Peeking Out the Atheist Closet

Considering that the Holidays are upon us, I’ve been thinking of some of my relationships with my Family and Friends.  In regards to my relationship with my wife, most of the heated discussions surrounding religion have mostly calmed, however there will be obstacles later down the line that we will have to eventually tackle (I.E.: Me never becoming a Christian again, raising our children, being more open about being a non-believer), but we will cross those bridges when we get to them.

I have always wanted to host Thanksgiving at my house.  I somewhat view it as an act of stability and security to be able to host thanksgiving at your house.  For me personally when I think of the person who always hosted thanksgiving at their house (even in my family or others), I always thought of it as that person was the family patriarch or matriarch and the Head of the Family.

So in addition I’ve always look forward to blessing the thanksgiving dinner, but now I’m not sure if I should.  I’ve considered making a prayer, but not saying in Jesus name.  I’ve considered saying a quick speech, and letting my wife bless the food.  Or letting my pastor friend bless the food, if he shows up.  So this is a weird situation for me.

On another note, I’ve also been thinking about my relationship with my parents.  My mom knows I’m no longer a bible thumping Christian, but I’m not sure if she has a full grasp of my atheist side.  And on top of that, since we are having thanksgiving at our house this year, she is bringing her new Christian boyfriend who is a somewhat religious type.  So that might make for an awkward evening, if we end up on the conversation of religion.  No matter what, it’s going to make for an awkward evening, cause I think he is little too up in the clouds.  If that even makes any sense.

Now for my Dad and Step-mom who themselves separated about three years ago; neither of them know that I am no longer a Christian.  So they are clueless as to what is going on.  As for my Dad, I don’t think it would bother him at all, because he is not the religious type.  To him God is something you do on Sunday morning.  And as for my step-mother, it will probably bother her the most out of everyone, considering she is very religious.  When I got saved in college, she was one of the first people I told because I knew she would be excited for me.

The reason I actually titled this post Peeking Out the Atheist Closet is because I have all these family & friend relations, that I have not told that I am an atheist.  I haven’t even told my best childhood friend in New Jersey.  So even though my wife, my pastor, and few close associates know, I feel like I am only peeking out the atheist closet.  I have not actually come out of it.

Just to illustrate,

I still fake it at work.  In fact several of my work colleagues referred to me as a ‘Man of God’ the other day.  And in fact my wife and I have a small group of friends we do bible study with on a somewhat consistent basis and I still fake it with them.  I’ve considered coming a little more out the closet and openingly telling the rest of the small group that I am no longer a Christian.  And to a degree I still fake it on facebook; I don’t put up things proclaiming that I am an atheist, but I don’t put up things that talk about Christianity anymore.  In fact, I would still say I’m in the process of becoming comfortable with the idea of labeling myself as an atheist in front of other people.  So this is why I say, I am still  peeking out the closet.


About M. Rodriguez

When I first received Christ salvation, I made it a priority to read the whole bible and I did. But it was the Bible that made me question my faith. For I found it flawed and lacking. Due to this I launched a personal inquiry/investigation into my faith, and ultimately realized that the Christian God of the Bible was indeed man-made. Now I Blog about those findings and life after Christ.
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12 Responses to Peeking Out the Atheist Closet

  1. Neil Rickert says:

    So in addition I’ve always look forward to blessing the thanksgiving dinner, but now I’m not sure if I should. I’ve considered making a prayer, but not saying in Jesus name. I’ve considered saying a quick speech, and letting my wife bless the food. Or letting my pastor friend bless the food, if he shows up. So this is a weird situation for me.

    I see this as a no-brainer. Ask one of your guests to make the prayer of blessing. If you word the request well, they will consider it an honor. But keep that request simple (just a few words). Don’t make a big deal out of it. Don’t bring up your own religion in that request.

    I suggest that you discuss this with your wife beforehand, so that she will understand why you are calling on one of the guests instead of asking her.

  2. ignorantianescia says:

    It’s difficult to imagine religion playing such a big role in family relations if one comes from a society that’s pretty secularised, but I want to wish you wisdom and good luck on dealing with the upcoming holidays and also also on your eventual coming out of the non-theistic closet.

  3. Don Hartness says:

    From the other side…

    One of the most powerful things I’ve learned in life is that I don’t have to say a single word if I don’t want too. I mean that literally: a single word. Some find that unnerving, since so many are insistent on speaking their mind and can’t keep their mouth shut. But I have found that I can keep my peace by practicing this discipline.

    Although I don’t recommend a wall of silence, you can choose to say as little as you want. Why would you do this? As a Christian with strong disagreements with organized religion, I have often found myself in situations where explanation would take much longer than the format I’m provided. And, if the audience is not receptive to begin with (a strong possibility on this holiday), it is better to simply defer to a later time, even if that later time does not come (and it often doesn’t).

    Why bother sharing something with those that are not receptive? Save it for those that are, and share the time with the others based on why you are there in the first place.

    As for the blessing, or any other traditions, Neil hits it right on the head.

    Just my two cents. 🙂

  4. M. Rodriguez says:

    What I ended up doing for those who followed this post, I ended up making the prayer myself. I was tempted to leave out the whole “in whole Jesus name”, but I left that part in.

    What I ended up finding out was to my wife and her family, that for them the major thing for the Man-Head of Household was to carve the Turkey. Not the prayer. Which is I always seemed like just more work for the man, not as a symbol of honor.

  5. Peter says:

    I finished rewriting my blog yesterday. I’m tempted to suggest that as I am an agnostic theist you are an agnostic atheist. Have a look at my blog and see if you agree!

  6. aynway says:

    My wife and I (both deconverts) host the family Xmas dinner (38 people yesterday!), so I “kick off” the meal with some sort of toast, generally regarding the incredible closeness of the family, the joy we get from the children (my first grandchild was born 5 weeks ago) and our hopes for the new year. But first, my brother-in-law always does a traditional Catholic blessing for those who are still into that sort of thing. It works out just fine.

  7. Pingback: 15 Question Atheist Ice Breaker | The BitterSweet End

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