Fundamentalists ? Luxury ! You're lucky you weren't a Catholic !
Ex-Jehovah's Witness here,I always struggled with religion. I could never accept the inconsistancies of a loving "god" who would do such horrible things as the one in the bible. But still having been raised in that world, i only just now figured out that ive been an atheist all my life (33 years old, came out to my sister last november). The people I'm out to accept it, but i dare not shout it aloud or the ones who do know and havnt rejected me would themselves be rejected by their friends. So im kind of in this limbo of out but not really out.
I'm halfway there. My Irish Catholic family can see that I don't attend church and did not want a priest to perform our wedding ceremony. It was funny when my lukewarm-catholic father gave me a bit of a hard time over that, but didn't force the issue.
It's a little more obvious to my husband's Born Again family. They're more fundamentalist and so the contrast is somewhat blatant. With my own family, you wouldn't know outside of church setting what our inclinations are; with John's family, we obviously don't pray in the house along with everybody else. The kids are starting to ask questions about evolution and we answer honestly, but don't seek out a debate.
I started sending out secular holiday cards last year- from the Center for Inquiry, the ones with a picture of planet Earth and the words "Axial Tilt is the Reason for the Season!" on the front. "Enjoy your next trip around the sun" is the inside text, and on the back, an explanation of how axial tilt works. Didn't send those to too many family members, though- mostly friends.
Fundamentalist, evangelical, Pentecostal, Holy Roller - Church Tuesday nights, Friday nights, and three times on Sundays until I went away to a pentecostal college where I had to go to "chapel" five days a week (they took attendance) and was supposed to go to church on Sundays (I rarely did).
It took me a long time to admit to myself that I was an atheist, only because I was afraid that I admitted it, and I was wrong, it would piss god off.
I now know that we are all godless, but only some of us realize it.
I attended church every Sunday and went to private Christian schools. When I came out, my family was mortified. It was hard in the beginning but it has gotten easier over time. I'm happy just being me.
I want the law to treat the religious indoctrination of children as child abuse.
It won't happen soon because those who govern -- politicians and many parents -- find useful the unthinking obedience taught by religions.
Because I know it won't happen soon I alternate between short periods of sadness or anger, and longer periods of indifference (so I can live my life).
My Methodist-turned-Catholic mom knew my older sister quit Catholicism. I told her nothing but she knew I married in a non-religious ceremony. She knew my two-year-younger brother married a Catholic in a Catholic church. I don't know what she knew of the two youngest.
My Catholic dad sent five kids to Catholic schools -- It cost him a lot but I don't know how much -- and before he died he knew we had all quit. It may have been our revenge.
I'm still recovering because, though I've been an agnostic atheist for fifty-plus years, some of the rebelling I do (at 83) is as unthinking as some of my obeying was all those years ago.