What’s your experience in having to hide your Atheism?

My experience is with a county tax board representative concerning the assessed value of my home. The representative I had to deal with always wore a large cross and would at all times have a bible protruding from her purse. For a year and a half I negotiated with this person before finally coming to an agreement. I was looking at getting 5 years worth the refunds from the county which I my opinion amounted to fair chunk of change. All we had to do was go before the tax board present our agreement. Once in front of the board, a lump came to throat when a bailiff approached and asked me to raise my right hand. When placed under oath I have always taken an oath of affirmation. I knew, after negotiating with this person for a year and a half, she would pull our agreement if I took the oath of affirmation. Upon hearing the words “swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth so help you god,” I did some quick math in my head, and recounted the work it took to get to this point, and responded with a solemn “Yes.”

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I tell my mom I am going to church, but I really go to a bar.  I found a church that lets you print their bulletins online, so when she asks me questions about what's going on I already know.  I have become an expert at it.


I would do the same thing in your situation.  But fortunately, I've never been put on the spot that way.  However, I was estranged from my mom for 20 years because of her fundamentalism.  She believes she's a prophet and she wanted to exorcise me and creeped me out, I didn't want her around my children.  When I finally came out to her, we were reunited again.  She accepts me as I am, she's just glad to have me back.  All those years we could have been together, if only I had come out to her in the first place.  But then again, maybe she's gotten more laid back with age and distance, and that's why she's so accepting now.  I'll never know.

I actually don't hide my Atheism, but I also don't advertise it either.  I try to stay away from discussions concerning religion. 

Although I do teach Natural Selection and Evolution in class.  I always get grief from the religious students. 


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