I have to be SOOO careful who I reveal this to...the majority is SOOOO judgemental!

[deleted account] ( 18 moms have responded )

As most of you know, we are the minority. There is a small group of us in this community. It is obvious that most of the world has some type of supernatural belief system. So, in order to prevent others from deciding that I must be bad, if I am not a christian, I USUALLY do not reveal that I don't believe in God. Christians are not supposed to be judgemental (as the bible says), but they are the worst, when it comes to judging others. So, I'm sure that many of you can relate to how careful we have to be. I absolutely don't have a relative (that I know of) or a friend that does not believe in God. So, when the subject of religion comes up, I quietly walk away.

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[deleted account]

I don't hide it. But I wouldn't bring it up as a topic either. If I am in a good mood I will argue with someone about it, but I usually have better things to do. Lol. I know that when I was in primary school, they were doing bible study in the morning. When I told my mum, she just calmly told them that we are not religious and she doesn't want me doing that so they had about 5 children including me, in a separate room when they did bible stuff. My family isn't like all anti-christianity or anything but they didn't want me all "brain-washed" I guess. Same for my daughter though. I wouldn't care what religion she wants to have but only when she is old enough to understand what it's all about. I usually have nothing against other religions as long as they don't start spraying me with holy water or what not. :/

Alice - posted on 01/28/2011

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I feel your pain Bernadette. As an atheist from a small, rural "Christian" community, it is difficult to be "out" as an atheist. This is compounded by the fact that I teach young children. I (no exaggeration) believe that my job could possibly be jeopardized if I were to openly be known as an atheist. I choose not to be a "martyr" for atheism in a town that begins every PUBLIC high school football game with a Christian prayer and every PUBLIC school board meeting with the Lord’s Prayer. This is something that bothers me about myself, as this is the ONLY area of my life where I lie *by omission only, as I have a “no discussion” policy on religion.
I have raised an atheist daughter in this community. She has since graduated and is in college. She let people know that she was an atheist. There were times when I wanted to go to the school and take care of situations with a handful of teachers where her atheism caused her minor “problems”, but she asked me not to, and I felt I needed to respect her wishes. Fortunately, she was wise beyond her years and handled situations effectively. My son, on the other hand, has made the choice NOT to be known as "the atheist". He is much like I am; he has a no discussion policy.
I am sure people who care to think about it, would realize I am an atheist, or at the very least, non-religious, (because let’s face it, I am way to moral to be an atheist) however, I believe this community functions on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” level which works just fine for me. I don’t believe the Santa/Easter bunny argument is effective. I have witnessed this at City Council meetings (in other towns) and honestly, it is not only ineffective, but it is disrespectful. If I were going to dispute religion with someone (which I wouldn’t), I believe it is very important for people to see me as an intelligent, respectful, ethical, morally sound individual who does not believe in god, not someone who compares the very essence of what they believe they are to fictional characters like Santa Claus.

User - posted on 12/18/2010

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Check out Richard Dawkins info on his StandOut campaign. http://outcampaign.org/ You might be the one that empowers others around you to come out too. Who knows, perhaps there are more around you that you think?
Good Luck!

Peggy - posted on 10/04/2010

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I tell most everyone that I know that I'm atheist if the subject of religion comes up. I do it so that they can know that just because I don't believe in a god it doesn't mean that I'm bad. They know me! Besides, 'those that matter don't mind and those that mind don't matter'. If they try to debate then we can talk, if they try to convert then I simply tell them that I'm not interested, having been there and done that, and change the subject.

[deleted account]

Where in the States will you be moving? I ask because not all of the Christians here are like that. The majority in my part of New York State are not - I'm on the western part near Niagara Falls. We're mostly Catholic here and those Catholics are very ethnic. By that I mean, they cling strongly to their ancestral heritage so you'll get your Polish Catholics, your Irish Catholics, your Italian Catholics. We really don't have a big contingent of of the born-again variety. I'm not suggesting you move here of course...LOL!

So where are you going? It'll be better to guage what you may come up against.

Katerina - posted on 07/21/2010

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I am sorry to see this group to be so small. I come (and currently live with my American boyfriend and father of our son) in a country where being an atheist is normal. It is little unusual not to be one. So it is not an issue. Nobody ever discusses religion really and nobody is pushing it down on us. BUT we are going to end up living in the States one of those days and I was wondering how you are dealing with it. I lived there before but was either single or had an infant but with a toddler/preschooler you get to meet more people and people with kids. I am not willing to hide that we are atheists. Not going to push it on people but when asked or when pushed into religion I am going to be open about it. The biggest challenge I see in our future is not an average Christian but the fundie Creationists. How do you handle that and do not laugh hysterically or cry in desperation?

Sophia - posted on 07/16/2010

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Hello everyone. I have been very open about being an atheist for years, since I am lucky to come from a religious-free family. Both my parents are atheists, as was one of my grandfathers and even my grandmothers who were religious, they were quite open minded about it. So, maybe I have been "fighting my battles" since I was in school (because religious education is obligatory in Greece where I come from) I'm "seasoned" in this kind of arguments. In fact I even find it funny sometimes because Greece is a very religious country and although most people are not aggressive they can't imagine that there is an alternative way of thinking and living. Like when I tell people that my daughter is not baptized they always ask "Then she doesn't have a name?" :-)
P.S. I'm very glad I found this group. It's good to be in a community where you don't have to explain or justify ideas and concepts that are elementary for you. Thank you all for being out there!

Marshella - posted on 02/12/2010

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I had to laugh when my mother (jokingly?) said she'd "kidnap" my son when he was an infant/toddler and get him baptized in her church. I said go ahead, it won't hurt me or him any. So he never was baptized (to my knowledge, anyway, and she didn't get to babysit much when he was younger!). As for the church and the 22 month old - I'd say to the family that when the child is old enough to express a preference about going or not going, then the child can go if s/he so chooses. I let my children, adoptive and bio, go to a Lutheran church across the street for sunday school for some time, until they decided it was a waste of their time.

Katherine - posted on 01/31/2010

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Hi everyone! I'm an atheist mom, and I think we should all stop being afraid to be honest with our friends and family about our beliefs (or lack thereof). As others have mentioned before, atheists have morals and values like anyone else, and we are not bad people just because we don't believe in god. I plan to raise my kids as atheists but with learning of other religions - they will certainly learn about basic principles of all the major religions of our world, and if my kids so decide they'd like to follow or associate themselves with a religion, that's fine with me. We should be proud of who we are, not try to hide it. If your loved ones give you a hard time about not believing in god, I've found a great argument is to compare their god to other fictional characters like Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, and ask if they believe in any of those? If not, how is believing in god any different? As children, we come to accept that Santa and all the other childhood holiday figures are simply stories to keep us well behaved; isn't god the same thing? Only most folks don't want to accept that god is just a lie to keep us all in good behavior. Atheists are strong and smart enough to be good people without religion!

[deleted account]

I've never been one to think thatwe should prevent kids from going to church. My soon-to-be-ex-husband is a church organist for a very ethnic Polish RCC. My son went with him between the ages of 8-12 so he could listen to the music and hear his stepdad play. All he came away with was that it was very boring. He giggled tremendously when I explained to him what the "crackers" were supposed to be and wanted to know why that wasn't some kind of cannibalism. Now in 8th grade, his class is reviewing the Holocaust and genocide and he asks me why they dont' include the many stories of god-ordered genocide in the bible. So I think it can have a good effect.

