Young and Atheist with Christian parents
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23-05-2011, 11:45 PM
Young and Atheist with Christian parents
Hello,
I am new to this site but a long time non believer. Unfortunately I am young and still under the reign of my extremely religious parents. I am 19, attend university but am currently in the summer break and at home. I am forced to got to church every Sunday, even though I have explained that I dislike coming to church, and have hinted at my Atheism. Well today I came out as an atheist, and though I'm proud of myself for doing so, there are GREAT repercussions that I will face in the future. My mom will not "give up" on me, and I will be punished...

My question is, has anyone else gone through this? Young, Atheist, and forced to continue religious rituals and condemned for your non belief? Please leave no details out, this is a very hard time for me and I want to here everything you have to say.

Thank you,
Senseeker
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24-05-2011, 12:01 AM
RE: Young and Atheist with Christian parents
There are a few people on this forum who can relate, but I for one, can't. I live in New Zealand and have atheist parents.

There is a problem with what you did. By coming out as an atheist, you will get more attention from your parents, who will drag you to church more and might be able to make your life a living hell. I don't know too much about your situation, but some parents can and do stop paying for their atheist child's university courses, once they find out.
I would suggest trying not to make waves, and just wait it out until you can leave home and you won't be forced to go to church.

On the other hand, its good that you came out and were honest about your beliefs. That is something to be proud of.

Oh, and welcome. =]

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended us to forego their use." - Galileo

"Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do." - Voltaire
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24-05-2011, 11:50 AM
 
RE: Young and Atheist with Christian parents
(23-05-2011 11:45 PM)Senseeker Wrote:  Hello,
I am new to this site but a long time non believer. Unfortunately I am young and still under the reign of my extremely religious parents. I am 19, attend university but am currently in the summer break and at home. I am forced to got to church every Sunday, even though I have explained that I dislike coming to church, and have hinted at my Atheism. Well today I came out as an atheist, and though I'm proud of myself for doing so, there are GREAT repercussions that I will face in the future. My mom will not "give up" on me, and I will be punished...

My question is, has anyone else gone through this? Young, Atheist, and forced to continue religious rituals and condemned for your non belief? Please leave no details out, this is a very hard time for me and I want to here everything you have to say.

Thank you,
Senseeker

I'm right there with you. My parents are both Christians, and aren't very accepting of my Atheist views. Every year they still make me celebrate Christmas, which makes me feel highly hypocritical of myself. And at dinner I'm still forced to say the "family prayer."
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25-05-2011, 10:09 AM
 
RE: Young and Atheist with Christian parents
I'm 19 also, although I 'came out' when I was 13. To be honest, at that stage it wasn't so much that I didn't believe in God, it was more that I didn't want to attend a youth club. At 16 I prayed for my last time when my Granda was diagnosed with cancer. Since then I realized that I need to do my research. Since then (nearly 4 years) I've been reading, browsing the web and discussing it with others who hold similar views, and some who do not.

As for my parents I guess I am lucky. My mother, although upset allowed me to follow my own way. My Grandparents shocked at first, learned to accept it, and now even ask questions for me to answer and discuss with them. My father, was a Pastor for 3 years, after doing a 7 year Theology degree, he shortly admitted his disbelief shortly after I did.

Just keep your head up and be proud. People worth remembering, or people with character and guts stood up when all others mocked them, or despised them. I live in Ireland, and religion is no easy matter Smile. Two of my favorite influences are Thomas Paine and Bertrand Russell, both were hated for their views, but now they are regarded as saints in many peoples eyes.
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25-05-2011, 11:36 AM
 
RE: Young and Atheist with Christian parents
My family is accepting of my views. Most of them are agnostic and I feel my mother is atheist but I am not sure. I know she finds the bible to be complete bullshit. I have an aunt that tries to show me the way but is not arrogant about it. I take it as she truly believes that I am going to hell and cares about me enough that she doesn't want that to happen. She has never criticized me for not believing though. She always tries pascals wager on me.

My sister once kinda got mad at me for telling my nephew that there was no god. She wasn't pissed or anything she was just like "that is something he will have to figure out on his own"

She herself is agnostic and refused to have her kids baptized.

