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It's a lonely world for Skeptics of Color (Agnostics, Atheists, etc.)

anonymous_168327anonymous_168327 Posts: 11Registered Users
When I decided to walk away from religion, it was my first real experience with isolation within my own community. The first time I felt different from family and friends. The first time I've been compelled to be silent about my beliefs. It was also a test in my own independence and stubborn nature, which felt great. I'm a little nervous posting this and just hope nobody from back home will stumble upon this, haha. Please share your stories and opinions whether complimentary or contrary. I wanna hear it all. Is it harder in the Black community to come out as a non-theist or is it the same across the board?
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  • LuuuuucyLuuuuucy Posts: 146Registered Users
    It's difficult across the board in my experience.
    I live in a typical middle class suburban area, and it's very ostracizing at times I generally don't discuss it. Church is a big deal around me, where you go, who goes there, etc. I have a group of like minded friends, and that helps, but also feel judged and left out OFTEN.
    In my personal experience, people feel sorry for me and my kids and that bothers me. I don't judge others and I respect their beliefs. I know I'll come under fire for this, and I know that it's not across the board, but every atheist I know has a live and let live attitude, and many of my Christian friends have said rude, hurtful, or pushy things to me or my kids.
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  • anonymous_168327anonymous_168327 Posts: 11Registered Users
    Luuuuucy wrote: »
    It's difficult across the board in my experience.
    I live in a typical middle class suburban area, and it's very ostracizing at times I generally don't discuss it. Church is a big deal around me, where you go, who goes there, etc. I have a group of like minded friends, and that helps, but also feel judged and left out OFTEN.
    In my personal experience, people feel sorry for me and my kids and that bothers me. I don't judge others and I respect their beliefs. I know I'll come under fire for this, and I know that it's not across the board, but every atheist I know has a live and let live attitude, and many of my Christian friends have said rude, hurtful, or pushy things to me or my kids.

    I couldn't agree more. It's the most hurtful when you know loved ones will condemn you to "hell." This is the main reason why nobody from home except my mother and best friends know. Anybody else at the church I grew up in wouldn't be so understanding, and I love them dearly.
  • LuuuuucyLuuuuucy Posts: 146Registered Users
    My 12 year old daughter has had friends tell her she is going to hell. What a way to represent your faith.

    I'm sorry you've felt isolation. It's not the same, but I have found great comraderie in the online community. :)
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  • NayaMooreNayaMoore Posts: 60Registered Users
    Nobody cares really, it's the same for me. I don't feel a disconnection from people that follow religions or whatever.
  • NayaMooreNayaMoore Posts: 60Registered Users
    QUOTE=Luuuuucy;2263612]It's difficult across the board in my experience.
    I live in a typical middle class suburban area, and it's very ostracizing at times I generally don't discuss it. Church is a big deal around me, where you go, who goes there, etc. I have a group of like minded friends, and that helps, but also feel judged and left out OFTEN.
    In my personal experience, people feel sorry for me and my kids and that bothers me. I don't judge others and I respect their beliefs. I know I'll come under fire for this, and I know that it's not across the board, but every atheist I know has a live and let live attitude, and many of my Christian friends have said rude, hurtful, or pushy things to me or my kids.[/QUOTE]

    Eh, many athiest I know are bigots, pretending to be better because they aren't "sheep" or whatever. Your view may be biased, both sides have the same amount of ignorance & insensitivity & both sides refuse to see the great things/people in each group generalizing each other.



    I'm agnostic btw
  • anonymous_168327anonymous_168327 Posts: 11Registered Users
    NayaMoore wrote: »
    QUOTE=Luuuuucy;2263612]It's difficult across the board in my experience.
    I live in a typical middle class suburban area, and it's very ostracizing at times I generally don't discuss it. Church is a big deal around me, where you go, who goes there, etc. I have a group of like minded friends, and that helps, but also feel judged and left out OFTEN.
    In my personal experience, people feel sorry for me and my kids and that bothers me. I don't judge others and I respect their beliefs. I know I'll come under fire for this, and I know that it's not across the board, but every atheist I know has a live and let live attitude, and many of my Christian friends have said rude, hurtful, or pushy things to me or my kids.

    Eh, many athiest I know are bigots, pretending to be better because they aren't "sheep" or whatever. Your view may be biased, both sides have the same amount of ignorance & insensitivity & both sides refuse to see the great things/people in each group generalizing each other.



