Poll: How long have you been OUT as an atheist

I was about to click on this poll to rank how long I've been "out" as an atheist and realized that is a loaded question. How long have I known I'm atheist? Since the first time I set foot in church in my childhood home of Alabama and realized that I'm the opposite of all of the people in that building. 

How long has my mother known? I think she's always known, but we don't really talk about it. 

How long has my grandmother known? I think she's an atheist in denial so maybe she always has known. 

Some of my co-workers know, some don't. Some of my friends know, some don't. Some of my business clients know....and some I can't tell or I'll lose much of my clientele. 

So, I guess my point is, I do not have an answer for this poll as I don't believe I will ever be able to be completely "out" and work freely and prosperously in my field and maintain relationships with my extended family of Alabama Bible Beaters. 

P.S. I work with children with special needs and many (I'd say most in my experience) of the families turn to their God to explain why their child has a condition. Some of the conditions I see are horrible and ruin families and they often describe belief in God as the only way they can cope with what's happening to them. 

Anyone else have trouble answering that pole?

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Nope. Always been an athiest. Never cared who knew.
Well, regardless of how blunt Dave was...

I too have always been Atheist. Well, I argue that I was agnostic until I was introduced to religions, then I became Atheist.

I do however care who knows. There are some out there who cannot see beyond the bible verse in-front of them, and cannot comprehend the existence of a good person outside of that book.

When it comes to personal relations, screw that... I tell them flat out, and if they can't handle it, they can go **** themselves.
Unfortunately, business relations are a COMPLETELY different world. They have money to spend on your business, you can't blow them off just because of a personal relations issue.

I find the best thing to do with these people is to say "My relationship with the spiritual world is mine, and nobody else's business."
Note, you haven't mentioned there that you have no relationship with the spiritual world.
I agree, business is different and unfortunately in my field, it does come up. (I'm a Board Certified Music Therapist and I get requests for religious music at times of familial distress, which I provide even though it annoys me, because as a therapist I'm there for them, not for me). But from this often comes the inevitable, "So, are you Baptist too?" My new reply is "Well, my family was always Methodist". Which is true, my extended family is Methodist and that pretty much shuts them up without me offending them, turning them off or scaring them away. P.S. If interested, you can learn more about Music Therapy at www.musictherapy.org
I can't remember when it was exactly that I became an atheist but it was quite recent, probably less than half a year ago so I answered "1 Year or Less" for the poll. A string of events lead to another string and by the end of it all I was godless. It was strange for me, I had been brought up as a Jehovah's Witness but they were easy to fall out of. It was hell for me growing up though, all of that JW crap played hell with my depression at the time. All I know is that I've changed for the better and that I'm making progress in my life. It hasn't been until very recently that I decided that I want my atheism to help define me and who I am, in order to help myself further and not fall into more trouble.

That aside, welcome to Atheist Nexus. Hope you enjoy your stay.
Being "out" is not black and white. Whatever someone is coming out about, they probably tell a few friends first, and later on are OK if other groups of people know about it. (Often there is a period during coming out where a person is "super out", too, and talk about it all the time--then later they calm down.) I guess I was always pretty out. I outed myself to my class during speech class, but I told a few people before that, too.
My immediate family knows I'm an atheist and have for a few years. My father's father does not know nor do the extended family members on either side. If they ask, I'll be honest with my mother's side. But my father's side would probably go psycho considering how bizarrely religious they are. I'm expressly forbidden to state any different opinions to them. Luckily, they have no interest in having anything to do with me, anyway.
Don't worry. Most of the polls on the left aren't worded that great (sorry BR). In fact there was once a poll if the polls were useful (it passed). There was once a poll that had the words "atheist church" in it and a bunch of folks got their panties in a twist over it.

It's just a website poll. Answer/don't answer it however you want, although you have to answer it to see the results. Seeing it's anonymous, no one will ever know.

Oh, and Welcome to Atheist Nexus!!!
I've been out since before I was a teenager. I figured it was better to have a small group of decent friends instead of a large group of acquaintances that couldn't STFU about Jesus long enough to talk about anything else. As far as family goes, one side is mostly Native American and a lot of them aren't very fond of Christianity in general (For obvious reasons). The other side has a lot of racist hicks that are barely worthy of contempt, so that's never been a problem.

Work is a slightly different story. I think it's pretty rude for people to ask about religion out of the blue, and most people don't. I imagine they just assume everyone in small town Alabama are Southern Baptists and as long as they leave me alone about it I won't disabuse them.

People turn to religion when their kids are sick or injured because the only things religion loves more than guilt are desperation and pain. It's the same reason funerals in religious families tend to be less about the dead person and more a chance for whatever random wanker they picked to speechify for an hour or more to a grieving family about why everyone needs to find Jesus or burn in hell.

P.S. Welcome to A/N!
I've been an atheist for more than 30 years, but since I live in a secular country where 9 persons out of 10 are apatheists (whether they define themselves as cultural Catholics, agnostics or atheists), 'coming out' as irreligious is pretty irrelevant. The deviants here are those who publicly come out as practicing Catholics.
Out as one when I quit attending church at 13.
Out since always, in my case nigh on 38 years. Sweden is pretty much apathetic about religion so I don't have to go around proclaiming my atheism. If someone asks me straight out I'll give him a straight answer.
Hi to you too! It's interesting to hear how everyone came to atheism. I also have enjoyed reading everyone's comments and their posts in the discussion forums as well. I find it refreshing to be able to converse with like minded people, even if it's only through the internet. :)


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