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How your family responded when they learned about your atheism? How did you approach telling them?

MoralesHuman 4 July 28

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They tried to set me on fire. Again


I have always been atheist and am from an atheist family, but I will say this - your beliefs are nobody’s business. Not even family. You don’t have to invite them into exploring your mind. I use sex toys, but I am not about to tell that to my parents or siblings- it’s just not their domain. You don’t have to justify or explain all your life, practices or thoughts to anyone.

Livia Level 6 July 29, 2018

There it is again. I'm ashamed of my sexual needs because that's what the church taught me but other than that I don't believe anything the church taught me.

Don't you think your mother father and siblings all masturbate their brains out?

Don't you think your sisters and mom would appreciate that you found reliable dependable less expensive vibrating dildos And butt plugs that do the best job based on your experience with them?
They're expensive and the vibrators break easily.

Wouldn't it be the funniest conversation embarrassing the men in the family discussing the quality and efficacy at the dining room table with your Mom, sisters and brothers girlfriends?

@Anonbene, I don’t think shame drives the resistance to talk about masturbation with family, I think it would be awkward and unpleasant. Just like I don’t want to socialize with my colleagues and don’t want to discuss the quality and efficacy of cocaine with or sexual positions with them. It’s called compartmentalization and privacy. I like it that way. It’s intelligent not to share everything. Do you think it’s healthy to overshare? Do you enjoy mixing work, family and sex? Personally I keep it conflict low and easy to manage. Keep people in the right boxes. Same with opinions and beliefs.

@Anonbene Oh, and I have never been educated in a religious environment. My family are not religious whatsoever. I haven’t been taught that Jesus is watching and tells God about my sex life.


Some have accepted it, some haven't. It really doesn't matter to me
whether they accept it or not. It doesn't have anything to do with them.
As far as the "approach" went, I was honest and completely upfront about it.
It was during a family get-together and several were discussing going to mass the next morning. I was asked to go along, and I said "no, thank you".
They pressed, I told them I'm an atheist.
I think my exact words were, "I'm an unapologetic atheist."
That was a fun evening.


My mom was really religious, but she knew about my total lack of belief for many years. My dad could not have possibly cared less. At a really bad time in my life, after I lost my wife and daughters in a nasty divorce because my ex's family was becoming more and more religiously extreme, I was having a conversation with my mom about what happened in my marriage. After I told her about their religious extremism, she gave me a little bit of the "well, if you would accept god, maybe this would not have happened"...something like that. I said, "Mom, you know how much I love you. I just lost my family and precious daughters because of religion. I don't want to lose my mom too." She agreed, told me how much she loved me, and never mentioned it again.

I am so sorry about your family. I can even imagine the pain you went through. How’s your relationship with your daughters now?

@MoralesHuman Thank you for your kind words. It was really easily the worst time in my life, knowing that I was about to lose my daughters, and then having it happen, What even made it worse was that there were times this big family would not let me see my daughters, and then she moved the girls half way across Colorado to move in with a cowboy in a trailer. I did everything I could to maintain the wonderful and loving relationship I had with my daughters, and still, to this day we are extremely close, and they have always known that I will always be here for them. We are always telling each other how much we love each other, and now my daughters have provided me with 6 awesome grandkids, 3 boys and 3 girls. I'm picking up two of my grandsons tomorrow to have a week of guy fun! We do this every year.


I just kind of blurted it out one day in front of my mom and dad when I was home from college. I had told my dad 1-2 years before that I didn't believe in God; I guess he thought I was still trying to figure things out at that time. Normally, my parents tell each other everything, so I thought he had told her. Well, when I blurted it out, my mom looked very surprised.

I looked at my dad and thought, "You didn't tell her?"
My mom noticed this and looked at my dad and said, "You knew?"
My dad said something along the line of "I kind of knew something but I didn't know it had gone this far."

My dad then made a stupid comment that atheism was one step closer to becoming a Satanist. Completely dumbfounded by what I just heard, I exclaimed, "What? No!"

My mom then calmed everyone down and asked me to explain what atheism was. We had 1-2 more talks about my beliefs down the road, but my dad has never truly accepted me being an atheist. I never actually told my two brothers (older and younger), I think they just found out through posts from Facebook or maybe my parents told them. My older brother will send me funny stuff about atheism. My younger brother has never brought it up.


Atheist was nothing. They about had a cow when they found out that I'm pro-abortion in addition to pro-choice.


I emailed them. One, I messaged. Most just ignored it, and only one sibling reacted in horror and immediately began preaching at me.
This took me by surprise since she doesn't attend church and has given no indication she's even a Christian.

But I just laughed it off and said I wouldn't hold her religious beliefs against her.


Never had to. They weren't religious either.


Mom was alil disappointed, but not upset. The rest of the family kinda just shrugged their shoulders. Even in the church I went to no one seemed to mind. My pastor said even though I'm atheist and I won't be attending service, the church family would still like me involved in some of the church activities. So I still have a good relationship with the church. They didn't want me to feel aleinated from the church I grew up in, and I don't feel that way.

