For those of you who have fully come out, have you encountered any significant persecution?

Has being an open atheist had a negative impact on your job or limited your career in any way?

If you have a bumper sticker or other emblem on your car that makes it clear that you are an atheist, have you ever had your car vandalized?

Have you ever had any creepy, scary, or threatening encounters with people you have encountered on the street, on the Internet, or in daily life?

In general, what kind of impact has it had on relations with casual friends, acquaintances, people at work, and people with whom you do day to day business if it happens to come to their attention that you are an atheist?

Or, have you experienced more subtle persecution that merely led to unpleasantness, inconvenience, or maybe some hassle?

Have you had kids or family that were negatively impacted because you are open?

Or, have these sorts of things not really turned out to be issues for you?

Since it's surely relevant to this particular question, what region do you live in?

Whatever your answer, do you think it was worth coming out?  Do you think that by showing that your are not a theist and you are not a monster, or standing up for yourself if need be, that you have contributed to making the world a better place and improved conditions for non-believers?

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Pat, that is encouraging to hear!

I've been "out" as an unbeliever all of my life.  I remember discussions with friends in high school about religion and the feeling of utter disbelief that adults actually believe this stuff.  One of my best friends in High School's parents were both unitarian ministers in town.


I haven't really cared much about atheism until I started reading about the horrors of the Catholic Church rapes in Springfield, MA (near where I live) and also in Boston (where I was born).  Someone forwarded me a link to and that's when I started getting angry.  I was 44 at the time.  That was 5 years ago.  Now I am one of the most out-spoken atheists in my community.


I have had death threats by email, phone calls that were very frightening to my wife and family (we now have an unlisted number).  Someone sent us 50 pizzas last year, and I've had my email registered at dozens of gay porn and fetish websites over the years.  Thank goodness for Google, their spam filters are excellent.  One of those people who submitted my email to a gay porn website unfortunately didn't know that her IP address was also included.  I was able to track her down with some assistance from a skip tracer friend of mine, to a little trailer park in the mid west.  One phone call put a stop to that nonsense.


I am a music teacher in my area.  All of my students know my position on theism.  Quite a number of them are religious or come from religious families.  It's made for some interesting conversations over the years!


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