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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So I'm coming out atheist to my parents tomorrow. We've invited then to come to a meeting at our local ethical society, where we have recently started to attend. I don't expect to be disowned or anything like that, but I do expect that it'll get emotional.

The biggest concern I have is that the relationship will change or that they'll go behind my back with my son. I guess we will know soon enough.

I wish you well with your parents and your revealing your atheism to them; and with your son.  

I'm open about it to anyone who asks, but I don't advertise it with a bumper sticker or "Conform" T-shirt. My best friends are mostly Catholic, but we get along well because we have shared interests outside of religion. I don't hide anything from family and friends, and if a co-worker asks, I'll tell the truth (but I won't raise the topic myself). I moved from North Carolina back to California partly because I felt rather oppressed by the whole Bible Belt culture.

I was open about my atheism with my girlfriend, and hoped that we could get along despite our different perspectives, but in the end I found that I wasn't very tolerant of a viewpoint that I consider nothing more than delusion. So I told her it just wouldn't work even though she was very accepting of my atheism. Next time I go on a date, I am going to be upfront and just ask the woman straight up whether or not she believes in God. If she does, then I will graciously pay for her dinner and thank her for her time, but there will be no second dates with anyone who is religious. I don't consider that to be narrow-minded, because I know what I am looking for in a partner.

My mom has been a great supporter, and part of that comes from the fact that my uncle (her brother) is gay, and had to wait until he was in his 60s before coming out, after my grandmother passed away. My grandmother died without ever finding out that my uncle was gay (he's active in his church, by the way) or that I was atheist. My uncle is awesome, by the way. He's totally supportive of who I am, and I treat him with equal respect. I don't know if my family's liberalness is rare, but I am glad that we are so open and accepting of each other.

@ Nick       Very well said.....You are handling  these  sensitive  topics  with aplomb....My hat  goes off to you ....

You should never pay for a woman on a date. You want things to be completely equal and she has to make half the effort and if a woman has no problem with your non-belief and her religion is the only thing wrong with her, and if she is not mind your non-belief/ non participation in her religion, then there is no reason in the universe not to keep the woman as a girlfriend. Otherwise you may be more prejudiced than your girlfriend and you will make atheists look bad and don't risk having a poor me syndrome or an inferiority complex and don't look for excuses for what is wrong with a woman if the only thing actually wrong with her is her religion.

I would argue that perhaps a girlfriend is OK but don't even think about marrying a religious fanatic.  Religion is a memeplex that changes the very purpose of life, and you'd wind up pulling is opposite directions.  You for success and happiness in this life; she for propagation of the meme in this life and happiness in the next.

I am open about being an atheist in the sense that when random strange people try to give me religious literature or suck me into their religion, I say... " er, uh... I am actually an atheist", or "I am actually an atheist and I choose not to participate in religion", but I try to say it in a neutral, frank, non-hostile, non- threatening, way, I try not to say anything about being an atheist or religion, in an arrogant, antagonistic, holier- than-thou and/or bombastic manner.

I realized that there is no god when I was 15 but I was afraid to admit it until I was 26, then I "came out as an atheist" to my mom and then my dad and then my brother, on the phone, at different times in separate phone conversations. I came out to my aunt who does Orthodox Judaism, in a Jewish New Years card I wrote, in a manner I now feel was too asinine or embarrrassingly bombastic or retarded or flippantly insensitive or offensive to my aunts given that she is ultra polite company. But not I keep quite about religion most of the time around my family... They quit trying to convince me to participate in Judaism....
Fortunately, I live in the UK, so nobody really gives a damn what you believe! This is the advantage of having an established religion, so that everyone can ignore it. Anyway, we had 200 years of religiously based wars, before tolerance was established. It has only been since 1950's that the more and more diverse society has forced the general acceptance of the wider society. It is fascinating to read novels of the 20's and 30's to see the total change in the zeitgeist.

Hi Christopher....I wish you could send  your British secret of tolerance  over here  in the states...We Americans  are getting worse at it instead of better.....We certainly don't need  200 years of religious  wars.....or maybe  we will have to emigrate to the UK.....jk

You make a good point, having one established religion prevents all the others from growing. Same thing with a squirrels disturbing your feeder. Trapping and releasing the squirrel is pointless, as a new squirrel will always come in. Same thing also for organised crime. Better to have one mafia which only kills "that" type or person, rather than have a bunch of gangs vying for territory and killing innocent bystanders in the process.
It's kinda like antibiotics. If you start the job but don't finish it, the bugs just get stronger. The only efficient remedy is the one that puts an end to the invader.

This is good to hear.  The logical question to me is, does Islam fit in with your statement "the more and more diverse society has forced the general acceptance of the wider society."  

Here in the states they are pushing for more and more religion-based concessions like ladies wanting to wear assorted veils for DMV photos.  No bull.

In Canada, because people are so polite, Islam is winning rapidly and gaining ground. Teachers in schools, veiled, teaching little girls how shameful and sexually appealing their bodies are and how men can't see females without requiring sex. Islam has already taken hold of Western and Northern Europe, it is coming along well in Canada. Yet in the USA, Iève almost never seen turbans and head sheets (fuck veil it's really covering women with sheets)

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