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Martha, part 2 November 9, 2007

Posted by Teen Atheist in anecdotes, friends, issues, school.
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I met up with my religious friend Martha for the first time in months. During one particularly quiet moment when we sat on the steps, feeling the wind in our faces, I decided that it probably wasn’t a good idea to keep this part of myself hidden from someone I trust.

 

Me: “How do you feel about atheists?”

Martha: “I don’t have anything against them, though I do kind of feel bad for them since they don’t have someone to believe in.”

Me: “Yeah, it would probably be easier to have someone omnipotent to turn to in times of hardship.”

Martha: “Or someone to blame. I blame God all the time.”

Me (laughing): “Yeah. Um, I have to tell you something.”

Martha: “What is it?”

Me: “I’m an atheist.”

Martha: “Really?”

Me: “Yup. You’re not mad?”

Martha: “Why would I be mad?”

The sad thing about coming out for me is that I often act like my atheism is something I have to apologize for. It’s certainly not, but I do often have to brace myself for the worst, especially after facing rejection from my own family. I told her about getting kicked out of Christmas this year, and how I essentially lost a brother due to our differences in beliefs (he’s a fundamentalist, I’m an atheist — we’re like Dr. Cox and his annoying sister Paige on Scrubs, only we don’t reconcile at the end of the episode). She expressed disgust at the way they were treating me, and how people treat atheists in general. She told me she felt bad for what my family did to me, which is nice coming from a devout Catholic like Martha.

She then came out to me as a bisexual, which I, being an LGBT supporter, certainly had no problem with. Then we spent the rest of the gray-skied afternoon walking amidst the trees, talking about boys and singing show tunes, the same friends we always were.

The whole thing went much better than I’d expected.

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Comments»

1. Jason Brazeal - November 9, 2007

I have to commend you. I’ve come out to my mom and brothers, and all of my friends, but no one on my dad’s side of the family knows anything about me being an atheist.
Good going Teen Atheist, and also Martha.

2. Troff - November 9, 2007

… “I blame God all the time”?

… is that a hint that maybe she’s a wee tad closer to that Atheist position than she might realise?

3. Teen Atheist - November 9, 2007

Jason: Heh, you’re still better off than I am. I’m only out to the immediate family, and seven friends.

4. Teen Atheist - November 9, 2007

Troff: I doubt it, but whether or not it is, I will not make any attempts to deconvert her. I fully accept her as a Catholic, as I would anyone provided that they are as open-minded and hate-free as Martha.

5. jgrab1 - November 9, 2007

I live in Northern California. To all of you (since I don’t know where you’re from), is it really that big a deal to be an atheist? I tell people I know, they make no big deal about it, I sense a few may not be pleased, but that’s about it. I did have a very minor incident with someone I’d just met (a new friend of an old friend) recently, but it was very minor–I just sensed disapproval, but too bad. I wouldn’t think of concealing my atheism from anyone…it’s my life and my “soul” and none of anyone else’s business if I’m damned to hell. (It can’t be worse than Ohio, and I’ve been there.) I was just wondering if this is a stance unique to me, to where I live (very liberal NorCal), or the United States in general. I’m suer it would be harder for me if I lived, say, in Arkansas or Tennessee, but even there, I doubt I would keep my atheism a secret. Maybe I’m a fool…

6. Teen Atheist - November 9, 2007

Well, you know where I’m from, and it’s definitely a big deal to be an atheist here.

7. overcaffein8d - November 10, 2007

yeah, in SC it is too…. 96% christian i think

8. jgrab1 - November 15, 2007

TA: I just had an interesting experience regarding the judgmentalness of people when it comes to atheism but I can’t post it here because there’s a small chance they’ll read this site and know I’m talking about them. Is there any other way we can talk privately, off-site?

J

9. Teen Atheist - November 15, 2007

Afraid not, John, I generally only give out my email address to people I know personally. I can screen your comment on the Feedback part of this journal, though, so it would be safe for you to write me there (give or take a few hours).

10. Popscience - November 15, 2007

Hi TA… just came across this blog, nice! I’m pretty sure I live in the same place as you and am surprised that you think it’s so hard to be an atheist here. I’m really enjoying letting it come up in conversation and watching people’s reactions (mostly *so what*). I’d say it’ll be a lot easier when you get to college (without sounding too patronising hopefully). Anyway, isn’t your dream college known for engineering/business courses? Not exactly Theology Central. Good luck!

11. Teen Atheist - November 15, 2007

Popscience, it IS hard to be an atheist here. Perhaps you’re fortunate to be around such accepting friends, but that is certainly not the case for a lot of us. Read some of my entries on how my family has treated me since finding out, and you’ll see what I mean.

12. Teen Atheist - November 20, 2007

John G.: You can now contact me privately through my Contact page. 😀

13. Najo - November 27, 2007

I know what you mean. That’s basically the reason why I, in certain situations, find it hard to admit to a person that I’m an atheist because I’d just end up being too apologetic.

I’m glad you have a friend like that. 🙂 It makes dealing with all the other atrocities in life easier.

14. Ask Teen Atheist, #2 « Diary of a Teenage Atheist - May 15, 2008

[…] you could start by asking them about their thoughts on religion and atheism. This is actually what I did with my religious friend, Martha (”How do you feel about atheists?”), and that went pretty well. I also told […]


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