I came out to family and friends in 2004. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which I like to refer to as the star in the belt buckle of the bible belt, on the whipping end.

My kids were pretty accepting. My wife, still a fundamentalist christian, not so much. We've pretty much reached a stable equilibrium, but it's still not all that easy sometimes. I've had lots of preachers call me to set up lunches, in which they wanted to try to help me through my "Crisis of faith". I guess that is something to call it from their perspective. No crisis at all from my perspective. I feel like I finally woke up.

I feel like I'm in an odd place, in that I still tend to have pretty conservative values, so I don't really feel all that welcomed in some atheist circles that tend to be more liberal. But I'm not at all accepted in christian circles.

So I don't socialize much outside work. I play a lot of world of warcraft, hehe. My guild in WoW is pretty anti-christian, so me being an atheist means I fit right in there.

So, what's your story?

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Born atheist to a soft atheist family and stayed that way. So no coming out story. But I do always like to hear how others dealt with their "awaking". Thanks for sharing your story. And yeah I am a pretty liberal guy but eh... thats just politics. Thats not everything. So we talk about other things instead. Works for me. Good to see ya here.

Actually on edit, let me retract my no coming out claim. Its not exactly a coming out story. But it is a realizing that I was not like other people story.

Back in the day I was a member of the Boy Scouts. I had always been an atheist so the pledges to god and such seemed to me silly but not too intrusive. I had never been to a service and the past attempts of my parents to get me into a church (in Philadelphia as a tourist site rather than as an actual church) had met with disaster. Apparently even at four I had issues with churches and screamed my head of ala Damien from the Omen.

The event that awoke me to the fact that I was different came about during a BS Jamboree. It was a weekend affair. Saturday night there was a trip to a local observatory. I was thrilled to go. It was spectacular. The viewing was clear and Jupiter was in full display as was Saturn. It was a wondrous evening.

But then the next morning I was awoken for something called a mass. I was confused but interested in finding out what this mass thing was about. I found myself seated in a sea of blue caps. All somber and heads bowed. A stage had been set up with a podium and some giant plus signs behind. What I witnessed from that point on was to me such an alien thing and bereft of the wonders I had witnessed the night before that it left me a big shocked. And there was this sea of blue caps all mumbling in unison to this nonsense that was spilling out from the stage. And there was this constant call to remember that we were not worthy but that this god being would forgive us anyway. Forgive me for what was all that I could think.

It was pretty much at this point that I realized I was a bit different than other kids.
That would sure highlight the difference. Rather catholic in orientation, and I was raised protestant, and growing up I was taught that the catholic church is the "whore of babylon", so I would have objected, too.
That church would scare me at my current age... The church I was born to is very mellow with that sort of thing, it just has a few strange rules and ideas for life that offend me.

I always used to notice that kids cry during church, and especially during prayers. I highly doubt it's relevant but I used to wonder if it meant something.

And I mentioned that I haven't really had a coming-out, and it's not all that important to me that I do... what bothers me is being in a place so highly religious that I feel outcasted... so I can connect with feeling different, but regardless of religion I suppose I've always been that way.
What age kids? Babies, or older ones. Since I never actually attended church as a child, I never would have known this.
Usually babies and small children younger than maybe 9.
Heh, WoW, the heroine of MMOing :)

What I find nice about MMO games are often the lax attitude in which people accept you. If you are a good player and behave well people like you regardless if you are a homosexual, Nazi or Christian, as long assuming those things stay hidden :) When people start openly discussing there might be issues since there will always be someone who finds the one or another "wrong".
True enough. I lucked into a guild with a lot of likeminded people. I'm 47, and my guild leader is 42 and her husband is 41. I'm ex-army, and he is career army, and so on. most of the members have very similar stories. If I post something rather sacreligious and blasphemous in guild chat, everyone laughs at it and seems to enjoy it.

It does indeed seem to matter more to people that you are a good player rather than that you have a particular stance on something not even related to the game.
Yeah, I guess it's like a second job (man, it does feel like one considering the time you actually spend) and at work, people don't really care much about you privately either as long you perform well (except in some weird cases...).

Also I guess, we all play because we enjoy playing to some or another extent, so if we engage a good player we can obviously have more fun than with a bad one. It's like doing an instance where you die 20 times and another which took 45 min without deaths. Obviously the latter was far more enjoyable.
My family was pretty accepting after they got tired of telling me that I was "just going through a phase" for a year or so and continuing to plead with me never to tell my grandmother for fear it would kill her (nice, huh?). I have lost some friends along the way, but this has not ended up bothering me much. With other friends, there is just sort of an unspoken agreement not to discuss religion. Not ideal, but it seems to work most of the time.
I probably won't ever come up to my mom and tell her I'm an Atheist. I don't want to hurt her. But by the same token, I'm not sure I consider myself Atheist at all, I'm just not religious and don't really mind either way.

I have had plenty of religious arguments with my mother though.... so by this point, I'm fairly certain she could not support me, or ever change her mind about it herself. And that's okay, I just hope she's not too disappointed that I don't actively support her faith.

My other family members... would probably be proud, though.
I guess it kinda depends on what you mean by 'atheist'. Lotsa christians seem to think that atheist means "someone that hates god". I've had more than one tell me, when I explained to them that I don't hate their god so much as I lack belief in its existence, that I was a non-theist. I guess that's a less painful word for them than atheist, and I'm not into pain.

I'm out as a non-believer or non-theist with many more people than I've used the 'Atheist' word with. I don't fault anyone for not wanting to get into religious arguments with their parents.

I have a different problem. I wouldn't mind going to see 'Dark Knight' tonite with my 17 year old daughter, but she's going to be at a 'prayer meeting' :(. It's sad when dads want to spend time with their kids, but the kids would rather be at church. She is following after what I taught her before I deconverted from christianity, but it still bothers me.
My mother thinks that not not believing in God is disrespectful of the being who "obviously" created us. To me, it's just another way of thinking, however, with my children I hope I'll be able to be as accepting as possible and if they all end up Jewish or something that's fine by me.

That is quite a predicament, not only because you've lost a way to connect, and bonding time with your daughter, but because Dark Knight is the greatest movie ever. . .

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