Coming out... religiously?
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29-06-2010, 04:56 PM
 
Coming out... religiously?
I'm new here, and I didn't know how to put it exactly ... but here we go.

So, I'm sixteen and I've pretty much been raised Christian / Baptist / Methodist for my entire life. And I've had questions and logic concerns about religion ...practically for as long as i could think for myself.. It's always made no sense to me.
As of about a year or two ago I came across this movie called "Zeitgeist" which truly opened my eyes about how bogus religion really seems, and have researched Agnosticism and Atheism ever since. Considered myself Agnostic for a long time.
I stumbled upon this site last night and was so excited as well to find out so much about this. How I'm not alone as I thought i was.
My real issue is ... my family .. I feel so left out, I feel like I'm betraying them almost. I get so upset to think that I'm the only person who thinks like this in my family.. I so badly want to tell them my beliefs but .. I'm afraid of judgment and I don't want to grow apart from them because of how strongly they believe in Christianity. Any input? Ideas on how i can cope with this? Has anyone gone through this same deal?

thanks,

kristen. :l
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29-06-2010, 05:23 PM
RE: Coming out... religiously?
Hi Kristen. Welcome to The Thinking Atheist forums.

I'm sorry to hear that you feel alienated from your family, but I have good news: you're worrying needlessly. Your family is your family no matter what. Whatever you believe, or don't, they will love and support you. They may try to convert you, and warn you that you are going to hell, but (unless they are serious fundamentalists, and it doesn't seem like they are from your post) they will still love and care for you.

Believe me. I had the same worries when I told my family. Their reaction was much more supportive than I expected, and I'm sure it will be the same in your case. If it isn't, then it's your family that has the problem, not you.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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29-06-2010, 05:33 PM
RE: Coming out... religiously?
Hi welcome to the forums. If you have any questions about religion, or if theist bring up an argument you have trouble countering then people on these forums will be happy to help you out. Also, I am glad to see you enjoy this site, it also has a youtube page, and a facebook page. On the topic of your family I agree with unbeliever and that I also had trouble when I told my family. They are not that religious so they didn't care too much. Most my friends never cared about me being an atheist, except for a few, but if someone doesn't want to asscoiate with you because you are an atheist then they were probably not a real friend anyway.
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29-06-2010, 05:50 PM
 
RE: Coming out... religiously?
Thank you so much guys for the support.
But I do have another question ... I want to tell my parents first. More so my mom and step dad who i Live with ... any ideas on how I can bring it up to them?
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29-06-2010, 06:09 PM
RE: Coming out... religiously?
How about starting out with..."hey mom and dad, I want to talk to you about something that I take very seriously, and have put a lot of thought into. First off, I want to reassure you that this is a positive thing in my life, and I want you to know about it because you are important to me...." Obviously put it in your own words, but the idea is to start things off by letting them know this isn't just a whim, so they will take it as seriously as you do. Also, it starts things off on a positive note. Almost like you've got something great going on and you want them to be privy to it. Lastly, it shows that you still respect them, even though what you are about to share with them goes against what they believe.

Basically, if you start off on the right note, and in a positive way, then it will help them to be receptive to you. Good luck, and don't worry. Worrying will just set the wrong mood anyhow. Like I always tell my daughter (who is close to you in age) "If you expect things to turn out poorly, it's likely they will. Conversley, if you expect a great outcome, great things will happen!"

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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29-06-2010, 06:35 PM
RE: Coming out... religiously?
Stark Raving has a really good point. That it is good to be in a postiive mood, and make sure that they realize that being an atheist is a part of your life now. Also, just be sure that they are not stressed about anything, and that they are having a good day when the day comes that you want to bring it up. Furthermore, don't prolong it too long because the longer you wait the harder it will be when you say something. Good luck, and remember that many others are in similiar situations as the numbers of atheist and agnostics are growing in the United States and around the world.
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29-06-2010, 08:05 PM
RE: Coming out... religiously?
Just another pro tip, make it also very clear that you aren't disrespecting their beliefs either. That is to say, that you let them know that religion is not for you but that doesn't mean that they are wrong/stupid/ignorant etcetc.

I think it would be important to make that clear. Naturally I imagine you wouldn't do such a thing on purpose, but sometimes people pick up on implications that don't exist and when you have the time to prepare yourself you should do your best to steer clear.

Good luck, and welcome to the forums! I'm sure you'll find all the answers to your questions here Smile Also, Zeitgeist is what got me thinking too Wink

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29-06-2010, 08:32 PM
RE: Coming out... religiously?
Welcome to tta.

Make sure that you have your arguments well prepared before you tell your parents your belief. You don't want them to ask you questions which you don't have the answer to, as they will, unfortunately, take you a lot less seriously.

Of course, sometimes the answer is that we don't know. You might find yourself having to explain this one quite a few times as theists have the god filler (we don't have any logical argument, so we posit that god created ____) on their side.

On a side note, don't take anything said in Zeitgeist seriously. That movie has about as many holes in it as the bible.

You don't get rich writing science fiction. If you want to get rich, you start a religion. - L. Ron Hubbard (Creater of Scientology)
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29-06-2010, 10:39 PM
 
RE: Coming out... religiously?
This is sort of my own message to my friends and family. My transition to being an Atheist made a lot of waves with those close to me and in fact I did lose some friends in the process. These words spoke from my heart and said what I needed to say. They are true and in some ways harsh. Use them wisely.....

I Am Me.... In the words of an Atheist.


I am only me... One person in a sea of many. Society classifies me as an outcast because I'm not of the religious right or democratic left. I am in the middle. I am me. I think for myself and that is none other than a crime to many. I do not run with the pack. I am my own leader. I belong not to this country nor to your God. I belong to myself. After all of this, I stand for you. Your freedom from the chains of society. Be not what they tell you to be. Be what you feel you are. Be yourself. Too many times I hear them tell me not to be a follower. To many times I see them wear the latest trends. I say what I want and do the same. I make my own standard and they follow somone elses. I read all articles and make sense of all views. They see one angle and know nothing more. I am me. I see for myself to make my choices. I do not hear what you say and disregard the others. I do not lay claim to any falsness or groupthink ideas. I am me. I stand for standing. I hear for hearing. I will not join your group and you cannot join my group either. I have no gathering. I raise no flag and I do not claim a name. The only thing that ties me to you is my blood. I am Human. Yet I am me. Do not push me. I will push back. But not to sway you to my side of thought. Only to have you understand that you will not sway me to your side of doctrine. I do not say that I am better than you. I am not. I am only me. To you I am lost. I feel like I am not. I realize that I am still growing. Learning as I go. Open to all information and turning nothing down. I do not judge nor do I hate. I learn from every corner of every room. I read your books and theirs. I love. Not because I was told to either. I do not have set rules to follow that will ensure wellness and happy endings. I live life one step at a time. I love life for what it is. I will not modify that with the false pretenses of religion built gain. I give to no church because no church gives to me. I will not be had. I am me. I am not you.
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30-06-2010, 06:03 AM
RE: Coming out... religiously?
Welcome to TTAF, NoGroupThink!

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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