Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
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14-02-2014, 02:32 PM
Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
Ok so if any of you read my blog or one last post you know that I am trying very hard to figure out a way to come out as an atheist to those in my life. It feels like I will explode if I don't tell someone. I am still terrified to tell my husband because last time I tried he nearly left me so I was thinking someone else that I am close to and that is also very hard to keeping playing pretend with. This person would be my best friend Amy. So Amy is a devout Christian BUT her family is a bit less traditional in many ways. They have home church and don't really claim any particular denominations. Still they are very conservative and deeply set in their ways about their beliefs.

Amy and I have been friends for a while and setting beliefs aside I can talk to her about anything. It has been getting really hard to stomach some of what she says about some things though. Thankfully she lives over a thousand miles away and she can't see me grimacing over the phone.Blush

So, I am thinking of telling her that I am an atheist AND that I don't support her anti-gay, anti-everything practices. I wonder if since I know how stubborn she is in her beliefs if perhaps I should just find someone else to be my first to come out to? If not, how does one start that conversation ya know?

http://iamtheclosetatheist.blogspot.com/
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14-02-2014, 02:40 PM
RE: Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
Honestly, I would tell a stranger first. The next time someone brings it up that they are praying for the rain to stop, etc... Just blurt it out. You need to be comfortable saying those words before you start having these big talks with loved ones.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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14-02-2014, 03:22 PM
RE: Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
At one time people didn't speak of one's religion, nor of anyone else's. Beliefs were kept within. Why do you feel the need to blab your lack of biblical belief? You need to learn how to counter her statements without disdain for her beliefs. Just be who you are. I'm sure you have other personal issues that you chose not to share. Add atheism to the list.
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16-02-2014, 02:18 PM
RE: Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
I think the best thing in general is to make no pretenses either way. Don't come out as an atheist, but don't claim to be a Christian... Only tell if someone asks.

But, don't feel afraid to say you disagree with things your friends believe in if they put you on the spot. I know it can be a difficult position to be in, but by learning to argue your point, you can comfortably stand your ground and not feel intimidated by being the only atheist in the room.

The stars are matter, we are matter... but it doesn't matter. - Captain Beefheart
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24-02-2014, 03:09 PM
RE: Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
I'm curious, did you get married before you became an atheist, or was it something that happened afterwards?

I will say that it's unfair for your husband to threaten to leave you if you don't believe in what he believes in. You're not giving him the same ultimatum are you? I've been struggling with how to tell the rest of my family who are all pretty religious (most of them are part of a church where they run up and down the aisles and speak in tongues).

My mom has suggested I keep it to myself. When I go on facebook though, everyone I know posts biblical passages, gives praise to god, posts Christian/ Catholic memes, etc. Why are they entitled to the undeservedly thick and impenetrable wall of respect when we are not allowed to speak the opposite? I don't want to put my family down in anyway, and for the most part, they're all sane, logical, kind people, but why do I have to keep my mouth shut, if they get to preach all day long?

Personally, I think not addressing it with your husband would be a mistake, and with something this important to your relationship, he may be more upset if he discovers that you took it to a friend before you took it to him (hey may not be too, just a thought). My wife and I discussed it together. Fortunately we had the same mind set and same background. We worked through it together. If you don't bring it up, it may end up being the pebble in your shoe. Not a big deal now, but it becomes pretty freaking annoying, and ends up driving you mad. Before I ramble, I'd say formulate your thoughts, anticipate your husbands retorts, bite the bullet, and tell him/ them.

The religion of one age, is the literary entertainment of the next.
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24-02-2014, 03:20 PM
RE: Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
To add to what some have said, I think it's often best to not have a huge "coming out" moment, but also to be true to yourself and not lie about it if you are asked. Usually, if you do make a big deal about it with a religious person, a few outcomes could happen:

1) the person sees it as a "crisis of faith" and is suddenly hell-bent on getting you re-converted to religion, and spends all their time trying to get rid of your "doubts."
2) person takes personal offense and thinks you're being a dickhead and trying to deconvert them, even when you are not,
3) person decides it's dangerous to their faith to talk to godless heathens and stops talking to you.

I've had all these happen, but 2 is most common in my experience. Many people just sort of assume everyone believes as they do, or at least that everyone worships some "higher power," and they see your nonbelief as trying to invalidate their beliefs, on which their whole worldview is based, so they take deep offense and are horrified.

Not saying these things always happen, but if a person talks about religion a lot, they are possibilities. I have relatives who seem to think they're at war with me, just because I'm not christian.

Quote:My mom has suggested I keep it to myself. When I go on facebook though, everyone I know posts biblical passages, gives praise to god, posts Christian/ Catholic memes, etc. Why are they entitled to the undeservedly thick and impenetrable wall of respect when we are not allowed to speak the opposite? I don't want to put my family down in anyway, and for the most part, they're all sane, logical, kind people, but why do I have to keep my mouth shut, if they get to preach all day long?
Precisely why I DON'T keep it to myself. No one else is expected to. But at the same time, I recognize that this will create conflict, which is why I wrote what I wrote in the first paragraph of my post.

