Author Topic: Coming out?  (Read 1255 times)

imaginaryfriendless

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Coming out?
« on: July 28, 2016, 10:00:47 PM »
Hi guys
     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.
Jamie



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Icarus

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2016, 10:19:48 PM »
A very long time ago I had a girlfriend who was up for almost anything even though she was a practicing Baptist. The word, anything, includes delightful adventures in the bedroom. After quite some time during our relationship, she asked about my religion. I said that I was an atheist and she near messed her pants because she had been guilty of enjoying intimacies with a non believer. She had been violating her stringent biblical rules with impunity but having had a few goes  with an atheist was too much for her to bear. She dropped me like a hot potato and never spoke to me again. 

imaginaryfriendless

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2016, 10:24:24 PM »
WOW. I don't even know what to say to that. I'm sorry that happened to you?
I've never had an experience like that...did you point out her hypocrisy or just let everything go?
Jamie



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Dave

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2016, 10:50:29 PM »
It's not that uncommon in some communities, I had a gf who was a born again type, but approached being a nyphomaniac in terms of her appetite for "volume". Had a broad interest in "type" as well. Ah, to be young . . .

I have met more than one who had a "repressed" childhood yet who expanded interest and experience when away from the family influence. But, yes, still retained a rather hypocritic attitude towards their beliefs and appetites.
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imaginaryfriendless

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2016, 11:09:44 PM »
You just cannot appreciate how alien this is to me...I feel so sorry for people trapped in an environment where they cannot express their beliefs or doubts. In the part of Texas I hail from, these things are very personal...but in a way unimportant. What I believe is important to me, what you believe is none of my business.

I used to resent where I grew up, a bit anyway. But the more I learn about other parts of the world, the more I appreciate it.
Jamie



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xSilverPhinx

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2016, 12:32:43 AM »
Quite a few people know that I'm an atheist, besides my immediate family. Some take it well, others not so much. Not that it matters to me.

I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2016, 12:44:58 AM »
I've been a vocal atheist since my late pre-teen years. Among other things, I once managed to tell one of those aunts to her face that there was no such thing as a god... Apoplexy. She had herself one of those. And me, I was smug for a day.

In any case, I never actually came out in the sense that I never hid my atheism.
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Dave

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2016, 09:16:43 AM »
Perhaps Jamie has girn orf but he saud something that shows he does not fully understand some aspects io human nature.

Quote
What I believe is important to me, what you believe is none of my business.
But, what you believe in must have some effect on your behaviour, on your interaction with others. Therefore it is indirectly important to others. It helps form first impressions and, though some claim otherwise, every person has those. It nsy akso determine how you react to those impressions.

Trye, you may not see the Nazi emblems tattooed on the arms of the otherwise sober suited businessman, but you may not feel 100% happy in his company.
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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2016, 09:42:45 AM »
Perhaps Jamie has girn orf but he saud something that shows he does not fully understand some aspects io human nature.

Quote
What I believe is important to me, what you believe is none of my business.
But, what you believe in must have some effect on your behaviour, on your interaction with others. Therefore it is indirectly important to others. It helps form first impressions and, though some claim otherwise, every person has those. It nsy akso determine how you react to those impressions.

Trye, you may not see the Nazi emblems tattooed on the arms of the otherwise sober suited businessman, but you may not feel 100% happy in his company.
Quite so G.
I think that what members of ISIS think is very much mine, and the rest of the free worlds, business.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
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Harmonie

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #9 on: August 03, 2016, 03:38:28 AM »
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.

For someone who is truthfully a strong believer in religions like Christianity, I would think that a family member/friend/whatever coming out to them as an atheist would be a lot more worrisome than homosexual - no matter what their actual positions on homosexuality were.

Like, my parents are generally more liberal Christians, but even in those liberal beliefs, if you don't accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior you will not enter Heaven (presumably meaning you'll go to Hell, too). I can not imagine anything being more frightening to even my liberal lax-believing parents.

When we get to not-so-lax believers, then it can only get worse.

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #10 on: August 03, 2016, 04:22:51 AM »
I am straight and to the point. I tell them I do not believe in god.  If they have an issue what that,  it's their problem. Not that I really give two shits either way.

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #11 on: August 03, 2016, 06:09:03 AM »
I am straight and to the point. I tell them I do not believe in god.  If they have an issue what that,  it's their problem. Not that I really give two shits either way.

Same for me, no beating around the bush.
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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2016, 09:09:27 AM »
I have no problem telling people I'm an atheist if they ask, or the situation requires it (I'm asked to say grace, for instance), what can exhaust me is how many times I have to "come out" to the same people.  I honestly don't think they're trying to be annoying, or make some obscure point, but there are some friends and relatives I've had to tell at least a dozen times.
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Asmodean

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2016, 09:15:48 AM »
Quite so G.
I think that what members of ISIS think is very much mine, and the rest of the free worlds, business.
What they think is none of my business. Nor is what they do to each other, for that matter, although I do find a lot of it personally distasteful.

What they do in my back yard, on the other hand, is what may cause someone like me to contemplate fire-bombing the Middle East until it turns into an uninhabitable sheet of glass. Then we might have some quiet and time and resources to get probes to those closest star systems in my lifetime.
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Tank

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Re: Coming out?
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2016, 12:50:33 PM »
Quite so G.
I think that what members of ISIS think is very much mine, and the rest of the free worlds, business.
What they think is none of my business. Nor is what they do to each other, for that matter, although I do find a lot of it personally distasteful.

What they do in my back yard, on the other hand, is what may cause someone like me to contemplate fire-bombing the Middle East until it turns into an uninhabitable sheet of glass. Then we might have some quiet and time and resources to get probes to those closest star systems in my lifetime.
Unfortunately ISIS consider the whole world their back yard. If you sit back and ignore them now they'll come knocking on your door at some point. And at that point you'll convert to their brand of Islam or find that for a brief period of time you'll be able to see your arse without the aid of a mirror.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett