How do I come out to my family as Atheist?
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17-09-2016, 11:48 AM
How do I come out to my family as Atheist?
I was raised by family that God's word trumped all. But as I got older and learned more in school, and developed a passion for the sciences, I came to realize that Science contradicted Christianity. My friends, family, and church would give me cop out answers and often get mad at me if I asked too much. It was only after I joined the military, when I was truly seperate from the influences of my family that I began to think for myself and slowly but surely I realized one day that God was fake. I enjoyed watching videos like the Amazing Atheist, Jaclyn Glenn, and Darkmatter2525.

I wanted to tell my family that I didn't believe, and I told my Mom who is divorced and lives separately from my Dad's side of the family, that I didn't believe in God. She brought up Near Death Experiences and asked me how to explain that if God wasn't real. At the time I couldn't tell her it was because of the release of chemicals in the brain because I just didn't know. Later that year my sister, age 17, Natalie died in a car accident. My mother was impacted the most and I'm pretty sure she still believes because she doesn't want to think she won't see Natalie after she dies.

I tried telling my Dad too. I called him and told him I believed in the Big Bang and Evolution, hoping it would lead into God. But he told me something like this, "Now son you know what going down that road does to a man, right?" As if to warn me not to stop believing in God. I quickly assured him I was still a believer but at that point I was lying. I didn't want my Dad to reject or hate me because I didn't believe. I didn't want him to prevent me from being able to talk to my younger brother Curtis, and sister Rachel. They're 8 and 10 years old respectively. They look up to me as a shining older brother; a golden example of what they should be when they get older. I don't want their love and adoration for me to go away and I don't want Dad to hate me for being Atheist.

Should I even tell them in the first place? It's not like I'm obligated to tell them. Then again, I don't want to come and visit and listen to Dad's ranting about non-Christians and Democrats and how they're all evil and that the world will go to shit before Jesus comes back. I just wanna be honest and tell him I don't believe in that horse shit and not all Democrats are evil. In fact, I'm a libertarian now. But that would surely make him very angry.

Please help. I don't know how to tell my Dad that without pissing him off.
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17-09-2016, 01:02 PM
RE: How do I come out to my family as Atheist?
Well Cumulus, if you want him (or anyone) to know, you're going to have to just say it and let the chips fall where they may. If you do, stay calm, stand your ground and make certain you have your ducks in a row. Being here for support might help to arm yourself with ideas on the subject. It will be something you will probably want to psych yourself up for.
Consider I think we have a few threads pertaining to this very issue.

From a practical perspective, I don't know how old you are or if you are still living with your parents but, you might want to hold off until you can be independent from them financially. If you have to stay a while longer, just grit your teeth and take comfort in the fact that you are around to guid the younger siblings with reasonable discussion.

In any case, I'm glad you're here. We're a global site so you'll find a lot of different perspectives and discussions. Feel free to jump right in.

You might head over to the Introductions section and make an intro thread - more people will be happy to chime in when they get to know you a bit better.

Welcome to the forum. Smile

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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17-09-2016, 04:23 PM
RE: How do I come out to my family as Atheist?
As Kim mentioned, you might want to consider the consequences if you're still dependant on the. Sounds like you aren't though?

Sounds like the other issue is your relationship with your siblings. Is your dad likely to cut you off from them?

And what do you stand to gain? Sure it would be nice to have your father respect you for who you are, but it sounds like he doesn't respect non-Christians very much. If you do come out to him it's likely that you'll get more preaching, not less, at least in the short term.

If you're going to come out to him you might want to try easing him into the idea gradually. For a start, try and let him know that you find his opinions about non-Christians unpleasant and hurtful. Don't call it "ranting" unless you want a fight. Keep the politics separate. It's a whole different issue. Unless you're very attached to it, avoid the label "atheist". It's like a red flag to certain types of believer. "I don't believe" works just as well but doesn't provoke knee-jerk reactions. Avoid getting drawn into arguments justifying your lack of belief. They aren't important and you can't win them no matter how right you are. Facts don't matter to some people. Try to keep your head. It helps prevent a shouting match if at least one side won't shout.

You might want to tread lightly around your younger siblings. Explaining this to them in detail would get right up your dad's nose. Best thing you can do is be a good example for them. They can see that you're a good person now and learn the picky details later.

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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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17-09-2016, 04:42 PM
RE: How do I come out to my family as Atheist?
It sounds as though your family takes for granted that atheists are bad people, so I'd be careful. There's the potential that your mom or your dad might be so upset and confounded by your declaration that your relationship with your siblings might be threatened. It's very hard to sit quietly through religious rhetoric without wanting to challenge it, but maybe that's a good thing to do until you have a desired outcome and a plan to achieve it.

It's a good idea to clarify what you want before you decide on your course of action. Three examples: 1) Do you have hopes of talking your parents out of their religion? Then marshall facts and arguments and put them forth. 2) Do you want your family to accept you as an atheist and also good/worthy person who doesn't need to be converted? That's a slower, longer road of low-key stating of your beliefs, backed up by "works" that prove you're trustworthy, etc. 3) Do you want to just be able to have a good time when you're around your family? In that case, a very, very slow coming out as an atheist while never challenging others' beliefs could be best.

Good luck. As the black-sheep atheist daughter of a Southern Baptist preacher, I feel your pain!
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18-09-2016, 08:29 AM
RE: How do I come out to my family as Atheist?
I want the third option. I wanna just be able to chill with my family like I always have been.
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18-09-2016, 08:30 AM
RE: How do I come out to my family as Atheist?
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18-09-2016, 08:31 AM
RE: How do I come out to my family as Atheist?
(18-09-2016 08:29 AM)Cumulus Wrote:  I want the third option. I wanna just be able to chill with my family like I always have been.

Don't tell them.
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19-09-2016, 03:33 AM
RE: How do I come out to my family as Atheist?
(18-09-2016 08:31 AM)Gawdzilla Wrote:  
(18-09-2016 08:29 AM)Cumulus Wrote:  I want the third option. I wanna just be able to chill with my family like I always have been.

Don't tell them.

No I can't not tell them because then I can't be honest with my family. I wanna be real with my family and be able to express my opinions freely. But I also want to be cool and chill with my Dad.
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