Still nervous about saying the "A" word

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2005
Still nervous about saying the "A" word
9
Sun, 03-13-2011 - 4:30pm

No matter how strong I am in my beliefs, I realized today that I'm still more likely to go with the generic "I'm not religious" than say out and out "I'm an Atheist."

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-1997
There definitely is a terrible stigma to being an atheist. It's one of the last acceptable prejudices.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2003

I have never been shy about stating that I am an atheist, but I live outside of New York City.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006

Shay, it comes from the frequency of getting negative or weird feedback from people around you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-1999

I feel the same way you do and am just as disgusted by the notion of having to tip toe around it in order to avoid an uncomfortable reaction. I think if I did not have a child I might be a bit braver but I really dont want him to suffer any more than he already potentially will about our lack of "church".

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006
Listen, I HAVE tiptoed around it. I've worded it PC. I've found many ways of sharing it, all of which have this feeling of trying to hide something distasteful.
ALSO, I'm PRETTY insecure about things, in general. So when I say this, know that I have come to a new place in my life:
I have recently decided to BE WHO I AM.
I am totally PROUD to be an atheist and I am happy to "represent" what an atheist looks like. Because I'm kind, upstanding, compassionate, intelligent, and lots of other adjectives. (lol) And so are you, Shay!
Jer and I have raised our kids very honestly and openly and I think that they make me stronger. We have had those discussions where I told them how believers often don't think outside of how someone else has defined "atheist" to them and they often believe that atheists are actually evil and have stuff to do with Satan and other such rot. The believers simply don't understand that we don't buy into ANY of their mythology, not just the Jesus and God part.
So, in short (too late, I know) I feel that, in order to be a person of integrity for myself AND for my kids, I have to be "out".
I understand those who don't take this path, though. It requires that we be mindful of the issue very very often.
And, on the plus side, I can point to some very wonderful believers who have learned from me and who refer to me as their "best atheist friend a woman could have!", in jest, of course.
As everything in life, it's a journey and you will know when/if you become ready to "take on the banner" of being openly atheist.
In the meantime, Shay, I think you are AWESOME! And the next time I see you, I am SO bringing some scary pamphlets for Doug...
LOL
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-04-2005

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2011

I just say, "I'm one of them non-believin' muthafackaaas." They leave me alone after that.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-12-2011
I am an athiest, who was raised by athiests. The thing is, until about the 7th grade I didn't know that. Religion was never brought up or discussed (or the lack thereof). Until I was 8, I had never heard the term "god" as anything other then a precursor to "dammit." When I first had a christian friend who told me about god I really thought they were insane! It sounded so completely rediculous to me, I thought they were in some crazy cult or something. I really thought that 99% of the other people in the world were just like me, and would never believe any of that crazy nonsense. It was only a few years later that I realized that I was the minority.

I really don't find labels that important. I rarely call myself an athiest, although that is what I am. I will often tell the missionaries that come to the door that I am a pagan, because that seems to make them go away faster =). More often I will just say "I don't believe in gods, or anything else supernatural." I am lucky to live in a fairly liberal area, and I have never really received any hateful comments or anything like that. I have run into a few ignorant ones though. I just try to correct any random false assumptions that are made (satanic etc.) and move on.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-20-2003

If you want to make the missionaries go away faster, greet them at the door with a copy of the Koran and ask them if they are willing to submit to the will of Allah, the compassionate and merciful.