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Am I living a total lie`

So I'm a Scoutmaster for the boy scouts, and go to church every Sunday.... but i don't believe in a God, I feel most religious people are a little week and looking for something to blame on reality besides reality, I act like i believe and go to church with my mom because it makes her happy and i have to act like i believe in order to be involved with scouting, one of the requirements is to believe in a God. Am i doing a favor to myself and others to pretend while quietly not believing so i can still be around the people i care about and participate in the organization i love or not?

By bmtruett3
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34 comments

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9

Many people are living a lie in the church and in the scouts. So you're in good company.

I live one...

@BucketlistBob How so, Bob?

@VictoriaNotes I hold hands with my wife and bow my head during food blessings. When I was working I bowed my head during the Monday prayer at work. I honor my family members during their food blessings. I take my wife to church when she gets the urge. I smile a lot during their talks of religion. I tolerate as much as I can and I try to find a way to leave. I don't speak out when I feel something needs to be said. I'm a whimp I guess.

Glad I checked in. I didn't get notified. @BucketlistBob Bitting your tongue is not indicative of living a lie. If my mother wanted me to take her to church, I would take her, although I wouldn't join her. I came clean with my family, but I don't push my unbelief on them. I chose my battles.

@VictoriaNotes. Thank you

@BucketlistBob You're not alone Bob. I take my mom to church and attend with her, because she doesn't like going alone. I hold hands with family if they decide to pray but I do not bow my head nor close my eyes. Sometimes I close my eyes out of respect, but very rarely. I bite my tongue or at least try to, to keep the peace.

@BucketlistBob I do the same thing out of respect for my parents. THey don't talk religion a lot and don't force it on me so I don't have to leave the room.I don't think this is a lie

7

Some people have no trouble living a lie for the sake of the people, or activities, they love. Some people can't do that. You're the only one who can decide which is right for you.
All that matters is what YOU can live with.

KKGator Level 9 Dec 26, 2017
6

I would not live as you do, but I am not you. I will not judge you.

wordywalt Level 8 Dec 26, 2017
5

To answer your question, I would say "No, it is not a lie".

More importantly, you are self-aware: you know what you are doing and why you are doing it. You are providing emotional support to those who need it: you are being emotionally honest. I do not have what it takes to do what you are doing: I commend your actions.

irascible Level 8 Dec 26, 2017
4

If it wasn't for your mom, I'd say join a Unitarian Universalist congregation. Otherwise, don't sweat it, lots of people go along to get along.

9gello Level 4 Dec 27, 2017

my grandmother is a Unitarian minister lol

3

That’s really tough. Up to this day my mother still doesn’t know I’m an atheist and it’s because I just want her to be happy. However, I don’t waste my time pretending to be a Christian nor going to church, it has become something we don’t talk about, this way I don’t have to lie to her. I recommend you slowly move away from that lifestyle if you really want to be happy and live your full potential, it’s holding you back. Is there a way that you can do what you love for an organization that doesn’t require a god nor a religious lifestyle???

Mariv357 Level 5 Dec 27, 2017
3

It's only living a lie if you assume other people truly believe the doctrines. Basically, a church is a social club. Beliefs are tangential, at best. No need to really be too hard on yourself. If you're happy doing the scout thing and enjoy the company of the people of your church, don't sweat it. You gave your justification when you said: "be around people you care I care about and participate in the organization I love." That's what really matters. You'd be surprised at the number of pastors who really don't believe what they preach. They do it because it's what they are paid to do and it's the only option they have available for supporting their family. They maintain appearances. I've been there, I know.

whoHearer Level 5 Dec 26, 2017
2

I say better not to lie, but that's mainly the Asperger's speaking I think. Like other people said, do what you can live with. But be careful of getting accidentally exposed, too. If you get any good idea of your mom being ok with it, you should probably tell her. There's likely no way around a lack of belief with the Boy Scouts, though.
Question: If you don't believe, and you're using 'a' in front of it, why are you capitalizing god?

Neraven Level 6 Jan 1, 2018

DOWN WITH CAPITALS! Serously, why on earth use a capital for god, church, bible, etc?

@GoldenDoll & @Neraven: Autocorrect generally capitalizes "God" even when I'm using it in the nonspecific sense, so I have to be more careful when writing from my mobile device. But, I see no harm in using it as a proper name when talking about monotheism. "God" is used as another name for Yahweh, Yeshua (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit in Christianity, just as "Allah" is used by Muslims as another name for Yahweh. "Bible" is the title of the book and is another proper name, similar to "Koran" or "Bhagavad Gita." "Church" shouldn't be capitalized unless referring specifically to the Catholic Church as an institution, often seen when referring to Church history throughout the ages, rather than any individual church building where people worship.

@resserts Thats why I also mentioned "a" in front of it. I capitalize it too if Im talking about stuff like this.

