Poll: How long have you been OUT as an atheist

I was about to click on this poll to rank how long I've been "out" as an atheist and realized that is a loaded question. How long have I known I'm atheist? Since the first time I set foot in church in my childhood home of Alabama and realized that I'm the opposite of all of the people in that building. 

How long has my mother known? I think she's always known, but we don't really talk about it. 

How long has my grandmother known? I think she's an atheist in denial so maybe she always has known. 

Some of my co-workers know, some don't. Some of my friends know, some don't. Some of my business clients know....and some I can't tell or I'll lose much of my clientele. 

So, I guess my point is, I do not have an answer for this poll as I don't believe I will ever be able to be completely "out" and work freely and prosperously in my field and maintain relationships with my extended family of Alabama Bible Beaters. 

P.S. I work with children with special needs and many (I'd say most in my experience) of the families turn to their God to explain why their child has a condition. Some of the conditions I see are horrible and ruin families and they often describe belief in God as the only way they can cope with what's happening to them. 

Anyone else have trouble answering that pole?

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Hi to you too! It's interesting to hear how everyone came to atheism. I also have enjoyed reading everyone's comments and their posts in the discussion forums as well. I find it refreshing to be able to converse with like minded people, even if it's only through the internet. :)
Gabby, do you know why I am writing my name in this way? I am trying to become a little bit more invisible. Why? People here are so obsessed with god in Texas that it will be a little bit difficult to do business. I am trying to find a job and these fuckers ask me at the interviews to go to the first baptist church or penticostals or whatever because "it is interesting". I recently called a lawyer (because if Fatan) and the second question after my name was "are you a christian"?... WTF?!!! I was so surprised that I said with half mouth that if he wants, I am a christian... He was typing at the computer and I could hear him that he wrote my name after I told it to him. After I kind of lied to him ("if you want, I am a christian") he immediately refused me because "he doesn't want to take my money and he is very expensive". Then, why did he answer the phone in the first place? He should protect people by not coming to work!

He saw my name linked with AN, I suppose, and I realized I was stupid to be out in the bible belt.

You know Gabby I didn't plan to go back to the bottom of the piramid and deal with these bible pushers but it is not the right moment for me to be out now.
I've been an atheist for a good 9 years. so i told my christian parents around the age of 8. tough times soon followed.
I've been an atheist since I first began thinking about it. My parents are agnostics, and funnily enough they now criticise my hard-line atheist stance (even though their own standpoint enabled me to develop mine, early on and with no resistance) ...
It's been close to four years for me...
I've been out for a good ten years. Most people know about it and are scared to question me on it.

I was raised mormon and was very active within it, and even though I remind people that I'm atheist now they seem to ignore it. They hold onto a hope that I would go back....even the non mormon ones.

If you really want to test an ex-mormon ask what their temple name is. All that go through the temple ceremony are given a name which they are told never to reveal except at certain times and places. You hear all kinds of stories of what happened to people who did discuss it. Religion had such a strong hold on me to where I hesitated when I was first asked. You can also see fear in peoples faces when you mention it to them, you hear them gasp, and they wonder at how you could say it.

For the curious people here mine was Elijah! And I'm sure I'll be around for a little while.
Always have been, always will be!
If anyone asks me what Church I go to, I have no problem telling them that I don't believe in God. I don't always say, "Oh BTW, I'm and atheist" but when asked or when it comes up in some other way, I am out.
-Staks
I have been an atheist as long as I remember which is about six years old. Later when I was 14 I read the other faiths and various others, because I wanted to find out whether the other faiths were as vile and as cruel as the ones I grew up with. The reading was mind numbing. I put them down and have never desired to read another text. I would say I have hidden my atheism sometimes to protect myself, or not cause a fuss at a gathering. As I have gotten older I find that i have used a filter to cull anyone who is not an atheists, skeptic, agnostic, secular humanist or rationalist. My doctor is an Atheist, my friendsa are atheists and the family I visit are atheists. I shop in places that do not offend me. I try to do business with honest folk. (I have just bought a car yesterday from a company in another town, an hours drive and difficult to go to service the car, the reason I went is I found an honest car dealer) I will not bore you with the details. MY point is I have managed to surround myself with enough people to have a decent life. I find religious people stick out quite plainly in articles in newspapers, and letters. I know in some countries this is difficult.
Thirteen..When i qyit going to church..I did not know i was an atheist though cause at the time, I had no idea there was sucha term.
My dad did call me a heathen though..And I thought to myself he had a lot of room to talk.
i have always shunned all organised religion, mostly because i found it boring at a young age.

i have always been an atheist and in norway it does not really matter
It took me a bit. (Raised to believe, so it took a while to go from "belief" to fencerideing to acceptance, its an emotional attachment thing you know.) But once I did I was instantly "out". If I'm going to be forced to listen to that superstisious babble everywhere I go, I think someone should stand up and "testify" for logic, reason and reality. I'm a nice guy, and my (our) views just plain hurt believers feelings, so out of basic human decency and politeness I don't go around "preaching" but let someone else bring it up... especialy since everyone assumes your a believer, and ill gladly and articulatelystate my case, with my big ol' bag of facts and logic backing me up. It's become kindof a sociological experiment for me to watch different peoples reactions. The more ignorant try to argue. Three days ago I actualy had a guy say "Then why is the sky blue? You can't tell me that! 'Cause nobody knows!" This is where you get to whip out Google! But the more thoughtfull take and think. It makes for interesting conversation.

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