Atheist Going to Christian College

Reply Sun 6 Mar, 2016 07:26 am
I grew up as a Christian, but during the past year I have decided I no longer believe in a god. Besides one of my teachers, I have not told anyone about this change in beliefs yet. I am not the type of person who likes keeping secrets from my family, I really want to tell them, but I'm not sure if I should or not. This especially seems like a bad time to tell them because a very close family member just passed away, and they are comforted by the fact that she is in heaven.
My parents and I have been looking at colleges for me to go to, but now they are really wanting me to go to a particular Christian college. Now I can deal with going to church, listening to Bible stories, and other 'small' Christian things, but I can not go to a Christian college. How should I go about handling this situation?
Reply Sun 6 Mar, 2016 08:22 am
Evaluate the schools on their own merit. Judge them on how well they help you achieve your career goals and contribute to a secure future for yourself. That's all that matters. If someone asks you about your religious beliefs them my advice is to tell them the truth and let the chips fall where they may. But the school you choose should be based on its academic value to you.
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Reply Sun 6 Mar, 2016 08:43 am
I went through this too. The answer is honesty. Yes, I would tell them that you no longer feel comfortable in a Christian college.

You should separate the two different issues here.

1) Your personal decisions are about where you are as a person and about the direction you want your life to take. This isn't about anyone else's beliefs or life choices.

When you talk about this say something like "I feel like where I am right now, I would be better in a non-Christian college." You have no obligation to explain this... it is between you and "God" (whether you believe in Him or not). This is an important personal decision, and it is your s to make. If someone presses... say something like "that's just where I am right now".

2) The family crap is a separate issue. You can be respectful during the grieving process (if you can hold off your college decision for a few weeks that might be helpful).

You can choose how confrontational you want to be with your close family. I came right out and told my family (in the parlance of my particular religious background) "I have decided to leave God". This worked pretty well for me... some people got a little worked up, but it died down. Any time someone decided to fight about this, I simply said "that's what I decided" (there were a few people who I cared enough about to have more in depth discussions).

As Shakespeare said "Above all, to thine own self be true..." Where you go to school is about the life that you want to live. This is an important decision that needs to be made according to your own values.

I would be up front, direct and honest.
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Reply Sun 6 Mar, 2016 09:12 am
It depends on the college.
What do you mean or understand as a Chrisitan college? Is it one run by some Christian sect you would not fit in. If the college does not have good merits - forget about it.
If it is a college which just have a certain connection with christianity and its values plus it is a good college where you can study what is of interest for you and will open up for your future I think you can go there even as an atheist.

Why should it be of any importance to tell family and friends if you believe in God or not. You are you and just tell if it comes up. Do not make a big thing about it. Next year you might believe again. Or you have more important things to think about.

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Reply Sun 6 Mar, 2016 01:46 pm
Go to a Jesuit school . . . they like atheists.
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Reply Thu 30 Jun, 2016 07:19 am
You can pay for it. And I am not being smug. That is the greatest cost (literally) for a guardian. You want to say the Truth but they send you there thinking that it is because you will get a certain education. But you so far are deceiving them.
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