Coming Out
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24-09-2016, 05:41 PM
Coming Out
I was raised a Christian. As I child, I was instructed to confess my sins and ask God for forgiveness; taught that the Bible was divine; and was expected to preach the gospel to my peers. Although my parents took the appropriate steps to indoctrinate me, they failed to do so.

When I was fourteen I heard on Fox News that Christians were being persecuted because of their faith. Naturally, I wanted to defend my religion against any hellbound atheists. However, reading, annotating, and researching the Bible led me to a very different conclusion that I expected it to. I determined it was rife with absurdities, bigotry, contradictions, cruelty, and historical as well as scientific inaccuracies. I realized my pastor was unwilling to address certain topics, such as genocide, sexism, and slavery, which are sanctioned in the Bible . Several weeks passed and after further researching history, philosophy, religion, and science I concluded that our universe had no need for a god.

I remember reading books about the supernatural claims in Christianity at a relatively young age. It was always blatantly obvious to me that those accounts shouldn't be taken literally. I was distraught when learning a significant number Christians thought genesis was a literal account of the origins of the cosmos. By that age I had already been introduced to evolution. The evidence was and remains to be undeniable.

As much as I wanted to reveal the truth to my parents, I understood the seriousness of the situation. I intended to keep my atheism a secret from the age of fourteen until I was at least eighteen and financially stable.

However, my mom began noticing the books I was reading and the scientists I began idolizing. I'm sixteen and three days ago I when was driving home from dance my mom began lecturing me about the alterior motives of scientists. She argued that scientists create evidence then present it as fact in order to further their political agenda. I'm working to become an astrophysicist, so I took immediate offense to her outrageous claims. By the time we arrived home she said, "Belle, you don't understand. There are people in this country that would love to demolish religion. I feel like the books you're reading are taking you down that path." I didn't say anything. She then asked, "well, are you an atheist?" Knowing she'd find out sooner than later, I confessed. I've never seen her cry so much.

After a long discussion we decided not tell any other family members, including my dad. She, ironically, criticizes my beliefs, whereas I'm not allowed to criticize her's. Hopefully, she'll become more accepting of me in the future.
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24-09-2016, 05:52 PM
RE: Coming Out
Belle,

We can make our own choices in this world. It is not always easy.

Good thoughts,

D.
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24-09-2016, 08:30 PM
RE: Coming Out
Hug
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24-09-2016, 08:39 PM
RE: Coming Out
Sorry to hear that you got outed. At least it sounds like it's going pretty well so far? Best of luck.

(24-09-2016 05:41 PM)BelleMarie Wrote:  After a long discussion we decided not tell any other family members, including my dad.

That's a bit of an interesting choice on her part. When your father finds out he may not be thrilled that she kept this from him. Do you know her reasoning on this?

Quote:She, ironically, criticizes my beliefs, whereas I'm not allowed to criticize her's. Hopefully, she'll become more accepting of me in the future.

That isn't so much irony as the power dynamic. She's the parent so she can criticize as she likes, whereas you must listen with rapt attention to the wisdom of your elders and betters. Facepalm

Don't sweat it. Criticism would be worse than useless at this point. It's worse than useless at any point except when applied lightly, carefully and with a lot of tact. You're actually in an interesting position to demonstrate to her that being an atheist doesn't mean what she thinks it means. Unless of course you do become a rabid, drug-frenzied, amoral beast that eats unborn babies, but if that happens you likely have bigger worries.

Take care and good luck with the astrophysics!

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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24-09-2016, 08:46 PM
RE: Coming Out
Congratulations on figuring it out so early! Something that you might want to think about- what is going to happen when your father finds out, and further, finds out that it has been kept "underground" for some amount of time before that discovery? It's a crying shame that this has to tear people and families up. It's another reason to despise religious programming. I wish you well.
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25-09-2016, 08:58 AM (This post was last modified: 25-09-2016 09:13 AM by RocketSurgeon76.)
RE: Coming Out
It sucks being a smart teenager. It's just that simple.

That's really what religion often boils down to: an excuse to bash others and then take umbrage if someone even questions your religion-based motives for doing what you do.

[Image: scaled_full_c93d25de2b1e7c020d6b.jpg]

Edit to Add: By the way, several of us on here are actual, working scientists. We have physicists, biologists (including myself) of various sorts, and even an organic chemist. If your mom has questions about how scientists work, she's welcome to come ask us. It's hilarious to think of anyone in science having any sort of agenda, since scientists come from all faith traditions, all nations, and all ethnic backgrounds-- and "win" in science if they can tear down the work of another scientist. That's literally how the Scientific Method works: an idea only stands up if no one can successfully undermine it. For the conspiracy you mom is talking about to work, you'd have to get Chinese and Japanese (who despise one another, generally), Norwegian, British, Argentinian, American, Indian, Italian, German, Brazilian, Israeli, and a hundred other nationalities of scientist to agree to NOT oppose one another's work... it's just not gonna happen!

They'd all have to agree to this wall of silence and exclusion... and in the name of what? Atheism?

That'd be news to evangelical Christian and head of the National Institutes of Health, formerly head of the Human Genome Project, and science adviser to the last two US Presidents, Dr. Francis S. Collins, who wrote a popular book (which I recommend for your mom-- The Language of God) that explains what we know about evolution through DNA evidence, why we know it's 100% true, and why that's not against his religious views.

That'd be news to Dr. Kenneth Miller, professor of evolutionary biology at Brown University, an Ivy League college, and not only an expert in biochemistry and cellular biology but an anti-Creationism lecturer and author of TWO books on why Creationism is a joke and evolution is reality, Finding Darwin's God and Only a Theory (the latter of which specifically attacks "Intelligent Design" bullshit).

And those are just two prominent Christians in a ready position to "blow the whistle" on this conspiracy your mom is alleging. That's not counting other Christians, or other religions.

Your mom has a lot to answer for, if she wants to try to tell you that there's some anti-religion agenda among scientists... especially prominent religious ones.

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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