Curious and not sure why. How many our our struggling adult kids are atheists?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by MidwestMom, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not judging. I am simply wondering if all of them have THAT in common too. Since any spiritual belief has rules, it is easier not to believe. I realize some of us as parents don't believe in anything spiritual either, but I think most of us do so this is another split from us. So I ask...and will see if anyone is able or willing to answer....

    Is your differently wired adult child an atheist? How about a PROUD atheist?

    My son 37 is one. I wouldn't say he's proud, but he is adamant and Grandson has never seen a church or been told about a higher power of any type. His mother is a PROUD atheist (Grandson). Since I'm a well behaved Grandma, I don't bring it up either as this is really up to 37 and his ex.

    So there is one vote for "yes" here. My son is one. It bothers me too. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because it gives him an easy out for bad behavior...??? Again, not sure. I don't judge people who are long as they are living a good life with good values. And I judge people who say they are religious if they don't have good values it isn't that...not sure, not sure, not sure...I guess it just fits so well with 37 to believe there is nothing to be nice for. And nothing to hang onto when the going gets tough.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2015
  2. tishthedish

    tishthedish Active Member

    MWM, my elder son in the various manifestations of his illness has been raised Episcopalian and believed the various tenets of Christian faith. When he became manic he wanted to be fed Kosher food at the psychiatric hospital and maintained he was Jewish. Now he believes more in mysticism and astrology and twin flames. None of it pushes our buttons. We felt it was our responsibility as parents to bring them up in faith. I think it is one of the greatest gifts we give as parents, but we made it clear to our sons that as their world widened the choice was theirs. My younger son has chosen an Evangelical Christian church for his worship. We'll see what happens with his older brother. I feel as you do. We are better when we have something to believe in and aspire to. I believe in God and it will be the only relationship that will last the entirety of my life. Over the last few years in the tumult I've lived in I have treasured my faith. Al-Anon reinforces it.
  3. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    Mine's atheist/agnostic. He refused to come to church Christmas Eve. Even though I was singing in the choir. I told him it was about hearing the music, not that we were pushing religion on him, but he still declined.

    He was raised Catholic. We sent him to public grammar school and religious education and a parochial high school. He made all his sacraments. But we were not super devout. We blew off church during the summer.
  4. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    Ours is. I have to admit, he wasn't raised in the church; we began attending regularly when he was 12 or 13. But it isn't as though we were atheists, we just didn't attend church. When he was 17 he announced he was an atheist. We still made him go to church for a while, but he eventually stopped going.

    On the up side, he isn't openly least not where we can hear it. He put an insulting "sheep" meme on Facebook once - literally sheep with crosses on their heads. I reminded him that he was insulting not just "Christians" but me, his father and his entire family. He was free to believe whatever he saw fit but not to belittle his families' belief. He apologized, took it down, and never did it again.
  5. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Our son claims to be an atheist. I wouldn't say he's a proud one, its actually more a choice of necessity. You cant very well spout all the crap he does about the "New Morality" while claiming belief in a higher power. I say he claims to be an atheist because I've caught him on a couple of occasions making statements that are inappropriate for an atheist.
  6. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    This makes me sad and I think about it every day and pray. It is huge & sad for husband and me.

    We are Christians, Lutheran denomination, though we currently attend a Methodist church. difficult child was baptized and raised in one church. He was quite active as a youth.

    Somewhere along the line, he became an avid/angry atheist. His profile on a well known social network is Socialist, Atheist, Political Science degree. He never passes up an opportunity to discount Christianity. Our ex-pastor has a son who is also an atheist. The pastor commented once that it is interesting when somebody spends so much time disavowing Jesus. They don't argue the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. That gave me pause. Why the intense anger toward Christianity and wanting to convince everybody else?

    I wish difficult child believed. Obviously, I would want that to be Christianity. To believe in a higher power might really help difficult child. Certainly, my faith has gotten me through many a rough spot. It has been the biggest help with dealing with difficult child.