Any family or Christan church that treats you as a pariah after learning of your lack of belief or a difference in belief, probably doesn't understand their own religion


All three of our children are agnostic. They were given the freedom to choose. Their Mother is deeply religious and I am agnostic.


I came by atheism honestly. My father (born in 1927) had religion literally beat into him. When he was old enough, he simply left home and joined the Toronto Police. He never looked back even though he was disowned by his parents and siblings. He made his own way. He married my mother who was a non practicing catholic. Their union lasted until his death in 2011.

My brothers and I (six of us) never were asked to attend any church. Nor were we encouraged to stay away. I fell into a church group as a result of peer activities but quickly realized the folly of following a mythical tyrant.

My wife’s family were church goers. I married in their church. I was 25 at the time. Prior to the marriage ceremony, we were required to take “lessons and guidance” from the pastor. He and I were constantly is disagreement over the meaning of biblical passages that he used in our “guidance”. We had some interesting discussions over interpretations. With one month left before the planned betrothals, he made a comment about us not being ready for a marriage. He would discuss it with us soon. My wife to be was pissed at me due to my apparent adversarial opinions. She damn well kicked me under the table for sabotaging our wedding! I told him he could not drop a bomb like that and not follow up immediately. He paused, looked at us for a few slow seconds and stated that we were “unevenly yoked” and that one of us was going to hold the other back spiritually. Talk about kicking a bees nest! My future wife was beyond pissed with me (at least through my read of her eyes). I had effectively destroyed her chance at marriage! What an asshole I was. I should have sat there and just accepted whatever bullshit I was being “taught” I suppose.

Well the story had an odd twist. As my wife sat there with a form of PTSD, the pastor continued.... it was not me! My future wife was going to hold “me” back spiritually he declared! Whoops!

After a talk with her father, a deacon in their church, and new pastor arrived a week before our vows. I have no idea what happened but I was told it was taken care of. We were married and I was yoked. Lol

Damn atheists disrupting religious beliefs.

My kids have no interest in repligios dogma. I raised em good!

Crap! Excuse the spellin mistacks eh. ?


I was pretty agnostic when I married my wife and by the time I figured out I was in fact atheist we had an about 8 year old daughter. My wife had her go to catechism for a couple of years when my daughter decided it was nonsense and asked me what to tell her Mom. I told her to be honest and my wife just said OK. My daughter didn't take long to decide she was an atheist also and told her friends at school. As far as I know it was never a problem there even though all of her friends were very religious.

gearl Level 7 July 28, 2018

I never felt it was some thing I had to 'announce'. When I was in my teens, while having a conversation with my mother a couple of years after my grandmother died (who was a very devout Catholic), I casually stated, "well, maybe there is no God, after all, ..." and before I got any further, my mother stopped me. She was incredulous, and asked how I could possibly say something like that. So I gently tried to explain,and somehow got my point across. I think because I never pushed it with my family and I attended weddings and other events, even though I didn't participate in Mass, she was able to accept my feelings.
I've even been asked to give eulogies for some of my family members, but have managed to speak without ever making any religious reference whatever and keeping all true to the purpose of the day.


I had no believers in my family.


I was luck to not have been brought up a religious family. So I never had to go through that.


No announcement needed......


Debunked their bible... helps to know it better than a preacher... which my brothers are.


In elementary I learned to say agnostic. Growing up in West Texas it became a habit to avoid issues with classmates. My dad remarried my senior year and I casually said agnostic to her. Years later when I was more comfortable debating the issue I quit using agnostic. She overheard me say atheist and actually asked me about it. I explained why I had, and she thought about it for about two seconds and shrugged it off. Because she knew me well enough to realize that she respected me too much to let that shift paint a different picture of me.


My mother said she would rather I was a gay theist, then a straight atheist!


I think mine would prefer I got cancer than found religion


Mine don’t know. It a relatively new discovery that has taken time to evolve for me to discover myself.


I've really only told them that I'm seriously questioning (Bible, God, Christianity, etc.). In-laws took it with a little sadness. My Mom got very emotional. Dad was more muted. My wife actually knows where I'm at and is devastated. It's pretty shitty. Deconversion isn't fun. But life is interesting in so many new ways; I wouldn't trade the pain for an illusion.


my family never went to church, we never needed to, we were never that insecure.

Good for you! However, I would have to difer from you about the insecurity. Our parents and past generations were raised in culture were religion was the truth and it was unquestionable. It is hard for them to question something that have been taught to them to be the truth all of their lives.


After seeing my 15 year old cousin come out on a Facebook post I felt like a coward for never coming out myself so after that I did the same and posted it on Facebook too. Needless to say my super ultra catholic Latino family did not like this one bit.

Bear1 Level 2 July 29, 2018

I feel you!!! I come from a very Catholic Latino family! You have to be a Latino to understand the struggle ??!


After a big family dinner as you are putting your coat on to leave just say, oh yeah! I forgot to tell you guys. I'm going on a baby seal hunt in November with 20 guys, oh and I'm an atheist too. Then leave quick. ??

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