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  #1  
Old Oct 13, '12, 2:21 am
Tonynot Tonynot is offline
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Default Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

I'm a 28 year old lifelong Atheist who attended Catholic schools my entire life and never believed or bought into any of the stuff they were selling. I did, however find the community and friendships pretty great. It should also be noted that many of my Catholic school classmates are Atheist or Agnostic to this day.

My question is how in 2012 parents are shocked or surprised by this? This isn't an Atheist vs. Catholic thing, but more relating how the Internet has made Atheists realize the truth.

Whenever someone asks me what confirmed my Agnostic-Atheism, my immediate response is always "I read the Bible" to often find the religious person asking the question hasn't read it at all.
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  #2  
Old Oct 13, '12, 2:58 am
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonynot View Post
I'm a 28 year old lifelong Atheist who attended Catholic schools my entire life and never believed or bought into any of the stuff they were selling. I did, however find the community and friendships pretty great. It should also be noted that many of my Catholic school classmates are Atheist or Agnostic to this day.

My question is how in 2012 parents are shocked or surprised by this? This isn't an Atheist vs. Catholic thing, but more relating how the Internet has made Atheists realize the truth.

Whenever someone asks me what confirmed my Agnostic-Atheism, my immediate response is always "I read the Bible" to often find the religious person asking the question hasn't read it at all.
I've read the bible.

It's only reaffirmed my faith in Jesus Christ.

It's the parents job to raise their children Catholic. Not the schools job. I know plenty of children who went to public schools but are still devoted Catholics because their parents raised them well within the faith.

I was baptized Catholic and received communion by age 8 and then stopped attending Mass entirely because my parents never believed the faith and didn't care to teach my sister and I anything. They sent us to CCD because my Grandmother pressed the matter. I was agnostic because I had no idea what the Christian faith was.

I met my now husband, who was raised Christian and introduced me to the faith and encouraged me to start reading the bible.

I did and it opened my eyes. I was in RCIA with him 3 years later and have never looked back.

My children will be raised Catholic. My husband and I plan to teach them everything about our faith and why we believe in Christ and why we are Catholic. This includes the bible, history, the real presence and Mass. CCD and Catholic school will not be where their education of Catholicism starts or finishes. That is where we come in as parents.

May I ask why the bible made you agnostic?
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  #3  
Old Oct 13, '12, 3:16 am
Tonynot Tonynot is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

I'm not Agnostic, I'm Agnostic-Atheist. And it didn't "make" me, it just further confirmed that it wasn't true.

There is way too much to list in here but a few things would be historical inaccuracies, unprovable events/organisms and the overall mean and immoral tone in many parts of the book. I personally found the Jeffersonian Bible to be incredibly enlightening and the usage of it to spread the word of Jesus could be advantageous to those who find the gaping holes n the Bible.

That is neither here nor there, what is so bothersome is how I see parents kicking their kids out of their homes, threatening them with punishment or even sending them away just because they believe different. Yet i see few Christians condemning this unacceptable attitude of your fellow "Christians" You do realize this bad parenting makes Christians look even worse than they are already perceived, right?

I just want Catholics to know that your Atheist sons or daughters are heartbroken by your lack of compassion and openmindedness. As much ammo as hateful Atheists have against religion, this is the one they aren't using that they should because its disgraceful.

As an example, I have never turned down a friendship because someone was Christian, Muslim or any other religion. Yet I have had DOZENS of friends who refuse to speak to me because of my Atheism. That says something doesn't it?
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  #4  
Old Oct 13, '12, 3:21 am
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lerapt78 lerapt78 is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

Welcome OP,

I think one of the reasons that a parent may feel shocked when their child professes to be an atheist is because many Catholic families are often Catholic in name, tradition, or culture alone, and sometimes in action as well. . . .but they often do not dwell on their faith in their daily and private lives.

For example, there are many families who go to church every Sunday and figure they've gotten their "dose" of God for the week, and perhaps do not bring God into their homes on a regular basis. I'm not a parent, but I have to admit to prioritizing other things before God at times as well. Also, there are many parents who will assume that if a child goes to a Catholic school, then he/she will receive all of the affirmation they need to be strong in their faith.

