Atheist college student dealing with Christian parents!

I'm 21 years old and am a junior in college. I have been struggling with my faith since middle school and finally came out as Atheist early this school year to my boyfriend (who has been with me since high school and was going through the same thing surprisingly) and a select few friends. However, I still live at home when I'm not at the dorms. My parents are some of the most conservative Christian people I know. They already know I'm a liberal and they are upset and saddened by the fact that my political views differ so much from theirs. How do I tell them that I'm an atheist? Should I? I'm afraid if I did that my mom would want me to speak to her pastor or something. I'd say no of course, I'm an adult. But I don't want that kind of tension at home. I'm so conflicted...

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I wouldn't tell them until you're well out of college and living completely on your own.  I was fortunate that when my mom found out, I was in my 30s, married, and most definitely not living with her.  Good thing too, since she freaked out on me.  It doesn't get easier just because you're an adult, but it IS easier not having to live with it!  Don't drop that bombshell while you're under their roof.

That's what I'm thinking too. I'm just tired of lying and wish it didn't have to be this way. I wish they were more accepting.

Just keep in mind that they'll one day die and then you'll realize it's just two tears in a bucket. Let them live in their little miasma of ignorance and don't feel bad about withholding information. It's your life, do whatever it takes to live it the way you want.

Hey, you K0rsan you!  I missed you - great to see you back :)

You noticed :)

I don't want to change them. I have no intent on converting them. I just with they didn't feel the need to change me... I think I'll just let them figure it out on their own. If they want to believe I'm a Christian, if it puts their minds at ease, then let them. But I'm not going to put on an act for them either. If one day they notice I'm not going to church and they come to the conclusion on their own, good for them.

Then YOU should be more tolerant with them. Until some months ago, my mother-in-law, a very conservative catholic lived with us. For years I respected her views, sometimes kidding with her believes but we lived in harmony. I think that with time she learned to accept my atheism as I accepted her theism. Now that she is dead, my wife and I are left in a home where although she is no as conservative as her mother, she still goes on believing in god and  tolerates my atheism as I do the same with her thinking. I can assure you that we are a happy couple...

I am very tolerant of them. I don't see why people think I'm not. They can't see past the way they've been raised to be tolerant of ME.

Glad to hear that. You are in the good path. Best wishes.

What you said really helped. And the truth is, I do still rely on them financially and do not want to find out if they would keep paying or not. My mom complains already about how she's paying for a school that is introducing me to liberal ideas and although I do not think she is cruel enough to cut me off, it still scares me. I will perhaps wait till I'm graduated or wait for them to find out on their own. I haven't decided yet. Thanks again for your advice!

Welcome, If you a very, very lucky and engage into all your potential, perhaps one day they will grow also and come around to accept you. To me, family is more important that politics or religious belief or unbelief, so I love them for who they are and avoid conflict. You have to work with all sorts of people. Tolerance is the key. In a couple hundred years, because there are more and more like you, perhaps this problem will go away!

The problem come when I am tolerant and accepting of them but they are not of me. It hurts when you are trying to be kind and understanding and other people are harsh and mean. My family is more important to me than our different points of view. I just hope that they see me that way as well. I'm just afraid that they feel as though they will have to save me or convert me because they want to see me in heaven with them or something. I know it will be out of love in their minds but I just don't want that sort of interference in my life.


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