Heidi - posted on 01/30/2010

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Well, I have to say that I understand how tough it is to hide from Christianity when it is all around you. Luckily, my husband is extremely vocal about being "anti-Christian" as he says, so pretty much anyone who knows us at all hears at least a comment or two from him right away, so there is never a need to hide anymore (which is so relaxing for me!). He grew up in an extremely Christian home, and his family are still that way and they are absolutely terrible people. When you think of the phrase "Crazy Christian" that is them to a tee. My family is Christian too, but more the laid-back kind who don't even go to their own church, but still want to tell you why they are better than you. My husbands family finally moved back to Hawaii a couple years ago, which has given us some much needed distance away from their crazy and their interference in our lives (yet they still managed to gossip to my husbands ex-wife enough for her to pull us into a custody battle the minute they left, which finally just ended this past December- and we still have custody of our son thankfully!). My parents and sister only live an hour from us, and they try to sneak religion to our 22month old as frequently as they can get away with it. We have forbid them to take her to church with them (since they rarely go themselves, I don't get why it is so important for her to go). So that causes arguments and hurt feelings when we find out about it, and then we have to reset the boundaries with them and not allow sleepovers on Saturday nights (since Sunday mornings are when they cause trouble). And really, I don't want to force my way of thinking onto our kids either, I just want them to become adults before they decide which, if any, religion works for them, rather than letting them be brainwashed as children into one religion and then feel guilty the rest of their lives for not sticking with it once they realize that it doesn't make any sense. Anyway, sorry for the long rambling post, I'm just very excited to find others out there who understand where I'm coming from!!! So glad to have found this group! :) I love you all already!

[deleted account]

I don't bring it up unless other people do. I have had negative experiences but I find that they make themselves look foolish.

Ashley - posted on 01/06/2010

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i believe most of us are in that position. i had to really think about who i wanted in my circle bc i didnt want them to find out im an atheist on facebook. I dont want that to be the deciding factor on how they see me and my children so untill i am really good friends with someone, i dont say anything at all.

Renee - posted on 12/12/2009

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I had to laugh out loud when I read your post Krista - the part about the constant congitive dissonance giving christians headaches " I hadn't heard that before.

Krista - posted on 12/06/2009

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I don't really bring it up, but I don't hide it either. I tend to be pretty matter-of-fact about it -- fortunately, I haven't gotten too much negative feedback. It did crack me up once though, when my mother mentioned that my husband had really strong morals and values "even though he's atheist". I laughed at her, and said, "Mom, obviously strong morals and values don't come from religion, or every churchgoer would be a paragon of virtue, and you know perfectly well that's not the case!" She admitted I was right. She's not even that religious now, but that's how she was raised, and I swear -- it's like brainwashing. To me it was proof that religion is nothing more than brainwashing, though. She knew that what she was thinking was completely illogical, but she thought it anyway, because that's what she was trained to think. No wonder so many religious people seem angry -- the constant cognitive dissonance must really give them headaches. ; )

Leilani - posted on 11/06/2009

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I was raised Mormon, so I find it hard not to tell everyone I meet how wonderfully liberating it is being an Atheist. There are some days I want to go door to door! :O) But I understand how bothersome it is having beliefs pushed onto you, so I refrain...

But we are the minority, that is definitely true! I mean my local bookstore doesn't even carry "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins!

I think the hardest thing for me, being an Atheist mother, is that there aren't any groups in my area. I know of tons of churches to go to, christian mothers groups, etc... but finding an Atheist group is tough, finding an Atheist mom's group is near impossible.

I am glad this group is online. :) One step closer to finding friends.

My mormon family disowned me when I walked away from the church. Christians aren't as accepting as they pretend to be.

Ute - posted on 10/11/2009

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I do not hide that I don't believe in god but I have to have a TON of discussions with people. Especially with my family who is very christian. I am not going to hide who I am and what I believe in tho, even tho it is SO ANNOYING having to argue with everyone about it all the time. I don't tell people what they should believe in and I am annoyed that people still do it to me all the time

[deleted account]

You're absolutely right, Bernadette. It's very exhausting when you feel like you're "hiding" all the time. I was relieved to find this group! :)

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