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Convince Me To Come Out As An Atheist


TrueFreedom
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Here are a few reasons why I don't think that identifying as an atheist is wise:

 

1. You alienate yourself from most people, as you are then primarily thought of as someone in opposition to God and all that they believe that they are supposed to hold dear.

 

2. According to many polls you will give up the likelihood of holding public office

 

3. You will lose friends and family.  Most people won't trust you.  They won't want their kids to play with yours.  Zealots may hate you and want to kill you.

 

4. You lose all credibility in the mind of the faithful and can no longer offer an argument worthy of their consideration.

 

 

Why would one want to publicly label themselves an atheist?

 

Here are a few that I've heard, but they are not enough to convince me:

 

1. You will stand in solidarity with other non-believers in raising awareness of good people claiming that label and the wide-spread discrimination against them.

 

2. It's the only way to be honest and maintain your integrity and authenticity

 

I might add that simply coming out to everyone as an unbeliever may have kept me from compromising my sanity and optimism as much as I did during and after my own deconversion.

 

 

What say you?

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i have told everyone except my family. who i plan to... i've kinda brought up and alluded to arguments against the existence of god and i will continue to so that when i come out it wont be a shock.

 

you ARE spot on. all i can advise you is what i have been doing. so that they can at least get a glance of your view

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I have not come out to my family yet.  I plan to, but not just yet.  I think for most people, especially at the start, there can be good reasons for staying in the closet, such as giving yourself time and space to process your feelings before taking such a big step.  If a person has reached a point where they are comfortable enough to do it, then it is a good idea.  I can foresee a time when I will want to.  Every person who comes out makes the world that little bit safer and easier for fellow unbelievers and especially for those who are questioning their faith.

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I've gradually clued my extended family in on my position, though I have claimed no label.  Most of them are still hopeful that I haven't led my family away from salvation.  It's been hard to put up with always being considered the bad guy and the disappointment when we have other family members who have actually really screwed their lives up but keep crawling back to Jesus.

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Another reason for me not to label myself to the world is that it leads to my wife and kids being confronted with the question.  They then must either out themselves or lie.  It would be a huge relief if everybody would just come out with it, but my wife won't have it, and I'm still not sure that it's the most strategic thing to do either.

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I don't care if you come out as an atheist.  If you don't want to then don't. 

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I don't care if you come out as an atheist.  If you don't want to then don't. 

 

I do want to, but I'm in two minds about it.  I thought that exploring reasons pro and con might help others to decide as well.

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Another reason for me not to label myself to the world is that it leads to my wife and kids being confronted with the question.  They then must either out themselves or lie.  It would be a huge relief if everybody would just come out with it, but my wife won't have it, and I'm still not sure that it's the most strategic thing to do either.

 

You don't have to come out.  It sounds like you have some very good reasons not to.

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I don't care if you come out as an atheist.  If you don't want to then don't. 

 

I do want to, but I'm in two minds about it.  I thought that exploring reasons pro and con might help others to decide as well.

 

 

Don't do it until you are one mind about it.  There is no going back.

 

I would come out to my family if I saw them picking on another family atheist member.  Until that happens I see no advantage to me.

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The same arguments are made for remaining in the gay closet. But it's getting easier for gays as they are becoming more accepted, you say. True, but why do you think that might be?

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Why should I be ashamed or afraid of any backlash, telling someone I'm an atheist, now?

If someone has an issue with it, it's their problem, and not mine. I have lost two friends over my 'coming out,' and while one is sort of making her way back, our friendship will never be the same.

 

But you know what? That's ok. Because I don't want a fake life. I want a real one. If that means I'm standing all alone in it, so be it.

 

Thankfully, atheism is on the rise...it's under Islam, in terms of number of people who identify themselves as such. (globally)

 

Largest group = Christianity

Second largest group = Islam

Third...atheism!

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Why should I be ashamed or afraid of any backlash, telling someone I'm an atheist, now?

If someone has an issue with it, it's their problem, and not mine. I have lost two friends over my 'coming out,' and while one is sort of making her way back, our friendship will never be the same.

 

But you know what? That's ok. Because I don't want a fake life. I want a real one. If that means I'm standing all alone in it, so be it.

 

Thankfully, atheism is on the rise...it's under Islam, in terms of number of people who identify themselves as such. (globally)

 

Largest group = Christianity

Second largest group = Islam

Third...atheism!

I think having a spouse and children to think of makes a difference.

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Why should I be ashamed or afraid of any backlash, telling someone I'm an atheist, now?

If someone has an issue with it, it's their problem, and not mine. I have lost two friends over my 'coming out,' and while one is sort of making her way back, our friendship will never be the same.

 

But you know what? That's ok. Because I don't want a fake life. I want a real one. If that means I'm standing all alone in it, so be it.

