Quite a few people relate that studying the Bible is exactly what brought them to atheism.
I recommend to people the website Skeptic's Annotated Bible http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/
It's dedicated to highlighting the absurdities, atrocities, immoralities, and contradictions -- as well as some moral "good stuff" -- in the KJV Bible text. (They also have Skeptic's Annotated Quran and Skeptic's Annotated Book of Mormon.)
One of their rotating quotes about the Bible:
It is full of interest. It has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and some good morals; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies. -- Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth
Every Atheist should read the bible. It is full of ammunition against itself.
Terry, you are my man. In fact if every religionist read the bible without his mind already made up,( praying to God to help him understand) then we'll all be atheists. Now how do you get this through to Moslem's? They are just as important and need desperately to break through.
I've always said that, "There's nothing in the bible that I can't learn form Aseop."
Plus, no rape!
I'm like 95% in the closet. A few close friends know...that's it. Before I fully come out I want to be the one to tell my close family. And that isn't exactly happening too soon.
This annoys me that you are judged by what you are - especially by friends and family. Does their opinion of you change even though they have known you all your life as you are but to find out your a 'closet atheist', their opinion changes? Really what difference does it make. You are and have been the same person and they accept you for that but not if they find out you are atheist?
"Sometimes it isn't worth it if it is going to affect personal relationships, right?"
This hurts. It is shallow and disrespectful, but then that's religion. Sorry for you guys, I am glad you can come here and feel respected and not alone.
My brother and his wife are fundies, and I could see them not allowing my niece to have contact with us anymore if they found out. Hell, even my husband's sister, who is a pretty liberal Catholic, has treated me slightly differently since finding out I was a non-believer. My husband has never come out to his family, but he thinks they all know. I'm out to all of them and my mother, but I don't want to lose my niece, so my brother and his wife can stay in the dark :)
And I agree that it's sad. It's also a pain in the ass to have to listen to the Jesus talk and not speak my mind.