John Smulo is often afraid to tell others about his beliefs. He’s a Christian and it’s hard, he says, to tell others that.
He’s boiled it down to five key reasons:
- It is conversation stopper, instead of a conversation starter.
- It communicates something other than what I mean.
- I’ll lose out on potential friendships because of the stereotypes this word conveys.
- ‘Christian’ is associated with a lot of things, but almost none of them have anything to do with Jesus Christ.
- It provokes hurt, anger, and angst for people who’ve had painful experiences with Christians.
I’m not doubting those things. From my own interactions with all-too-many Christians, those fears are legitimate. An atheist hears the word “Christian” and not a lot of positive images come to mind.
(On a side note, why is it always the other Christians who give you a bad name? When is it time to point the finger at yourself? That’s not directed at John, but to Christians in general.)
Anyway, it’s not always easy to come out to friends, family, or strangers as an atheist, either.
Some of us are atheists only as bloggers but wouldn’t dare tell our own husbands or wives or parents about our non-belief.
Some of us (I include myself in this bunch) kept it a secret at first… then told a couple friends… then told a family member or two… and it was years before we finally wore our atheism on our sleeves.
And then there are those of us who tell everyone we’re atheists without any prompting whatsoever. Hell, we’ll take a bite out of your baby without even asking permission.
For those of you who have not come out as atheists, or are hesitant about mentioning it in public, what’s holding you back?