I work at a Christian-based retail store. Occasionally, customers ask me if I go to church. I only say "no," volunteering as little information about myself as possible. Then I'm always invited to visit their church. I listen politely to the directions and service times. And smile as they walk away.
A few weeks ago, a co-worker asked if I was atheist and instead of telling the truth, I dodged the question. "Why would you ask ME that?" "Who told you that?" "Where did you hear that?"
I am ashamed. I ashamed of how much of a pussy I am. Why don't I just tell strangers that try to recruit me that I am an atheist and that I think going to their church would be the biggest waste of time. Why couldn't I tell my co-worker that I was an atheist? It would not have jeopardized my job. Some people there already know that I have no use for religion. It's not the first time that atheism and Jennifer have been linked.
Every time one of these situations happen I feel really bad. I am the reason why religious folk still come after non-believers like a lioness picking off the weak prey in the herd. That's me. The zebra or gazelle (or whatever lions eat) that can't stand up for itself.
My new goal is to "come out" to a complete stranger or more appropriately, to the next person to strike up a conversation with me about their god(s). It's good to have goals. It's even better to accomplish them.