 

Thankfully, atheism is on the rise...it's under Islam, in terms of number of people who identify themselves as such. (globally)

 

Largest group = Christianity

Second largest group = Islam

Third...atheism!

I think having a spouse and children to think of makes a difference.

 

Children moreso, I can see. Why a spouse? Is the person that fragile that he/she can't handle hearing that their partner has 'changed their mind?'

 

If your marriage is glued together by false fronts, what do you have anyway?

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Why should I be ashamed or afraid of any backlash, telling someone I'm an atheist, now?

If someone has an issue with it, it's their problem, and not mine. I have lost two friends over my 'coming out,' and while one is sort of making her way back, our friendship will never be the same.

 

But you know what? That's ok. Because I don't want a fake life. I want a real one. If that means I'm standing all alone in it, so be it.

 

Thankfully, atheism is on the rise...it's under Islam, in terms of number of people who identify themselves as such. (globally)

 

Largest group = Christianity

Second largest group = Islam

Third...atheism!

I think having a spouse and children to think of makes a difference.

 

Children moreso, I can see. Why a spouse? Is the person that fragile that he/she can't handle hearing that their partner has 'changed their mind?'

 

If your marriage is glued together by false fronts, what do you have anyway?

 

I'm just going by what TF said about coming out potentially making life harder for his wife.  I think its one thing to decide to come out for yourself, but if that affects your spouse, their feelings should come into it too.

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Why should I be ashamed or afraid of any backlash, telling someone I'm an atheist, now?

If someone has an issue with it, it's their problem, and not mine. I have lost two friends over my 'coming out,' and while one is sort of making her way back, our friendship will never be the same.

 

But you know what? That's ok. Because I don't want a fake life. I want a real one. If that means I'm standing all alone in it, so be it.

 

Thankfully, atheism is on the rise...it's under Islam, in terms of number of people who identify themselves as such. (globally)

 

Largest group = Christianity

Second largest group = Islam

Third...atheism!

I think having a spouse and children to think of makes a difference.

 

Children moreso, I can see. Why a spouse? Is the person that fragile that he/she can't handle hearing that their partner has 'changed their mind?'

 

If your marriage is glued together by false fronts, what do you have anyway?

 

I'm just going by what TF said about coming out potentially making life harder for his wife.  I think its one thing to decide to come out for yourself, but if that affects your spouse, their feelings should come into it too.

 

I definitely don't think it would be easy. But, we all have choices. The choice would be in that case to live authentically and potentially lose your spouse or to live hiding who your are, to keep your marriage afloat.

 

If you choose the latter, what kind of marriage is that? It won't be long, before resentment would kick in, and the spouse who is still the believer, would sense hostility. It wouldn't be easy living a double life. Going to church and pretending you care?

 

Why is it selfish to just be open with your spouse, and you both deal with it? To me, that's what a good relationship is about. If your marriage crumbles over 'coming out' as an atheist, then it was never strong to begin with.

 

Choices. Some of them are tough. But, better to live authentically and face your choices, than not.

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By the way, not all Christians or religious people will act in the way TF is describing. I've had Christian friends who still love me for me, it's as if I told them what I had for lunch, when I 'came out' to them. They saw the gradual change, over time, though. They saw me stop going to church. It wasn't that surprising. But, they love me. To those who abandoned me...it hurt, but I now know...who my true friends are.

 

Not all religious people will have a visceral reaction to someone 'coming out' as an atheist.

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My wife and kids are no longer believers.  My wife doesn't want any believers to know that.

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Why should I be ashamed or afraid of any backlash, telling someone I'm an atheist, now?

If someone has an issue with it, it's their problem, and not mine. I have lost two friends over my 'coming out,' and while one is sort of making her way back, our friendship will never be the same.

 

But you know what? That's ok. Because I don't want a fake life. I want a real one. If that means I'm standing all alone in it, so be it.

 

Thankfully, atheism is on the rise...it's under Islam, in terms of number of people who identify themselves as such. (globally)

 

Largest group = Christianity

Second largest group = Islam

Third...atheism!

I think having a spouse and children to think of makes a difference.

 

Children moreso, I can see. Why a spouse? Is the person that fragile that he/she can't handle hearing that their partner has 'changed their mind?'

 

If your marriage is glued together by false fronts, what do you have anyway?

 

I'm just going by what TF said about coming out potentially making life harder for his wife.  I think its one thing to decide to come out for yourself, but if that affects your spouse, their feelings should come into it too.

 

I definitely don't think it would be easy. But, we all have choices. The choice would be in that case to live authentically and potentially lose your spouse or to live hiding who your are, to keep your marriage afloat.

 

If you choose the latter, what kind of marriage is that? It won't be long, before resentment would kick in, and the spouse who is still the believer, would sense hostility. It wouldn't be easy living a double life. Going to church and pretending you care?

