I was not raised in an active church going family but I did start going to a friend's church. I was baptized at 16 and an atheist by 18! I grew up in Kentucky...land of the Southern Baptists nad have kept my mouth shut about my beliefs until a few years ago. Now at the age of 47, I find that I have less tolerance for hiding in the closet. For about six months I have made it clear that I am an atheist. Everyone else in my family are Christians except for a niece who is also atheist. My husband is a Christian and his parents are both ordained ministers. When I met them I had not told anyone but my husband about my beliefs. Every Christmas I buy my in-laws knee pads so it is easier on their old arthritic bones to kneel and pray for my ass! Actually, they love me dearly and I adore them. Yes, I stand there looking around during prayers before dinner, at funerals, at weddings and any other event where some feel the need to pray.
To best understand me one has to understand my upbringing and then my discovery that I could think for myself. I am the daughter of a psychologist and a nurse (yeah, I was destined to be screwed up!!). I have 2 very sucessful white collar brothers also. One is a circuit judge who was also an atheist until the day his first daughter was born and he decided to join a church. I kept my beliefs to myself, for decades, as it has been socially inappropriate to be an atheist. I was raised on being a lady and being socially appropriate.
After I got into my 40's I got fed up with smiling politely when people would say they would pray for me, try to talk about religion around me while I just sat there with a polite smile on my face. I think that starting in '07 was the beginning of the end of my silence. My beloved grandma dies and of course there were alot of I'm so sorry and I'll be praying for you comments. My father and sister-in-law were both diagnosed later in the year...my sister-in-law was terminal with Melanom and my dad (yep, I was daddy's little girl) was also diagnosed terminally ill with cancer and dementia. My dad died in '08 and Patty in '10. I have heard enough comments about "God's will" and all of that to last me a lifetime. My pain and anger over three deaths so quickly grew and i became less of a a "lady" and more like me. Instead of smiling politely now I just tell people who are going to pray for me that I am an atheist but I do appreciate them keeping me in their thoughts. If I didn't already have my proof that there is no "God", it wouldn't have been made very clear to me in the last six months. I was attacked and raped in August, complete with knife wounds and cigarette burns. Two weeks later I was diagnosed with frontal lobe atrophy and demntia. Yeah...I'm terminal too. So I've had quite a bit of time over the last few decades to ponder the "BIG" question and although I had already come to a decision, I have just recently been making my views known. My mother is distraught, my brothers don't speak to me nad my nieces (except for one) haven't contacted me in months....even after they found out about the rape. That's it for my family.....there's not too many of us to start with and we've been dying off at a pretty rapid rate. People ask me what I think happens when you die. I think it's like surgery. There's nothing. You are not aware of anything so therefore you cannot get upset for not having a light to go towards!
I don't know what else to put on here. My biggest problem is finding people I can talk to and not have to watch what I say. So I hope that I can make some friends here, get involved and BE HEARD!