How Secretive Are You About Your Beliefs

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2006
How Secretive Are You About Your Beliefs
7
Sun, 08-01-2010 - 9:21am

I was just reading an article about the North Carolina Atheists group who put up the One Nation Indivisible billboards that were vandalized.

Disney Sig
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-1999
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 9:59am

Well, I won't lie about it or pretend to be a believer but I am very careful about putting it out there. About 25 years ago, a very close friend 'came out' as gay to me. She explained that she has to be very careful about who she tells due to the horrendous reactions that could happen. Same reactions you described such as harassment, job loss, friend loss, etc. So I liken my Atheism to be very similar to Homosexuality in that you really have to be cautious if you have any concern at all about the affects that type of knowledge can bring.

As I said, I dont lie or pretend to believe but I dont advertise my Atheism either. If someone flat out asks me, I will tell my thoughts on the subject but to be honest, In Louisville, KY it is so presumed that everyone in the world has some sort of religion that no one EVER assumes that the person in front of them has none. So no one ever brings it up. At the most, someone will ask me to say prayers for someone or will offer their prayers to me. I respond to prayer requests with something like "I will." or "Positive thoughts coming your way" and I just say "thank you" to offers of prayers to me. After all, it is meant to be a nicety and that is just how I take it.

Ironically, there was a former FB friend of mine who put in her status one day a comparison of an Agnostic to an "Ignoramus". (I say its ironic bc it seems to me that the 'ignorant' are more likely to believe than question) I protested that comparison and got slammed by all of her ultra-religious friends. Not one of them actually paid attention to what I really said and every single one twisted my words to some other thing or meaning. It is stuff like that that keeps me and my lack of belief to myself most of the time.

It is unfortunate but a reality none the less that in many areas of our country we cannot be even half as vocal about our beliefs as the religious are about theirs.

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Lisa
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-1999
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 1:56pm

It's not a big secret but I don't advertise.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-1999
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 3:11pm

>>I've had aquaintanships for years with people who still don't know I'm an atheist or a vegetarian lol. <<

Aint it the truth? It seems that in some instances being vegetarian is as "bad" as being Atheist!

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Lisa
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2005
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 3:33pm
I think anyone who talks to me for more than 15 minutes would know that I'm an atheist. Of course, in Seattle and it the communities I'm a part of (higher education, tango/blues dancers, rock climbers) we're kind of a majority so I think most people assume it if they're part of any of the communities I'm involved in or if they know anything about me.
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Avatar for prettykittyshadow
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-15-2003
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 9:26pm

I'm not at all secretive about it, and I've never been given a reason to be.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006
Tue, 08-03-2010 - 10:26pm

If you know me, you know that I am an atheist.
I have been thinking about this one for a few days and I've come to the conclusion that I'm not the least bit cagey or hidden about it.
I can totally see keeping things hidden when the vocal and closed-minded people are out and about. But, with most Christians, I have had very fine and respectful conversations and friendships.
The difference is with my dad's side of the family. I guess that, with Facebook, I'm more "out" with them than anyone in the history of the family has ever been!
LOL
Also, I don't care for the word "secret' because it suggests that there is a malevolent reason for secrecy. Anyone who reads this thread could get the wrong idea. (I think of that every so often.) For anyone else reading this, we have found "secrecy" or, more accurately, privacy of our atheism, necessary when people who are believers are intolerant, ridiculous, or downright dangerous. (just a caveat)

Edited 8/8/2010 2:45 pm ET by imshooshy




Edited 8/8/2010 2:48 pm ET by imshooshy
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2008
Wed, 08-04-2010 - 11:13pm
I live in the deep south (Mississippi). I'm open. I do NOT go around shouting my beliefs from a rooftop, BUT if religion comes up and they directly ask then I'm totally truthful. I don't lie and I have lost more than one friend as a result.



Intolerance is sad. I totally accept anyone who is Christian. I judge people on their character, not on their beliefs. If they treat me nice, then I return their kindness many fold.



I may joke about their religion online, but I am nothing but respectful in person. I believe everyone is entitled to make a choice about what they feel is 'right' for them.