So it’s true, I have come out as an atheist to my close family and friends.
BUT, there are extended family members, co-workers and some friends who do not know about this huge change I have made in my world view. There are people who were in my conservative Christian college group who still send me letters requesting financial support for their ministry (I don’t even take the time to read these letters anymore because they make me angry). There are a whole lot of people I know who think I’m a good Christian girl. They don’t know that I now find myself a more compassionate, moral, mindful, truthful and confident person then I have ever been before in my life. All that, plus I’m an atheist, and I am proud of it!
A few thoughts:
- Coming out seems challenging because I used to be a hard core Christian – I thought it was my responsibility to evangelize and bring the inerrant, inspired Word of God to the ends of the earth and many know that about me.
- Being a conservative believer sold out for Jesus is what people expect me to be and that is part of why I feel the need to proclaim “No, I think that God, Jesus and Christianity are harmful, wrong, immoral and false at best”.
- I really don’t want people assuming that I agree with their world view when I don’t.
- I fear the affects this could have on my immediate family, my husband Matt and I’s work environments, my extended family dynamics, etc.
- With Matt’s family in particular, an emotional chasm has formed between them and us. I fear that coming out as an atheist will only fuel their anger.
In the end, I think that being brave and being who I am is the right thing to do. When I’m ready, I plan to take the opportunity to come out as an atheist as needed, every chance I get!
Follow-Up: Check out my follow-up post “Team Jesus Forever, Right” where I share a story about coming out to a colleague.