I read the article about the Catholic girl and I decided to write you because I have an issue dealing with religion. I was raise by strict Lutherans and as I have grown up, I’ve lost all interest in organized religion. It seems to me that Christianity (and a few other religions) are all virtually the same story, with the same message, all telling me how to life my life by stating what’s accepted and not accepted. Why not teach of understanding, peace, learning, and how your actions affect other people? Anywho, that’s another letter.
My problem is, that I am terrified my parents will find out I’ve stepped away from the church and they’ll freak out. What do I do?
How is your relationship with your parents? Are you close? Are they understanding or are they rooted in the worn fundamentals of their past?
Religion, spirituality, faith, or however you phrase it is a tricky thing. There are hundreds of religions out there and there are even people who believe in nothing. To me, religion isn’t anything you need to make others believe, how you vote, or how you treat other people. Religion is how you feel about something greater than yourself. If you are still searching for something greater, then that’s your journey. If you’ve found what you’ve been searching for, then be happy with what you have. It’s all a personal experience. Religion all goes wrong when we force it on other people.
If you’re close with your family and it comes up in conversation, explain to them that your beliefs have changed, then explain what those beliefs are. If you’re firm in those beliefs, take some time to explain that as well but if you’re still searching for what you want, then explain that too. When arguing with a strict follower of any religion, it’s always good to have some text (about understanding) from their religion to make an easy transition.
It won’t be totally easy, and it may take some time for your parents to overcome their apprehension to you stepping out of their comfort zone, but it’s a part of life, and they need to understand that you’re free to make your own decisions.