Unfortunately, it doesn't always work that way. A parent's job is to parent, and not leave all matters of importance up to the schools or communities. I think this doesn't only apply to Catholic schools or parents, but to many parents regardless of faith. For example, dropping your child off to class 5 days a week doesn't necessarily negate the need to become involved in your child's homework and school projects when the child arrives at the house, nor does it substitute the need to reinforce the teaching of the material the child has learned Monday - Friday.

Some parents who are less devout, or parents who simply become consumed or overwhelmed by every-day distractions, may feel that if they send their children to Catholic school they've "done their part", and neglect to deepen Catholic education at home. It is easy then, when the child becomes increasingly influenced by secular teaching, for them to be shocked, because they think enrolling their children in parochial school or going to church each week is all that is required for a child to develop a strong faith. As with anything of value though, the relationship between God and child has to be nurtured, fed, and given continuous attention, even outside the classroom.
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  #5  
Old Oct 13, '12, 3:30 am
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lerapt78 lerapt78 is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonynot View Post
That is neither here nor there, what is so bothersome is how I see parents kicking their kids out of their homes, threatening them with punishment or even sending them away just because they believe different. Yet i see few Christians condemning this unacceptable attitude of your fellow "Christians" You do realize this bad parenting makes Christians look even worse than they are already perceived, right?

I just want Catholics to know that your Atheist sons or daughters are heartbroken by your lack of compassion and openmindedness. As much ammo as hateful Atheists have against religion, this is the one they aren't using that they should because its disgraceful.
A quick comment on this part, Tonynot. How common is this, really? I mean, I could make a list of terrible things some Christians have done, but is a parent kicking a child out of the house because he professes to be an atheist truly such a regular ocurrence that you are able to generalize it as typical Christian close-mindedness? Or is this just taking a rare instance and attempting to use it as some sort of proof that Christians lack compassion?

In addition, is it equally common that other Christians do not condemn this parental abandonment when they witness it, or do you feel that a lack of involvement somehow equals approval?
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  #6  
Old Oct 13, '12, 3:35 am
Tonynot Tonynot is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

Well all children are technically born blank slates, from what is taught to them and what they gather independently they arrive at a viewpoint. My first step to Atheism was figuring out that Santa didn't exist at the age of 4 or 5, once I did this I realized God didn't exist either. I went to Catholic school and studied and everything I heard, read or saw confirmed my Atheism further.

Why should parents be so upset if their kids choose a different path like I did? Are they so controlling that they need their children to redeem their beliefs? Can't they be mature adults and treat their children's sacred beliefs with respect?
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  #7  
Old Oct 13, '12, 3:35 am
Tonynot Tonynot is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lerapt78 View Post
A quick comment on this part, Tonynot. How common is this, really? I mean, I could make a list of terrible things some Christians have done, but is a parent kicking a child out of the house because he professes to be an atheist truly such a regular ocurrence that you are able to generalize it as typical Christian close-mindedness? Or is this just taking a rare instance and attempting to use it as some sort of proof that Christians lack compassion?

In addition, is it equally common that other Christians do not condemn this parental abandonment when they witness it, or do you feel that a lack of involvement somehow equals approval?
I feel lack of widespread condemnation as approval, yes

I'm not trying to put any words in anyone's mouth, nor try to generalize closed mindedness (although it seems you just did). I just want to know why they do something that is ruining their kid's lives. It's isn't the Crusade but it is something effecting good people that I know and it's terrible. I'm not trying to fight you, I'm trying to make people understand this attitude is immature and shouldn't be tolerated by anyone here. It's also very Un-Christian.
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  #8  
Old Oct 13, '12, 4:03 am
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lerapt78 lerapt78 is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonynot View Post
I feel lack of widespread condemnation as approval, yes

I'm not trying to put any words in anyone's mouth, nor try to generalize closed mindedness (although it seems you just did). I just want to know why they do something that is ruining their kid's lives. It's isn't the Crusade but it is something effecting good people that I know and it's terrible. I'm not trying to fight you, I'm trying to make people understand this attitude is immature and shouldn't be tolerated by anyone here. It's also very Un-Christian.
In fact, I was replying to your comment:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonynot View Post
I just want Catholics to know that your Atheist sons or daughters are heartbroken by your lack of compassion and openmindedness. As much ammo as hateful Atheists have against religion, this is the one they aren't using that they should because its disgraceful.
In any event, I agree that it is a terrible thing for Catholic parents to throw their children out of the home simply because they profess a lack of faith. I certainly wouldn't do that, as I would never disown a child who professed SSA, regardless of how upset it would personally make me feel. But since you brought that up, I was just wondering at how common this practice actually is. Maybe we live in very different environments, but I've known few people who have been asked to leave the house (under the age of 18), and of those that were disowned, it was often as a result of discipline problems, alcohol/drug related behavior, or teenage delinquency - not simply because they said they were no longer religious.

