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Goodbye Jesus

Younger Siblings


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I'm 26, fully deconverted a few months ago. (I'd had questions for a long time before then, but kept trying to force Christianity to work out.) I still live with my parents (saving up money for a car, paying off student loans) who have no idea; I still go to church sunday morning, evening, and wednesday nights (I've tried to get out of some of those even while a christian, but my parents made such a fuss I caved in). I also have a younger brother in high school (will be a sophmore). The age difference is large enough that I'm something of a secondary mommy as well a as a big sister to him. He's... he's already questioning parental authority more than I ever did. I'm not sure what he really believes about religion. He's picked up on the "right" answers and my parents angry bigotry quite well, but he gets annoyed with much of the religious nonsense and manages to fight back more than I ever dared to (parents are rather authoritarian).


My little brother really looks up to me. He likes to do activities with me more than he does with our parents. When we're alone, he complains to me about them. Sometimes I vent my frustration around him too; he keeps confidences. But we don't talk about religion much. I don't know how much he questions it, or if he even bothers to think that hard about it. He's got a lot of friends at church and values the social time. He goes to a christian school. I don't think it's my place to try to destroy his religious beliefs, nor even to be very suggestive about it (at least not right now). But... sometimes I think I'd like to tell him. I could safely tell my older sister what I (don't) believe; she quit going to church as soon as she moved out. I don't see her as often as I see my brother, though. I'd love to be able to be open with family, but I don't think I should be dumping that on him. It bothers me to see his parrot back all the wrong ideas the church and school believe (YEC, gays are evil, etc). Should I say anything to him? If it comes up, should I tell him what I believe or dodge the question?

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I wouldn't drop the bomb on him or anything, but I also wouldn't say nothing. If he asks about religion or any of those topics, just tell him you're opinion. There's a difference between telling him your opinion and telling him what your religion, or lack there of, is.


Like, say he comes out and asks if God is real. I'm sure he will question it sometime, since he's in high school. I remember the occasional "How do you know the Bible isn't made up?" conversations come up every so often in high school. Just tell him your honest opinion. I wouldn't go out and tell your entire deconvert story, but just give him a brief summary of why you don't believe God is real, assuming that you don't think he/she/it is real.


Or if they bring up the whole "Gays are Evil" topic, which is probably likely with him being in high school, just tell him that he shouldn't judge anyone by something like that, that they should get to know them before they decided whether they're "Evil" or not.


It's hard to just sit back and watch them go under the "Sheep Manipulation" as I like to call it, but sometimes, you just have to let it happen. I mean, let's say you open up to him, and a couple things could happen. The first is that your family may find out that you deconverted, and that can put you in a very bad position, since you're still living with them. It's why I've been a deconvert since 2006 and my family still doesn't know about it.


The Second possibility is that your brother sees your way of things, and ends up deconverting himself. That may cause problems for him, since I don't think it would be a necessarily great idea for a non-xian to be attending a xian school. I personally think public school is better for you, but that would be a hassle to get him transferred.


That would also affect the parents. He already likes you better than them, so they might think you're trying to turn him away from them. Now, I don't know what your family is like, so none of what I just said could happen, but I personally wouldn't risk it until I was sure that both you and him would be able to move out of the house at any time in case the situation turned ugly.


Now, if he starts thrashing at you for not being Christian or not believing in God, then by all means, raise hell and don't hold back. Show him what you're made of! Just kidding. He's family and I'm sure you care about him. Even if it comes to that, I'm sure you'd know the right thing to say to him.


It's entirely your call, but I wouldn't completely open up in your current situation, unless he asks you alot about it, and you think he's to the point where he's doubting as to whether he really is a christian or not.

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Nurture the idea that questioning authority is necessary and right, and that nothing is so 'just because'.


You can also vent about how you feel you can't be yourself, and maybe use that to explain how you're really not into church services.


If he's having doubts though, you could really help him. You don't want him hurting himself because he feels no one understands him or anything, so make sure you engage him and let him know nothing he could say will upset you.

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