Anyone a closet atheist?
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23-01-2014, 03:13 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
I'm closeted. I really don't want the drama associated with coming out to my YEC family.
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23-01-2014, 03:59 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
No, I am an open and avowed atheist and all of my friends and family know this.

That said by someone who lives in and has been a life long resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

I must say I find it troubling that some of you elsewhere in the US find the need to be closeted. I will also say that I admire your courage for coming to sanity in a sea of insanity.
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25-01-2014, 11:44 AM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
(23-01-2014 12:46 PM)wazzel Wrote:  Yes I am. It took me years to finally accept what I knew to be true and discard religion. I have yet to have the discussion with any of my family, who are all extreemly religious and extreemly catholic. If I were to present this to them I fear the reaction would be sever including a divorce from my wife and possible shunning from my family. Right now I appear as an extreemly disgruntled catholic, but it goes much deeper than that.

How do you manifest being a "disgruntled catholic"
Do you generally behave with kind humanistic values ?
Do you have children and have to (forced to ?) teach Catholicism ?
You have to go to church and "pretend" to worship ?

There are many ways to deal with this without causing too much family friction - especially for Catholicism.

I uses to be an orthodox Jew and was a believer for most of it until I had to abandon the orthodoxy after studying philosophy & science - and can relate to this. However consider how difficult it is to hide orthodox Judaism !!!!!! (or Islam)

Some tips - keep up just having kind humanistic values.
Study more liberal / reformed Catholic philosophical ideologies - you might even be OK with these as a way of life without having to declare atheism - which sounds like utter horror to the religious.
Engage is some Socratic like "inquisitive" dialogues but not aggressive anti-religious Rhetoric - I find this can be fun, if done well !!! - even with close family.

Some of my family completely accept I don't believe in orthodoxy and pretty much live a secular life with interest in science & philosophy - it was hard to hide considering I have subscriptions to science journals and dozens of books about evolution, science & philosophy.

However in my early days of sitting on the fence & weakening orthodoxy - I had aggressive arguments and learned they were a waste of time and energy.
What I did find is some area of weakness in a family members orthodoxy - and use that as a focus they can relate to - everybody has some !

I also used the Socratic method with humour and never any aggression - unlike a Christopher Hitchens approach ! Eg when asked "do I believe in the Torah" - confronted directly by a close family member I can choose "Oh yeh the 10 commandments - Nahhhh....." or I can ask questions about Noah and the animals with a cheeky grin....and YOU believe THAT ConsiderSmileBig Grin

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


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25-01-2014, 04:03 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
BEEN THERE,DOING THAT.
Have a buisness in a small town. TRying to keep the kids fed and the locals from manning the pitchforks.

I Find it draining at times to hold back my true thoughts. Also having to filter myself around my kids as to not force a belief on them but at the same time show them reality, reason and truth. MY face and pom hurts along with the button on my lip.

T.H.
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25-01-2014, 04:17 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
I am open to my wife and kids and to my brothers and their wives, but have not told my parents. They know we no longer attend any church, but have gone as far as to say I don't believe any more. At some point I guess I should, but they are very fundamentalist evangelicals, and would grieve endlessly for me and their grandchildren. Just trying to save them the pain (and family get-togethers...).
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25-01-2014, 04:46 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
My 80 year old mother doesn't need to know. She has dealt with enough loss in her life. This would be just that

T.H.
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25-01-2014, 07:42 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
Semi-open. My family knows, and my fiancé is an atheist so his family knows. My friends know. My boss knows. However my coworkers don't. I had a bad experience where a coworker who was against my atheism tried to get me fired. She made my job hell until I transferred. I tend not to tell professors be ause while I go to a large public university it is still oklahoma where we have ORU and the Ten Commandments on our Capitol. I COULD contest unfair grading, and could probably win, but it's easier not to make an issue of it.
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27-01-2014, 02:37 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
Just thought I'd like to add - Without having an outlet for your personal affiliations regarding religious or spiritual matters can lead to inner-frustration and make you feel like blowing up inside. This is especially exacerbated when your whole family is extremely religious.

My whole family have extreme religious customs which makes being a closet atheist extremely difficult. Think of it as if you're a closet homosexual, and you're around a bunch of homophobic religious folks. Without expressing yourself, you may find that you'll be hurt at what they say simply because they do not understand your take on the subject at hand. If they'd known your opinion, perhaps they could be a little more understanding, and try their best at avoiding homophobic discussions with you.

My argument is that being a closet atheist can lead to similar feelings that the closet homosexual has. They will be subjugated by discussions that have direct opposition views to their secret opinion and it is very hard to not walk away with a red face afterwards.

Of course it depends on the circumstances, and perhaps I, as a (convert) to atheism since a year and a half ago feel more strongly regarding these matters. I found expressing myself to have pros and cons, but in the end, I feel it was the right decision. Also, it was far better than to hide my atheism to an extreme god-fearing slave-master worshiping family.

Inevitably, you will find people you tell this to will think less of you, and perhaps treat you differently. Not to worry though, you'll know who's your true friends in the end. Those who stick by you, no matter what you believe or don't believe see you for who you really are and love you more for being independent and chivalrous for stating your opinion.

I'd rather have people see me for who I really am, and that way when they have affection for me, it's all the more genuine. If I ever have to hide myself to people and say what I'm not, how then can I really trust the integrity of their opinion for me, especially when it's constructed by a foundation of lies? Anyway, just my stance on the issues, of course you'll have to decide for yourself how to approach the situation, but I'm still a firm believer (haha),in telling everyone who you really are, because you will feel you're not trying to be someone you're not.

Everyday is judgement day. Use your judgement, use reason.
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27-01-2014, 02:43 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
Does it count as closet if I don't bring it up unless asked?
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27-01-2014, 03:22 PM
RE: Anyone a closet atheist?
(14-01-2014 08:30 PM)Seacaptain58 Wrote:  Now if your friends and neighbors (and spouses) were "truly Christians" they would not harp on you for being an atheist.

I think a better phrase would be "If your friends and neighbors were more tolerant..."

If Jesus died for our sins, why is there still sin? If man was created from dust, why is there still dust? If Americans came from Europe, why are there still Europeans?
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