In a recent podcast from Dear Sugars Radio on NPR, one listener writes to Sugars about their difficulty in letting their parents know they are no longer Christian, and in fact, are now atheist. She considers not telling them at all. However, she no longer knows how to be herself around her parents. When she participates in LGBTQ rallies her parents ask her why (in fear that she might be gay). When she feels uncomfortable about them not recycling, her parents feel uncomfortable at any mention of sex. In short, her beliefs and identity have come into question and she tiptoes around her own spoken opinions in fear that she will be found out by her parents. Sugars (consisting of six people), replied with different opinions.
One piece of advice to this writer was that she needed to stop being so hard on herself and her parents and instead of looking at it as ‘religion’ or ‘God’ she should just think of it as faith. Faith is what allowed her to become who she is. Another person advises to be transparent with her parents about her faith. Another wisely advises to question what she has denied. She has denied the conception of “God” from the Christian faith but maybe God doesn’t have to be who they say he is in the Christian religion.
I personally agree with this last piece of advice. When one has been raised into a certain religion it is easy to associate these things with that particular religion and not question alternatives. It is easy to deny what we do not agree with and let bygones be bygones but it’s much harder to let one’s self live in a state of ambiguity while searching for answers. I thought that the different pieces of advice given were interesting perspectives on religion, faith, and it’s role in people’s lives and families.
(Religion in the News – February 15th)