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Coming Out As A Atheist To My Family. Emotionally I Feel Ready For It.


Guest Valk0010
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Guest Valk0010

This will probably be one of my more disjointed posts ever written here, and this comes from a notoriously bad writer.

 

I want to be a open atheist, really badly. I think this has something to do with seeing my therapist and finding out a lot of the rules and ways I was raised was batshit for my mental health. I am feel like I have found self esteem and confidence for the first time in my life. Things are going really about as good as they can be considering all circumstances. I am have realized that I am not this fractured individuals I was always taught I am. That kind of thinking has stretched to my nonbelief as well. Only they are quite a few issues.

 

1.I am no bible scholar or even close. I find myself amazed and the kind of detail you guys can discuss the bible. I know probably a bit more then the average Christian, but i would not consider myself well versed by any means. I never even finished reading the thing before I found the whole religion unbelievable. I am not very good at on the fly bible exegesis or historical debate within the context of the bible mostly because I find the points I agree with fairly hard to make on the fly and particularly with a hostile audience. I am sure I could do it somewhat because I do know some things at the very least about what is wrong with the bible. But I wouldn't be able to do it very well. I would be better at debating things like say, the problem of evil or how the Christian god is logically contradictory, or even the failures of their arguments like kalam or the fine tuning argument or creationism then I would debating whether if Jesus actually did X or said C. I think you guys get the idea of where I am at on that.

 

2. My family is a very close knit group. I know I will have to be living alone or at least away from my family on a regular basis to do this and remain sane. But still its a issue.

 

3. Placating their wishes. For example I have a crazy batshit kjv only uncle who is well connected to apologists. I am just not sure how to deal with that while getting dogpiled. I suspect I could handle the apologist but if its a dogpile session I am fucked. I can't take on more then one person at one time.

 

4. What if they catch me by surprise with something i have expected or never seen before?

 

5. What if they are too batshit to for me to ever come out unscathed?

 

I so emotionally want to come out. But I just see problems galore. I am a situation where I know what I believe and why, but now I am going to have to defend it to the most hostile audience possible. But then at the same time I feel really confident. Dunno why. Advice?

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You don't have to justify yourself to anyone. However, I know that these kinds of people will get aggressive with you, and you must mentally defend yourself from their bullshit.

 

Honestly, I'd have an escape plan. I'm all for being honest, and letting them know who you are, but that doesn't mean you have to please them. If they start ganging up on you, or pulling emotional blackmail or some sneaky apologist shit, have an escape plan. Be able to sever contact with them as you need to. Not necessarily forever, but you are not obligated to sit and endure their fundie fucknut bullshit.

 

Be able to walk away, leave the house, hang up the phone, block the email, whatever.

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1. Again, you're a smart muthafucka Valk, and it's not easy to argue this stuff on the fly. Much easier when you're at a keyboard and you have time to collect your thoughts. But it's easier for xians to do that since their thoughts and ideas they present are simple, uneducated, thoughtless and stupid. So of course they can whip em out faster on the fly. Just the way it goes. As you get older and know this stuff deeper and it's more ingrained in your psyche it will become easier.

 

2. Well, it is what it is dude. You're not the only one here that feels that way. Ignorance can be contagious, and you don't wanna catch that virus dude.

 

3. Tell their ass to go to Ex-C or somewhere similar and see how they get roasted. It's home field advantage. One on four or whatever is never fair. If you want an even debate, you've got to have a fair and balanced playing field. Otherwise you'll get destroyed, not by logical arguments, but by being buried under 6 feet of dog shit where you're spending all your time tryin to correct their dumb ass claims, an you lose the ability to present your actual claims, evidence, logic etc. WLC uses the same method. Except he is talented enough to condense 4 normal people's amount of bullshit into just himself.

 

4. If they have something new, you say, "I haven't heard that before. But before we just assume you're right, let's break that down" OR "let me think about that before i respond". It better to come up with an appropriate response than to say something quickly you'll regret later.

 

5. Water off a duck's back, dude. You know they're effing nuts. They have no evidence or proof for those ridiculous claims. If there were, there would be no non xians. Just understand fighting crazy is like going into a fight where the opponent fights dirty. You can't worry about it, just do your best.

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This will probably be one of my more disjointed posts ever written here, and this comes from a notoriously bad writer.

 

I want to be a open atheist, really badly. I think this has something to do with seeing my therapist and finding out a lot of the rules and ways I was raised was batshit for my mental health. I am feel like I have found self esteem and confidence for the first time in my life. Things are going really about as good as they can be considering all circumstances. I am have realized that I am not this fractured individuals I was always taught I am.

 

Hey Valk, no sweat about the writing, it's more the spelling, I think -- now that you're in therapy you realize you're not "fractured individuals" plural?! Great insight! Heh heh. Just messing around, man.

