Don’t we need a god to save us?

Susan asks: Seeing all of the bad things that happen in our world, how can you not pray to a god to save us from all of this?

Jake answers: Because we’re doing fine enough on our own. Yes there are plenty of problems in the world. Hunger, violence, disease, finances, but compared to 100 years ago, we are as a species doing much better then we have in the past. People are living longer, there is less violence, people have access to information like never before, and so on. People pay to much attention to the news whose job it seems to be to report even the most insignificant negative story in order to get ratings.

In truth, religion like the news, is dependent on things being bad as well. Why else would you need a savior unless the world was quickly decaying into chaos? Why else would you need clerics to tell you how to live your life unless it was because people are to immoral to figure it out for themselves? Like I said in my post about overcoming adversity without a god religions job is to tell you that things are bad, that humans are weak petty things and that unless you have a sky daddy looking over you, you’re going to suffer. Nothing could be further from the truth.

When was the last time you heard a preacher talk about how great things are? How even though there’s hunger, we still feed (and yes I know, throw away) more people then we ever have in the history of mankind? When was the last time you heard a priest talk about how things like the flu used to kill millions each year or how only a 100 years ago the average life span was 25? How about how most countries don’t have child labor or how women across the world now have more rights then they ever have? I’m not saying things can’t get better but the truth is there are people out there coming up with solutions to world problems more then at any point in history. It’s not religion that is making things better, it’s science. Science has given us agriculture, medicine, technology, and more. It’s individuals who studied and used the scientific method to come up with solutions to problems, and you know what ? There’s no reason to believe that science wont continue to make things better. So ask yourself, why doesn’t religion tell us these things?

The simple answer is because they need you to believe that things are bad. Religion doesn’t want things to go well for humans because if people realized they didn’t need to be saved from an invisible devil who tempts us to do wrong, or from ourselves, they might also realize that they don’t need religion.

How do I overcome adversity without god?

Barclay asks: God has helped me get through some terrible times in my life. I’ve lost both of my parents when I was young, beat cancer into remission, and I win over alcoholism daily. I couldn’t have done any of these things on my own or without the help of my lord and savior. Why would you want to try and take this source of strength away from me or anyone else?

Jake answers: Welcome Barclay. You’ve touched on a very dear topic to me, one that I have written about before on another website. So instead of writing a new post, I’m going to repost my article here and hope that it adequately answers your question.

You are stronger then you think.

One of the things I hate the most about religion, and theism in general, is this idea that without a god to help us along, we would fail. You see this attitude with people going through addiction rehab. They claim that if not for their god, they wouldn’t have been able to get off of whatever substance that they were abusing. They ignore the doctors, the medicine, the support system, their own inner will, and give the glory to their god.

Imagine for a moment that you have a child who has just made an achievement in their life. It doesn’t matter what it’s for, graduating, winning a race, top of their class, whichever. Now imagine that your kid, when asked how he or she achieved this goal, ignored all of the hard work and effort that they just put in, and claimed that Spiderman helped them ? That if it wasn’t for Spiderman, they wouldn’t have been able to do it. It would be a gigantic ” WTF? ” moment wouldn’t it ? You and most people out there would think your kid was either crazy or at the least delusional. Yet replace “Spiderman” with “God” and practicaly no one blinks an eye.

Now, the obvious thing here is to point out that just like Spiderman, god isn’t real. That’s not what I want to get at though. What I want to write about today is the underlying message about how a person thinks of themselves. A persons sense of value. In the case above, the person who gives all of the credit to their god is essentially saying that they don’t believe in themselves. This is what bugs me. People not believing in themselves.

