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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I like this - If you aren't already educated in the logic and arguments for the non existence of God - this may be a great time to begin learning.  Your parents may wish to know you are studying it more in depth and actually have reasons to argue with - Rather than just saying you don't 'believe it' (which IMO should suffice anyway .. but I'm not your parents!)


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?"  


I know this might sound lame to you or old fashioned, but have you thought of just going, so your mom has the joy, and I'm sure it is joy, of having you with her for an hour or two. You can still think Atheist, act Atheist, be true to yourself but, make your mom feel special. After you are out of the house you can make your own mind up as to who you share your position with. Being up front with your parents is just practice for the real world, which can be a whole lot crueler than your parents!
I think it's a very sweet notion, but a person has plenty of other ways to please their parents that don't involve submitting to forced indoctrination attempts.  We aren't talking about a mother who wants to take her daughter to a boring book club or lame movie for quality time.  We're talking about a person that is trying to cram indoctrination down her daughter's throat while trying to mask it as something that is going to be a bonding experience.  I hated hunting as a kid, but to please my dad I tried it and found myself regretting it and being miserable and you CAN'T bond with your loved ones when you are not happy enough to do so.  lol....  Just a thought.

Exactly.  There are other ways to bond.  


Your parents are probably not 'forcing' you to go to church for 'quality time' ... but because they are being irrational as to what 'Atheism' actually means.  They are literally afraid that your soul might suffer for eternity in Hell.  This is something that is most likely going to be a life long battle.  They may also be completely embarrassed to be around their congregation without you there ... God forbid anyone asks why you don't go to church ... that in itself 'may' reflect poorly upon your parents.  But that isn't your issue.  


It might impress your parents if you give them a list of notable atheists of the past few centuries?  Also, like I mentioned before - tell them what you DO believe in.  


I don't like the idea of pandering to your parents ... they are there to love you unconditionally ... so if they stop loving you ... they aren't your parents.  You simply share genes with them - Your mother will turn out to be the 'woman who gave birth to you'.  Your father will become 'The man who impregnated the woman who gave birth to you.'


Just continue being yourself - That should be enough.  Also - How old are you?  (I can't seem to find an age - as that may matter a little)



That's a good point Jason. I can really only say it worked, sort of, for me, I was sent to a convent school for my secondary school years, we ate and slept church. In mass one of us would faint nearly every time, so we could all get back outside. On my 15 th birthday my Mother broke down and said  'well you are 15 and I think, quite old enough to decide for yourself wether or not to go to church'. I never went again! I think I would have reacted quite over the top, if forced to kill an animal, or watch one killed for sport.

It must have been a little nerve wracking to tell your parents you are an Atheist. I know it was for me. Fortunately they accapted it and did not try to force me.

You have taken the first step and now they know.

Just remember that it may take them a little while to get used to the idea. I am sure you did not stop believing overnight, so just remember it's new to them.

There is a lot of good advice for you here, so think carefully about what you want to do.

If things go a bit rough, you can always come here to talk about it with like minded people who will not judge you.

Yes we would like you to keep us updated.

I hope your parents will come around and accept your views soon.



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