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Old 09-19-2013, 07:28 AM
 
51 posts, read 307,164 times
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Most of my family knows I am and they don't seem to like it but they still love me and accept me as their family. When they found out though it was a shock to everyone but I didn't care and didn't care if they "accepted" me or not. How did your family react when you told them? If you didn't tell them how did they find out and how did your friends react? How you did you react when you found out you didn't believe anymore?
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Old 09-19-2013, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,082,614 times
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I got off the hook easily on this one. By the time I self identified as atheist my parents were dead, my oldest (devout) brother was dead, my youngest brother was able to handle it and my middle brother has a don't ask / don't tell policy (and in any event, lives far from me). My wife at the time was unthreatened by it, though she remained a Methodist until her death five years ago. My current wife is a lifelong unbeliever. Neither I nor my spouses have been close to extended family (nephews, nieces, cousins, etc) so no problems on those fronts.

If I were not able to skate by like that I would just be truthful if anyone asked but I don't wear it on my shirt sleeve. It's TMI for most people. They are content to assume you're some sort of nominal, perhaps non-practicing theist. Live and let live.

I suppose it'd be different if I lived in the Bible Belt. I might be semi-closeted to avoid overt persecution. I'm that way professionally anyway, as most of my income derives from a guy who is an old school god-and-country type and his CEO is a conservative Catholic. They know I have integrity and care about doing my job well, and that's all they need to know or have a right to ask about.
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Old 09-19-2013, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Emerald Coast, FL
5,322 posts, read 8,362,272 times
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I decided I was an atheist when I was 12, and attending Catholic schools. My father was a little surprised, but got over it quickly. My mother never seemed to care at all. Even the teachers and kids at school (I stayed in Catholic schools through high school) never made an issue of it, and were even open to discussing it.

I now live in the south where people are rather intolerant, so I don't usually discuss religion with people here. If they really want to talk about it, I tell them I'm Buddhist, which usually ends the discussion.
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Old 09-19-2013, 09:04 AM
 
741 posts, read 1,067,426 times
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My mother and father are still in denial that I'm an athiest, even after the past 30 years of me telling them that point blank. Sigh. I will say they have tired out talking about religion and now discuss the weather a lot with me. Occasionaly my Dad will pat me on the shoulder and say he really wishes I'd "get on God", and my Mother will drop comments that she knows I'm secretly a Christian, and that I just don't want to back down and admit it.
Sigh again.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:00 AM
 
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 39,766,104 times
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I'm sure most of my family knows, but honestly I haven't had conversations with them about it (other than my wife). It just doesn't come up. I would say for those in my family that are religious is is most likely a "don't ask/don't tell" kind of thing. The others don't care one way or another.
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there.
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Well I'm from England where half the country these days are atheists and half my family are atheists. It's not even an issue. Nobody bats an eyelid. It is rarely discussed. The one and only conversation I ever had with my parents about it was I remember when I was about 8 asking my mother if she believed in god. She said she didn't really know and left it at that. I never thought any more about it. Looking back now, I'm pretty sure both my parents were atheists, or at least agnostic, who went to church occasionally because that is what you did back then and they were just going through the motions. I know they both thought having rosemary beads and other religious icons hanging around other peoples houses was extremely distasteful.
My brother and husband have always been atheist. My husbands family are split. One of his aged grandmothers (died in her late 90's) was extremely vocal about her atheism. She always used to tell us that when she died we were to put her in a bin liner and throw her in the river because she didn't believe in all that religious nonsense. We used to laugh about it. (You will be relieved to hear we gave her a proper burial)
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Old 09-19-2013, 10:11 AM
 
Location: City of Angels
2,935 posts, read 4,766,344 times
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My parents are atheist and I had a completely secular upbringing. If I was anything BUT an atheist my parents might be disappointed.
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Old 09-19-2013, 11:30 AM
 
39,062 posts, read 10,837,135 times
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In the UK it absolutely is not a problem. Or not for me.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:04 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,348 posts, read 2,975,717 times
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I have no idea what my sister's religion is, or my mother's, or my father's. Presumably, they don't know what mine is either.

One time, my sister asked, "What religion are we?" One of our parents responded, (I forget which one) "I think we're Christian."

My other relatives are Catholics and Methodists and generic Christians. They don't care, if they know, and wouldn't care if they don't, but found out.
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Old 09-19-2013, 12:19 PM
 
51 posts, read 307,164 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mordant View Post
I got off the hook easily on this one. By the time I self identified as atheist my parents were dead, my oldest (devout) brother was dead, my youngest brother was able to handle it and my middle brother has a don't ask / don't tell policy (and in any event, lives far from me). My wife at the time was unthreatened by it, though she remained a Methodist until her death five years ago. My current wife is a lifelong unbeliever. Neither I nor my spouses have been close to extended family (nephews, nieces, cousins, etc) so no problems on those fronts.

If I were not able to skate by like that I would just be truthful if anyone asked but I don't wear it on my shirt sleeve. It's TMI for most people. They are content to assume you're some sort of nominal, perhaps non-practicing theist. Live and let live.

I suppose it'd be different if I lived in the Bible Belt. I might be semi-closeted to avoid overt persecution. I'm that way professionally anyway, as most of my income derives from a guy who is an old school god-and-country type and his CEO is a conservative Catholic. They know I have integrity and care about doing my job well, and that's all they need to know or have a right to ask about.



I live in the bible belt (Atlanta) and am open with my atheism but I'm also a Taoist so it's not that big of a deal to most people, my atheism kind of flies under the radar since I'm a Taoist.
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