Ask Richard: Atheist with Terminal Cancer Faces Several Decisions

Dear Richard,

Two days ago, I was diagnosed with brain cancer for the 3rd time in 14 years. To make a long story short, my cancer has evolved from a grade II Astrocytoma, to the most aggressive form, grade IV Glioblastoma Multiforme. Glioblastoma is incurable and I probably won’t survive past 15 months.

My family is Lutheran and very conservative. Both of my parents disapprove of gay people, atheists, and non-Christians, so telling them I’m atheist on top of my recent diagnosis, and eldest sister’s recent death will absolutely crush them. Now that the rest of my family has been told of my fate, the ‘I will pray for you’ s and the constant church visits are non-stop. My parents are trying to push herbal treatments on me now and they are trying to get me into the Burzynski Clinic, which is a gigantic scam towards cancer patients. They are also trying to plan a trip to someplace like Hawaii, but I don’t exactly want that. My also atheist brother is trying to help me with everything, but he is scared that he will probably tip off my parents about us.

I need help with a lot of things:

. Should I or should I not tell them about my atheism?
. Should I start college this fall?
. How should I ask for a non-church, non-Lutheran funeral?
. Should I tell the rest of my family?
. Should I accept treatment (survival without treatment is 3-4 months)
. How am I supposed to die with grace?

The last one is most important to me. I don’t want to die with medicines constantly being shoved into my mouth and trips all around the world. I just want to spend time with my family like I normally would: Sitting together around a dinner table, making each other laugh and making google eyes at my brother while we’re supposed to be at church.

Thank you for everything,
The Cancer Chick

Dear Cancer Chick,

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A Quiverfull Mother Rejected Her Faith, Got a Divorce, and Wrote All About It in a Book That’s Free on Kindle Today

Kaleesha Williams used to be fully invested in the quiverfull movement. A mother of seven children, she home-schooled her kids, taught them Young Earth Creationism — you get the idea.

Two years ago, she left the faith, divorced her husband, and began a new life as a Humanist.

How on earth did that happen?

You can read about her journey in a new book called Free to Be: How I Went From Unhappily Married Conservative Bible Believer to Happily Divorced Atheistic Humanist in One Year and Several Complicated Steps. Today only, that book is free on Kindle:



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Generation Atheist is Free This Weekend

My friend Dan Riley wrote a book a while back called Generation Atheist. It’s a collection of true stories about people who transitioned from godly to godless.



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How a Bible College Graduate Gave Up His Faith

Brandon Fibbs grew up in a religious family and attended a Christian college, but he eventually stopped believing in nonsense. His story isn’t all that unfamiliar to readers of this site, but I was captivated by his video autobiography:



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Can Atheists Undo Their Own Baptisms?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: Can atheists undo their own baptisms?:



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