New Year's Eve, I was at home getting ready to go out and my mom was watching a Lifetime movie on TV. The movie was about a Christian mother and her homosexual son and the mother's struggles to try to "cure" her son against his wishes. During the movie, I told my mom, "Movies like this make me wonder how you and Dad would react if [my sister] Kim or I were to come out as homosexual, or if we changed our religion or something." She responded, "Well, you basically did. You never go to church anymore, and I wish you would." And that was really all I needed to push me to the next level. I just came out with it--"Mom, that's just it. I am not a Christian anymore. I don't believe in any of it."

She looked at me with disapproval and said that it was my choice, but that I should go to church with her and my dad and read The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren. She said that I was "missing out" and that going back to church would fill my needs. She doesn't understand that I'm not missing anything in my life by not believing in God. I hope understanding will come in time.

Today, the secular Meetup group I belong to had our monthly meeting and I went. I came home a few hours after my parents returned from church and my mom asked where I had been, and it was refreshing to be totally honest with her. Rather than say, "Out for coffee with friends," I told her about the group and the new friends I've made there. She was again disapproving as she asked if we all don't believe in God, and I can't help but get the feeling that she'd rather not know such groups exist and that her former missionary daughter belongs to one. My mother has said in the past that she thinks non-Christians don't belong in this country...her beliefs are being challenged now that she has one living in her house.

I have not told my dad yet. I'm sort of hoping that my mom will tell him for me. If she doesn't, I will eventually. I will say that it feels really good not hiding anymore.

As for my Josh McDowell project, I'm not getting very far. I started reading the first chapter of Evidence a few weeks ago and have not picked it up since. I think I should start with Answers to Tough Questions and use Evidence as more of a reference. Right now I'm reading Dan Barker's book Godless and loving it. His story is very similar to my own.

Views: 7

Tags: Dan Barker, Josh McDowell, Meetup, atheist, coming out, secularist

Comment by Dave G on January 4, 2010 at 1:54am
First of all, congrats on having the wherewithal to come out like that.

I hope that your mother starts to come around, it sounds like she's going to have some problems with coming to terms with your lack of faith.

If she still continues to press Warren's book on you, you might be able to make your point by reading it and presenting her with a point-by-point dissection of its problems.
Comment by Kristi on January 4, 2010 at 3:20am
I know it'll take some time for my mom to "get it," because like most theists, she's been really misinformed about what and who an atheist is. The one I'm really worried about is my dad, because he is so religious. I pretty much expected the reaction I got from my mom, but I'm not sure what to expect from my dad.
Comment by Dan Barker on January 16, 2010 at 10:14am
Congratulations, Kristi! Great story. You have courage as well as brains. Your generation might well be the "first secular generation" . . . if current trends continue.
Comment by Kristi on January 16, 2010 at 2:17pm
OMG...you're Dan Barker! I'm reading you right now! Sorry to sound like a blathering fangirl, but your story really inspired me. Thanks for the kind words!

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