Outing yourself (yes or no)?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2004
Outing yourself (yes or no)?
Mon, 06-22-2009 - 2:42am

Ok so I've been doing alot of thinking (no I haven't hurt myself yet LOL).

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2008
Mon, 06-22-2009 - 7:46am
So what does one do? This is where I am stuck and need some advice or just two-cent. Do you tell family the truth and risk the backlash or do you continue to dance around the subject?

I am an 'out' atheist for the most part, but I don't volunteer the information. I simply make it a point not to lie.

For example: I joined a local running/cycling club. A few times going to church has come up. I simply don't take part in the conversation. If someone involved me and asked, "So, where do you go to church." I would reply, "I don't." If they let it drop, I'd let it drop. If they prodded and asked "why?" I'd reply, "Because I'm an atheist." So far in the last five months, that has not happened.

That is exactly why people know of my non-religion at work. Years ago I was sitting in my office. Someone asked where I went to church and I answered. It became huge gossip for around two weeks, but it eventually died down.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-1999
Mon, 06-22-2009 - 11:28am

Here's my 2 pennies worth...

This is a really sensitive subject sometimes in that how you handle it can vary depending upon with whom you are dealing. By hedging the subject with those who wouldnt handle the truth well you are not (IMHO) teaching your children that it isnt ok to believe or not believe as you wish. You are teaching them to be sensitive to the feelings of others.

Again my opinion, but I dont find it is necessary for those around me to know every thought or opinion I have including how I feel about religion or what I believe. Now, if they ask directly I am free to answer as truthfully as I can. It really just depends on who is asking and how hard they are prodding for my deepest thoughts. For example, my SIL's Father is extremely devout having recently become "born again". He is also in his 80's and has poor health. He has asked me once about going to his church I just said "no thank you" and we both let it drop. If he were to ask more I would probably handle it the same. He knows I was raised Catholic and he Baptist so he is already aware that we likely have different beliefs but out of respect for him, his age, his health, etc, I just dont think I would out myself to him unless I had no other choice. KWIM?

At any rate, I understand your feelings about being true to yourself in how you present to others. My best advice would be to continue to be true to yourself the best you can based on the situation and the folks involved. When/if your kids ask why you handle it differently from person to person that would be a good time to reinforce the compassion-for-the-feelings-of-others lesson.

I hope I have said something helpful but if not, feel free to completely disregard. ;)


May your day include things that are happy!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2004
Mon, 06-22-2009 - 12:31pm

Thank you that was helpful.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2004
Mon, 06-22-2009 - 1:14pm

See part of me wants to shout it from the rooftops. I want to wear Atheist shirts and be loud and proud. LOL. I want to bask in my

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006
Mon, 06-22-2009 - 1:48pm
This is what I was gonna say...
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-05-2007
Wed, 06-24-2009 - 3:03am
It's funny because I have spend a lot of time thinking about this. My father was a preacher so it's something I am very aware of-how others view non-believers. :) I know for the longest time I would just tell people I was Christian if I was asked what I believed just so that I wouldn't have to answer any questions. Then I started getting irritated about it. So it is not something I advertise, truly most people have no idea what agnostic means, or atheist for that matter. But if I am asked, I will tell people I am agnostic. I do not hide it from my friends and anyone who knows me knows what I believe. I am the rebel in the family and they know as well (they are Catholic and Baptist) and I'm sure they pray for me. I have been invited to church and I politely decline.