Author Topic: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.  (Read 1035 times)

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Offline joebbowers

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Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« on: March 16, 2012, 01:23:27 PM »
"Our silence delays our acceptance." I saw that sentence today in an article about a guy who was murdered for being an atheist. Not in Dirtdirtistan, but in the USA.

Our silence delays our acceptance. Very powerful truth to that. I challenge every atheist here to come out, regardless of personal cost.

I have personally lost two girlfriends and my family doesn't speak to me anymore because of my atheism. I don't regret it, I couldn't respect myself otherwise.

Come out. I think you will find that what you gain is more valuable than whatever you may lose.

"Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God?" - JeffPT

Offline thunderridge

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 01:35:01 PM »
My family and co workers know I am an atheist.  They don't care.  They are all false converts guilty of idolatry if , in fact, the bible was truth.   

Offline jetson

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012, 02:41:08 PM »
I want to...and I have in many ways throughout my life.  But there are still areas where I am afraid of the consequences.

Offline Turbo SS

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012, 02:47:17 PM »
losing my job isnt an option right now.  I have to support my wife.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2012, 04:51:39 PM »
I have been easing the closet door open little by little. Pulling out an atheist book around people I know are religious, etc.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline flapdoodle64

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012, 06:30:08 PM »
I hope to come out to everyone one day, but for me it's a little at a time.

I am married to a theist...she says I think too much about things.

People don't really want to think about things. 

But not just regarding religion.

Consider other societal myths, such as the myth that a person who joins the armed services will 'defend' America.  Someone's kid joins the Army, we know damn well he will either just try to avoid violence or will be unlucky and sent to do pointless killing in war everyone knows we're losing.  Yet you don't say that when your friend's kid joins. 

People don't want to worry about you going to hell, and people don't want to have to think about the fact that they've wasted untold hours of their lives worshipping a primitive sado-masochistic set of fables. 

A gay person comes out, most theists think the gay person can still get to heaven so long as he is willing to be celebate. 

But atheists, it's really hard for our brains to be celebate. 

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012, 11:15:49 PM »
losing my job isnt an option right now.  I have to support my wife.

If you get fired for being an atheist, sue them. Buy your wife a Lexus!
"Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God?" - JeffPT

Offline atheola

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2012, 12:32:25 AM »
Almost every member of my family is eithrt atheist or damm close (except the little kids, but I'm working on them) and in public I'll accept that there are believers, but once they piss in my pocket the gloves come off... I have zero problem freely admitting atheism anywhere.....unless I just happen to stumble across some crazed right wing zealot militia whilst strolling in the woods.. :P
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Offline Tero

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2012, 07:35:12 AM »
I had atheist on my Facebook page for half a year. Nobody commented. Then I deleted the whole religion section when I went minimalist with info. I did not want Facebook to push any ads to me.

Offline atheola

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2012, 03:06:57 PM »
I don't even remember my facebook username, but it does have something to the effect that I'm an atheist and as such I'm perfectly capable of NOT praying all by myself so if you're praying for me save your breath because you ain't getting saved either.
You better believe it's not butter or you'll burn in hell forever and EVER!
Get on your knees right now and thank GOD for not being real!

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2012, 11:03:48 PM »
I don't even remember my facebook username, but it does have something to the effect that I'm an atheist and as such I'm perfectly capable of NOT praying all by myself so if you're praying for me save your breath because you ain't getting saved either.

I was thinking 'damn that must be a long username', but then I got it.
"Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God?" - JeffPT

Offline atheola

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2012, 03:16:14 AM »
Lack of sleep does that to me too. ;D
You better believe it's not butter or you'll burn in hell forever and EVER!
Get on your knees right now and thank GOD for not being real!

Offline Turbo SS

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2012, 11:46:10 AM »
losing my job isnt an option right now.  I have to support my wife.

If you get fired for being an atheist, sue them. Buy your wife a Lexus!

Its not that they would directly fire me for it.  Its more I think hover around and wait for a screw up and overblow that as an excuse.  Also they could black list me around town so that other companies in my industry dont hire me.  Not mention giving me a glass ceiling so that I cant get promoted. :(  I have to weigh the options and right now the best option in my life is keeping my mouth shut.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2012, 04:33:16 PM »
^^^^Shows you how far we still have to go. We are really an invisible minority, defined by what we don't believe. It's  not cool to directly discriminate, 'cause this is America, land of the free. But you have no real protections if they do discriminate.

Since religious belief is the default option, most people don't even notice religious privilege.  "I don't mind atheists as long as they act just like religious people. So, say 'under god' in the pledge, use money with god on it, let the government use your taxes to put up religious displays and bow your head and mumble something when there is a prayer. What's the problem?" 

If you refuse to pretend that you are religious, people get offended. In other words, we will accept you only as long as you make us feel good about our beliefs.

Just like gay rights circa 1970-- if you do anything other than pretend to be straight, you get crap. And nobody will stick up for you if you get unfairly treated, 'cause you should have just kept your views to yourself.

