Religious Parents

Homepage Forums Advice Religious Parents

This topic contains 15 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Emma Leigh 5 years, 6 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #10197

    Emma Leigh

    Need a little advice (duh), my mom is incredibly controlling about everything when it comes to her kids, there are six of us, and she has raised us Christian. Shes the type that whenever we act up will ask where she went wrong in raising us, or say its her fault for not teaching us right. So, i don’t know how to tell her I don’t buy the “omnipotent invisible dude living in hyperspace” bit anymore, without violent repercussions (When my sister came out as pansexual, she pulled us out of public school. Within two weeks.).



    My advice is this: just go along with it and pretend until you are independent enough to no longer need your parent’s support. It’s not worth the potential trouble to “come out” to unsupportive parents. I’d also recommend you not use your real name (particularly your first and last name together) or photo on the internet (your mum might find it), and if your parents are particularly tech savvy, only access atheistzone and other “controversial” media through an https proxy, vpn, or tor (to make it practically impossible for anyone but a nation state to track your activity online). Let us know if you need to know more about this and someone will be able to help you out.


    Don’t forget to clear your browser history after accessing “controversial” media, or just use your browser’s private mode to do this automatically at the end of the session.



    This is a brutal situation. The only thing I recommend is not immediately buying into the argument that:

    “You must always be authentic with yourself, otherwise you do a diservice to yourself and others like you”. For example, if you are gay and can get away with being gay (though admiting unpleasant but not fatal or corporal familiar consequences), then not being out is an insult to those who cannot (in Saudi Arabia for example). It also is an assault on your own personal dignity and authenticity.

    My response to this is first, that you have no more obligation to the pansexual community than one who isn’t pansexual. Obviously if you can help another pansexual more than a non-pansexual it is praiseworthy to do so, but it is not morally obligatory in any way. You can come out and support others if and when you want. As for living authentically, part of your authentic self is knowing what and when you want to share things with others. While it is a privilege many of us have in western countries to reveal and express a part of yourself that is part of a marginalized/oppressed group, that privilege does not equate with obligation. To come out and to express part of who you are just because you feel pressured to do so is not being authentic at all.

    As for being happy, I would say, once a self-sufficient adult and where the social ostracism of family (in case they don’t disown you) is bearable, you will almost certainly be more content if you can be honest about yourself and with others, not just have relationships and express yourself in secret but to do so openly. Though again, there is no guarantee that is the case. Some people may be perfectly happy having a hidden or partially hidden relationship and not revealing part of themselves to anyone else (or even never having a partner at all).

    I’m sure this doesn’t seem like much advice, but the point I’m trying to make is basing you decision on what you will ultimately do based mostly on certain social pressures and identity politics is not necessarily a good thing. In the majority of cases, its best to do so when and if you are ready to.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 12 months ago by  Davis.


    I’d also recommend you not use your real name (particularly your first and last name together) or photo on the internet (your mum might find it)

    I thought of this too, but neglected to mention it. Sorry. (Thx Matt.)




    Emma, in making a decision you gotta balance the benefit of  disclosure against the potential repercussions.

    You can live your life without telling her.  I don’t see it as diminishing your integrity if you decide to keep it close to the vest.

    If telling her will take a weight off of your conscience and give you a big boost and you can tolerate the repercussions then it might be okay.

    Little story: i was close to an 18 yr old transgender who was living a lie pretending to be a girl to please her mom.  She was tortured in concealing it and living a lie.  She said not ten minutes went by without contemplating suicide.  As luck would have it her parents were hard core christians.  I advised her to come out.  She decided to.  Maybe i should say he?

    Initially her mom showed some sympathy.  My friend’s spirits soared but it was short lived.  The initial sympathy of mom, who hid it from dad cuz he might have killed her, was replaced by a state of disapproval and insistence on putting on a mask of femininity.   I hope she is still alive and flourishing but she cut off contact with everybody she had known on social media and i fear she has ended her life.

    Message is be careful Emma.  It might be better to do it if at all after you are living independent of her. Other message is religion sucks.





    Hi, Emma.

    I am glad you’re here, and that you have found a place where you can be yourself as you embark on this journey of self-discovery.  I was fortunate to have grown up in a family that was tolerant and supportive of any exploration I chose to undertake, but it sounds like that is not the case for you.  I’m sorry.  If we can provide a safe space for you, that’s a great thing.  But, I think my peers are right when they say to be careful about how you choose to include your family (or If, or When) in your process.   I gather that you are young and not yet able to live independently, and as such, you may have to live with your parents rules until you become legally able to make your own decisions.  That’s rough, and it can seem like forever, but it isn’t, so hold the fuck on.  OK?

