My name is Dan and I am a semi-closeted atheist and have been so my entire life. Growing up in a small, evangelical town in northern Indiana. Being the child of an Asian war-bride and a Vietnam veteran already made things hard in this small-minded white town, but being the only family in town that didn't go to church made it that much worse. So, even as my family got the hell out of that craphole town and moved into larger and larger areas, the crippling fear I have of confrontation from religious zealots from my childhood remains the same. I stand at 6'6" and I am a 275 pound man, but I steer clear of religious discussions not so much because I am a afraid, but since I am tired of listening to all of the "I can feel god in my heart" and "he's everywhere" bullshit.
As a result, I choose not to rub my beliefs (or lack thereof) in other people's faces as I've grown quite sick of believers (or well, idiotic zealots) rubbing my face in theirs. That, and, over the years throughout my life, I've lost "friends," "girlfriends" and all other types of close-minded acquaintances whenever I've finally divulged my lack of faith. I am married to a Jewish woman who has fully accepted me and frankly understands on some level the bigotry that happens to people who do not follow the status quo. That said, we simply don't talk about religion as I KNOW hers is a load of hogwash and she'd like to BELIEVE my atheism is the same. That said, I am looking for like-minded people to talk to who are free of the all-encompassing "opiate of the masses." My father and younger sister are also atheists, but, well, you all know about talking to family!
What has finally driven me into finding this forum is going to a barbecue with my wife to see our friend. He's a born again nutbag, but thankfully keeps his mouth shut about his beliefs and has a very small group of close friends due to his immense success as a chef. Well, his other close friends are not so quiet about their born-again bullshit and proceeded to badger my wife about her Jewish beliefs. Luckily for me, she's rather talkative and having their born-again sirens buzzing "JEW ALERT!" was enough to deflect their attention from me. I came away from the barbecue thoroughly tired of the lunacy and am seeking simple friendship from people who already know the truth.
In short, I am tired of idiots. And as you all undoubtedly know, the idiots are EVERYWHERE!!!
Hey Dan. My name is Ron, and I know how you feel. I was raised up in a Catholic House hold and I know how it feels to have the world closing in on you with religious nuts on all sides. My fiance is spiritual, but not committed to any religion. She's cool with my lack of belief and doesn't criticize me for it. I personally don't allow myself to be friends with theists anymore since those I was friends with only talked to me about how I need to come back to god.
One thing I have done is take on the persona of the mean Atheist to keep people at bay. Some people just don't want to deal with me since I have a nasty way of putting things. I reserve it only for those who really push my buttons, and I rehears it in front of the mirror.
I live in Chicago, and interestingly enough, when I switched from a Cubs fan to a Sox fan, that was when my family got really upset with me. :)