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...
You're an adult, Anna - why should you feel your parents need to know your innermost thoughts and everything that's going on in your life? Look at life through your window and let them do the same.
I'm not suggesting you deceive them, but there's no real reason to mention it if they don't.
I'm tired of pretending that I'm a christian to please them.
Don't pretend. Just don't have to throw it in their face.
Unless you want to..
But, that's your choice..
You live your life and let them live theirs. That is what humanity should be all about, live and let live.
I would let your parents have their beliefs if they are comforted by them. I doubt you will ever convert them to atheism and it will only hurt them. I love philosophical and theological debates but not with people who I love and who I know it would hurt. Some people need their religious crutch to hang on to to get through the day.
If you tell them they will probably think you are a sinner; immoral and bound for hell, where as in reality you will actually be a more balanced person with a better understanding of the world around you. That is irony, right there, smile about it and carry on with life...
I"M NOT TRYING TO CONVINCE THEM OF ANYTHING! Why do people keep saying this?!
I'm not sure what this is in response to...
Just do your thing..
I would say, don't tell your parents until you are totally, totally ready.. Tell a brother you trust to keep your secret, perhaps, or an aunt.. Or not, if you can't trust any of them to keep quiet. Depends on your family dynamic..
When you are ready for the shit to hit, tell them bluntly, but as politely as you can. Don't say, "Um, mom, dad, I think you believe in total shit.." Even if you do. Just say, as diplomatically as you can, "I don't think I can find any compelling reasons to believe in the stuff you do. It seems too supernatural or too dogmatic." Or whatever. you want to say..
Expect a parent (or both) to cry.. Or yell. It's stupidly critical for them to believe this.. My dad just refused to discuss it. He pretends it never happened. Mom cried, and tried not to bring it up. They both have it bad (worse) than most, as every one of their children became atheists, all each independently.. This has to be hard for a X-tian parent..
I'd advise being blunt, and honest, totally honest. Better to get it over with.
Thats my advice..
Sorry I exploded. People have just been telling me that I'm not being accepting. I have no idea where in my original post they got that idea. I do not want to change their opinions either. Yet people keep saying that. Sorry.
Thanks for your advice. I wouldn't tell them that bluntly. I think I might just leave little hints.
Why do you think telling people your an atheist is coming out? Isn't it more like being cured? After all believing in things like heaven, hell, god and devil is nothing more than a mild form of dementia, and it can be cured.
I really don't think you understand the issue here.
Agree. It's JUST like coming out as a gay. That, too, is not a disease needing a cure. And both are exposing a contentious life component to family and friends - some of who might treat you differently as a result..
Thank you :)
Religion has no bearing on what your relationship between your parents are. So there's absolutely n o need for you to tell them. If they find out for themselves you can just act like it's no big deal. If you do, then they'll take it as nothing.
Also if your mom wants you to speak to a pastor just one up her and say you already spoke to god about it, and god said it was ok for you to be atheist. She'll have no arguments after that! I am Yahweh, and I approve of your atheism!