Article

Refusing to Hide: Dialogue With a 12-Year-Old Atheist

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This summer, two of my closest college friends and their 12-year-old daughter came for a visit. I hadn’t seen them in a decade. These guys, (at least, prior to the birth of their daughter) were atheists back when I was still unsure of my own stance. Although I called myself agnostic, I leaned toward a mystical world view. At that time I thought they just didn’t “get it”. I could tell they thought the same of me. But, there was enough mutuality in other areas to make humoring one another easy enough. Now, I was stoked because we were finally “on the same page”, and I was eager to talk about it.

Then it dawned on me that with a 12-year-old in tow, we probably wouldn’t be able to get into the political and philosophical implications of the subject, at least not in the length and breadth I had been fantasizing about. After all, young Megan was going to be surrounded by adults for the duration of the several week trip, and the least I could do was have some sensitivity to that. I remember what it was like to be invisible in a room full of adults, and I wasn’t about to put her through that. Little did I know…

This 12-year-old floored me on many levels. Not only did she have a facility with language, there was a sophistication to her thinking I certainly had not anticipated. She jumped into political and philosophical conversations with greater ease and fluency than many adults–even if her knowledge of the subject was at times somewhat spotty–and in need of refinement. She was trying, and in many places she truly held her own.

Still, I wasn’t so sure about broaching the subject of religion. What if my friends modified their views since becoming parents? We all know that happens. How had they oriented their child? Besides, I thought to myself, Megan would probably appreciate it if we just had some fun, and weren’t so heady about everything.

NOT.

Out of the blue, with absolutely no hint of religion in our conversation, Megan started talking about how she had recently been discriminated against at school for being an atheist. My jaw dropped. Here was the one thing I really wanted to talk about with her parents, and she opened the door wider than I had hoped! A 12-year-old speaking out as an atheist? I dove in with questions, and she was more than eager to speak out.

So with no further ado, I give you BSJ’s first young atheist, Megan H.

Morgaine: Welcome Megan! Tell us a little about who you are, how old you are, and your interests.

Megan: Hi! My name is Megan. I’m 12 years old. I like to write, read and play video games. I’m in a gifted and talented program for exceptional learners and, of course, an atheist.

Morgaine: What does atheism mean to you?

Megan: Atheism to me means the disbelief in any and all religious practice and the disbelief in intelligent creation or god. I do not believe in god or any other form of intelligent creation.

Morgaine: Would your mom and dad describe themselves as atheists?

Megan: I believe so. They have talked with me and referred to themselves as atheists.

Morgaine: Lets go back a little. At what age did the idea of religion/god become interesting or relevant for you? Was there a specific event that caused you to wonder about god or religion, or did questions arise spontaneously?

Megan: If I remember correctly, I was about 8 years old. I think I was talking with a girl in my lunch period. I asked why I was the only person who wasn’t invited to her party. She said only people her parents knew from church were asked. That night I asked my dad why we didn’t go to church. He told me that our family didn’t believe in a god and questions took off from there.

Morgaine: Did what your parents said make sense to you? What about it appealed to you?

Megan: They told me that they didn’t know why they should pray to a thing they can’t be sure of. They also said that they don’t think that god could exist and if it does it would be too busy to care if we prayed. I thought this made sense. It seemed very logical.

Morgaine: A few years have past since your first conversations and thoughts on the subject. Are your views the same or different than your parents? If different, how so?

Megan: I think that they are very similar. The only difference may be that we see highly religious people differently, but we agree it does not apply unless the other person wants it to.

Morgaine: Hypothetically, if your views were to change, how do you think your parents would respond? Say, if you told them you wanted to explore going to church, how would they react?

Megan: I don’t believe they would care. We actually talk about this a lot. That if I wanted to go to church, they would get me there, but would not participate any more than that.

Morgaine: Do questions of religion come up between you and your friends?

Megan: Not normally, no.

Morgaine: Do any of your friends share thoughts about religion that are similar to yours?

Megan: Yes, only one and he is my closest friend.

