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How Do You Deal With Being A Secret Atheist?


sparklingphoenix
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I really hate hiding my atheism. I'm tired of having to dodge questions and come up with ambiguous answers on the spot every time I talk to my family. It's stressful. I just want to be me. I'm really afraid of coming out though. I'm afraid of losing everything. I lost my family once already because they are so dysfunctional. I've finally gained a somewhat normal relationship with some of them again since I started setting up some boundaries, but I'm feeling stir crazy. I feel like a deceitful person and I feel like I'm not being true to myself. I don't know what to do. Maybe I'm making this more complicated than it really is. I think my mom might know that I don't believe, but I don't know if she will ever ask me. She always puts an emphasis on how great god is and how she truly believes this or that about god whenever we talk. My grandparents always push their agenda for my future to work as a missionary very hard every time they see me and I'm getting really frustrated trying to tell them in a non revealing way that I would rather NOT. Now they want me to meet a guy around my age who teaches at a missionary school in the country I am planning to move to later, telling me how great he is and he is so good looking. I felt I couldn't tell them I'm already in a relationship because the person I am with is atheist...  I feel like a bubble about to pop. Just needed somewhere to say these feelings. How do you deal with being a secret atheist? How does it make you feel? Anyone thinking of coming out soon? 

 

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I look at the way my extended family treat each other and the way they treat people with different views.  Then I remind myself how much I do not want to unify them by becoming their common enemy.

 

So far I have come out to my wife and parents.  All three are independently agree that the rest of the family should not be told.

 

Really the only thing that would make me rock that boat is if one of my cousins was being mistreated by the rest of the family.  Were that to happen I would stand up for whoever is being singled out.  But until that day I don't see a need.

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I really hate hiding my atheism. I'm tired of having to dodge questions and come up with ambiguous answers on the spot every time I talk to my family. It's stressful. I just want to be me. I'm really afraid of coming out though. I'm afraid of losing everything. I lost my family once already because they are so dysfunctional. I've finally gained a somewhat normal relationship with some of them again since I started setting up some boundaries, but I'm feeling stir crazy. I feel like a deceitful person and I feel like I'm not being true to myself. I don't know what to do. Maybe I'm making this more complicated than it really is. I think my mom might know that I don't believe, but I don't know if she will ever ask me. She always puts an emphasis on how great god is and how she truly believes this or that about god whenever we talk. My grandparents always push their agenda for my future to work as a missionary very hard every time they see me and I'm getting really frustrated trying to tell them in a non revealing way that I would rather NOT. Now they want me to meet a guy around my age who teaches at a missionary school in the country I am planning to move to later, telling me how great he is and he is so good looking. I felt I couldn't tell them I'm already in a relationship because the person I am with is atheist...  I feel like a bubble about to pop. Just needed somewhere to say these feelings. How do you deal with being a secret atheist? How does it make you feel? Anyone thinking of coming out soon? 

 

Wendybanghead.gif

 

This may seem greedy but you only live once. Your parents and grandparents had their choices and made them, now it is your turn. You have every right to make them without their influence of religion. You deserve to do as you want without fear of punishment from family. If they cannot accept you as you are however you are then what good are they?

 

Missions work is a joke. If they need god to go and help others in need rather than just going to help how much can they really give a damn. It is all about winning more souls not helping people with their needs in the here and now.

 

Don't tell them if it makes it easier. Just have less to do with them. Live your life as you see fit and be true to yourself first and you will be more content in the end.

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DO NOT 'EVER' TAKE PART IN A RELATIONSHIP BECAUSE YOU WERE ENCOURAGED TO DO SO BY PEOPLE CLAIMING A CERTAIN PERSON IS "GOOD" AND "GODLY CHRISTIAN™"!!!!!!

 

Odds are, you will regret that decision for as long as you live and your time with that person will eventually become a living, hellish nightmare.

 

 

I'm just sayin'...

 

I know someone (a very good person) that did that very thing, and her life got totally fucked up.

