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Talking about Religion?

Hey guys,

 

So I'm agnostic, and have been for about 2 years now. Both my parents are Christian and so I was rasied accordingly. I haven't attended a church service for quite a few years now, and my mum thinks that this is simply due to the church not taking an active part in encouraging me to attend the Youth Group, and that if we attend a church where we know people that I'll start going again. She doesn't realize that the reason I don't go is simply because I don't believe.

 

Last night I overheard her talking on the phone to someone from a church we used to attend, and she mentioned that she would like me (as well as my younger sister, who does believe in God but doesn't attend church either) to make a confession of faith and such. I'm not sure how to tell her that I don't believe.

 

I should point out that I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with my parents' faith - I think it's great that they believe in something, and that everyone should be entitled to believe whatever they want. It just so happens that my beliefs don't allign with theirs.

 

Anyone have any suggestions on how to talk to my parents about it, without making the whole thing seem like nothing more than a "phase" of teenage rebellion?

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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: Talking about Religion?

Hi lokifish,

I too am agnostic and have Christian parents who brought me up in line with these values. I can’t say it’s easy telling your parents that you no longer share their belief, but it’s important you are true to yourself and not feel like you have to keep this part of yourself hidden.

I think it’s very mature that although you have developed a different view, you are respectful of their beliefs. It’s important when talking with your parents about this that you stay mature and respectful, they will then be less likely to misconstrue your agnosticism as a ‘phase of teenage rebellion’. It’s up to you, but it could be important to emphasize (if it is the case) that you do not hate God, but you simply do not believe in his existence. There seems to be a common misunderstanding here for reasons that are unknown to me.

If you do want to talk anymore about this just let me know, it’s something I have spent a very long time thinking about Smiley Happy

Good luck!

Re: Talking about Religion?

My mother is Christian and my dad is agnostic so I have always had the choice to believe in what I want to believe in. I didnt get baptised because my parents wanted me to choose for myself when I got older and I reached a point a few years ago when I decided that I wanted to be Christian but I dont attend church very often because I havent found a church for me yet again my choice. Me and my dad always debate about my beliefs but I've just learnt to tell him that this is me and I don't really care what anyone thinks. 

 

Anyway, I think opening the dialogue with your parents and letting them know not to force you to choose, maybe write them a letter and explain that they need to accept you as you and what you believe. I think just explaining to them that you do not want to be forced because you will not love or be dedicated to it and if you choose your own way you will love and be dedicated to whatever you choose to be or do in your life. 

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**Believe in the power of you because you are your own hero**

Re: Talking about Religion?

Like Rue, half of my family is religious and half of it isn't so it was very easy for me to accept and get acceptance for being an atheist.

Maybe you could acknowledge that you expect her to think of this as a phase? You could promise her that if she lets you at least experiment with your agnosticism, you'll tell her the moment you feel more like a christian again.

Also let her know that you're still going to support the family in their religious observance, and if there's something happening in church of great importance to them (such as baptisms?) that you're still happy to be there for support.

Do you know of anyone else in your family with views closer to yours? You don't have to get them to help speak with you, but you could use them as an example of how you're going to be no different just with different religious beliefs.

Re: Talking about Religion?

Well, I don't really have a religion yet personally, it all confuses the heck out of me but I was raised by two different beliefs. Kind of. On my mum's side, my grandmother is very, Catholic, I think. But on my dad's side no one cares about religion. I went through all those stages of stuff but I have just gone out front and said to my grandmother I didn't really believe. I told her that I've made up my mind, I don't believe in the religion she does. I looked her straight in the eyes as I said it, maybe being direct might work, just being honest with your parents, and explaining to them why, give a reason might make them understand that it's more than just a phase. Have they said anything to you yet or have you spoken to them?

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Guess what day it was!!! It was Wear It Purple Day!! Come on over and learn all about what it is and what you can still do!

Re: Talking about Religion?

Hey Lokifish,
I read this and instantly wanted to give my take, (it's taken me this long though Smiley Tongue )

I'm Christian - Lutheran to be specific, I got confirmed a few years back and it was a decision that I made and wanted to do for a while. I was in year 6 when I told mum that I wanted to confirm my faith. 2 years latter I had started and finished and was confirmed in November. Being only 14 when I confirmed my faith there was a lot that I didn't understand, and I would say that if given the chance I'd probably want to wait until I was older to confirm my faith, but in saying that the course I was taken through was way to hard for me. Like others have mentioned, I don't go to church all that often, there isn't a single reason why, it's a lot of little things. But that doesn't mean I don't believe.

With telling your parents you've got to be honest, Try not to make it seem like they have done anything wrong or could have changed this from happening. Maybe you could bring it up in a casual conversation and be like hey mum, you know how you believe in God... well I don't believe... and continue it from there. If there is specific reasons as to why you don't believe you could state them to your parents aswell.

the others have given some great advice, and I hope what i have said helps aswell.
I'm going to conclude with one more little story Smiley Happy

My brother and his wife (call them Bob and Tash) were going to baptise their first daughter in the lutheran church a few years back. Tash's parents are originally (I think) Catholic, but she attends the Baptist church - which is where Tash and Bob met. When they came to baptising their baby girl Tash's sister (call her Veronica) was going to be godmother. As the date got closer it was realised that Veronica couldn't be the godmother as the faiths between the two churches were completely different - eg with Baptist's they believe in letting the child decide to be baptised, so it happens after the child has gornw up, where as with Lutheran we generally baptise the children when they are new born babies, but can be done older if you want. So Veronica decided not to be Godmother, but was going to support the idea of the baby girl being baptised. And was still going to help in the upbringing of hte girls' faith.
So basically while her belief was different to Bob's she still accepted their choice and let them do as they wanted and was there for support.

( I have a feeling that I've just rambled on here, but I hope this has helped Smiley Happy )
Good luck with telling your parents.

Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: Talking about Religion?

Ahhh you guys are awesome, that's why I love coming on here Smiley Happy

 

Thanks for all the insights and suggestions. I've written letters before when I've wanted to tell them something but haven't felt comfortable doing it face-to-face, so that's certainly an option. My parents seem to be quite accepting of the fact I have differing views to them on other issues, but I know that religion is a really personal thing for them (as well as many other people) so your tips shall come in handy. Smiley Happy

 

P.S. Bee, you didn't ramble. Anyway, if you've never noticed, I do it all the time Smiley Tongue

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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: Talking about Religion?

No problems at all Smiley Happy

 

I'm glad we were of some help to you, good luck!