@Neraven I think that might just be autocorrect. I'm forever manually lowering the case to "god" when using the indefinite article "a" or referring to the pantheon to compensate for autocorrect. The rest of what I mentioned was in reply to GoldenDoll's question about why ever use capitals at all. (The one place I avoid capitalization in relation to "God" is when using the pronouns "he," "him," and "his." Many Christians write "He," "Him," and "His," but even when I was religious that seemed to me to be unnecessary and obsequious.)

2

Do what feels right to you.

2

You're not doing anything wrong.

2

"I act like I believe and go to church with my mom because it makes her happy"

That right there is the root of your problem. If you understand your feelings on the matter it is in your best interest to make peace with those feelings. Anyone who cannot love and accept you for who you are will never respect you for what you are not.

"I have to act like I believe in order to be involved with scouting, one of the requirements is to believe in a God"

It's a choice. You don't have to do anything that you don't want to do. Knowing the difference is how you find your peace.

macrobius Level 6 Dec 27, 2017
2

I say do what feels best. If you don't want to sacrifice relationships based on your beliefs you're already better than many theists. At the same time it's on you to be honest with yourself. If you feel yourself going through the motions, as if acting out a play, it's going to potentially turn to apathy for things you do enjoy. My biggest suggestion is, if you decide to come out, ease out of your positions first. A scoutmaster and active church member suddenly dropping everything due to atheism is naturally going to shock people. Holy Koolaid is the best start for resources on coming out. Check out his youtube channel and the pages he talks about. Don't hurt yourself by jumping the gun and remember no sacrilege is committed if you truly feel that your silence about your beliefs is a minor payment in comparison to being apart of the communities you enjoy.

2

Be true to thine own self. If not the stress of living the lie will wear you down. Your friends and family will love you no matter.

1

Sure, it's kind of dishonest, but that's beside the point. You have to pretend because there's so much discrimination against non-theists and you'd be forced to give up specific organizational involvement in your community otherwise. And if going to church with your mother is what it takes to make her happy, so be it. So long as you're not resentful of being forced into this faux belief, I don't see a lot of harm. With that said, there are some secular alternatives to Boy Scouts that you might be interested in researching:

[mnn.com]

resserts Level 8 Jan 12, 2018
1

An organization that is too bigoted to accept you for who you really are does not deserve to have you. The same applies to relatives and friends.

1

I don't think that would be for someone else to say. HOw do you feel in your day to day life about it?

btroje Level 9 Jan 2, 2018
1

More like you're living a reality that makes other people happy and now you're beginning to question this stage in your life, which is a positive thing for you if you can act on it and live your truth with or without God

1

Forgive yourself. Most of us are living a lie, one way or another.

Benmonk Level 6 Dec 28, 2017
1

I live one... what can I say? I have lived one almost all my life.

Really. Who hasn't, one way or another. I used to tell my kids, you don't have to absolutely believe in everything. Much of life is just playing the game.

@Benmonk. True... and it's an illusion.

1

Sometimes in life there is no right or wrong answer, this question being the case. It is a no win situation because both have their bad results. The only thing you can do is make your own personal judgment and do what feels personally right for you. You may know your answer quickly, or it may take a while. There is no easy solution unfortunately. In a random similar situation, people who defect North Korea do get their freedom but their families are probably executed. There’s no right answer in that case either. I personally am an Eagle Scout and have been in the BSA for 6 years. I grew up Mormon and did both extensively. I am an Eagle Scout but I ended up as an agnostic growing up, and I am happy with my boyscout years, but it’s not nessesary for my life, just an added bonus. Being an Eagle Scout for me is something cool to have rather than something for me to self validate my own importance as an individual. If your quality of life is dying and it is killing you on the inside to pretend to be religious for the sake of scouting, I’d say move on. Don’t love something that doesn’t love you back.

1

No big deal. They are the ones living a lie. Everyone is welcomed in the Church at whatever level of belief. The one thing I like about the Church is the community. Be in the community and throw in an odd ball question once in awhile, let them peek into what is not Christian. If asked, don't lie... say the truth, I don't believe Jesus is the son of God. They can't judge you, because part of it is that they are not that firm on their beliefs. I would continue to do it, if it comforts my mother.

DragonFZ Level 5 Dec 26, 2017
1

if you are helping people and don't mind the church bit and help your mum I can't see the problem. I love my dogs but there are things that fall out of them in the garden I don't like but its well worth it.

1

Are you willing to live with the consequences of your actions? If you tell your Mama what is that going to do to her? If you continue living a lie what is that going to do to you? Mama might be OK with it because she loves you, but then again... If you have to give up scouting what will it do to you? If you continue to lead the scouts while not believing what will that do to you? If you come out what will that do to your position in the community? Tough position, good luck with figuring it out.

1

If telling your mother would make her feel bad, I would just enjoy the time that you spend with her since no one is getting hurt. I pretended to believe in god for my mom. She passed away this year.

noworry28 Level 7 Dec 26, 2017

As long as you are happy with yourself. You know the facts.

0

why in the world do the boy scouts require one to believe in a god? do they care which one? why does it have to be a church? are there no jewish boy scouts?

g

genessa Level 8 Sep 11, 2018
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