Not sure if this is the correct section to post this, but I just really need to share this.
I "came out" yesterday in the office for the first time since realizing that I no longer held the beliefs that I used to have. Considering that I live in the Philippines, I've ensured that only close friends and my husband know about it as a lot of people here react to any admittance to Atheism the way they would to someone admitting they had once committed a heinous crime--admonition, censure, and a guaranteed future of suspicion and wariness of all your actions and words.
But I had to yesterday, since someone had opened up a discussion to which I added my thoughts. I was asked, "Are you an Atheist?" I was surrounded by people who I knew to be extremely religious and at first I said, "That's really beside the point." But then, I thought to myself, so what? So what if I am? I've always made it a point to be honest so why do I hesitate with something as simple as this? So I said, "If we really have to label it then I'm an agnostic non-theist. But even if I weren't, that wouldn't change the facts I presented." And I felt so nervous after--and I wasn't even sure why. Was it that I cared what they would think of me? I realized only after that it wasn't that. Just that, It was my first time standing up for the questions I've had since the 3rd grade, which no Catholic then and now had been able to answer properly or with coherence (conviction, sure). God, I was nervous.
No one said anything. Thinking that they were cool, I told them after that admitting it for the first time to them had made me nervous--the most religious of them had to say something like, "Well, it's every individual's personal responsibility how their soul is saved anyway." Which I took to mean, "You're going to hell, but that's your problem, not mine."
I was less nervous after hearing that. Oh well.
I suppose I came out a bit indirectly. I decided that I was an atheist in 1982, but I never really discussed it with anyone. In 1985, I made plans to attend my first atheist convention in Austin, Texas. A few people asked me what the convention was for, so I casually told them, "It's the annual American Atheists Convention, which is held in a different major city each year." Surprisingly, most of my colleagues at work were indifferent, as was most of my family. My mother was the only person who had a conniption. It took her a few years to get over the fact that I'm a non-believer. Now, in my old age, I'm too cynical to care what people think.
You deserve a coming out parade. Err well probably. :-D
They have such a parade for other forms of coming out.
Never had to worry about coming out, was really never in.
Born an atheist and ignored religion completely until sent to a Christian boarding school @ 14, where I tried to become a Christian for several years, and realized it didn't fit.
So I not only threw it off, but turned completely anti-theist.
Realized what a con-job it was and have been attacking it ever since.
At least you didn't feel the hatred for it I did, and managed to stay civil with your Christian friends.
I couldn't, created a lot of enemies in the Christian camp.
Though I've settled somewhat and now have both Christian and Muslim friends.
I really have a hard time holding my antagonistic self back from attacking them.
Keep the peace and others will warm to the new you.
I couldn't do that at the time.
Brava, Karen! Also, Welcome to Atheist Nexus!
The way I hear it, the Philippines is pretty religious, and I'm a bit surprised you didn't get any blow-back. If you do, please keep in mind that you have friends right HERE, and if you need help or someone just to listen to you vent, that's perfectly cool.
As for the dude who made the comment about "how their soul is saved," my retort would be simple and blunt: What soul?!?
"What soul?" is almost what I told a 97-year-old former WW2 B-29 pilot two weeks ago.
He told me of his flights over Japan and insisted that his god saved his life. I said I don't have a god and he had enough fire in his belly to tell me "Your soul will burn for eternity."
I replied "I don't have a soul."
He avoids me now, which denies me opportunities to treat him in a civil manner.
Figures. He pulled out what he thought was his hole card and you trumped it. If religion can't scare someone, they can't subjugate him, either.
Well done, Karen!
Glad you came out. I'm not out as atheist yet with my work people. They believe strongly as an organization and I want to keep my job. I was spouting atheism strongly in 2012 and it might have been an influnce in getting me fired from that job. I'm not as vocal at work any longer.
I was out to my family and later my step father about a year ago. He accepts it now but says if I am right then he has no future at 83.
I can agree with you in what you think your work friend said. "You're going to hell." They all say and think this because they say everything is recorded and every deed known. The bible says that even the angels are curious about this "free gift" of salvation. Then you wonder "salvation from what?" I can explain it. "God loved you so much that if you do not love him back he will send you to hell."
Glad you are out and don't be afraid of hell. That fear has no power over me at all.
P. S. No one has a soul. You are the individual soul i.e. - a person.