Here is the truth, of your existence as well as my own. The truth is that so far through out your life, you have found ways over, under, around, through, between, out of, every single problem that you have ever had, and that there is no reason to believe that you wont continue to do this in the future, Did you get that ? Read it again. Read it a third, a fourth, and a fifth time. Read it until you memorize it. This is your true strength. Not a god. It’s you. You are stronger than you give yourself credit for. You have more will power than you allow yourself to believe. You can over come any and all adversity. The great thing is, you don’t have to do it alone. There are people out there who have trained for years to help you. If you are strong on your own, imagine how much stronger you would be with people who have trained to help you understand just how strong you can be ? These people are scientists, doctors, nurses, therapists, psychiatrists, social workers, etc. These people are standing by right now to help you. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you can’t over come your problems. Don’t allow anyone to tell you that you are weak, and that without a god your are helpless. That’s a lie. Theism cheats people of their true strength. It robs them of their own sense of will.

You aren’t weak. You aren’t a sinner. You aren’t unworthy. You are stronger than they want you to believe. Let go of that crutch and walk on your own. Use the tools available to you and learn to believe in yourself. Imagine how much better the world would be if all of the time and energy put in to praying for help, was instead used to help ourselves ? You can do it. You are stronger than you think.

I hope that answers your question.

If love exists why can’t god?

Klaus asks: why is it necessary for one to have proof that God exist for him to exist. We can’t prove love exist for us to believe it’s real. So why can’t that be applied to belief in God?

Jake answers : Hi Klaus. Thanks for the question. I’ve heard your question many times before, and on the surface I can see why it would be a compelling question for some people. I hope that I can show you that the answer isn’t as compelling as you may think.

This is really two questions. The first is “Why is it important to prove god exists?” and “Love is real and we can’t prove it so why can’t the same be said of god?” Lets take the questions in order.

Why is it important to prove god exists? The same reason it’s important when one claims anything exists. It’s a claim of objective existence. I could make thousands of claims of things existing, but if I have no proof of these things, what would compel a person to actually believe in them? If I call out to you and yell “A car is about to hit you!” but you’re in the ocean with no cars around, why would you pay attention to my claim of impending doom? People make many claims about god. That he will reward you, punish you, etc. Why would anyone pay attention to these claims if there is no actual proof?

The second question is what is called a “category error”.

These fallacies occur because the author mistakenly assumes that the whole is nothing more than the sum of its parts. However, things joined together may have different properties as a whole than any of them do separately.

In other words, the question is comparing something that exists as an idea like love, with something that is said to objectively exists as in a god. It’s the word “exists” that throws you off. Love is an idea, a subjective interpretation of an emotional amalgam of experiences and perceptions. It exists only as thought put into action. What you see as love may not be what others see as love. It’s a subjective idea that is dependent on interpretation.

God however is said to exist as a being independent of our perception. It’s not dependent on our subjective interpretation of it. When a person asks “Do you believe in a god?” they aren’t asking if you believe in the idea of god, they are asking you if you believe that such a being exists. This is different from someone asking “Do you believe in love.” because love has no real existence outside of the mind. It’s like asking “If you believe that fear exists, why don’t you believe in Batman?” You wouldn’t consider this question a valid way to show Batman’s existence. Comparing the two, fear to Batman is the same as comparing love to god.

I hope that answers your question. If you or others have further questions, feel free to ask in the comments section below.

Respecting beliefs?

Morrey asks: My friends say that when I challenge them about their religion that I am disrespecting their beliefs. Yet they tell me all of the time that my beliefs are wrong. Why do they do this?

Jake answers: Great question Morrey. Lets take a look at what I think theists are really saying when they ask that we as atheists respect their beliefs? How do you respect a belief? What is respect?

There are many definitions for the word ” respect “.

1. a particular, detail, or point (usually preceded by in ): to differ in some respect.
2. relation or reference: inquiries with respect to a route.
3. esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.
4. deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect’s right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.
5. the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect.
6. respects, a formal expression or gesture of greeting, esteem, or friendship:Give my respects to your parents.
7. favor or partiality.
8. Archaic. a consideration
9. to hold in esteem or honor: I cannot respect a cheat.
10. to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone’s rights.
11. to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person’s privacy.
12. to relate or have reference to.
So when a believer says that they want you to respect their beliefs, which definition are they referring to ? Take a look again at the list. Notice 10 and 11?
10. to show regard or consideration for: to respect someone’s rights.
11. to refrain from intruding upon or interfering with: to respect a person’s privacy.