"I don't mind homosexuals as long as they don't flaunt their nasty lifestyle, hugging and kissing and holding hands." Like behaving exactly like straight people do when they are with their spouses?

As long as we are afraid to say who we are, we remain an oppressed minority.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline jaimehlers

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2012, 06:20:04 PM »
It's easier to say this sort of thing on a forum rather than for real.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2012, 06:26:46 PM »
Of course, but we have to start somewhere. Gays used to have to meet in secret clubs and have secret signals. An older lesbian professor told me that they used to wear certain buttons on the back of the jacket lapel and flash it at someone you thought was sympathetic.

We may have to do stuff like that! Code names, secret handshakes.  ;)
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline jetson

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2012, 07:24:11 PM »
Of course, but we have to start somewhere. Gays used to have to meet in secret clubs and have secret signals. An older lesbian professor told me that they used to wear certain buttons on the back of the jacket lapel and flash it at someone you thought was sympathetic.

We may have to do stuff like that! Code names, secret handshakes.  ;)

Ya know, that would be cool.  I mean, I have very limited ability to find out who is atheist at my work.  I mean, how does that come up?  And who would openly admit it?  They're out there, for sure...but finding them is so difficult, I mean they all look so much alike!

Offline jsmacks

Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2012, 09:18:05 PM »
losing my job isnt an option right now.  I have to support my wife.

If you get fired for being an atheist, sue them. Buy your wife a Lexus!


You make this sound too easy.  Most likely they won't fire you because of atheism, they will find a different reason.

I think in certain places, it is harder to come out.  At my job we often have group prayers before meals, I've heard of some jobs were some pray before work.

I think if you work at a job where the environment is pretty secular, most people will be "OK" about someone working at the company being an atheist.

At a nonsecular job, you run the risk of offending higher ups who might be a strong Christian.


With the economy the way it is now, I don't think nobody really should risk losing their job (unless they truly hate their job).

Offline jsmacks

Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2012, 09:38:26 PM »
Of course, but we have to start somewhere. Gays used to have to meet in secret clubs and have secret signals. An older lesbian professor told me that they used to wear certain buttons on the back of the jacket lapel and flash it at someone you thought was sympathetic.

We may have to do stuff like that! Code names, secret handshakes.  ;)

Ya know, that would be cool.  I mean, I have very limited ability to find out who is atheist at my work.  I mean, how does that come up?  And who would openly admit it?  They're out there, for sure...but finding them is so difficult, I mean they all look so much alike!

I met a couple of people at my job who might have been atheists.


One guy somewhat implied it.  It was me (I was new at the time), an Indian woman who most likely wasn't Christian, and him who pretty much worked alone.

I think he felt comfortable blowing steam around us because he was higher up than we were. He would always complain about how he didn't care for the ultra-conservative culture at our job.  I knew he couldn't be talking about the dress code because our dress code is somewhat lax compared to other corporate places.  He could of just been annoyed at the economic Conservatives (which there are a lot of at our job), but I kind of doubt it because I heard a few economic liberals speak their minds with no retaliation.  I assumed he was talking about how we often do group prayers at meals and things.  I never really heard anybody at my job say they are an atheist or agnostic in the open.

Another guy (who is no longer with the company) specifically told me that he didn't care for the group prayers, and that he was becoming agnostic, but took a some heat from his wife about it.  He later said though he started going back to church with his wife and they were having a better relationship because of it.  He would only mention these things to me in private.  Matter of fact I remember before he started talking to me about these things he told me he thought I was the "Strong Christian" type of person (wouldn't know why he would of thought that), but I just replied that he didn't know me that well.  After that he started feeling more comfortable talking about those things.


There are probably a lot more people like the ones I mentioned at my job but the majority seems to be most like me, don't really mention anything about religion and play along with all of the bible talk and prayers.


Offline jetson

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2012, 09:43:48 PM »
Well, I have taken a certain level of risk by debating specific Christians at my work.  My wife was worried at first, but we have slowed down on our conversations.  I would be better able to defend myself if any of them made accusations.  I would start by calling HR and letting them know that my personal views and religion is off limits, and that they had better contact the manager of the accuser and make sure they understand what they are doing.

Our place is too big, and we have fairly solid policies that would protect me under those circumstances.  On the other hand, if a manager or higher decided to make things difficult based on rumors about me, that would be tougher to deal with.  I'm not really worried, but I am the sole income for my family.

Offline jsmacks

Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2012, 09:56:36 PM »
Well, I have taken a certain level of risk by debating specific Christians at my work.  My wife was worried at first, but we have slowed down on our conversations.  I would be better able to defend myself if any of them made accusations.  I would start by calling HR and letting them know that my personal views and religion is off limits, and that they had better contact the manager of the accuser and make sure they understand what they are doing.

Our place is too big, and we have fairly solid policies that would protect me under those circumstances.  On the other hand, if a manager or higher decided to make things difficult based on rumors about me, that would be tougher to deal with.  I'm not really worried, but I am the sole income for my family.

