atheist, coming out, friends, gay, girlfriend, relationships, religion
Update (Jan. 20, 2013). I deleted a sentence of this post that referred to my fundamentalist friends. Apparently, I meant what I said when I wrote that (otherwise I wouldn’t have written it), but it did not convey what I currently feel about my fundamentalist friends. I love my friends and I greatly enjoy their company–even the ones that I’m not convinced would remain my friends if they knew what I believed.
Thus far, I’ve truly “come out” about my atheistic beliefs to only one person – my very Christian girlfriend of four years. We’ve discussed our differing beliefs at length and both agreed that we want and can make our relationship work for the long term.
We’ve agreed that the practical course of action would be for me to eventually join a Mennonite church so that she could remain close to her Amish family. I don’t see much of my Amish family so I don’t care that much what they think of me anymore.
If not for her, there is a good chance that I would eventually work up the courage to tell everyone I that I am an atheist.
Several of my friends probably wonder about my beliefs since I am completely silent when they’re discussing religion. The closest I’ve come to actually telling any of them is when I asked one of my friends if he could be friends with a person of another religion. He replied that yes, he thought he could. Then I asked him if he could be friends with an atheist – someone with no religion whatsoever. After considering the question he replied that yes he could given that the atheist doesn’t try to force his belief system onto him. I told him that his sounds like a reasonable position to take.
So maybe there’s hope after all. Maybe I can eventually come out about my beliefs without losing all of my friends. I will not do it for the time being, however, because I could completely lose my family as would my girlfriend lose hers.
It’s extremely lonely, however, to have no friends that share your beliefs. I think I understand, to an extent, what it’s like to be gay in our society. Sometimes I get the urge to run around giddily, screaming, “I’m an atheist! I’m an atheist!” but I don’t dare, I just keep it bottled away on the inside.
I scream “I’m an atheist” all the time 😀
Good for you! 🙂
Interesting post! I’m a de-converted Evangelical and i got there because of admitting I was gay and you are right, the two are very similar experiences except I have told my parents I am gay (only recently) and daren’t tell them i’m no longer a Christian! It’s a closet that many people will never experience..
I have many Athiest friends though, I was always in the minority as a Christian outside my family.
Vicious Kitty said:
See, as someone who is likely Damned to Eternal Hell in the eyes of most fundamentalists, I’d think it would be harder to be friends with a religious/Evangelical person! Anyone who is THAT sure that they are both righteous and right scares crap out of me!
I believe you should be open and honest about how you feel,so often fear of rejection motivates us to continue living a lie and your true feeling continue bottling up inside. As for your friends/family?…. I guess you will find out who your true friends are! If they can’t except you for who you are their friendship should be questioned anyway.I am a Christian myself and I get so ticked when somebody professes to be a Christian and believes he has every right to practice his faith yet is completely in tolerate of another person having their own personal beliefs and practicing them!
Hi Mwrdud, and thanks for commenting. It has been my experience with my friends and family, that when the topic of atheists or atheism comes up, the things said are never good or tolerant. My friends have unknowingly mocked me, belittled my intelligence, called me Satanic and evil, threw my credibility to the wind, etc.
If you are/were Amish or have Amish friends, post one of my blog pages on your Facebook (don’t say anything positive about it) and watch the comments that your friends post. I’ll bet you that 95% of these Amish or ex-Amish friends will call me something like ‘sad’, ‘pathetic’, ‘ridiculous’, ‘stupid’, ‘ignorant’, ‘Satanic’, ‘evil’, etc. If after seeing that, you could tell those friends that they’re talking about you, then you are a better person than I am.