Im atheist but now everybody in my family are wanting to go to church to pull the family together.I think its working. As an atheist should I reveal that im atheist at the church or should I play along? I could choose not to go but then I dont get to meet people. I did change my gamertag to Atheist Dude so when I will play my brother on xbox live he's probably gonna talk bad about my gamertag.

Views: 53

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

My heart goes out to kids who have to drop this ball on their religious families. I don't know how to give you advise on that. Its your call. You know your family and how well they are going to take it and how much strife it's going to add to your life. There's principle and then there's real life to contend with. Nobody can help you with that call, unfortunately. What's best for you might not be what's best for someone else.
It is tough!

I had the tag line: In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is... a complete outcast.

I don't know if anybody got it... or if it just ain't that funny ;-)
Edward, that is a great saying. Its so true.
Thank you ;-)
It was really hard for me to tell my parents about it (mostly my mother, seeing as she is a devout Christian). The worst that might happen is that you get grounded, or your parents think you're "going through a phase". You might have to play along to get along, and for that, I am sorry. But if you're going to come out of the closet (so to say) you might want to take it slow and formulate a plan about what you're saying to your parents.
Going to church isn't all that bad. Sure, it's time you'll feel you could be doing something more worthwhile, but if simply walking into a building and sitting down for half an hour is all it takes to maintain family cohesion, then it's probably the best option.

Or, if you do feel that you need to tell your parents, tell them you'll still go to church with them as a family tradition, but your beliefs are different from theirs, and ask them to leave it at that out of respect.

Flat out refusing to do what the family is doing while also telling them you believe totally different things from them will only be viewed as rebellious.


Oddly enough, I know a couple of ministers who are Atheist.
Of course, they don't let their church members know that. They became Atheist, one decided that it was best to "guide" their "flock" as an atheist posing as religious, rather than leave it to chance that a zealot might take his place, and the other just feels like he's wasted his life becoming a minister, and has no real world skills now to enter the work force with.
I think this is the best advice. Tell your parents that you don't believe but will attend church for the family. You said that it is working in bringing you closer together. I would hope that your parents would respect your honesty and maturity.
When I visit friends in Nevada, I get dragged to church by them, despite the fact they know I'm an atheist. I don't tell the people at the church my viewpoints, and I remain respectful. While they pray, I just entertain my mind with random (and probably inappropriate) thoughts. I've learned that with this church, it's better to remain quiet and let them assume what they will, than to express any opinion that might be different than theirs, though. And honestly, I hate when they respond with "Oh, I'll pray for you" in that holier-than-thou tone of voice.

I agree that you should let your family know you don't believe the same as they do, but that you'll attend if it keeps peace. However, it's going to eventually come out that you're an atheist, even if you don't say anything. It did in my family. Luckily, the worst that happened was that my parents said they were disappointed in my decision. They did not try to drag me to church, convert me back, or disown me.
I just told them flat out, and they were disappointed in me for a day or two but now they are over it and it doesn't seem to bother them anymore. I am in a similar situation to you though about the still having to go to church, as my mom also sees it as a way to keep the family together.
Wewoka. I know the place fairly well.

The answer depend supon the age of your parents and your relationship with them. If you and your parents are relatively young then coming out is a good deal. It means that you probably have a lot of time to sort things out. But as some of us know, some parents can't deal with it and the relationship will be forever changed. If your parents have little time left and you know that they are unable to even begin to accept something like this then I would say, enjoy your relationship with them while they are here. If you think that it can be done with some struggles involved then I would say, go for it and come out as an atheist. Some people here don't know what it's like to grow up in a place like Wewoka so the answer will have to come from what you think is best. It's a tough one. Good luck.

Chad
Good point Chad. I've struggled with this for the past couple years. My parents are in their 80's and would not handle the news very well and my father's belief is so strong that I don't think I could handle it if I was the one to turn on the lights. If he was younger, yes, but at his age, I can't imagine the regret he would feel now that he is in his final years. The problem is, my relationship with them is deteriorating. I used to call them all the time, but when I quit going to church, I spent most of the call making up stories about what happened at church. Of everyone in my family, I was the one who would talk with him about the readings and the sermon. But to avoid the lying, I started to call less and less. Then when we visited, we started to stay with my sister instead which has now made it very apparent that I am avoiding them. I'm not going to have them around much longer as it is, but the only solution I can think of is to tell them I'm an Atheist and run the risk of losing them even sooner.
I'm an certified a**hole, so be warned if you take my advice:
- Be honest and be direct, don't beat around the bush
- Be faithful to your own principles and ideals, don't step down out of respect for other people's feelings.
- Explain to your family how you feel, why you feel the way you do and how they can help you.

If at any moment you realize that your family is trying to exert (too much) pressure on you to convert back to their religion make it very clear to them that proselytizing is not going to work. Explain to them that this kind of pressure is exactly what you were expecting and that this is the behavior that will push you further away. If they want to openly discuss the topic, you should probably accept this, but not without preparing your case for atheism as well. If they want to talk, they should listen to you as well.

One of the biggest problems with discussing these kind of issues in a family setting is that a discussion or debate can turn in to a trial by jury where the atheist is under attack for his beliefs without having the opportunity to explain or defend them. This happens when your family members are not at all interested in your beliefs or opinions, but only in you accepting theirs as true. Don't accept such a conversation, walk away before you can no longer endure this so that you can still explain to them that this is disrespectful and damaging for your relationship with them.

Take care!

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service