Morgaine: How about this friend’s parents…do they share the same view?

Megan: Yes. My friend’s parents do not believe in god.

Morgaine: Do you feel you are missing out on anything by not having a connection to a religious community?

Megan: Not really, though I do receive some ridicule.

Morgaine: So your views have affected friendships with those who are religious. Do you think the ridicule is a result of misunderstanding what it means to hold an atheist world view?

Megan: Yes. One of my friends refuses to bring the topic up. But most kids either push me away, or their parents do. Many people believe that the word atheist and satanist co-exist.

Morgaine: What would you like to them to know?

Megan: They don’t [co-exist]. I don’t believe in religion in general. I do not worship [god or] the devil.

Morgaine: You told me some stories about how identifying as an atheist caused some difficulties for you specifically at school. Tell us about that, and your response to it.

Megan: Yes. Somehow students discovered my beliefs or lack thereof, and treat me like a freak of nature, or devil. I have lost popularity, and feel that students pick on me in other ways because of the topic. It has caused depression.

Morgaine: I’m sorry to hear that. It’s never easy to hold a minority view especially on such a loaded topic as religion, and especially being so young. I think it’s very courageous. How do you deal with the discrimination and depression you’ve experienced?

Megan: I tell myself that the insults like devil or satan are all words that are used in religion. If I don’t believe them they don’t matter.

Morgaine: Has your school been responsive to kids picking on you? If not, what do you think should change?

Megan: No [they weren’t responsive]. I think that ANY BULLYING is wrong and must be dealt with.

Morgaine: Have you had other experiences of discrimination like this at school or elsewhere?

Megan: In 5th grade a girl discovered my atheism and did every thing in her power to hurt me or change me.

Morgaine: Why do you think people lean toward a religious view of life?

Megan: Because it is comforting to think that when you die you will go somewhere and have a purpose. Also if you have been wronged, then maybe that person will be punished.

Morgaine: Religious people often ask how someone can find meaning in life without belief in God…that the wonders of the world aren’t sufficient to satisfy them. What would you say to that? What gives your life meaning?

Megan: The meaning of life can not be decided after death, in my opinion. I think the meaning of life is decided by the person living it–not some being that they don’t know. I push on by knowing that I will finish my book and become a doctor.

Morgaine: Do you see any dangers in religious thinking? Dangers to an individual? Dangers to the world at large? And do you see any benefits?

Megan: I think that religion will cause history to repeat itself. As long as there are different beliefs, people will fight and kill for power.

Morgaine: Some people say you can’t be moral or ethical without religion. What would you say to that?

Megan: No, religious people have started wars over it. If they call mass killing good ethics then I don’t know what to think.

Morgaine: What would you like to say to other young people who may struggling with issues around religion, who may be torn between what their parents say to believe and their own doubts?

Megan: Talk to them. If your parents really don’t want you to believe that way then get on with it. Go to church with them. Think of it as story…a fabulous fairytale. You don’t have to believe it. No one can make you do that.

Morgaine: Any other thoughts on religion, or atheism, that you’d like to share?

Megan: I don’t want any one to feel that they have to change. Just keep these thoughts in mind.

Morgaine: Thank you very much sharing your thoughts and time.

Megan: You’re welcome!

Although Megan is busy with school and her projects, she’d be happy to answer any questions, time permitting of course!

Stay tuned for future discussions with Megan, and other young atheists.


Comments (89 comments)

Morgaine / August 5th, 2008, 11:02 pm / #1

Smizeverday: Thanks! Have you checked out Yahoo’s variety of teen atheist groups? You just might find some comradery or discover some local connections through these.. For teens 18 and older looking to meet local like minded peers, it might be worth a shot to Google :atheist meet-up groups in (your area)…though folks in these groups do tend to be a bit older. But you never know.-you can check out the member profiles to get a sense of the age range.. Or, you can start your own meet-up for young adult atheists and pave the way for others in your area!

Jennifer / August 5th, 2008, 11:05 pm / #2

Kudos to this blog and Megan!!!

