so im 16 and living at home. i was brought up catholic but my family is particularly devout. however, we go to church every sunday (and my mom talks about god when someone dies). in the last few months i realized i was an agnostic atheist. im really struggling with how to tell my parents that im not christian anymore. but im pretty sure my parnets would be very accepting. some help please

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Try telling them that you are "exploring other spiritual and philosophical paths". It might be easier to say something non-specific than flat-out telling them you are agnostic/atheist. Check out some philosophy books from the library and tell your parents you would prefer to stay home during church and read about other philosophies and ideas.

Good luck!
I disagree. I think euphemising the truth isn't going to help. I would just drop the A-word and give your family time to absorb it. I trust that you're absolutely sure your family will still accept you.

However, they might try other ways to make you go to church. My family sometimes threatens to punish me if I abstain from going to synagogue, and says that I should go out of "respect for the family". This is a tough one (in fact, I might make a post about it)

Gluck, indeed...
i was considering telling them today (after church ironically) but we were in a happy mood and i didn't want to just randomly bring it up. i kinda don't want to give them a reason why because i don't want them to think im attacking the religion (and the list would be very long)
Just tell them respectively, and as I recently replied to Chironex, you don't have to believe it, but if they want you to go, go. Its stupid yes but if it matters to them it is a small thing to do. How many little league / school award ceremonies / chorus -band recitals etc have they probably suffered through for you, right? So be honest about your opinions and respectfully go. Just my opinion.
Well, you are dealing with people who are living in a fantasy. No matter what you tell them that won't change. They will think that you are just being immature and rebellious. I played hookie from Sunday school when I was your age, but you may not be able to do that. Besides, I didn't get caught; you might.
I don't see any alternative. You must go. They are in control and you are not. Just hang in there until you reach the proper age and then do what you have to do. It won't kill you to go and time is on your side.
Think about how your parents treat you in other areas. Do they give you room for independent thought, do they allow you to make many of your own decisions, are you able to talk with them openly about other areas of your life?

If the answer is yes and as you've already stated you believe they would be accepting, then I would start slowly and let them know that you've been thinking a lot about what you believe. I can't give you the words to say, I'm suggesting opening up a dialog and go from there. Personally, I wouldn't come right out and say that your an atheist, but I don't think religion is an area to "rip the band-aid off fast" so to speak. As for church, I would approach this carefully. They probably will want you to continue going, they can do that because you are 16, fighting it may lose you respect in their eyes. But they can't force you to believe what you are hearing KWIM?

If your parents don't fit the criteria above, then I would tread very carefully. Most likely they will see what you've said as a form of rebellion and won't take it seriously or give you credit for thinking on your own. It could cause a serious riff in your relationship with your parents if they are not open to other beliefs, one that could be difficult to repair. In this case I might suggest keeping your thoughts to yourself until you are in college and can explore more and find like minded people.

Good luck! And if you can come back and let us know how the conversation went.
You have to be direct, just do it like this kid >>>








One should avoid such an altercation at all costs. By law, parents have the control and they can make you life miserable so tread softly.
This kid (the one in the video) posts on the forums at Ebaumsworld.com under the username Darkhood. Apparently, he decided to tell his mom he was an atheist on Christmas eve. lol

I love how his mom says "You are going to get absolutely nothing for Christmas, because that's what Christmas is about is Jesus Christ!". So, wait, if you don't believe in Jesus, you don't get any presents for Christmas. I think she's got Jesus confused with Santa Claus. Well, they are pretty much the same person anyway.

I don't know if they went through with it, but some of the members on the Ebaums forums talked about taking up a collection to buy Michael some Christmas presents. :D
Do we know how to send this kid some support?

Also, this is one of the options. Remember that immediate explosions of emotion should be expected. Just keep your cool and ride it out as they get used to it. Provide the info - I'm atheist - and let them yell, cry, look disappointed, as questions, challenge you, whatever. More talking isn't necessary. Let them stew on it for a few days. You might even have to suffer through some attempted re-indoctrination, but we can help with that. Remember you didn't do them any favors. You've taken a comfortable myth (that their indoctrination worked on you). Believers have a hard time losing their myths.
So you've got the option not to tell them also. Remember, it's not going to make them feel better. It will make you feel better. So at the least, consider their feelings in the matter. Being atheist and telling your parents are different.

All that having been said, it can be too much of a burden to essentially live a lie. If you do tell them, I agree with a few on the "exploring" comment. It doesn't hurt to try out other churches. The best argument against any religion is all the other religions (although you don't have to tell them that). You don't have to suggest the option, but in case it doesn't hurt to keep that as a concession. "I'm not sure. Can I just check out another church?"

Another option, that might be a little confrontational, but is an option is to say you have some concerns about the Bible and want to go to Bible study. Like tons of concerns - skepticsannotatedbible.com - and many others might be interesting. Asimov's Guide to the Bible is a big book of historical and scientific perspective on many parts. The second best argument against any religion is the beliefs and practices of the religion itself. Just let them know that their friends and the pastor are going to hear some pointed concerns about the chauvinism, innacuracies, immorality, and other issues in the bible. Feel free to post here the latest study topic. After that, when they think about having an open atheist kid in church versus out of church, they might choose out. When you go to study and get ridiculed or kicked out for questioning belief, you can say, "well I would stay, but they're mean to me."

Those are a few ideas at least.

Jason

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