Is it safe to be "out"
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21-03-2015, 07:40 PM
Is it safe to be "out"
Has anyone experienced great difficulty being an out and open atheist?

This is a sort of two sided question.
I am out to my closest friends and family but at work I don't bring it up. All the Christians hang their religious propaganda in their cubicles but I'm hesitant to hang anything myself.

I have recently outright lost a friend when I mentioned that I was atheist. Obviously "he must not have been a good friend" but it still hurts.

The other side to this question is, do you feel safe putting say a FSM logo on your car with fear of getting your tires slit, keyed car, etc...

I'm a proud atheist, and just started going to atheist meetups, but I have found that some people are comfortable with preaching it to the world, and others that are hesitant like me.

What about you?

PS: I live in Idaho, pretty closed minded when it comes to the topic of non-belief (good place though, very proud Idahoan)
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21-03-2015, 07:43 PM
RE: Is it safe to be "out"
(21-03-2015 07:40 PM)zellerscrossing Wrote:  Has anyone experienced great difficulty being an out and open atheist?

This is a sort of two sided question.
I am out to my closest friends and family but at work I don't bring it up. All the Christians hang their religious propaganda in their cubicles but I'm hesitant to hang anything myself.

I have recently outright lost a friend when I mentioned that I was atheist. Obviously "he must not have been a good friend" but it still hurts.

The other side to this question is, do you feel safe putting say a FSM logo on your car with fear of getting your tires slit, keyed car, etc...

I'm a proud atheist, and just started going to atheist meetups, but I have found that some people are comfortable with preaching it to the world, and others that are hesitant like me.

What about you?

PS: I live in Idaho, pretty closed minded when it comes to the topic of non-belief (good place though, very proud Idahoan)

Welcome,

Close friends and immediate family know about me. The rest I either beg off, or just evade. I don't pretend to believe. I just don't announce it.

Hug


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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21-03-2015, 07:45 PM
RE: Is it safe to be "out"
Also to add, you have to decide if telling anyone is right for you.


But as if to knock me down, reality came around
And without so much as a mere touch, cut me into little pieces

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21-03-2015, 07:51 PM
RE: Is it safe to be "out"
Thanks everyone. Just to be clear, I'm sort of interested in some personal stories and how YOU have handled this, not just advice for me (although that's great too).
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21-03-2015, 08:57 PM
RE: Is it safe to be "out"
I don't have a cubicle or a car or a facebook account or any close friends, for that matter. So not much to lose.

I'm completely open about it.

It often comes up in class but it's a conversation starter regarding 'governance'. So e.g. I ask, "what processes are involved if a complaint is made by an 'out' christian about a colleague who puts up Islamic stuff on their cubicle wall... or atheist stuff?"

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21-03-2015, 09:18 PM
RE: Is it safe to be "out"
"Hey, why don't you have any pictures of your family in your cubicle? What's that picture, some kind of a bird skeleton?"

"Archaeopteryx"

"...umm, that's a bird, right?"

"You could say that."

"What about that weird looking fat salamander thing?"

"that's Tiktaalik"

"A what?"

(with a totally straight face) "Oh, it's just an old family portrait."

...awkward pause... "What do you m-"

"Don't worry about it." Cool

If we came from dust, then why is there still dust?
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21-03-2015, 10:05 PM
RE: Is it safe to be "out"
I wouldn't walk up to your friends or family and say, hey, I'm an atheist. lol, but it would be funny to me. But seriously, no need to tell anyone until they ask you do something religious related. When JWs knock on my door, I simply say I'm an atheist..but they don't understand and continue to say god built my house, haha.

I think the best way is to slowly out your interest of science and rational thinking and over time I think they'd catch on. But I did tell some of my closer friends and family and what's funny is that they responded saying they were atheists as well or at the very least agnostic, heck I made friends because I'm an atheist.

The best part about it is sharing stuff on Facebook just to see how many people like it or bitch about it or say, you're an atheist?! YOU HAVE NO MORALS!!! YOURE A BAD PERSON! Its not a bad thing being out as an atheist..you may lose a friend..but you'll gain another.

