My parents reaction to me saying "I'm an Atheist".

After I told my parents I was an Atheist, they have never acted the same around me since. I didn't post this before because I wanted to get familiar with the site and meet some people, but anyways, It all started about 4 or 5 years ago when I was having doubts about the existence of god and I was starting to feel very uncomfortable in churches. I believe I was about 13 or 14 when I told my parents I was an Atheist. The reaction of my mother and what she said to me still hurts me today. After I told her she said "Seth, I should have raised you better and made you go to church more." I had no idea what to say since I was 13 or 14, I just went into my room because I thought I did something wrong by the tone of her voice.


As the years went on she still held it over my head and made me feel as if I "didnt belong" if you will. I know now that was never her intention, she just wanted me to be a "good Christian kid"....whatever that means. But a few weeks go she brought it up by saying "I still wish I would have sent you to a different Sunday school" (I got kicked out of the previous one I was in way back when) I just said back "Well, isn't better that you have a son who is mature enough to make his own decisions on what to believe and not believe in? A son who has his own personality and mind set?" She didnt say anything and just continued to watch TV.


To this day she is still embarrassed and does not like it when I tell people I am an Atheist at family functions. I never bring up the topic first, I only answer when I am asked "Don't you think prayer should be allowed in all schools?" or "Whats your view on religion today? Are you any closer to god than the last time I've seen you?" I don't want to lie so I tell them "No, I do not believe in god, I am an Atheist"....then the room goes silent with my mom sitting in a chair with her face in her hands like I am some freak show. Then when I get up to get a drink, I hear them whispering about me about how satan got my soul or some shit like that. I just go back in and sit where I was sitting and try to bring something else up, like football or something, but I can tell everyone feels too awkward to even talk to me. I just hate it sometimes. Good thing my mom and dad are divorced and my dad is also an Atheist or else I don't know what I would do.


Thanks for reading and feel free to comment anything from advice, similar circumstances, ect.

Views: 5159

Comment by Apple on June 27, 2011 at 9:06am
I don't know what to say.  I guess it's just sad that in a first world country in the 21st century the "odd man out" is often the person who doesn't believe in demons, magic, angels, gods, and physics bending miracles.  Because you are young, outnumbered, and in a family setting I think that you handled it just fine.  Had the situation been more even (like when it is just you and your mom, say) then I would offer to have a discussion with her.  The best question to start with is usually to ask her what she believes about God/gods, and also, why she believes what she believes.  When Christians are willing to have open discussion, it's usually not to hard to show them that they do not have good reasons to believe what they believe.  Or at very least, they can see that you have very good reasons to doubt.
Comment by Seth Jon Nonnemaker on June 27, 2011 at 12:33pm
Im 17 now so it doesnt really bother me anymore, I just kind of grin and bear with it sometimes.
Comment by Adrian Allen on June 27, 2011 at 7:43pm
I think you are brave to deal with it as you do. Be careful though because the more confident you become in the rights of your atheistic belief - and you will become more convinced how right you are because you are right - then the more you run the risk of feeling disdain and even contempt for your mum's beliefs. Avoid this if you can, and always respect their right to believe what they want.
Comment by matt.clerke on June 27, 2011 at 8:02pm

I agree with the other posters. You are brave and handled yourself well.


Personally I have always taken atheism for granted. In Australia it seems the wacky christians haven't managed to become so ingrained into society that we have regular prayers along with announcements and stuff. In any case I wasn't even aware of religion until some time into my childhood, at which point I couldn't really understand it. A friend of mine was raised Morman and he tried to explain how prayer works....didn't make sense to me lol.

Comment by Seth Jon Nonnemaker on June 27, 2011 at 9:49pm

@Adrian, Thank you and I will definitely keep that in mind about being careful about how confident I get. Great advice, thank you very much.

@Matt, you sound much like me when I was in my childhood. I would have hated to have been sucked into all that god crap.

Comment by Dustin on June 27, 2011 at 10:01pm

My mother used to beat me every day and tell me 'If you don't stop crying , I'll give you something to cry about' ... even at the age of 5 , I knew the church she went too had something to do with it. From what I remember , and it's not much , her church most likely preached about not withholding the rod. She wouldn't feed me as punishment when I cried. I haven't spoken to her for 18 years. I'm only saying this because I have no idea if I would rather have a mother that physically beat me or a mother who would give me emotional guilt and abuse like yours seems to do.  My currently family is very secular and I have no idea how I would be able to live with a family that is so obviously crazy religious like yours is.  It's amazing your father is an atheist.  That must give you so much strength , as long as you're close to him and all.  


Just a random thought ... do secular parents beat their children or is this treatment usually from conservative Christian households?  I am going to post a topic on this right now .... 

Comment by Seth Jon Nonnemaker on June 27, 2011 at 10:20pm
@ Dustin, Im sorry you had to go through that and its amazing how you went through so much. Congratulations, but granted my mom and some family is religious, we are still close...they just dont accept the fact that Im Atheist. Sure, they act weird and sometimes it is hurtful at times, I just know that they havent really came into contact with an Atheist very often. But yes, my dad and I are very close, my mom and I are close too, but she finds it hard to accept that Im an Aethiest.
Comment by Dennis Smith on July 10, 2011 at 7:43am
All I can say is hang in there.It may not get better but you'll get used to it. Ostracism is a way to get people to stay in line, not to rock the boat and to reinforce the status quo so everyone can be comfortable. Find other atheist with whom to spend time if possible. You haven't failed your parents or anyone else.
Comment by Chit100 on October 14, 2011 at 12:52am

i told my friend that i'm atheist and she look at me like i'm a different person. sad.  i know how u feel. Sometime i don't even want to say i'm atheist because i got negative reaction than positive one.

Comment by Chit100 on October 14, 2011 at 12:55am

oh last year i told my parents that i'm atheist and they said they gonna cut me out from their will. I said  "do whatever you want , but i will always love you guys. "



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