Dilemma: Religion and family.

(TLDR short version at the bottom of the post)

Good Day Fellow Sharenatorians.

Decrotie2004 here with a dilemma. Just wondering what you would do in this situation.

My background in this situation:
I was raised in the church and taught from an early age about the Bible, Jesus, God. The whole Christian Sha-bang. As I got older my doubt grew, and as I started thinking for myself, and turning into a rebellious teenager, I learned a lot about how I truly felt about religion in general. Turns out, once I was allowed to make my own decisions, that I had no faith in religion. I believed science holds the answers to what we need not an incorporeal being I cannot meet, see, touch, hear, and is constantly judging people he has never truly met. (personal believe).

With Atheism just being accepted as a viable option just recently where previously it was akin to anarchy and frowned upon, I had previously taken up Agnosticism. for those of you who don't know this is the belief of a "higher power" just not sure what "it" is or what roll they play in life.

The more I learn about life the less I believe in my past religions, as I am now and have been for quite a while, Atheist.

Here is where the dilemma hits the metaphorical fan. My family thinks I am Christian, they are bible thumping, god fearing people.This is ok with me, as I feel no one should be persecuted for their beliefs, so I judge not. No one knows I am Atheist and to come out at tell everyone would be very similar to coming out as gay in a homophobic family. (which I'm not gay, but I support my gay friends)

To add to this, my fiancé's family... HARDCORE catholic. While my fiancé is on the religious fence, where she does not judge me for my religious choices and I don't judge hers. It works for us. So NOT ONLY will they find out I'm not a good catholic boy, but I'm an atheist "heathen" as well.

Many people don't think about this but in a split religion family like my fiancé and I plan on having, the children may be a little confused. I truly think this is the only area I am not having an issue with because #1 I don't have kids yet. and #2 I will let my fiancé/wife take the kids to church, but the day my child says, "daddy why don't you go to church?" they will get a lesson in my beliefs, and they will be allowed to decide if they want to continue going to church or not.

(TLDR Version)
>i'm an Atheist
>My family: Bible thumping Christians
>fiancés Family: Full-blown Catholic
> Issue: no one knows i'm atheist.

> telling everyone I'm Atheist is an issue for me because I truly do not want to be shunned from my whole family.

Where I need Sharenatorians' help (yes I know, not the best place to ask for help):
How do I do this? because I'm out of ideas.

Thanks all,

Side note: do not feed the trolls

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  • 3

    Personally i say screw it and come out, if that's your choice then it's yours and yours alone. No matter what your family thinks, her family thinks, or fuck even what society thinks.

    Realisitcally however i'm going to suggest you approach this as one would do in a con. gain their trust and show them exactly how good a person you are. Give time to charity spend time with the family, laugh and joke with them and really let them know that you care about them and respect their beliefs. Then a few months from now you just let them know (instead of stealing their money and all that, though if this doesn't work i guess that can be plan B ;) ). It'll give them a chance to really get to know you and understand that just because you don't follow their religion doesn't mean that you are a devil child (no matter what their church may say.)
    As for your family they'll really just have to accept your choice, they may try and change your mind and thats ok, let them. It will get it out of their system and will allow them to come to terms with the fact that this is your life and you are entitiled to your opinions.

    I say this out of personal experience, when my parents found out they seemed a bit shocked and hurt. At times i actually don't think they really believe me and kind of consider this to be me going through some sort of "phase" but in actualality i haven't believed for a good amount of time. I've found that being open and honest about it tends to work best. and the fact is that i find atheism to be much more accepting of other peoples traditions and rituals than anything else. See while i don't believe in any religion or higherpower i'll participate in whatever custom out of respect of the family and culture. Prayer before dinner? sure why not, i'm not praying but i'll join hands and let you all feel more comfortable. fasting for rosh hashanah? if you're allowing me in your home and ask that i respect you customs then sure! I'll fast right along side you.
    See i don't see it as a restriction saying i can't participate in someones customs but rather that it gives me the opportunity to explore other cultures and ways of life. I may not believe in the custom or religion but will participate if asked to (outside of going to temple or church or something, pretty sure i'll burst into flames at the threshhold lol). I do it out of respect for them family and the exploration outside of my own roots. Respecting the family and their beliefs is key to allowing them to respect yours. just remember that it's always your choice, if they can't repect that then they don't deserve your respect.

    Overall it's your choice. if they can't respect your desision then they aren't worth your time. show them who you are as a person and remind them that you are a person before your religion. also you can really throw this new pope in their fadce if they get pissy with you, dude has been making some bad ass statements in the most peaceful way possible. even i have respect for the guy and i don't even christian :P

    (On a side note why do all the really religious people think atheism is an opportunity to convert you? seriously i've literally had people write me letters trying to talk me out of it... not that the letter isn't appreciated but it's not going to change anything.)

    Fuck it, Fuck society, Fuck them. It's your life so live it.
    PS the new pope is on your side and thats saying something.
    - 24paperwings October 30, 2013, 9:53 am
    Thank you. You said more things that I have been thinking, than I even thought to put in my post. I too am accepting and will participate in others customs. ill even go to an Easter service to appease my fiancé. I always think I will burst into flames too, but then I realize that would be silly unless I legitimately combust. Seeing as how I don't believe in a god for them to smite me with fire.

    I have an issue with people trying to "save me". I have had people knock on my door and try to witness to me. and I am not normally mean or nasty. when they ask why im atheist, I pretty much give them a life story about how I fell from faith into reality. and a little story about how the pastor's wife at my previous church got cancer, and instead of being by her side, the pastor turned into a cheating fuck... that's right... the pastor cheating on his cancer ridden wife. I found out years after that she died 3 years after getting the cancer. So much for all those prayers the whole church said.
    - decrotie2004 October 30, 2013, 10:25 am
    I also participate in others events,
    similar events about people trying to convert me,
    pastor at my old church is a cheating fuck a good reason I'm atheist.
    - decrotie2004 October 30, 2013, 10:26 am
  • 3

    Tell them you're gay first, then tell them you're an atheist.

    Then the atheist bit wont seem such a big deal!

    there is a problem with this.... Engaged to a woman... I could tell them she is pregnant! love you guys (in a totally not gay way... I swear)
    - decrotie2004 October 30, 2013, 3:18 pm
  • 1

    It's going to come out one day. It's your choice as to when you tell. IMHO, the longer you leave it, the worse it will be.

    G'luck to you...

  • 1

    You'll have to tell them at some point. I'm glad my family is nonjudgemental about anything like this, so I've never had to deal with this problem before. But probably sooner rather than later would be better.

    Also, agnosticism is the belief that we don't know if there is a god or not (you can have personal beliefs either way and be agnostic). Atheism is the unproven (and unprovable if you ask most agnostics) belief that no God exists.

  • 1

    When in Rome do as the Romans do. Short and simple

    thats what i have been doing.
    - decrotie2004 October 31, 2013, 7:33 am
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