I think this is what believers are referring to. They want you to show regard and have consideration for their beliefs and to refrain from intruding or interfering with their beliefs. In other words, treat their beliefs as if they were your own and don’t try to change their minds. Seems simple enough right?


When a theists tells you that you are a sinner, are they respecting your beliefs?
When a theist tells you that you are going to hell, are they respecting your beliefs?
When a theist tells you that homosexuals shouldn’t have the same rights as heterosexuals, are they respecting the beliefs of homosexuals?
When a theist votes to take a womans right to control her reproduction, are they respecting the beliefs of women?
When a theist demands that their scriptures be taught in public school, are they respecting other religions or those with no religion?
When a theist demands that the laws of the country follow their religious teachings, are they respecting those who aren’t a part of their faith?

So, why is it that believers ( not all mind you, but in my experience most ) demand respect of their beliefs, but don’t give the same respect to others? The answer is in the 4th definition of respect.

4. deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect’s right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.

In the mind of the theist, they have a truth that you and I don’t have and that truth sets them above everyone else. They are privileged. They are blessed. They are the chosen of god. They are his will on earth. To the theist, they aren’t judging you, they are simply correcting you and showing you the right way. Sometimes they will say, ” If I saw that you were about to get hit by a bus, wouldn’t you want me to tell you to get out of the way? “. It’s an act of kindness. It’s an act of love.

The same doesn’t apply to you and I though. You see, we are the fallen. We are the sinners. We are what’s wrong with this world. If only we all had the truth of their god, then the world would be able to live in peace. This is how many theists see the world around them. This is why you need to respect their beliefs, but they don’t really have to respect yours. It’s because you are wrong, and they are right.

There’s more to it than that though. You’re also not supposed to take this privilege away from them. You’re not supposed to get them to question their beliefs. You’re not supposed to show them the errors or contradictions in their belief. If you do, you are a servant of evil. You are testing their faith. You are trying to trick them. I’ve seen some theists ( not all mind you ) who believe that even trying to study and understand their faith would only lead to doubt. So they sit happily ignorant of what they believe in order to be safe.

So what does it mean to respect a belief then? If a belief is being challenged, is it being respected? Should beliefs just be left alone? Consider the equal rights movement of the 60’s. What would have things been like if people like Martin Luther King didn’t challenge the beliefs of the establishment? Did he disrespect the beliefs of those who saw him as inferior? In my eyes, all beliefs should be challenged. If belief is defined as the confidence to the truth of something, how can one truly have confidence without comparing and contrasting their belief, even going as far as to falsify it? In this sense leaving a belief alone would be disrespectful. I want all of my beliefs challenged. Especially the ones that I have the most confidence in. For years as a believer I thought that I had all of the answers because I had never really challenged them. It wasn’t until I challenged them, that I began to understand how ignorant I was and how much my unfounded beliefs clouded the world around me. How much it damaged me. It took me a few years, but at the end, I’m glad that I found the courage to take a lifetime’s worth of belief, and give it the respect that it deserved.

What does everyone else think? How do you show respect for a belief? Answer in the comments section below.

How do you deal with doubt ?

Adam asks:
Since you became an atheist, have you ever doubted atheism? Yes, that’s a funny combination of words.
Do you still keep it in your head that there may (with a reasonable probability) actually be a god out there, we just don’t know yet? Or has that thought ever crept in? If so, please share your thoughts, and how you moved past them to be in the state you are now.

Jake answers:
The simple answer is, I’m not sure of anything. I always leave room for the possibility that I may be wrong. Sometimes, I have experiences from which my old theist way of thinking kicks in and I ask myself ” Is that god? ” Then I realize what’s happening and I ask myself, ” Why would that be god? ” and I come back to my senses.

