from or free from ?
I live in the Tampa Bay area, and I'm a little too close to the Bible Belt to have a red A on my car to not have it be used against me in job promotions and overall discrimination. I see what religion is doing to this world, though, and then I think about how other minorities had to go through the same nonsense from bigots throughout history. It's a hard decision to make. Fully coming out at my job is a particularly hard decision considering the 60 hour weeks I've worked to get where I am. Black people couldn't hide that they were black, and women couldn't hide that they were women, but one's religious beliefs are a little easier to sweep under the rug just to fit in. I think a lot of atheists aren't as militant as Dawkins and don't see the same problems with religions that make them worth attacking, and that will hurt us from finding that "critical mass" that gay people have already found: a radical switch from a scary and shadowy unknown minority to an almost elite group of members who have a lot to share with society.
Growing up in Catholic school, I heard stories about how the early Christians would draw half a fish, and the other person would finish it to say that yes, they were a Christian. I think Atheists need something similar. :-)
I don't wear my atheism on my sleeve but I'm ready to proclaim my stance should the need arise, Like when Jehovah's Witnesses come to my door. :-)
I'm "out of the closet." I'm a very outspoken atheist, more of a militant atheist, really. I lived a lot of my life in the Bible belt and my atheism was infamous.
I came out of the closet by changing my religion on MySpace. My mum noticed, went and changed it back to Catholic. I noticed and changed it to Atheist again. This went on for quite sometime until I eventually had to sit down and talk to my mum about my beliefs, or lack thereof. She isn't happy with my decision but she recognizes my decision.
If you come out of the closet, you lead a happier life. There's no reason to live a lie and you'll find that there are actually a lot of other atheists out there that are just scared to come out because they don't have anyone. Be that person for someone.
Very recently (in the past few months) I have fully "come out" as an atheist. Prior, I was always afraid of what the response might be (particularly from my family). However, I am now in a position where I am not dependent on anyone but myself for support, so I finally felt comfortable with being honest about my atheism. There were some serious repercussions (most of family will not talk to me, currently), but for me personally, it was an enormous relief.
Don't know if it's in the closet, but I don't advertise it. If someone asks I will tell them if it is pertinent to the discussion that we are having. I will say that most of the time, people don't believe me. They will tell me they know I believe in God (always the xtian god) since I seem to know the scriptures better than they do, and I just don't know what church to go to. It never comes up, but I also know some of the Koran, the Rig Vedas (Hindu), Avesta (Zorasterian, but a complete version has not survived) etc. I think since religion is an invention of mankind, reading about them can shed a light on our common humanity, as I percieve religion as a failed science. They will not believe me. I'm totally dumbfounded by this. I say what I mean, they believe other things I say, why not this? Sorry, got a little off topic, just venting some of my frustration. Peace and long life.
Let's see. My girlfriend knows. She's an atheist as well (or she has told me so). People who have me on their friends list on FB know. (I was actually surprised to see that I didnt end up friendless..LOL) I don't know if my physical family has any idea ( one aunt is on my FB but never see her check it). I have one brother whom I am estranged from and that doesnt matter. My parents are dead. I dont walk around wearing a sign at work but if someone asked me point blank I would tell them I don't believe in God or The Bible,etc.
I tend to keep it to myself.I will tell some people if I think I can trust them but that isn't very often.I like this site alot because I can be honest and others agree with me too.
Open - But I live in Canada and no one gives a shit.
Be careful, Canadians are just more polite and won't come out and say what they think. :)
You'd be surprised how much people really do care... it's what I've come to realise.
On second thought maybe its me that doesn't give a shit :)
Andrea, whether you stay in the closet or come out depends on how thick your skin is. It doesn't matter which side of the fence you are on, there is always someone who will judge you negatively, and will do so loudly so that others will hear.
As for myself, remaining silent about something as important as beliefs does nothing to solve the challenge facing me. It is only when I think as clearly as I can, without denying or pretending there is no problem, that I either change my belief or get a thicker skin. Talking with others is the most helpful for me. Especially, if I have to face some serious problems that are taken as normal in society, I have to be as confident, competent, and comfortable as I can be to stand up for my beliefs.
I hold a value that says be absolutely confident of my position and absolutely flexible at the same time. There is no shame in being wrong and changing my mind; there is no shame in standing up for what I believe.
Life isn't about making everybody love you; you have to make too many compromises to do that. Respect is a different matter ... people may disagree with you and respect you at the same time.
I like being an atheist; it fits me. I like the discussion that come from the atheist community in that there are no scripture, no dogma, no litany, no commandments, no make-believe, no fables, no judgment ... it is simply NOT BELIEVING IN GODS OR SPIRITS.
Our wisdom, strength, perseverance, loyalty, kindness, care, compassion, commitment, honesty, decency comes from inside us.
Are you holding your daughter? Do you have a special feeling when you think about her and her future? That comes from inside and so do the other virtues. When we expand our expression of compassion to others so do our feelings expand.