Devil Child

Mark sent this to me on facebook.  I see situations like this daily, it comes with the job.

Then, on my 15th birthday (the day that my mum gave me a purity ring and announced that I had become a “wonderful woman of god”) I told my entire family that I was an atheist. The room grew quiet, my mother cried, my father left the room, and they didn’t speak to me for weeks.

Since then, they don’t speak to me unless they have to, my siblings are kept away from me, and they simply don’t care about anything I do. I’ve had to maintain two jobs and support myself (I pay rent to my parents, buy my own food, and pay for all of my expenses), and they won’t even let me live on my own. From time to time, I hear them muttering about their “devil child” and how one day “Satan will release his grip on me and I will be normal again.” I am stronger than that though. I have my own mind, maintain my own views, and I’m going to be more successful than they will ever be. I’ve applied to college and I’m ready to start living life without any sort of hypocrisy or judgment from my family.

Why should you have a secular club at your high school?  Because these people are out there and they need us.  I guarantee there are a few at your school who, because they cannot accept claims of the impossible, are alone.  They have no family that’s willing to help unless the atheist is willing lie about who they are.

These clubs are a safe haven for young atheists, not only where they can be with like-minded people, but where they can prepare to contribute to a movement that is working to create a world where this type of situation is as absurdly rare as it should be.  When even a non-believer’s family is unwilling to love them, we need to be available to love and care for them.  This is why we build communities.  This is why I wouldn’t trade my job for all the money in the world.

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About JT Eberhard

When not defending the planet from inevitable apocalypse at the rotting hands of the undead, JT is a writer and public speaker about atheism, gay rights, and more. He spent two and a half years with the Secular Student Alliance as their first high school organizer. During that time he built the SSA’s high school program and oversaw the development of groups nationwide. JT is also the co-founder of the popular Skepticon conference and served as the events lead organizer during its first three years.


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