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Teen Refuses To Get Baptized To Appease His Newfound Father After Being Forced To Move In

Man praying
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One thing we can all agree on about religion is that most people don’t agree about religion.

While numerous religions exist, there exist even more ways in which people practice religion… or don’t.

And many times, children raised in a religious household go on to find their own ways to implement their religious beliefs in their adult lives… or not.

Sometimes children and their parents don’t see eye to eye at all on religion. In this case, should the parents’ views be forced on the children?

A teen on Reddit who recently moved in with his biological father, with whom he had no previous relationship, is being forced to practice his new family’s religion despite the fact he is an atheist, so he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to seek feedback from fellow Redditors.

Redditor  asked:

“AITA for telling my newfound father and his wife that I’m not going to take part in their religion ever?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“I met my father in September of last year. I (16/m[ale]) was 15 at the time, had recently lost my mom to cervical cancer and had found out that my grandparents and two of my aunts did not want to keep taking care of me.”

“And instead of letting me go to my aunt out of state, they contacted the man who wanted nothing to do with me before and involved a social worker so I would need to go to him instead of the aunt I actually knew and who did want me.”

“Because a social worker was involved she made the effort to put me with my biological father over my aunt.”

“I pleaded with her to let me live with my aunt and my aunt pleaded for this as well but we were denied.”

“I was told a biological parent will always get custody over an aunt or uncle who has no legal rights to the child.”

“Especially when my original guardians (my grandparents) sent me to my father instead.”

“So in October, 3.5 weeks after I met him for the first time, I moved to another state to live with my father and his family.”

“For those who will tell me I was lied to or whatever, my father has admitted he knew about me but he was disgusted and embarrassed by his promiscuous ways in the past and for having pre-marital sex and he decided to start over.”

“He said his wife was thankfully ‘very open-minded’ and was happy for me to live with them and have a relationship with them despite my origins… which have f**k all to do with me.”

“My father and his wife are very religious. I’m not.”

“I was raised by an atheist mom, had a mostly atheist family and I have no interest in joining or taking part in anything religious.”

“This is a serious point of contention with my father and his family who try taking me to church and try to set it up so I will join their church and get baptized.”

“I have refused.”

“I have also said I want to live with my aunt. But that gets denied.”

“I do talk to her via dms and video calls but it’s not the same.”

“She did try to petition for custody but the different states thing added complications, especially when a social worker is still actively involved.”

“Things got way more tense recently because two of my father’s other kids were questioning me on why I don’t pray and stuff like that and I told them I didn’t believe, they tried to get me involved with their church stuff and I said no.”

“They got upset and tried to do all this converting stuff and they’re only middle schoolers for f**k sake.”

“My father tried telling me I shouldn’t shoot it down so quickly and he told me to give it a try and I said no.”

“Then his wife decided to get her say and she told me I should be grateful for a chance to be saved and I’m being very stubborn and should show them respect as my parents to let them guide me into religion.”

“I told her they are not my parents, they are randos I’m forced to live with and I will never take part in their religion ever and they need to accept that because I don’t believe in God or anything.”

“They didn’t like my ‘closed mindedness’ and they were pissed I spoke to them ‘with such finality.'”


Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole.


“Am I right in understanding that your bio father does want you to live with them now, despite having nothing to do with you in the previous 15-16 years, and you having the other (and preferred) option?”

“This seems enough to label him as an a**hole already.”

“Trying to indoctrinate you?”

“As long as it’s not forceful or has other important things contingent on it, it’s not too bad, but you definitely have a final say.” – Irhien

“NTA, you’ve handled this like an adult.”

“Continue petitioning the social workers and court system to live with your preferred relatives during these next 2 years.” – analyst19

“I am so sorry that you’ve been forced into this situation.”

“I wish for your sake that your grandparents had been more understanding of where you wanted to live.”

“NTA in this situation.”

“I think emancipation for minors is a difficult thing to accomplish in most states – for one thing, you typically have to prove that you are financially independent, which would mean a job making enough money to support yourself.”

“If you just leave and go to your aunt’s house, there are apt to be some legal repercussions for her for providing a ‘runaway’ minor a place to live.”

“All you can do is keep pushing the social worker to support your move to your aunt’s house.”

“Hopefully as soon as you turn 18, at the very latest, you can get out of there and go stay with your aunt while you find your feet as an adult.” – Own_Lack_4526


“Nobody should be forced into a religion–much less by someone they hardly know.”

“You should see if your aunt can get a lawyer involved to try to emancipate you earlier, and/or protect her visitation rights.”

“Good luck.” – zippy_zaboo

“NTA tell them either they send you to live with your aunt or you will corrupt their children.”

“Start telling them about sex positivity and how religion is a means to control unruly children and brainwash adults.”

“Go all in until his wife demands he send you away to protect her kids.”

“Problem solved” – mocha_lattes_

“NTA. Talk to your aunt about finding a pro bono attorney or child advocate.”

“At 16, you should be able to decide where you want to live.” – HugeNefariousness222

“NTA. It is NEVER ok to force religion on ppl.”

“Especially someone who doesn’t believe & didn’t grow up in a religious household.”

“Religion is personal. It is something that a person needs to discover on their own.”

“Your family sucks & I’m so sorry they are forcing you to live there.”

“If they continue trying to force religion on you, tell your social worker.”

“And if they step out of line even a little bit, tell your social worker.”

“You should be telling your social worker everything, so that they can decide if the situation needs to change.” – NOTTHATKAREN1

“I am dismayed that at 16 you are not allowed to choose who you wa t to live with.”

“Can’t the social worker see how incompatible you and this family are? NTA” – Recent-Wind4241

“I got to ask do you know if your social worker was religious too?”

“By any chance does she belong to the same church?”

“Anyway this is why I believe every child should have a lawyer who looks out for their wants and needs before a judge.”

“Parents are not the right choice always.”

“NTA I suggest telling your story far and wide school, church, friends.”

“Be sure to point out he never paid child support, never acknowledged you and is ashamed of you because you were born out of wedlock and is trying to force you to become religious.”

“If he gets shamed enough he might let you go.”

“If forced to go to church ask embarrassing questions about all the bad things God does in the bible, believe me it easy to find.”

“You might want to read it just to ask embarrassing questions at home.” – No-You5550


“While it may be tempting to embarrass or humiliate them in front of their church, I would avoid going out of your way to do so.”

“Keep a civil tongue, avoid losing your cool.”

“As your legal guardians they are able to make your life miserable in ways that will follow you into adulthood by harming your education or employment opportunities.”

“Demonstrating that you’re keeping a level head may undermine attempts to make you seem wild or out of control, and it may result in you being able to get out from under their roof sooner if you keep pursuing custody changes.” – Odd-Combination2227

While OP’s fellow Redditors agree he is not in the wrong for refusing to let religion be forced on him, it sounds like the road ahead may be bumpy.

Hopefully, he can take some of the advice and consult with the proper professionals who can help him get out of this situation or, at the very least, make it a less miserable one.

Written by AB Keith

AB Keith is an educator turned roadtripper who is currently teaching virtually while touring the USA. Her dream is to visit all the national parks and create a series of nonfiction children's books about NP adventures through the eyes of her dog, Backpack Benny.