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College Student with Religious Tension at Home

By Michael L ~

So I recently stumbled upon this amazing website and have decided to tell my deconversion story. I would love to get this story off of my chest and would appreciate any kind of feedback that might help me in my current situation.

I grew up in a Christian home as the oldest child. My parents' faith is the most important thing in their lives. Every morning at 6:00 AM my Mom wakes up and does her devotions. She hangs pictures with Bible verses all around the house. She is deeply involved in the church and I'd say 90% of her friend circle consists of church-goers (ironic since she is taught to be a fisher of men...) My Dad on the other hand seems to tag along and appears less devout than my Mom, but is nevertheless a strong believer. My parents sent me to Sunday school every week and sent me to a Christian elementary school with strict teachers. So strict in fact, that I became depressed/emotionally stressed in the fifth grade and pleaded to my parents to send me to a different school. From that point on I attended public school, my Christian faith still intact in this next chapter of my life.

I was no longer listening to a Bible teacher every morning at school, yet my faith in God grew like never before in my adolescent years. The fun activities and events that I became involved in at church with other Christians captivated me. I ended up making some of my best friends during this time. I believe it were these special and intimate relationships with people of common faith that kept me from questioning my beliefs. I justified within my mind that Christianity was undoubtedly true because of the Christ-like character I saw through other Christians. It wasn't until high school that I really started to think for myself and listen to outside opinions on the subject of religion. Thanks to the internet, it was during this time that I did some research on evolution, the age of the earth, unjust laws in the Bible, and cosmology. By the time I was a senior in high school, I became agnostic. I just could not reconcile what I knew about the real physical universe with what the Bible says, yet I still held all of my "Christian values" close to me.

The next year I left for college to study engineering. At 20 years old, I am now in my second year and can now say that I completely reject the claims of Christianity and all other religions. I'm relieved that I don't have to deal with my parents' religion while I'm at school (although I occasionally miss them and love them with all my heart). However, I do still have to deal with the weekly e-mail from my Mom that asks me to join FCA and find "quiet time with God" which builds tension. I haven't told my parents I don't believe yet. I only try to give them very very subtle hints such as showing the slightest bit of indifference when the topic of religion comes up and not packing my Bible for college. The thing that is killing me is the indoctrination of my two little brothers. They currently both go to a private Christian school. What I want more than anything is for them to think for themselves with an open mind. In addition, I don't want them viewing me as an outcast should I share my non-belief with my family.

It's funny how the tables have turned. Most of my life I thought I had it made, being born into the "right" religion with loving, caring, Christ-like friends. I now face an internal conflict. There's really no benefit for me personally to tell them now, as I am not yet completely self sufficient in life. No reason to bite the hand that feeds me I suppose. Yet there are times where I cringe at the painfully hypocritical, ignorant, and delusional religious statements that I hear from my parents. I plan on waiting 3-4 years if I can hide my non-belief for that long. For now, I believe that I must respect religion for the cruel, ugly, brainwashing monster that it is, realizing that deconversion is unlikely and a very slow process. Thank you for reading, best wishes.