How to tell my Father...
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25-07-2015, 05:25 PM
How to tell my Father...
Hey there TTA community Smile

First post here, so not sure entirely of the rules or restrictions so I'll just try to give you guys a good view on my situation.

I am 17 years old... And have known I am atheist since around 13. My mother and father divorced when I was around 4, and they have joint custody. I go to my fathers in Kansas for the summers, and North Carolina with my mother in the school year. Both my parents married before their marriage together and had two children - boy and girl. Technically, I have 2 half brothers ( A and B ) and 2 half sisters ( C and D )

So now that you know some stuff about my rather complicated family, I'll tell you about how my atheism is sort of messing with my relationship with my father. My sister on my mothers side, 'C' and I are very close. I told her of my atheism and she told my mother (without my consent) and my mother learned to accept it and actually claims to be an atheist herself now.

But my Dad... Incredibly conservative Presbyterian Christian. I'm honestly scared of what he would do if he found out I was atheist. For instance, the recent Supreme Court ruling. I was very happy for my group of LGBTQ friends, but my father was so upset. He said he couldn't stand this 'injustice to humanity' and he was yelling and hitting things because 'they made God angry'.

On a slightly different tone, my father loves big brother for some reason (I don't even know lol). But OH SHIT. Maybe some of you know that this is the first season they had a transgender woman on the show... He turned the TV off and hasn't watched it since. He's been watching it for like 9 years... It's just crazy. And now he's got a girlfriend... Which is also conservative Presbyterian and backs him on like all of this...

So now that you have a decent grasp on what my father feels about religion and 'immoral things in society', what do I do about telling him? I mean I hate having to just go to church every week and praising God and he says all these long monologues about praising Jesus... I mean should I even ever tell him?

Well thanks for reading and maybe responding, and hello TTA!
- Scorpion Smile
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25-07-2015, 07:30 PM
RE: How to tell my Father...
Welcome to TTA and thanks for sharing.

First thing to say is that you're not alone and we have a Teens section where you youngsters can discuss these issues 'adult-free'.

My (adult) 2-pennies-worth...

No need to make an announcement. Based on you description, I doubt that would go well. But questions from child to parent deserve answers so a Just Asking Questions approach is less threatening (what did the pastor mean when he said... etc.) and this can sow seeds in your father's mind so that a later announcement won't be a shock.

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25-07-2015, 09:17 PM
RE: How to tell my Father...
Don't envy you your situation, Scorpion.

I was thrown out of my home at 17 for refusing to attend church, after I realized I was not capable of being a Christian any longer. (Technically, I was given the option of "go to church or get out", and I chose the latter, since I had a 19-year-old girlfriend with her own apartment.) I agree with DLJ about not picking a fight, yet.

You'll be 18 before you know it, and able to strike out on your own. Asking good questions is a safe approach, and is always a good idea in any situation. Never stop asking good questions.

"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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25-07-2015, 09:17 PM
RE: How to tell my Father...
I'd hold off until you're not in a position where your father can get in your way. It's a pragmatic approach rather than a philosophical one, but what you want at age 17 is as solid a launching pad as you can for your next step.

You have to be careful with people who have a fanatical approach to their religion. My father is extremely religious and was a preacher and missionary through my childhood. He was not happy with my break with his religion. At one point in my early 20s, he broke into my apartment with the intent of forcibly taking me home to deprogram me; convincing him otherwise while he sat there with a gun in his pocket and ropes in his van was a very scary night. That experience and a few others have led me to recommend a certain amount of caution and fudging of one's views when dealing with family in this area.

Sit tight for a bit and try to get along without making too many waves would be my advice, purely as a survival tactic. You aren't really on your own yet. Once you are set up independently and have a good support system, it's easier to assert your views. It's really positive that you have some family members who are supportive of your atheism, good for them.
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26-07-2015, 06:35 AM
RE: How to tell my Father...
(25-07-2015 09:17 PM)julep Wrote:  I'd hold off until you're not in a position where your father can get in your way. It's a pragmatic approach rather than a philosophical one, but what you want at age 17 is as solid a launching pad as you can for your next step.

You have to be careful with people who have a fanatical approach to their religion. My father is extremely religious and was a preacher and missionary through my childhood. He was not happy with my break with his religion. At one point in my early 20s, he broke into my apartment with the intent of forcibly taking me home to deprogram me; convincing him otherwise while he sat there with a gun in his pocket and ropes in his van was a very scary night. That experience and a few others have led me to recommend a certain amount of caution and fudging of one's views when dealing with family in this area.

