Are you open about being an atheist or are you in the closet?

I am semi in the closet. I do have to admit that I am not comfortable discussing my views with just anyone. I am the type that wants everyone to like me (such a fault I have!) and I am nervous someone will think I am a bad person. Even when I find someone who is passionate about science, I still try not to venture down that avenue. So lucky to have you guys!

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Many of my loved ones and friends dislike the militant attitude I take about religion in the public sphere and I understand they feel strongly about their beliefs. I feel strongly about mine, too. When someone interferes with health decisions, whether use of contraceptives or abortion, I cannot remain quiet. A woman's health is her business and responsibility and not religion or political ideologue has a right to interfere. I have no objection at all of people not using contraception devices or choosing not to have abortions and I have no right to object. Nor do others have the right to interfere. 

When it comes to writing laws about women's control over their own bodies, they are just plain in error on this issue. Family planning and choosing not to have children is a right, not to be intruded upon. It is insanity to bring an unwanted child into the world or to interfere with family planning in those cases where the mother doesn't want the pregnancy or can't afford to raise a child. That is a personal, private matter.

I was in the closet for many years, but about 5 years ago I just gave it up. I figure if someone in my life is somehow hurt or angered by the fact that I choose reason and rationality over supernatural chicanery, then so be it. The atheist movement in the United States has been growing exponentially and now is the time for us to stand together and speak loudly and clearly about who we are and why we are that way. I have heard it said, and I forget who said it, that "organizing atheists is like trying to herd cats", and that may very well be true, but if you look at the numbers and participation of websites like this one, or the atheist themed groups on facebook, this movement is really gaining traction. So I made it very clear to my family and friends how I see myself and my place in the universe, and I let them decide what they want to do with that information. I really don't care (although most have been supportive). My one mistake was moving to Kentucky, where now it seems my lot in life to teach evolution to creationists....

I am not only open but I am also outspoken. If the religious assert their position all the time, I don't see why we atheists shouldn't do the same. That being said, I do understand that many atheists are not coming out because they face dire consequences for doing so, and I do sympathize with that. But I think those of us who are fortunate enough to be on the open, have to be outspoken so we can do our little part to help those still in the closet to come out.

Yes I equally think that is important. We must take advantage of every opportunity to talk about it, as it will ease the way for those who are in challenging circumstances. The initial coming out decades were hard for gays too, but now that "everyone knows a gay person", the stigma is nearing its last years. We still have a long way before this can be said of atheists. In addition gays were never really a direct insult to heteros, whereas being atheist is pretty much a direct insult to a faither, so I think it will take much longer.

Well I do not usually bring the topic up in my everyday life and sometimes avoid it. However, if the topic is brought up I will be honest. I also have a lot of online atheist friends. Because of this the topic comes up on my Facebook pretty often and in my info I am labeled as an atheist. So while most people know they do not discuss it with me. I have had a lot of friends (many from high school  delete me from their Facebook and make it a point to tell me that they did so because of my atheism. I happily remind them that they are certainly welcome to do so and that if they think less of me because I don't believe as they do then they have no business being called "my friend" anyway :) So yes, I don't go out of my way to proclaim it or hide it. 

I too have dealt with this on facebook as well as in person. I have found several "friends" I knew long ago who, back then, were very open minded. Since then, they have found jesus and have "unfriended" me because I have not followed suite. I have been an atheist since I was 12 years old. I never thought about my beliefs until just recently--political BS. I do not push my atheism to any extent. For me, it is just there. My "born again Rambo" friends bring it up and then get upset at the way I have been for so many years. They make me think of it and then fault me for being who I have been for so many years. This pisses me off. 

I feel like the friends who'd rather unfriend me never really knew me, so the loss is only superficial... though it still may hurt. I've come to a point in my life where I'd rather be liked for the real me rather than the perceived me. If that means fewer friends then so be it. But I'm past middle age now, and this may simply be a common feeling when one ages...

Atheist Census’ back online after hacker attack

Posted: 17 Dec 2012 05:40 AM PST

Atheist Alliance International reports that its Atheist Census, an attempt to count the world’s atheists, is now back online after hackers took it down more than a week ago.

“It seems that there are people who do not want atheists to be counted, who do not want to accept that as more people question and think critically about religion atheists are a growing demographic. It is a measure of the project’s success – even at this early stage – that some people wanted to shut it down,” Carlos Diaz, the organization’s president, said in a prepared statement.

The group launched the census on Dec. 7 and it fell to a Denial of Service attack about 17 hours later. At the time that the census site was attacked, about 8,800 people had completed the survey, with another 2,300 pending.

Participation in the Atheist Census is free. Since the return of the site, about 20,000 total people have submitted their information to the effort, which is attempting to collect demographic information about atheists throughout the world, including their education levels, age, gender identity and country.

The Atheist Census can be found at

DOS. yep.. that's about all they have .. instead of tears of failure. ; P

Hi Atheist and proud, I was brought in as a child with Religon but not heavily pushed, I sang in a church choir although mostly for pocket money till I was around 10 yrs old. I had no issues with family saying I was  non believer.  

I recently was told about the site by a friend who lives in America and was shocked at how judgmental people still were over religion and joined the site to understand some of the issues a American atheist goes through.


I grew up in an open-minded family. My parents dragged us to church every Sunday, but did this out of guilt. When I was 12 years old I rebelled and refused to go again. I denied the existence of god and confounded my parents with the MANY flaws in the bible. Yet, they still respected my views. When my brother was in high school he "found" god and became a "born again Rambo." He is now a methodist minister and oh so miserable.

When my brother converted he drove my parents crazy. When my open-minded father found out he had stomach cancer, he too found god and turned on me. He died trying to "bring me to jesus." For me, that was the most painful part of my father's death. It was both amazing and depressing to watch a man like my father go from open mind--willing to see other points of view--to intolerable fundamentalist bullshit. I would love to blame my brother, but I cannot. He is too steeped in the same bullshit and is miserable.

The sad thing about it all is that I have not changed my position since I was 12. I am now 55. Suddenly, I am evil! I never gave my atheism any thought until just recently. The political environment has made atheists a convenient target. Even some of my more liberal friends have advised me not to advertise my atheism. I never did! If someone asked, I would tell them. Now I skirt the issue. I find it easier to tell those who question that I was "born and raised in the methodist church." It is a true statement and usually satisfies them. Am I in the closet? I have never hid my atheism, but now I retreat to the closet at times because suddenly I am not a "good person" and condemned to a fiery place.

Our current political climate has made people like us think about the closet. I am not a big Obama fan, but I voted for him because the republican alternatives were abhorrent. I am hoping that the re-election of "Bronco Bama" will usher in a renewed enthusiasm for science and reason. It seems as though--hopefully--the fundamentalist idiots are digging their own hole in the ground. They have become a joke of themselves.             

Coming out is a lot like quitting smoking, alcohol, or other drug abuse. It's uncomfortable for a short while but becomes quite liberating with time. You will very likely kick yourself for not doing it sooner. You are you...not your religion.



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