Hey everyone. New here, so I'll just jump in.

Over the last few years, I've changed in both religious thought and overall philosophy, so 'coming out atheist' wasn't very startling for me or the people I love. It was a gradual change, and they all heard my thoughts and ideas as I had them. I was raised by a wonderful family who were and in many ways still are Catholic, I became a Protestant in my teens, I wavered between Christian faith and secular humanism for a LONG time, and finally settled into being a secular humanist as well as an agnostic fairly comfortably. I believe that we lack logical evidence for the existence of God, and in particular to my old faith, history itself doesn't seem to line up or add up when it comes to Christianity.... not to mention the moral grounds I object on as well.

My family is more than vaguely aware that I don't hold any particular religious beliefs. I think they're alright with it. My mom seems to have been influenced by it -- she's went, over the years, from strong Christian to saying she's unsure if there is a God, most days. I regret helping 'steal her joy' if she had any in her faith, but she seems to be alright. My boyfriend's always been an atheist, so if anything, while I was Christian I was driving him nuts.... and he was brave and went with it. ;) My friends have never especially been religious, so for me to explain to them that I no longer believed in God wasn't met with any real reaction other than "oh, good, whatever makes you happy."

More than anything, my family, my best friends, and my boyfriend all know that I love them dearly. I'd take a bullet for any of them. I try my best to be a decent person. I share my thoughts and ideas as they come, and that's about it.

I suspect when I enter the profession world this year (education) I'll have to be careful to keep my mouth shut. I've heard horror stories about teachers not getting hired or not getting their contracts renewed over one wrong comment, so I suspect that if I "come out" about my lack of faith there, I'd need to do so very cautiously. But I'll cross that when I come to it.

Thanks for letting me share.

Tags: coming out, family, friends

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I have never experienced any problems with others over my atheism, either. Which might come as a surprise, given that I live in a rural part of the "bible belt". I have never been shy in telling others that I was an atheist, even when I knew they were fundamentalists themselves. The same goes for my time in the Army: my dog tags read "atheist", and I never tried to disguise my (dis)beliefs. It even led to some interesting discussions, like when I helped my OIC write his theology essays!

I have never told my mother, however. There would be no reason. She would probably deny it, actually. I have nothing to gain from telling her, and much to lose if she reacted badly. My sister knows, however, and I probably turned her into an atheist as she was growing up. I do not ask, since I have always considered it rude to ask someone else's beliefs. I hate it when that happens to me, which is probably why I'm not shy in answering them.

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