Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Secret's Out

I've been an atheist officially for a few months now, but I've been keeping the fact that I'm no longer a Christian from my parents and sister for well over a year. Only a small group of people are aware of my unbelief. So imagine my surprise when I got this message from my sister on Facebook:
Yo. Brother. Why'd you join the rational thought @ ucsd club..? O.o It's pretty much an atheist club...
Someone added me to the Rational Thought @ UCSD group on Facebook a few days ago. I couldn't find any references to it on my personal page, so I assumed that no harm would be done. I don't know what the tip-off was exactly, but apparently I was wrong. After I read her message, I decided I had no choice but to tell her the truth.
[Sister's name],

I'm sorry. I've been wanting to tell you, mom and dad for a while, but I haven't been able to work up the courage to do it. I've been studying Christianity for a long time now, and after a while I just wasn't able to believe anymore. Given everything I know right now, atheism is the best stance for me to take. I'd like to ask that you not tell anyone for the time being, mom and dad included. It's important to me that I'm the one to tell them.

I want you to know that I love you, and that I'm still the same person you know and love, regardless of what I believe or don't believe.

If you'd like to talk more about this, I would be glad to set up a time and place to meet.

I don't know that I've ever been more anxious about anything in my life, but maybe I should consider this a blessing in disguise. Had she not found out, who knows how long I would have had to live while keeping this secret hidden. I guess I'll just have to see how things go. I'll update this post later once she responds.

Update: Here's her response:
Okay... I wont tell them. I love you too, and not any less, of course. ♥
im willing to talk if you want, but im fine with whatever you want/feel comfortable with.
Clearly I have the best sister ever.


  1. Hope it goes well! You'll feel like a huge weight has been lifted off your shoulders once it's all over and done with. I did at least.


  2. It may be that since your sister is able to accept and still love you as an atheist, that sharing this site with her might be an effective way of letting her in on the thought processes that are guiding you. Should there be desire for discussion of these ideas, she would by this means be able to try to find counters to your thinking (if she so desires) without the coercion involved in direct physical talks in which she is at the disadvantage of not knowing what your points are while you know all of the points she can raise.

    I see this as a loving gesture, but of course only you can best assess how to handle this with her. So far, from what your post says, I am proud of her response and happy the love between you is not impaired.

  3. shreddakj,
    Thanks so much. I do feel a lot better (at least so far).

    Thanks. I might show her this blog eventually, but my concern is that the extent of my distaste for Christianity may take her too much by surprise.

    I'm not going to be too confrontational when I talk with her next. I won't be blindsiding her with a list of problems with Christianity. (And even if I did, she's a knowledgeable Christian who took apologetics in high school, so she ought to be prepared for what I'd say.) I'll start out by covering the basics of why I don't believe (not enough evidence for the extraordinary claims advanced), and then maybe continue gradually from there if things go well.