To give a little backstory on me, I've had a lot of awful experiences in my life. I used to be a pretty devout Catholic (taught Sunday school and went to church with my grandmother). I tried to turn to the actual bible for comfort and guidance while suicidal and found none inside, which caused me to doubt Catholicism. That's where this all started.
Lest I give the impression that this wasn't a rational decision, one day I was discussing religion with my fiance and realized that I was basically saying, "Yeah, you Abrahamic religions are so fake, but these ancient Celtic gods who have just as much evidence to support their existence as you do TOTALLY EXIST." Once I realized my hypocrisy, I became an atheist, and it was like a breath of completely rational fresh air.
A few months later, I decided I should tell my "salad bar Catholic" mother that her daughter is a heathen. Here's the conversation.
Me: Mom, I have to talk to you about something important.
Mom: Okay, what's wrong?
Me: Well, nothing's wrong exactly. I just thought I should let you know that I'm an atheist.
Mom: *makes a strangled noise like I'd told her some friends were coming around for dinner and I'd prepared kitten a l'orange.*
There was a very, very long pause.
Mom: You're... you're an ATHEIST? How can you possibly be an ATHEIST?
Figuring it was the best place to start, I thought I should explain the whole process. I tried to enumerate the reasons that had caused me to doubt the existence of a creator as described in the bible in the first place: Emotionally, physically, and sexually abusive boyfriend, broken-up family, divorced parents, one of whom implicitly blames me for said divorce, etc.
Mom: Well, did you ever think god wanted it that way?
We didn't continue the conversation for very long after that, because I saw it was pointless to try and talk about the science I had learned since becoming an atheist, or the evidence that supports atheism (meaning, all of the evidence).
The part that makes me laugh is her hypocrisy. That's probably the single most amoral thing she could have said, and yet she thinks of herself as (and would be lauded as) a "good christian."
My Sister: Mom saw that you joined a Atheist group on Facebook.
My Sister: She was upset and asked me "what did I do wrong as a mother?" I said "bringing him to a fundamentalist cult-church didn't help."
Me: Why didn't she just talk to me?
My Sister: That's what I asked.
Same here. It is never a big deal in our highschools or collages either. Now in my university,the common attitude towards this subject is... whatever!
Although I remember a girl from 9th grade telling on me to the school's director, very alarmed, that I am not a "believer" !! I usually felt very relaxed talking open with my friends but that girl was a typical hyper-spoiled brat with only 2 very lonely neurons in her head , who couldn't see anything past what her grandmothers have tought her. For a second i actually felt terror over my spine but i looked over to the director's face i saw total indifference.
Small lesson: i will never make statements around ignorant people anymore. they always respond agressive when they don't understand. And they always, ALWAYS think that other people must share the same beliefs as they do. ( that a genuine proof of narrow-mindedness)!
That they're beliefs are the most logical, and true and just. They never learn anything else. So they close they're minds to new information. For them, it's just backround "crap" that isn't worth "digesting".
I keep getting told by the few friends I've "come out" to that they "see god in me" even if I do not. Hell, my own wife keeps saying that she "believes enough for the both of us." Whatever. What they actually see in me is a good person that grates with what they've been told about how godless people are inherently not good people. So observation does not equal hypothesis and that is mind-blowing to the few people that I've "come out" to.
Religion does not equal morality, yet to SO MANY otherwise logical and intelligent people, they are one and the same.
I was raised by an Atheist single mom. She didn't know it at the time, but she was an Atheist when we had this conversation.
Me: * Something about how Atheists are discriminated against *
Mom: You're an Atheist? I thought you didn't believe in Gods?
Mom: How can you hate god, but not believe in him?
Me: I don't!
Mom: So you're a christian?
Me: No I don't believe in gods!
Mom: So you're agnostic?
Insert my first, true facepalm.
My aunt saw me accessing an atheist blog last week. She said, "Those sites are made by evil people to bring young and foolish kids like YOU to satan's side!!!1! :O " LOL.
I tell my my friends and relatives that I am a born again Agnostic Atheist Heathen. The kin folk from the bible belt don't know what Agnostic.
Their only response is "Jesus loves you anyway." I always say, yeah right, prove it and not with a bible.
I have not been invited to a family reunion in about 10 years and I don't miss the religious crap.