Did You Have a Non-Belief "Coming Out"?
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« on: September 20, 2017, 11:07:48 pm »

For those who are nonreligious, have you shared this with your friends, family, work colleagues, etc?  How was the news received?

Or, do you feel there's no need to "come out" to those around you?  Are some of you remaining silent on the topic because of the potential harm it might cause in your relationships?
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2017, 04:21:11 am »

This is one situation where Don't Ask Don't Tell actually seems to be a good thing.
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2017, 01:05:16 am »

For those who are nonreligious, have you shared this with your friends, family, work colleagues, etc?  How was the news received?

Or, do you feel there's no need to "come out" to those around you?  Are some of you remaining silent on the topic because of the potential harm it might cause in your relationships?

I'm a vocal atheist. I often bring up that there's no god but I'm not a dick about it.

For example, if someone talks about abortion and says something like God disapproves, I point out that I don't believe in God so what would you say to me? 

Most of my very best friends are very religious and not a one thinks badly of me. On Facebook, I've made a few dozen "friends" who always post Amens and Praise Jesus blah, blah, blah but they are all respectful of me when they come to discuss what I put on my wall (I often debate stuff on my wall) and I of them.

My family, when I had a family, wished I would go to church. They'd debate me on the issue but my insistence that they were wrong was never disqualifying. Is it where you are?
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2017, 05:52:49 am »

Thanks for the insightful response, cteavin.  My own journey to secular humanism has had some interesting stops along the way.

I went to a high school affiliated with Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church of Fort Lauderdale, one of the earliest U.S. megachurches that still supports a global television ministry infamous for its anti-gay agenda:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/gay-south-florida/article169159302.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/namesake-of-ministry-suing-splc-once-endorsed-homophobic_us_59b9a864e4b02c642e4a138d

Of course, glad to escape that mind-fuck.  Jumping forward, I really didn’t seek to define my non-belief until my 30s, after parents were deceased, so no coming out in that sense.  Friends are cool with it -- none of them attend church, I would call many of them “questioning.”

With the number of non-religious increasing each year…

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-number-of-americans-who-spurn-religion-hits-record-high/

… I wish this GT Board had a more inclusive name, perhaps along the lines of “Religion and Secular Issues."  Any thoughts or suggestions in that last regard?

And, of course, anyone else with an experience to share?
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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2017, 06:36:34 am »

Of course, glad to escape that mind-fuck.  Jumping forward, I really didn’t seek to define my non-belief until my 30s, after parents were deceased, so no coming out in that sense.  Friends are cool with it -- none of them attend church, I would call many of them “questioning.”

… I wish this GT Board had a more inclusive name, perhaps along the lines of “Religion and Secular Issues."  Any thoughts or suggestions in that last regard?

And, of course, anyone else with an experience to share?


Am I understanding you correctly, you're now in your thirties and your parents are deceased, so you're now trying to define yourself in terms of your non-religious beliefs?

My mother's side of the family is from GA. Discussions about religion hit a wall only when I got preachy or get scholastic (the bible was written in Greek so x doesn't mean x but can more correctly be expressed as [insert needlessly wordy answer]). In other words, when I talked down to them.

I'm a firm believer that only discussion can help us articulate our thoughts. To that end, if there is someone you want to "come out to" you might try putting the idea up as a philosophical discussion about existence, evolution, the origin of language, etc. Assuming things stay civil the worst that could happen is you get labeled a deep thinker and at best they ask/discover that you're a free-thinker (the old term for athiest).

Myself, I feel a kind of respect for a true-believer who walks the walk -- it's the hypocrites I despise.

I also can't hate a person who genuinely believes and thinks they're doing me a service by praying for me or trying to save my soul. It's hard to explain -- maybe you do -- but they're not being unkind and in their own way, they're trying to help you. It's kinda sweet in an ol' timey kinda way. Those fire and brimstone preachers, though. I've never met one who wasn't trying to fill his pocket.

As for the board, I don't think people are going to come to discuss if the name is changed. I think people gave up communication after the election with all the fighting. People seem exhausted here. I'm hoping that will change. I have faith it will. Wink

 

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« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2017, 07:54:19 am »


Am I understanding you correctly, you're now in your thirties and your parents are deceased, so you're now trying to define yourself in terms of your non-religious beliefs?


I may not have articulated the passage above clearly in my drowsy state on NYC time. I didn't mean to convey that my parents' death "triggered" a reevaluation of my religious non-belief.  Rather, when I began to dig deeper into my non-belief, reading good authors and speaking with friends, it just occurred, chronologically, after my folks had passed, and therefore no coming out.

Your response is full of yummy thought nuggets, hope to revisit some when I'm not so zonked!  And I have seen other members touch upon non-belief in different threads, perhaps they will jump in as well...  Hug

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