Sit tight for a bit and try to get along without making too many waves would be my advice, purely as a survival tactic. You aren't really on your own yet. Once you are set up independently and have a good support system, it's easier to assert your views. It's really positive that you have some family members who are supportive of your atheism, good for them.

Shocking What the fuck man that's REALLY scary.
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28-07-2015, 08:21 AM
RE: How to tell my Father...
(25-07-2015 05:25 PM)TheAtheistScorpion Wrote:  Hey there TTA community Smile

First post here, so not sure entirely of the rules or restrictions so I'll just try to give you guys a good view on my situation.

I am 17 years old... And have known I am atheist since around 13. My mother and father divorced when I was around 4, and they have joint custody. I go to my fathers in Kansas for the summers, and North Carolina with my mother in the school year. Both my parents married before their marriage together and had two children - boy and girl. Technically, I have 2 half brothers ( A and B ) and 2 half sisters ( C and D )

So now that you know some stuff about my rather complicated family, I'll tell you about how my atheism is sort of messing with my relationship with my father. My sister on my mothers side, 'C' and I are very close. I told her of my atheism and she told my mother (without my consent) and my mother learned to accept it and actually claims to be an atheist herself now.

But my Dad... Incredibly conservative Presbyterian Christian. I'm honestly scared of what he would do if he found out I was atheist. For instance, the recent Supreme Court ruling. I was very happy for my group of LGBTQ friends, but my father was so upset. He said he couldn't stand this 'injustice to humanity' and he was yelling and hitting things because 'they made God angry'.

On a slightly different tone, my father loves big brother for some reason (I don't even know lol). But OH SHIT. Maybe some of you know that this is the first season they had a transgender woman on the show... He turned the TV off and hasn't watched it since. He's been watching it for like 9 years... It's just crazy. And now he's got a girlfriend... Which is also conservative Presbyterian and backs him on like all of this...

So now that you have a decent grasp on what my father feels about religion and 'immoral things in society', what do I do about telling him? I mean I hate having to just go to church every week and praising God and he says all these long monologues about praising Jesus... I mean should I even ever tell him?

Well thanks for reading and maybe responding, and hello TTA!
- Scorpion Smile

Welcome! Tread carefully, your clarity doesn't have to be over shared with family yet until perhaps you are out on your own and can safely inject your perspective when and if the opportunity arises. Glad you found us.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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28-07-2015, 08:34 AM
RE: How to tell my Father...
The most depressing part of all of these stories is that christians claim that god and the bible are the standards that we should live by. While I do think that they are actually doing what jesus would have done (see Luke 14:26-27, Matthew 12:49 for starters) why would I want to follow suck wicked teachings? How awful.

"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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28-07-2015, 10:54 AM
RE: How to tell my Father...
Welcome to TTA!

I think it might be a good idea to wait until you are completely out on your own before you say anything to your Dad. You can still be out with your atheism without having to share it with your Dad right now. I am an atheist and I still go to church with my family for christian holidays. I don't believe in any of the doctrine and I don't do the communion thing. I go for my mom because it makes her happy. Just look at church as doing something right now to make your dad happy. Then look around at all the other parishioners with glazed over eyes and be thankful you are no longer one of them. Look at the pastor's sermon as theater--because that's all it is really. And you can use the pastor's sermon as research to poke holes in christian arguments. Then you can come on here with that info and poke the trolls Laugh out load
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14-09-2015, 12:13 AM
RE: How to tell my Father...
Welcome aboard the forum buddy, have a great stay here.
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14-09-2015, 08:55 PM
RE: How to tell my Father...
(28-07-2015 10:54 AM)jennybee Wrote:  Welcome to TTA!

I think it might be a good idea to wait until you are completely out on your own before you say anything to your Dad. You can still be out with your atheism without having to share it with your Dad right now. I am an atheist and I still go to church with my family for christian holidays. I don't believe in any of the doctrine and I don't do the communion thing. I go for my mom because it makes her happy. Just look at church as doing something right now to make your dad happy. Then look around at all the other parishioners with glazed over eyes and be thankful you are no longer one of them. Look at the pastor's sermon as theater--because that's all it is really. And you can use the pastor's sermon as research to poke holes in christian arguments. Then you can come on here with that info and poke the trolls Laugh out load

I recall seeing a post (here?, I do get around...) where the person in the "audience/parish" could consider a church service in one of two ways- holy hellfire or as a comedian with their shtick in front of their "audience". They can sound the same, but the perspective is 180° out, and a lot funnier when considered that way. Good luck with your situation, however it turns out.
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