Mom Finds Out Her Daughter is an Atheist December 19, 2007

Mom Finds Out Her Daughter is an Atheist

A couple months ago, the campus atheist group at my alma mater (Rationalists and Freethinkers — RAFT) began a website urging openly non-religious people to publicly “come out of the closet.”

The site was called ResistDogma. If you filled out the brief form, your full name and location would appear on the master list. Really a great idea.

One of this site’s readers, Kaleena, did just this.

Then she forgot about it.

Until her mom recently Googled her name…

In an email, Kaleena writes:

I had completely forgotten about [filling out the form] until a few months later when during a casual conversation with my mother she asked me “What is a nontheist?”

She wasn’t prepared for that one.

How did it go?

The conversation didn’t go as well as the carefully planned-out one in my head, but now I’m out and relieved!

Thanks RAFT for helping me to do something that I didn’t have the courage to do!

Thanks, Kaleena, for doing something radically brave by filling out the form and for showing us this type of conversation doesn’t have to end in an all-out battle.

If you haven’t done so, please fill out the form!

[tags]atheist, atheism, closet, coming out[/tags]

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  • A similar thing happened to me, which led to my open atheism. My mom wouldn’t talk to me for six months.

  • valhar2000

    Why do parents always assume everything we do is about them?

  • Most of my close family is pretty much atheist. How boring!

  • Daniel

    I’ve met a whole lot of “closet atheist” in the past years, maybe because I started to be very open about my atheism.
    I think that, the more of us who are open about our views, the easier it will be for others to “come out” and do the same thing.

    Kuddos for Kaleena; this isn’t just a big, healthy step for you, but you are really helping a lot of people who are still aprehensive about going public with their atheism.

  • Giovanni

    I wish I could come out with my atheism (I’m not militant, but I guess it’s a bit hard to be a closet militant atheist — I do support them, though!). Not sure how my family would like it, though I’m thinking not very favorably. A couple years ago, I told a coworker, whom I believe is Baptist (she’s around 50 and devout), and she acted as though I just killed her cat! It took her a few moments, but she came around to remember that, yes, I am a person, and a good one at that!

    I envy Kaleena, but living in the South it is difficult. Of course, I’ve been told I have no morals or values — my favorite was the time an underage alcoholic closet lesbian who bragged about her numerous sexual experiences tried the holier-than-thou act on me.

    A big part of me hopes to be an advocate for atheists in America, but until things change, I’m going to have to stay anonymous.

  • Syckls

    My parents have been surprisingly tolerant. We don’t try to push any views on each other, and it works out well. Unfortunately, I don’t think that the rest of my family or the members of the church I used to attend, who still don’t know, would be quite so pleased. My extended family is almost pure fundie, and I have some idea of the reaction they’d make from the way they treated the one atheist family member I know of.

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