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.


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Wow, well sounds like I'm reading about myself. I came out of the atheist closet almost two years ago. My parents never went to church while I was growing up. Never bought into any of it really. Now that I am 30 years old, my mom and stepdad and all brothers and sisters go every Sunday. My brother has gone far enough to say that if it was gods will he would sacrifice his children. So sad, anywho It hurt my parents  but I think what hurt them more is when I told them we were keeping our 9 year old out of church.


We have decided that we would teach her about world religions and not about the so called one true god. Children have such tender brains that they will believe any magical fairytale they are told. When she is old enough to make her own decisions without someone making up her mind for her then so be it.


The hardest part for me is knowing that even though my parents are most of the time passive about my lack of belief, they are thinking that I am going to burn in hell for not repenting my sins and that saddens me but just have to keep reminding myselft that it is their loss and thought process, not mine.


That has to be incredibly tough..

I'm 27 and have recently became an atheist after years of searching for answers that weren't there. I also come from a very religious family, and from what I have seen, I'm the only atheist in it. Not many people know so far, my parents especially, and honestly I don't want to tell them because I know it will be bad. Maybe they will surprise me, who knows, but I am not looking forward to it regardless. Sometimes I think it would have been easier if I was just gay instead.

When I came out it was more of a child questioning what she is told than what it seems people deal with when they get older. This means I had to deal with the "you're not old enough to make a choice like that" bullshit, but I would never take back telling my mom. I basically forced her to accept it. It may not have been the best way, but I was only 13.


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