Yes, it's this guy again.
If you don't want to listen to him ramble on, at least skip to time index 5:50 in the video and watch until time index 8:00. I've felt this fear, too. I still do in some situations.
I've been an atheist since I gained a vague understanding of the concept of God. I think I believed in Santa Claus longer because there was more evidence for him. I even saw Santa Claus in the mall, and there were presents from him under the Christmas tree. It wasn't until I noticed Santa's handwriting was the same as my mom's that I really questioned it. However, why would a child ever tell his parents that they've figured out the Santa thing? It could mean less presents1!
Just like my non-belief in Santa Claus, I was afraid to reveal my Atheism. This God thing seemed even more important than Santa Claus, so what could the consequences of admitting non-belief of Him be?
I don't think I had a true "coming out" with my parents, at least not that I remember. They just sort-of figured it out on their own2 and they are okay with it. I did have a lengthy discussion with my grandfather about it though... 2 discussions in fact. While my grandparents have accepted it, they're not happy about it.
Even to this day I don't announce my atheism to everybody, even when it would be appropriate. Before I moved from Ketchikan my mom got a new neighbor in the apartment below her. A man from West Africa. Usually I'm a hermit and avoid new neighbors, but I felt some need to show him my avoidance is not because he was black3. So I introduced myself, and made a very good first impression.
From then on he couldn't stop telling my mom about how much of a gentleman I am, and how kind I am. I found out he worked at a church, a preacher or pastor or something of the like. I didn't want to shatter his view of me. Even though it would have been an excellent time to make the point that atheists are good people, too.
As I was packing up to leave town, he said we should get together and pray before I leave. I told him "maybe" and went on my way. Now I feel a bit guilty that I mislead him.
I've read places where people that were both homosexual and atheist wrote it was tougher to admit their atheism than their homosexuality. While this is not true for everybody, atheism and homosexuality are from my point-of-view on the same level as each other as social stigmas.
Maybe that's why I'm such a proponent of gay rights. I might be way off in saying this, but I feel like I know what it's like to be gay. To be a member of society who is disowned because of one aspect of themselves, regardless of any other traits they may have. It is one reason I support gay rights, there are other reasons as well.
1: I should note the consequences of not believing in the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny were not as severe, so I admitted my disbelief earlier for them.
2: I have confirmed it many times since with my parents, and my dad reads my blog. Sometimes my grandfather does as well.
3: That in itself could be a form of racism I suppose.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Yes, it's this guy again.