We’ve all been there. Either gradually or all of a sudden, after deep reflectiotn, we realize we’re an atheist and we feel the best thing to do is to let those around us know about our epiphany. Two of those people are our parents. Here is an example of the kind of inevitable conversation that takes place between our mother and father when we tell them the news.
Mom: Honey, I’ve got bad news.
Mom: It’s about our son.
Dad: What is it?
Mom: He’s an… an… atheist.
Dad: When did this happen?
Mom: I don’t know. Where did we go wrong?
Dad: How and when did he tell you?
Dad: Well, what did he say?
Mom: He keeps quoting the guy from Family Feud.
Dad: Steve Harvey? Steve Harvey’s a Christian.
Mom: No. Before him.
Dad: Richard Karn? I never liked him on Home Improvement. “I don’t think so, Tim.” Always full of doubts and skepticism
Mom: No, the other one.
Dad: Well, how many people have hosted Family Feud?
Mom: It’s been on a long time. There’ve been many hosts. I honestly think the number of hosts of Family Feud compares to the number of men who’ve played Doctor Who. It’s the one who always kisses the female contestants. He’s an evolutionary biologist now.
Dad: Richard Dawson?
Mom: That’s the one.
Dad: Richard Dawson is dead.
Mom: Well, good. He’s probably in Hell.
Dad: Could you be thinking of Richard Dawkins?
Mom: Could be. And then he kept going on about a character Will Smith played in a movie. Says he changed his life.
Dad: What movie was it?
Dad: Are you talking about Christopher Hitchens?
Mom: Could be.
Dad: Tell him to spend more time in the Word.
Mom: I don’t think that is a good idea.
Mom: He says he’s read the Bible cover to cover and this is the reason he decided to become an atheist. Says it doesn’t make sense.
Dad: Are you serious?
Dad: Well, if he says reading the Bible caused all of this, maybe we need to stop reading it as well.
Mom: What do you mean stop? I never read it. Honey, we haven’t been to church in years and I honestly don’t even know where my Bible is.
Dad: Me either.
Mom: Maybe he’s onto something.
Dad: Maybe. But we should never renounce our faith. What would the community think? If people found out we’re even having the slightest doubts about this, our family business may lose customers.
Mom: You’re right. Hey, imagine how he feels.
Dad: What do you mean?
Mom: If we’re speculating that everyone we know will sever ties with us if we became atheists, imagine how he must feel.
Dad: You’re right. Atheists are the last group of people it’s socially acceptable to be prejudiced against. Once his friends and the rest of our family find out about this, they may stop talking to him altogether.
Mom: Maybe we should support him….
How did the rest of the conversation go? It’s up to you. Atheists encounter an enormous amount of stigma simply because we don’t believe in something which can’t be proven. This may not be the way every conversation involving someone discovering a friend or family member who has become an atheist goes, but it’s close.
Pass this on to raise awareness about undeserved prejudices concerning non-believers and help make the world a more accepting place of all people no matter what makes them different.
Change yourself. Change the world.