I didn't quit. It took several months, but finally my persistence paid off. I think my parents were, at that point, exhausted by my constant nagging, and perhaps that's why they relented. But their permission was presented not in anger or in surrender, but as an admission of my autonomy: "We don't want you to read the books," they said, "but we are letting you decide for yourself. You're 15 now, and we respect your ability to choose. From now on, what you read is your decision, and whatever you do, we'll still love you and trust you."
It was a shocking moment, more liberating than anything I'd ever experienced. It marked my step into adulthood much more than getting my driver's license or going off to college or voting the first time. It was the day my parents recognized and honored my capacity for choice, and though they didn't necessarily like the decision I made they never wavered in their love and trust.
It's a really nice essay, though many of the commenters are depressingly judgmental, using a warm, loving essay about family and coming-of-age as a jumping-off point to make sweeping, mean-spirited generalizations about Christianity, the rural South, and belief/faith in general.