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.
Jonathan Tweet, a game designer who’s worked on such projects as Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: the Gathering is now working on a children’s book designed to teach basic concepts of evolution to pre-schoolers.
We’re used to Christian apologists trying to explain the logic of their faith — and atheists offering rebuttals that amount to “Christianity? Logic? HA!”
One of the more infamous books of that genre is I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist by Norman L. Geisler and Frank Turek. It was one of those books that I had to read with a red pen next to me, just so I could mark up all the errors. (It was slightly less challenging than a mid-week New York Times crossword puzzle.)
So when I heard Geisler, this time with Daniel J. McCoy, had written another book, I had to check it out. A new challenge!