A question that was posed here a few days ago, in addition to a mailing I received (as a result of my inquiring about the Constitutionality of the Gideons coming on public school property to distribute their religious materials) lead me to wonder a few questions about my fellow Freethinkers.
One question is: Do you keep your lack of faith in faith a secret? I don't mean do you go around broadcasting that you're Atheist, but if religion comes up in conversation, do you acknowledge that you don't share the same (or any) faith in a deity?
Another question pertains to the mailing I received. I contacted the Freedom From Religion Foundation as one of the several resources I used to determine whether activities in my daughter's school were in violation of the First Amendment (they were). In contacting that particular group via the Internet, I received a mailing from them with their Freethought Today newspaper. It's an interesting read, full of stories of people who are deciding to "come out" and profess their status as non-religious.
In the newspaper is a website (http://ffrf.org/out/) where you can go and create your own cyber billboard that "outs" you. The FFRF chooses among those to make real billboards although, of course, not all can be made into one.
Would you do it? Would you promote yourself as a Freethinker like that? Christians, and people of other faiths as well, have no problem identifying themselves to their faiths, and often make it a main topic of conversation, but Atheists are often regarded as somehow wicked, odd, or "less than" when they dare to mention that they don't hold any belief in a supernatural deity. Yet, I believe, there are many more of us than one might think. I've learned that other people where I live were upset with the Bible History class that's being taught at our local middle/high school, and there have been other complaints about Christians trying to push their beliefs in the schools and other public arenas--but those "others" are in the closet as far as I know. I've only met one other person in my immediate area who would admit to me that she's Atheist--but she is afraid to let anyone else know because she's afraid she'd lose her job and that she and her kids would be ostracized.
I'm less worried about that, but I don't broadcast my lack of belief in the same way that believers (at least around here) broadcast their beliefs. I don't want to be ostracized, and I've watched with distress as my daughter has been harassed by other students because she doesn't go to church or believe in god, but I always wonder why? Why is it such a big deal that we don't believe what others believe?
So, to make this question more clear, here it is (multi-part):
Do you keep your Freethinker status private? If so, why? Is it fear of how friends/family perceive you? Do you fear retribution or ostracizing? How "public" are you with your thoughts on religion?
Do you want/wish you could be as open about being Agnostic or Atheist as Christians are about their faith--without worrying about some sort of retribution?
Would you ever go so far as to make such a public announcement as to put yourself on a message like the one in the FFRF link?Answer Question
Answer by Eisleysmommy27 at 5:17 PM on May. 20, 2011
Answer by Bugzmomma at 5:20 PM on May. 20, 2011
Answer by NotPanicking at 5:22 PM on May. 20, 2011
Answer by Eisleysmommy27 at 5:23 PM on May. 20, 2011
Answer by anng.atlanta at 5:24 PM on May. 20, 2011
Answer by sleepinglotus at 5:25 PM on May. 20, 2011
Answer by ladysylpher at 5:26 PM on May. 20, 2011
Answer by jujubean1979200 at 5:28 PM on May. 20, 2011
No I don't keep it a secret but don't feel the need to bring it up just for the sake of bringing it up either. If someone is talking about their faith I don't feel the need to bring it up unless they are telling me what I should think.
Honestly I just don't make a big deal about it once in awhile my brother will make a comment that he still has faith that one day I will believe its not him saying I should or doesn't respect that I don't. I have been in friends weddings in a church because its more about their marriage then the fact that its in a church for both them and me. When a friend or family member says they are praying for me I just say thank you. They know what I believe but I there heart is in the right place when they say it.
Answer by Charis76 at 5:31 PM on May. 20, 2011
Next question overall
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