead to it being closed down for all sorts of legal and ethical violations. It has not happened and is not going to happen any time soon.

I don't see how the cloning of a human, or anything that might have happened to the allegedly cloned baby, would indicate the existence of a god or gods. If someone, even someone you love and respect such as your mom, tells you to believe something without any evidence, you are right to politely ask them for proof. It is not your place to try to disprove anything. You can't disprove that giant ghosts inside the earth push it around but that does not make it true. The person who believes in superstitions or super natural invisible creatures should provide proof that they are correct.

But don't hold your breath. No one has ever produced any proof of the existence of any god or goddess at any point in the whole of human history.

Stand you ground but don't forget to tell your mom that, atheist or not, you still love her. She needs to know that you are making a decision based on information and that you are not doing this to hurt her in any way.

Thanks for sharing your experience - there are a lot of people here who have not yet plucked up the courage to tell their closest friends or relatives that they they are atheists or humanists, or Brights, or whatever they decide as their preferred label.



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