Your sweet atheist face is appealing, too.
You are the sweetest and fairest of all, Joan. ;-)
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.
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 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.
I'm completely in the closet when it comes to my family. My grandparents are all devout christians. They're also getting into their 80s. To them, to be atheist is to denounce god and therefore not be saved/get into heaven. They would undoubtedly be very concerned in their last years that their grandson might not be saved. Their reaction would probably be shock and disbelief at first followed by them trying to convince me to go to church, etc. I just can't imagine putting them through that stress when they're that old.