 

I endorse your being open! And I don't think you have reason to fear their arguments, though it is nervous-making to think of facing a bunch of apologists at once. You have an incisive logical mind.

 

Christian apologists do a snow job, as McD says, to cover up the obvious fact that they are coming into someone's face peddling a weird, appalling and self-contradictory religion, one of MANY that human history has kicked up. So the burden of proof is on them to convince people to buy into it. Christians get away with a cultural presumption of truth on their side, as though the other person has to justify unbelief, when it's exactly the other way around. Wm Lane Craig has the gall to say stuff like the atheist's arguments are speculative at best. WHAT??? Who the fuck is the one with the speculative shit?

 

So I would think of myself "in their midst" not as a fallen-away brother, which is the box they want to put you in so they can work on guilt. I would think of myself as though hearing their weird shit for the first time and asking, why should I believe this?

 

The real issue is probably going to be the upset to the roles that have held true within the family if you come out. As someone said on another board recently, groups like families have established hierarchies in which each person has his/her place, and when religion is part of the glue holding it together, and one person rejects the religion, it drops an atomic bomb on the social hierarchy. People will have their different reactions, and some will be very uncomfortable with the new lay of the land. So I would try to act in a way to assure them that you're still the same guy, and that you're trying to be yourself as authentically as you can, and that you still care for them.

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Guest Valk0010

Three am typing (individual)

 

and now 6 am typing (I am trying to get my sleep clock back in order).

 

Yeah, family dynamic (me and my older brother if i were to be fair) are sort of the "they are wrong we must fix" group. People in my family think I am an aspergers case cause i am a nerd and talk like one.

 

I think, if I do this at all, I am going to come out to a cousin who seemed to hint to me that she was doubting or near there. I suspect, outside confirmation of it being okay to come to a different conclusion then christianity would be helpful.

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Three am typing (individual)

 

and now 6 am typing (I am trying to get my sleep clock back in order).

 

Yeah, family dynamic (me and my older brother if i were to be fair) are sort of the "they are wrong we must fix" group. People in my family think I am autistic cause i am a nerd and talk like one.

 

I think, if I do this at all, I am going to come out to a cousin who seemed to hint to me that she was doubting or near there. I suspect, outside confirmation of it being okay to come to a different conclusion then christianity would be helpful.

 

Hi Vaulk. I think that is a good start to find someone who seems "safe" and probably won't give you a hard time. It will no doubt bring you some relief too to actually finally verbalize your feelings.

I wish you all the best. Don't let anyone get to you.

Let us know how it goes.

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Hey,Valk!

I'm glad to hear you're in a better place emotionally. I know you've had your share of troubles. I think it is healthy to be yourself and not fragment your life by having to hide who you are, especially from your family.

 

You know they are going to come at you for an explanation, but you don't owe them one. You are a human being with a right to think your own thoughts, and you can head them off by saying what you have to say, and that you already know the "arguments" Christianity has, and they have not convinced you it's true. You can tell them it's not open for discussion. What I did with my family (just my brothers and my parents) is to say all that, and then I was willing to talk a little bit, a few months later. Those talks were pretty brief, as I put the burden on THEM to show me some evidence, and they couldn't. End of discussion. YOU be in control and set limits on how much you are willing to discuss.

 

They don't have to like it. You can be kind to them, but you just have to be yourself, and if they are upset or sad, it's their problem, and it's because of the constraints of their religion.

 

Anyway, good luck, bud!

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I have found coming out to be a fairly complex maze, but in the end well worth it because I get to be true to myself. Just take one day at a time and you'll be fine brother.

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This will probably be one of my more disjointed posts ever written here, and this comes from a notoriously bad writer.

 

I want to be a open atheist, really badly. I think this has something to do with seeing my therapist and finding out a lot of the rules and ways I was raised was batshit for my mental health. I am feel like I have found self esteem and confidence for the first time in my life. Things are going really about as good as they can be considering all circumstances. I am have realized that I am not this fractured individuals I was always taught I am. That kind of thinking has stretched to my nonbelief as well. Only they are quite a few issues.

 

1.I am no bible scholar or even close. I find myself amazed and the kind of detail you guys can discuss the bible. I know probably a bit more then the average Christian, but i would not consider myself well versed by any means. I never even finished reading the thing before I found the whole religion unbelievable. I am not very good at on the fly bible exegesis or historical debate within the context of the bible mostly because I find the points I agree with fairly hard to make on the fly and particularly with a hostile audience. I am sure I could do it somewhat because I do know some things at the very least about what is wrong with the bible. But I wouldn't be able to do it very well. I would be better at debating things like say, the problem of evil or how the Christian god is logically contradictory, or even the failures of their arguments like kalam or the fine tuning argument or creationism then I would debating whether if Jesus actually did X or said C. I think you guys get the idea of where I am at on that.

 

2. My family is a very close knit group. I know I will have to be living alone or at least away from my family on a regular basis to do this and remain sane. But still its a issue.

 

3. Placating their wishes. For example I have a crazy batshit kjv only uncle who is well connected to apologists. I am just not sure how to deal with that while getting dogpiled. I suspect I could handle the apologist but if its a dogpile session I am fucked. I can't take on more then one person at one time.

 

4. What if they catch me by surprise with something i have expected or never seen before?

 

5. What if they are too batshit to for me to ever come out unscathed?

 

I so emotionally want to come out. But I just see problems galore. I am a situation where I know what I believe and why, but now I am going to have to defend it to the most hostile audience possible. But then at the same time I feel really confident. Dunno why. Advice?

 

Christians assume the bible is truth. Don't point out contradictions in it. Deny its veracity outright. Liken it to other works of fiction. Because when you announce you are an atheist or non-believer what will they draw on to back up their argument? The bible of course. So really you don't need to know anything about the bible at all. But since you have read some of it you can loudly conclude to your fundie family and friends that the bible is total drivel.

 

"But but but, the bible says....oh yeah, that's right...you think the bible is balony"....see, works great..lol

 

You can also say that god, jesus and the holy spirit are imaginary and that you have chosen not to believe in any of it anymore.

 

Whenever they start badgering you just say, "I don't believe that anymore."

 

When they try to make you afraid say, "Your threatening me with the wrath of your imaginary friend is humorous."

 

or "Why do you try to make me afraid of going to non-existent places of eternal torture (like hell)"

 

Inject laughter into their serious discussion about how you are going to burn. Humorous ridicule and laughter will drive them up a wall, piss em off or shut em down.

 

Meet their fear and guilt with hilarity.

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I agree with others who say you don't have to justify your opinions or provide a road map for deconversion. Best of luck to you.

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Honestly i say just dont, it feels worth it at first but in the end its nothing but a living hell.

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It will be difficult for everyone involved, but I'm sure that you will come out ok, Valk. I look forward to hearing how it works out.

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1. You don't have to know the Bible that well; it's just too darn easy not to believe. And you have all the other arguments. Xians think they can take some of those--the problem of evil is explained away by free will and original sin. We know that's bull, but to them Xianity explains itself, so they go running in circles with the Adam and Eve bit. You can't dig them out of that one because they think it should be obvious that original sin is the reason for all our problems. Anyway, the other artillery might be good, I

don't know. What are kalam and the fine-tuning argument?

 

2. Living away from your family is OK, especially if it keeps peace between you all and saves your mental health.

 

3. Why are you trying to explain yourself at all? Your beliefs are your

beliefs and if they don't like that, then oh well.

 

4. See above.

 

5. Crazy people will always be crazy people until they get help, which they probably won't because real wackos don't know they need help. I suggest from experience that you stay out of any religious discussions. Politics might not be good either because they can lead to religious discussions. (Freedom of religion vs. birth control, all that.) If the topic comes up, change the subject. You don't have to argue with people just because your opinions differ.

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Guest Valk0010

1. You don't have to know the Bible that well; it's just too darn easy not to believe. And you have all the other arguments. Xians think they can take some of those--the problem of evil is explained away by free will and original sin. We know that's bull, but to them Xianity explains itself, so they go running in circles with the Adam and Eve bit. You can't dig them out of that one because they think it should be obvious that original sin is the reason for all our problems. Anyway, the other artillery might be good, I don't know. What are kalam and the fine-tuning argument?

Fine tuning arguement is more or less a glorified case of the universe is too complex to have been designed. Its a bit like saying ohh something must of created this artwork, it looks nice. Silly shit imho.

 

The kalam cosmological arguement is basically arguing that you have to have god to create the universe. I tend to find fault with the second premise. If physicists have yet to figure out what exactly is the cause of the universe or what is cause in that context, its jumping the gun and committing a arguement from ignorance fallacy to say that the second premise of it is valid. I also find fault that it appeals to something that we have no evidence even being possible to exist. That is a mind without a brain or matter.

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Good advice from all. That's why ex-c is here.

 

Just remember, you're still the same person you always were, with different religious views.

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I figure let them know why you feel the way you do in a simple straight forward way. Don't let them label or belittle your beliefs as rebellion or a phase. They might be angry, but you're just being honest.

 

And good luck to ya.

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When coming out, you don't have to get technical. You can literally say, "Hey, I am still trying to figure this out myself. All I know right now is that religion isn't for me, let alone archaic idol worship." Make it clear you are really investigating where you stand, but for now you have zero belief.

