Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
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16-11-2012, 08:42 PM
RE: Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
In what way is telling your family and friends that you don't believe in god, making a spectacle? Have you ever actually witnessed a spectacle?

Check out a westboro baptist funeral protest if you need an example.

Some people just want their family to know. Maybe because they've been under the blanket of religion and religious oppression for so long its like a sigh of relief to say its not for you.

I personally made a brief facebook post outing myself in the hopes I might see less religious posts pop up on my wall. It didn't work. Religious types really like to cram that shit down your throat.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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16-11-2012, 08:43 PM
RE: Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
(16-11-2012 08:39 PM)Janus Wrote:  
(16-11-2012 08:24 PM)LadyJane Wrote:  I would say because atheism is a minority, and minorities can be suppressed. Coming out is a way of shaking the shackles so to speak. In many family units, the dynamics are governed by the religion and when one announces publicly that they are free of the doctrine than they can, in some respect, be free to live outside the doctrine rules. Some examples for today are things like the way women are treated, sexual orientation, submissiveness, slavery, oppression, etc. Real issues that deserve a stand. People are sick of the influence and coming out is a way to set a boundary for these things.


Achieving what exactly besides setting yourself up as a target for nastiness?
So avoiding problems solves them? Fuck, I coulda saved myself so much time in my life. Weeping
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16-11-2012, 08:44 PM
Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
As an atheist, one can be indifferent to what other people believe. Christians however, care very much what you believe, because if you deny the truth you're going to hell. What atheists see as belligerence in the way Christians speak about God is actually, for the most part, is meant in love. They don't want to see anyone be tormented forever.

So, if you leave a community and family where every single person you've ever known now worries you're going to burn in hell, it's a tough place to be in. You're faced with either people hounding you with bible verses and platitudes, or you're shunned because they don't know how to deal with someone who willingly walks away from the love of God. It's unfathomable that someone would reject eternal life, so there must be something wrong in that person, to be pitied and avoided because they might make you start doubting too.

Some people live in communities where their jobs could be affected if they know you're an atheist. I've never lived anyplace like that, but it does happen in the US.

And with all that, people who haven't grown up in the faith will have a difficult time understanding the depth of pain that occurs when you turn your back on everything you ever believed and hoped for.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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16-11-2012, 08:44 PM
RE: Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
(16-11-2012 08:36 PM)Reltzik Wrote:  Well, first of all, it's part of most human cultures (and possibly human psychology in general) to make a great ceremony to mark major transitions or milestones in one's life. In your case, finding the label of atheist wasn't a major transition. But for someone who switches from hardcore belief to hardcore not, it is.

Second, there's often an element of integrity in it. They have been part of a community, part of the same covenant, with their brethren faithful until their transition. Some people feel its dishonest to let the assumption of status quo continue, when status is very much not quo.

Third, there's the simple imperatives of communication within a social species. Or the psychological need for acceptance as-is. Or if you want that in one word, OPENNESS. Being "in the closet" to the world at large, on any issue, can have profound psychological impact on the person in the closet. Depression and alienation are common symptoms, for example, and the suicide rate goes up. Some people can just say "I won't advertise it but I won't hide it." But for some people, not advertising it IS hiding it, because of their own predilections. It's all too easy for someone afraid of confrontation to take this attitude as a fig leaf out of ever letting anyone know, and they go into a closet as a result. This varies by individual, but it's common enough to be a concern.

Fourth, writing a single, carefully-considered announcement can be preferable to having dozens of ad-hoc conversations. ESPECIALLY if 90 of those conversations come fast, furious, hectic, and angry after conversant #8 gossips.

And finally, there are those who do it for reasons of tactics in a larger culture war. There's a particularly vocal branch of the atheist community who think that much of the persecution and distrust of atheists stems from lack of visibility. It's much easier to be bigoted against "Those Atheists We Never Met" than "My Brother, the Atheist", and easier to attack a small minority than the large one. In this line of thinking, the more people who are visibly atheists, the better.

