I'm a newish atheist. Two years, I guess. My husband knows, my kids do not. My friends suspect. I'm trying to be careful how and when I come out. So, I have no one IRL to talk to. I've just started reading here after having the site recommended to me by an atheist blogger.
My husband is amazingly cool about it. He lost his faith a few years ago but I think it was out of anger because he's back at it again. We had an interesting conversation the other night. He said that he knows there can't be a heaven because it makes no sense whatsoever, yet he needs there to be so he believes. He's an otherwise brilliant person and I think he is just having trouble letting go of his upbringing.
I, on the other hand, was a rebel from the word 'go'. In Catholic high school, I told the teacher of our religion class (a priest) that papal infallibility was bull. I was a shy kid but on matters of religion, I called it like I saw it. I even tried to fail my confirmation test by refusing to memorize the rote prayers.
I left the Catholic church eventually and tried different flavors of Protestantism, mostly in the south. So... scary! I nearly got killed by the laser eyes of judgment at church many years later when the pastor said they were going to show a video on the evils of Harry Potter and I started angrily whispering to my husband how they can't judge it if they'd never even read it. He was mortified. Not because he disagreed with me but because I couldn't be quiet about it. So, yeah, I have trouble not speaking the truth out loud and I think my friends are on to me and I may be needing to look for new ones soon. I'm 46 and getting a little old for starting over. But here goes.
So happy to be here. ^_^
Just realized I needed an explanation for the subject line. One of my friends appears to have figured me out and I am not sure if she will be quiet about. So things could get interesting. :)
Stupid fingers after a long weekend!!!
(Here follows what I wanted to say..)
Be welcome in this place.
From reading the comments, it sounds like your children may been in a position to accept your "coming out". Best of luck. If the "skeptical genes" are dominant, you should have no worries. As for the friend who "suspects", well, you may be about to find out how true she is.
A bit o' personal here - when I married some 29 years ago, I acquired three sisters-in-law, and one brother-in-law. The brother and one sister are pretty laisse-faire about their faith - they practice it, but don't push it.* Of the other two sisters (both hard-over "dynamic" xians) one is great, accpting me as the man her sister married. The other barely speaks to me.
One other thing - since when is 46 "getting a little old"? Like the wise man once said "Growing old is inevitable. Growing up, not so much".
* The one occasion I was asked to say grace (at a family breakfast, no less), I proffered up an old Navy prayer; "O Lord, make us not like the oatmeal, thick and sour, but like the cornflakes, ever crisp and ready to serve." I haven't been asked since.
Well, I personally don't feel old at 46. Not. at. all. But I guess I assume younger people think it is, so I went there. I should not assume, right? ;) I am definitely having too much fun to be considered old.
I have a Tea Party brother-in-law who likes to rain on my parades on my Facebook page. I like to think my husband called him out because he actually came back and apologized. Being one who desperately wants to poke the bear, I am longing for the day when he finds out I am an atheist. He actually appears to revere Luther over Christ (though he would deny it), so it could get interesting.
Thank you, Gordon, for sharing your experiences and for the welcome and encouragement.
I don't think 46 is old, not for today. I think of the 40s as 'mature' and the 50s as approaching one's senior years, but not really there yet (pre-senior--lol?). Late 50s through 60s is old. 70s is elderly. 80s is impressive/wizened. 90s is amazing/ancient. 100s is incredible/prehistoric.
Yeah, I'm not old. I have teens. Really crazy teens. And a 6yo, who has been heavily influenced by teen siblings. It's a pretty fun place at my house. :/
Thanks. I'm all about being nice. I don't want to be the ugly ambassador.
Also, I think it's really sad that they tell you you will go to hell. Not because it would be a real threat to you, because it obviously isn't. But because, to them, they are trying to give the ultimate insult. :(
Your English is pretty good, so don't knock it! :-D
I never understood the idea of “outing” oneself. I view it to be the same as confessing. To me that implies that you’ve done something wrong. As a result, some may view it as a call for help and try to convince you that you’re confused or in need of saving. Regardless of what others may think, you should feel secure in the fact that you’ve done nothing wrong. Instead of an official “outing,” I prefer something more organic. Simply live your life as an atheist and if someone confronts you, just be open and honest with them. If you’re able to state your beliefs casually and with confidence when confronted, I think this shows a security that will put others at ease and won’t come off as a plea for help. Either way, it’s not an easy decision to make. I hope you find the support you seek among your family and friends. Welcome to TA and good luck!
I see what you're saying, Rick, and I agree. I never saw myself making a grand gesture of announcing anything, just being found out bit by bit. But I guess I panicked when my friend saw one of the boulders (forget bread crumbs) I have been leaving on the path and confronted me about it. After the encouragement I have been getting here, I think I am ready to deal with my friends as they find it out. I just need to find a way to answer my teens questions when they figure it out. THAT'S going to be the hard part. I will keep poking around here and see what other people have done.
Thanks. I will.