I've been browsing around the forum, getting to know people and learning about how seriously others take atheism. It's eye-opening for me...although I live in Texas, bible belt territory, it's also cowboy country. I'm not talking about panchos and six guns, but I grew up on the family cattle ranch in west Texas, where the cowboy...lifestyle, I guess, still exists. A big part of that ideal is to judge men by their actions, and to keep your nose out of their personal lives unless invited. A lot of folks today think it's an archaic system and nobody is in touch with their emotions, blah blah blah...I disagree. We just don't dwell on them.
As strange as this sounds to outsiders, it was a good thing for me- I was raised to care very little what others thought of me beyond a few basic things- am I dependable, am I honest, and will I stand up for whatever I believe. Judgement beyond those concepts is almost nonexistent where I came from.
So I never..."came out"...as an atheist. I told anyone who asked, it was no secret, but nobody particularly cared. By our standards, it would have been damned strange if they did.
I've read quite a few posts that sound as if letting friends and family know about atheism was akin to coming out as homosexual. That is fascinating to me- I've honestly never thought of it in those terms.
I'm curious, if anyone would like to share their, oh, let's call them horror stories. I feel incredibly lucky, although I am just now aware of that fact. I'd like to hear about less accepting friends and families, if it's not too painful to discuss.