I've been an Atheist and a Humanist (my definition of Humanism for reference: Doing good things for others without the motivation of reward or fear of punishment) for a while now; however I don't usually tell people. The reason being is that I feel that the majority of theists greatly hate and fear atheists. I understand this because when I was a child I was taught something along the lines of, Atheists are the worst people on earth and they aren't doing the right thing(please mind that this was what I was taught and I understand theist's views of Atheists vary drastically). When children are taught about religion they naturally question whether or not god exists, how we know, and similar questions. To ensure that a child truly believes in god and fears him, the parents usually have to portray Atheists and the supposed results of their choices in a negative way. This is where the hate roots from.
Knowing this, if the subject comes up I say that i'm an Agnostic Christian and a humanist. This has two outcomes:
1.) If the person is a theist and also happens to look down upon Atheists, I in a way avoid being labeled as this terrible godless Atheist, and I can most of the time escape a bulk of the hate.
2.) If the person is an Atheist, usually they will admit that they are an Atheist even if they don't usually disclose their preference. At this point I can do away with the lie and come out as who I really am and make a new friend ;)
I know that saying i'm Agnostic really isn't preventing me from ridicule but it's just my way of "protecting" myself I guess. So do you ever reserve your religious preferences, and if so in what ways?
Nope.......too much of a blabbermouth to keep anything about myself secret, & I don't give a flying fig about what people think of me.
I also live in small town Canada where this stuff isn't a real issue other than a few door-knockers who get the bum's rush right quick. I have no time for fairy tales.
i did happy hour with a long time friend today who i don't see often. he contacted me b/c he just listened to a Hitchens audio book and said i was the only one who would appreciate that. he was a life long Catholic, alter boy, all the trimmings, and his family is very religious. he told me tonight, begrudgingly, that he's accepted that he no longer believes. i was his outreach. my being open about my beliefs allowed him to have an outlet that he might not otherwise have had. he can't come out to his family/friends, so i invited him here. i'm hoping he joins. i'm the only atheist he knows and it freaks him out. we're also complete opposite on the political spectrum - he's a conservative libertarian and i'm a progressive.
I'm a closet Athiest. I don't believe in closets at all and think any rational being must believe only in wardrobes.
Nope. Quite open here.
I'm open but I don't talk about it much. Nexus is my primary source of atheist conversation.
In my family, we didn't discuss religion. It was like a lot of things we didn't discuss. That kept the peace. It was too bad, it also kept distance where I preferred not to be distant. In an imperfect world, that was better than complete alienation.