Ask Richard: Should I Come Out to My Parents? Letter 1 of 2

When young people consider coming out as an atheist to their parents, they usually face two main challenges. One is the financial and physical dependence on their parents they may still have, and the other is their unfinished process of differentiation from their parents, where they still feel an obligation to please them and an [Read More…]

Ask Richard: An Atheist From a Different World

Note: I responded to this letter by email, offering the kind of caution and encouragement that I usually give to young people who are in very vulnerable positions. The advice itself is not remarkable; what you might expect for this situation. I decided to publish it to raise awareness about atheists in developing countries, where [Read More…]

Ask Richard: Grieving the Loss of Belief

Note: Letter writers’ names are changed to protect their privacy. Dear Richard, I have a friend who until very recently identified as Catholic. Her entire family is Catholic, and she had a rather liberal interpretation of the faith, but she believed in God all the same. A few days ago, she “came out” as an [Read More…]

Ask Richard: To Tell the Parents or Not? Dad’s a Minister

Note: Letter writer’s names are changed to protect their privacy. Dear Richard I’m in a bit of a quandary. I’ve been an atheist for a few years now, and am thoroughly happy and at peace with this state of affairs. My wife, and various other family members who live nearby to us, know I’m an [Read More…]

Ask Richard: Of Mothers and Mothers-in-Law, Part Two

Dear Richard, I’ve been an atheist for all my adult life. When I first came out to my Lutheran parents, they were surprisingly accepting, and now I regularly discuss religion and current religious issues with them respectfully. A few years ago, I met a wonderful man I’ll call Craig. He was raised by Catholic parents, [Read More…]