I came out to family and friends in 2004. I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado, which I like to refer to as the star in the belt buckle of the bible belt, on the whipping end.

My kids were pretty accepting. My wife, still a fundamentalist christian, not so much. We've pretty much reached a stable equilibrium, but it's still not all that easy sometimes. I've had lots of preachers call me to set up lunches, in which they wanted to try to help me through my "Crisis of faith". I guess that is something to call it from their perspective. No crisis at all from my perspective. I feel like I finally woke up.

I feel like I'm in an odd place, in that I still tend to have pretty conservative values, so I don't really feel all that welcomed in some atheist circles that tend to be more liberal. But I'm not at all accepted in christian circles.

So I don't socialize much outside work. I play a lot of world of warcraft, hehe. My guild in WoW is pretty anti-christian, so me being an atheist means I fit right in there.

So, what's your story?

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I wanted you to know that there are some not so liberal leaning atheists here even. I was quite an evangelical christian myself until I read the bible in 96. So I too have some rather conservative leanings myself.

Anywhooo...If you check out the group "The Other Free Thinkers" it's a group I started for the not as liberal atheist. I'd love to see you there!
My Coming out expience? Well my mother was overbearing and said my father didn't play with me enough.

Oops, that wasn't the coming out experience you guys were talking about was it. :-)
I didn't really "come out", people just sort of found out. I guess I must have told my sister and she probably told my parents. I think my parents probably wanted to know why I refused to go to church, even when we were visiting my grandmother.

My dad and I were riding in his truck one day and he said, "What's this I hear about you being an atheist?" I guess he saw it as a negative thing--he didn't care what I believed as long as I wasn't atheist, I think. He said, "Whatever happened to agnostic?" I guess I was supposed to be agnostic before I was atheist. I probably was though--there was certainly a period of doubt between 5th grade and 11th grade, when I was finally comfortable calling myself an atheist (which happened at dinner with a large group of friends when we all went around in a circle saying what religion we were and another friend said he was an atheist--that's when I realized it was ok). My dad's the type who believes in god but isn't really Christian.

I think my mom thought I was too smart for my own good.

My sister, who was very religious at the time, seemed worried about my soul or something, and also seemed to think she was a lot better than me. You know how Christians feel sorry for you since you're going to hell. She's since come around and now calls herself agnostic. Yay for college.

My mom told her sister who sent me some books that were supposed to prove there was a god. I tried to read one of them but the logic was so horrible I couldn't continue.

I don't think anyone really cares anymore. I'm sure if my paternal grandmother found out she would be really sad, but there's no reason for her to find out.
I'm still in the process, i guess. I always drop hints to my mother; i think she knows. My brother has a very hard head, and thinks if he yells loud enough that i'll snap out of it. I don't think any one else knows. I have two brothers, and two sisters. One sister is very busy with her job, and she doesn't go to church, etc., but believes. My older brother doesn't attend church, but he'd say that he believes. My younger brother doesn't go to church, and tries to preach to me. My oldest sister does attend church, and switched from catholic to baptist. Her husband couldn't care less about church, but he'd probably tell you that he believes; i think he worships deer hunting. For me, i don't see the point in coming out and telling everyone (family). I wouldn't want them to come out and make an announcement that they were christian
I think I told everyone as soon as it happened.

**oops, this is about coming out.**
Baptized Catholic; never went to church; started attending an evangelical Church; read some books on the brain and behavior; discovered atheism; became an atheist at 14-15. Hard to say, my conversion wasn't documented well enough. I remember when I was a Christian and the first time I met an atheist. He started talking about the theory of evolution. Back then I had no idea of its theological implications. I furthered my understanding in biology, geology, and cosmology after becoming atheist. While I was doing this I would constantly put science side by side with religion and compare, only to discover that most religion wasn't consistent with the science. For example, the theory of endosymbiosis is the only experimental based explanation we have for the existence of the mitochondria. The theory of endosymbiosis states that mitochondria are descendants of free-living bacteria. This idea is consistent the fact that mitochondria has it's own DNA, and consistent with the fact that its DNA is actually very similar to that of bacteria. I find that theists use God to complete their equations, but I have found that the god variable isn't necessary.
Detroit!! Gotta love South Park!
I would never encourage anyone to come out to those around them on something like this till they are ready. It took courage for you to do as much as you did. I'm happy for you in that.

