I have two stock answers to my religious friends. Neither are original, but I can't remember the sources.
1. We are all atheist. I just believe in one less god than you.
2. I'm a bit old to still be believing in that stuff, don't you think?
Hello Val, I'm an ex-mo of only about a year and a half. Telling others that you are an atheist is called by some as identity/social suicide. So how did it feel for you to do that? hahaha It was awkward and painful for me at first but life is so much sweeter now that it was worth it to just tell everyone how I felt and what I was thinking and what I have been learning.
1. Breaking out of the in-group is the main reason people will see you as bad.
2. Being kind/patient/as friendly as you can to those that are scared of you now will make you a good guy to them eventually. If they never get over their fear of you, there is nothing you can do but move on to new friendships.
3. The truth just exists and you can just relax and let others discover it in their own time or never. Respecting them as humans is more important than forcing them to change just to make you happier.
4. Every individual decides how they will act or react. Respect their independence and they will hopefully respect yours.
Welcome to the freethinking community. It is a fun place to be. Like the movie Life of Brian advises us "Always look on the bright side of life" Life is a beautiful adventure every day. We are all lucky just to be alive for the brief time that we are. Enjoy it to the fullest. :)
P.S. I like the image you attached. Cool kaleidoscopic like shapes that look very artistic and beautiful. Thanks for sharing it. :)
The old adage applies, time heals all wounds. (or it kills ya, hahaha) Anyway, the culture shock and ripples of emotion take time to settle in for them as well as yourself. It takes a special kind of courage to be totally honest and have the integrity to be an atheist. Consider yourself one of the rare and lucky ones now.
Gratitude for true individual freedom really will heal the pain over time. It helps to tell them that you are also a humanist, meaning that you still like humans and have human centered morals. (Unless you don't like humans, hahaha)
Life is just so much more fun when you are free to be yourself and just think and play naturally like all humans should. It can be fun to tease them in light-hearted ways once you feel more secure in your knowledge of atheism. I suggest reading some good books, watching some good videos on Youtube and elsewhere. I won't suggest which ones because I don't know what interests you but there are many atheists coming from different perspectives that may help you.
Some people come to atheism through books or videos by philosophers or scientists but I became an atheist more organically by just my own free use of my brain. It was nice to discover books that supported my suspicions about religion but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that religion is a con-game, it just takes an honest examination of reality. That is hard at first but then the rewards of that honesty pay off big time in the long run.
I hope the best for you and if you want to talk about any specific issues just message me privately or ask people here openly. People here love to discuss any issues in depth many times, hahaha Take care, my fellow free human. :)