    I'm agnostic btw[/QUOTE]

    I agree both sides are often wrong with their approaches. That's why I'll oftentimes not talk about it. If someone offers me a prayer, I smile and thank them, because it is a nice thought. And many I know are lower middle to lower class where all they know is the Baptist church so it wouldn't be an option to allow them to find out.Even though I respect and appreciate what they believe, there's a high chance they wouldn't return the favor.
  • LuuuuucyLuuuuucy Posts: 146Registered Users
    I don't think I can agree that both sides have the same percentage of bigotry and ignorance. Does it exist for both? Absolutely.
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  • LuuuuucyLuuuuucy Posts: 146Registered Users
    And I agree with you, OP. I don't often find that my respect is appreciated and reciprocated.
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  • JimipeJimipe Posts: 276Registered Users
    I supposedly live in the "most secular country in the world". Well, according to people living here. Personally I'm not so sure, but I'm once again grateful I did not grew up in the states. No, I've never heard that I will go to hell by my class mates, only that I didn't have a name since I had not been baptized. My country has a collectively strange relationship to religion, on one hand less than 20% actually believes in something. On the other hand only 50% say they don't practice any religion and 70% of the population is members of the state church. People who are not members of the state church still wants to have their children baptized. For confirmation I even got letters home stating that you did not have to believe to go through it, a ceremony where you _confirm_ your _beliefs_. And yes, almost everyone I know did it, and over 90% due to "getting gifts". I was the only one not baptized in my class until I was 16, then I met two more. We put up a fair bit of... noice for things, which made it feel better to not be alone.

    While awareness for muslim children and adults seem to be rising, as long as you "look white" you are assumed to have no problem participation in christian religion ceremonies. So, we three were essentially supposed to just play along with doing prayers in our religion class, singing very religious songs to "feel how it was to feel the presence and power of god" in the same class and have graduation ceremonies in the closest church with the minister both having prayers and blessings.

    I have zero problem respecting people who believe and are conscious in their decisions and aware of the limitations of beliefs, respect people regardless of religion, sex, etc.But sadly I very rarely get respected back. For some reason, not having a religion seems to be interpreted that you should be open for everything and to me, saying a prayer to something you don't believe in is for me a violation of the belief system and of those who practice the religion. But, I get a feeling I take religion more serious than most people who technically are members of churches here.
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  • Fifi.GFifi.G Posts: 15,490Registered Users
    Believer from the Bible Belt here, who happens to have a large number of atheist/agnostic friends. I just wanted to say that I am sorry you have felt left out and/or felt the brunt of personal attacks. I personally do have a live and let live attitude. I always have. I take the part in my constitution about having religious freedom (to and from) very seriously. Considering the number of people who fled to this country due to religious persecution, I'm always confused as to why more people don't.

    I think personal attacks on all sides are more common now. I've sat back and been puzzled by friends on Facebook for some time. None showing any regard for those who have always shown regard to them. It is frustrating because everyone was pretty good to each other for 20+ years. No problem if someone prayed around them. No problem if someone did not want to pray. No personal or general attacks. Now they just attack for everything. It is very frustrating to watch.
    When I hear terms like "hipster" I think, who told cliques they could leave high school??

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • anonymous_168327anonymous_168327 Posts: 11Registered Users
    Luuuuucy wrote: »
    I don't think I can agree that both sides have the same percentage of bigotry and ignorance. Does it exist for both? Absolutely.

    It seems to happen less among atheists than Christians because there are less atheists. If it was a 50/50 percentage, they'd probably be about the same. It's sad because it's such a trivial thing to fight about.
  • LuuuuucyLuuuuucy Posts: 146Registered Users
    FifiG,I think that's very kind and exactly how it should be. I appreciate that. I have a lot of Christian friends who are amazing people and would never, ever say something cruel. It's not an across the board mentality, I know. The number of good people, Christian or atheist or otherwise, far outweigh the bad. It's just a shame that the bad are so noisy and get so much attention.
    I completely agree with the online social media mentality too. People say things now online that never used to be socially acceptable, and they're actually being backed by other rude idiots. Even worse, people seem to be feeling like they're now empowered to behave that way offline. Facebook (and the like) has done a lot of damage to human decency.
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  • curlypearlcurlypearl Posts: 11,970Registered Users Curl Novice
    I have been told I will burn in hell just because I'm Jewish and don't accept Christ as my personal savior. This from two co-workers who otherwise seem extremely nice. I didn't even get a chance to weigh in about my beliefs or nonbeliefs about God. Just being born into my religion condemned me in their eyes.

    I'm very sorry you are experiencing these feelings of isolation. I can relate to that. {{{AFROdeeZeeack}}}
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  • juanabjuanab Posts: 4,037Registered Users
    Fifi echos my sentiments exactly. I take the separation of church and state seriously. I truly believe a lot of discord, vitriol, and hatred would be lessened if it were replaced with humility, humanity, a "putting myself in the other person's shoes" way of seeing and doing things.

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  • PassingOfNightsPassingOfNights Posts: 10Registered Users
    I think its the same all across the board, at least here in the USA. I live in the Bible Belt and when I came out me and my family fought 6 months over me not going to church anymore. Then you have people constantly throwing this "holier-than-thou" attitude your way. Huh, yeah I sure am the immoral one, says the 15 year old who has had 2 kids already outside of marriage. Then if it isn't that "holier-than-thou" attitude its "Jesus loves you!" and you have people trying to constantly convert you. Unfortunately I always have the bad luck to attract those weird religious people. Uh, sure, I know who Jesus is. I'm an American, not some isolated Native American from the rainforest who is just now experiencing modern life for the first time mind you. Is this too much to ask but would you please me alone? I mean I've alread-No? Well, ok then, continue on while I tune you out. At least I've had no problems from friends about not believing in god.

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