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Old 12-29-2013, 10:55 PM
Location: Tempe, AZ
4,552 posts, read 3,651,369 times
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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?
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:08 AM
Location: Rational World Park
4,999 posts, read 3,886,303 times
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I didn't make any formal announcements. It was sort of gradual until my mom flat out asked if I believed in god. I said nope. We had a little back and forth and she changed the subject. Nothing changed between us, except that every now and again she'll ask again which sparks a debate that she quickly wants out of. I'm grown, been on my own for 15 years, very self-sufficient and financially comfortable so the only thing I risk is social awkwardness which I don't mind at all. I've found that if you don't make a big deal out of it neither will they unless you're from a fundie family which I wasn't.
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Old 12-30-2013, 02:43 AM
Location: Wichita, KS
734 posts, read 1,470,714 times
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I really don't have a story as none of my immediate family is religious, so it was never really an issue. I do have family who are religious, but religion never really comes up when they are around. I do however, express my opinion on facebook so family members I'm friends with on their likely know where I stand. It upsets me to see the impacts that it does have on families though. It's sad, but religion can basically destroy a family, so hopefully no one on here has any such stories.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:20 AM
Location: Florida
4,511 posts, read 3,920,445 times
Reputation: 9905
Never an issue. Not raised religious and none of us are raising our families religious, either.

+11 to the atheist column from our family!
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:34 AM
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
41,097 posts, read 18,595,226 times
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There was no single announcement that I recall, just that sometime during my 15th year I got the message across to them that I was no longer interested in participating in any organized religion.

My father's main concern wasn't religious, he thought that I needed more self discipline in my life and that this rejection of religious obligations was another move in the wrong direction. My mother, whose lifelong coping m.o. was denial, denial and more denial, unsurprisingly went the denial route. By her reckoning I really still believed and would soon be returning to the fold. That remained her approach through her death four decades later.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:38 AM
Location: The backwoods of Pennsylvania ... unfortunately.
5,846 posts, read 3,359,055 times
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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.

But I don't go to church, I don't pray at the dinner table, I don't read the Bible, I don't mention God in any of my conversations - or give credit or blame to him, and I don't own any religious items. I'm sure they must suspect.

My mother knows, but she's really the only one. I know she's a tad uncomfortable with my atheism, but not because she's religious - more because she's worried about what everyone else might think.

My father and I have gotten into shouting matches over the subject. Of course I won all those debates, a fact even my father had to concede, but his staunch Catholocism and my staunch atheism aren't a good mix. Most of the time, we just avoid the topic.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:57 AM
16,300 posts, read 24,975,384 times
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It's not a 'coming out of the closet' moment. I have been an atheist all my life, no pronouncement necessary.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:08 AM
Location: Leeds, England
591 posts, read 711,506 times
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Well, it's interesting for me. I was brought up by non-religious Christians. And baptised into the realms of religion. Yet, it was only done as the norm. None of my family from cousins to grand-parents are remotely religious. Yet they adhere to baptising there child, as I guess they feel it's part of the identity.

Then aged 11, after my parents divorced, my step-dad came along, also a non-believer. Yet for some unknowing reason, well besides him knowing a head of year, I was sent to a Catholic school. I think they realised I didn't believe around Christmas of my first year.

I had 5 years of Catholic school and going through mass after mass with plenty of others who too didn't believe but their parents did the same as mine. Left disliking everything about religion. From the weird priests at the school who thought they had ruling over us, to Religious Education classes that eventually lost all meaning.

I don't dislike anyone that has religion in their life, just religion itself. As Ricky Gervais once said, 'Saying I hate those with religion because I hate religion is like saying I hate those with cancer because I hate cancer'.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:28 AM
Location: Northeastern US
14,197 posts, read 9,092,754 times
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My family is pretty deferential and non-controlling so my gradual loss of enthusiasm for the faith goes pretty much unremarked upon. My parents had both died by the time I began self-identifying as an atheist. The only surviving brother who is still an active fundamentalist sees me, I think, as backslidden / non-practicing, and doesn't care to delve any deeper than that. Nor do I think he could handle the extent of my "apostacy". Besides, he's in his 70s and when you get to that age you really just cease to care all that much about being right or figuring it all out. He's dependent on his belief system and doesn't want it challenged, even indirectly, by having to figure out my headspace and the whys and wherefores of it.

So the only overt "coming out" has been to my other surviving brother, who is non-practicing himself. He goes along to get along (with his wife and with the other brother, who lives in the same city). He still has a few Christian slogans on the walls of his house, and will to an extent go along with casual conversation laced with god-references, but when I talk to him privately, it is evident he doesn't believe in god any more than I do, he just doesn't think about it nearly as much.

Getting old has a way of cutting through the BS for all of us, theist and atheist alike. Whenever I visit with my brothers, I'm mindful it may be the last time I see either or both of them, as past 60 or so, you could last a day or several decades, who knows? Our oldest brother, who would be 77 now if he were still alive, slipped the mortal coil unexpectedly nearly a decade ago as it is. So we put aside religion and politics and reminisce about old times, etc. It's what we should do at our age.
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:42 PM
Location: NJ
17,579 posts, read 39,800,694 times
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No announcement. Never discussed it with any of my family members. I assume most of them have figured it out.
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