My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
05-09-2012, 07:50 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
Atheism is the one thing that being quiet can be a safer thing to do than not--depending on different things--as people's reactions could become violent, or passive aggressive in a bad way. For relatives, let them think whatever they want that makes them happy--no sense stressing them out for no reason. Eventually they may figure it out, or suspect. And I say that as my mother who thought I was christian asked me recently, "are you an atheist?" because apparently it's a lot more obvious now than before. For one, when I don't live with religious people, so my "passing for religious" act disappears.

Now at college, depending on the college, I have found there are almost "hybrid theist/atheists"--they appear to be theists in comments and responses to some things (like insulting god), yet they don't really seem to believe themselves--almost like they "believe" because it's expected of them, not because they do. Depending on the field, there could be more atheists than not. I can say it was quite interesting having theists in my psychology courses, they had a lot to try and deal with once they learned things about humans/brains and the past.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-09-2012, 08:34 PM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2012 08:40 PM by Apeman.)
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
(05-09-2012 07:50 PM)elemts Wrote:  Atheism is the one thing that being quiet can be a safer thing to do than not--depending on different things--as people's reactions could become violent, or passive aggressive in a bad way. For relatives, let them think whatever they want that makes them happy--no sense stressing them out for no reason. Eventually they may figure it out, or suspect. And I say that as my mother who thought I was christian asked me recently, "are you an atheist?" because apparently it's a lot more obvious now than before. For one, when I don't live with religious people, so my "passing for religious" act disappears.

Absolutely. With the age of awareness and the obscene amount of luck to be born in a country in the 'First World', with free speech of sorts, instead of in a desert in central Asia, a slum in Delhi, or even 'the wrong side of the tracks', comes a responsibility! The responsibility of being aware of what you say, how you say it, to whom you say it, and when and where you say it!
It is the combination of those vectors that determine the impact. Consider that before you speak is my advice, Miranda.

Hey, if you feel really strongly about this subject, why not write a book on it? You don't necessarily have to publish it. The writing itself might be therapeutic. Even purgatory! Depending on how much of a sinner you are, of course! Big Grin
And should you decide to publish it anyway (well, the cleaned up version, of course Tongue), and it becomes no. 1 on the New York Times Book List, and you would be on every talk show, and signing thousands of books in the mall odds are that your grandparents find out...
Wanna bet they would be proud as peacocks?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-09-2012, 09:35 PM (This post was last modified: 05-09-2012 10:12 PM by GirlyMan.)
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?

I'm not an atheist Mirage so take my words with a grain of salt. (Calling myself an atheist feels like calling myself an aSantaClausist or an aEasterBunnyist. It artificially inflates theism to a term it don't warrant.) I realized at the same age as you are that the promise of a postmortem preservation of identity is total and complete bullshit. I never rejected religion. I rejected snake oil salesman. I couldn't give less of a shit about what follows from such a ludicrous promise.

That said, I don't volunteer my metaphysics. If they ask me, I'll tell them. But if they're just proselytizing me, ain't my job to be their tour guide to the abyss.

Them's Girly's thoughts on the matter.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
I will show you fear in a handful of dust.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes GirlyMan's post
05-09-2012, 10:45 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
My parents tell me to move up to Auckland and join the navy, doesn't mean I do it.

[Image: 3cdac7eec8f6b059070d9df56f50a7ae.jpg]
Now with 40% more awesome.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-09-2012, 11:33 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?

What is more important to your parents I implore you to ask, that your innocence and integrity is retained in a life of a greater understanding and balance of willpower, or submission of your innocence and integrity at the great misunderstanding and imbalance of moral authority and willpower of your obviously cowardice family who can not share any pride in an offspring who does not reflect their very personality?

Leviticus does not justify stupidity, but it is more than enough to define corruption of the human mind.

[Image: 24851795.jpg]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-09-2012, 11:48 PM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
(05-09-2012 09:35 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I'm not an atheist Mirage so take my words with a grain of salt.

Good call, Girly. You should defo change your name to Mirage.

Also, I find that the term "free-thinker" is much less threatening. It's the term I use in Muslim countries if I don't feel in the mood for a fight.

Your grandparents, if they are not familia with the term, might just think that "free-thinking" is like shopping around to find the right cult rather than rejecting cults altogether.

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-09-2012, 07:20 AM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
Fair's fair. Do your grandparents keep their theism to themselves?

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-09-2012, 07:26 AM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
Being in control of your "coming-out" is something I greatly admire. I inadvertently outed myself via facebook to my mother's side of the family and that fucking sucked. I had never really planned on explicitly discussing it with them because I had no interest in doing so, but they ended up butting their noses into my business and a lot of feelings ended up being hurt on my end and they still have no idea how bad they hurt me.

My point is not to remain secretive about it, but is there really a need to actively tell your whole family? I could see the point for someone who is gay because they may want to bring their significant other around to family gatherings, but I can't really see not-believing as something that you need to mention at every family function.

“Science is simply common sense at its best, that is, rigidly accurate in observation, and merciless to fallacy in logic.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-09-2012, 08:27 AM
RE: My Parents Tell Me to Keep My Atheism to Myself.
Actually this is not bad advice, but not for the reasons your parents probably are thinking.

As someone who works in the professional field and holds a doctorate, it is fairly taboo to talk too much about your
religious beliefs in much of the academic or professional world (although that certainly isn't a hard-fast rule.)

Go to college, spend your time learning all you can, educating yourself, and get a good job, without offending whoever it may be
that could further your career. You don't necessarily need to keep your atheism a secret but I think you will
find that there isn't much reason to constantly whip it out an hit people in the face with it in a college environment either.

I remember in college there was one particular guy who belonged to the fundamentalist student Christian group on campus in
my degree program. He constantly felt the need to bring it up. It created a sort of wall between himself and the other students
in the program. He never really became part of the social group because it constantly made people feel uncomfortable, even
though many of them were also Christian. Now this of course is anecdotal but the point is you can do this to yourself
as well if you aren't careful.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-09-2012, 10:14 AM
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?

(sticking head out the window) "MOM AND DAD, WHAT DID YOU SAY? YOU DON'T WANT ME TO TELL THE WHOLE WORLD I'M AN ATHEIST???" Angel

No seriously, I don't think you have to make a special point of telling anyone you're an atheist. I would only bring it up if it naturally fits into a conversation. But, if it does and you feel comfortable telling them, I would do so. In other words, I wouldn't let my parents dictate my freedom on the matter. College age is old enough to start doing things based on your own decisions. On the other hand, you do want a good relationship with your parents so it might be wise to be more cautious around people that are especially significant to them (relatives, etc.)

"Religion has caused more misery to all of mankind in every stage of human history than any other single idea." --Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: