• Tell Your Coming Out Story

    One thing about religion that I always found damning is the way religion has warped the minds of parents when their children leave the faith. More than anything else, this speaks volumes about the cruelty of religion. That is why I think it is important to tell these stories so that others can bear witness to them.

    For me, growing up in a liberal Jewish household, I didn’t agonize over coming out to my parents. This was in large part because I didn’t know it was such a big deal and to my family’s credit, it really wasn’t. My younger brother followed me out of the faith and my older sister remains faithful even though she married an atheist. My parents are only slightly religious and sometimes I am not even sure they still believe at all. On occasion, my parents tell me to tone down my atheism when we have religious visitors, but I always fall back on my position that I won’t start a conversation about religion, but if a religious person starts it, I will certainly engage and finish it.

    My story however is the exception. Many atheists have faced strong opposition from their families when they came out of the atheist closet. I have heard stories of parents actually kicking their kids out of the house and onto the street with nothing. Sometimes, parents force their kids to go to church or speak to the preacher for a “special” talk. The range of parental re-actions and attitudes when dealing with their son or daughter’s de-conversion fun the spectrum and I would like to hear those stories and I think others should hear those stories too.

    So this is what I am going to do. I want all you Dangerous Talkers to e-mail me your stories at DangerousTalk@gmail.com with “Coming out to family” in the subject line. Sign your story with your first name, city and state. Then, I will pick a few of them to showcase in an Examiner story. I’m going to set the deadline for this at Sunday, October 20th, at Midnight (EST). I may take some stories after that depending on when I have time to write up the article.

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    Category: AtheismDe-Convertion

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    Article by: Staks Rosch

    Staks Rosch is a writer for the Skeptic Ink Network & Huffington Post, and is also a freelance writer for Publishers Weekly. Currently he serves as the head of the Philadelphia Coalition of Reason and is a stay-at-home dad.

    7 comments

      1. Thanks for the steaming nugget of regurgitated pseudo-intellectual blather you Hitchens-Dawkins parroting basement dwelling megadouche!

    1. I always fall back on my position that I won’t start a conversation about religion, but if a religious person starts it, I will certainly engage and finish it.

      This is my own preferred approach. If people want to get along and not have their faith commitments challenged, all they have to do is avoid making the subject about their own faith. It is amazingly difficult for some people to do this, but when it works it enables people of different faiths (and none) to explore all the other topics out there in the world, which includes pretty much everything grounded in reality.

      I’d send in my coming out story, but thankfully there is no way to make it interesting.

      1. By ‘finishing it’ you mean arbitrarily declaring victory after a prolonged period if faux- philosophical neck bearded posturing, after you’ve run out of Hitchens-Dawkins parroting talking points? That’s what I thought you pseudo-intellectual basement dweller.

    2. Parents have to worry about their children’s immortal souls Jacques so they tend to get a bit concerned when they are lead astray by false prophets like Richard Dorkins who lead them into hopeless nihilism.

    3. Wow, your comments have really opened my eyes. I mean, this is mind blowing stuff! You make some powerful points, except … let’s put the Hitchens-Dawkins Kool-Aid down for a while and look at reality: Kalaam Cosmological Argument, the Argument from Reason, Fine Tuning of Universal Constants, irreducible biological complexity, the argument from morality…. Your entire world view lies shattered at your feet. If you truly honor the gods of reason and critical thinking half as much as you claim, you would plant your face firmly into your hand, step away from the device, find a quiet place, and rethink your life. Indeed, why are you even bothering to comment at all? No atheistic position can be taken seriously until two threshold questions can coherently be answered. 1. Why is the atheist even engaging in the debate. On atheism, there is no objective basis for even ascertaining truth; there is no immaterial aspect to consciousness and all mental states are material. Therefore, everyone who ever lived and ever will live could be wrong about a thing. By what standard would that ever be ascertained on atheism? Also if atheism is true, there is no objective meaning to existence and no objective standard by which the ‘rational’ world view of atheism is more desirable, morally or otherwise, to the ‘irrational’ beliefs of religion. Ridding the world of the scourge of religion, so that humanity can ‘progress’ or outgrow it, is not a legitimate response to this because on atheism, there is no reason to expect humanity to progress or grow. We are a historical accident that should fully expect to be destroyed by the next asteriod, pandemic, or fascist atheist with a nuke. In short, if atheism is correct, there is no benefit, either on an individual or societal level, to knowing this or to spreading such ‘knowledge.’ 2. Related to this, why is the atheist debater even alive to participate. If there is no heaven, no hell, no afterlife at all, only an incredibly window of blind pitiless indifference, then the agony of struggling to exist, seeing loved ones die, and then dying yourself can never be outweighed by any benefit to existing. As rude as it way sound (and I AM NOT advocating suicide) the atheist should have a coherent explanation for why they chose to continue existing. Failure to adequately address these threshold questions should result in summary rejection of the neckbeard’s position. In the end, we all know you can’t answer these questions because yours is a petty, trivial, localized, earth bound philosophy, unworthy of the universe. Finally, is there a basement dwelling troll left in the multiverse who doesn’t drag themselves out of the primordial ooze and logged onto this site in order to announce our collective atheism towards Thor, that gardens can be beautiful without fairies (a powerful rebuttal to fairy apologetics, by the way, but it leaves a lot unanswered about the Gardener), and that we cling to Bronze Age skymen due to our fear of the dark? Let me translate that to neckbeard: you are unoriginal, you are wrong, and you are a clown. Also, FTW atheism is incoherent: http://communities. washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/higher-things/2011/nov/19/atheism-why-it-logically-incoherent http://www.catholicthinker.net/the-incoherence-of-atheism/http://www. peterkreeft.com/topics-more/4-arguments-transcendence.htm http://www.reasonsforgod.org/the-best-reasons/the-argument-from-reason/

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      Steve Willy
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      Reading Richard Dawkins Led To My Conversion

      Steve Willy • 21 hours ago
      Thanks for another steaming nugget of regurgitated pseudo-intellectual neck bearded blather, you r/atheism inspired, GNU obsessed, faux-analytical proto-basement dweller. Yours is a worldview so petty, so trivial, so earth bound, so unworthy of the universe.

      Steve Willy • 2 days ago
      No more so than the God Delusion justified your switching from one form of narcissistic self-worshipping hedonism to another.

      Steve Willy • 2 days ago
      Wow, this is powerful stuff. I mean, these ideas really blew my mind! I’m going to have to re-evaluate a lot of things. Except, well…. Let’s put the faux-analytical hyperbole away for a while and look at reality: Kalaam Cosmological Argument, teleological argument, First Cause/Unmoved Mover, the impossibility of infinite causal regress, the necessity of at least one unconditioned reality, the Argument from Reason, Fine Tuning of Universal Constants, irreducible biological complexity, the argument from morality… While you sit there in your Hitchens-Dawkins parroting bubble and regurgitate pseudo-intellectual douchisms, your entire world view lies shattered at your feet. If you truly honor the gods of reason and critical thinking half as much as you claim, you would plant your face firmly into your hand, step away from the device, find a quiet place, and rethink your life. But otherwise, thanks for your steaming pile of regurgitated pseudo-intellectual neck bearded blather, you r/atheism inspired, GNU obsessed, faux-analytical proto-basement dweller. Yours is a worldview so petty, so trivial, so earth bound, so unworthy of the universe.

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