I'm having a problem with my parents.
I know this might be a frequent problem spoken about on this website, but I don't know for sure because I'm new here.
My parents are trying to force-well, forcing me- to go to church. This only happened after I told my mother that I'm an Atheist. When she thought I was a Christian she wouldn't force me when I said I didn't want to go.
She even said to me "You can't go through life believing in nothing."
And my father told me this when I asked why they're forcing me, "Because your mother said so, and she's your mother."
Great reasons, huh?
I'm asking for your opinions, what should I do about this situation?
I tried to talk to my mother about it, and asked her why she is forcing me. I didn't raise my voice, because I'd rather not start an argument if it means her and I could just agree to disagree and she just let me believe whatever I want to. Mainly, her reasons were "Because I want you to experience it." and "Because I enjoy it". I explained to her that it's not something that I would enjoy and I kept asking her why. Of course I know the answer why, I'd just like her to say it. But of course, she didn't. She avoided answering the question, and after talking like a normal person for about five minutes she got angry and acted like a child. She walked out of the room and said "There's nothing else to talk about.".
I think it's ridiculous that she can't say it herself, she'd just rather treat me like a little kid. I even tried asking her to talk to me as another person, and not her kid so that she wouldn't go and tell me "Because I said so" again.
Thank you for all your help, guys, I'll try to keep you updated a bit if I can and if you want.
I still have a full week to convince them not to force me to go.
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Omfg. I so hate to hear these stories. If they even actually thought you were 'of the devil' wouldn't they be in the slightest bit scared you could cast a spell or ruin their lives or something with your 'demon powers'?
Great find on the art school. Those kids are usually accepting of diversity.
Here are some ideas. I've never been in your situation, so none of these ideas are from experience.
1. Refuse to go to church. Give them a couple of days notice, say on a Friday, that you won't go and when Sunday rolls around, make it clear that they only way that they can get you to go to church is if they literally drag your ass there.
2. Explain to them the difference between atheism an nihilism. You don't need any of that "you can't go through life believing in nothing" crap.
3. Ask them why they believe in a God. Before you do this, learn all you can about logic and logical fallacies and be prepared to point out when they make them. If you parents can't logically justify why they believe in a God, then they IMO they have no rational basis to make you go to church.
4. Subtly bring up atheism in conversations and the justifications of atheism without explicitly mentioning that you are arguing for atheism. This might be a bit tricky and you'll have to research arguments for atheism and scientific explanations for stuff.
If you parents still make you go to church, there are some options.
1. Leave quietly. If your parents ask you where you are going, make up some bullshit and say that you are going to the bathroom. Once you leave the service, either walk home or stay outside the church until your parents are done and can take you home.
2. Leave loudly. I don't need to explain this, just don't look a dumbass if you are going to do this.
3. Get banned from the church. This is probably a bad idea, but you won't have to go to church.
Whether or not your parents make you go to church, you should become well versed in the best arguments for atheism and you should know science pretty well, because science explains how shit works without needing to put God in the explanation. Learn how logic works and learn how to spot logical fallacies.
TD/DR: Stand up to your parents. Don't let them win.
Good advise. Most of the Atheist I know or meet on line know more about the bible and religion in general than most Christians (some are even experts). Knowing what the bible actually says is a powerful tool against theist arguments. It's a tough book to wade through but if you like blood and gore, violence and a dozen other human aberrant behaviors you'll like it .
Hello Chelsea. This can be an educational experience for both you and your parents. I say go and when you get there....QUESTION EVERYTHING. Make them explain. Be the atheist seeking logic and reason relentlessly in a place where logic and reason are abandoned. Make them fear that keeping you there at church will cause them to question their own beliefs. Make it known every day, and more than once each day you go, that you do not believe in God or Jesus Christ or the Holy Bible for that matter. If they stump you with questions, you can always tell them you need time to think about it. Everyone here will be more than happy to help you to learn to defend yourself if and when you are stumped. Sometimes I find that in debating Christians in particular, I often get stumped and need the help of other atheists to find ways of bringing logic and reason back to my side of the debate.
You mother and father CAN make you go to church perhaps, but they CANNOT make you believe in something that you don't believe in. They absolutely cannot. :) And even if you're being "ganged-up" on by a bunch of church people, know that you are not alone and it's okay to lose the occasional battle. Remember that YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THE WORLD. We are here to support you as much as space and time will allow. Good luck with your situation however you choose to deal with it.
Also....remember a few key things:
Faith is evidence of nothing. Bible is evidence of nothing. Miracles are unproven to exist and there is no evidence to support prayer.
Prayer is a way for people to justify themselves for doing nothing for you other than hoping for the best for you.
There is not one single solitary shred of evidence that supports any god, savior, bible or religion in the entire world, nor has there ever been.
Please keep us posted on how this goes for you. We would all like to hear about how you handled your situation. After all, we are all here to learn from each other and support each other. Done for real this time...lol. Laters.
Luckily my family, on the whole, is not religious so I can't relate entirely. But I sure as hell sympathise with you. Just keep on at your mother.
Tell her that you don't believe, and will never believe.
Tell her that you don't believe in 'nothing', you still believe in doing the right thing, being kind to others, and so forth; you just don't need to be told to do it.
And most importantly, tell her if you're at home you'll do school work, which will ultimately be a whole lot more beneficial than sitting in a church, not listening to anything being said.
Best of luck!
(And if you get annoyed and want to tick her off, ask her why is her religion more valid than Islam or Egyptian or Nordic religions)
I have the same problem regarding my parents forcing me to pray when we have family over for dinner. It's like everyone has to stare at me after I tell them "I'm not going to pray", yet they still make me do it.
It seems trivial, but it's still rather annoying.
As for your mother, if she brings up "You can't just go through life believing in nothing", ask her why not?
I've learned that everyone has to believe in something, even if that something is nothing. Note: Don't confuse the word belief with the word faith. If someone says Atheism requires faith, kick them in the dick and tell them that that's no different than saying Atheism is a religion.
"Sure mother , I'll pray."
"Now what again is it that we are praying too? A 2000 year old crucified criminal who also apparently wants you to drink his blood and eat his flesh in order to be saved from sin of which was bequeathed upon us by a fictitious Adam and Eve? Or did you have something else in mind?"