DEAR ABBY: I'm a 15-year-old boy. I'm happy with my life, except for one thing. My mom believes in God, and Dad doesn't. I believe in God, but I don't support my mom's religion. My friends and neighbors think I'm in that religion, but I don't believe in their beliefs. It's really uncomfortable when people ask why I haven't been in church.
Mom signs me up for church activities, and I don't like going. I feel awkward when I try to talk to my parents about it. I'm not close to them, and I don't know what to do. I have been feeling stressed out lately. I don't want to hurt my mother's feelings. Can you help me? -- TEEN IN OGDEN, UTAH
DEAR TEEN: I can try. What you should not do is allow your mother's devout faith and your lack of it to become a contest of wills or a basis for argument.
At 15, you are entering adulthood, and these are important years in your life. Thank your mother for the great foundation she has given you. Tell her you love her, and you hope she will continue to love you as you explore what your beliefs are on your spiritual journey -- because it is a journey. A wise clergyman once told me something I will share with you: The opposite of faith is not doubt; it is certainty.