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I really hate hiding my atheism. I'm tired of having to dodge questions and come up with ambiguous answers on the spot every time I talk to my family. It's stressful. I just want to be me. I'm really afraid of coming out though. I'm afraid of losing everything. I lost my family once already because they are so dysfunctional. I've finally gained a somewhat normal relationship with some of them again since I started setting up some boundaries, but I'm feeling stir crazy. I feel like a deceitful person and I feel like I'm not being true to myself. I don't know what to do. Maybe I'm making this more complicated than it really is. I think my mom might know that I don't believe, but I don't know if she will ever ask me. She always puts an emphasis on how great god is and how she truly believes this or that about god whenever we talk. My grandparents always push their agenda for my future to work as a missionary very hard every time they see me and I'm getting really frustrated trying to tell them in a non revealing way that I would rather NOT. Now they want me to meet a guy around my age who teaches at a missionary school in the country I am planning to move to later, telling me how great he is and he is so good looking. I felt I couldn't tell them I'm already in a relationship because the person I am with is atheist...  I feel like a bubble about to pop. Just needed somewhere to say these feelings. How do you deal with being a secret atheist? How does it make you feel? Anyone thinking of coming out soon? 

 

Wendybanghead.gif

I am in a similar position as you, although I am already married and we have a child. To tell you the truth, I really struggled with what to do regarding telling others about my deconversion. I really wanted to come out and just be me. But I didn't. I also had to consider the ramifications on my family and relationships. Right now, my wife and those that I am friends with know that I am experiencing a "spiritual crisis". I have told my wife that I am reevaluating everything I believe (which is the truth) and that at this point I don't really know what I believe (which is a partial truth). She has pretty much let it go. We cant discuss anything religious because I have a hard time controlling my ability to hide my disdain for uninformed Christianity and when my wife shares something that she believes and I know that she hasn't really actually studied any part of it, it really frustrates me and we end up arguing instead of having a casual discussion about it.

 

My wife's parents and grandparents are very fundy and they push Jesus and Christianity incessantly and sometimes it makes me want to hurl. I find myself so repulsed by it at times. But I suck it up. My MIL is a fighter and a vicious one and I have no desire to split my family up over something that just isn't worth fighting over. So, despite my frustration at times, I just deal with it. There are days where I wish I could just come out and be done with it, but most days there aren't any issues that I cant handle.

 

You have to ultimately decide for yourself what its worth to you. It will cost you something. I guarantee that. You just have to decide if that cost is worth it. I have decided its not worth it at this time.

 

Best of luck to you.

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Hiding it for years took a toll on me.  It basically kept me in that stressful, disoriented, still-deconverting state.  I'm starting to be more open about it and feeling much better because of it.

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What is the value of having someone love and accept a false image? If they can't love you for who you really are, they aren't worth keeping in your life. Also,  if you love someone then they have the right to know who is loving them and it's unfair to present them with a lie. Those who can't tolerate a different opinion are the problem, not you. Lying to keep a false peace serves no one. Eventually the truth must be known, and you don't want to hear, "You've been like this for two years and never said anything? Don't you trust me?" Sometimes the fallout isn't as bad as you imagine; sometimes it is. Sorry, that's the truth.

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What is the value of having someone love and accept a false image? If they can't love you for who you really are, they aren't worth keeping in your life. Also,  if you love someone then they have the right to know who is loving them and it's unfair to present them with a lie. Those who can't tolerate a different opinion are the problem, not you. Lying to keep a false peace serves no one. Eventually the truth must be known, and you don't want to hear, "You've been like this for two years and never said anything? Don't you trust me?" Sometimes the fallout isn't as bad as you imagine; sometimes it is. Sorry, that's the truth.

 

While I agree with the truth of your statement, I believe that its not as black and white a situation as you are making it out to be. Relationships involve much more than religion. This is only one aspect that brings a problem. The other areas of my relationship with my wife are good and those areas are things I don't want to lose. There is always give and take in relationships. My wife likes things I don't and I like things she doesn't. We don't infringe on those areas of our lives very often, and I think for me, religion is just like one of those areas. Being out and creating problems in my marriage isn't worth losing those other areas for me. Maybe its different for someone else. But its certainly not a black and white issue. I evaluated the cost and I have determined its not worth the price of admission at this time in my life. That may change someday, but as of now, I am content where my marriage is.

