I found this site through the "Atheist/Agnostic" category on stumbleupon.com, and when I first saw it, I was truly intrigued. As I poked around a bit, I was astonished at what I found: an online community where rational, logical discussion can be had about religious, social, and political issues - with no fear of the Bible being thrown in my face. After a couple of days of viewing discussions and looking at the photos - some general research, I guess you could call it - I have finally decided to join the community.
That being said, I suppose I should actually introduce myself.
I am an 18 year-old woman who considers herself to be, at this point in time, an agnostic anti-theist of sorts. If you have any questions about that, feel free to ask me. I have noticed, however, that I am starting to lean towards the atheist end of the spectrum, but am currently still questioning things.
As I have just graduated high school this past May, I am still living in a household with my father, stepmother, brother, and step-siblings, who are all actively involved in a local church, which I am still forced to attend on the Sundays I find myself with my father and not at my job. I have yet to approach the topic about my lack of religion with him, and I have no idea how to without getting myself kicked out of my house. If anyone has any ideas, I'd really appreciative, but I'm not hopeful. As for now, my plan is to wait until I leave for college this August.
I look forward to participating in discussions soon.
I'm an agnostic atheist, which may sound wishy-washy, but all it means is that it appears to me that there is no theistic deity, but my mind is open to evidence which, at this time, I can't even imagine.
Most of us here are pretty hard-headed in our atheism, but you'll run into the occasional theist wanting to prove his faith by walking into the lion's den, and then there are a few new-agey soft-in-the-skull types who will bring up "evidence" they found on Youtube or the SyFy channel for spirits or alien visitations. If you dismiss them, they'll accuse you of not having an open mind (even though you may be here in the first place due to changing your mind about theism).
I'm the same way, but also consider myself somewhat of an anti-theist in that I highly oppose organized religion. I know that may sound funny to most, but in my mind, even if I were to convert to a religion, I would not want to be a part of an organization of sorts. In my mind, the belief and practice of any sort of religion needs to be done on a personal basis, regardless of what you believe in. Besides that, the church - or at least the ones that my parents have forced me to attend - has become, and still is, a very hypocritical organization, regardless of what religion it falls into.
Amen. Study Church history - Inquisitions, pogroms, witch burning. Even Nazi Germany arose out of the Anti Semitic culture fostered by both Catholicism & Protestantism (check out Martin Luther's "On The Jews & Their Lies" - as intense as any Nazi Propaganda). Also, the Nazis did not distance themselves from Christianity but created an Aryan state religion called "Positive Christianity". Don't get me wrong: Countless Individuals have found their moral center through Christianity. Many Churches teach decent values. But, as an overall institution, Christianity is pretty dark. So, if I were a believer, I would not belong to the church.
There's a word for that; it's called acedia.
I'm conflicted. I joined a UU church in the hopes that I would be able to have some conversation about where I am in my "I don't think so" journey, but I guess I just never knew how to get things started. I also don't really like being preached at but would rather be inspired to another way of looking at things. I ended up not going anymore.
Regardless of your external circumstances, the stuff on the inside needs tending and it's your business and the business of anyone you choose to share it with - and you're here so you're doing that tending. That's great, and it will help you navigate your current circumstances. Good luck!
I'm gonna take a leap and guess Baptist? That's what my family forced me to attend as a child. It's kinda hard having this little voice inside your head going "that's wrong, that's wrong, that doesn't even make sense, that's wrong, that'll get you thrown in jail, that's wrong..." while the preacher is up there singing fire and brimstone to the homosexuals. It became unbearable for me when I discovered that I am gay. The hypocrisy of preaching about hate to the gays and how god loves me was too much for me, and I began requesting to work every Sunday and Wednesday.
I live in England, am 57 years old with MS. so I don't know if I can be much help but feel free to contact me if you wish, the future of the Human race and the Planet is very much 'in your hands' so you take now and,
Live long and prosper.
How do they handle the fact that there are people who don't share their beliefs? I've seen active Christians who are pretty tolerant and open-minded.
If there's really a chance you may get kicked out of the house if they find out you don't believe in God, I'd say wait till August, it's less than two months away.
Welcome to TA! :) As far as your parents, I would say wait until you're moved out, just so they can't kick you out. You could try talking to your brother or step-siblings about it first if you have a good relationship with them. I would pose is it as a theoretical question ("What would dad do if one of us was atheist/agnostic?"). Luckily, my mom wasn't a hard christian, so when I came out of the non-belief closet, she tried quoting scripture a few times then just left it alone. Best of luck in your situation- we're here for you :)
I didn't go through what you are going through until college, and even then it was tough. My parents were still helping me financially at the time, but I was just one year away from earning my degrees. Education is very important to my parents, so I don't think the thought of using that money to force me back into faith even crossed their minds. It took months for things to settle down, and years for them to go completely quiet on the topic. I'm now slowly trying to bring up topics of interest that I can discuss and debate with my father, but I am treading lightly.
My advice: (1) Plan ahead - Have somewhere that you can go or someone that you can talk to if anything hurtful is said and have some well-developed interests that you can focus on (running, reading, school, whatever works for you), (2) Understand that from their world perspective, the news may be scary and this will be a strong driving force for anything they say or do - it's not really about you, it's not personal, (3) Be prepared to give them time and don't give attempts to woo you back too much of your own time or attention (this just sends the message that you are still open to debate/negotiate the decision), (4) Whatever label you choose to use (atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, skeptic, etc), be very clear about what it means to you individually and how they can expect your behavior to change moving forward (e.g. will you still go to church on holidays, will you pray with them at dinner, etc.) - This will save you some flare ups and pain in the future.
Hope that helps. Welcome and good luck!
keep it to yourself. ask for as many sunday shifts as you can. its wishful thinking that anything good would come of it, not saying that good cant come from it but its highly unlikely. just shows you the grip it has on people. good luck
Hey, first of all welcome.
I'd say just wait until you're gone, there is no point in giving yourself a headache trying to argue with them.
Welcome to the site Kelsey.