I think everyone needs a healthy dose of skepticism. I try to always look at things as objectively as I can. Obviously I don’t always succeed ( who does? ) though I try anyway. This is why I’m an atheist/agnostic. It’s the agnostic side that keeps me in check, even about my atheism. Since agnosticism deals with knowledge, it reminds me that I don’t ” know ” unless I have evidence, and even then, I could still be wrong. Some things of course I don’t need to doubt. Like Santa Claus, or Jesus. There’s enough contradictions in the stories, along with enough evidence to show how the stories were created to know that Santa and Jesus can’t be real. So it’s not hard to discard them. However, there could be a god out there that I’ve never considered, so I leave room for the possibility, despite the low probability.

The point is, keep an open mind, but not so open that your brain falls out. Keep searching, but remain skeptical.

Let’s throw the question out to the comments, as atheists, what do you do with doubt ?

Religion vs. Philosophy: Asatru worship ?

Ryan asks:
Hello, I am a 15 year old and I am a strong believer in a faith called Asatru. Asatru is the pre-christian religion of the Germans and Norse, so yes, Thor, Odin, Njord, Freyr, Freya. I believe their names and anthropomorphism is only used in place to understand the forces they control, like Thor = Thunder etc. As an atheist, would you say its wrong to believe in something irrational like this, but at the same time I don’t impose my beliefs on others nor do I really think my religion is universally applicable to everyone, because honestly, do we know whats out there? Btw, Asatru, is generally more ethically focussed (Google 9 Noble Virtues for more info) and the faith has a large population of atheists who use it as an ethical base.

Jakes answer:
Hi Ryan. I think what we need to do here is distinguish the difference between a religion and a personal philosophy. For example, I may be an atheist, but I am also philosophically a buddhist. I try to practice the 4 noble truths and to be mindful. Since buddhism doesn’t concern itself with gods or the afterlife it’s not in conflict with my atheism. The same can be said for those who follow the 9 noble virtues. Religion is generally defined as a system of worship ( the politics of mythology if you will ). Asatru in my understanding is more of a personal philosophy which anthropomorphises the elements and attributes of man as a way of understanding the world around us. ( please correct me if I am wrong ) In my eyes this is completely different from those who believe in a personal god, and believe that said god dictates to them how they should live their lives. Asatru, like buddhism asks you to discover for yourself by looking inwards and understanding your impact on the world. The abrahamic religions demand worship and obedience and tell you that your impact on the world isn’t as important as personal salvation in the afterlife. These are two different mindsets and are incompatible. From what I understand Asatru is even against proselytizing.

So I understand why atheists turn to Asatru. I have several friends who practice it. I get it. I don’t see a problem with it.

Age of non belief, christian friends, and family religion.

Jasmine asks:
At what age did you decide that you believe there was no God? When people try to convert you, what feelings do you encounter? Do you have any Christian friends, or have you completely removed yourself from anyone with any label near to that? Were you born into a Christian family, or were you born into an Atheist family and are just believing what your folks told you? How do you argue that atheism makes more sense than Christianity?

Jakes answer:
These are questions that I often get from people who are trying to understand why I am no longer a christian. I hope that I can answer your questions satisfactorily. Let’s take them one by one.

