coming out atheist

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 10, 2011 12:02 PM GMT
    Is coming out atheist to your Christian family also difficult? I think so in my situation. What should I do?
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    Jun 10, 2011 12:06 PM GMT
    This could turn out ugly, but I guess it depends if your family is really practicing Christianity and will love you unconditionally. A true Christian will love you.
  • Neurons

    Posts: 537

    Jun 10, 2011 12:08 PM GMT
    It shouldn't be too bad. I probably depends on how serious they are with the religion. My mom understands that I make my own choice and have my own beliefs, and she's a pretty serious Christian. Just let them know you respect the religion but don't believe in it.
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    Jun 10, 2011 12:15 PM GMT
    I think unless you have a good reason for telling them, you should just not bring it up. That seems to cause the least harm. Religious people are tricky.
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    Jun 10, 2011 1:37 PM GMT
    Admitting I'm agnostic received a MUCH worse response than being gay.
    Of course, according to mom I'm going to hell anyway for being gay, so I might as well be agnostic too. icon_lol.gif
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    Jun 10, 2011 1:41 PM GMT
    paulflexes saidAdmitting I'm agnostic received a MUCH worse response than being gay.


    I had the opposite effect. When I told my family that I was gay, I was kicked out of the house. When I told them I was atheist a couple of years later, I was only told, "Well, I hope you'll reconsider." That was about it. I come from a very, VERY religious christian family. My guess is that they already think I'm going to hell for being gay, so what's another notch on the belt loop?

    As for what you should do, just tell them. Don't wait until "the right time" or any holidays or anything; just come out and say it. It's really not that big of a deal.
  • He_Man

    Posts: 906

    Jun 10, 2011 2:05 PM GMT

    Coming out as an atheist is even harder than coming out as a gay or lesbian in our society, in my experience. Believe me, I know this first hand. I have never lost a friend or family memeber due to my sexuality, but I have been disowned by many members of my family and have lost friends and potential friends when I disclosed my scepticism and atheism.

    If you're a homosexual, then you can repent and be saved because we're all sinners, so the Christians believe, whereas if you're an irreverent, satan-loving, child-molesting and heathenistic non-believer, then you're doomed for all of eternity. icon_evil.gif

    Here is a Gallup poll that shows the acceptance rates of Americans when it comes to electing a president:

    America-Hates-Atheists.png


    * Atheists have a 39.6% disapproval rating comapared to Gays at 22.6%

    * 47.6 % state that they would not approve of their child getting married to an athiest.

    I guess it's easier to be a gay christian in this country than to be an atheist. Well, I'm screwed because I'm a gay atheist. Ouch! That's a double whammy.
  • Vaughn

    Posts: 1880

    Jun 10, 2011 2:07 PM GMT
    I think Bill Mahr turned mine first.
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    Jun 10, 2011 2:10 PM GMT
    My parents aren't religious, so they didn't raise me with any religious beliefs or values. However, apparently everyone else on my mom's side of the family (lost contact with my father's side) is religious, though there's this huge division within where one side is full of Jehovah's Witnesses and the other is Lutheran.

    I personally identify myself as agnostic (I prefer to keep an open mind to all the possibilities), but it definitely turned out to be more of an issue amongst my mom's relatives than coming out as gay. They've never exactly harassed me for it, but they ask questions like: "How can you not believe in God? Who else would've created all this?" Of course, I have my own opinions, but I try to avoid that argument altogether because it's pointless.

    It's even more difficult to explain to some of them the difference between agnosticism and atheism, because some of them think I'm really an atheist or theist without admitting it. More importantly, I hope they see me for who I am and the person I've become. Obviously I turned out just fine not relying on the belief of an intelligent designer.
  • He_Man

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    Jun 10, 2011 2:16 PM GMT
    pocketnico said However, apparently everyone else on my mom's side of the family (lost contact with my father's side) is religious, though there's this huge division within where one side is full of Jehovah's Witnesses and the other is Lutheran.

    .


    I was raised a JW. I feel for you and know exactly what its like being one of those. I made it up to a Ministerial Servant and a full-time Pioneer by the age of 18. Oh, the not-so-good-old-days! That explains why I'm f*#ked up! icon_evil.gif
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    Jun 10, 2011 2:22 PM GMT
    Cuddle_Monkey said
    pocketnico said However, apparently everyone else on my mom's side of the family (lost contact with my father's side) is religious, though there's this huge division within where one side is full of Jehovah's Witnesses and the other is Lutheran.

    .


    I was raised a JW. I feel for you and know exactly what its like being one of those. I made it up to a Ministerial Servant and a full-time Pioneer by the age of 18. Oh, the not-so-good-old-days! That explains why I'm f*#ked up! icon_evil.gif


    Oh, I have no experience with JW. My relatives who are JW completely isolated themselves from the family and don't talk to anyone. I've never even met any of them. I just know they exist.

    My mom was raised as a Lutheran, although she later rejected it when she grew up.
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    Jun 10, 2011 2:42 PM GMT
    Cuddle_Monkey said

    I guess it's easier to be a gay christian in this country than to be an atheist. Well, I'm screwed because I'm a gay atheist. Ouch! That's a double whammy.


    you can always come over here to northern Europe if you feel out of place.

    over here, people think that very religious people (say Jehovas Witnesses) are a lot weirder than an atheist gay person icon_lol.gif
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    Jun 10, 2011 2:45 PM GMT
    Heh, have to keep in mind that many of the first people who came to the US were religious radicals who were under the threat of persecution of Europe. So basically we ended up with the freaks that nobody in Europe wanted anymore.
  • Bigolbear

    Posts: 528

    Jun 10, 2011 2:53 PM GMT
    It's much easier to come out as gay than atheist these days. I'm still closeted about my atheism to my father. He knows that I am no longer a practicing catholic, since our family left the church when I was 12, but we just don't talk about it.

    I don't push my beliefs on anyone unless asked about them because if someone wants to have faith in something I wouldn't want to take that away from them if they are not pushing it on me.
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    Jun 10, 2011 2:56 PM GMT
    pocketnico saidHeh, have to keep in mind that many of the first people who came to the US were religious radicals who were under the threat of persecution of Europe. So basically we ended up with the freaks that nobody in Europe wanted anymore.


    Shame on Europe for dumping their junk to USA.
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    Jun 10, 2011 3:00 PM GMT
    I also remember that Gallup poll from 2008 about presidential candidates, and that Americans would least likely vote for an openly atheist candidate. They'll vote for an openly gay or Muslim candidate over an atheist. Heaven forbid that anyone godless takes office.

    I bet if Wiccans & other pagans had been added to that poll, they would've won least likely because most Americans think of them as devil-worshipers (which they aren't, of course).
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    Jun 10, 2011 3:02 PM GMT
    javalava saidIs coming out atheist to your Christian family also difficult? I think so in my situation. What should I do?




    If you think they are going to hurt you, their own flesh and blood, because their imaginary friend and story is more important than you... maybe is better not to tell them. However, if you do stand strong!
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    Jun 10, 2011 3:03 PM GMT
    Well I am sure you will be the topic of conversation for may dinner parties to come at your house haha icon_smile.gif

    Just do it. Be who you are.

    xx
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    Jun 10, 2011 3:08 PM GMT
    You have a right to express your beliefs. Not only do you have the right, but I believe it is emotionally damaging to keep your beliefs a secret. Why should a Christian have this right but not you?
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    Jun 10, 2011 3:08 PM GMT
    What's been interesting to me over the years is that there aren't nearly as many gay atheist, agnostic, or irreligious people as I thought when I first came out at 17. At that time, I expected most to reject religion since many religions don't support homosexuality. However, the vast majority of my gay friends and ex-boyfriends I've made came from a religious family and have kept those values.
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    Jun 10, 2011 3:36 PM GMT
    My mom had a harder time with me telling her I don't believe in god than when I told her I was gay. Her reaction to me being not believing in god is what kept me from telling her I was gay because I could not break her heart again. I mean me being the two worse things in America, an atheist and then to tell her I am gay. I didn't know how to do it. Funny thing though when I told her i was gay she didn'tt say anything but sometimes double checks once and a while to see if I still like guys.
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    Jun 10, 2011 4:13 PM GMT
    I've been ostracized by "Christian" friends a couple of times for my non-religious beliefs.

    At first, they said it's OK, no big deal. . . then they embark on a campaign to convert you. . . then, when they see you're not "convertable" (sp?). . . they abandon you.

    Obviously that's not the scenario with everyone. But if they're deeply religious, it becomes more likely.



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    Jun 10, 2011 4:47 PM GMT
    LittleDudeWithMuscles saidI've been ostracized by "Christian" friends a couple of times for my non-religious beliefs.

    At first, they said it's OK, no big deal. . . then they embark on a campaign to convert you. . . then, when they see you're not "convertable" (sp?). . . they abandon you.

    Obviously that's not the scenario with everyone. But if they're deeply religious, it becomes more likely.



    And what is funny is that we Atheists are so often accused by the religious and spiritual of trying to push our belief on everyone else. I have even on occasion here in these forums seen some accuse Atheists of that for simply starting a thread like this one. They should try living in our shoes for a while if they really want to see what it is like having a belief system pushed on you.
  • dtx1

    Posts: 155

    Jun 10, 2011 5:15 PM GMT
    My mom had a tougher time accepting that I am atheist than she did with me being homosexual. She is a devout Christian (Methodist, non-fundamentalist) and a life-long, ol' time southern democrat (pro-union, pro-working class, but somewhat conservative on social issues).

    For her, Christianity is the core framework of her existence. When I came out to her as gay, she did not perceive it as an assault on what is most important in her life, her deeply held religious beliefs. But when I came out to her as atheist, she took it as a personal attack on her and her beliefs.

    In this case, telling her I was homosexual was like saying 'we're different.' But telling her I was atheist was like say 'you're wrong.'

    The good news is that, with time, both of these wounds have healed and we have a great relationship now.
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    Jun 10, 2011 5:31 PM GMT
    Yeah, my mom and I got into a screaming fight when I first told her I wasn't sure about the existence of a god. Although aside from her telling me "It's terrible that you don't believe in God!" when she's drunk, the issue is pretty much put to rest... Helps that she doesn't practice religion much. Although apparently she thinks being agnostic and being an atheist are the same thing.

    pocketnico saidIt's even more difficult to explain to some of them the difference between agnosticism and atheism, because some of them think I'm really an atheist or theist without admitting it.


    Yeah, this is really frustrating. icon_confused.gif A few of my family members think I'm an atheist when I'm agnostic and it's like gahhh.