Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
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09-10-2012, 01:55 PM
RE: Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
Despite the fact that my mother never went out of her way to teach us about god, she has become surprised that all four siblings are non-believers. I am always confused by this, but I guess from her perspective we would come to 'naturally believe in god.' I never came out to her persay, but the fact that I am an atheist is still a matter of contention between us. I think she is more afraid of losing me directly than any kind of eternal damnation...but she still says things to me like "I still love you, and I think god does too."

It's frustrating, but it might be best to let it come on gradually. Start small, like tryingn to have a conversation about a book you read. Do your best to stand your ground, but don't be confrontational. As others have said, it might be best if you wait till you are out on your own. It would be nice if all parents accepted their children no matter what--and I don't know your parents to know if they are--but in the case of A2, I genuinely worry for his safety and wish there was something I could do to help him.

Be smart. Do what will keep you safe both physically and mentally.

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09-10-2012, 02:18 PM
RE: Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
I can tell you what NOT to do. DO NOT get frustrated and blurt it out. I did that and had to live in my car for three days (not fun in a mustang btw). I would suggest making it very clear that this does not change you as a person. Be prepared for a backlash. They may force you to go to church. They may emotionally blackmail you. But remember they still love you. They are your parents after all. But as others have previously stated, it may be safest to wait until you move out. If this doesn't help then i apologize. I simply don't have any experience in coming out the "right" way.

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09-10-2012, 02:34 PM
RE: Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
I actually don't recommend just coming out and saying it to your parents.

Drop hints here and there and don't be afraid to speak you mind or come up with good questions. After a sermon at church ask those questions which you know have no good answers and let your parents see you thinking.

Let them put it all together on their own time and just answer honestly when they are ready to ask. Coming right out and saying "I'm an Atheist" often causes more confrontation then there needs to be. Unfortunately unlike sexuality most people still don't understand what an Atheist really is.
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09-10-2012, 02:41 PM
RE: Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
Rebellious? Tell her right now and then, 10 years from now, tell her your belief again.

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09-10-2012, 03:49 PM
RE: Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
(09-10-2012 02:41 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Rebellious? Tell her right now and then, 10 years from now, tell her your belief again.
I've tried that and it doesn't always work. Some people still think I'm "rebelling against god," despite it being damn hard to rebel against something you don't believe exists.
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09-10-2012, 03:53 PM
RE: Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
(09-10-2012 03:49 PM)amyb Wrote:  
(09-10-2012 02:41 PM)Logica Humano Wrote:  Rebellious? Tell her right now and then, 10 years from now, tell her your belief again.
I've tried that and it doesn't always work. Some people still think I'm "rebelling against god," despite it being damn hard to rebel against something you don't believe exists.

People just can't comprehend it. That's all.

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09-10-2012, 03:57 PM
RE: Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
Okay, I want to weigh in on this now.

I never told my parents, family, friends (aside from a few) anything. The more I learned about the universe and dinosaurs and the like, god became smaller and smaller 'till it no longer existed in my life in any major capacity (not that it did in the first place).
The more I learned, the more bold I became with statements and actions, which is an increasing trend to today. Never said "I'm an atheist", just continued along the trend of making educated statements about things I knew about when they came up. That way I am fairly well off if a statement should cause an argument and everybody within my family who has semi-frequent interactions with me knows my stance by now.

Point being, I, in my extremely limited time on this earth, have learned that sometimes a slow encroaching tactic is better than a massed assault (telling people "I'm an Atheist, I refuse to go to church" or similar statements) or a hit'n'run ("Hi! I'm an atheist now. Bye!"). It depends on your social climate really (coming from a highly non-religious area, I probably had an easier time regardless of actions). And going slow and making educated statements over time is hardly "rebellious". And allows tactical reverse/fast forward later on, should it be needed.

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09-10-2012, 04:11 PM
RE: Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
(09-10-2012 03:57 PM)Free Thought Wrote:  And going slow and making educated statements over time is hardly "rebellious".

Depends on one's point of view. Many of my relatives are extremely religious, and no matter what I say or how I say it, or how consistently I keep saying it for decades, they still can't comprehend anything besides their false dichotomy of "worships god" vs. "rebels against god." I think these people just see no other option and honestly are unable to comprehend atheism. I've come to the conclusion that some people simply cannot be reasoned with and made to understand some things, and these people in my family have persisted in believing I am angry at god and rebelling against god, because that's the only reason they can accept that I am not a Christian. I imagine some other people have similar relatives.
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09-10-2012, 04:52 PM
RE: Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
Yeah, crazy is also a factor. Like I said, social climate. Sorry to hear about it.

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10-10-2012, 10:19 PM
RE: Telling Your Parents You're An Atheist
I'm 31, but I still haven't told my mother. I don't think she'd take it very well to just bomb her with it all of a sudden. I haven't believed in any god of any sort since... sometime in my younger teen years. I guess I don't have a specific year or anything. But, I've kept up the whole show for my mother's sake, because she's... er... sensitive, we'll say. I do drop a lot of hints at her, though. I don't know if I'm hoping she'll figure it out by herself and come to me when she's ready to really know the truth, or if doing this will, truly, make the blow a lot softer when the time comes for me to be completely honest with her.
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