At what age did you decide that you believe there was no God? I lost my faith around 23. Technically, I don’t believe there is no god. I lack belief that there is a god. Now I know this might sound like the same thing at first, but it really isn’t. Let me explain it like this, let’s say that I have no active belief in a god. I am at 0 beliefs in a god or gods. You come and tell me about your god. If I accept this belief then I am at +1 beliefs in a god. If I do not accept your belief then I have not gained anything and remain at 0 beliefs in a god. For me, this was a 23 year process. So now, I am at 0 beliefs in a god. Now on the other hand, I do believe that the evidence people give for their gods are false. Since the only valid evidence for claims of existence must be objective and verifiable, and since no believer has ever produced such evidence, I believe that their evidence is invalid. Do you see the difference?
When people try to convert you, what feelings do you encounter? That depends on what I’m being told. My feelings can range anywhere from pity, to humor, to indignation. I pity those who believe without understanding what it is that they believe. I find it humorous when people present evidence that they wouldn’t accept themselves if the word “God” wasn’t attached to it. I feel indignation when a believer tells me that I am evil for not believing.
Do you have any Christian friends, or have you completely removed yourself from anyone with any label near to that? I have a few christian friends. I had more but people find it difficult to remain believers around me. I’ve deconverted most of my family and friends. I didn’t have to preach to them or anything like that, I just answer their questions much like I’m doing now with you. Eventually, they see the truth for themselves.
Were you born into a Christian family, or were you born into an Atheist family and are just believing what your folks told you? I was born into the LDS faith. My family were all LDS as well. I served a 2 year mission at 19 in the Dakotas and sat as a counselor in the bishopric after. I was a very strong believer. It wasn’t until I was 23 that I met a buddhist monk who taught me about objective thinking and began my journey into non belief. It took me about 2 years before I lost my belief in a god.
How do you argue that atheism makes more sense than Christianity? The same way a person argues that not believing in Santa Claus makes more sense than believing in Santa Claus. When you grow up, you realize that the story of Santa Claus has no evidence and includes impossible things. The same thing happened with me and the idea of god. I studied it, found it lacking, and stopped believing.

Well I hope that answers you’re questions. If not, feel free to ask for follow ups in the comment section below.

Answer by SmartLX:
Oo, oo, I want in on this one.

At what age did you decide that you believe there was no God?
Jake’s already nitpicked the specifics of the question, so…I honestly don’t know. There was about a 15 year gap from age 11-12 onwards when I barely thought about it, but when I did think about it at age 26 I realised I no longer believed. My faith had faded completely in the intervening years, so I had a drama-free deconversion.

When people try to convert you, what feelings do you encounter?
– Nostalgia, because people talked to me like that all the time in Catholic primary school.
– Deja vu, because whatever arguments or appeals they use I’ve probably already received them on this site at some point.
– Engaged, because if I do get something new to think about it’s great fodder for the site, or at least my own research.
If I get angry or upset in a situation like this, it’s not simply because I’m being proselytised but because the “witness” is going about it in an emotionally confronting or manipulative way. It still doesn’t work, but it puts a damper on my day.

Do you have any Christian friends, or have you completely removed yourself from anyone with any label near to that?
My wife’s Christian. About half of my family still is, and half of hers, and of course many of our friends. Australia’s far less religious than America, but that’s not saying much. We all get on, and there are plenty of non-adversarial discussions on the subject. I don’t go sword in hand 24/7.

Were you born into a Christian family, or were you born into an Atheist family and are just believing what your folks told you?
Catholic mother, atheist father, raised Catholic and believed what I was told until I found out Dad is an atheist (he only ever said so about twice) and therefore not everyone believes what I did. I think that started me on the road to disbelief, or at least skepticism.

How do you argue that atheism makes more sense than Christianity?
By essay, usually. My best attempt to do this directly is right here.

Macro vs. Micro, bird and the egg, and deceitful theists.

Todays Question comes from Charles who asks…
“My question is in reference to the theory of macro-evolution.

I’ll start by saying that I was an atheist for around 5 years of my life but am now a Christian. I fully believe in micro-evolution as it is evident and has been proven Macro- evolution however has gaping holes in it that need answers.

Let’s discuss the first bird. We can all agree birds are hatched from eggs but what came first, the egg or the bird? Also did the first bird breathe? Did it breathe before it evolved lungs? How did it do this? Why did it evolve lungs if it were happily surviving without them? How did it know what needed to be evolved if it’s brain hadn’t evolved yet? Did the bird have a mouth? How did it eat before it had evolved a mouth? Where did the mouth send food before a stomach evolved? How did the bird see what there was to eat before it’s eyes evolved?