I would encourage you to find at least one person with whom you can speak freely about your experiences, hopefully for you someone that is likeminded. It is a HUGE benefit to have friends that have been fundy christian and have deconverted. They understand your perspective better than anyone else. It will be a great benefit to you to be able to do that, in my opinion.

The initials CCC narrow it down quite a bit, and I'm extremely familiar with the ministries in town, hehe. Few atheists know quite as much as me about their hometowns christian ministries. I was such a part of that circle for so many years that I can't hardly help but know it well.

I wish you the best, Loving Thinker.

Hang in there guy. Colorado seems to be a tough place to live as a free thinker, but someone's got to do it. It truly does feel like waking up and in my case from a bad dream. Ever sense I can remember the fear of God and burning in hell was everywhere. But Jesus loved me and is my savior. I was born again about ten times as a teenager. That because of all the backsliding, sinning and not memorizing the Bible.

Yes, all of my family are believers including some fundimentalist. They have pretty much disowned me for not believing and as if I was possessed by the devil. My wife two sons and I get along maybe its because we have too. Thank goodness my sons seem to be all right with it. I don't discuses with them what I don't believe but they know where I'm coming from because of what I read and post on my space. com. One brother and my mother try to pick my brain but I won't let them. They get frustrated and constantly say that they are praying for me. The other two think I'm crazy we hardly speak to each other.
It's sad, uncomfortable, disappointing that they to feel sorry for me and say that I am "ignorant for not believing in God." It's funny how I don't feel the same way toward them. I know that the choice is the right one because in my opinion it explains everything. It is difficult for them to understand how anyone can live a moral and productive life without "God."

Luckily I live in the United States of America where there is still a freedom of choice to believe. How long it will last? That is a question that comes to mind more frequently lately because of what is being said by religious leaders, presidential candidates, etc.. There seems to be a big push on recently to believe. This USA must keep the church and state separate at all costs. Otherwise we will all be praying to Mecca like it or not sooner or later.

It's good to know their are others.

Stay free all you free thinkers.

Well, I can't say it was exactly instant. I never really believed in any of it. My family hardly ever went to church, and the few times we did, I just wanted to leave. I didn't want to leave for any of the reasons I could give now for not going, I just wanted to leave because I was a kid and it was boring as hell. I do recall one time when I was young, maybe 9 or 10, talking to my older cousin about god. He was telling me that I could go to hell for not believing. Even at that age, I recall thinking to myself "Is he just trying to pull my leg?" That's kind of how I thought about it, until around age 13, when I actually heard the term "atheist." After looking it up in the dictionary along with "agnostic," I decided that I was an atheist. I told my Mom, who just kind of looked at me funny. I'm sure she just thought I was young and dumb, so she just dismissed it. I never told my grandparents, but I think they know. Last time I went to visit them, my grandfather started telling me that when people get educated(I'm taking some college classes,) they start to loose site of god. I still didn't tell him. I just nodded my head and let him talk. Of course, he's right, but I'm pretty sure that they'd disown me if I came out and said it. (They disowned my sister after they found out that she was dating a black guy.) I guess, the grandparents are the hardest to tell. The majority of my family knows, but don't really care. After that, the subject didn't really come up much, until I joined the military.

I started discussing religion with coworkers and most of their reactions were mild. I think most were thinking to themselves "You can do that?" Never had too many problems until I started discussing it with a civilian that I worked. She was a born-again christian that spent most of her spare time at church. After getting into a few heated debates, we just kind of agreed to disagree, and didn't discuss it from then on. (I saw her again recently, and the first thing she asked me was "Have you found Jesus yet?") I guess there's no hope for her. I tried logic on her, and that didn't work, so I gave up.

These days, it doesn't come up too much. A few of my close friends are atheists, and most of the others are the type that will profess that they're christian, but haven't seen the inside of a church in years. It's still uncomfortable going to Commander's Call and having the chaplain say a prayer to get things started, but I've found something to look forward to during those times. I like looking around, while most heads are bowed, for those that are also looking around. When I see those other faces it kind of makes me feel good, knowing that there are others.
You likely know this by now but every non-believer is her own kind of believer. Just like snowflakes, no two are alike.
I think the difference between believers and non-believers is the basis of our knowledge and dogma. They tend to know based what they are told and we tend to use logic, reason, and science.




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