Advice for Closeted Minor
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21-03-2016, 12:59 AM
Advice for Closeted Minor
I'm in need of advice; I am a closeted atheist in a Christian household. My faith was unwavering until I thoroughly read the bible, which led to a series of questions and answers that made me the humanist I am today. After six months, lying has become more and more difficult to fathom. While a handful of people know the truth, the most influential people in my life, my parents, don't. My other beliefs that do not correspond with religion, such as veganism have not been well receipted. In fact, they threated to end my career in the entertainment industry. Should I wait until I am eighteen to tell them I am an atheist? Also, do minors have any legal rights should they be forced to do anything that concerns religion?
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21-03-2016, 05:43 AM
RE: Advice for Closeted Minor
It will be difficult but keep it to yourself until you are ready to leave the nest. You have to have their support but IMO you do not have to confess your disagreement with them on your lack of faith. This is why:

They brought you into this world and they are responsible for your welfare and owe you support until you are an adult and can fend for yourself.
They chose to indoctrinate you but failed, that's on them not you. (Congrats btw.)
After you graduate from high school it gets a bit different. They're not technically responsible for you any longer and then it becomes a moral choice whether to tell them and risk them dropping your support for college or not but they don't owe you any at that point.

Now, when I say it will be hard not to tell them, I mean it will be the hardest thing you ever do. As a teen emotions can run wild and in a pique of anger this is the most risky time because your "fuck it all" button will be on high alert. DON'T GO THERE. I have seen teens kicked to the streets for being atheist, gay, sexually active and other non-parent conforming reasons. So unless you have somewhere safe to go... keep it to yourself.

I would recommend if your parents will support it, tell them you want to see a counselor a couple times a month, you're struggling with some issues and you want to have professional help (not a minister or xtian therapists). This will give you an outlet and an advisor. Seek out online support, like here or the teen atheists group if you can do so without discovery.

Welcome and good luck!

[Image: dnw9krH.jpg?4]
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21-03-2016, 06:51 AM
RE: Advice for Closeted Minor
What Heatheness said. It's going to be hard, but you do need to make sure you keep a roof over your head, and you want to be able to keep on living the way you are, since you are already pursuing a career.

Think about it, there is no real reason to tell them everything. I don't know how long it is before you will be 18, but if you can, keep your peace til then.

I don't know the legal landscape here. I have heard of children divorcing their parents but don't know what the reasons would be. But you have no way to survive, and you HAVE to go to school, not just for the law, but for yourself.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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21-03-2016, 07:27 AM
RE: Advice for Closeted Minor
(21-03-2016 12:59 AM)BelleMarie Wrote:  I'm in need of advice; I am a closeted atheist in a Christian household. My faith was unwavering until I thoroughly read the bible, which led to a series of questions and answers that made me the humanist I am today. After six months, lying has become more and more difficult to fathom. While a handful of people know the truth, the most influential people in my life, my parents, don't. My other beliefs that do not correspond with religion, such as veganism have not been well receipted. In fact, they threated to end my career in the entertainment industry. Should I wait until I am eighteen to tell them I am an atheist? Also, do minors have any legal rights should they be forced to do anything that concerns religion?

Assuming you are in the US, there really isn't much you can do legally about religious freedom of thought as a minor, short of attempting to achieve the status of an emancipated minor. The laws that govern your ability to separate legally from parental support vary state by state. But the more practical matters cited by Heatheness and Dom are the real concern. If you don't have the means of supporting yourself, and if religion is going to make you an outcast in your own home, then you might want to consider waiting to tell your parents your beliefs.

I'm curious, though, about your comment on how poorly received your desire to have a vegan diet was by your parents. I don't see how that relates to religion. Maybe your parents are just concerned about your health, and not fully aware of or sold on the idea that you can be healthy without eating meat? It's also somewhat of an imposition on your family to be vegan--they have to change meal plans and accommodate you. They don't really have to do all that much to accommodate your non-belief, other than perhaps allow you to not participate in religious activities (and I personally didn't find it to be the end of the world to sit through church/Sunday school despite not believing). Frankly, if I had been vegan as well, rather than just being an atheist, I think my parents would have been more concerned about the veganism Smile
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21-03-2016, 08:05 AM
RE: Advice for Closeted Minor
Welcome to TTA. Maybe you can find some community here to be yourself online and try to just "get along" with your parents until you're old enough to be on your own. Even then, Atheism isn't something you have to "share". Just be who you are. Live your life without belief in the supernatural and move on. Good luck! Drinking Beverage

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
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21-03-2016, 09:21 AM
Advice for Closeted Minor
I'm not trying to scare you, but there are stories of minors being thrown out of their homes because of atheism. Right now, you should be fairly quiet about it. I know even less about your parents than you do.

If they were to kick you out, many people would side with them solely because of religion. It's an unfortunate truth that I'd rather you not learn the hard way.
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21-03-2016, 10:38 AM
RE: Advice for Closeted Minor
I'd be quiet about it all around, if it's a concern.

After all - once two people share a secret - it's no longer a secret.

People just LOVE to gossip.......................

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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21-03-2016, 06:27 PM
RE: Advice for Closeted Minor
I have not much to add, but I wanted you to know there is a forum for teens here too, if you'd like to chat with others in your exact same situation. It might prove helpful.
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21-03-2016, 07:53 PM (This post was last modified: 21-03-2016 09:44 PM by Nurse.)
RE: Advice for Closeted Minor
Keep your mouth shut and don't make waves. Find other outlets. Having parental support as you're first getting started as an adult makes a huge long term difference for most people. If they're closed minded enough to be unsupportive of your veganism instead of trying to understand a cause that is clearly important to you, then I would be wary about their support of you rejecting their god. Until you are completely self sufficient, keep it to yourself.

It was really difficult at first for me to keep quiet. It gets easier after the newness of your changed world view wears off. I'm 30 and I go to church with my parents and my son to maintain familial support, I am certain I would lose it otherwise. My brother was kicked out of the house when he was 18 - not because he declared himself an atheist, but because he was tired after working late and wanted to sleep in.

I live in the American Deep South, outside of the big cities most atheists live in closets. Hence you'll find a lot of southeastern Americans on this site - we need an outlet.


Edited to clarify: My brother was kicked out for not getting out of bed to go to church.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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22-03-2016, 11:50 AM
RE: Advice for Closeted Minor
I agree with everyone here. Keep it to yourself for now. There is too much at stake and you are not in a position where you can support yourself at the moment. If you think they will not receive it well, go with your gut and like what Heatheness said, DO NOT come out when you are pissed. Best of luck to you and we're here and many of us have taken the same path you're on.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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