Advice on dealing with teenager's professed religious belief

My 13-year old son announced this weekend that he is fairly sure that he “believes in God.”

I am an atheist, and am appalled. What can I do to compell this teenaged smart-aleck to abandon his religious beliefs and be an atheist like his mom and me?
My son is essentially completely ignorant of any scientific thought.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
This is a parody of the IMHO thread about the opposite problem–the point, if you need it spelled out, is that advising the OP here to STFU and MYOB would be just about unanimous advice on the SD, even from atheists, agnostics, and Pastafarians. I actually no longer have teenaged children, thank Whoever. Thank you very much for your support.

Well, he probably believed in Santa Claus when he was four, too.

Kids (at least most reasonably bright ones) are going to question what makes the world around them tick. Ruberkid will come to his own conclusions sooner or later. Sometimes, they’re different than what either parent would choose (my mom would have chosen that all of her kids attend church at their local RCC every Sunday. She’s 0 for 6).
This would be my answer for the other thread too. Hypothetical ruberkid can choose for himself.

Look down your nose at him and tell him that it’s all right for him to believe in a higher power. Admit to him that both you and your wife believed in a God, back when you where his age. Explain to him how you grew out of it.

If this been a real thread, I’d say that forget about religion, the kid had better start learning some science right away so as not to be ignorant. Also, check on his logical thinking ability.

I’m not quite sure what is getting pitted here, but the notion that belief in religion goes hand in hand with ignorance of science is telling.

Take him to a cliff or the roof of a tall building. Hold him over the edge and ask him whether he thinks this “higher power” will save him from falling. If he says yes drop him. Then you and your wife get with the fucking and start over with a new kid.

The Pit is where parodies go.

The point, again, is the absurd degree to which the SD is kind, considerate, and polite to religious types, like the OP in INHO. Put the shoe on the other foot, and everyone on the SD would be lining up to shove it straight up his sphincter, and laughing as they shove.

I’m not sure what you mean by this. Are you suggesting Dopers as a group are unduly tolerant of the obviously ignorant? or that it’s absurd to be kind to someone who believes something we, as a group, don’t?

Cuz I think the dude needs to not worry about his kid’s religious beliefs as much as he just needs to make sure the kid grows up with some kind of conscience. That I hold the Catholic church in contempt personally doesn’t mean I have to jubillantly abuse him for his beliefs. Same would be true if your OP were not a parody.

You’ve confused me ya big salamander.

I’ve written parodies. I’ve won a prize for a parody. This is not a very good one.
I fail to see where anyone in the other thread was in the slightest bit mean to the OP.
And, are you equating the utility of knowledge of science with knowledge of religion? I’m all for kids learning about religions - just about all atheists are, judging from the threads about it. But if you could only learn one, I’d pick science. Wouldn’t you?

Asked and answered.

[Dana Carvey as Church Lady] How conveeeeenient! [/Dana Carvey as Church Lady]

I’ve never understood parody threads.

Here’s some advice: when making parody threads, always include a link to the thread being parodied.

I’m not sure what you felt needed parodying here. With the exception of kanicbird who doesn’t count and the Boy Scouts mini-hijack, right now the answers in that thread are running 100% for some variation on “It’s too late/you can’t make up his mind for him/be proud of him/sure you can make him go to church, but he’ll hate it.” Are you upset that Dopers as a group aren’t actively cussing the guy out and being as rude as possible? 'Cause that’s about the only way that thread could be any less what (apparently) his wife would want to hear.

I’m sure if I had posted this thread straight, in a month or two or six, when all memory had faded of the IMHO thread, I would have gotten my ass chewed off–“Get over yourself,” “Leave the fucking kid alone,” “Boo-fucking-hoo,” “Serves ya right, you self-righteous asshole.” I’m not saying the rudeness would have been out of line, but it sure would have been, is my point. What needed parodying was the calm and gentle tone you are telling me (unnecessarily) appears throughout the IMHO thread.

I believe that is what he is upset about. He thinks folks should have been far more mocking and condemnatory of the OP in the other thread :).

Though I’m open to correction, I don’t think prr would object to my characterizing him as a poster who has a well-known and a long established history of openly excoriating the religious, the beliefs of which he finds deluded, ridiculous and largely unworthy of public respect.

But…wasn’t that an IMHO thread? *That’s *not the forum to be excoriatingly rude and personally insulting!

Page me when it gets moved to GD.

I simply maintain that if I had opened up this exact thread, a few months before or after the IMHO thread, I would have gotten a much harsher reception than the OP I’m parodying has gotten. And deserved it.

Just think of your own initial reaction to it, assuming you took me seriously. I mildly maintain that you starting forming thoughts like “What an obnoxious, officious nutball…” With a religious obnoxious, officious nutball, the standard response seems to be “What a poor fellow…”

But since I posted this today, I suppose we’ll never know what your reaction might have been.

Great. Since you’re so convinced you can read our minds, why did you bother starting this thread anyway?

And I don’t know where you got the idea that the SD is “absurdly polite” to religious types. Generally, people IRL are much more respectful of religious beliefs than on the SDMB. I’ve never heard the idea that believing in God is equal to believing in aliens or Santa Claus IRL, but it seems to come up in every SD thread about religious belief.

Dunno. Why’d you bother posting in it?

It’s a fair question for a parent to ask. My simple view would be to look at what kind of god he believes in. Is he getting sucked into some creationist literal stupid cult or is he just questioning his place in the universe? If the latter then you need to discuss this with him and let him come to his own answers, athiesm is not the only answer. If the former then expose these lunatics for what they really are!

If your son is ignorant of scientific knowledge then shame on you, you are a bad parent and the school he goes to sucks big time.

Actually the best way is:

Explain to him he wont get laid untill he is married if he becomes a Christian! That would have worked for me at 13.