Teenage Atheists
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18-05-2012, 10:02 AM
RE: Teenage Atheists
(18-05-2012 04:41 AM)ahoy Wrote:  Stand up on what you believe is right, that is good.

But for the meantime that a kid cannot food, shelter, clothing, school himself….

I think the most “rational” , “reasonable” thing to do (for a teenager) .... to avoid conflict in the house…is... to be...aaahhhh..... silent, obedient. study hard...wash the dishes ? : )

Nah! Fuck that shit. Loud and proud or GTFO.

Nothing is gonna change if you just shut up and ride the train.

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18-05-2012, 10:15 AM
RE: Teenage Atheists
(17-05-2012 08:58 PM)Atothetheist Wrote:  Hi there!
My name is Steven and I thought, because of the most recent TTA podcast, I should start this thread. ( Sorry if there is another thread like this!)

My reason for doing so is because I am currently fifteen and am an Atheist. I wanted to know, and to find out how many other teenagers on this site had been or still are teenage atheists and what they went, or still go through because of it. This isn't particularly aimed at teenagers, just people who can relate to the subject and provide something to the discussion.

My story: I was about thriteen years old when one time I was on the internet, searching up documentaries, when I found " The God That Wasn't There". Being adopted, and raised a fudementalist, I raised an eyebrow at the title. It made me get a bit bothered at what the documentary was about, but nevertheless curious. It was that curiousity that got me to watch it, and start questioning.

As soon as I was done watching, l decided to read the bible. I was an avid reader,but I only managed to finish it within three months. When Atheists say that the sure fire way to take your first steps to become one is to read your "Holy" books, I realized they were right. In that book, I read about many horrible things, from slavary, child abuse, genocide, etc to Take no thought for the morrow. It made me think in a.... Newer direction.

By the time I was done with it, I was an atheist. I was still thirteen when my Seventh Grade teacher ( I went to a catholic private school.) had a lesson about Atheists and non belivers. She said, " Atheists are God Deniers and are going to Hell. I can't respect people like : Stephen Hawking." Hell was a sticky situation with me, I was very indoctrinated to the point of fearing Hell immensly. In a seething rage, I stood up and told her " Then I am going to Hell, I am an atheist. Don't bother saying we are God Deniers because we don't believe in nonsense like that!"

And I was outed.

My teacher looked at me, wide eyes and mouth gaping. She asked me to see her in the hall way, to which I reluctantly went. She wanted to tell my parents about what had happened, but I dissuaded her.

Fastforward a year. At the day of the reason rally I decided that if many Atheists were making their stand and grouping together for something they stand united on, I wanted to be counted as an true atheist. I told my mother and father of my lack of belief, and my mother looked at me with the a blank face.... And said.

" Thank God you're not my real son."
I was adopted from Russia at a young age, and when I heard this.... Well I wasn't happy.

Now my parents barely look at me anymore. I am a giant embaressment to them and their religion.
I am very happy to be on the side of reason and I am now more convinced that ever that
Coming out as an atheist is not only needed, but also very brave.

I want to hear other's story and their thoughts on this issue.

P.S : Writing on my IPad, sorry if I made any spelling mistakes.
Hi,
I heard you on the podcast (I listened to it last night) and feel so badly for you.

My kids have done some things that have disappointed me and some that have downright ticked me off. But I have continued to love them.

I hope that your parents were just shocked and didn't know how to react. Although was what said to you was awful and cannot be unsaid.

If you have nowhere else you could go...other family for instance, then I am afraid you are probably just going to have to bite the bullet and get through school so that you can one day support yourself. If you were an adult already on your own, my response would be different. Do well in school, stay out of trouble (don't let them have something to blame on your Atheism), be respectful. Take the higher ground. If you have to play along for a couple more years, so be it. What is in your head and in your heart only you have control over.

