Dear Mom and Dad,
As you have known for years, I am an atheist. I'm not the strongly worded, well educated physicist that you imagine when you hear that term. I know less of stardust than the strongest voices of the movement.
I am not "angry at god" I am not "trying to justify a sinful life." I am as boring as I ever was, and my typical day has less to do with my lack of belief than trying to get my son to sit down and do his school work.
Do not take my lack of rage as a lack of conviction. I do not believe in a god, I will not mold my son into a religion I do not have spiritual stock in. I know that this argument is on the horizon, I can see it every time I change the subject away from my son's future religious development.
I know you are both Catholic, but I have to tell you that you unknowingly set up the foundation for my disbelief.
Dad, you taught me to question everyone and to argue with logic instead of emotion, and mom you taught me to learn all I could about the church I was raised in. You both taught me to speak my mind and encouraged me to read anything I could get my hands on.
Dad you introduced me to George Orwell's Animal Farm. Mom you introduced me to apologetic arguments.
But really, if you wanted to keep me in the church you missed a major opportunity. Remember when I was six years old and I proudly came to you with my clever idea that perhaps God was the same for everyone, and that everyone's way of worship was just their version of the same practice. That God, or Allah or Zeus were just the same name in different languages.
You should have said anything other than "No."
If you had given me some possibility for that there would have been SO many excuses made by me in my times of doubt. I would have seen god in everything instead of limited to the hearts and minds of his believers. I would have never connected the dots of "If they are wrong could I be wrong?"
You lost that chance, and I am no longer that six year old girl asking you about god. I am a thirty year old woman who does not believe. A thirty year old woman, with a six year old son who will hear "Yes son, all gods are the same...false."