Look Ma, No Faith!
I was not raised to be religious, and I am very grateful to my parents for giving me that freedom. My family didn’t attend weekly church services, or at least they didn’t after I was born. I’d heard rumors that my parents and older siblings were church-goers at one point, but I never questioned why they stopped going; I just didn’t give it any thought. We didn’t pray at meal times, or do any of the other ritualistic things that a pious family does. At most, I remember a picture of Jesus in our house: it was a stained chunk of wood with a picture of his face looking off to the side. I looked at it sometimes, and thought I would like to have a beard when I grew up. And now I do, although it wasn’t inspired by the ‘savior’ – I just grew weary of shaving.
This weekend, I went on a trip to visit family. It is the first time I’ve seen my mom since I’ve realized and aptly labeled my Atheism. Naturally, we had ‘the talk’. I was a little nervous; in my entire adult life thus far, we’ve never seriously discussed religion, and I wasn’t sure where she stood on the subject.
I’m happy to say our conversation went well. It’s a non-issue. Religion hasn’t played any part in our relationship, so my forsaking all theism does not have any impact on us whatsoever. I think she probably already knew that I didn’t have any faith, as I also have known for some time, but the only difference now being that my disbelief has a name.
It feels good to have this out in the open. The next step will be having the talk with my dad, but that may not happen any time soon. This is not because I’m afraid of what his reaction will be, but because we live a great distance from each other, we don’t talk very often, and neither of us are big on using the telephone. It probably won’t be a big deal, but this seems something better discussed in a face-to-face situation. And it will be, if he doesn’t hear it from someone that I’ve inadvertently offended first.