Thinking Atheist Video Talks about Coming Out as an Atheist Can Result in Social Suicide, but it Does Get Better
On April 22, 2012 At 4:58 pm
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People, who grow up in a church and then realize they do not believe any of the mythology, sometimes tell their family and friends they are an atheist. Coming out atheist often results in social suicide for them, but there are benefits too, such as personal integrity.
The Thinking Atheist created a short video talking about this “Social Suicide” and sharing other people’s short stories of what happened when they came out as an atheist. He ends the video with a powerful ending, which I think many atheists share.
For some, telling family and friends causes more problems than it does for others. I know, when I first came out to my mother as a humanist, she went stir-crazy trying to figure out what that meant. The same held true when my older son told her he is a Tao-Buddhist. She used the dictionary to find out what the words meant, which did not help any. I finally sent her some information that explained what the two worldviews are. She stopped talking to us for a few months.
Since most of the people I knew were in the church I attended, I lost many friends and since I am very much an introvert, making new friends is not easy. It took time, but I slowly made new friends and most of them are not religious. I find myself much happier than when I attended a church, not actually buying the mythology.
However, here in Assembly of God country, I find I still need to use caution as to whom I tell that I am a humanist, because I could loose my job and some people have lost their jobs, in this area, for admitting their disbelief. People can risk a lot by admitting they are an atheist, including their livelihood.
While one cannot get a new family, they can make new friends and it does get better, as well as easier. The fact that atheists now gather for various conventions, such as Skepticon and Reason Rally helps a lot. Such gatherings, as well as the internet, help people make new friends and form new social groups. At one time, such things did not exist, which made it harder for individuals who did not believe.
There are also various organizations, which developed over the years, such as the American Humanist Association in 1941, the American Atheists in 1963, and Council for Secular Humanism. These organizations can help, as well as new support groups, such Dr. Marlene Winell’s, for those just coming out of a religious background. There are various atheist groups on the web such as Center for Inquiry’s board, Ex-Christians, Recovering from Religion, and Ex-Muslims too. This site, God Discussion, can help people too. Thus, the internet has been a big help in recent years and one’s social life does not need to end just because they tell others they are an atheist or a humanist.
The Thinking Atheist does well in sharing some of the issues many new and/or just coming out atheists deal with concerning friends and family in a short video. However, coming out as a non-believer, an atheist, or a humanist is not fatal. There is life after one loses faith in faith. Just ask Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.
Mriana is a humanist and the author of "A Source of Misery". She has two grown sons and raises cats. She enjoys writing, reading, science, philosophy, psychology, and other subjects. Mriana is also an animal lover, who cares for their welfare as living beings, who are part of the earth. She is a huge Star Trek fan in a little body.
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