Should I Tell My Parents Or Deal?

Earlier this year when I was contemplating many things I came to the realization that I really don’t believe in god. My parents are really really really religious, my step dad was almost a pastor of the church at one point. They don’t know that I am an atheist because I have been hiding it and just dealing but I really can’t take anymore of wasting an hour a day doing bible study and going to church and so forth when I have tests to study for and choirs to do as well as relaxation lol. Knowing my family, if I tell them I am an atheist they will try to re-convince me and if that does not work they will call me an idiot and take away my stuff ( such as my computer which is sorta my life (computer nerd)). Should I tell them? and if yes what should I say? or should I just deal with it until I graduate and get my own place? PS: I am 16 years old.

Posted: July 26th 2009

Dave Hitt www

From the way you describe your situation, it would be best to wait until you’re ready to leave home. At this stage of your life two or three years may sound like a very long time, but it isn’t. Just play along for as long as you can stand it, and leave as soon as you can. Wait until you’re out on your own before you tell them.

Posted: August 5th 2009

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George Ricker www

First, congratulations on reaching the point you have reached. It can be difficult to see rational alternatives when you are surrounded by religionists.

Since you alone know your situation and your parents, and you alone will bear the consequences of the decision you make, the only advice I can offer is to weigh your options carefully and make the decision based upon what is best for your life.

Certainly, you have to be honest with yourself. But, since you are legally a minor, there’s nothing wrong with playing along with your parents rather than getting into a confrontation with them. Consider whether you can stop doing some of the things you find objectionable without making any grand announcement about the change in your thinking. If you need time for study, maybe that’s a reason they will find acceptable.

The bottom line on this is that it is uniquely your decision to make. All the rest of us can do is to wish you well and hope it works out for you.

Posted: July 27th 2009

See all questions answered by George Ricker


I approach situations like that from a pragmatic point of view.

The upside of telling your parents is that you would be true to yourself.

The downsides are pretty significant. Since you are a minor, your parents have a considerable ability to make your life much more disagreeable than it is now.

I suggest heading over to ex-christian.net and asking for advice in the forums. There are lots of people there who have been in your exact situation.

Posted: July 26th 2009

See all questions answered by Eric_PK

SmartLX www

I came to the same realisation while living with my parents, but I was about to move out and they’re not terribly religious so whether to tell them wasn’t a big issue. They worked it out for themselves in the end.

If you choose to come out to your parents, remember that you’ve done an hour’s Bible study every day for years. You can argue on a scriptural level with your stepfather, and possibly make your parents understand why you no longer believe, and that threats and punishments might convince you to keep up a facade of faith but cannot genuinely restore it.

That facade is actually something you could offer in advance as a compromise; that you’ll continue to attend church with your parents and not speak against Christianity around anyone they know. It would spare them something they dread: the social stigma an apostate child creates in a religious community. On your end, it would still mean you could quit studying the Bible at home and concentrate on your other pursuits.

Whatever you decide, good luck and keep in mind how close you are to achieving independence.

Posted: July 26th 2009

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