I’ll end with a quote from Prof Louis Bounoure, Dir of Research, National Center of Scientific Research: “Evolution is a fairy tale for grown ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless.” ”

Answer by Jake:
Charles, if I thought evolution was what you think it is, I wouldn’t believe in it either. Fortunately, I know what evolution is. Let’s see if I can’t course correct your lost ship and help you navigate the sea of facts.

First, micro evolution. There’s no such thing. Evolution is evolution. It’s like saying “recycling”. You can recycle a big thing like a car, or you can recycle a little thing like a can. Either way, both have to go through the process of recycling. Both are stripped down, melted or shredded and then formed into something new. There’s no micro recycling nor is there macro recycling. The same thing applies to evolution. Both little things and big things go through the process of evolution. The only difference, just like in recycling, is the amount of time it takes to evolve. Big things take longer, little things go faster. To claim that they are two separate things, you would have to show the process that separates the two. You can’t, because there is none.

Next, your “which came first” question. The answer is simple, the egg came first. When the bird became what we know today as a bird, it was maybe 1% different from it’s parent. Evolution happens gradually. In increments. It doesn’t happen all at once. A bird doesn’t decide it needs wings and then just grows wings. It doesn’t decided it needs lungs and then grows lungs ( like your examples above. ) That’s not how evolution works and is why I said in the beginning that if I thought it was what you think it is that I wouldn’t believe in it either. I’ll give you a reference at the end of this reply so that you can learn what evolution is for yourself.

Lastly, your quote. It’s wrong. What you’ve probably done is read a christian website that misquoted the professor in order to try and justify their beliefs. It’s a dishonest tactic and if you had simply done a google search to check the quote, you would have learned of it’s dishonesty for yourself. Here is the explanation for the quote and where it came from.

While you’re at that website, check out the rest of it. is a great place to learn not only about evolution is, but what it isn’t as well. I would start here and read over their FAQ section. You may be surprised at how much misinformation you’ve been fed by your fellow believers. Once you realize this try asking yourself why they mislead you to begin with?

One last thing. Keep in mind that evolution neither proves nor disproves gods. There are many people who still believe in a god and accept evolution. They see their god as the one who set evolution in motion. Although I don’t accept their conclusion that a god exists, I still appreciate that they at least recognize the overwhelming evidence for evolution and don’t try to twist it in order to suit their agenda.

Atheists have no morals ?

Question from Adam (Trimmed to get to the meat.)
“Have you encountered situations where a religious person could not believe atheists had morals? I tried to explain to him how morals are built from emotion, and as a mechanism to survive as social creatures. He didn’t even respond, and reiterated that, “all I did was state the fact that atheists have no morals”. I didn’t get emotional or bothered in the conversation, because I don’t particularly care if this random guy on the internet is a closed minded prick. But the fact that many religious people do share that belief is a bit disheartening.

How would you go about convincing a person that atheists have morals when they have been taught the contrary? Is it possible to convince a Christian that morality doesn’t originate from the bible or from this “god” of theirs?”

Answer by Jake
First Adam, sorry for cutting some of your email out, but I wanted to get directly to this great question and save a little space at the same time, so bare with me.
The simplest answer is that some people don’t want to understand. They don’t want to listen to ideas or new thoughts that might go against their beliefs. No amount of debate or discussion is going to change these peoples minds. If someone isn’t willing to listen, there’s no way for them to learn.

However for the sake of this discussion lets assume that the person you are talking to isn’t that closed minded. How do you get through to them? Well again, the simplest answer is that you just give them the facts. What if though, they don’t want to hear about social empathy, or the social contract? I’ve found that a great way to get someone to start thinking about another perspective is to get them to discredit their own perspective first. Each religion is different, but they all for the most part have conflicting beliefs. For example in my view, Xians have no morals because they can be forgiven so arbitrarily that the morals that they have accpeted may as well not even exist. The following is an example I’ve used many times….

