Hardest thing about coming out Atheist....causing pain to my religious family

First off, these first 2 paragraphs are an intro to me and my stance since I haven't posted here before.  I come from a very Christian family.  My mom attends church every weekend, and church get-togethers and everything like that.  She plays guitar in church.  My younger sister is damn near just as devout as is the rest of my family.  As for me, I only went to church when I was young because I had to, because it made my family happy.  I never truly submitted to any of it.

I was always skeptical of religion even though I never said a word of it the first 22 years of my life so I got to thinking:  This isn't right, I should be able to voice my beliefs to my family and friends.  At the ripe age of 23 (two months ago to be exact)  I did, and so far the results of doing so have been tough to say the least, more so for the rest of my family, but if it hurts them, it hurts me.  I love my family and I hate putting them through this but I just couldn't stay quiet any longer.  I couldn't keep going to church and thinking how ridiculous everything was. I couldn't keep pretending I was a Christian when I wasn't, and never truly was.

This has truly been hell for me seeing what I've put my family through by coming out Atheist.  I know I've really hurt them, but there was no other way to do it.  It had to be done.  My mom and sister came to visit me this weekend for the first time since I graduated college and I have discussed my decision and the religion topic in general a few times with them over the past few days.  I can tell they are devastated.  To me, it's my decision and is no big deal of course (at least it shouldn't be) but what is tearing me up is the fact that they're actually crying over it and making me feel like I'm lost, like I don't actually know what I believe in.  My mom asked if I would still go to her funeral, being an Atheist.  I was like 'WTF?!  Of course I will'.  She said she couldn't stand the thought of me being at her funeral and not believing she was in heaven.  They made it so that I honestly didn't want to defend myself, not that I couldn't.  I just didn't want to defend my Atheist stance because I knew whatever I said would just hurt them more.

Anyone else have advice for me that isn't cold and unrealistic?  I know my family is ignorant and I love them, so I don't want to abandon them or anything.  I also don't want to cause them pain because of my stance.


Tags: family

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I suspected this would be your response.
The tactic is not yielding,
You completely prove every thing I have said about your tactics.

You don't want to change anything. You just want to name call and then stand to one side feeling superior.

So we have established that I am an idiot and you are nothing more than a bully, a coward and a hypocrite.

Good luck with your self esteem issues.
also "End of story, end of "dialog"."
Telling me to shut up does not change the truth of my words.
oh and while my personal experiences my be nothing more than cutsey little stories to you, the events in Northern Ireland are not. They prove that the only way to resolution is through communication and you do not know what you are talking about.
Yes james you are right. I am a silly little boy. I am also a moron, an idiot and what else did you say? Oh yes a Liar and a hypocrite. an intellectual coward

Do you want my lunch money now or are you just going to hit me again anyway?

You don't do anything to change anything. You just sit on the sidelines and complain like an old woman.

Hit me again then... Go on .. your stance is so impressive.
James, see how far throwing 12-year old insults will get people to better understand what you're trying to say...not very far at all....
Sorry about hijacking the thread, but I could not email James as he wont be friends with me :(

Good luck for the future. Your last post shows you are actually getting somewhere and you handled an awkward situation admirably without being over confrontational just firm (unlike me with James). It is a difficult situation but its very obvious your mum loves and worries about you very much. I'm sure its the same for all your family.At least you can take some solace from that :D
Hi again James.
Thanks for reminding me of all of my failings. I now concede .You are absolutely right about everything you say. I am an arrogant fool and I did think everything had to be my way. I was completely intolerant of anybody else's opinions and so on.
I am ashamed of myself for being an intellectual coward and for being a disgrace as a human being.

I wish I could be like you since you are such a fine example of what a tolerant, deep thinking human being can be.

Oh btw.I thought Brady made an observation, not an accusation but again.. I must be wrong since everything you say is 100% right and i will redefine my understanding of both words according to your comment.

You really are such an admirable and none arrogant person.
Yawn. ....
I knew you could not resist hitting me again.

I wish I could be like you. You are so smart. Your IQ must be up there with Einstein.

Anything else I can do to accommodate you James?
Perhaps you could send me your address, then I can visit you and you can beat on me for real. Maybe even shoot me? I'm sure you would enjoy that.
Ha ha ha .. You are very funny.
Physical violence is not for you then. That's not really surprising. Still you more than make up for it with the mental abuse you dish out.
Gosh I admire you so much.
OH I was wrong again. What a surprise. You really would like to beat me up for real as long as you have a good excuse. Very admirable qualities you display James.

Seriously. You need help. Bullying people and assigning your own shortfalls to them wont ever make you feel any better. Have you not worked that out yet? After all you must have been doing this for some time and you are no dummy.
I know what you mean, lately my mom has been trying to get me to read all these religious books that argue against Atheism. I read a few paragraphs, and couldn't stomach their ridiculous arguments. My mom called again later and said "I'm going to send you another book" and then I flat out and said don't do it, because if you do I guarantee I won't read it and you're wasting your money. She was a little bit upset but she isn't going to send me books anymore. I'm starting to realize sometimes there is no being nice about it, I had to come out and say STOP sending me this crap. I then used the phrase: "If you really believe in God, you must put the situation in God's hands". I think that put her at ease.

It's kind of funny how using religious arguments that I know well because I was once religious can actually get my family's religious ranting off my back :)
your comment:
"dude! u are trying to bring the concept of sin into an atheist website! WTF did u expect! I see a motive here. your young. and very smart.
take care for your own actions. then look at the result."

Was that directed at me?


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