After hearing about Kaleena’s story, this question naturally arises:
Have you ever been accidentally discovered as an atheist by your family?
Share some good stories 🙂
(Question via The Exterminator)
Hell no. That wouldn’t go well at all.
No good stories from me; my parents expected me to go “godless” when I went to college. They wanted me to go anyway; that speaks highly of them. 🙂
Well, I just signed the site, so I’ll let you know. 😉
I’m such a weenie.
Have I ever been accidently discovered by my family?
Well, once when I was 14. The new Sears Christmas catalogue had just arrived and the lock on the bathroom door wasn’t working properly…
Well… Not from my family. They sensed that I didn’t sit well with religion since I was a child. When my atheism came to light (I don’t really remember when … some 7 or 8 years back, when they asked me if I would be attending a baptism) No one was surprised. Some friends however have been surprised when they discover I’m an atheist. They just assume I’m catholic (I live in a country with a catholic majority)until they notice something “peculiar” about me and start asking around.
It usually goes like this:
-Wait! your an atheist?!
Then it happens one of three things:
* The other person is religious: Which takes me a good one – two hours of debate and some beers/tequila shots to finally come to the conclusion that we agree to disagree (and that we should stop drinking). It’s not uncommon to have debates with this kind of people on a semi-regular basis (every month or two ).
*The other person is not that serious about their religion: So they either don’t think too much about it, find it really “weird” a whole 30 minutes or they think it’s “cool” to have an atheist friend (much like having an artist friend, a gay friend or something like that)
*The other person is non-religious/agnostic/atheist:
They are always happy to meet another non-believer (I’ve been happily surprised at how many “closet atheist” I met in the last 2 years.)
Being a Norwegian and all, it’s kind of strange to see that being “discovered as an atheist” is actually and issue over there in the US.
Well Christmas Eve mass is just a few days away and I’ve been avoiding the issue with my Dad. I know I should tell him now so that I’m not saying right before we head out the door, “Oh Dad, I won’t be doing the whole communion thing or praying…I am an atheist.” So I’ve been leaving hints: I’ve strategically placed “The God Delusion” around the house, I’ve been describing to him the meaning of “The Golden Compass” and I’ve been saying things like, “Did you know Ian McKellen is an atheist? How interesting!”
I’m not quite sure my parents know I’m an atheist. I know they suspected at least. They asked what I wanted for Christmas, and I pointed them to my Amazon wish list, forgetting that it was full of atheism books. I wonder if they’ll comment on that. It would be really weird to actually receive The God Delusion from them…
Brian, I don’t like using this acronym too much, but I have to here: LOL
As for atheism, most of my family is already atheist and have already read the various Harris and Dawkins books after my lead so there is nothing interesting there.
I’m more worried about future employers and what they will find through googling. Then again, maybe I wouldn’t want to work for someone who would not hire someone because that person is an atheist.
Yeah, it’s pretty sad. Not only are 80% of Americans Christian, a very large portion of those 80% are actually serious about it.
Sweden’s the same as Norway so I have to chime in with LordMarius… Over here it’s more shocking to discover that someone’s serious about religion than that they have none!
That said, if you’re actually an activist atheist, that might raise some eyebrows. Most people here are very … apathetic.
At Thanksgiving, the talk turned to religion and politics. I said something negative about “evangelicals,” forgetting that I’ve never really “come out” as an atheist to these particular relatives.
My cousin looked at me kind of strangely and finally said, “But aren’t you an evangelical? I thought you went to church all the time!”
Um, no. Not anymore. 😉 Turned into a good conversation where I explained what I’m thinking these days (though I didn’t use the word “atheist”) and they were fine with it. But these are the liberal relations. I wouldn’t expect such a good reaction from the fundy folks.
I think I’ve been “accidentally” found out by at least one relative, but I’m not sure when, because he never said anything, only later mentioning that he already knew. He probably just saw me reading some blogs…
I think several relatives found out when I started blogging. But nobody cares enough to show much reaction.
I think my mom knows through Facebook, though I don’t know if she’s seen my profile yet. I could’ve changed my profile, but I decided that I didn’t need to. I’m pretty sure she already assumed that I am a godless slut when I told her that I am bisexual… Wait till I tell her that I don’t want to have children! 😀
As a follow-up to my above comment, my parents did buy me The God Delusion for Christmas. They also got me a pro-religion book I had on the list and wished me luck on my search for truth, so I figure it went pretty well.
Actually, I just got a funny phone call from my dad last night. My stepmom found my myspace and now they’re concerned because it says I’m an atheist. I didn’t even think my dad was religious, but suffice to say, I’ve been really upset since last night. He made it sound like he feels like he’s a bad father, and wasn’t a good Christian example because of what I believe now. He said, “Your mom and I worked so hard so you could go to Christian school…” I think it’s the schools that made me atheist! I told him I was really grateful for the awesome education I got, and that I was sorry for what I am (I changed it to ‘agnostic’ on my myspace though I feel no less atheist). I’ve actually been surfing around for others with experiences similar to mine. So, if anyone happens upon this old-ish thread, drop me an email, will ya? 🙂