There are people here you can talk to. I wish you the best of luck...keep reading and studying, arm yourself with knowledge.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude.
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18-05-2012, 10:17 AM
RE: Teenage Atheists
yes it is. If you just do what you are supposed to and wait quietly until you are of legal age, you will have a much more relaxed time. Who wants conflicts all the friggin' time? You don't wanna come home after school and feel that you hate to go there. So for the moment, for Teen-atheists with no other option than staying under the believer's roof, just calm, quiet, help in the household, do your homework, be out a lot after done work, so the family has no reason to pick on you Smile

cheers

"Freedom is the freedom to say that 2+2=4" - George Orwell (in 1984)
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18-05-2012, 10:40 AM
RE: Teenage Atheists
I read so many of these teenage accounts, and it makes me feel very lucky.

I read the whole bible at age 10, along with Grimm's fairytales, and I found them to be very similair and filed them away - for good.

I quit going to church which I had always hated and no one said a word. Religion wasn't a topic at home, and I was happy to leave it alone.

Many years later I found out that both my parents were closet atheists in the middle of a super catholic extended family. Probably they were smiling when I quit going to church, but being in the closet, they couldn't say anything. They also never tried to influence me in any way. It was the way they raised me, to make decisions for myself based on information, and they always encouraged me to research everything that struck my fancy.

So I was really lucky, I wish they had not been in the closet but I understand that in their generation (they were born a century ago) things were different and we would have had no family relations had they come out, plus my dad would have ruined his career back then.

My advice is to just play it cool, find subjects you like and read up on them and educate yourself, do well at school and help out a bit at home. Read a lot and make yourself scarce otherwise.

Good luck to you and all who run into the same wall. The tide is turning, Atheism is ging to be the norm in the near future, just watch until your generation is all grown up. I have never seen so many atheist teenagers... it sure gives me hope for the world.

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18-05-2012, 02:43 PM
RE: Teenage Atheists
(18-05-2012 01:34 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  As a teenager growing up in New Zealand, the theists were the freaks.

At least until I got to university where I was out of public school and merged with all the private religious schools people...

Still, Atheism is considered the norm here. 40% identify themselves as Atheist, but something like 15-20% say they go to church. In my experience with all sorts of people from different backgrounds and social level I would say the majority of New Zealanders simply just don't give it any thought. You might get people saying "yeah I believe in God" but that's all the thought they've ever given it.
Nobody really gives a flying shit around in this country.

As for your mother, just say "well you raised me". That will be sure to piss her off.

I do not want to piss my parents off. They are the only ones that I have and I plan on making trying to get them to understand me. If that's possible.
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18-05-2012, 02:49 PM
RE: Teenage Atheists
(18-05-2012 02:43 PM)Atothetheist Wrote:  
(18-05-2012 01:34 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  As a teenager growing up in New Zealand, the theists were the freaks.

At least until I got to university where I was out of public school and merged with all the private religious schools people...

Still, Atheism is considered the norm here. 40% identify themselves as Atheist, but something like 15-20% say they go to church. In my experience with all sorts of people from different backgrounds and social level I would say the majority of New Zealanders simply just don't give it any thought. You might get people saying "yeah I believe in God" but that's all the thought they've ever given it.
Nobody really gives a flying shit around in this country.

As for your mother, just say "well you raised me". That will be sure to piss her off.

I do not want to piss my parents off. They are the only ones that I have and I plan on making trying to get them to understand me. If that's possible.
I agree with you on that. Purposely pissing your parents off, for whatever reason, -NEVER- ends well.
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18-05-2012, 03:28 PM
RE: Teenage Atheists
I became an atheist from being on the internet too much.

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18-05-2012, 03:50 PM
RE: Teenage Atheists
To the OP, did you call in to the show? I think I remember your call. I think your mother's words were said in anger, maybe she regrets what she said now. You should talk to her about it. Sit down and explain yourself to her, and don't (or try not to) get angry.

I was an atheist teenager once. I went to catholic school and mostly kept my head down (I wish I had been as ballsy as you) and mostly just debated with stupid theist classmates. My father is an atheist too, so he usually just ignored the occasional call from the headmaster.

