She Wanted a Secular Wedding… So She Told Her Family About Her Atheism

You want to know why campus atheist groups are so important?

The blogger at Faithless and Fulfilled tells her story:

When I arrived at college I met people of many different faiths and people with no faith at all. I met normal, moral, happy people who happened to be atheist. The contradiction between what I’d been told about non-religious people, and the actual non-religious people I met was so stark, that I was forced to actually examine some of my beliefs. I began gradually, by simply allowing myself to question what I’d been taught. It took practice. At first I was overcome by guilt anytime I would permit myself to think, “Well, what if that’s wrong?” Eventually, though, once I truly opened my mind, all of the walls came tumbling down. I felt that I’d been duped. How could I have been so stupid? Religion was a bad joke and I’d fallen for it, hook line and sinker.

Over the next year, I began really developing my own ideals, morals, and purpose, and I slowly started speaking out. I use the label atheist, because I know it is a taboo. I want people to get to know me and to realize I am a normal, moral human being, and then learn… oh by the way, I also don’t believe in god. I truly believe the only way to change the negative stereotypes surrounding being an atheist, is to show that world that there are lots of normal atheists that contribute to the good of this country every day.

If you keep reading the initial post on her blog, though, you realize it’s not so easy for her to come out to her family. They’ve basically exiled her ever since she told them she didn’t believe in a god and wanted a secular wedding.

It’s rarely an easy journey.

My parents and I barely talk about this website and it’s been part of my identity for years now. They try to change the subject if I ever mention the site or that I’m traveling to speak somewhere. It took a long while for them to not be angry about it and now they sort of accept it. I’ll take that for now…

In any case, I’m keeping tabs on this blog because I want to see how F&F’s journey pans out. Hopefully, it’ll get better for her over time. It definitely helps to be out and proud about it online :)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Alex

    A bit off-topic, but does anybody know a pain-free way to keep up with multiple blogs? It’s getting to the point where I forget which ones I read :)

    • http://twitter.com/the_ewan Ewan

      Google Reader, RSS feeds. There’s nothing to beat it.

      • Alex

        Thanks. Time to get out of the hole for me :) Just wanted to see what folks out there use.

  • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

    It’s curious that your parents barely acknowledge this site – mine have been doing the same thing since you asked me to contribute! After being unemployed for months and months, I was relieved and SO EXCITED to tell them that I’d be able to at least contribute at little bit to our finances…and I got to write! About whatever I wanted! It’s been, what, maybe two months now?…and they still ask me how my job hunt is going. Haven’t read a single post to my knowledge, haven’t even asked for a link to the site. 

    Meh. Baby steps for theist parents – the sad reality is that this may be an area that we can’t really broach without hurt feelings. (A little melodramatic, IMHO, but it’s not my schtick, it’s theirs…so…)

  • http://twitter.com/FaithlessFemale FaithlessFemale

    Thanks so much for your support! It seems a little crazy to me that I’ve read your blog since college and now I’m referenced in it! I can die happy now. ;) 

    Thanks again for all that you do to help change the stereotypes we face everyday, and thanks for your commitment to new voices, even when you have your own struggles!  :) 

  • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

    FaithlessFemale, you’re both courageous and sensitive. A difficult combination at times. Your story is so sadly familiar. I left some suggestions on your site. I wish you well. Keep going!

  • chicago dyke, evolved outlaw

    FF, lemme give you some advice via the queer community and our experiences with this sort of stuff. if your family loves jeebus more than they love you, it’s time to move on. it’s wrong and hateful for them to “force” you to pray (and you don’t have to, btw, ever) and to treat you as if there were something wrong with you. there isn’t. i’m not saying that you should have an ugly confrontation with them. but you can move on. yes, it’s tough. but so many gay folks have gone through this, and once they’ve walked away, it gets easier and easier to not look back. the beauty of the out and proud communities of both types is that today, given the internet and all that, it’s never been easier to make a new ‘family’ with like minded people. it’s also the case that freethinking folk are much more open to a fluid, nontraditional definition of ‘family.’ my parents accept me, but even so, i still have holiday and vacation time with members of the queer family i’ve adopted/been adopted by since coming out. both are equally important to me. you can enjoy the same, i promise. 


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