It never really occurred to me when I started having doubts that there is a sort of process I am going through towards being fully “out” as an atheist. Other than my spouse, only one other family member I think really knows where I stand on the whole belief thing. That in and of itself is a bit of a relief. As for my parents, I think my mom knows but we don’t discuss it, and I don’t know about my dad.
What I’ve found to be one of the toughest areas is on places like Facebook. Part of the difficulty is that I went to a catholic high school. This has resulted in my fellow alumni running the gamut from tree-hugging godless liberals to conservative christian right wing tools (at least in my opinion). In my info, I played it safe and put in ‘Humanist’ in the religion area. It’s heartening to see that the people who I feel are the most sane are the ones who tend to be the least religious, and a lot of my former classmates will take on and challenge those who seem to argue from religion first, and facts second. Over time, I’m slowly letting my feelings be known. I became a fan of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Bill Maher, & Richard Dawkins. We have a 20 year reunion coming up and I’d like to be confident in who I am and who I believe, should conversation steer that direction at all.
The whole process is helping me approach a point in the future where I can answer personal questions about church, god, and faith with an unequivocal answer. Currently, I tend to waffle a bit due to fear of how my answer will be received. One of the best interactions I’ve had recently is with one of my cousins. I am her teenaged son’s godmother. Her young daughter asked me if I believe in god and I told her I’m not sure. My cousin asked if I was uncomfortable or offended that I had been asked to be a godparent. I was pleasantly surprised that it really wound up being a non-issue, and she was more concerned about how I felt than the fact that her son has a godmother that most likely doesn’t believe in a god.
I’m hoping to be a little more active on the blog, as well as commenting on other godless blogs. I have yet to pop my Pharyngula commenting cherry, but it’s my self-preservation instinct kicking in. It feels a bit like diving into a shark tank wearing nothing but a shark-bait bikini.