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