Are you open about being an atheist or are you in the closet?

I am semi in the closet. I do have to admit that I am not comfortable discussing my views with just anyone. I am the type that wants everyone to like me (such a fault I have!) and I am nervous someone will think I am a bad person. Even when I find someone who is passionate about science, I still try not to venture down that avenue. So lucky to have you guys!

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Andrea, IMHO you have it backwards.  

It should be the believers in the closet and rational people unashamed of their disbeliefs.  Let’s take their attitude and confront the pious with their belief system.  Do you Mr/Ms Churchgoer actually believe that Moses gave the order to slaughter 3000 of his followers when he saw them worshiping the Golden Calf?  Isn't this a bit of an overreaction for someone imbued with the Holy Spirit?

How about Christ and the fig tree?  Christ saw the fig tree wasn't bearing fruit in the middle of winter and smote the poor plant withering it to its xylem and phloem.  This is a pretty stupid response from the Son of God.  Don’t you think He should have known better—being God?

How about saying, “God bless you” when somebody sneezes.  The custom dates back to the Middle Ages because when someone sneezes there’s an opening in the head that a daemon can enter and then possess the individual.  Do you say “God bless you” for that reason? 

How about the story of Ham seeing his father Noah naked and God punished his entire progeny for such a lascivious act?  Do you believe black people are inferior because of this?

I could go on and on about the peculiarities of the belief system.  Contributors here can enter some more.  How about the Patriarch Abraham hearing hallucinations and proceeding to scare the BeJesus out of his pathetic son Isaac?  Abraham should have been institutionalized, not made the patriarch of the three modern religions.   

There’s a lot more Biblical inconsistencies noted in the book to the right with the pot plant.  Catch Barbara’s "Compilation of Biblical Quotes."  It’s hard to believe so many people believe this nonsense. 

It’s the believers who should be embarrassed and ashamed for being so gullible. If the tables were turned, they'd be in the closet if not the funny farm.  

 

I know I'm not helping my fellow atheists by being so quiet about it but at least my closest friends and family know my views so I'm happy there. I'm a dental hygienist that meets many believers every day so I have to put on my sweet, Christian face while I'm there.

Your sweet atheist face is appealing, too. 

You are the sweetest and fairest of all, Joan.  ;-)

Fortunately I live in a country with Church of England as the established church, with a constitutional monarch as head of the church and state, therefore nobody takes it seriously! We had our religious wars from the 11th century through to the 17th, with the main result that unless you are Northern Irish nobody wants to go there.
Coming out is not a problem when the main response to an announcement that you are an atheist is "so what?".

I could not be anymore serious about being an atheist and am condemned by a theist majority so it seems. I am a freethinker who questions all answers about everything I might encounter........

Except for here and a blog hardly anyone knew existed I, too, am still in the closet. I just don't feel like having to justify myself, as if I were some sort of sexual pervert or brain-eating zombie out to destroy civilization. You're not alone, believe me.

"Are you open about being an atheist or are you in the closet?"

-Andrea

Well Andrea,

I myself, is semi in the closet. Part of me feels that I should be boasting about being an atheist, while the other part feels as though I should be subtle. Like, perhaps I should let my words and my actions do the talking first. 

I call them on their beliefs, but don't outright profess due to family.

perhaps I should let my words and my actions do the talking first

I find this is key. That way, when people learn the truth, they are struck with a bout of cognitive dissonance. "But.....she's so nice, and kind, and isn't a thieving, murdering hedonist......"

Otherwise, if you introduce yourself with "Nice to meet you, I'm Davon the Atheist," right off the bat they're going to be frightened. "OMG an atheist.....I must keep you at arm's length, lest you steal from me then murder me then take drugs and fornicate with everybody I know....."

I'm semi in the closest when it comes to my extended family members. Having a huge Roman catholic family, I know that if certain members were to find out that I was an atheist, they would never leave it alone. I would be treated like the plague, or I would be bombarded with invitations to prayer interventions and Sunday services. I have reluctantly pushed my extended family away from me in hopes that I can avoid the situation all together. I hope that one day I will no longer fear their rejection.

I think families are the hardest hurdle to overcome. When you deviate from the normal family traditions, many of them get anxious because they have an underlying fear of the religious promises of retribution for those who do not submit, obey, and acquiesce. Many people have to leave the familiarity of family and develop their emotional strength. Some are able to reconnect with extended families later and some are not. 

Don't feel guilty about pulling away until you can sort out your feelings and thinking. It is part of growing up into a mentally healthy, mature, adult.  

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