Twice a year since I have stopped being christian, I face a dilemma. Being the daughter of two christian/ex-catholic parents, the you can probably guess what two days those are: Easter and Christmas. Since I am still at the age where I spend my holidays with my family, and my parents feel it is necessary to go to church on these days, I usually get dragged along. Every holiday I am torn: do I go or not? And with Easter just around the bend, this question is once again on my mind. Oh yeah, keep in mind my parents do not know I am atheist.

So here are the arguments for both sides:

1. Don't go
Well obviously, I don't want to be anywhere near a church any time of the year, so why would I want to go on Easter. Also, I feel the whole "its Easter we HAVE" to go is such a disgusting attitude for christians to have (though my parents pretty much go every Sunday). I feel that I am old enough that I shouldn't be expected to tag along, and that my parents should ask if I want to go. Finally, I feel like I am not being true to myself. Every churchy act I am forced to mime my way through is painful. I practically rolled my eyes the entire way through my cousin's recent catholic wedding...

2. Go
Not going would involve coming out to my parents. Which would only cause drama and probably involve my mom crying and calling someone from my churchy past to talk to me and "get me back on track." Then the whole holiday would be awkward and my extended family would hear about it at the grandma's house and my mostly christian family would quietly tut behind my back and wonder "what went wrong." Also, with both me and my brother at college, Easter is one of the few times that the family is together all day, and I know that is important to my parents. It makes me feel a bit selfish that I can't suffer through one hour of church to make a nice day for my parents.

So there is the problem. I am torn between being true to myself and self-sacrifice for my parents.

Anyone got any advice or similar experiences?

Views: 74

Comment by Brad Leclerc on March 15, 2009 at 10:33am
That's a rough spot, but as others have mentioned, you will (I hope) eventually end up telling them anyway, the longer you wait, and the more you join in their church activities, the harder it will be for you, and the harder it will be for them to deal with.

As tough as it could be, honesty is (cliche as it is...) usually the best policy. Thankfully my parents were never deeply religious, so I haven't personally had to deal with that (though I do have some insanely religious aunts/uncles which lead to harsh conversation), but I have played backup and moral support to several friends coming out to their parents about their atheism, and as crappy as the first few minutes(or hours...) can be, being honest with them tends to feel a whole lot better than keeping quiet.

Tough call though....really tough.


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