After reading a particular post, I confessed to the fact that I’ve never told anyone in my family of my Atheist beliefs. I’ve written about my family and religion before, but I never thought all that much into it before now. I was raised a Christian. I attended church with my grandmother and grandfather every weekend when I was old enough to walk by myself. I think I believed in God then but, then again, I pretty much believed everything that my grandmother told me.
My family is pretty heavy into religion. Especially my family from down south–surprise surprise. Every time we have a family gathering where we sit down for dinner together, we take each others’ hands and thank God for the food we’re about to eat, heads bowed and eyes closed with a final “Amen” at the end. I usually just mutter random nonsense to make it seem like I’m praying along with them. Of course, you all know by now that I don’t believe in God. My family, however, has no idea.
I think I brought my non-belief up to my father once while we were having an argument and he froze up and stared at me, mouth agape. Then, of course, he went into lecture mode. He was in the navy, so he had to bring up the fact that “When I almost got blown off the deck at sea, I prayed to God to save me! After almost being sucked into the airplane I was fixing on the U.S.S Kitty Hawk, I grabbed the cross around my neck and kissed it! If I had gone to war, I would have prayed to God every day. Amber, if you ever were sent to war, GOD FORBID!, you would find your faith immediately. I never knew one soldier, one sailor, one Sergent, or anyone else in the military that didn’t!” It wasn’t exactly like that, but you get the picture. I never brought up my disbelief again. He didn’t talk to me for a good three days after that, either.
Since I was…15?…at the time, he didn’t take me seriously. I think if he had taken me seriously…actually, I have no idea what he would have done. I don’t know what my family would do or say if I ever confessed my disbelief to any of them. Not that I plan to, but the idea scares me a little. Okay, a lot. I’m pretty sure I’ve disappointed them enough, so I’m not sure what that extra tidbit would do to my suffering relationship with my family.
Would you tell your family if you no longer believed in God? What do you think they would do?