I hope you two don't mind, but I figured since this topic was getting so much attention, and became such a continuing tangent in this topic that it deserved it's own thread. That way this one can stay on the issue of being open about being out of the closet.
I particuarly have enjoyed the discussion, just didn't want to be inconsiderate to the OP any longer by flooding the thread. =)
That is why I like listening or reading Lawrence Krauss, Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Suzuki, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Galileo, Copernicus, and other scientists.
They discuss natural forces: gravity, magnetism, electricity, strong force and weak force, time and matter, chemistry, astronomy, physics, quantum physics, biology, geology, DNA, natural selection, evolution, etc.
They make more sense than god created earth in seven days, or whatever; that the universe is 6 thousand years old, or whatever; that Jesus walked on water, or whatever; that there is a heaven and hell and someone lets us pass through the gates, or whatever; that we are doomed to burn for eternity in hell if we don't obey, or whatever; that we must be born again, or whatever; that we will meet our loved ones in paradise, or whatever.
I'm an asshole about it. I'll get in a fistfight if I have to. I have no respect for the religious and they can kiss my ass.
William, I like that idea.
Kevin, No need! Fighting verbally or physically with someone who believes god exists, that one is to obey god, that there are consequences if we don't accept Jesus as savior, is like fighting a cloud, or puff of smoke. There is nothing of substance to fight about. Save your energy for enjoying life and all that implies.
My family has yet to discuss and fully accept my position as an atheist, although I've been one for over thirteen years! Everytime the subject comes up, my mother makes it about herself and questions why I spit on her parenting; so in as much as I don't hide it to my family, it's a no go zone in terms of discourse.
In my neighborhood, all my mates know me to be one. It is those people who don't know me who label me a devil worshiper and some have physically attacked me all in the name of defending something they hardly put enough time to adore.
Always a delight, being in the company of rational people!
Ojay, Ouch! It really hurts when religion comes between parent and child. Even as we want to hold on to a relationship, it is difficult, at least for me, to listen to the rhetoric of religion when I know it to be babble. Yes, healthy and fulfilling conversation can occur here.