When I was fourteen, I told my mother I didn't believe in god. She looked at me like she was going to cry, and she walked away. I regretted it almost immediately and rephrased my statement. I put it more diplomatically. I said i wasn't sure any of the religions were true, and that their definition of god is unbelievable. I said I would rather find god my own way, if such a thing exists. With time, my mother has come to terms with her entire family being atheists, and she is likely a deist herself at this point.

What your mother said to you is horrible, don't get me wrong. But maybe it is not so hard to see things from her side. Maybe she needs time to accept this. My mother has said dreadful things to me in anger. I know she didn't mean them. I hope your mother didn't either.

Welcome to the forum. I wish you all the best in the next difficult few years. Being a teenager is hard enough without being an ostracised. I hope you'll come here when you need support. We're always here (since we have no lives, except KC of course)

"But the point is, find somebody to love. Everything else is overrated." - HouseofCantor
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18-05-2012, 04:07 PM (This post was last modified: 18-05-2012 04:16 PM by Luminon.)
RE: Teenage Atheists
Hi Steve! I heard you on the podcast and I think you're very brave. I was shocked when I heard about your mom. I know it gives a great rush of freedom to assert your rights loudly and publically... though it's also playing with fire. (no religion here, I worked in a Korean factory for a few months Wink )
And I agree with Bucky, that's what I'd tell the parents. It's tough when people drag religion into the relationship, if you marry a woman you love, you marry also her god and whole ideology and so they imagine it's with children and adoption, apparently. Some parents think they get the right to make little copies of themselves, that they also own. And if it shows it didn't work, they may feel they failed.

The problem with fundies is, they identify with their religion. Without the religion they feel like nothing. Maybe deep down inside the fundies have doubts, so they go out into the world and try to be loud to deafen the little voice inside. In any case they take everything personally that goes against their religion or is just independent. Just a mention of atheists is seen as a personal threat. And to have an atheist in a family, that makes them feel betrayed in the fight against Satan, by the ones they expected the least. So what your mom said is probably not a rational, pre-meditated thing. It's a response to what she thinks is a stab in the back. I just want to say she probably did not mean it and reacted in instant without thinking. In your place I'd definitely try to have a calm, reasonable and diplomatic conversation with her when she calms down, religion is not worthy of throwing away relationship with your mother.

Your parents should be proud that you've begun to think and act for yourself and likely you'll be a valuable member of the society.

I can't tell you what to do, but hopefully I told you something you didn't know already that will help you to understand things and get by somehow until you can get out.

I think of atheism as a kind of mental disinfectant. It cleans our mind and works and protects against more infection. Then we are free to think and deal with experience properly and maybe grow into something more than just ex-believers.





pppgggr: Sounds like "Christian love" in action Wink Most of these Christians aren't exactly religious, they use Jesus as a tattoo of tribal allegiance. They form a tribe where God is the chieftain and they fight for his glory against other tribes and outcasts. Atheists are the outcasts who by their very existence defy everything that their tribe stands for. To show up as an atheist means to kick the hornet nest, because outcasts are outside of the "law" (tribal favor) and have no rights. But those who are within the tribe are protected by the community, even if they are pedophiles, just for being in the tribe.

Think of a wolf pack. Wolves hunt together. If they fight among themselves, then mostly just to assert superiority, not to hurt. But they absolutely hate anyone different. Those who smell, look or behave different get eaten as pups or killed when they're bigger or cast out of the pack. I suppose that's instinct to preserve genes against pollution by mutations. I'm not an expert on wolves, but older children and adolescents of average intelligence behave much the same, they're a wolf pack. They don't think on their own, they expect you to conform, to say proper things, show proper gestures and if you don't, they turn on you.
So pick your battles, as Seth says... If they can't handle the truth, don't waste it on them.
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18-05-2012, 04:20 PM
RE: Teenage Atheists
(18-05-2012 04:07 PM)Luminon Wrote:  So pick your battles, as Seth says... If they can't handle the truth, don't waste it on them.
I learned that the hard way, but when it first occurred, it wasn't me trying to start a battle, nor was it most of the time. These people simply hated me, and thus they treated me as such. Sure, I may have made a point here, or there, but most of the time, it was them coming up to me for the sheer pleasure of being asses to the fat Atheist.
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