When I finally decided to take up the question about God and religion again after many of years of apathy, not only did I flock to the book store, but online to research if the belief in God was tenable.
Actually, my first conversations over the issue was via email with a woman I was dating when I briefly lived in the country-ghetto (don't ask) who was a Biblical literalist and fundamentalist. She tried her best to win my soul for poor crucified baby Jesus – even asserting in so many words that God would enrich my bank account too, as long as I was born again. I don't know why I dated her. Oh yeah, I used to have a thing for tall leggy blonds.
Eventually, I made it online and found resources and other apostates like myself.
Non-believers, atheists in Indonesia can now do the same.
"For me personally (going online) is just to share my thoughts and to meet people who think the same way I do, because I don't see many in my real life," said Didi, a 29-year-old architect.
In Indonesia you must declare your religious affiliation on your identity card. Could you imagine that? (They also have religious courts that exist along side civil, secular courts.) One of the great strengths of our society is that if you want your religious affiliation to remain anonymous, you can choose to do so. I choose not too, obviously.
The web presence also acts as a kind of support service. The Facebook group also has discussions on how to broach the subject of religion with friends and family, with most members confessing they think it wisest to keep "wearing a mask".
Um...okay so atheists can not be entirely anonymous in their no-beliefs in Indonesia.
This is furthered expanded upon by Indonesian XYZMan:
"If everyone knew that I'm an atheist, I could lose my job, my family would hate me and also some friends, It's also more likely that I could be physically attacked or killed because I'm a kafir (unbeliever) and my blood is halal (allowed to be spilled) according to Islam."
That's sounds like a pretty good reason to me to remain anonymous.
While the threat of violence isn't much of reality here in the States and throughout the West, I have to admit that being a vocal and public atheist in a section of the state and country which is overwhelmingly conservative and conservative Christian may prove to be liability someday - it's still incumbent on me to "stick my arms out and make room for myself in this society." (Thanks PZ.)
I will not remain anonymous.
And if your in the West and an atheist, neither should you.