I came out as an Atheist around two years ago. I was very lucky that I didn't lose anything by coming out, I still have all my friends and family. I know that it confused some of my friends, and I have no idea what my family really thinks about it as we have an unannounced agreement that we just don't discuss religion. So I carried on, watching Atheist Experience, The Thinking Atheist,  and posting the occasional Facebook posts about some of the skeletons in Christanitys closet, so I should admit I do focus on Christianity since that was the religion I grew up in. I occasionally met up with the local Freethinkers group, however I never felt the need to deviate from my current circle of friends. 

Then the fight happened. With my best friend, one who I called a sister. She was mad about my Facebook posts. I knew she was mad because she made a vague post on her page, after I did one making fun of the Atheist strawman stories, and then refused to text me. So I caught her on Facebook chat and told her to talk to me. After all, you don't get over a fight until you have the fight. She was mad, and did a lot of personal attacks in the messages but I didn't really get mad...Oh, I was still indignant on her doing a vaguebook instead of just TALKING to me, but I held my cool. 

Her faith is more dear to her than I am. That one hurt. It made me question how dear is her faith compared to her husband, or children. I didn't ask her, after all, I'm trying to salvage the situation. So after more talks, we came to a compromise that I would block any further anti-theist posts from her, but that these posts would still happen. However now I'm a little scared to. I'm scared that one day I may forget to block her from it and we'll go through the fight again. I'm scared that someone will tag her and then she will see it. I'm scared because of the possible slip up, and I'm mad about being scared. I shouldn't have to walk on eggshells.


I want my best friend, I want to see my nieces. So I went searching. I don't always want the echo chamber...but I want to be able to speak my mind. So I went searching, mostly for a chat room, and I found Atheist Nexus. So... yeah.... that's basically how I got here in a nutshell.

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Tags: atheism, fights, friends

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Comment by Angela on May 16, 2013 at 10:41pm
I lost a "friend" of 30 years when I came out as atheist. Her church family told her that associating with me would surely be her ticket straight to hell. She overlooked all the things she knew about me, all the times we shared..laughter.. tears...good and bad for this bigoted bunch of idiots. She tried to contact me recently to tell me that she was now "free" to see who she wanted, but her church friends would always come first. I told her to go piss up a rope. To be honest to yourself is never an easy thing to do. You may lose friends and family. I have been very selective in the people whom I have shared with. I hope one day to be as strong as courageous as Joan. Til then I will enjoy MY life without having to be worried about what happens next.
Comment by Rachel Riley on May 16, 2013 at 7:03pm

I just wanted to say thanks for all the comments! I wasn't even sure if this post would be seen, lol. 
@Joan Denoo, I feel she's worth the effort for a couple of reasons. One is we've been best friends for almost ten years. This is our first fight..it just happened to be a doozy, but she's always had a short religious fuse so I did somewhat expect a fight to happen some day...just not like that. That and I don't want to lose out on seeing her daughters. I've been their Auntie since birth.

Dennis, I'm cake compared to your situation. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 16, 2013 at 9:28am

I enjoy the opportunity to share and find others who share my enthusiasm for inquiry. I like the comments that arouse my ire ... I can give voice to my experience, even as those who disagree remain powerless in face of my reasoning. Those who screech and condemn write more about themselves than they do of me or my ideas.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 16, 2013 at 9:24am

rhyne bowers, sadly, keeping silent in face of employment pressures is a fact of life, a necessary one at that.

The best revenge is being caring, happy, content, and confident in your behaviors, in full view of others who do not know from where your strength comes. That is easy to do if you are comfortable in your own skin. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 16, 2013 at 9:20am

Dennis, I share your angst about African religiosity; after all, crimes committed by religious people and the institution caused them great pain, even as they seek refuge in the arms of its delusions. If there is a resurrection it will be a black female messiah; at least Africans are entitled to that. 

Since resurrection is a false hope leading to nowhere, we can be grateful the ones we know and care about survived. In my case, Denoo's of Africa impress me as a loving, kind, caring group of people, far more so than some of my USA and Belgian relatives. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 16, 2013 at 9:12am

I agree, "I shouldn't have to walk on eggshells." A healthy relationship is one in which you can be totally yourself without having to monitor your thoughts and words in order to fit her in. Is she really worth the effort? 

Comment by Michael Penn on May 16, 2013 at 7:38am

This is an enlightening road but also a rough one too. I was trained for the ministry and am not "out" as atheist to everyone yet. It would kill my step father to know this about me, and I can only relate atheist ideas to my children and limited friends. My wife of 8 years is Kenyan and I cannot tell her I am atheist. Her and her family would not understand. Years ago her grandfather and Samaeo Undato started a religion called Legio Maria (Legion of Mary) in Kenya. This is a mix of African, Catholic, and Pentecostal ideas, and is practiced yet today. Undato was poisoned in what appeared to be a desire to see him "resurrect as the true black messiah." As far as we can see, Undato is still as dead as a door nail!

Comment by Joan Denoo on May 16, 2013 at 1:51am

I love the word, "atheist", without deity. I love being an atheist and feel pride and self-respect when I say I am an atheist. To me, it means I revoke superstition, delusions and state out loud my position about religion. People don't have to wonder. If people ask me questions, such as where do you get your morality, and I can easily reply not from a tradition that denounced family in favor of the guru, and who slays those who disagree with the dogma. I read about Israel and feel utter disgust and don't mind saying it out loud. I look at the signs carried by people who don't like atheists and I see voluntary ignorance and worse. When I see the obstruction to LGBT marriage, I know I see people with hate filled values.  When I see the abuse of children by indoctrinating them into some fairytale existence I know I bear witness to child abuse. 

I am proud of being able to think for myself, to look at options and pick one that seems to be the most moral, ethical, and have the highest probability of solving a problem. No dogma can do that. 

I don't feel pity when dealing with religious. There is no pity for anyone who does not think for themselves. I do feel revulsion when I see or hear a child spouting lies, distortions, delusions in full faith that their loving parents teach them right from wrong. Those kids have terrible obstacles to overcome if they want to live happy, productive, moral lives. 

Comment by John Aultman on May 15, 2013 at 11:01pm

Hello Rachel and Welcome.  I don't mean to be harsh but it seems to me that you need your friend more than she needs you.  You have every right to express your opinion on what you believe without putting your friendship in jeopardy but apparently your friend doesn't see that way.  Her Christianity has no effect on how you feel about her but it's apparent your atheism does effect how she feels about you.  I hope you find peace but without compromise.

Comment by James Yount on May 15, 2013 at 9:03pm

That stalemate won't last.  I've been through it.  There's now a clear wall between you and your friend.  Eventually you will probably resent her for stifling your expression.  If it hasn't done so already, your atheism will change your politics which will deepen the gap.  Little 'subtle' statements and suggestions from her that you go to church or read this or that will wear on you.  I can't see the future so you two might find some level of compromise.  I don't see the friendship being what it was though.  You already can't be completely open with each other anymore and that's what friendship is all about. 

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