I mean, as an atheist, if someone tells me they're religious, I am not offended and I do not feel threatened. However, for theists, many of them do get offended and do feel threatened, and that's why they are always telling atheists to shut up and keep it to themselves, which is a total double standard and is bullshit. I have upset a lot of people simply by existing while being an atheist. I've lost friends, had fights with people, etc., but I realize that it's the price I pay for being honest and open.
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24-02-2014, 03:39 PM
RE: Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
(14-02-2014 02:32 PM)Pearl Wrote:  Ok so if any of you read my blog or one last post you know that I am trying very hard to figure out a way to come out as an atheist to those in my life. It feels like I will explode if I don't tell someone. I am still terrified to tell my husband because last time I tried he nearly left me so I was thinking someone else that I am close to and that is also very hard to keeping playing pretend with. This person would be my best friend Amy. So Amy is a devout Christian BUT her family is a bit less traditional in many ways. They have home church and don't really claim any particular denominations. Still they are very conservative and deeply set in their ways about their beliefs.

Amy and I have been friends for a while and setting beliefs aside I can talk to her about anything. It has been getting really hard to stomach some of what she says about some things though. Thankfully she lives over a thousand miles away and she can't see me grimacing over the phone.Blush

So, I am thinking of telling her that I am an atheist AND that I don't support her anti-gay, anti-everything practices. I wonder if since I know how stubborn she is in her beliefs if perhaps I should just find someone else to be my first to come out to? If not, how does one start that conversation ya know?
Hey to be honest with you one of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to solve a problem is making it seem harder than it is. The best thing to do is just confront the problem head on and face your fears. You don't have to go out of your way to tell your bestie that your a non-believer, just do it the next time you converse with her. If she happens to bring anything up about her faith while you two are talking just kindly tell her that your worldviews have changed. And make sure you do it in a non-condescending way. And if she asks you to further elaborate what you mean by that just tell her blatantly that you're an atheist. If she's truly your friend she'll understand and your relationship with her will not be altered in any way, but if she cuts you off or changes her attitude towards you she was never truly your friend to begin with. One of the worst things a human being can do to themselves is suppress their true nature and desire. That's one of the reasons why I abandoned my faith because of the intellectual suppression that it came with. Don't ever be afraid to be yourself Smile
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24-02-2014, 04:44 PM
RE: Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
I think your husband leaving you over religion might be just him bluffing. I would call him out on his bluff.

What kind of relationship do you have if you can't be yourself and honest with each other about this very important issue?

You should strongly emphasis that you are still the same person. You didn't become an atheist overnight and it wasn't yesterday that you became one. So in reality, he has been married to an atheist all this time. The only difference is - now he knows about it.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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24-02-2014, 05:31 PM
RE: Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
Just read your blog posts. It was certainly more than I was expecting. I would ask if you really want to be married to someone who reacts like that? The discrimination in school is one thing, but intentionally risking your well being and then discharging a firearm in a rage?

I know there are probably some here who are anti-gun, but I'm not. I've got quite a few guns including the evil ak-47. That being said, my wife and I have gotten into some extremely heated arguments. Shouting, yelling, door slamming, cussing, etc. Not once did it ever cross my mind to reach for a gun, even if it was just to shoot into the air. That is dangerous behavior.

Not sure if he hates you if you don't share the same belief system? Granted I don't know any of his redeeming qualities, and I'll assume he at least has a few, but still, do you really want to be married, and spend the rest of your life with someone like that? Not to advocate divorce, but you deserve some happiness (and security) too.

I still say speak openly and honestly with your husband. Maybe start in a neutral area first, or in sight of other people.

The religion of one age, is the literary entertainment of the next.
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24-02-2014, 07:57 PM
RE: Thinking about coming out as an atheist to one person....advice
(24-02-2014 05:31 PM)=jesse= Wrote:  Just read your blog posts. It was certainly more than I was expecting. I would ask if you really want to be married to someone who reacts like that? The discrimination in school is one thing, but intentionally risking your well being and then discharging a firearm in a rage?

I know there are probably some here who are anti-gun, but I'm not. I've got quite a few guns including the evil ak-47. That being said, my wife and I have gotten into some extremely heated arguments. Shouting, yelling, door slamming, cussing, etc. Not once did it ever cross my mind to reach for a gun, even if it was just to shoot into the air. That is dangerous behavior.

Not sure if he hates you if you don't share the same belief system? Granted I don't know any of his redeeming qualities, and I'll assume he at least has a few, but still, do you really want to be married, and spend the rest of your life with someone like that? Not to advocate divorce, but you deserve some happiness (and security) too.

I still say speak openly and honestly with your husband. Maybe start in a neutral area first, or in sight of other people.

I agree with Jesse!!

I own several pistols, shotguns and rifles. I would never never never discharge my sidearm into the air. That's about the dumbest thing ever.

Also, I would never never bring my gun out in the heat of an emotional moment. A gun is meant for killing out of self protection or hunting and you should never point your weapon at someone or something unless you intend to destroy it.

Every responsible gun owner knows this. Your husband sounds abusive and I would leave him.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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