 

Leave it at that for now. You ultimately have control. You don't have to talk about anything, and if they take your silence as victory, let them have it for now. When you have yourself collected, you'll crush them.

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I'm actually going to avoid debating with my father when I come out on purpose. I'm horrible at debating (mostly because I can't recall facts and I still haven't read the whole Bible because it's just SUCH a hard/awful book to get through) and my father teaches an apologetics class. I know for a fact that most of his arguments are going to lead back to "Well the Bible says..." or he'll pull some bullshit about the Dead Sea Scrolls out of his ass.

 

So the moral of that story is that you don't have to justify your nonbelief or if you do, you don't have to explain it all at once.

 

On an unrelated note, the fact that you've changed your avatar to Q makes me fangasm.

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Are you a minor living at home?

 

Might want to rethink your "readiness' to create your own living Hell.

 

If you don't live at home, consider your social network. Outing as an Atheist without a HUMAN, REAL LIFE support network can be shortsighted.

 

I created my own meet up group and that is helping me get to the coming out place..but as long as I have minor children myself, and they have to live in the Bible Belt, I am closeted for many reasons beyond my own desires.

 

CONSIDER CAREFULLY EVERY FACET OF YOUR LIFE. EVERY SINGLE ONE.....before you jump headlong into the irreversible label fest that will come with your outing yourself.

 

Sometimes it is more fun to live among "them" and do good and know that some day, when EVERY LOOSE END is tied down and you are truly, 105% ready.....they will all drop their jaws when you finally tell them, Yeah...been a heathen for X years.....God is a retard and I am a freethinker....HAVE BEEN. At that point you may be..financially independent....live in your own town with roots that you set on your own terms.....but the way it sounds now, it feels like you may be doing something permanent to gain temporary satisfaction.

 

Just a thought...I don't know you at all.....but this is not TERRIBLY dissimilar from coming out as a gay person.....close minded idiots will just never forgive you for it.....and you better be DAMN CERTAIN you are ready for whatever comes.

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1. I have come to realize that my brain doesn't respond on the fly to ANYTHING. I'm an introvert and I mull over things before I answer. Sometimes this makes it appear that I don't know anything about a subject and I hate that. Lol. But it's me so what can I do about it.

 

Well, I've learned something that helps me. Whenever someone asks me anything I get that look that I am mulling it over in my mind and I say, "hmm, that's an interesting question". THEN, I ask THEM what do THEY think about it. Not only does that buy me time to formulate my own thoughts about it I get the added benefit of knowing where they stand on it first.

 

I don't have to deal with family members confronting me with questions about the bible. Catholics aren't really known for their bible knowledge. Lol. But you might try this, or your own version of this, and see if it helps.

 

2. Don't alienate your family if you don't have to. Instead of approaching them and saying that you don't believe, consider a different approach. Maybe something like, "how have YOUR beliefs changed over your lifetime?"

 

Instead of making it about your beliefs, make it about theirs. Then you may have an opportunity to share with them how yours have changed in a less confrontational manner.

 

3. I wouldn't recommend approaching the bat shit crazy ones. Don't worry about them. Concentrate on the ones you are most likely to be able to have some kind of conversation with.

 

4. Don't let the surprise get you. Try something like I mentioned in #1. There is nothing saying that you have to respond immediately. Count to 10 or something and while your counting, maybe think of ways you can turn the surprise back to them with a re-question or crack a joke. Lol.

 

5. Well, if you approach one and you picked the wrong one, give it some time before you approach another. DON'T do it all at once. If they all fail the test, come back here. :)

 

There will be problems. And it will probably hurt like hell. But so will losing your sanity.

 

Good luck, Valk.

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I think I have sort of psyched myself out of this.

 

Keep preparing for it. Sometimes it takes a lot of starts before you can actually get going.

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Guest Valk0010

Are you a minor living at home?

I am not, but due to some health issues, poor decisions making due to those issues and bad luck I am more or less going to be living at home for awhile.

 

In so far as creating my own hell, that is what more or less killed this for me. As much as I want to do it, I just can't get over the hump.

 

I think I need to look for a third option, because the other two are batshit and bugging the high holey hell out of me.

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Hey Valk- big hugs! Hope you're feeling okay about everything. The advice people have been giving you is great and if you can hold off until you're back on your feet, hopefully you'll be freer to "announce" it. My family is batshit crazy too, and sometimes I say, "you know I don't believe god is real, right?" and they look at me and blink and say, "want to come to church?" So I think that the closure and peace will come mostly from yourself.

 

The best advice a counsellor ever gave me was to say, "you know it's okay to set boundaries, right?" Even if you don't tell them you're an atheist, never feel guilty to set boundaries with your family and your emotions- hopefully they can respect that and you can find healing. Big hugs!

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