I stumbled across a relatively new blog called Atheist Exposed written by a woman down in Houston, Texas who has decided that after 30 years it was finally time to come out of the atheist closet. She summarizes what her blog will be about as follows:
A 48 year old government worker, 30 year closet atheist, is exposing to her friends, co-workers and clients her lack of belief in God. This is an experiment in humanity and tolerance. Hoping for a good outcome. Approaching in a non-confrontational manner. These are my friends, and I care about them. I hope they can accept me as I am. My goal is to help my Christian associates have the knowledge, that they know an atheist, and she’s not a bad person.
I’m always fascinated by accounts like this mainly because my own experiences seem to be very different. Most folks who have known me for any amount of time are well aware of my atheism, but sometimes with coworkers it’ll be awhile before the topic comes up in discussions at work and they learn about my lack of faith. I don’t know if it’s my supposedly scary appearance or the fact that I’m generally a friendly and gregarious person in real life, but most folks who find out I’m an atheist don’t end up making too big a deal out of it. Usually there’s some surprise and maybe a small discussion at the time and then it’s generally dropped by most folks. I can’t think of any obviously recognizable forms of discrimination I’ve received over my lack of faith that didn’t occur years ago, certainly nothing recent, and most of the angry diatribes I get for being an atheist come in the form of emails from people I’ve never met, but even those are fairly rare these days.
Interestingly enough, despite my image on SEB of being anti-religious, there are quite a few believers I know in real life who will seek me out to discuss their beliefs when they’re having a crisis of faith. I think it’s my honesty and willingness to entertain other viewpoints and discuss them logically (or as logically as you can discuss the idea of a supreme being) with them that helps them work out their issues and feel better about themselves and their faith. I think I’ve done as much to help some folks keep the faith as any preacher or priest, which is truly ironic to consider.
Anyway, Atheist Exposed is an interesting read and I thought you folks might like to check it out.