I do agree though, that it would be good of other Christians to try and influence parents to display charity over issues such as these. Fortunately, I don't think you'll see a lot of people encouraging family break-ups on this site.
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  #9  
Old Oct 13, '12, 4:17 am
Tonynot Tonynot is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

That is good! Within the Catholic community I met some of the nicest and coolest people I've ever met and other than a few who took it way too seriously, it was great.

I think the loss of friends and a family member because of of my Atheism made me so passionate about this cause, and since many Atheists are more apt to argue and cause nonsense, I knew I should post because I have no desire for either, only for my and my friend's relationships to improve.
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  #10  
Old Oct 13, '12, 4:30 am
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonynot View Post
I'm not Agnostic, I'm Agnostic-Atheist. And it didn't "make" me, it just further confirmed that it wasn't true.

There is way too much to list in here but a few things would be historical inaccuracies, unprovable events/organisms and the overall mean and immoral tone in many parts of the book. I personally found the Jeffersonian Bible to be incredibly enlightening and the usage of it to spread the word of Jesus could be advantageous to those who find the gaping holes n the Bible.

That is neither here nor there, what is so bothersome is how I see parents kicking their kids out of their homes, threatening them with punishment or even sending them away just because they believe different. Yet i see few Christians condemning this unacceptable attitude of your fellow "Christians" You do realize this bad parenting makes Christians look even worse than they are already perceived, right?

I just want Catholics to know that your Atheist sons or daughters are heartbroken by your lack of compassion and openmindedness. As much ammo as hateful Atheists have against religion, this is the one they aren't using that they should because its disgraceful.

As an example, I have never turned down a friendship because someone was Christian, Muslim or any other religion. Yet I have had DOZENS of friends who refuse to speak to me because of my Atheism. That says something doesn't it?
Perhaps your Christian friends don't speak to you because they perceive your condescending attitude?
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  #11  
Old Oct 13, '12, 4:46 am
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georget georget is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

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Perhaps your Christian friends don't speak to you because they perceive your condescending attitude?
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  #12  
Old Oct 13, '12, 4:53 am
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John of Woking John of Woking is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

I'm not shocked. The level of Catechesis, has been, until recently shocking at schools and colleges.
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  #13  
Old Oct 13, '12, 5:01 am
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agnes therese agnes therese is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonynot View Post

That is neither here nor there, what is so bothersome is how I see parents kicking their kids out of their homes, threatening them with punishment or even sending them away just because they believe different.
I know quite a few people who've left the Church, and not one of them was kicked out, threatened, or sent away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonynot View Post
As an example, I have never turned down a friendship because someone was Christian, Muslim or any other religion. Yet I have had DOZENS of friends who refuse to speak to me because of my Atheism.
I'm curious how you can call someone a "friend" if they refuse to speak to you.
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  #14  
Old Oct 13, '12, 5:37 am
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

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Originally Posted by agnes therese View Post
I know quite a few people who've left the Church, and not one of them was kicked out, threatened, or sent away.
Me too...Of course I live in the U.S. The OP does not say where he lives and perhaps it is more common in his culture.
Perhaps he could clarify where he is lives and this might help us all understand better.


[quoteI'm curious how you can call someone a "friend" if they refuse to speak to you.[/quote]

Good Catch....

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  #15  
Old Oct 13, '12, 5:44 am
Luvtosew Luvtosew is offline
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Default Re: Why are Religious parents shocked by their children's atheism?

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Originally Posted by agnes therese View Post
I know quite a few people who've left the Church, and not one of them was kicked out, threatened, or sent away.



I'm curious how you can call someone a "friend" if they refuse to speak to you.
probably people he considered friends that weren't when they found out about his atheism.
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