Atheist Kid Forced to Live a Lie

I’m 15 and I have been an atheist for 1 year now. I haven’t told my parents (southern baptists) because I’m afraid they will react negatively, but i can’t take the stress of living a lie anymore. I’m going to write a letter coming out with my atheism and want some advice on what to write.

Sarah Bowman
Sarah Bowman, Writer & Researcher, volunteer at Atheist Secular Humanism

I don’t know what to tell you. If you think the stress of living a lie is difficult, you might have to consider what it will be like living with parents whose single-minded goal in life is to convince you that the only redemption for your soul is to return to the fold. They will be very—make that extremely—unlikely to sit back and say, “Fine, we’ll love and support you no matter what you decide,” because they will believe that your very soul is in danger of eternal damnation in hell fire. They won’t be able to sleep at night for worry about this until they convince you to change your mind. I really think this is cruel torture to put kids through, especially for people who claim to be the epitome of love and kindness, but what can I say?

Fundamentalist Christianity is seen by our society as being virtuous and acceptable, immune to criticism. Kids are expected to suck it up despite knowing in the depths of their beings that no such God could exist. The decades of torment I endured till I finally dared break free…at least you have only three more years till you turn eighteen and have a legal right to make your own decisions. At eighteen you can get a job and an apartment and live as you see fit, so long as you don’t break the law or hurt anyone.


2 thoughts on “Atheist Kid Forced to Live a Lie

  1. Makes me pretty happy that I wasn’t southern baptist. Oh no, I had to come from a Roman Catholic family. By age of 15, in a Catholic school no less, I realized it was all so much bovine effluent. Even later in my 20’s I recall being in a car with my father. I think I was driving when my father accused me of never having believed in God. I looked at him and told him he was right, I never did. That was the downfall of our relationship.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s difficult to begin without more information. Much like a classic Catch 22 there are unconsidered consequences to consider. I was twelve, maybe younger and attending a Presbyterian Sunday school when my epiphany occurred. I had no idea what atheism was. What I did know was religion was little more than theater with it’s own language used to reinforce their dogma. I would have never used those words but they reflect my views. It was not difficult for me because my parents were not religious and the topic rarely came up. I just told them what I thought and they promptly sent me Jewish Sunday school. There logic was sound. They actually had comparative religion classes. We went to places of worship for all the faiths in the city. What an eye opener.

    If you think your family and or friends will not react well, putting it off might be warranted. Nothing wrong with go along to get along. If you feel compelled to make your declaration then consider the following; learn how to think critically, know your subject, learn to debate, expand your vocabulary and watch every thing Matt Dillahunty you can find and model him till you find your own legs. This is a lot to take in but the prep will bring a clarity to the subject like nothing else can. Or just spill the beans and get it over with. All the best.

    Liked by 1 person

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