A lot of this depends on environment. In the small town where everyone and their dog attends the same church, being an atheist is a very hard thing, secrecy is something to seriously consider, and confrontation by the religious is the norm. But in, say, a cosmopolitan city like Seattle, the culture is very different.


Thank you.

I think mindless copycatism fed by insecurity is also a strong factor. FUD again.
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16-11-2012, 08:47 PM
RE: Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
(16-11-2012 08:42 PM)lucradis Wrote:  In what way is telling your family and friends that you don't believe in god, making a spectacle? Have you ever actually witnessed a spectacle?

Check out a westboro baptist funeral protest if you need an example.

Some people just want their family to know. Maybe because they've been under the blanket of religion and religious oppression for so long its like a sigh of relief to say its not for you.

I personally made a brief facebook post outing myself in the hopes I might see less religious posts pop up on my wall. It didn't work. Religious types really like to cram that shit down your throat.


That's how much good your coming out did you. Did you enjoy it? Knowing that would you do it again?
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16-11-2012, 08:57 PM
RE: Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
Oh yeah, doing that on FB sure won't make the religious posts go away. I fixed that problem by unfriending a lot of people, and hiding all posts by certain others.

As for coming out, I did that on television as a teenager, and I'm sure everyone who knew me watched it (that's how religious my home town is: it was considered news that anyone was NOT religious). Saved me a lot of time telling people individually.

But a lot of it is what Erx said: many of these people think you're gonna burn in hell, so they think it's their duty to bother you about it. It's a fundamental misunderstanding there. You want them to shut up; they want you to join their religion in order to "save your soul".
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16-11-2012, 09:01 PM
RE: Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
Nobody asks me to pray with them anymore. Also I don't get invited to mass, or to church every sunday. So .. yeah duh.

Now if only I could get the people who approach me in the street to not do it. If only there was a way to say "I don't want to buy what you're selling dirty evil religious people", but that would be considered rude for some reason. Too bad rudeness and spectacle are perfectly acceptable for people who believe in a god.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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16-11-2012, 09:08 PM
Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
(16-11-2012 08:57 PM)amyb Wrote:  Oh yeah, doing that on FB sure won't make the religious posts go away. I fixed that problem by unfriending a lot of people, and hiding all posts by certain others.

As for coming out, I did that on television as a teenager, and I'm sure everyone who knew me watched it (that's how religious my home town is: it was considered news that anyone was NOT religious). Saved me a lot of time telling people individually.

But a lot of it is what Erx said: many of these people think you're gonna burn in hell, so they think it's their duty to bother you about it. It's a fundamental misunderstanding there. You want them to shut up; they want you to join their religion in order to "save your soul".

How did you come out on TV? I feel as if I've not heard this story and I need to.

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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16-11-2012, 09:13 PM
RE: Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
Apparently it was a fucking slow week for PA news, so they decided to visit my town because they'd heard people were becoming less religious. They did a special called "the devil in our backyard." They interviewed a moronic devil worshiper that was mad at god, and then, when they asked around town, everyone told them to interview me, i guess. So I talked about not believing in gods or any type of woo due to not having evidence, also attempted to dispel rumors that I was a devil worshiper. This was in 1997 or so. Since then, not one relative has asked me to attend church with them...
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16-11-2012, 09:15 PM
Why does turning atheist have to be an 'event'? A 'coming out'? Why the drama?
(16-11-2012 09:13 PM)amyb Wrote:  Apparently it was a fucking slow week for PA news, so they decided to visit my town because they'd heard people were becoming less religious. They did a special called "the devil in our backyard." They interviewed a moronic devil worshiper that was mad at god, and then, when they asked around town, everyone told them to interview me, i guess. So I talked about not believing in gods or any type of woo due to not having evidence, also attempted to dispel rumors that I was a devil worshiper. This was in 1997 or so. Since then, not one relative has asked me to attend church with them...

That's very cool. And apparently very effective. Thumbsup

It was just a fucking apple man, we're sorry okay? Please stop the madness Laugh out load
~Izel
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