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Old 12-30-2013, 02:47 PM
 
Location: A tropical island
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No big announcement from me. My siblings, parents, cousins, etc, are all rather active in their churches, but none of them is as "far out there" as I previously was in my "fundie days." I'm sure they have recognized that I don't seem like such a religious nut anymore, but since I now live far away from the rest of my family, they probably don't realize I've completely stopped attending church and stopped believing in the Bible and the Christian faith.

I have given little hints, for example, if a relative posts something on Facebook, and asks for prayer, I'll just say something like "sending lots of loving thoughts your way." And I never "like" their religious posts or pass along their chain email things about God.

Of my three children, only the oldest (27 y.o.) and I have really discussed it. He has gone the same direction that I have.
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
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I've never really *announced* anything although my sister did ask me point-blank once and I told her. My husband knows as well (he's another one of *us*) and I'm pretty sure my parents know, but it's always been one of those unspoken things......

And along the lines of the previous post, on Facebook and the like when people post things and everyone is saying "prayers are with you" or "praying for you!!!!" I'll just post something like "thoughts are with you".....
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by :-D View Post
I ask because I'm curious. Did it create a bad experience? Or a good one? How did it go?

I'd share my own story, but I haven't done it yet. My family is generally accepting, despite being religious--except for my uncle, who I'm pretty sure is not religious--and live very secular. So I don't think it would cause a scene, except maybe my dad would create one. I think I might be better off not announcing it to them at all.

What are your guys' stories?
Reaching the point of being a non-theist was a matter of several decades - a rather passive process, though I had already ceased attending religious events except once or twice a year when visiting my parents.

My mother's sisters and their families had all become non-believers, so none of them would have cared one way or the other. My father's family were very strong, observant Catholics, but I rarely saw them after completing college and leaving my parents' home. They would have been upset.

Very late in her life my mother sent me some religious memorabilia, and I simply sent it back saying that it really had no meaning for me and that she should find a more appropriate recipient. Very, very unusual for her she let it pass with nothing more than an acknowledgement. A paternal cousin my age, who I am now in touch with, has taken a very big step over his discovery that I am not a Catholic and he chooses not to go near the subject....if he were to ask point blank, he would get the answer he doesn't want to hear.

I never felt it deserved a family announcement as I was not living in any proximity with family members so that religious practice and belief never came up.
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Old 01-01-2014, 06:23 PM
 
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I told my dad just months before he died(very young at 33 years old), that I didn't believe in a god. He wasn't religious by any means, but he was a theist. I was only 14 at the time, so he kind of tried to open my mind up to the possibility that god was unknown and unknowable to man. Ironically, his introducing to me of the writings of Carl Sagan would cement my position of agnostic atheism.
I have since met people with the same convictions, but what is it worth? There's nothing to suggest that theism is true anymore than any religious version of a god. To me, it's still just wish-fulfillment, only now you're acknowledging the absurdity of religion.
Agnostic atheism is the only position that can leave me with no cognitive dissonance. I have argued cogently with friends, family, and anyone who will listen the same stance since then.
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:22 PM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
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My in-laws are strong Catholics and I’m left with only my sister’s family that are Evangelicals. It’s never come up in conversation and it most likely won’t. Personally “is there a need to tell them” ?
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Old 01-01-2014, 09:29 PM
 
Location: Tempe, AZ
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I'm surprised that no one really had some kind of official announcement to the family. I was expecting at least to see one. Some of you have mentioned it to a couple family members, I have read, but not too everyone. Honestly, I thought it would be more common thing to do, especially if an atheist came from a fundamentalist family.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,193 posts, read 9,080,735 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by :-D View Post
I'm surprised that no one really had some kind of official announcement to the family. I was expecting at least to see one. Some of you have mentioned it to a couple family members, I have read, but not too everyone. Honestly, I thought it would be more common thing to do, especially if an atheist came from a fundamentalist family.
I'm not sure why that is. Gays "come out" in some way or other making it explicitly known; why doesn't that seem to happen with unbelievers? The only answer I can come up with is that theists would rather not have to face the fact that unbelief is even possible. I am constantly amazed at my fundamentalist brother's willingness to have an unspoken "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Maybe this is more common than I realized.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:04 AM
 
39,040 posts, read 10,831,421 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirina View Post
I never made any kind of formal announcement, either. Some folks in my family still don't know. My grandmother will still tell me to remember my prayers.

....
Familiar I remember restaurants with rude waiters and stores that never have what I want, as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by :-D View Post
I'm surprised that no one really had some kind of official announcement to the family. I was expecting at least to see one. Some of you have mentioned it to a couple family members, I have read, but not too everyone. Honestly, I thought it would be more common thing to do, especially if an atheist came from a fundamentalist family.
The feeling might be different in the US, but it just doesn't seem to me important enough to make a song and dance about. When I became so discgusted with my former bank that I gave it up, I felt no need to e - mail the world about it.

Last edited by TRANSPONDER; 01-02-2014 at 09:19 AM..
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
8,936 posts, read 8,400,927 times
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I have also never made a formal announcement. My mother is devout catholic, my father prefers protestant denominations.

It came up in conversation with my sister when we were both in our 30's. Just a casual acknowledgement by both of us that gods did not exist. Neither of us was particularly surprised at the other's opinion.

My parents know, but has never been overtly discussed. They came to realize my thoughts over the years by my refusal to go to church, my secular wedding, my dismissing religious arguments against gay marriage, etc.

My atheism is a little like my dislike of brussels sprouts. I say no thank you when they are offered, I don't buy them at the grocery store, I don't grow them in the garden, and if pressed I will say that I don't like them. But mostly people don't offer me the platter with the sprouts and we are all happier that way.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
40,896 posts, read 18,562,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishbrains View Post

It came up in conversation with my sister when we were both in our 30's. Just a casual acknowledgement by both of us that gods did not exist. Neither of us was particularly surprised at the other's opinion.
.
And how did your parents react when you revealed that you were fishbrained?


Actually....I liked your post, you seem secure in your views and disinclined to be aggressive about it. Your above story about the mutual discovery by you and your sister puts me to mind of the way my sister and I discovered that we were both non believers.

Starting at age 15, I faked going to Sunday mass. My parents were habitual attenders of the service at 11:30 am, so I would announce that I was going to the 9 am mass. Instead I went to my friend Joe's home and hung out with him for an hour. Then he would tell his parents that we were going to the 10 am mass, and we would actually go back to my house as though we had both just come from the 9 am service.

Then when my friend and his family went on vacation, I needed a new way to kill the time I was supposed to be at the 9 am mass. I went to Allen's Drugstore which was about a mile from home and the only thing open on Sunday mornings, and planned to spend the time looking at magazines. When I arrived I found my sister already there, she was also supposedly attending the 9 am mass. We got to talking and....
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