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. :)
First of all welcome. Most people I know are Christians or Muslim. Two of my best friends go to church twice a week. We don’t really discus religion. They know where I stand. Occasionally we make jokes. I find it highly amusing to ask them to ask them what jesus would order if we are out to lunch or if I have a problem I ask them what jesus would do. We laugh. If the people you surround yourself with have a problem or preach to you, then they aren’t even that good of friends. I say out yourself.
You are right and I will. But I have to out myself to my kids first, in a way that won't upset them too much. Still working on that.
Thanks for the welcome. :)
Who know's? You raised them-skeptisism tends to rub off - they might say- wow mom, it's about time you figured it out- now we can stop walking on egg shells and that they don't believe either..
I'm pretty sure both of my boys are already there. I know the 23 yo is. He's always been ahead of his time. :)
Hi Becky, Welcome to the site. I was raised without religion so I had a rather different upbringing to you it seems. Sounds like your husband will come around when he is ready.
I even tried to fail my confirmation test by refusing to memorize the rote prayers.
What's a confirmation test? and what's a rote prayer? how is it different from a normal prayer?
I couldn't be quiet about it.
Sounds like you will be quite outspoken. Some of your religious friends and family(I assume) might get a bit upset with that.
Also it sounds like your kids are gonna have a hard time when you tell them about it.... basically they are gonna think you will be going to hell. Maybe once your husband is ready and leaves the church too, you should pull your kids out and just raise them to be human beings instead of christians.
Hope everything goes well for you!
No one in my household goes to church. All are more or less fed up with organized religion.
I am not terribly outspoken, actually. I bite my tongue a LOT. I like my friends and my family too much to step on what I see as a needed crutch for them. When and if they are ready to discard that, I will be there for them. In the meantime, I am the fly in the ointment, challenging them to think when they have questions about religion.
Confirmation is a rite in the Catholic church when teens become full-fledged members. Rote prayer is memorized prayers for certain situations. I refused them because I thought they should come from the heart.
I am gently bringing my kids along, showing them the flaws in religion (mostly the hatred and the hypocrisy). Some obviously still believe in a god but are fed up with christians in general. So, yeah, I don't want then to freak out that their mom is going to hell. Baby steps.
Thanks for the welcome and kind words, Matt. I don't yet know how to parse posts out like you did so they look so neat but I will figure it out for next time.
testpotentially you might be able to force it by using blockquote html tags....I have done so above but I don't know if it will work...
<blockquote>text to be quoted</blockquote>
I lied to get my confirmation. I didn't do the service work because I was too busy with homework. Ah, 8th grade. I wonder if this is grounds for me to get kicked out of the church. I'll investigate.
Funny, the whole "Harry Potter is evil!" bit is one of the things I remember that really turned me against organized religion. When I was a devout xtian, I was a HUGE fan of the TV preacher, John Hagee. Watched him every day after school and watched his sermon live every Sunday. Then one day I came home from school to find his regular program replaced by a special on the evils of Harry Potter. I turned it off and never watched it again.
I lived in San Antonio for a while (husband was in the Army for 20+ years) and actually visited Hagee's church at the invitation of a friend. It was during their "Harvest Festival". (Halloween alternative). That's when I realized that those are really just thinly veiled recruitment ceremonies.I'm glad you saw through the hypocrisy too, Galen. They shoot their own selves in the foot sometimes, don't they?
Thanks for the welcome.
Thanks, Joe. Your mention of a birth family reminded me of something. I was adopted and brought up in a Catholic family, which I fought obviously. I met my birthmom and half sisters about five years ago. They and the extended family are all skeptics, freethinkers, atheists, etc. I think that played into me finally giving in and looking at my doubts. It kind of makes me wonder anew at the nature vs. nurture question.
My circle of friends are mostly xtian homeschoolers. Since we are in the Midwest and not the bible belt, I should be able to hang on to a few of them, the ones worth having. To hear them talk and to ponder the questions they ask about their own faith, it's a wonder to me that they still believe.
My husband definitely has my back here. And the 6 yo old has never been indoctrinated into religion so that's less damage to undo. I have spent the last three years steering my teens towards a more skeptical and critical-thinking mindset. We have come a long way. They are quite excited for Stephen Hawking's show on Discovery (the Curiosity series) this Sunday. So we'll see where that takes us.
Happy for you and your wife that you found like-minded people in each other. What lucky kids you have!
Stepping out of the closet will make you feel much more empowered and content. I no longer hide my atheism and if someone does happen to approach me about it I am honest, open, and quite unashamed about my stance. This will catch some theists off guard. Just keep smiling and it will all work out.