Yeah I just think that the average Atheist/Agnostic  wouldn't want to deal with the potential mess of coming out.  If I worked at a more Secular job, in a more Secular community, I don't think I would have a problem coming out at work.  Back in my hometown, religion was more of something most people kept at home, even the strong religious types there didn't wear their religion badge on their shirts everyday and overall seemed more tolerant of different religions or lack of.

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2012, 11:35:47 AM »
I can understand not wanting to lose your job, but among your friends and family you should definitely not be hiding.
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Offline Traveler

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2012, 12:57:29 PM »
...we often do group prayers at meals and things....

This would drive me starkers. I've never been willing to pray regardless of the group I'm in. The most I'll do is sit quietly, perhaps with my head slightly lowered. I never say "amen" or say the prayer, and won't genuflect or anything either. If I ever work in a strongly religious environment I'll be doomed, because I can't bring myself to fake it.
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Offline joebbowers

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2012, 01:47:46 PM »
If I ever work in a strongly religious environment I'll be doomed, because I can't bring myself to fake it.

It's disturbing in this age that you would have to.
"Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God?" - JeffPT

Offline jetson

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2012, 02:26:07 PM »
If I ever work in a strongly religious environment I'll be doomed, because I can't bring myself to fake it.

It's disturbing in this age that you would have to.

Joe - have you personally met anyone who is afraid to come out as an atheist?  Just curious on your experience with people who are genuinely concerned about repercussions.

Personally, I get angry inside that I have to hide some part of who I am.  But ultimately, I end up suppressing some of it, at least.

Offline screwtape

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2012, 02:38:21 PM »
losing my job isnt an option right now.  I have to support my wife.

The first thing you must do is find a new job where it won't be a problem.

Right now you are living in a house built on railroad tracks.  You know a train is going to come through eventually, so you had better make plans to move.  But you aren't.  Instead you are soliciting sympathy and support from people to stay in your house.  You are deluding yourself and putting your family in peril.  Get your head out of the sand.

If being an atheist in your company/ town is that bad and you are not willing to pay the price, then the solution is to go elsewhere.  Eventually you will be found out.  Before that happens, find a new job in a town where being an atheist won't matter.  Then come out.

Anyone who supports you staying in the closet indefinitely is supporting catastrophy.  And they are kind of giving you license to be a pussy. I support neither.

That goes for everyone else who is in the closet too.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2012, 03:21:28 PM »
Again, there are lots of parallels. People who used to "pass" as a different ethnic group to get less discrimination. Or what it is still like for gays. For some people who live in an environment where it is accepted, it's no big deal to have a photo of your same-gender spouse  on your desk (or darwin fish on the car?). For others, in small towns or the southern states, they don't dare tell people, sometimes not even family, that they are gay. Those folks have to live a lie all the time or move if they want to have full lives.

When I worked overseas in various third world communities, I decided not to tell people that I was an atheist. Many people did not understand when I said I had no religion. That was equivalent to satanic demon worship in their eyes. [1]

When I tried to explain what atheism was, the villagers closest to me became concerned and told me that I had to be mistaken, because nobody like that was allowed to work with women and children. So I dug up my JW background and learned to make the appropriate Catholic or whatever mouth noises. Religious expressions, observations,  celebrations, like baptisms, saint's days, etc. are so buried in the culture in some places that it can't be avoided without really standing out.

It was a choice I had to make to keep living and working there. Some of the villages might have told my supervisors and had me booted. I knew it was only for a few years, and I really wanted to do development work, so I tolerated it.

Nobody can tell someone else what the acceptable level of risk is. Just don't be like the closeted gay but homophobic politicians who try their best to make other gays live miserable lives. That sh!t is too psycho.
 1. Ironically, some of their practices would be considered demon worship by many people in the US!
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline joebbowers

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2012, 01:36:32 AM »
Joe - have you personally met anyone who is afraid to come out as an atheist?  Just curious on your experience with people who are genuinely concerned about repercussions.

I have some friends in Laos who are atheists, they have said their parents would disown them if they knew. (Parents are Buddhists.)
"Do you see a problem with insisting that the normal ways in which you determine fact from fiction is something you have to turn off in order to maintain the belief in God?" - JeffPT

Offline Turbo SS

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Re: Come out now! Our silence delays our acceptance.
« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2012, 03:56:39 PM »
losing my job isnt an option right now.  I have to support my wife.

The first thing you must do is find a new job where it won't be a problem.

Right now you are living in a house built on railroad tracks.  You know a train is going to come through eventually, so you had better make plans to move.  But you aren't.  Instead you are soliciting sympathy and support from people to stay in your house.  You are deluding yourself and putting your family in peril.  Get your head out of the sand.

If being an atheist in your company/ town is that bad and you are not willing to pay the price, then the solution is to go elsewhere.  Eventually you will be found out.  Before that happens, find a new job in a town where being an atheist won't matter.  Then come out.

Anyone who supports you staying in the closet indefinitely is supporting catastrophy.  And they are kind of giving you license to be a pussy. I support neither.

That goes for everyone else who is in the closet too.

I will.  I may get a job at my dads company in the near future.  If I do then i will come out.  Or if I get promoted to a less religious infested department (if there is one)