I grew up Southern Baptist…my mom is “devout” and when I finally discovered and accepted for myself that it was “ok” for me to think for myself, she told me I was going to hell. *shrugs* I’m 30 now, with a daughter of my own. Mom still thinks I’m going to hell and while it hurts that my own mom can be so hateful to me, it doesn’t matter that much anymore. I know where my head is at. My 5 year old also is gaining an understanding that I didn’t think was possible for kids so young. I have no doubt in my mind that Megan is as articulate and bright as she sounds.

I wish that I had had her confidence when I was 12. I would go to church and ask questions and be hushed or vilified. I totally drank the Kool-Aid.

Anyway… The very best to all of you. ;)
J

FerretGirl / August 7th, 2008, 7:36 pm / #3

I’m very lucky. I was never religious and have never been discriminated against for it. All of my classmates have always been not only tolerant but excepting and interested in what I had to say. Likewise, I was always excepting of them and also interested in what they had to say. Most of my friends are religious. In fact, we have theological discussions on a regular basis. It is possible to make it through life without hardship and to find people who like you for who you are, not for your religious views.

Morgaine / August 7th, 2008, 11:25 pm / #4

Ferretgirl:

Being able to have respectful, dispassionate discussions on atheism vs belief is pretty rare. You are lucky to have a circle of friends able to see beyond those differences.

A few online resources/blogs for all you teens who wrote in:

1)Teen Skepchick (be sure to check the calender which lists events nationwide for young skeptics and freethinkers. You might find something in your hometown).
2)Young Atheists,
3)Junior Skeptic (online mag)
4)Splendid Elles -specifically check the ” High School Freethinkers Come Out ” article for more young atheist related links.

Amen Sigala / August 9th, 2008, 7:57 pm / #5

Awesome comments and discusions!
I’m named after the God of Life by the way – Amen-Ra. Long story but my Latin family felt it was holier than Jesus for us latino people and gave my mom a hard time about naming me after the word that ended prayers because it had to be holier than Jesus’ name or even God since no one in Spanish history had ever named their child Amen ( Dios is a common last name in Spanish families, Dios really translates to deity not God). So for a while I was known as Armen, found out later it’s the name of a fallen angel and now a news reporter ; ]. I have found people in religion or not, will become upset about things because of how their mind is wking or moving at the time. My family didn’t give my mother their blessing or approval so she added an r to keep them happy.
This is what I see when children or adults become angery towards atheism when the very essence of Christianity is suppose to be Love and”Love thy Enemy”
A story in the Bible on Peter’s disaproval of Mathew theTax collecter being invited By Jesus himself to a gathering of some importance that most Jews at that time would have never invited such a Jewishman says it all. Jesus said to him what he did to answer and correct Peter’s disapproval ( I don’t have my Bible,as reference to quote, I’ll get bk to u on it ).
It’s actions like this that made Jesus so cool and famous. But Christians like Muslims get focused on other thinking that I don’t remember Jesus ever exemplifing or my Muslim friends who interpret Jihad as the inner struggle of the spirit not w/ the world! There are Muslims who openly critisize the fanaticle Muslims interpretation of the Quran. At the end my point is human self-rightousness and cruelity is in any one that it is existing in for whatever developemental reasons.
These condeming characters in the scene of life have always been. This is why I feel education of religions like mythology should be taught so there isn’t any of this inappropriet bulling, cruelty and misunderstandings.
Megan is a really cool girl and a future leader. And having experienced how it feels to be persecuted like religious people in history have been ( not at the horrific level they did, a more suble version of cruelty and memorable) has added to her already mature self something she can refer to in the future many times over.
To Nolan LIGHTEN UP MAN !

