Seven Tips for Coming Out as an Atheist

This is a guest post written by David G. McAfee.

Coming out as an atheist doesn’t only apply to those who are new to non-belief, and it’s not just a one-off personal event only involving close family. Public non-belief means many different things to many people but, in a society that’s largely intolerant of faithlessness, it’s always an ongoing process that arises again each time an atheist is asked about his or her beliefs — or lack thereof.

While some consider coming out as an atheist to be about familial honesty, still others are more concerned with publicly rejecting dogma around friends, classmates, or colleagues. But regardless of the situation, coming out as an atheist makes it a bit easier for the next person who has to by working to change the (very false) perception of atheism as something that is anti-god or even pro-evil. Perhaps more than anything else, it gives the opportunity to educate believers — to show them that it is entirely possible to be morally good without believing that we are being policed by an all-knowing deity.

It’s important to note, especially for young non-believers growing up in religious homes, that if you’re comfortable with your current living situation, it might not be necessary to “rock the boat” until you’re older. That being said, if it’s possible to be honest with family without serious repercussions, I wouldn’t discourage it. In all cases, the decision to come out is completely dependent on an individual’s circumstances.

Here’s a list of seven tips for coming out as an atheist, inspired and excerpted from my book Mom, Dad, I’m an Atheist: The Guide to Coming Out as a Non-believer.

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Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA) Speaks at the Secular Coalition for America’s Lobby Day Event

At the Secular Coalition for America’s Lobby Day, Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA) was one of the featured speakers and video of his talk is now online:

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No, the First Scientific Proof of God Was Not Found

This article’s been making the rounds online over the past week, especially on Facebook, where your religious relatives have undoubtedly sent you a link:

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Judge Rules Against Public High School Teacher Who Was Promoting Christianity in the Classroom

In early 2013, we learned that Joelle Silver (below), a science teacher in the Cheektowaga Central School District in New York who also doubled as the faculty sponsor for the school’s Bible Study Club, had no idea where to draw the line between being a public school teacher and being a representative of her church.

Prompted by a student’s complaint to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, here’s a portion of a letter Silver received from her superintendent:

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Gallup Poll: 30% of Americans Say Religion is “Old Fashioned and Out of Date”

A just-released Gallup survey asked respondents, “Do you believe that religion can answer all or most of today’s problems, or that religion is largely old fashioned and out of date?” 30% of Americans, to my delight, went with “old fashioned and out of date.”

It’s not the highest percentage on record, but it’s not an insignificant number either:

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