Monday, April 21, 2008

Coming Out

I am facing a dilemma about coming out atheist at work and to people in general. I am proud of my atheism, I thought. I have been an atheist forever, but now that I am older, I know the consequences of being a "known" atheist. I am by no means ashamed, but is my religion random people's business? I work with some very religious people. I think they know because I have a Darwin fish on my car. When asked I will gladly tell them I am a non-believer, but I know how people react to it, I don't want to be persecuted by people I see would be like high school all over again. My dilemma makes me feel like I am ashamed of my beliefs, but I am really more ashamed that I am scared people will not like me. I shouldn't care what people think, but let's face it, we are social animals.


Adrian Hayter said...

I don't think I mention my atheism to anyone unless they either ask or start talking about religion / belief.

You might want to correct your definition of atheism first though. "is my religion random people's business" seems to suggest atheism is a religion, which it's not. It's a philosophical view, nothing more. For it to qualify as a religion, it would have to have a set of beliefs about the universe. People don't claim theism is a religion, so how can atheism be?

I think that if friends decide to reject you because of your belief, they weren't very good friends to begin with. You are better off without them, and with people who are open-minded and do not put their faith over their friendship.

atheist girl said...

thanks adrian, i feel like im not alone now. i know that atheism isnt a religion, but religious people seem to think it is so thats why i used the term. i just wish i wasnt so nervous to mention it when people start talking about religion. i see other atheists who just tell everyone in their path, why am i not like that? you are totally right about the friend thing. i guess this is the perfect way to weed out the people who arent "keepers."

VickiLynne said...

You stated, "I work with some very religious people."

Okay, when you tell these "very religious people" that you are an Atheist are you ready for the possible backlash? The worst of the worst of outcomes, like job loss. Unless you are the owner of the business.

No disrespect to any Christian but they are nasty when you love their God and don't agree on his scripture etc.

Are you ready for what could happen when they take it as a personal rejection to their God? You used the words 'very religious' that means you might turn immediately into Satan The Devil and/or one of his people to destroy them and their business.

Just want you to remember what you're up against - Christians and Organized Religions.

Good Luck! said...

I can sympathize atheist girl. I am out to a small group of co-workers. I was basically outed by the girl I car pool with. She knew as we have had deep discussions from time to time on the long commute but when she outed me it made for an uncomfortable situation with a couple of people who politely questioned it.

Why is it different and completely ncompatible beliefs are scceptable but no beliefs is so frowned upon. Do the christians not think to themselves it is better to not believe than be completely wrong like muslims or jews? :)

Valerie said...

I have the same dilemma. I have quite a number of friends who are christians who feel that it is their duty to spout off on their religious beliefs or quote scripture and it is such a turn off. I think that they suspect that I don't believe, but I usually don't say so for fear of the rejection that might result. I am 50 this year, a little too old to be worrying about losing "friends" over something that I don't believe in like they do. I know that more good people such as ourselves need to come forward to dispel the myth that non believers are in league with the devil. I'm moving soon and I have decided that I will make it a known fact where I stand on the issue before the friendship even has time to go anywhere, so that there is no more pretense to keep up. We need to remember that the burden of proof should always be on the person who makes the claim to something and not up to us to disprove anything. Of course there isn't a person on the planet who can PROVE any god's existence. I like to think about the comparison to a court of law where supposedly only facts matter. If a person were on the witness stand in a trial and were asked if they saw the defendant commit the crime in question and the answer was "I believe that this person did" then the witness would be deemed unreliable and there would be no case, because simply believing that something happened doesn't mean that it did. I feel that I would respect myself better for being honest because I always come away from listening to scripture feeling angry and frustrated for forcing myself to listen to something that I find utterly meaningless. Good luck to us both!!