Amen Sigala / August 9th, 2008, 8:21 pm / #6

Forgot something – Macayla and Sarah Hey ! vegetarian too, always known to be weird/strange and refer my self to be what I call a redefined atheist, wether or not God exists is irrelivant his psychological make up is that of a jerk’s. I don’t believe in believing in God, it’s unhealthy for the mind. Everyone else is really redefined theists anyway when u think about. Most God believers don’t believe in the God of the Bible anymore. They believe in a God that fits their own psychology. It’s a pleasure to know ur out there !!! :o)

Amen Sigala / August 9th, 2008, 8:39 pm / #7

P.S the word Satan means opposer, thought ud all like to know that !!! H.P Blavatsky used it alote in her writtings. Ha! Under that definition that would mean we’re Satans ( pronounced Satons ) whatever, Lucifer had the right not to serve the human race if he didn’t want to. Mythologicly speaking of course : ).

Mike / August 10th, 2008, 9:13 pm / #8

I personally am a non-denominational Christian (i’m 15) but I admire you very much, for composing solid views, being able to back yourself up. I respect all opposing views on religion and can have a very peaceful debate and have fun while doing so. Atheists and agnostics don’t bother me and the discrimination is bs, my best friend is an atheist. So much of our youth is just consumed with ignorance and arrogance its pathetic, they don’t care what is going on in the world today, they just care about themselves and the shirt they are going to wear the next day. Many Christians today sicken me because they are so ignorant, I don’t even consider them real because they have nothing to back themselves up with, there just people who as you put don’t want to believe in nothing after they die. I believe in Intelligent design, I’m not a young earth Christian and I can support that with my own theory’s, thoughts and evidence. If you like I could give you a much more detailed discription of my beliefs I wish you the best and would like to here more on your views of religion as long as other political views. Feel free to check out my blog which isn’t just theism and politics is filled with fun stuff.
My blog

Shadus / August 15th, 2008, 3:30 pm / #9

A well reasoned 12 year old. She’s quite obviously put more thought into religion than most adults I’ve had occasion to discuss it with. I went through some rough times growing up in the bible belt as a non-christian and to Megan I can say this with absolute authority — 85% of the crap ends when you leave high school. Another 10% ends when you finish college. Stay open minded and tolerant, you’re a great role model.

CoN$'p1r@cY Jo 2012 / October 1st, 2008, 4:26 pm / #10

Personally I don’t what exactly to say or where to start, simply because there is whole a lot I could discuss. I am a believer in God or Higher Intelligence for the reason is I don’t believe in chance or random events, things just happen to be that way. I would like to believe in a Grand Architect who has systematically set up everything so we can co-exist in our realm of reality. Let me begin by explaining what I think God is, let me first start by saying I don’t think of God as a Humanoid Entity or some super powerful deity able to hurl lighting bolts striking down those who go against its wishes, even though I believe the essence of God resides in all living things in a sense We are God and God is Us. Let me ask those of who is the Earth alive? I would say yes. The Earth is connected to our Solar System in which is connected to Our Galaxy which is Connected to the Universe what I am trying to get as is the Universe in a sense a Living Thing, that would still be here even if Earthlings didn’t. The Universe in its entirety is God, The Universe gives all we need in order to survive, just like the Sun gives us light for agricultural reasons in which is part of the Universe, everything here on earth is set up so precise or else we could not exist. Now if creation could of came about on our simple complex planet Its logical that life could form on other planets Millions of yrs more advanced than our civilization, if they where to visit our planet in the most primitive stages performing “miracles”, give us valuable information, advance our civilization from cave man slouching over to the standing up Homo-Sapiens threw Genetic Manipulation. We people of that time would consider them to be God’s. but hey I have to cut this short because my gay ass step-mom is kickin me off the computer. the name is Joe n my email is holy420smoke@aim.com Peace..

Louis / October 2nd, 2008, 3:10 am / #11

I am a believer in God or Higher Intelligence for the reason is I don’t believe in chance or random events, things just happen to be that way…

…but hey I have to cut this short because my gay ass step-mom is kickin me off the computer.

A stronger argument for the presence of God… I have never seen… This can’t be coincidence…

Flummoxed am I.

…and slightly cheeky.