    In the meantime, now that you have decided what you don’t believe, ie the whole magic skydaddy thing, the most challenging part of the journey begins:  Deciding what you do believe in.  If we can be a support system or a sounding board while you do that, good on us, right?  I am pretty new to this particular forum myself.  But, I am also old, and I’ve been doing this a long time.

    Anyway, welcome!



    Emma Leigh

    I use privatebrowser when I geton here, bc I know how my mom would react. And I do use a fake name, though the picture is me it’s not really on an area of the internet she sees much. Her extent of social media is Facebook and Instagram, but her web surfing is pretty low, so im not worried about that. Thanks so much for all the advice guys. I have decided that I will tell her, because she isn’t the type of person to kick me out so I’m not too worried about that. If she does kick me out, I have a fall back plan. But anyway, I’m going to tell her by Christmas (No backing out) and cross my fingers. Most likely, she will just make me go to church more, bc there is not really much for her to justify pulling me out of due to religion (or lack thereof). But I feel like i would be stressing myself out and I dont need that right now. I think I always knew I would tell,I just need the right setting.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by  Emma Leigh.


    As a theist parent myself, my advice is NOT to go along to get along but to tell your parents the truth- that you do not believe in God.

    You must, however, be prepared. If they are irrational believers (like you mom kinda sounds) you must stay calm. Find ADULT words, avoid sarcasm, tell them you still love them and plan to be a respectful and well behaved daughter.  Then of course, do so.

    They will be hurt, for sure, but what is important is to maintain the relationship.

    As a theist myself (Christian), they should figure out how to love you, too. Tell them they did not do anything wrong; tell them you simply don’t believe but you are still an ethical, moral, good person but you values come from humanistic philosophy and not Christianity.



    @ fullermingjr – Welcome to the site. We often advise young people not to tell their parents until they are at least 16 years of age. I know many cases where parents make life unbearable for their children because they associate atheism with, at one extreme, Satanism and at the other end, blame it upon themselves. Many parents indoctrinate their children into believing the same things as they do and don’t allow their children to think for themselves. I often meet teenagers who have been threatened with no longer seeing their friends. The parents think their own child must have been influenced by them because there “is no way our little Mary could do this on her own”. I have known parents put their child into a different school which has a greater religious ethos – i.e. the ethos of the parents, not the child. That to me is a form child abuse.

    Parents consider it their duty to raise their child into the same religion they have. They will say that their children can choose whether to believe or not when they are older and independent. Of course “belief” is never a choice, especially when the choices have never been aired at home or allowed any previous consideration.

    I have meet hundreds of “irrational believers” over the years. I have had Christians tell me that they are able to communicate with the Creator of the Universe by sending their thoughts to Him. Others have told me with absolute certainty that they will go to Heaven when they die and become immortals, just like their God is. More have told me that the Earth is less than 10k years old and that Evolution is a lie. That is why it can be difficult for them not to grasp that other people do not believe what they believe.

    I would be interested to hear what you consider “rational beliefs” about your God to be for a teenager to hold.



    Emma Leigh

    So, my sister told my mom she is an atheist (or our little brothers overheard her and her best friend and told mom), and Mom literally said to her,”I want you to do your homework before you ever use that word (atheist) to describe yourself again.” And,”I can’t believe you are risking living in heaven with all of the rest of us forever because of something you think could be true.” Which sounds a lot like Pascal wager to me. The point is, my Mom is an irrational believer, and for some reason I think she would react on both extremes. Good news though, I found out how to get out of church. I can just go with my baby sister and play with two year olds for the whole service! So, I’m doing alright at home besides being forced into Christian schoolwork. Thank you all for the support


    The flaw with Pascal’s Wager is that it does not define which god we should believe in so maybe you should convert to every religion…just in case. That way you cover all the odds. It is very time consuming though 🙂



    +1 #ILikeThatPost, Reg; #ILikeThatVideo (and its comments)

    One day AI-Atheism will feature that post. Just thinking ahead, here. #CallMeAProphet



    Yeah but Reg…come on. You only have to take the Catholic faith seriously. Because it’s been so successful. You cannot deny the success it has brought the European world…and then later to Africa, the Americas and places like the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, all very successful places. There is obviously a correlation between the success of a religion…and the worth of joining that faith on the hope that you won’t burn for eternity in the loving forgiving caring gods underground torture chamber.



    …and so much of Central and South America, Mexico, and black America are total slaves to Catholicism, thanks to those wise white westerners who wanted so badly to spread the Jesus Love. What would the world look like without a bit of that benevolent, foreign intervention?


    Emma Leigh

    The reason Chrsitianity has become so succesful is because all you have to do is not mess up, and if you do, just pray and you will be fine. It gives people the illusion of freedom, and that is needed for progress.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.