    Granted, our two easy child's do not go to church, except once in a great while. But, they believe.
  7. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    These beliefs dont have any significant rules to be followed in order to reap the rewards. That, and the rewards are much more tangible than those of most religions. There is also the judgment factor that most religions have when people dont live up to the expectations of that particular faith.
  8. AppleCori

    AppleCori Well-Known Member

    Our GGF is an atheist, and so is his 19yo brother.

    They were raised atheist, however, because their mom is very, militantly, anti=Christian.(she is a GGF herself) I do think GGF would convert to atheism if he wasn't one already, though.

    His xgf, mother of his? child (question mark inserted intentionally) is atheist also.

    Both of the boys (like their mom) make fun of/belittle Christianity, especially the 19yo.

  9. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member

    This makes sense, except for the fact that difficult child's exposure was all about grace. No sin is unforgiven. It was all about grace taking precedence over law.
  10. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    But they only focus on what they want to hear. Also, if there is forgiveness involved then they've done something wrong and they just cant admit to that.
  11. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Not all of "our" kids are atheists. Mine is NOT.

    While I'm outnumbered on this thread, I do believe that turning against one's higher power is not a prerequisite for becoming an III - insanity-inducing individual. (my new term for difficult child )
  12. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    It could be just as simple as: They think they know everything. They think they are smarter and the world revolves around them. If there is a higher power, something they should revere...there is something else bigger and more important than they are.

    Of course, there is the fact that religion has some morality attached to it that they don't want to acknowledge should apply to them. Not that you have to be religious to be moral...but it feels like morality is a requirement of religion.

    I'm just very glad mine at least doesn't openly mock religion.
  13. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    T is NOT an atheist. She is vehemently against abortion and homosexuality.

    Bug is an atheist and she has said for years that she wants to be a gay rights activist.

    We are non practicing Catholics who never shoved it on our kids. We even told them that they were free to chose when they were older.
  14. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    I happen to live one of the most secular corner of the world and atheism or agnosticism is more or less the norm, especially among young adults. And even though many of atheists and agnostics are church members for other reasons. Both of my sons are part of that majority, they are members, pay their church taxes voluntarily, but I think neither of them believes in anything supernatural. I'm not totally sure about Joy, he has never outright talked about his beliefs (faith is considered to be extremely intimate topic in our society, it is totally normal, that you do not know if your spouse, child or parent has some set of beliefs or not; most of us would be more open to talk about our sex lives to people than our faith, only militant atheists or more modern, 'new born' Christians tend to make an exception), but I do think he is either atheist or agnostic. Ache has mentioned that he is an atheist few times, but chooses to stay Church member for social and charity reasons - or because he is too lazy to fill the form to resign (he says it is the first, I partly suspect the latter.)

    Because my own belief system is what it is and how I understand faith, I'm not bothered by my kids being non-believers at this point of their lives. They may accompany us to certain Church functions if they wish, and often they wish to come for example Christmas night service, if they rather not, it is their business. And their faith or lack of it is matter between them and God and I'm not a participant in that relationship.

    And I understand very well, why atheists who live among Christians (and from our point of view for example USA is incredibly Christian and religion run society) do attack against Christianity. Being a non-believer of the Easter Bunny does not come with negative side effects, neither do believers of Easter Bunny try to set expectation for non-belivers, or only at Easter time at the most. It is the main religion of the area, that tends to set expectations also for non-believers or give negative consequences for being a non-believer, so it only makes sense, that for the non-believer the main religion of the area (or the religion their parents tried to raise them to follow) is the enemy.
  15. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    difficult child daughter is intensely spiritual, finding magic and meaning in everything. When she is doing well this is true. When she is not doing well, she is angry and shut down and sort of scary. She uses drugs during those times. I think that is the difference. I am beginning to believe that the true harm in drug use is what it does to us, and what it prevents us from becoming, spiritually.

    difficult child son is an agnostic. He questions and wonders and is spiritually open, but it isn't a burning issue for him.