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What is the value of having someone love and accept a false image? If they can't love you for who you really are, they aren't worth keeping in your life. Also,  if you love someone then they have the right to know who is loving them and it's unfair to present them with a lie. Those who can't tolerate a different opinion are the problem, not you. Lying to keep a false peace serves no one. Eventually the truth must be known, and you don't want to hear, "You've been like this for two years and never said anything? Don't you trust me?" Sometimes the fallout isn't as bad as you imagine; sometimes it is. Sorry, that's the truth.

 

People who answer like that are, obviously, not emotionally trustworthy. And that's why a person would hesitate to tell. If they can't see that, then they're not very self-aware. But you're right, just getting it over with can be good. For others, it's the beginning of the end. 

 

Storm said:

 

While I agree with the truth of your statement, I believe that its not as black and white a situation as you are making it out to be. Relationships involve much more than religion. This is only one aspect that brings a problem. The other areas of my relationship with my wife are good and those areas are things I don't want to lose. There is always give and take in relationships. My wife likes things I don't and I like things she doesn't. We don't infringe on those areas of our lives very often, and I think for me, religion is just like one of those areas. Being out and creating problems in my marriage isn't worth losing those other areas for me. Maybe its different for someone else. But its certainly not a black and white issue. I evaluated the cost and I have determined its not worth the price of admission at this time in my life. That may change someday, but as of now, I am content where my marriage is.

 

 

Thanks for pointing this out. I wanted to make a similar point but you put it much better.

 

Littlena, your family seems like a really difficult situation already, and if things are "good enough" as they are, I can see why you wouldn't want to stir the pot. I have a similar family where things were seriously dysfunctional before religion became an issue. Throw in religion and the pot boils to high heaven. On these forums we've seen families break up and custody of children denied when a person came out about deconversion. In other families, things continue without a hitch just because one person's not religious. Most families are probably somewhere in the middle with some awkwardness and/or jibes but basically tolerable. Like others say, you'll have to decide what you can live with.

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I used to dislike hiding it from my family when I stopped thinking of myself as a Christian 10 years ago. But looking back now, it hasn't been too big a burden. I don't even see my family all that often. I still don't like hiding it. It is weak. But I suppose I still need to, and understanding that counteracts the dislike. Coward's way is a necessary evil for me.

 

Maybe one day when I don't give a damn anymore. Today their guilting still might bother me quite a bit. Earlier it very well might have bothered me enough to make me respond in bitter rage, proving my immaturity to not only them but also myself, giving them new ways to attack me. "You're just a rebelling youth", and that would only be true.

 

I don't want to open up to someone who has the power to hurt me with words. I don't trust my family loves me so much as to not do so. I think they'll just use their love to justify attacking me. I don't think they respect me and my volition enough. I barely respect me.

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Here's the rub. There is a cost to doing nothing and there is a cost to coming out. I think people who try to balance both (i.e. tell some, but not others) are probably the worst off since anyone they've told, could easily tell someone else at any time so there's always that hanging over their head.

 

The cost of doing nothing is that you have to live a lie. You have ONE life to live. Is it really worth living a lie? Every Easter, Christmas, special occasion, funeral, baptism, wedding etc. you will have to lie about who you are and what you really think. You will have to be a FAKE person. I know it's hard to think about, but will you baptise your children? What if someone close to you or in your family dies? Will you have a (fake) Christian memorial service? All of this hiding and faking will take toll. Trust me.

 

The cost of coming out is that you may lose family / friends and you will have to live life on your terms. (i.e. they won't be supportive etc). Personally I've found that even fundy family members eventually give up trying to convert me back and now they're even started asking questions and dialoging. 

 

IMHO, I think you should do whatever you can live with in your ONE AND ONLY LIFE. What is more worth it to you? Optics, or reality? Lies or pain of separation? Faking it or feeling loved for someone you're not? It's probably obvious what I would suggest, but only you can decide. :)

