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For those who have changed religions or left religion...

Was it hard for you to tell people you know that you had changed religions or that you were an atheist or an agnostic, or was it easy to share this with your family and friends?

For me, I share everything with my husband, it was easy to share with him the whole way through my spiritual journey. But, the rest of his family and mine, I really have felt no need to tell them, because I feel it would be stressful , I don’t think they would take it well.

Answer Question
 
Chniamli

Asked by Chniamli at 6:51 PM on Sep. 28, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 10 (385 Credits)
Answers (18)
  • I was raised in a Christian family, but I have always been an atheist, even before I knew what that was. As I got older, I described myself as "non-religious", because people really hate the word atheist. I really didn't feel comfortable describing myself as an atheist until I was 23 years old, after the birth of my first child. Some people are still weirded out by it, so there are still some people who I say "non-religious" to, just to soften things so they don't treat me or my children differently.
    JulieJacobKyle

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 6:57 PM on Sep. 28, 2010

  • ha my family of origin and my husband are all atheist - they have a hard time understanding that i'm not. my stepfather is a uu minister. personally i don't think my religious beliefs are one of those things that everyone has the right to know - like anything else personal in my life, although i am not hesitant to share.
    figaro8895

    Answer by figaro8895 at 6:57 PM on Sep. 28, 2010

  • Well, I'm not Atheist or Agnostic, but I did "change" religions I guess. I was raised JW, and am Pagan. However for me, those that knew me, knew my heart was never in Christianity... I was always Pagan inside, I think anyone who knew me knew that, so that made things easier...
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 6:59 PM on Sep. 28, 2010

  • I was raised Catholic, but I can't say there was ever a time I "believed". So nobody was surprised when I dropped it. Like JulieJacobKyle, I said I was "agnostic" or "not religious" for a while, but then figured, what I REALLY am is an "atheist". So that's what I'm calling myself now.
    Anouck

    Answer by Anouck at 7:04 PM on Sep. 28, 2010

  • For me it wasnt hard at all I just told them
    LiLJeni

    Answer by LiLJeni at 7:54 PM on Sep. 28, 2010

  • I have not and will not share it with my family because they would (quite literally) kill me if they found out. Or, if they didn't kill me, I know that at least 3 people would immediately go to CPS and claim that I was abusive to my daughter and have her removed from my care.

    As far as my friends are concerned, most of them were cool with it and really don't care. I did lose one friend that I had thought was open minded and close to me, but I guess she didn't care very much about me.

    My husband also knows, and shares similar beliefs, so he never had a problem with it, either.
    Mrs.BAT

    Answer by Mrs.BAT at 8:17 PM on Sep. 28, 2010

  • My family was not terribly religious growing up. We went to church very seldom... my parents considered themselves Christian because that's pretty much what they knew. They knew that I read a lot about various religions and they know I practice Buddhism... they know very little about Buddhism but didn't treat it as a big deal. My ILs have no clue what religion I am (and in fact I'm sure at least some of them have a mistaken idea- my BIL once chastised dh for letting me 'raise the kids Christian' so I'm guessing he has some misconceptions about me!) We're just not close to the ILs and these kind of things never come up.
    Freela

    Answer by Freela at 9:05 PM on Sep. 28, 2010

  • I gave up believing when I was in my 30s, and there are only a handful of people who know it. My family and inlaws have deep roots in protestantism, and I know what kind of major headache for me/heartbreak for them it would cause. I don't want that drama over something they have preset strong prejudices against. I'm perfectly happy letting them assume I'm just the same Christian I was raised as, just not going to church as often.
    anng.atlanta

    Answer by anng.atlanta at 10:05 PM on Sep. 28, 2010

  • It took me some time to come out about it, but many people were receptive and supportive. My in-laws, some family, and many friends don't know. I'm not hiding it, but I don't bring it up either. My mom told me that if someone doesn't accept you for who you are (and that includes your personal faith or lack there of), then they don't deserve you.

    KelleyP77

    Answer by KelleyP77 at 10:51 PM on Sep. 28, 2010

  • There are some family members on my side and DH's side that do not need to know about our religion simply because they would bug the hell out of us and the rest of the family. You be happy with your path and don't let anyone family or not make you feel bad for it.
    pnwmom

    Answer by pnwmom at 11:52 PM on Sep. 28, 2010

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