I just joined here last night and apologize if this is a recent discussion topic...I'm in my fifties, living in my hometown (a small one) once again after decades away, work in a business with my 86 year old father, mother still alive and both church attending christians...I'm extremely well known in this town and know of no other atheists....I do not have the courage (if that IS the right word) to use my real name here or anywhere else online that proclaims my disbelief in a god for fear that it might get back to them somehow even though they have no computer...I'm sure I'm not alone in this closet and would like to read how others have dealt with this issue...
Lest anyone thinks I'm ashamed of my Humanism or lack the courage of my convictions, let me say that I don't care who knows of it except for my parents...they know I'm not religious and haven't attended church since I was under their roof 40 years ago and my mother has shed a few tears over that and I'm afraid using the A word or an equivelent to describe myself to my folks would bring on a flood of biblical proportions (I couldn't resist) ...but I must say I've been motivated by the comments from everyone here and, in fact, will proceed from this moment forward using my real name and even a picture as soon as I figure out the technical requirements...so a degree of liberation is at hand! A special thanks to Kim who wrote how unlikely it would be for others in my circle and beyond to actually inform my parents that they know for a fact of my disbelief....So everyone who ever so briefly knew me as James Reynolds, meet Dennis Bailey and thanks again! I have a few blogs if you have the time....www.secularexplorer.blogspot.com
Jean Marie...really? A preacher's wife? Talk about a double life....yikes! Yes, I'm close to Elmira...let's talk more about your group privately so as not to bore the rest of these folks...I invited you as a friend a little while ago!
I don't tell anyone unless they directly ask me about it. Most people I know are good people (despite their religion). I know that when they talk about god because its a habit, It is the in thing to do, and it makes them happier. They more or less like the social aspects of it. I find it irritates me though. I rant about it with my Atheist friends and my father. It really helps to have people that think like you do... everyone needs that social stimulus. I don't think that this site is all you need. I would like to encourage you to find a gathering an atend. It really is the best part of church - the gathering of like minded people.
I just woke up... I hope that isn't too apparent and my paragraph is understandable.
Welcome to the "fold" Dennis. You will find joy, humor, and lot's of things that make you go "hmmmm" here. TA is better than any building full of misguided folks who just want to find their piece of peace.
Peace and welcome.
I was a closet atheist for a long while, just because my parents were very strict in their religious beliefs.
When I did tell them, they threw me out of the house and have basically stopped talking to me.
I've become more vocal in displaying my beliefs since then; I'm tired of hiding.
I figure our voices should be heard...especially after some of this violation of separation of church and state nonsense that's been happening.