should I come out?
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12-09-2011, 11:38 AM
should I come out?
first off, I'm not quite sure that this is the right place to ask this, if it isn't I apologize

now, I've been an atheist for about a year now, and I've been seriously debating with myself if I should come out to my father. I don't think my mother would mind as she isn't very religious, and I think I've dropped enough hints for her to already know, but my father is an extremely devout Christian, he tithes, he fasts, he goes to church every Sunday, and he's one of the nicest people I know. The problem is that he's 61 years old, and has some medical issues, his heart isn't quite what it used to be. I'm afraid that if I tell him that I'm an atheist he'll go into some sort of depression state or something, he has told me countless times that the thought of me having a happy life and going to heaven is the only thing that he cares about anymore; I love him to death. would it be better for him to be happy in ignorance or sad in the truth, this is a serious matter.
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12-09-2011, 01:41 PM
RE: should I come out?
Leave the man alone; he has enough worries.
This doesn't mean that you have to go along pretending to be devout, or lying about what you think. Probably, you can neglect services and bible study without attracting too much concern. And what you do, with whom you associate.... well, whether that's a problem depends on your age.

But you don't have to rub his face in it, either. I don't see that it would do him any particular good to go though all the futile exercises believers try to save their errant children. I don't see that it's doing him any harm to believe, if he's happy in his church and the prospect of heaven. It's not like there is an afterlife where xtian aren't allowed in, so what's he got to lose? People have illusions. As long as he's not harming other people with religious militancy, his illusions are a private thing.

If he doesn't ask, you don't have to tell.

If you pray to anything, you're prey to anything.
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12-09-2011, 01:52 PM
RE: should I come out?
I agree with Peterkin completely. My dad is 71, had surgery for pancriatric cancer in May and not doing well at all. He knows that I'm an atheist and I will not pretend that I'll change my mind without evidence, but I don't rub it in his face either. When he says things like "it's in gods hands now..." or whatever I just pat his hand and say, I guess we will see. Likewise when his extreme religious brothers and sisters say that all we can do is pray, I say as little as possible while I'm thinking "you are wasting your breath!"

I came out 25 years ago when dad was a healthy man but if I deconverted now, I would see no point in telling him. What is to be gained by doing so now?

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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