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Old 01-02-2014, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,577 posts, read 7,286,572 times
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There was no announcement. Being a non-believer wasn't a deviation from my family's norm.

Between myself and my wife, our four combined parents, our five combined siblings, our three combined sibling-in-laws, our three children and our five combined nieces/nephews, there is precisely one believer I can identify in those 22 individuals. At least, there was one a few years ago (her younger brother went to church, at least for awhile - kids these days!). There's a fairly new in-law about which I am not certain, but I doubt she's a believer. And the youngest niece is only 13, so she's still impressionable and perhaps the jury remains out there (but she has irreligious parents, so she'll likely follow in that regard).

It wasn't too much of an issue. My Catholic grandmother snuck me off for a pointless baptism when I was young. And when my first children were born she politely inquired as to whether I would get them baptized (a question which showed that she really had no idea at all about me). I suspect she passed away a few years back worried for their 'eternal souls' - a truly repugnant concern to ever have been planted in her head by the usual suspects, but then she was responsible for not rejecting such vile nonsense. Still, I have pity for her for it.

My wife acutely remembers that growing up her family was the 'black sheep' of the larger clan for having no religion. Amusingly, they're the least dysfunctional.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,094,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unsettomati View Post
There was no announcement. Being a non-believer wasn't a deviation from my family's norm.

Between myself and my wife, our four combined parents, our five combined siblings, our three combined sibling-in-laws, our three children and our five combined nieces/nephews, there is precisely one believer I can identify in those 22 individuals.
Wow, a whole nest of reprobates! Congratulations!
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:41 PM
 
13,688 posts, read 13,619,604 times
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I told my mother when I was about 34 after years of agnosticism. She freaked after stewing about it for a while. My father is a closet atheist himself, but he's a conservative and over 80. He worries about me being "out" and what it means for my professional and romantic prospects. But most of my office is atheist too, and I mostly date atheists or agnostics, so his worries are unfounded.

The rest of my family just always kind of assumed religion was not my thing. Now, I will say this about my mother: She has completely stopped asking me if I will go to church with her, right from the moment I announced I was an atheist. I appreciate that, and I understand that part of her initial freakout was fear rooted in the fact that she was losing something she hoped we would share.
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Old 01-03-2014, 06:55 PM
 
278 posts, read 255,638 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JrzDefector View Post
I appreciate that, and I understand that part of her initial freakout was fear rooted in the fact that she was losing something she hoped we would share.
Now that is an interesting thought about my own mother. When I was 10-12 yrs old, my sisters and I went to church on our own. There was a little church van that came around our very poor neighborhood and picked us up. My mother didn't even go then.
Now my mother has found her religion and still often asks me to go, almost 30 yrs later. Like your mom, she still hopes we can share this experience.
She's going to keep being so disappointed.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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I was around 13 when I announced my atheism. I began to question at around 10. Both my parents are devout Roman Catholics. When I announced, my mother was extremely disappointed and angry with me, and didn't treat me as well as the rest of my family. My father was a bit more supportive. I was forced to go to church until I was 15.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:21 AM
 
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I have no story alas. I have never been theist or even deist. At any point in my life. There is simply no point in my life I recall ever believing the god claims.

Similarly there was never a point I had to "come out" to my family or friends. It just became apparent over an extended period of time who and what I am.

I also never came out as "straight" to my family either. My sexuality just became apparent to people as I led my life. Not the best analogy, but the point is clear, I just lived my life as me and people came to know who I am.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:02 AM
 
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Ditto Nozzferrahhtoo.
Never believed, to the chagrin of my parents. To this day they hold on to hope I've been "secretly believing" all this time, and just deny it as a way to be obsitnate. This is sad as it means in 30 years my parents have STILL made no effort getting to know my true self what so ever, they continue to cling to the construct they have built for me.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:31 AM
 
428 posts, read 400,158 times
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Came out to my husband a couple of years ago, after being in the closet for almost a decade (varying stages of religious doubt). He was furious and threatened divorce. Claimed atheism would make me a bad mother and I'd be responsible for ruining our children. That hurt. I really thought it was the end of our marriage. It was tense between us for months afterward. But he cooled off and I didn't push the subject and here we are today, still married. Occasionally I can even get him to calmly discuss religious/atheist issues with me. I remain hopeful that in the future he'll stop seeing my atheism as a threat to his belief in God.

I thank my children for giving me the courage to come out. From the time they were little and started asking about religion, I had to be open with them about my beliefs because lying to my own children would have been the absolute emotional death of me.

On a lighter note, my youngest child is very talkative and decided the other day to blurt out to his (very Catholic) grandma that he and daddy believe in God, but I and his older sibling don't. Grandma was confused and hubby quickly changed the subject.
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Old 01-13-2014, 09:53 AM
 
16,300 posts, read 24,978,161 times
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Ditto Nozzferrahhtoo and TimeMachine
This is also my normal. Never a theist, never a believer, and religion never existed in our home.

The one thing that I don't have a concept for is how liberating it must be for the former captives of religion to free themselves from what I can only describe as the insanity of religions.

From time to time we see a news story where a man is released from prison after he is proven innocent usually through DNA, and I don't have a concept of how they must feel either. But I suspect there are many similar feelings in both cases.
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Old 01-13-2014, 11:51 AM
 
Location: Canada
4,699 posts, read 8,499,560 times
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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?
My father and brother are atheists, my mother basically is one but holds on, perhaps not very seriously, to beliefs in the afterlife. I never really had to explain my beliefs to them, I grew up and we never really spoke about religion much, and everyone pretty much understood my thoughts on things. Atheism was not something I had to be brave to believe in, my parents told me I "could decide for myself" when I grew up and nominally taught me about the old Hindu and Christian mythologies. They've only ever seemed to get uncomfortable when I have flirted with religion, such as when I went to a church sponsored event, or started to become serious about Hindu meditation and ritual, which I find a comfort but direct towards gods I think about as being abstractions of real, powerful ideas, not as independently existing supernatural phenomena bestowed with unique intelligences. I never had to speak about my Atheism with my extended family either as while I believe they are spiritual but not religious, none are church going as my maternal family is Catholic in post Quiet Revolutionary Quebec and all rejected a church authority that had wronged our family.
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