Still in the closet
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05-07-2013, 02:39 PM
Still in the closet
Hey guys. This is my first post here, so I'm hoping it's in the right place.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself first. I'm 17 years old, and I've been taken to a Pentecostal church since I was a little boy. About a year and a half ago I started having some doubts about my faith, and a few months later I became a full-on atheist. The problem is I haven't really come out to anyone about my beliefs.

I'm scared it will drive people away. And I know you're going to tell me that if people do that then I don't need them in my life, but it's not really that simple. I'm sure if a friend had told me a little over a year ago that they were an atheist I'd probably have freaked out and never have spoken with them again, so I'm trying to be understanding. As a pretty introvert person, what I'm mostly scared of is losing my best friend. I don't really care whether or not the others will accept me for who I am, but I really don't want this friend to cut me out of his life. He's a bit younger than me, and not nearly as mature as I was when I first slipped out of my faith, so I can't expect him to understand it just yet. He's also from a very religious and stereotypical (his parents have five kids) home.

I'm feeling like a hypocrite for talking to him about stuff I don't believe in (and Pentecostals have an awful lot of freaky stuff like speaking in tongues, supposedly dropping to the floor and laying there for a few minutes, etc.). In the meantime I'm trying to ease him into the atheist point of view (like today I managed to convince him why evolution is true and the fact that the universe isn't 6000 years old, so that's a start).

What should I do? Should I just come out and risk losing this friend who's been like a little brother to me since I was a kid, or should I just keep on going to church while laughing in my head at people who ladle out that hilarious gibberish?

Thank you in advance.

P.S.: I'm not a native English speaker, so you'll have to forgive my eventual mistakes.
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05-07-2013, 03:15 PM
RE: Still in the closet
Well it seems like your friend is willing to understand and listen to you if he now believes evolution is true. The next time you two hang out, sit him down be honest with him and let him know about your change in beliefs and explain why your beliefs changed. Let him know you're still the same person, despite your difference in beliefs. I'm not sure how religious your friend is so I can't tell you how he'll react.

Good luck and welcome to the forum Smile

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06-07-2013, 08:19 AM
RE: Still in the closet
Thank you for your answer. My friend is actually pretty religious. He listens to reason just because I've always been pretty open minded, even when I was still a believer, so I guess he picked that up from me. Anyway, I have no way of knowing how he'll react when he finds out I'm an atheist. And even if he is all right with it if his fundamentalist family finds out they'll probably banish me from their inner circle.

Has anyone else ever been in a similar position? What did you guys do?
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06-07-2013, 09:53 AM
RE: Still in the closet
You know, there is no hurry. You'll know when the time is right.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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06-07-2013, 12:50 PM
RE: Still in the closet
Thanks, I guess you're right. I think I'll just wait for a while then. Who knows, in the meantime maybe he breaks free from his religion too.
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06-07-2013, 06:58 PM
RE: Still in the closet
There is no hurry,ok?
I recently told my family i didnt believe in god,my mom took it cool,my dad didnt.
I do not regret it,but i wish he'd treat me the same as before.
Hope that doesnt happen for you

KC IS A LIAR!!!! HE PROMISED ME VANILLA CAKES AND GAVE ME STRAWBERRY CAKE Weeping
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07-07-2013, 03:27 AM
RE: Still in the closet
I guess there is 1 question you have to ask yourself:
Is it worth it to live a lie for the sake of keeping your best friend?
I don't think I'd want anyone as a friend who didn't respect my belief.
I understand that he isn't exactly an adult yet, and you should definetely take that into account, but I think the truth is more important.

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08-07-2013, 01:44 AM
RE: Still in the closet
Let time be your friend.

Whatever you decide, it appears that there is no hurry to make the decision, so why not let time be your friend? In time, you can better assess the situation and better know how to proceed.

Hope this helps.

Julius
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08-07-2013, 11:56 AM
RE: Still in the closet
Just my two cents....a couple thoughts on different aspects of this.

-you want to tell and have him still accept you. I get that and I hope he can.

-I get the feeling you are also trying to get him to de-convert along with you-- And this is where I think you need to tread very softly and gently for your friends sake.

He is younger than you. He is in a home that shares his religious POV. He cannot escape his dependency on them. He has much at risk of losing. He risks all sorts of turmoil within his family unit, most likely at an age where it will cause him the most stress and be the most detrimental to him.

I am NOT saying you should put on a false identity with him, but getting him to join you can be harmful to him-at this time. He needs to reach this on his own, in his own time and in his own way.

Recently Seth posted on FB a video clip from FreeOK convention. There was a guy who wrote Parenting Beyond Belief. His approach with his kids would be the way I would go with your friend. Meaning that just providing an alternate point of view-you are showing there is more than one way to look at this world. By asking questions and letting him come up with the answers (even wrong answers) leads to the critical thinking that will eventually get him out the religious mindset. He just gets there on his own, which will mean more to him in the long run.

Here is is...is 45+ minutes long--but worth it, IMO





Be excellent to each other and party on, Dudes!
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08-07-2013, 12:06 PM
RE: Still in the closet
I had my doubts at your age but I didn't come out of the closet till I was in my 40's. Take your time just don't wait as long as I did.

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