Post # 1
Figured the title was pretty self-explanatory. I don’t believe in religion (a somewhat new development over the past few years). Occasionally some religious comment or discussion pops up in my presence, and I generally try to keep my mouth shut. I don’t want to deal with others’ wrath, judgements, comments, snark, etc. If I do give an opinion, I end up in an argument where no matter what I say, I’m ‘wrong.’ If I mention “I don’t believe in god”, people react as though I stated that I punch babies (and no, for the record, I don’t punch babies).
If you find yourself in the midst of a discussion regarding religion, do you “let your atheist flag fly”, or do you keep your mouth shut? This can be in regards to dealing with friends/family or even total strangers. What do you do?
Please keep the discussion flame-free. Opinions are welcome, but if you decide to hop on here and start judging, I’ll just delete or close the thread. Nobody likes thread-jacks or flamers.
Post # 3
@Sweet_Tea: Well since moving to the south (originally from CA) I just don’t discuss it with people. Most people just assume you’re Christian, so I just let them believe what they want.
Post # 4
I don’t volunteer it, but if I’m asked, I tell them plainly enough.
Post # 5
I’m open about it, even when I get nasty comments. It’s mostly from my in-laws though, my family is very open and understanding and I live in a super liberal city.
Post # 6
Full disclosure: I am not an athiest. However; I think that in general, society has kind of lost the tact on when to pick your battles. I will use political examples, since that is something that I have much more than religious discussions: if I know that what I am about to say is only meant to incite and not to enrich any part of the conversation- I generally try to leave it out. Same goes for things controversial, if I feel I can be level headed and add to the conversation, and that those who would be in the conversation can be receptive and level headed even if they don’t agree, then fine– I will state my opinion. If not, it isn’t worth the headache.
Post # 7
I just got into an argument about this recently, and have to remind myself (yet again) to keep my mouth shut.
Still not terribly happy about it, but I’d rather be myself than be berated for my beliefs (or lack thereof)
Post # 8
I try to keep my mouth shut unless the conversation is blatantly ignorant of other’s choices/ beliefs (and if it’s at work, I still keep my mouth shut). It’s so unfortunate that with all the religions in the US, there is still this complete REJECTION of what others could possibly believe. I have other’s beliefs shoved down my throat constantly and yet I keep my pretty mouth shut and take it. Because they can’t ACCEPT me for my own beliefs. Frankly, I think I am more tolerant of other people’s beliefs than people whose religions are preaching tolerance.
Post # 9
I didn’t vote in the poll because, it depends on the situation.
I don’t usually just come out of the gate with it, but if I’m asked my opinion on something I’ll voice it. And I’m a firm believer in “you can only be offended if you choice to be offended” so other peoples comments no matter how snark or vicious they seem I just let it go. But I am from a small small town in Georgia which is why I learned to keep my mouth shut unless I’m asked directly.
Post # 10
If somebody asks me about my views, I’m going to give them an honest answer. But living in the south, I try to not bring it up. I grew up agnostic (I’m atheist now) and was often singled out in grade school because of it.
Post # 11
Being an athiest in the south can be…interesting, haha! I generally keep my mouth shut for that reason.
If someone asks me if I go to church, or which church I attend, I say “I don’t” and leave it at that! Let other people believe what they want to, and I’ll keep on doing the same.
I do work at a job where the majority of my coworkers are Christians, and the discussion sometimes comes up at lunch, or just in general conversation. Most of the time, people are talking about their experiences, so I’ll just “mm-hmm” along to ackowledge that yes, I hear them, and yes, I’m sure they believe that’s what’s really happening.
I think a lot of atheists get a bad rap for being hyper combative whenever the topic of religion is brought up – I know most of them aren’t really, but I think that’s why whenever someone finds out I’m an athiest, they get defensive. I just wanna tell them that it’s all good! Other people can believe whatever they want to, just give me the same courtesy!
Although, if someone asks me straight out if I believe in any god or gods, I have no problem telling them that no, I don’t. I just don’t think faith is an appropriate thing to discuss casually, so I don’t bother getting into it with aquaintances, haha!
My mom still believes I am a Christian. I haven’t been for several years, so when she finds out that I’m not doing any scripture readings for my ceremony, it’s going to be interesting. She’s super religious. Whoops….
Post # 12
@Sweet_Tea: I’m from New England, so I can’t imagine that! If you mention you’re Catholic up here (I’m not), you get the side-eye!
There are TONS of athiests and I don’t think I’ve ever met a crazy religious person!
Post # 13
Among my family I absolutely keep silent. I’m “in the closet,” so to speak, about my atheism. I avoid the topic, and if it does come up, I give a vague answer or just smile and nod.
With strangers I will give an honest answer if directly asked, but I will not bring up my lack of belief frist.
With friends I am open and honest.
Honestly, when I was a Christian I was much more open about who I was. I didn’t fear wrath. Now as an atheist I am very careful about sharing the information even though I have never felt more comfortable in my skin. It’s sad, really.
ETA: We have a heavy Mormon and Catholic population here, as well as plenty of Protestants. My mother’s family are all very conservative Protestants with archaic and oppressive views about the world. I’m looking forward to moving to England where everyone is much more apathetic towards religion.
Post # 14
My hubbys family is VERY religious. So its hard for me to be an athiest amongst them. I keep silent. I dont even think they know i am!! With my friends i am open because they dont care.
Their grandfather recently died and they were saying that they were glad he was with their grandmother now. And in my head i was thinking “no, no he isn’t. You just need religion because it makes it easier to accept he is gone. He is just not here anymore but be happy you had 90+ years with him. Dont be happy he is living on the ‘other side'”.
Post # 15
@bowsergirl: “I didn’t fear wrath. Now as an atheist I am very careful about sharing the information even though I have never felt more comfortable in my skin.”
That about sums it up for me, too. I had questioned religion for many years, but didn’t feel like I would be harassed. I wore a pentacle necklace during high school, and a lady in a Kmart went postal on me about it, ranting at me and accusing me of worshipping satan and stuff. It was insane!
Now that I simply don’t believe in any higher power, I feel so much better, more free, and happy, but at the same time, it feels like I’m going to open myself up for a shitstorm if I mention it to anyone even remotely religious (like future inlaws).
Post # 16
@Sweet_Tea: I fly my flag very proudly… sometimes.
I read the situation, and if I deem it to become argumentative I keep my mouth shut unless asked a direct question, to which I refuse to lie.
Around all my family and friends, including some (not all but most) of FI’s family. I want them to know our kids will not be baptised, let alone circumsised (FI is the only boy in the family who hasn’t had it done.)