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I really hate hiding my atheism. I'm tired of having to dodge questions and come up with ambiguous answers on the spot every time I talk to my family. It's stressful. I just want to be me. I'm really afraid of coming out though. I'm afraid of losing everything. I lost my family once already because they are so dysfunctional. I've finally gained a somewhat normal relationship with some of them again since I started setting up some boundaries, but I'm feeling stir crazy. I feel like a deceitful person and I feel like I'm not being true to myself. I don't know what to do. Maybe I'm making this more complicated than it really is. I think my mom might know that I don't believe, but I don't know if she will ever ask me. She always puts an emphasis on how great god is and how she truly believes this or that about god whenever we talk. My grandparents always push their agenda for my future to work as a missionary very hard every time they see me and I'm getting really frustrated trying to tell them in a non revealing way that I would rather NOT. Now they want me to meet a guy around my age who teaches at a missionary school in the country I am planning to move to later, telling me how great he is and he is so good looking. I felt I couldn't tell them I'm already in a relationship because the person I am with is atheist...  I feel like a bubble about to pop. Just needed somewhere to say these feelings. How do you deal with being a secret atheist? How does it make you feel? Anyone thinking of coming out soon? 

 

Wendybanghead.gif

 

Try to find enjoyment in being a religious enigma. :-) Keep them guessing. Some people (like your parents) might need something to worry about.  :-) Be non-commital and vague in all your answers. It will drive them nuts.

 

If you come out, you'll probably hear more of that Jesus talk you dont like hearing.

 

Unless you don't live with these people, then tell em whatever.

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What is the value of having someone love and accept a false image? If they can't love you for who you really are, they aren't worth keeping in your life. Also,  if you love someone then they have the right to know who is loving them and it's unfair to present them with a lie. Those who can't tolerate a different opinion are the problem, not you. Lying to keep a false peace serves no one. Eventually the truth must be known, and you don't want to hear, "You've been like this for two years and never said anything? Don't you trust me?" Sometimes the fallout isn't as bad as you imagine; sometimes it is. Sorry, that's the truth.

 

Not revealing one's personal religious beliefs isn't lying. People can still love each other without completely spilling their guts to each other. It's good to have boundaries and a sense of personal privacy, imo.

 

Unfortunately people aren't always in a position to reveal something potentially devastating to a relative...like non-belief. But you're right, the fallout might not be that bad. Though, from what I read here , some Christians are total fruitcakes about their beliefs. Not sure I'd want to listen to the whining at me from a loved one I spilled the beans to if I was underage or financially dependent on them.

 

I would agree though that in the long run you are much better off not having to pretend for those with whom you deal with on a daily basis. I would not pretend to be a Christian for my wife's sake or other people who lived in 'my' house. But other people who I dont live with...they can have whatever religious misconception about me that pleases them. :-) On occasion, I pretend to agree with the republican in-laws about republican issues because I know that 5 minutes later the conversation topic will change to something else. Sometimes it is important to be brutally honest with someone and others times not so much.

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Obviously not everyone you meet needs to know any personal information. Probably the religious grandma on her death bed doesn't need to deal with your difference of opinion and imagine in her twisted world that you are headed for Hell. All politicians lie to get votes, so if you run for office in America, keep quiet about the fact that you don't subscribe to the popular superstition of the nation.

 

But don't forget that it is those who won't tolerate any views but their own are the ones with the problem. When the subject comes up I'm not ashamed of my opinions on religion or any other subject.

 

Substitute the word "gay" for "atheist" in this thought process and see if any light breaks through.

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Another reason to be honest is your kids (future or present). I have kids. I wasn't going to show them that I was so scared of living the truth that I would fake pray when their grand parents came to visit.

 

Sorry to be blunt, but pretending to agree or even promote ideas that you totally disagree with is just plain living in fear. I don't see the point... And what do you want your kids to do? Continue living in fear of having a different opinion just to keep the grand parents happy? If we all did this there'd be no hope for the next generation! :(

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Thank you all for your input. I've been really struggling with this lately. I'll graduate from college in May and hopefully find a job far away. I don't plan to live near my family later so if I did come out, at least I won't be around them a lot anymore. It's hard to read how a christan person loves you. Is it real human love that would be there without the influence of religion, or is it a contrived love completely fueled and perceived through religion? I really don't know. I do feel like I am living in fear. I know my family will tell me I'm wrong and they will be hurt. I just don't know how bad it will be. Most of my family looks at me and my brother with pity already because of what happened in my immediate family. I don't know :(((((((((

 

 

The cost of doing nothing is that you have to live a lie. You have ONE life to live. Is it really worth living a lie? Every Easter, Christmas, special occasion, funeral, baptism, wedding etc. you will have to lie about who you are and what you really think. You will have to be a FAKE person. I know it's hard to think about, but will you baptise your children? What if someone close to you or in your family dies? Will you have a (fake) Christian memorial service? All of this hiding and faking will take toll. Trust me.