;)

Rebecca / December 14th, 2008, 1:51 pm / #12

That is down-right awesome, all around. Megan is my new hero. :D

John / December 22nd, 2008, 12:22 pm / #13

Where is atheism such a problem? It's very strange to read about fear of expressing atheism. Indeed I would not even be aware of the problem if I wasn't constantly running into pro-atheism websites via StumbleUpon. I teach at a school (post high-school, pre-U) in Montreal, Canada, where I recently asked some of my classes of 17-18 year-olds if they were religious. In one class, 2 of 30+ students lifted their hands; in another NONE lifted their hands. This was, of course, no surprise for me: atheism has always been the norm in this city. Religion is often viewed as bizarre. You can go weeks without seeing any indication of theism among native Montrealers (there are many visible religious immigrant minorities such as veiled Muslims though), only the now near-empty (!) churches of a much-resented religious past. A very different world…

BlackSun / December 22nd, 2008, 12:33 pm / #14

John, you're very lucky to live in a very secular place. What is it about the French and religion? They just seem to get intuitively that it's bunk. Which is probably why they have such a reputation for savoring the finer things in life.

Unfortunately, most of the rest of the world is pretty far behind. In the American south, the proportions in the classroom would be exactly reversed. Except the unbelievers wouldn't raise their hands for fear of getting beaten up or forced to withdraw from school. No joke.

John / December 23rd, 2008, 6:52 am / #15

There's a long history of repression in the province of Quebec by the Catholic Church. I believe it's also what makes the French so against any kind of institution, including (and, perhaps, especially) marriage. A lot of French people, even if they have children and spend their whole lives together,, never get married.

William Brookhaven / December 23rd, 2008, 9:07 pm / #16

I would like Sean to comment on the story and art of Akiane who is said to have atheist parents, who began having spiritual experiences at the age of 4 which initiated her painting career (at the age of 4). And who brought her parents to believe in God. I understand that the conversion of her parents was a combination of her explanations of her personal inner experiences, and the sudden flowering of her artistic ability. I am interested in hearing how the chemical based world view can be set forth to explain this.

A sketch of her life:
http://www.artakiane.com/akiane_life.htm

A gallery of her art (beginning at age 4):
http://www.akiane.com/akiane_art.htm

BlackSun / December 24th, 2008, 4:35 am / #17

William, what's remarkable is not when a child believes, it's when they don't. There's a lot of literature on the innate source of God-belief in the brain. You could check out Matthew Alper's book, or Andrew Newberg's. It's a longer discussion, but Daniel Dennett goes into this also in Breaking the Spell. So basically it's of little consequence what her parents did or did not believe, or what kind of art she produces. Belief is a common human state-of-mind.

The correct description would be "materialist" world view. It doesn't seek to explain belief, but rather that which can be observed and studied objectively. So what we know here is that Akiane is a young artist who believes in God and has formerly atheist parents who've now become believers. Nothing to explain, really.

If you asked me to speculate, I'd say the young girl found elements in the religious mythology which inspired her, and she took it from there. She's an art prodigy, and now some people have decided she's "seeing" alternate realities they consider to be real. Lots of artists have visions on lots of subjects. The unconscious mind is a fertile field full of archetypes. When we correlate those with commonly accepted myths, many people take that as evidence of a larger reality. I would say they are overreaching for a conclusion they desire.

Joey / September 10th, 2009, 5:22 am / #18

I am a 14 year old Atheist. i have been atheist for as long as i can remember. I do know that my dad was raised a catholic but later converted to atheism/agnosticism. I often wonder if it weren't for my parents not believing in god i would have been sucked into the lies.i have faced some discrimination because of my beliefs, but i am not afraid to say "i stopped believing in imaginary friends a long time ago." I have gotten used to just telling people that i would rather have the truth than be blindly drawn to believing in god just because someone tells me.

hfromspace / September 10th, 2009, 8:48 am / #19

"Think of it as story…a fabulous fairytale. You don’t have to believe it. No one can make you do that." WORDS OF WISDOM. jeez, I remember doing just that sitting in church as a kid.