    Both were baptized and raised Catholic, but not strictly so.

    Here is an interesting twist to your question, MWM: My mother was raised strictly Catholic and became a bitterly vocal atheist as a young woman. She is willing and even, eager to discuss the religious beliefs of others to this day, but ridicules believers and the systems with which they hold faith.

    Given the other things I have come to understand about my mother recently, I found this question of atheism an interesting one.

    I would say I believe every belief system is saying the same thing once you explore it deeply enough. I love the Jewish wisdom quotes, the deeper beliefs underlying Christianity and Buddhism that I know or have learned about. I am very happy to know what I know of Native belief systems, and of the belief systems of the ancient Chinese philosophers, the Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu and etc.

    It is so strange to me to understand how little human nature has changed in all this time since the Chinese philosophers wrote their observations and stories down.

    I find that a strong faith life enables us to access a kind of strength that is not there for those of us who do not have a strong belief, a strong faith.

    I think we all question meaning and purpose, and so I don't usually believe people who say they are atheist.

    I read something once that whether we believe in God or not doesn't matter, at all. That God, whatever you conceive that to mean, believes in and is aware of, us, or ~ we would not exist.

    I am one of those people who actually invites the Jehovah's Witnesses in.

    Or the Mormons, when they would come around.

    I love to go to candle-lit Mass, and I love the architecture of old churches and things like Handel's Messiah and ballet.

    Human things.



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  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not bothered by anyone's beliefs.

    I just figured that most of our adult kids were atheists because they didn't like rules and have little morality and religion stresses both. Doesn't mean atheists are amoral, but most of our trouble little darlings are amoral so it makes sense that they would almost all have no religion.

    No offense, dtsc_99, but I cringe when I hear about anyone being against homosexuality. I can almost see why our kids reject religion when I hear stuff like that.

    Anyhow, thanks. I was just wondering if these little darlings reject religion/spirituality just like they reject other issues that have rules.

    I actually wasn't speaking of Christianity. I was talking about all religion or just having a Higher Power of some sort. There are spiritual folks like me, who follow no particular religion. There is Judiasm. There is Islam. There are probably other belief systems I don't know of. I feel the wisest is Buddhism. I just wanted to know if our darlings rejected anything that may have more power than they do and it was confirmed.
  17. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    As an atheist, I find the implication that atheists have little morality to be incredibly offensive. One does not need religion to live a moral life.
  18. nlj

    nlj Well-Known Member

    I'm with you GoingNorth.
    Highly offensive.
    And pretty ridiculous when you consider how much evil and anger in the world has its roots in organised religion.
  19. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Mine is most definately an athiest. He was raised in a Christian home with Christian values. We attended church every week as a family.
    I agree with those that have commented about submitting to an authority, whether it's God, or Higher Power, or a Police Officer, Teacher. My difficult child has always rebelled against authority.
    He has also been very ugly to me about my faith, telling me I'm stupid, naive, blind, clueless, etc.....
    Now here's the kicker, he gets upset that we don't invite him to come stay with us for Christmas!!
    First, he is not welcome in our home - can't trust him.
    Second, why would I invite someone into my home to "celebrate" something they don't believe in. He knows I take Christmas very seriously, for me it's not about the presents under the tree. It's about celebrating the birth of Jesus.
    Third, he has no money to travel the 1000 miles to our home - I'm not going to pay his way.

    I accept the fact that he believes the way he does. I don't like it but accept it.

    Now that he's had the epiphany that he's an "Indigo Child" will only confirm to him even more that he is above all.
  20. Lil

    Lil Well-Known Member

    I don't think anyone said or meant to imply that. MWM isn't Christian herself after all. If I have understood her property she is a Buddhist. I personally have friends who are Christian, Pagan and Atheist. All my friends are fine, moral people, or they would not be my friends.

    When it comes to our difficult kids being Atheist, especially those who were raised with some religious background, I think their atheism is more a rebellion against the "rules" of religion than a considered belief system.
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