Ok, here is my situation so far. I am an open atheist to my family, but not to everyone in the world. I go to church with them like a good little choir boy and sit quietly. However, as of January my parents signed me up to lector or read in church. It is not the reading I disdain, but it is the standing in front of the entire church pretending to be a Catholic. The worst part about it is when after mass, congregates come up to me and tell me how god and Jesus will bless me if I read more. It disgusted me so much that I almost exploded in their faces. I am torn on what I should do. I want to stop reading, but my parents will not let me. Advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Tags: Catholic, Church, Injustice, Participating, Priest, Reading

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Well since you still live at home unfortunately you have to do what your parents ask of you. When you move out you can be free to do what you like. So just sit tight for now.

Have you asked your parents WHY they want you to be a hypocrite in front of the community?

If they know that you are not a believer, and you have agreed to play the part as a church attendee to keep up with appearances for their sake, why would they want you to take it a step further?

Perhaps they would agree to something more secular, like volunteer work instead of reading in church?

See if you can work out a compromise with them while you live under their roof.  Maybe you should have a family meeting with the priest.

The priest seems like he wants to touch me inappropriatly, so I try to avoid him as best as possible.

If he does that, call a police man and a lawyer!

Do you have a choice on what passages you read?  You could go out of your way to find conflicting passages and read them back to back.  Or, you could read passages that conflict with what present society accepts as right.  What your parents are asking you to do is sick.  You will have to find a solution that you can live with.  Time will pass and you will be free as any other adult is.  (which isn't quite as free as I suspect you think it is)  But, it is still better than where you are at now.

There is a book with pre-selected passages I have to read. Some of them are pleasent to read, while others want to make me puke with aversion. So I have no choice in the matter.

Michael:

Is there any room for interpretation, or are you expected to just read off the text like a machine?  If the latter, then it's a matter among you and your parents whether you will either do it or not.  If some comment or interpretation is allowed in the readings, it becomes a larger issue also including how you wish to present yourself to your community.  That can be tricky indeed, but potentially very rewarding.

I was asked to lead a discussion group at my sister's church in which I was free to choose the subject.  I chose superstition.  It was quite a "lively" discussion in which I may have made as many friends as enemies.  I hope the best for you!

}}}}

I've offered this advice to a young atheist before.  Here it is again:

Be a good son.

Obey your mommy and daddy.

You can be every mommy and daddy’s dream, even if you are an atheist.

Don’t burn any bridges.

Engage your peers.

Church is a great place to meet girls.  (I know)

Enjoy the fellowship.

You’re never too young to practice patience.

You’re never too young to practice tolerance.

Always be polite.

Smile, and fill your heart with love.

If you are under 18 and live @ home, I would just read the book and then get the 'hell' out of there as soon as you can when you're an adult.  If a priest tries to touch you inappropriately, scream your head off, run, tell the police, and everyone you can.  These are 2 different things.

It depends... How old are you again? If you are young parents will always just see it as a phase, no matter how much you try to make your view points clear to them. That's just how most parents think. Especially for something as deep rooted and traditional as religion. And in most cases it literally does not ease up until you move out. (I stopped believing in christianity since I was 12, I am 18 now, and they still do not take it seriously).

Like someone said before if they know that you do not believe, ask them why would they want you to be hypocritical? Last time I checked, don't they believe that lying is a sin? Ask them if they would rather be happy with a lie or be sad with the truth. I say, think over the consequences and choose your battles wisely. If your parents are the type to use physical violence (and over here it's legal to some extent), I say lay low.

If not then keep pressing it. Just because they are your parents, it doesn't mean they are right in this case. It's one thing to be respectful and it's a whole other thing to be a pushover. If they punish you by taking away privileges for not wanting to go to church, I say beat them at their own game. They get tired after awhile. At least mine did. Again I cannot say for everyone...

If they start to yell about you not wanting to go, do not be rude in return. Maybe they are more afraid of how they will look in front of the church if word gets out (It was the excuse my folks used). As for wanting to just explode on them... I get the feeling too but try your hardest not to do that. You can always vent here. :) Believe me, when they are fuming and you are calm, it just makes them look bad while making you look like the mature one.... trust me...

Or use plan B. Constantly engage in them. Show them the absurdities in the bible, the contradictions, the flaws in common arguments like pascals wager etc. Either way its a win-win. The pastors/parents will either get annoyed with your questions and not want you there, or if you are lucky they might take it seriously and think.

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