Right on Megan.

brett / September 10th, 2009, 10:38 pm / #20

I was very young when I first started to disbelieve, probably around 5 or 6. My extended family was all Roman Catholic. My mother and father however turned agnostic in their 20's before I was born. I grew up occasionally going to church with my extended family on major holidays, but I remember feeling skeptical, bored and annoyed during the services. I had always had a keen interest in science from a very young age, especially the field of paleontology. I was aware of the fact that the earth and the universe were very old and that the age of man was very short in comparison.
One evening around the age of 5 or 6, a friend of mine invited me to join him to join him at an Awanas meeting at the Baptist church near my house. He had described it as really fun, and promised there would be lots of fun games and stories. I naively agreed to go. His mother contacted my mother, who thought it was her duty to let me explore religion on my own, and thus allowed me go.
The first 10-20 minutes was great. We played tag with rolled up pieces of masking tape, and for a moment church didn't seem that bad. Soon, after I realized there was another side to this. After some awards were given to several of the other children for something ( I imagine bible memorization or something). We were handed little comics about jesus and a lady read it aloud. At this point I leaned over to my friend and asked when we started to play again. His response was we didn't. Now, I knew something was amiss here.
We were then divided by age group and sent to different classrooms.
My classroom had a small ark toy on the table, which the other children gathered eagerly around. The teacher began asking if the children remembered the story of Adam and Eve from last week.
The other children responed in unison ,"Yes!"
She then moved on to the Noah story and it ended with a "Who Built the Ark? Noah… Noah…" sing along. session. It took me a verse or two to memorize the simple song, but I was puzzled and the teacher seemed to notice this.
I asked the teacher why the toy ark only had a few species of animals. She responded that "the real Ark was much bigger."
my response was, "well weren't the real animals a lot bigger too? and weren't there more of them?"
I knew I had seen more types of animals in my backyard alone, not to mention the ones I knew from books and TV, than there were on the toy ark. Something wasn't adding up.
She just said "it was very big. Bigger than I could imagine."
"Bigger than a Battleship" I asked?
She responded with an affirmative "bigger"
"and he made it out of wood?" I asked?
"Yes" she said.
"How Long ago was this?" I asked, now very skeptical of the story.
"long long ago"
"like caveman times" I asked?
"no they weren't cavemen…" she seemed to want me to shut up at this point.
"Like in the Middle Ages?" ( I had recently returned from a trip to Germany, where I had become fascinated with knights and castles.)
"No before that."
"After Adam and Eve, but before Jesus"
"When were Adam and Eve?"
"At the begining of time"
"You mean like before the dinosaurs?"
At this point another lady grabbed my hand and asked me to come with her. She sat me down in another room. A short while later another lady came by and started asking me questions like, "where I went to church? how often I went? why my parents didn't take me?" I was all the sudden very freightened and uncomfortable. She told me that I had a lot to learn and that they wanted me to come back next week, but to just sit and listen.
That night I told my mom I never wanted to go to church again.
That is when I became atheist… or at least agnostic…
I'm now 32 and a strong atheist.
Thanks Awanas!

Isaac / September 10th, 2009, 4:15 pm / #21

I became an Atheist at 8 myself, but my parents are very religious. I don't tell them anything, I just let them live in the delusion that I am a Christian. One more delusion couldn't hurt, right?

Tushar / September 11th, 2009, 6:17 pm / #22

Religion can causes war. Private prayer gives hope and solace.

CypressRun / September 11th, 2009, 6:43 pm / #23

Morgana would you also consider interviewing one or both parents? As a athiest/parent I would appreciate hearing some of their story. Megan seems to have parents who have showered her with their love and critical thinking. I wish more children were supported this way.

Alex / September 11th, 2009, 1:14 pm / #24

I’m a 19 year old atheist, have been since fourth grade. I’m the kid who refused to say the line “under god” during the required pledge of allegiance, and later did not say the pledge at all in fifth grade. I’ve not had much conflict with fellow classmates, just those who would have found another outlet for their cruelty.

