Reporter Looking for Atheists With Religious Parents

Yesterday, I spoke with a reporter looking to do a story on atheists who have religious parents.

Ideally, the reporter would like to feature an atheist whose parents are very unhappy with their child’s atheism… and all parties involved would have to be willing to talk about it on camera.

I know that’s a hard combination to find, but if you think you (and your parents) fit the bill, please email me the following:

  • Your name and your parents’ names
  • A good phone number to reach you at
  • A summary of “your story” (what you’ve been through, what sort of family drama has taken place, etc.)

I’ll compile the responses that seem to fit the bill and pass them along to the reporter.

The deadline for getting back to me is Saturday night, October 20th. Please don’t send emails if your parents wouldn’t be willing to talk on camera! Thanks for your help.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Flatlander100

    Looking purely at the general category… atheusts w/ believing parents… I suspect that would include a substantual majority of us.

  • Mark Whatman

    Any geographical location in particular?

  • Hemant Mehta

    In America, but otherwise, doesn’t matter.

  • Ernest Valdemar

    Yeah, I’m not sure what i could offer.

    My Atheism was never a huge issue, because my parents didn’t get really religious until after I was an adult and out of the house. For Mom,  religion was always more about her self-identity as a political conservative. Dad’s religion always seemed more genuine and personal to me.

    It wasn’t until Mom died recently, and I participated in the weird Graeco-Roman syncretic rites of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod that I realized just how strange their latterly adopted religion was. Luckily, I’d read Burkert, so it was a kind of sociological/historical exercise for me.

  • Ernest Valdemar

     Well, except for the organist at my mother’s funeral, who transposed all the hymns up a M3 or P4 so that no one could sing them. Are you so arrogant, funeral organist, that you think no mourners at the funeral service can call you out on your hijinks? I’ve got a decent sense of pitch, a conservatory education, and I’m on to your games. The freaking hymnal is right there! Do you think I didn’t notice?

    I really wanted to sing for my Mom.

  • Scooby Don’t

    I have a highly religious cousin who’s father was an atheist and mother was non-religious. I’m still trying to figure that one out.

  • Sindigo

    I have never been to a church service where I could sing a hymn all the way through without changing register halfway through a verse. I don’t know how they do it. Well, except for my grandfather who simply made the tune up as he went along. What he lacked in tunefulness though, he more than made up for in volume.

    It’s a shame you didn’t get to sing for your mom though.

  • Ryan Jean

     Except they — and their parents — need to be willing to appear on camera.

  • Ryan Jean

    This is tricky. I have no problem appearing in the media (print, blog, radio, or camera) but suspect my parents likely would want to avoid it. I managed to keep them out of all the other times my atheism/humanism has been in the news (excepting only the oblique mention of *having* religious parents) and I still got a shit-storm from them for the “shame” they feel for having “failed” as parents when they get seen by others in their church. Whenever the subject comes up, I still get a earful from my mom accusing me of “wanting to be the next Madalyn Murray O’Hair,” as if sticking up for Constitutional (and also much more universally ethical) secular values is a *bad* thing…

  • Xinen

    My parents and I would fit the bill quite ably I’d imagine. My father is a pastor and my mother is very superstitous and guilt ridden. She watches god tv… religously (buh dum tish) and sends them money regularly. My parents used to be really fun to be around, but around ’90 they met some amway wankers who also introduced them to an even greater pyramid scheme. I honestly try not to think about those days in a private christian school, I know the poor homosexual students suffered daily. But I digress. I was essentially forced (as was my sister) to attend various churches and bible studies even after 18 and only recently let slip my atheism. My mom was quite upset though it certainly wasn’t my intention. I think a remark that hurt me most was when it was publicised that Christopher Hitchens had cancer, she like many others claimed that it was god’s judgement. The man is one of my inspirations. We don’t see each other often since they alienated most of my family. Either one is for them or against unfortunately, and I would say that they are quite fundamentalist in their beliefs.

  • b33bl3br0x

     My Father tells me that his father had horrible pitch and so in church he would sing extra loud to drown out his father’s lack of tonefulness. 

    One result of this was the preacher congratulating him (my dad) on his gusto in praising the lord.

  • Joy Westgate-Scherer

    oops – post error

  • Joy Westgate-Scherer

    I sent a message to my mom, to see if she and dad would be willing to talk about it on camera.  The fact that I’m worried about the kind of response I’ll receive from her for a request on this particular topic would probably be indicative of the kind of the kind of stress I feel because of it.  

  • Becca Lane

    My parents don’t know that I’m an atheist…but if they did we would definitely fit the bill.

  • Rod Chlebek

    I sent my mom the link. I said two words… “hey look” (followed by the link). She then told me I was wrong, even though I didn’t make a claim. But that’s why she’s so religious. She sees things that aren’t there. Then she reminds me that she doesn’t approve of my “choice” to not believe. As if I choosing to not believe was a conscious decision. She’s definitely not interested in an interview.

  • Nick

    This is a good article by a woman who is an atheist with a HIGHLY religious (almost comically so) father. Give it a read!