I've recently had a couple of experiences in which I discovered someone who I would have bet money was a Christian turned out to be a pretty staunch atheist. I was wondering how common this is. I live in the south, and I work for an extremely conservative company that largely hires from religious schools, so I've always been extremely careful airing my beliefs at work. I finally mentioned to one guy that I was an atheist, and he laughed and responded, "I thought I was the only one here!" This has happened once more, and so I'm wondering... how many of us are out there? It was such an excellent experience, and so uplifting! I I sometimes wonder if atheism is more prevalent than we know, and if people are holding back from confessing for fear of reprisal. Has this happened to anyone else?
Isn't it great to feel like you're a part of something? Your experience at work is indeed uplifting, I'm glad you have found others like you in a place where you thought they wouldn't exist.
In New Zealand it common for people's religiosity to be secret. At my workplace I had no idea what my co-workers religious beliefs were until one day I tested the water by telling a religious joke:
What's the difference between a prayer in Church and a prayer in a Casino?
In a casino you really mean it.
The joke was well received and the next day - they had filthier religious inspired jokes to share themselves.
I do find it exciting myself when I find other atheists/agnostics.