Just wanted to say hi and a little bit about myself. I have been non-religious for 7 years but only recently decided to declare myself an atheist. I have been forced into several religions, christianity and islam, and when I became a member of those religions everyone was so excited for me and had nothing but good thing to say. Now that I have formally declared myself an atheist, I have been rejected, ridiculed and quite frankly insulted by everyone in my life! Including my non-religious family. Is this story similiar to what you all have been through? This was definately something I expected from my religious friends but was a complete shock that other non-believers, although not formally atheist, would treat me this way.

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Welcome to Think Atheist!

My mom is a cultural catholic.   She couldn't deal with me giving up my Catholicism, even though she doesn't really even believe in god.   She used to always say "when you're dead, you're dead, even when I was a kid.  Yet, when I declared myself atheist, she was taken aback.   Give them time, though.   When its out and people get used to it, like my mom, they'll even admit they're more atheist than theist, too.


Hi there. In the UK most of the people I meet are not religious so I do not seem to have any problems with my ahteism..At my school when I was young my Mother gave me a saying which helped me a lot. 'Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me' , I do believe that words do hurt but you just have to dismiss them if they are not kind.

 It is the families that reject that lose out in the end. I would never ridicule anyone for their beliefs. It should work both ways.

Welcome! There seems to be a stigma attached to being an atheist, doesn't there? I also experienced the "it's ok to be non-religious" (whatever that means), but for some reason it is different when you are officially atheist. Eventually, my immediate family realized that the label didn't change who I had always been. Hang in there.
Most of California in terms of land space is rural and by nature fairly conservative. It's really LA and San Fran/Marin County that tip the scales... in my anecdotal experience anyways. Not Tennessee conservative, more of an accepting lean to the right. Maybe a bit like Europe today versus ten years ago.

Hi Shannon,

Welcome to Think Atheist and CONGRATULATIONS on taking the brave steps it took to "come out of the closet" about your atheism.  I totally affirm your observations about people's reaction to that news--In this country, atheists are truly the pariahs relative to any other religious or "spiritual" designations.

I think that atheism touches on many people's two deepest fears: fear of death (aka fear of what happens to us after we die), and fear of being alone and at odds with everyone else (at least we can all agree that there is a god of some sort, right?!).

So,  as you hopefully realize, the reactions you are getting aren't about you at all but are simply people's reactions to their own worst fears.

Shannon, I love what you wrote and how elegantly you told your story.  Thank you for sharing!

welcome im new as well, just converted from christianity to atheism.  I hope i get to know you well and i hope you have a wonderful time here!

Hello Shannon,

Welcome to TA.. I hope things get better for you.. Yes the rejection is something I too have experienced..

Hi!  I am new here too.  I, however, have been atheist most of my life.  it was a big deal in my house, but over time it got better.  Stand by your beliefs (or lack thereof) and you cant go wrong.
Thank you all for your kind words. Just a little more about me. My family is not strict or even a little religious in any way. I also am not an aggressive person nor have I had any debates about religion or god or a lack thereof. I know it will get easier but I just wish people didn't have to be so condescending and rude in the process.

As for California being a liberal state, it is as liberal as can be I suppose considering that most of the political people are christians. If we were so liberal then gay marriage and things like that wouldn't be an issue.
Welcome, Shannon.  ThinkAtheist is a mostly friendly bunch.  You should fit right in here!
welcome; i went thru the (every one looking at me funny stage) when i was about 17 or 18 , iam 44. The kinda funny part is i have only been" formally declared " an athiest for about 3 years. They all looked at me like i was crazy my whole life because i thot different. I wanted to know WHY regaurding just about everything that wasnt self evident. I had even went 2 years to a catholic school, 7th & 8th. Raised in a small town steeped in religion but i still asked why and refused the answers that did not make sense to me. I didnt realize that i was on an information quest until just a few years back when all of the " why`s " that i had been asking,one day started to make sense. That is a story for a different topic but to comment on your post i would like to say this. I believe that when a person feels insulted by others regaurding their views on religion that the person feeling the insult is still operating on the " original default setting " that was programed into their brain,i have changed the default setting in my brain and now when i see religion i see absurdity and i am quick to politely and with facts point out the thing that strikes me as absurd..needless to say they all think i am more crazy but i dont care..i now sleep at night with a smile on my face thinking about the whole big thing... anyway congrats,welcome and thank you for the chance to share
Oh no believe me I find it hilarious when a religious person try to convice me of their crazy doctrines. It was just a bit upsetting to me the other day when my brother, who I am very close with and also says he doesn't believe in god, told me its just retarded to declare myself atheist. And I can relate about being the crazy one in the family because that's me all the way! Lol


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