However I wanted to congratulate Megan on her bravery and encourage her to continue to be who she wants to be. Children may be cruel, and indeed some adults still are, but I’ve found that as I’ve grown older, people have become somewhat more accepting of my views.

John / September 11th, 2009, 3:22 pm / #25

When I was 4, I spent a week or so believing in God, because my teacher told us to, then found out that my best friend didn’t so I stopped too. I think the situation with santa claus was almost identical, except possibly with a different friend.

Rox1SMF / September 12th, 2009, 6:49 am / #26

Kudos to Megan, her parents and Morgaine for allowing this young lady to give voice to her opinions. Brava!

It's so nice to see intelligent, thoughtful young people speaking up and coming out… it gives me hope.

Teach your kids to read, encourage intellectual curiosity and don't talk down to them; that's pretty much the formula I've seen in families that have gifted children.

Scargill / September 12th, 2009, 5:18 am / #27

Doesn't it worry the hell out of anyone that a country that is packed full of nuclear weapons generally believes
in invisible gods… I find the idea petrifying.

AnonOfCourse / September 12th, 2009, 10:14 pm / #28

valhar2000
no, i'm fairly sure the youngest atheist would be at time of conception, making everyone tied for youngest atheist.
Unless we start tracing back atheist/theist parents, then we would have halfies n whatnot, becoming very complicated.

Mezzobuff / September 14th, 2009, 12:44 pm / #29

I just stumbled on this blog… I am so impressed with all of the young atheist/agnostics commenting here. What a great example of critically thinking youth. Hang in there for those of you being discriminated or bullied at school: when you get into college it gets easier, for sure. Cheers to you all and thank you. You give this old atheist hope!

theadividual / September 14th, 2009, 3:52 pm / #30

Great post. My daughter has always been atheist, even before I was. She looked at the whole Jesus story and saw it as a big myth, which of course it is. I think this new generation of kids are encouraged to think more and won't put up with idiocy. So good to hear a 12 year old with such sophisticated views on atheism.

MsMsBurning / September 15th, 2009, 6:33 pm / #31

Very cool! Lil dudes and dudettes are far wiser than we adults give them credit! I've been an atheist since I was 6
and I wish so much I had an adult to look up to and converse with when I began to question the status quo.

Micheal WIsell / September 16th, 2009, 2:13 am / #32

Megan; You are to be commended for your courage and straightforward manner. It is disturbing to see the immensity of prejudice and animosity directed against you, but stirring and heartening to see you face it. Any of us who share your stance on this topic have similar experiences to share. I'm 52, but I was convinced of my nonbeliever status when I was about 15. It doesn't get much better when you're an adult, but you will have more learning, experience and knowledge to deal with it. My hat's off to you!
Mike

Madi / September 20th, 2009, 6:57 am / #33

I'm a 15 year old from Oregon, and atheist also. Many of my friends are Mormon, or Christian. I do get discriminated sometimes, but surprisingly not usually. I was brought up as an atheist (the main reason not attending church). I actually wasn't up until after my parents divorced and my mom met my now step-father that I actually decided I was an atheist. My step-father and I talked about evolution and religion. After doing a bit of my own research, I decided that I was, in fact, an atheist. This was when I was about 12, coincidentally. I believe in being an open minded person: I love learning about other religions in order to broaden my knowledge. Many people think that atheists are the spawn of the devil, or terrible people with no morals. WRONG. Religion is a reason for people to do good things. My family and I like doing good things BECAUSE they're good.

Grammar Nazi / December 17th, 2009, 6:54 pm / #34

Lets -> Let's

Frank / June 8th, 2010, 11:02 pm / #35

OMG YOUR SO TOTALLY THE DEVIL! YOULL BURN IN HELL!! VADE RETRO SATANAS!!

just kidding. :)
That's really great from a 12 years old girl, good job! I believe you live in America? In Switzerland (or more generally in Europe) there are actually a lot of atheists. It's actually not very common to find a teenager who truely believes in god. I think most of my friends are atheists, and we don't make fun of the few that aren't, and neither make they fun of us. It should be this way everywhere…

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