Sondra, an 18-year-old college student, posted this comment on the Friendly Atheist Forums:
I was raised Catholic. Very Catholic. You’re-going-to-hell-if-you’re-not-Catholic-Catholic. I was also homeschooled, and didn’t really have much social interaction as a kid. I spent a lot of time in the library, and I liked it that way. My parents decision to homeschool was partly due to my older sister getting picked on by some of the girls in her grade — my dad stated often that he wanted to keep us away from the Public School Kids.
Years later, I remember a time when my dad found out that my sister was skipping church on Sunday afternoons, driving to a convenience store or some other place instead. She was 18 at the time, and he threatened to kick her out of the house, in all seriousness.
…I am waiting until I graduate from college and move into an apartment with some friends of mine before I tell my parents about my atheism. And I feel like I have to tell them. I’m expecting them to cut off all contact with my at worst(worst for me? probably not.), and at best they will tell my I am going through a phase and get the whole family praying for me, trying to convert me.
I would appreciate thoughts on my situation… Has anyone else had parents that aren’t understanding and able to respect their decisions? Maybe parents who were really strict but somehow took the news well? Is there ever a “right” time to break the news to religious parents?
If you have any advice for Sondra, feel free to leave it here or directly on the forum thread.