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Started by Tank, June 15, 2010, 06:19:08 PM
Quote from: kimberlyfaith81 on December 14, 2011, 10:47:14 PMThank you for the very well thought out advice. My deconversion occurred about four years ago. I have deeply religious family and friends. My ex (husband at the time) was pretty blasé about religion in general. So telling him was easy. But the rest of my family..... Siiiiggghh. I do love my parents, a lot. And knowing where they are, I knew that declaring myself as an atheist would be emotionally devastating for them. I mean, on their knees every night begging god to save my soul, devastating. So, I didn't plan on telling them at all. One day, I picked my mother up in my car to take her somewhere. I happened to be reading "The Little Book of Atheist Spirituality" at the time. I did NOT leave it in my purse on purpose, I think. She found it. Oh boy. Surprisingly, the response was rather muted. Bascially, they believed it was a phase I was going through. I would work through it and find my way back to the truth. I had stopped going to church already, mostly with excuses. I stopped coming up with excuses and stayed home. A couple of years go by, no one has asked me about my faith, I've kept my mouth shut out of respect. But they want my children in church. Every time the doors are open, they want my children there. What do you do? They adore my children. I'm sending them to hell with my blatant disregard of the Lord's wishes!! How do you look your parents in the face and smile while you "send their grandchildren to hell???" So, I started taking them to church. I'm such a coward. First day I went, my father cried. Literally cried, in church. No one asked if I had changed my mind. I didn't offer. Am I still an atheist? YES. Do I want to break their hearts?? NO! But I want better for my children. So, here I am. Stuck, pretending. And finding myself very thankful for HAF!
Quote from: Radiant on January 27, 2012, 05:50:05 PMI don't think I can ever do it. I've come out (about another thing) enough, and even that has been 'ignored' by my family.I think that in this case I'll just keep my mouth shut. Aside from prospective employers, my family is perhaps the most scary group to tell I'm a atheist. They are so religious. I got that vibe from how they've talked about those who are non-religious. My sister had a really bad ex who cheated and he identified himself as an 'Agnostic' (yet he was as conservative and homophobic as they come). So my mom went on this rant about how we must not date those who are not religious because they are not good people. They never force me to go to church, in fact they hardly go to church themselves. So you know, I have to pick my battles wisely. This one isn't worth fighting. In regards to my friends and otherwise I'll let them know I'm an atheist, but with my family it's best I just not.
Quote from: Dobermonster on February 09, 2012, 05:10:16 AMEn_Route, that's just one of the reasons I feel more kin to the UK culture than my own. I remember watching an episode of QI (trivia-based panel show, for those who haven't seen it) where they talked about the Rapture, and Fry introduced the subject with something like, "Do you know what I'm referring to? It's huge in America . . . " My first reaction was to wonder that the subject was not widely known or acknowledged, immediately followed by wishing I lived in a culture that took the same sort of remote interest in a mythology so many here take seriously. Back on topic . . . My first attempt to ease my family into coming to terms with my disbelief was . . . less than successful. I was 16, and still quite deferential to my parents. It took me a lot of courage to firmly but politely explain that I didn't truly believe in the teachings, and that until I came to some sort of conclusion, I didn't want to continue attending church. I tried to explain it as just needing some time to consider things and do my own independent research, so please don't force the issue. The week that I did that was filled with lectures, and tears (mostly from my mother . . . and who wants to see their mother cry?). They only stopped asking me to come to services a few years ago. I've gone into some detail in other posts about the rest of the story, so I'll stop there. To summarize, my lack of belief still hasn't been accepted, and I seriously doubt it ever will. Perhaps there are some things I could have done differently or said better to keep the peace, but I was embittered about religion early on in my adulthood, and it's difficult to suppress all the urges to lash out (verbally) after years of oppression. I certainly advocate the majority of the original post. If you want to stack the odds in favor of an easy transition, enter like a lamb, not a lion. Keep the peace when possible, and whenever else, keep your head. Reiterate your love for them, even if their reaction seems loveless. Emphasize your desire to put your relationships first, but don't let them use that to blackmail you into submission. If they pray before meals, be silent and respectful. Understand that these rituals, and others like them, are not something to be fought over - it's not worth it, and they are essentially harmless. Save your energy for when you need to advocate on behalf of reason in real world, truly harmful situations. There are plenty. If they are essentially reasonable and intelligent people, there may come a time when you find yourself (wanted or unwanted) in a theological discussion - this is not necessarily a bad thing. If it's civil and respectful, it may be an opportunity to help them understand your position and debunk myths about atheism (for example, the belief that atheists are amoral). Above all, don't expect them to change, and don't try. I wish everyone in this position good luck and fortitude. When you're feeling discouraged, find something to inspire you. I personally love watching shows and documentaries on new and old scientific discoveries, or just learning more about things I'm fuzzy on, like quantum theory. Reason isn't just a way of life; you can find great pleasure in seeing its rewards.
Quote from: En_Route on February 09, 2012, 02:19:42 PMA lot of Americans seem to have swallowed wholesale everything they were taught before the age of six and have never thought to question it since. It still seems mind-boggling to me that a large swathe of the electorate of a supposedly sophisticated superpower could ever have taken a blatantly opportunistic ignoramus like Sarah Palin seriously. Here we would have simply laughed her out of court as a figure of fun. America really at times gives cynicism a good name. I think your reactions in your more tender years are pretty well standard- impossible to find and express yourself without rattling the cage. As for Quantum Theory, as the man said, if you think you understand it, then you don't understand it. It is bracing to realise though that the fundamental building-blocks of what we perceive as reality defy all the laws which we think we can safely infer from that reality. I think in any attempt to explain our origins we are simply out of our depth. In describing quantum phenomena we have to draw on analogies plucked from our limited experience but we can never actually capture their essence.