I live in Vermont, a very secular state..no one gives a shit what your religious beliefs are. Here, you can probably walk up to a priest or someone from the clergy and they'll probably say their an atheist!! Well..one can only hope anyways.

I would do what feels right, don't worry about it. Be a badass atheist! Big Grin

[Image: 9r3n6e.jpg]

Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime; give a man religion and he will die praying for a fish.
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21-03-2015, 10:30 PM
RE: Is it safe to be "out"
(21-03-2015 07:51 PM)zellerscrossing Wrote:  Thanks everyone. Just to be clear, I'm sort of interested in some personal stories and how YOU have handled this, not just advice for me (although that's great too).
I'm kind of half in half out. I'm out to my family and a few of my co-workers, who, luckily enough are also atheists. I will be honest if asked, but, otherwise, I'm judicious about to whom I disclose. I do not hold back my opinion, however, on topics like biblical accuracy, evolution, climate science etc. Sometimes people figure it out and say "You sound like an atheist.", to which I shrug, as to say "Yeah? What of it?". If they ask outright I will say yes.
My city has an active atheist community, but, my local municipality is one of the most conservative, republican areas in the country. My biggest concern is the effect it might have on my daughter. I do not want my decision to affect how her friends and their parents treat her. Many of them are friends from a private Lutheran school with fundee leanings. Unless she outs herself (I think she is an atheist, but, I don't ask because I don't want her to feel pressured by me to answer "yes".) this will change little until she graduates. I will continue to be honest, but, not broadcast it, wear it on my sleeve, or plaster it on my car. However, I do plan to quietly increase my participation in the community. I have joined a local meetup group and I'm planning to attend my first Skepticon this year.

You can lead a theist to reason, but, you cannot make him think.
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22-03-2015, 01:43 AM
RE: Is it safe to be "out"
In short:
Yes, it is very safe to be out.

Extra information:
I'm a Dane. (I have no idea about if people know much about Denmark so sorry if I assume too much) A small country (population: 5,6 million ) in the northern part of Europe. The country is a constitutional monarchy and is officially a Christian nation. We have a Folkekirke (Direct translation: Peoples church) that has a membership of about 79% of the population. All members are taxed a small amount but if you are free to leave the church and thous also not pay that tax. There is some muddy waters as some of the normal taxation still goes to the peoples church so as a tax payer you are never truly free from paying something to the church. (I haven't looked into how much it is but it is my impression that it isn't a big percentage.)

I see myself as an atheist but I am still a member of the peoples church. (I guess I am too lazy to fill out the form but I really should do so.) I was confirmed even though I didn't believe and my parents (who are atheist too) had clearly stated that it didn't matter to them. I would get a party and such what ever I choose. It is my impression that many of my classmates felt like me. The Confirmation is more cultural at this point than a true confirmation of ones belief. Religion as such don't really come up in our daily live and I'm quite sure that many religious Americans would call the majority of Danes for non-believers. Churches battle low attendance and they are shutting down. The membership of the peoples church is dwindling slowly but many is like me. We (Danes not me, I don't want marriage) still want to get married in churches. We still get buried in the hallowed ground the graveyard. But for the large majority that is what religion means to them. Therefore the vast majority don't care if you say you are atheist.

I do feel very sorry for all who has to hide and/or be careful of what they say about their lack of faith. But I also feel quite baffled with why it's so important to have bumper stickers and what not. But I guess it's part of the being oppressed and wanting to break that taboo. I do understand how some theists would view that kind of fervor as religious because in a true free society you would just be atheist and that's that. No little a's in jewelery or on bumper stickers you'd just not be religious. But when you risk being shunned by your family and friends, when you fear for your job and all the other things people experience. Then you might be inclined to be more "aggressive" in your liberation from belief. Well I guess. I don't know and I don't understand as I am too far removed from that experience. I wish there was something I could do but i fear the battle is yours to fight.
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22-03-2015, 02:52 AM
RE: Is it safe to be "out"
I'm 6 foot tall, 300 lbs, I carry a gun and I'm made of teflon so nothing sticks to me.

I don't give a shit who knows or doesn't know that I'm an atheist.

The quickest way to find out, is to "tell me about your relationship with god".....

....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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