How did you come out to your family as atheist? How did they react?
I kept quiet about it until mom passed. When she was dying and drs offered to get me someone to talk to, my friend felt the need to tell everyone that I am atheist. He told more people in one night that I was atheist than I had told in my entire life.
At age 13, I became an atheist when I realized the Bible is just a book of stories written by men. My parents were fine with it. They didn't have a leg to stand on.
On Sunday, my mother dropped off us kids at First United Methodist Church, shoving us into the arms of the Lord. Mom went back to bed.
"In nursing school, I became an atheist when I realized a woman cannot be turned into salt," Mom said dryly. She was hilarious. Raised Catholic, Mom attended Catholic schools through college. When I stopped going to church, Mom said it was understandable.
Dad never went to church after attending First United Methodist Church as a child. He didn't care, either.
I have been playing "Chess" games with my family for about a year now. Haven't actual said outloud the word "ATHEIST" ... But they all know by the way I talk or what I post on social media. I have been slowly working with them into accepting Atheism. By showing that not believing in god, doesn't necessarily make you a BAD person.
BUT... just few things my Fundamental Methodist Christian Mother has said during multiple conversations...
"I feel sorry for you."
"You are going to burn in hell!'
"One of these days, god is going to slap you in the face!"
I left the church in my early teens and kept it too myself. I mentioned it to my mother a few years ago she kinda laughed and never brought it up again. She is not a church goer though. My father died about six years ago and looking back now I kinda wonder if he was hiding something. He was a ChemE, didn’t want a funeral but a celebration and insisted on being cremated. Was a prolific reader of atheist literature. Just gets me thinking??
I started questioning my Sunday School teachers at 8 or 9 years old. Since the only answer they could come up with was 'you must have faith', I began rejecting it. So belief in superstition was not something I cared for. Started reading other religious tomes in my teen years and realized they are all basically the same -- it also gave me a lot of ammo for cussing / discussing religion. My friends don't discuss religion with me as I am effective in tearing down their myths.
My mother was always an atheist and my father always an agnostic, so there were no surprises.
I knew Dad was proud of my 2000s atheist activism. It touched me to see a few clippings and printouts in his files after he died.
But my mother was upset that I refused to also identify as Jewish, though, even though her only devotion was depressedly wallowing in Holocaust books. She and Dad held Hanukkah as a present-giving alternative to Christmas, including menorah lighting, but that ended by our high-school years, when we kids were happy to accept gifts without the nuisance of ritual.
My brother still claims Jewish "heritage" and throws a little Hanukkah into his family's Unitarian/pantheist/New Age-ish Christmas. I'm happy he's happy. The church he volunteers at is a down-on-its-luck remnant of a century-old UU congregation. Invented diversity is the best it can hope for.
I was fairly young (about 13) when I came out as a nonbeliever. My Dad & I were on the same page. Mom kind of shrugged it off at the time, but she accepted it more or less eventually. Only an uncle, long since passed, took it as an affront & we had words. It could have been worse.
I've only come out my cousin as not being religious. having grown up in a traditional filipino family, the majority of them were very catholic and often brought down my cousins for not being so. i didn't even know they were atheists until the youngest on my dad's side told me she was. i laughed and came out to her as well, and she was so surprised because of how my parents were. it was a nice cousin bonding moment
I came out as an atheist to my family at 18. I was pretty nervous because my family were strong Catholics and the faith was a huge part of our lives. I had heard many testimonies how this could lead to the breaking of families so that just added to the stress.
I just told them, straight up, that I faith wasn’t enough for me. If some deity was going to dictate how I live my life I need to have evidence that it exists. I consider myself very lucky that my family accepted me. I’ll never forget what my dad said to me immediately after. “I don’t care about what you are. I care about WHO you are.”
While my and sister made it known that they loved me just the same, it took some time for them to come to terms with it. I used to be a very devout Catholic so I understand that they had to get used to my new outlook on life.
They eventually came to terms with me leaving the faith and we moved on. I still get the playful tease and joke about being a heathen, demon, etc., but I laugh at it because they mean no ill will. I know I’m lucky to have this outcome because there are many who have been outcast by those they love because of this. Stay strong, y’all. If y’all need someone to talk to I’m all ears.
I told my (now ex)-wife that I no longer needed a god in my life. And she replied, "Well then, we have a problem." To save us both (and her family) a lot of difficulty, I moved out of state, and our divorce was quick and tidy. We miss the "good old days" when we were together, but we continue to grow further and further apart. It was a very sane decision, apparently for me, as she and her whole family are now trumpsters. Funny how that works.
By the time I left the church my parents had died and my siblings and I were in different parts of the country. Slowly I found out that 5 out of 7 were also atheists. The sixth brother we weren't sure of because he was married to a flaming Christian. Last year all the brothers got together at my home and we asked him. He said he had been atheist a long time but kept a low profile because of his wife. He also said her family was upset because she was marrying a non-Christian.
How's Frederick? My uncle lived there (Mt. Airy) and I spent a lot of happy time there with him. His son lives in Walkersville and I keep in touch.
My mother was a recovering Catholic, and my dad was an Appeasement Anglican. Neither of them ever tried to tell me anything about religion, no opinions, no stories, nothing. At 12, I realized most of it was bullshit, and nothing more was ever said about it. When they passed in 2013 and 2014, neither one said anything about religion or deities or anything as they faced their own deaths. I still do not have any idea what they believed specifically, but they showed zero signs of belief in any of the rituals.
There are few things I put 100% of my "faith" into. This include my ignorance on agnosticism and atheism. My family is well aware of my skepticism. I've always questioned things including my time growing up. They know my beliefs are based on what I see in front of me, the facts as they lay right there before me and nothing else. I guess I never really had to come out. I was an altar-boy, too... Ha!
Lots of different stories. For me I really didn't spend any time pretending to believe in religion based fairy tales - - my mother figured my lack of belief was (just a Faze) that I would grow out of. Both parents have now long ago accepted my status of not drinking their Cool-Aid and have learned (the hard way) not to bring up any faith based assertion as my arguments (based on facts and reason) are stronger then any faith (belief without evidence) argument.
My coming out as atheist was a part of my coming out as gay. i figured if i came out as atheist at teh saem time, then they would be denied all the religious arguments which woudl deplete all their ammunition against my being gay. It worked. Also, they were much more co9ncerned about my beign gay than my being atheist.
My intentions were rooted in the fact tha there were just some thing that my family nhever talked about, as in "ignorance is bliss", and if they don't know about things they dont' like, then they can't be upset by them. I just was plain tired of editign my life to suit their preferences, and wanted to just be myself and decided if they didn't like me for who I was, then I could do without them and woudl be much happier beign myself with or without them. It was kind of a reverse of what usually happens in religious families where the believers usually give the ultimatum. There are advantages to putting the decisions on them instead of letting them try to put the decisions (or blame) onto you. It shows them that they can't guilt or shame yhou into doing what they want you to. you take their power to manipulate (you) away from them.
If you take the initiative, then the idea of their using a "tough love" or "shunning" approach, in their minds increases the chances they will lose you forever. You then get to deal with them on your own terms.
I started giving clues for a long time before I actually had the courage to tell them. I just said that I didn't believe God exists during a family discussion about some religious topic.
Reaction: this happened around 10 hrs ago. My family is still in denial and thinks that i m going through a phase .