I love my family. I need to make this really, really clear, because I simply adore my family. On my path to non-mormonism, I’ve read many, many heartbreaking stories about families who are torn apart when one person leaves the faith. I’ve read painful accounts of children who struggled with their non-belief or sexuality, and whose families were not a bulwalk and a support to them, but who shunned them and cut them off. So I just want to say, loud and clear:
My siblings say I can be a bit too militant in my atheist, pro-gay, pro-feminist, pro-choice views. They tell me I’m sometimes a little off-putting. And I love that they tell me that. I love that they don’t slip away silently and ignore me, but that they call me out on it. I love that they accept my atheism, and all they ask in return is that I accept their personal relationship with faith and god — which I do.
Today I called my dad. My little sister is coming to visit on Monday, and since she’s a brand-spanking-new RM, I may in the course of conversation have to point out that I’m not simply jack-mormon, I am apostate. I have had my name taken off the church rolls. In preparation of the possibility of this coming out, I called my dad, since he deserves to hear it from me and not second-hand.
Now, I admit I’ve had political and religious disagreements with my dad. I admit I’ve expressed disappointment in his views. But I just really need to say: I have an awesome dad. You know what his reaction was when I told him I had my name taken off the membership rolls? He laughed. He laughed and said teasingly and with faux shock, “You mean you don’t believe in the church?!?”
After a short discussion, he said, “Well, I am sorry to hear that, but I’m glad you told me. And I just want to ask one thing: If you do decide to get re-baptized, let me do it.”
Of course I said, “I will, dad,” and dad laughed again. I think it may have to do with my naturally sarcastic tone of voice. I’ve been teased about that in the past. But I was serious — in the unlikely event I ever do decide to ignore everything I’ve learned and get re-baptized, I will call my dad.
I love my family.