Whenever I come out Atheist .. they assume I must have no ethics or morals whatsoever and that I am willing to do just about anything --- like lie, cheat and steal.

Anyone else have this happen to them?

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Did you wipe all the baby blood from your face and everything?
Yeah I'm a zombie!

That wasn't my experience. Just lucky I guess. My relatives were liberal protestants.

Mine are fundies extreme!

and no .. I haven't told my family

Ah, see, I didn't know that about you. Is that part of what you were upset about? I was luckier than you in that regard I guess. Ever since I met my birth-mother and realized just how much more seriously religion is taken in the deep south than it is here on the east coast, I began to think that I might really have dodged a bullet there after all. A big, Texas-sized bullet. It wasn't hard telling my adoptive parents, but my mother's family was a bit of a different story. Once everyone on that side knew, most of them weren't all that bothered by it actually, or if they were they never made me feel it, except for my grandmother's sister, who I really liked, and she just hated me suddenly and we never spoke again since. Just like that. But my family is very well-educated and nothing like fundies at all (and Jewish, which was kind of a special way to grow up here in the US to be honest). Anyway, if you feel like sharing, we're all (supportive) ears!

I've never hidden the fact that I am an atheist and I have been questioned only a few times on the source of my morality. As others have said, actions speak far louder than words. Steph, don't be put off by their stupid comments - many people carry chips on their shoulders and will bark at anything outside of their own territory. Sometimes, the questioning can be genuine intrigue born of ignorance, but assertions held firmly by people who will not hear otherwise such as these are worth ignoring.

Oh, wait -- I do know what this is like. Sorta. It's a much-touted story of mine around these parts.

I was in seventh grade. My classmates were discussing nothing in particular, and I didn't discuss anything at all. Pretty soon, the conversation shifted to religion. Someone decided to put me on the spot.

Classmate: Hey, do you believe in God?

Me: No.

Cue widespread shock.

It was insane! They just could not fathom how I could think such a way. In fact, this one girl -- she said she couldn't be my friend if I was an atheist. I've locked myself in the closet ever since.

Something similar happened to me in one of my biology classes .. I wore a Darwin shirt and the girls in my group didn't want me in their group any longer. So I was not as willing to be out as an Atheist  after that.

Well. That's a burn on their part, if ever I've seen one. >_>

Thanks Maia! You are so sweet!

Maybe you could tactfully point out to these people that their moral depravity radar must be pretty weak if they didn't detect your supposed turpitude before you came out!  How come their omniscient, omnipotent god didn't put a big pulsing neon sign above your head so's his fleecy little flock could spot the wolf among them?  

I get the old "you're just rebelling against God because you're angry at him" crap all the time, but no one has actually told me I'm immoral yet.  

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