Revealing Your Atheism

Should You Come Out of the Closet as an Atheist?

Not all atheists hide their atheism from friends, neighbors, coworkers, and family, but it's that many do. This doesn't mean that they are necessarily ashamed of their atheism; instead, it often means that they are afraid of the reactions of others if they find out and this is because so many religious theists — especially Christians — are intolerant of atheism and atheists. Thus atheists hiding their atheism isn't an indictment of atheism, it's an indictment of religious theism. It would be better if more atheists could and did come out of the closet, but they need to be prepared.

Do Atheists Prevent Their Kids from Learning About Religion, Religious Beliefs?

Because most atheists are not religious, it is understandable that most atheists aren't going to make an effort to raise their children in an explicitly and deliberately religious environment. Atheists aren't likely to raise their children to be Christians or Muslims. Does this, then, mean that atheists are also trying to keep religion away from their children? Are they afraid of their kids possibly becoming religious? What are the consequences of hiding religion from someone? 

Should You Come Out as an Atheist?

Atheists are the most distrusted and despised minority in America; it’s no surprise, then, that so many atheists don’t reveal their atheism to friends, family, neighbors, or coworkers. Atheists are afraid of how people will react and how they will be treated. Bigotry, prejudice, and discrimination are not uncommon. Despite the dangers, though, atheists should seriously consider coming out of the closet anyway — it’s better for them and for atheists generally over the long term. 

Coming Out as an Atheist to Your Parents & Family

Many atheists struggle with deciding whether they should reveal their atheism to their family or not. Especially if a family is very religious or devout, telling parents and other family members that one not only doesn’t accept the family’s religion anymore but in fact rejects even belief in a god, can strain familial ties to the breaking point. In some cases, the consequences can include physical or emotional abuse and even having all family ties cut off. 

Coming Out as an Atheist to Friends & Neighbors

Not all atheists have revealed their atheism to their friends and neighbors. Religious theism is so widespread, and distrust of atheists so prevalent, that many people can’t tell the full truth even to those closest to them out of fear of ostracism and discrimination. This is a serious indictment against the alleged morality of religion in America today, but it also points to an opportunity: if more atheists did come out of the closet, it might lead to a change in attitudes. 

Coming Out as an Atheist to Coworkers & Employers

Revealing atheism to anyone can lead to problems, but revealing atheism to employers or coworkers comes with unique problems not associated with revealing atheism to family or friends. People at work can undermine your efforts and even your professional reputation. Your superiors, managers, and bosses can deny you promotions, raises, and prevent you from getting ahead. In effect, being known as an atheist at work can negatively affect your ability to earn a living and provide for your family.