I See What You Did There…

Blogger Mitchell just came out as an atheist:

There, my secret is out. I am an atheist, and I have been since the first time I read the bible, cover to cover, after I was given my own copy in Sunday school. I’m a skeptic by nature (not to be confused with a cynic), and the book just didn’t provide me with the answers that I hoped it would. I read the bible again as an adult — same reaction.

That’s all very exciting, but what I really enjoyed was how he led up to the announcement the day before:

My wife knows about my dirty little secret. My kids and most of my relatives and friends know. But I’ve always hesitated to make a public announcement here, for fear that the prejudice still harbored against my kind will cause people to turn away from this blog…

My goal is not to convince you that your way of living is wrong and that my way of living is right. My goal is to demonstrate to you that people like me are good, moral, loving, and worthy people, just like you are. We’re not evil, deranged, unhappy, aimless, immoral or any of those other horrible stereotypes. In almost every way except one, we’re just like you.

We try to lead good lives. We love our families. We maintain high moral and ethical standards, except when we don’t, just like you. If after I reveal my secret you no longer wish to be my friend or to read my blog, then just remember it was you who made that decision, not me. If you later reconsider and come back, I’ll welcome you with open arms.

A nice bait-and-switch, calling attention to more than one kind of bigotry :)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Elabryth

    Good for you and in the words of Henry Rollins “I’m not in the closet. If I were, I would smash that closet to cinders”. Also, to be a Cynic is not a bad thing. Neither is it to be cynical. Now, to be jaded and dismissive out of a “I know better than you” attitude, that is no way to be.

  • http://www.workswithu.com Rubbs

    Awesome! I just posted my “out” post as well today. I just finished it and then came here and saw someone else did too!

    http://www.wellactually.org/2012/04/its-about-time/

  • Justin Miyundees

    Love it.  

    Been easing my way out of the closet too.  What’s been helping is I’m finding, with every post, that there’s a parade of people dying to get out too.  And I think it’s building….

  • http://hauntedtimber.wordpress.com/ timberwraith

    I’m trying to imagine coming out “Richard Dawkins style”:

    There, my secret is out. I am an atheist, and I have been since the first time I read the bible. Now that I’ve shared my secret with you, I want you to know that I have no respect for your religious or spiritual beliefs. In fact, if you share your beliefs with me, as I have done with you, I will ridicule your beliefs because they deserve contempt. I am rational and you are not.

    Wait, what do you mean I’m an asshole? That’s not very understanding or open minded of you. You’re a bigot!

    Oh, maybe the contempt approach and the coming out approach don’t work together so well? Maybe the contempt should come later… It’s a two step process.

    • Lucilius

      I suspect it did come later – after years of hearing pompous twits presume to lecture him on “obvious truths” that were refuted centuries ago.

    • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

      From reading your blog I see you aren’t too keen on Dawkins or other ‘neo-atheists’ (ughh, that is a terrible term)…

    • HughInAz

       I don’t have to imagine coming out christian style, I get it shoved down my throat every day:

      “There, my secret is out. I am a christian, and thanks to my parents I have been
      one since before I could read, let alone be capable of thinking for myself about religion. Now that I’ve shared my secret
      with you, I want you to know that I have no respect for you as a person. In fact,whether you share your beliefs with me or not, I will scream ‘The fool has said in his heart there is no god’ in your face, call you evil, immoral and depraved, perhaps make death threats against you or cheer on my fellow christians who do so. If I’m your employer, I’m likely to fire you, or if I’m your teacher, I will flunk you.

      Wait, what do you mean I’m an asshole? I’m a christian, so by definition I am a good, moral, kind, loving person, because I believe 6 impossible things before breakfast every day!”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Phil-Giordana-Fcd/685136164 Phil Giordana Fcd

    This is brilliant on so many levels! Big thumbs up!

  • Craig

    Hemant,  Thanks for posting this.  I’ve left a comment on Mitchell’s site as to our shared medical and humanist status.  I too have MS, and have recently come out to friends and co-workers as having an atheistic view.
    (I think my attendance at the Reason Rally was a clincher for some)

  • Skeptara

    Tricky tricky. ;)