I am writing this as a sort of cathartic endeavor. I'd be interested in what you men and women here on the Nexus feel about this.
Recently I signed up for Facebook and enthusiasticly went about trying to re-connect with long-lost friends/schoolmates. I found a dear friend of mine, contacted her and she accepted my friendship. We made plans via phone to meet each other once I returned to visit my hometown of Brooklyn, NY earlier this month. I guess subsequently she took a look at my profile and noted that I am a self-proclaimed Atheist, Humanist,Naturalist. From here you all can surmise what happened next. She officially unfriended me. I am hurt, but not really surprised. I thought that my stance would not be an issue as I don't really knock anyone for what they choose to believe in.
Fellow A/Ners, have you experienced similar reactions or have you stayed in the proverbial closet out of not wanting to cause distruption in your life? I'm very interested in knowing. How do we become mainstream or close to mainstream, or simply not seen as people more terrible than Freddie Kruger, Ted Bundy, and Predator combined? WWJD if he existed? Lord Krishna hear my plea! LOL, yet bruised.

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Replies to This Discussion

Donald, it takes courage in a world like this to even pass through a "stage" as this. I support you and I will definitely buy your book.
Thanks Khemisi. I look forward to your comments. You can email them directly to
Donald, for us on the Nexus and in this group, your story rings true in a very direct way.I intend to buy and read your book as soon as I can, this call for a critical examination of religion in the black community is very much needed.
Thanks gerard26. I await your comments on the book. Continue to spread the message concerning free thought and freedom from religious institutions.
This article hits very very very close to home. I don't mind dating outside my 'race,' but it hurts to see black women's expectations of a 'church-going, god-fearing.' I am a Nigerian immigrant who has gotten sick of religion and it's adverse effect on society.Great post great comments
I can completely understand what you're going through. Going to a HBCU, an constantly being bombarded with the jeebus/god, I have no problem saying "I'm an atheist", and dealing with the awkward faces and silences. It pains me knowing that so many black folk keep quiet about their non beliefs, for fear of the (probable) backlash they'd get.

Never lost any friends from it though, I can gladly say. I didn't make any true friends till AFTER I came out, to be honest. Those who I lost contact with (high school "friends"), were just tools of association for me, as I grew up in a small, church on every corner type town, and had no real plethora of personality choices. They were "open-minded" but still completely closed-minded Christians, whom I had no problem breaking contact with come graduation/first facebook friend add (profile search-GASP ATHEIST! *runaway*).

Only family I've to come out to so far have been my mother and grandmother (though other family members are on my facebook friendlist and I'm sure have seen my religious status), who've graciously (though slightly reluctantly) accepted the fact that as I grew from not wanting to go to church during precious sleep hours, to ordering free catalogs of Pyramid Collection (a catalog containing elements of new age, wiccan/pagan, etc, in other words not exactly "godly"), to being completely verbal about the fact that I'm not, nor will ever be, as pious as they might have hoped I would be. My mom has been a rock, a black atheist, pro marijuana legalization (though in this day and age who isn't? ;)), pro choice, pro sexuality (gays, lesbians, bis, trans, all that jazz :)), and feminist, daughter was definitely not her choice of outcome (words from the horses mouth herself =D)).
My parents have been followers of a southern white cult leader for 39 years. They think President Obama is antichrist. We can't engage in any kind of rational conversation. Except for the fact that we're Father, Mother, and Son, we've nothing in common; And how are you today?
Love your parents anyway. Don't let ignorance rob you of a loving relationship. When we insist that others believe as we do then we become ignorant too.
It happens. Integrity -- commitment to a code of ethics or ideals -- invariably alienates people. There really is no way around it. Whenever you take a stand, someone is bound to tell you to sit down. You can "cop a squat" if you want to or you can buy platform shoes. Either way, you're the one who has to live with the consequences. As an advocate of reason, I believe practicing rationality will go a long way in promoting understanding. Will everybody want to become my friend because of it? Of course not. But I can't think of a more noble way to make enemies.
With respect to faith based rejection of my friendship, I can only make as wide of an acclaim of who I am as possible on as many fronts as possible. This mega foot print is not swallowed up by the fact that I am an atheist. My internet presence is however inclusive of the fact that I am an atheist. For the people of faith who are insular based solely or by and largely on a faith based criterion of friendship it is of course their right to remove me from their foot print on the web. I reason that if their little cookie cutter shape of a world is threatened by what I "THINK", well- my life is unaffected; as they are merely an experience in my past that I have grown beyond. I plan on having many more experiences that I will eventually grow beyond. I am ok with my own evolution as a dynamic person. The rigidity of others is a boar and not a challenge to my own viewpoint in any way or by any means.
We have to continue to work and live among those who distrust and show disdain for us in the hope of being a "light" to those few we will slowly but surely enlighten towards thinking rationally. As black people we can't afford otherwise.
If a friend could dismiss you so casually, we wary of your enemies. Although I am not an atheist, I am what I call a militant agnostic. I don't know what I don't know. I am consciously unconscious, but that doesn't mean I don't have ideas or suspicions. I do not in anyway believe that the gods of the Abrahamic religions exist. Beyond that, I don't know and currently have no way of knowing, but my suspicions say there's nothing there. Anyway, back to your freinds and mine. I've found a few that abandoned me, but my closest friends have remained so and we've made a pact not to discuss religion or to ask any questions that we don't want to hear the answers. Still, if a freind would leave me because we have different thoughts, then it is good riddance.




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