 

This. I can't stand fakeness, and this is a big part of what's bothering me. This makes me want to come out NOW.

 

 

 

 

Littlena, your family seems like a really difficult situation already, and if things are "good enough" as they are, I can see why you wouldn't want to stir the pot. I have a similar family where things were seriously dysfunctional before religion became an issue. Throw in religion and the pot boils to high heaven. On these forums we've seen families break up and custody of children denied when a person came out about deconversion. In other families, things continue without a hitch just because one person's not religious. Most families are probably somewhere in the middle with some awkwardness and/or jibes but basically tolerable. Like others say, you'll have to decide what you can live with.

 

Yes this is exactly how I'm feeling. I just feel sad because my family has been through too much pain already. I've had to be selfish before to protect myself and my grandma insinuated that I was doing it to punish my mom. They certainly have a hard time seeing anything from my perspective and want to protect their baby (my mom). My brother and I are on our own emotionally and mentally. I don't think the result would be as serious as some of the ones you mention (which are heartbreaking :( ), but I'm kind of afraid to stir the pot like you said. Before, I didn't come out because my family was still in the wake of a lot of turmoil, things are calmer now, and I'm feeling more strong, so that changes things. I'm really sorry you have a situation like mine. It's hard. I hope it's peaceful for you right now.

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I look at the way my extended family treat each other and the way they treat people with different views.  Then I remind myself how much I do not want to unify them by becoming their common enemy.

 

So far I have come out to my wife and parents.  All three are independently agree that the rest of the family should not be told.

 

Really the only thing that would make me rock that boat is if one of my cousins was being mistreated by the rest of the family.  Were that to happen I would stand up for whoever is being singled out.  But until that day I don't see a need.

I can relate to that a lot. My family has had a villain (my dad) to focus on for a long time, so I hope they won't see me the same way. I don't think my grandfather will, but my grandmother might... I can definelte understand why you wouldn't want to come out to everyone. It's ridiculous for family to see you as an enemy because that. Are your cousins also nonbelievers?

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DO NOT 'EVER' TAKE PART IN A RELATIONSHIP BECAUSE YOU WERE ENCOURAGED TO DO SO BY PEOPLE CLAIMING A CERTAIN PERSON IS "GOOD" AND "GODLY CHRISTIAN"!!!!!!

Odds are, you will regret that decision for as long as you live and your time with that person will eventually become a living, hellish nightmare.

I'm just sayin'...

I know someone (a very good person) that did that very thing, and her life got totally fucked up.

I definitely agree with you! I'm trying to deflect my grandparents suggestions and I'm trying to figure out how not to meet this person during Christmas... -.-

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I used to dislike hiding it from my family when I stopped thinking of myself as a Christian 10 years ago. But looking back now, it hasn't been too big a burden. I don't even see my family all that often. I still don't like hiding it. It is weak. But I suppose I still need to, and understanding that counteracts the dislike. Coward's way is a necessary evil for me.Maybe one day when I don't give a damn anymore. Today their guilting still might bother me quite a bit. Earlier it very well might have bothered me enough to make me respond in bitter rage, proving my immaturity to not only them but also myself, giving them new ways to attack me. "You're just a rebelling youth", and that would only be true.I don't want to open up to someone who has the power to hurt me with words. I don't trust my family loves me so much as to not do so. I think they'll just use their love to justify attacking me. I don't think they respect me and my volition enough. I barely respect me.

I don't think you're weak in hiding that. You do what you have to do depending on your circumstance. Your family sounds very difficult and manipulative so I can see why you wouldn't want to risk it. In the past some of my family members have used 'love' to justify their actions and to manipulate me as well. I don't really trust my family members either and that influences my decision a lot. I think my family didn't really respect me a lot as a thinking individual until recently. They still try to treat me like a child and push me to do and think like them, but I've started trying to be more strong and do things on my own to show them I'm serious about my future. I've had a hard time with respect too. I hope you respect yourself for surviving your family and for being able to think for yourself. You did what you had to do to survive. No one should fault you for that.

