My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
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05-09-2012, 05:55 PM
My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
I never truly believed in god, but I did not identify as an atheist until I was 15. Now, my parents, brothers, and close friends know I am an atheist. However, my parents tell me not to tell others. I know they trying to protect me, but at the same time I feel like they do not understand me or my choices. I just started college last week and I am wondering how, if I should, bring it up to the friends I am making here.

Also, my parents and brothers(one of which is an atheist while the other is an agnostic) are the only family members who know that I am an atheist. My parents do not want my grandparents to know at all. And I, personally, hate the secrecy.

Any suggestions? Thoughts? Comments?
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05-09-2012, 06:01 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
(05-09-2012 05:55 PM)Miranda Paige Wrote:  I never truly believed in god, but I did not identify as an atheist until I was 15. Now, my parents, brothers, and close friends know I am an atheist. However, my parents tell me not to tell others. I know they trying to protect me, but at the same time I feel like they do not understand me or my choices. I just started college last week and I am wondering how, if I should, bring it up to the friends I am making here.

Also, my parents and brothers(one of which is an atheist while the other is an agnostic) are the only family members who know that I am an atheist. My parents do not want my grandparents to know at all. And I, personally, hate the secrecy.

Any suggestions? Thoughts? Comments?


First, this is something you should think about when you have met , and gotten to know the friends you will have in college. The judgement should be based on if you are comfortable at the time.

I believe that if you truly feel the need, go for it, but your emotional safety needs to come first.

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05-09-2012, 06:01 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
you're in college, if there is anything like here then chances are half of the people there are already or in their way to be atheists/agnostics so I don't think it should be a problem, if your parents ask why or how they know, just tell them the topic cam up and you deemed safe to say it

about your grandparents, if they're very religious, maybe you should follow your parents advice, they probably know them better in that aspect and maybe they reckon it may be too hard for them to take it... But as always with this things, is always a complicated situation and there're no absolute answers, in the end you have to make the decision Confused

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05-09-2012, 07:04 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
Hey, Miranda.

It's a tough situation. It's only different from the situation homosexuals face when wrestling with the question of coming out in that one is a choice, the other is not. So it works slightly differently, but it's fundamentally the same situation.

That's why I always suggest that "closeted" Atheists speak to openly gay people. They have a lot of personal experience that they can share with you.

The reality is that no two situations are the same. Some families are OK with it, some grudgingly accept, some disown you and others say, "Well it's about fucking time!"

This sort of thing takes equal parts soul searching, honesty and courage. Best of luck to you.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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05-09-2012, 07:10 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
In each instance, ask yourself if it's necessary and if it causes harm (to yourself or others). In the case of your grandparents, it's probably not necessary and might cause them emotional harm. Other times, you may feel like you have to stand up for yourself or explain who you are, in which case let it fly.

As far as your college friends, treat it like any other piece of background information about yourself. Do you tell everyone you meet you are/aren't a vegan, a democrat or republican, believe in aliens, etc? If you're that open about yourself with everyone, then add atheism to your list Smile

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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05-09-2012, 07:11 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
What do your brothers do? Are they vocal about their (non-)beliefs to your grandparents?

I, personally, if my grandparents were as sensitive on the subject as you intimate, would certainly not take the initiative to breach it to them. You don't tell 'm what you and Becky did either, do you?
But if they asked me straight out. I would – but carefully! – say what I think and be honest. And take pains to not be harsh towards or about the church or religion in their presence. Why hurt 'm? It's not worth it.

If you feel the need to express yourself about it, that's great. Please do so. But not when it would do more damage than good.

Anyway, I see you've found TTA as a way to express yourself. Welcome!
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05-09-2012, 07:16 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
Thank you for your responses!

My little brother just came out as atheist to me a couple of months ago and my older brother doesn't really speak about it. I am the only one who feels the need to express themselves.

Also, just posting here is helping a lot. Its not so lonely when you are connected to others like you.
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05-09-2012, 07:31 PM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2012 07:45 PM by Janus.)
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
(05-09-2012 07:16 PM)Miranda Paige Wrote:  just posting here is helping a lot.

Yep. The church found that out looong ago and fed it with an array of guilt-complexes, and then invented the confessional... Smile
And for centuries, nay, millennia, that gave them a fantastic source of dirt with which to blackmail most of the flock, individually, if necessary to maintain their hold on the community.

Of course nowadays we got psychiatric therapists and Dear Abby too... Laughat
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05-09-2012, 07:37 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
If its just the grandparents they don't want to find out, then tell people who don't come in contact with them.

Bury me with my guns on, so when I reach the other side - I can show him what it feels like to die.
Bury me with my guns on, so when I'm cast out of the sky, I can shoot the devil right between the eyes.
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05-09-2012, 07:49 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
(05-09-2012 07:31 PM)Janus Wrote:  Yep. The church found that out looong ago and fed it with an array of guilt-complexes, and then invented the confessional... Smile
And for centuries, nay, millennia, that gave them a fantastic source of dirt with which to blackmail most of the flock, individually, if necessary to maintain their hold on the community.

Of course nowadays we got psychiatric therapists and Dear Abby too... Laughat

Agreed! Big Grin
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