Imagine there’s a hockey game and a player sticks another player who doesn’t even have the puck. In this situation the player may be put into the penalty box until it’s time for him to come out again. Now imagine for a moment if the player had the opportunity to remove himself from the penalty box at any time he wished and all he had to do was tell the referee that he was sorry? How long would that player stay in the box? What would be the point of having the penalty to begin with?

This question is great because it asks the theist to compare and contrast their own morals. It won’t convince them that atheist have morals, but what it will do is force them to consider their own morality. If their morality is self nullifying then why do they use morals at all? It’s these kind of questions that if we can get people to ask themselves may lead to a deeper understanding. It doesn’t always work, but I’ve found more often then not it puts the theist on the defensive and demands that they prove or at least rationalize their morality.

How do I deal with my parents ?

An unknown caller said….

Question: ( sent via Google Voice. Transcribed by GV and corrected by Jake )
Hi, At the age of I’d say about 12. I realized that they were a few things I didn’t quite understand about Christianity. Besides the fact that every single one of them claim the correct one and they were simply if you had facts that could be explained by psychology and sociology, that would explain the phenomenon mind set. Thats held by not only Christians, but every religious believer that I’ve met ( mostly ). I began to question the validity of questions of religion in total instead of you know just Christianity the issue being, however, that I have been going to a Christian school raised by Christian parents, who had sent me there for all of 10 years. All though I had finally convinced them to let me out of the private school and into a public school nearby which was much more convenient on us both time wise and financially, my parents been very reluctant to let me out of Christian fear or so to speak. They insist, apparently that I keep on going to church. I have explained my position to them. And no matter what the questions I say, no matter what I asked them of their motives, I tend to get nothing but their assertion ” because we say so ” and they have very little reason, even when I do go to church and I requests to bring a book that I can quietly read or say in the back and join them after its over and get back in the car. They refused saying that I need to sit next to them paying attention to the sermon, as if I have were also an interested Christian like everyone else in the room. This is very frustrating to be going for several years and I’m not exactly sure what to do about it ? It’s very grating on the nerves and I find it most irritating because they keep on speaking to me as if I were a believer in something in which I’m not. It’s very frustrating to be misunderstood by myself and seemingly also about my parents. They seem to be wanting to save face, but better than seems so much the personality of some of my mom. Maybe my dad. However, I don’t know if you have any suggestions. please host it. I am up a creek. I’m getting very frustrated and I’m not sure what to do ? I very much love, my parents, but we’re getting point where there’s an impass that neither will give ground on and you know it’s frustrating. Thank you.

Answer :
I’ve been asked this question a lot over the last 10 years. So before I hit your head with some wisdom, understand that you are not alone. Others have and are going through what you are right now. They made it through, and so will you. However, with that said…
Since you didn’t mention how old you were I’m going to assume that you are somewhere in your late teens. The sad fact is that they are right. You are living under their house, and under their rules. It might not be fair, but until you can get out on your own, you’re stuck in their clutches. Think of it like paying rent but instead of money, you’re giving them church attendance. Yes, I know this sucks, and it’s unfair, but you have to look at it from their perspective. A parents job is to create an adult. Someone who is ready to take on the world. This means they try to instill within you what they believe to be right and wrong. To do otherwise, would be to give up on you. If your parents love you, they aren’t willing to do that. So, they do what they know how to do, and to them, church is an important part. So they force you to go. It sucks, but it’s understandable.
Until your independence day, do something constructive with your forced time there. Listen to the sermon and jot down some notes. See if you can’t find scriptural contradictions in the sermon and ask about them ? Use the time to educate yourself about the one thing you’re sure you don’t believe in, Xianity.
Remember, to them, if you don’t conform to their understanding, then they’ve done something wrong. To counter this, simply be better then they are. Do some community service in your area. Volunteer as a tutor. Mow someones lawn for free. Show them that just because you don’t hold the same beliefs as they do, that you are still a good person and that over all, they did a good job. That’s all they probably really want anyway.

And again, remember you’re not alone. There are plenty of people out there who have gone through it. You’ll survive just like they did. You’ve made it this far already haven’t you ? Hope that helps.