Anyone a closet atheist?
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13-01-2014, 04:45 PM (This post was last modified: 13-01-2014 04:55 PM by Bows and Arrows.)
Anyone a closet atheist?
The thread about the pastor who lost his job because he wanted to 'try' atheism for a year got me thinking about my own situation, and I was wondering if there were any others here that are in the closet still.



We are quasi- closeted here in NC. My husband is a believer, so I try to be respectful of his feelings, as he is with mine. My family is mostly atheist, although we've just started really using the term since my father died last year (which I find odd). My in-laws are YEC's. (I avoid them as much as possible). I avoid the topic with them because if I say something they construe it as an invitation to bombard me with information in hopes to convert me. There are a few family members on that side that aren't bat shit crazy, so my once a year visit with them is getting better.

The kids go to a small, private school and the overwhelming majority regularly attend baptist, presbyterian, lutheran churches. There's no sense in rocking the boat if my girls are going to be ostracized. They have a few friends that are from other cities/countries that aren't as concerned about religion or come from places that are more open to other views that they hang out with for the most part. And have learned how to spot the deeply sucked into religion families and they avoid them as much as possible. Coming out as agnostic would turn MANY heads, coming out as atheist would mean losing MANY friends (mostly because of the parents), and along with that comes…..not being on the sport teams, in school activities, getting invites to stuff, etc.

But around the neighbors and others we meet, we are "gently" voicing our opposition to religion and outing ourselves. And I think once my kids are both a bit older and they and their friends reach an age that they think & speak out for themselves, rather than just parroting their parents, then they can decide to out themselves.

For the longest time I would just explain that "we aren't church people". It seemed to send the message with out making us out to be lepers.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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13-01-2014, 04:53 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
Yep...tied up, gagged too. Sad.


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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13-01-2014, 05:29 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
My parents were both atheists, and closeted all their lives. They never even told us kids until the very end - dad told me a couple of months before he passed, I guess he knew he would pass but we didn't, and I didn't live there and wasn't there for the event. Mom literally told me on her death bed. Wanted me to chase the lurking priest away, which I did with pleasure.

When we were kids, religion just wasn't talked about. I didn't think twice about it, I figured it belonged in church. I remember some awkwardness when we all had to say grace before eating at a relative's house, but just considered it a weird family ritual they had.

When I decided to start going to catholic church, no one said anything about it. When I decided to stop, no one said anything about it either.

When I asked to go to a catholic high school run by nuns, it was fine. When I wanted out a year later (I had become atheist) they simply moved me to a secular school.

So why didn't they just come out? This was a long time ago. Mom would have been shunned by her entire family - and family mattered a lot to her. She had 11 sisters and they were all close, and all catholic. Since religion was not a part of the get-togethers they'd have - they loved to sing together - although the occasional religious song turned up, it all worked out well enough.

Dad would have lost his job most likely. He was a public figure. It would have been a scandal.

Add in the fear of talking that people who lived through Hitler came away with, and they all but took it to their graves. Under Hitler, kids were used by the Nazis to gather information, through school essays or socials. You never told kids a thing.

Different times, different situation. I sure wish they could have lived today instead, and felt free to talk and be who they really were. I would have loved to hear their real thoughts about things.

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Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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13-01-2014, 06:15 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
(13-01-2014 04:53 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  Yep...tied up, gagged too. Sad.

Me, too. <sigh>

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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13-01-2014, 06:37 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
I think in Christianity it is much easier to be a closet atheist - at the end of the day there are few rituals and nobody can censor what you think in your head. It is possible to be atheist and few people will know.

However my background was orthodox Judaism which makes closet atheism extremely difficult. Same with Islam.
There are all sorts of restrictions on eating and numerous rituals, festivals and situations were it becomes burdensome to pretend to follow these religions.

I started off as a closet agnostic skeptic and then it just became obvious to my family that I was not a believer. 10 years ago I was preaching to them religion and giving seminars in intelligent design, theism, scriptures and all sorts of religious teachings.
Then I started to talk about philosophy and science and it was quite obvious to my family that I must be heretic if I have a library of philosophy & science books - especially when the philosophers are people like Hume !
I think when my parents found me reading books like "divine hiddenness & human reason" that they were definitely suspicious I was not only a non believer but a full blown positive atheist. Then came the dozens of evolution books - especially Prothero's "Evolution what the fossils say and why it matters" !!! lots of extinct species which makes God somewhat incompetent & wasteful.

Then it was also obvious that I never said "thank God" or "Amen" to anything.
How can I say "thank God" whilst this God is butchering a baby every 45 seconds from malaria fever and dozens of others from pestilence, plague and numerous diseases.

Of course when I started challenging friends with my Socratic dialogues and refutations of everything religious I was far from the closet and screaming on the rooftop !

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence -
David Hume


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13-01-2014, 06:54 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
I have a foot out the door. Friends know but it's not something I talk about that often even with them.
They aren't religious and a couple could be called atheists, but they are way at the back of the closet.


It's crazy to think that I wouldn't be accepted by my own family for being an atheist, but this guy in the video who says he would kill children if god commanded it....he's ok.
He's one of us. He believes.




Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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13-01-2014, 06:57 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
I've been laughing at religious folk since I was about 12... I can't imagine what it must be like to tiptoe around conversations, and hide your more reasoned side. Hope everyone who's still undercover gets out eventually.
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13-01-2014, 07:04 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
(13-01-2014 06:37 PM)Baruch Wrote:  ... on the rooftop !

Gotta ask... Can you play the fiddle?

Smile

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13-01-2014, 07:06 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
Mostly closeted. There are a few friends I've told, and a couple of my in-laws. Really, it's my family that I'm scared to death of finding out. I have no idea how bad my mother's reaction would be, and I'd rather her not. At least not yet, time will tell what the future holds.

But now I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth.

~ Umberto Eco
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13-01-2014, 07:13 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
(13-01-2014 07:06 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Mostly closeted. There are a few friends I've told, and a couple of my in-laws. Really, it's my family that I'm scared to death of finding out. I have no idea how bad my mother's reaction would be, and I'd rather her not. At least not yet, time will tell what the future holds.

If ur old enuff to get kicked out of the house... then yes tell everyone
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