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Well, if you have my luck, it isn't secret from your Dad long, and you spend three nights in a row during your Thanksgiving break staying past 4pm awake as your dad lectures you about how "bitter" atheists are while being as bitter as humanly possible in the delivery.

 

I'm afraid I don't know how to lend to the conversation much, but I am almost certain that they'll eventually figure it out.

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Well, if you have my luck, it isn't secret from your Dad long, and you spend three nights in a row during your Thanksgiving break staying past 4pm awake as your dad lectures you about how "bitter" atheists are while being as bitter as humanly possible in the delivery.

 

I'm afraid I don't know how to lend to the conversation much, but I am almost certain that they'll eventually figure it out.

Oh that sounds pleasant! :/ was this recent?? Typical hypocritical christian... How is your dad treating you now? Any better? I think my mom has figured it out, but I'm not sure. I do just appreciate reading what everyone else here is going through, it helps me a lot and makes me feel less alone.

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I am in a similar position as you, although I am already married and we have a child. To tell you the truth, I really struggled with what to do regarding telling others about my deconversion. I really wanted to come out and just be me. But I didn't. I also had to consider the ramifications on my family and relationships. Right now, my wife and those that I am friends with know that I am experiencing a "spiritual crisis". I have told my wife that I am reevaluating everything I believe (which is the truth) and that at this point I don't really know what I believe (which is a partial truth). She has pretty much let it go. We cant discuss anything religious because I have a hard time controlling my ability to hide my disdain for uninformed Christianity and when my wife shares something that she believes and I know that she hasn't really actually studied any part of it, it really frustrates me and we end up arguing instead of having a casual discussion about it.

 

My wife's parents and grandparents are very fundy and they push Jesus and Christianity incessantly and sometimes it makes me want to hurl. I find myself so repulsed by it at times. But I suck it up. My MIL is a fighter and a vicious one and I have no desire to split my family up over something that just isn't worth fighting over. So, despite my frustration at times, I just deal with it. There are days where I wish I could just come out and be done with it, but most days there aren't any issues that I cant handle.

 

You have to ultimately decide for yourself what its worth to you. It will cost you something. I guarantee that. You just have to decide if that cost is worth it. I have decided its not worth it at this time.

 

Best of luck to you.

If I was in your situation I think I would make the same choice! I just don't understand how people can call themselves Christian and be vicious and mean to people they are supposed to love. You have a lot of endurance to keep quiet. What do you do when you feel like you can't hold it in anymore? I think I'm going to talk to my brother about it and maybe I'll tell my mom. I don't know.... I still need to think about it a lot.

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Well, if you have my luck, it isn't secret from your Dad long, and you spend three nights in a row during your Thanksgiving break staying past 4pm awake as your dad lectures you about how "bitter" atheists are while being as bitter as humanly possible in the delivery.

 

I'm afraid I don't know how to lend to the conversation much, but I am almost certain that they'll eventually figure it out.

Oh that sounds pleasant! :/ was this recent?? Typical hypocritical christian... How is your dad treating you now? Any better? I think my mom has figured it out, but I'm not sure. I do just appreciate reading what everyone else here is going through, it helps me a lot and makes me feel less alone.

 

 

That was my Thanksgiving break from Thursday to Saturday. As in, that happened last week.

 

My Dad is treating me about the same, I suppose, though I feel like the stakes are higher. I can say for certain that I want to avoid debating him when possible because he is literally impossible to debate with. He's a very smart man, but he literally will disregard any source I bring to the table as a "liberal lie". I acknowledge that there is a lot of misinformation, deliberate or otherwise, on the internet, but not everything is wrong. I check my sources as best as we can, and even if you disagree with the source's political views, they might be right regardless.

 

Never mind the fact that he feels like all Atheists are amoral, bitter, and will inevitably hurt everyone around them. He cites a few friends he used to have who have become areligious and have led rather unpleasant lives. He is also convinced that an atheist will never have a "happy" life (although I have read nowhere in the writings of major philosophers and thinkers in the history of the West who believed that a Good Life was a "happy" one). He's also convinced that, because I walked away from God, I'll also walk away from my college loans.