I am kinda sad to say that I am getting married (not sad about that lol) and did include a blessing at the end of the ceremony. But it was more for the believers there to be comfortable. Other then that the ceremony is completely secular. We even included some greek mythology into it as an inside joke.
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25-05-2011, 02:02 PM
RE: Young and Atheist with Christian parents
I can certainly relate with your situation. I was raised in by Jehovah's Witness parents, and if you don't know who they are, believe me, they make other Christian fundies look like atheists. You complain you have to go to church on Sunday? I had to go to church 3 times a week!!! I was dragged door to door! There are no words for what I was subjected to! And I never, as long as I remember, believed in god. Not even when I was little. They'd tell me to pray as many times a day as possible, and since I can remember, it felt like talking to the wall. I quit doing all the actual rituals (going to church, going door to door, not celebrating birthdays, etc) between age 16 and 18. My parents said it was ok if I didn't want to go to church, but as long as I was in their house I was supposed to "behave myself" (read: no going out with friends, no dating, no smoking, no partying). So I left home at 19, that is as soon as I had some kind of job. After that, nobody has EVER been able to force me into doing anything religion-wise. For quite a while my mother insisted in sending me letters and cards with Bible verses in them, and trying to put guilt trips on me, and hinting on how sad she was going to be when I was killed at Judgment Day, etc etc. Who cares? I instituted the following policy: if I received a letter or email with religious content, I wasn't going to answer it.
You are 19, well past the age at which anybody should force anything on you.

English is not my first language. If you think I am being mean, ask me. It could be just a wording problem.
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25-05-2011, 02:41 PM
RE: Young and Atheist with Christian parents
I would like to hear exactly what kind of repercussions and punishments you are expecting. I have a hard time visualizing your mother spanking a 19 year old man.

Any advise I have to give might not be applicable in your situation. My parents are far from fundies. though they are Christians they never attend church and talk about beliefs only on very special occasions. In spite of this, my coming out was a great shock to them. My mother cried, my father did his "silent routine" and we had the loudest argument I can remember us having.
After this episode they have for the most part kept their holes shut. When they trie to bring it up now I follow the "the best defense is a good offense" tactic. I simply bite their heads of by saying that I am not in the habit of discussing this with them out of respect for their right to cling to whichever delusions they wish, but if they want to put their hands in this hornets nest they can bring it. I'm pleased to say that they are both smart enough to let it go at that point.

I want to rip off your superstitions and make passionate sense to you
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25-05-2011, 04:38 PM
RE: Young and Atheist with Christian parents
Welcome senseeker!

I can only echo daemonower's advice to you. As long as you are financially dependent on your parents, it is probably best to not share your views on religion with them. When you are financially independent, then it is completely up to you, although you have to decide if your views will further strain your relationship with your parents - that's a tough call as well.

My own experience with my parents is probablythe farthest from the norm. My mother was a devout Catholic - I mean DEVOUT. We used to have the priest over for dinner regularly. Wednesday mass, lent, no meat Fridays, the whole 10 yards.

My father was a Christmas/Easter Methodist - think he believed, but never really expressed his opinions on religion.

When they divorced, that ended my mother's relationship with Catholicism. She has taken a wild journey to experience spirituality - to include spending 6 months living in India at Sai Baba's (of the recently departed) commune.

My father died almost a year ago from MS. Unfortunately, we had an estranged relationship over the last 7 years of his life that had nothing to do with religion and everything to do with what a horrible disease MS is.

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25-05-2011, 05:01 PM
RE: Young and Atheist with Christian parents
I had to go to Presbyterian Church when I was little, though thankfully I was relieved of my obligation once my family moved. My folks are very open-minded people, so me announcing I was an Atheist was not a big deal. My dad's an Atheist himself, though that was a fairly recent development, over the last 10 years or so. (He was raised as a Catholic.) My mom's still religious, but I don't know if she counts herself as a Christian or just someone who believes in God.

I have to agree with some of the other people who've responded. It would probably be better in the long run to keep your atheism under the radar for the time being if you are being supported financially by your folks.

Religion easily has the greatest bullshit story ever told.
-George Carlin
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25-05-2011, 08:30 PM
RE: Young and Atheist with Christian parents
Thank you!Big Grin
For all of your stories! Its nice to be among those who are in/have been in similar situations to mine. Its also refreshing to hear of those with open minded parents who accept and encourage their freethinking.

@Noreseman:
I just wanted to clarify that I am a 19 year old female. Oh, and perhaps I shouldn't have used "punishment" to describe my parents reaction. My mother is an extremely stubborn and controlling woman who fights tooth and nail to get her way. My father usually gives in to whatever my mom decides to do so he's not really a factor.Anyway she's going to make me attend not only Sunday service (Baptist church which lasts for 6 hours) But Monday woman's meeting (3 hours) Tuesday Choir rehearsal (2hours), Wednesday bible study (3 hours), and after church programs held at neighboring churches (4 hours). She will most likely tell all of the people at church of my "sudden loss of faith" and have people come to me with random biblical verses hoping to reconvert me. To me that is a punishment worse that getting a quick spanking.. and even holding my tounge about my beliefs.Sad


@ sy2502:
Your situation did sound tough, I know how fanatical Jehovah's witnesses can be.I can't imagine going door to door trying to sell a religion that you don't even believe in. Are you still in that position? And Yes, this thread was mostly an angry complaint written right after my mom finished a baseless and incredibly ignorant rant as to why she thinks Atheism is stupid. I had just found this site, and it was a convenient palce to rant myself.Confused
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