 

Why is it selfish to just be open with your spouse, and you both deal with it? To me, that's what a good relationship is about. If your marriage crumbles over 'coming out' as an atheist, then it was never strong to begin with.

 

Choices. Some of them are tough. But, better to live authentically and face your choices, than not.

 

 

This is what TF said

 

 

Another reason for me not to label myself to the world is that it leads to my wife and kids being confronted with the question.  They then must either out themselves or lie.  It would be a huge relief if everybody would just come out with it, but my wife won't have it, and I'm still not sure that it's the most strategic thing to do either.

 

 

I don't think he's being a doormat, he's being considerate.  And careful, and thoughtful.  This decision affects the whole family unit and it sounds like he's considering their wishes, which I find admirable.

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I've also told several believing friends that I no longer believe.  All of the ones that I care about are still friends.

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I don't care if you come out as an atheist.  If you don't want to then don't. 

 

This.  So this.  This is the beauty of having no sets of beliefs.  Make up your own path.  If you judge that it's too detrimental for you, then go ahead and hide under a religion.  I don't mean that to be rude, honest.  Ex-Muslims stay as Muslims in the public eye for their own safety.  If you're in danger of being alienated/beaten/etc. then by all means don't!

 

To thine ownself be true, only you can decide what's best for you.  All the best, TF. 

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Why should I be ashamed or afraid of any backlash, telling someone I'm an atheist, now?

If someone has an issue with it, it's their problem, and not mine. I have lost two friends over my 'coming out,' and while one is sort of making her way back, our friendship will never be the same.

 

But you know what? That's ok. Because I don't want a fake life. I want a real one. If that means I'm standing all alone in it, so be it.

 

Thankfully, atheism is on the rise...it's under Islam, in terms of number of people who identify themselves as such. (globally)

 

Largest group = Christianity

Second largest group = Islam

Third...atheism!

I think having a spouse and children to think of makes a difference.

 

Children moreso, I can see. Why a spouse? Is the person that fragile that he/she can't handle hearing that their partner has 'changed their mind?'

 

If your marriage is glued together by false fronts, what do you have anyway?

 

I'm just going by what TF said about coming out potentially making life harder for his wife.  I think its one thing to decide to come out for yourself, but if that affects your spouse, their feelings should come into it too.

 

I definitely don't think it would be easy. But, we all have choices. The choice would be in that case to live authentically and potentially lose your spouse or to live hiding who your are, to keep your marriage afloat.

 

If you choose the latter, what kind of marriage is that? It won't be long, before resentment would kick in, and the spouse who is still the believer, would sense hostility. It wouldn't be easy living a double life. Going to church and pretending you care?

 

Why is it selfish to just be open with your spouse, and you both deal with it? To me, that's what a good relationship is about. If your marriage crumbles over 'coming out' as an atheist, then it was never strong to begin with.

 

Choices. Some of them are tough. But, better to live authentically and face your choices, than not.

 

 

This is what TF said

 

Another reason for me not to label myself to the world is that it leads to my wife and kids being confronted with the question.  They then must either out themselves or lie.  It would be a huge relief if everybody would just come out with it, but my wife won't have it, and I'm still not sure that it's the most strategic thing to do either.

 

I don't think he's being a doormat, he's being considerate.  And careful, and thoughtful.  This decision affects the whole family unit and it sounds like he's considering their wishes, which I find admirable.

 

atheism, i think, isn't a decision. it sort of comes about, after you follow a path for a bit. almost naturally. maybe if it was explained like this, it would make a difference, i don't know.

 

i'm not doubting how difficult this all must be for anyone who is married and with kids. but you can't have everything. something will give. eventually. if you're not living authentically.

 

I've also told several believing friends that I no longer believe.  All of the ones that I care about are still friends.

this makes me happy for you. smile.png hugs that's how it should be!
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I don't care if you come out as an atheist.  If you don't want to then don't.

 

This.  So this.  This is the beauty of having no sets of beliefs.  Make up your own path.  If you judge that it's too detrimental for you, then go ahead and hide under a religion.  I don't mean that to be rude, honest.  Ex-Muslims stay as Muslims in the public eye for their own safety.  If you're in danger of being alienated/beaten/etc. then by all means don't!

 

To thine ownself be true, only you can decide what's best for you.  All the best, TF.

 

what??? hide under a religion?

 

ugh.

 

sad.png

 

he wasn't muslim, and he won't be beaten.

 

tf, whatever you choose, i just hope you find peace.

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The same arguments are made for remaining in the gay closet. But it's getting easier for gays as they are becoming more accepted, you say. 

 

 

True. 

 

 

 

 

True, but why do you think that might be?

 

Because plenty of people took the risk and came out when it was dangerous.  The more that come out the more normal it will become.

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All I'm saying is that it's ok either way, he's the only one who can judge his current circumstance.  The analogy I made could've been more apt, but I think the premise still stands.

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