 

The flaws in his thinkings are so agonizing, but he won't recognize them. Just because someone is a jerk doesn't mean that it's a pattern. It's entirely possible that the friends he had were bad people from the start, and simply continued their actions into adulthood. Or, its possible my Dad has put too high a standard for them and they have failed to "make the cut". Furthermore, I'm not an arse. I have no reason to be mean, cruel, or to go back on a loan. I don't need God to be moral: I just need to not treat people as if they were less than me. That's it; you respect your fellow man, you'll be moral.

 

Yet, evidently, I'm completely wrong.

 

As I said earlier, he has lightened up, but... I dunno. I'm going to stay wary, even though I really don't want to. I want to enjoy the season.

 

I really need to write my deconversion story sometime.

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That was my Thanksgiving break from Thursday to Saturday. As in, that happened last week.

 

My Dad is treating me about the same, I suppose, though I feel like the stakes are higher. I can say for certain that I want to avoid debating him when possible because he is literally impossible to debate with. He's a very smart man, but he literally will disregard any source I bring to the table as a "liberal lie". I acknowledge that there is a lot of misinformation, deliberate or otherwise, on the internet, but not everything is wrong. I check my sources as best as we can, and even if you disagree with the source's political views, they might be right regardless.

 

Never mind the fact that he feels like all Atheists are amoral, bitter, and will inevitably hurt everyone around them. He cites a few friends he used to have who have become areligious and have led rather unpleasant lives. He is also convinced that an atheist will never have a "happy" life (although I have read nowhere in the writings of major philosophers and thinkers in the history of the West who believed that a Good Life was a "happy" one). He's also convinced that, because I walked away from God, I'll also walk away from my college loans.

 

The flaws in his thinkings are so agonizing, but he won't recognize them. Just because someone is a jerk doesn't mean that it's a pattern. It's entirely possible that the friends he had were bad people from the start, and simply continued their actions into adulthood. Or, its possible my Dad has put too high a standard for them and they have failed to "make the cut". Furthermore, I'm not an arse. I have no reason to be mean, cruel, or to go back on a loan. I don't need God to be moral: I just need to not treat people as if they were less than me. That's it; you respect your fellow man, you'll be moral.

 

Yet, evidently, I'm completely wrong.

 

As I said earlier, he has lightened up, but... I dunno. I'm going to stay wary, even though I really don't want to. I want to enjoy the season.

 

I really need to write my deconversion story sometime.

I hope he's at least being civil... Does he try to start debates with you? I would want to avoid debates too. I'm not very good at debating anyways. I think it's pointless to debate with most Christians anyways because their logic is so convoluted and nonsensical. I had classes with a guy last summer who would try to get me alone and talk to me about religion and start debates with me all the time. It drove me crazy. I just get mad and leave.

 

Sounds like he's projecting his experiences onto you. I've heard the same thing about atheists not having a happy life. My family always told me not to be with a non christian because my relationship would never be happy and it would fail. I can't bring myself to tell some of them that I'm actually dating an atheist, not to mention I am one. Hah! Anyways that statement is so ignorant. There are plenty of happy people with happy lives who are atheist or part of other religions. That such a weird thing to fixate on, that you won't pay your loans because you're atheist now...

 

It's stupid that family would start judging you based on one change in ideology, even after knowing you all your life. That's kind of insulting to have your morality questioned like that. You should definitely share your deconversion testimony! How did you're dad find out you're atheist? Does anyone else in your family know, and how are they handling it? Hope you have someone on your side!

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Obviously not everyone you meet needs to know any personal information. Probably the religious grandma on her death bed doesn't need to deal with your difference of opinion and imagine in her twisted world that you are headed for Hell. All politicians lie to get votes, so if you run for office in America, keep quiet about the fact that you don't subscribe to the popular superstition of the nation.

 

But don't forget that it is those who won't tolerate any views but their own are the ones with the problem. When the subject comes up I'm not ashamed of my opinions on religion or any other subject.

 

Substitute the word "gay" for "atheist" in this thought process and see if any light breaks through.

 

And if you do hope to run for politician or any position for which you absolutely have to be religious for decorous reasons only (I would say a Pentecostal preacher or Buddhist monk should be religious by definition but for a senator or public school board member religion is only decoration), you'd best not out yourself as atheist because those fundies would ensure that the wrong people know about it come election time.

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