I just came out to my best friend!

If you’ve been following my blog, you will know that I’m an atheist. It’s in the title after all. But here’s the thing, apart from a few select non-Christian friends and family, no one knew I was an atheist.

But that is all about to change.

Just today, I came out to one of my longtime church friends from high school over lunch. Will he tell others? Almost certainly. But I am going to be ready for it when the time comes. Here I am going to detail this encounter. For the sake of being anonymous, I’ll call my friend Steven.

The encounter.

Things started off pretty normal. We met up in town for our usual once a fortnight lunch. We both grabbed a sandwich from Subway and found a nice seating spot down by the Waikato River. After the usual chatter, conversation steered towards church and a friend of ours who gave a sermon.

Steven: Did you hear Larry preached a sermon recently?

Me: I heard he was going to a few weeks ago but it was called off for some reason.

Steven: He gave a sermon last Sunday. Were you at church last Sunday?

Me: No I wasn’t.

At this point, I hadn’t planned on telling him right there and then, but I hadn’t gone to church for a while and my friend knew something was up.

Steven: Why not? Is it too far away?

Me: Yeah it’s quite far.

Technically true but ah that was a cop out of mine.

Steven: Would you consider joining a local church closer to you?

Me: Ahh, maybe?

Another lie, stop it.

Steven: Do you still consider yourself Christian?

I think about this for a moment. Is he saying I must go to church to be a Christian? How dare he? But wait, let’s not get offended about this, because we’re not really Christian are we. Also, I’m tired of putting up with this. I then put down my pepper chicken sandwich and take a big breath.

Me: Just recently, I have decided I… don’t believe in it all anymore.

Steven: So… what do you believe in now then? Do you believe there is a God?

Me: I consider myself agnostic. As for there being a God? I don’t really know.

As to what happened next, it’s kinda hard to write it all down, since the conversation went on several different tangents. My friend didn’t seem angry at me, but he just couldn’t seem to fathom how I believe what I believe. In his mind, it would seem, everything is black and white and created by God, and that it must be crazy to believe in anything else.

We started chatting about whether life has a purpose and morals. I told him I believe we make our own purpose, that it isn’t black and white. That we can have morals without a God. Of course, he responded by saying that ‘everything is relative man’ and that there is therefore no right or wrong to me. I insisted that perhaps morals came about as we formed communities since it aided collective survival.

The conversation then steered towards evolution and the Big Bang. He couldn’t fathom as to how I could believe in evolution, which he called ‘all random’, it must require me to have a lot of faith apparently. I told him evolution has been observed and peer reviewed well by scientists who use the scientific method. He insisted that whatever starting point I use can depend on what conclusions I end up making. True perhaps, but then he said he uses the Bible as a starting point for his observations, calling it the most true historical document in existence. I simply smiled because I didn’t wanna push things too much. But then I threw in a couple questions of my own:

Me: So this whole global flood thing, where did all the water go?

Steven: Well the Bible mentions the water pouring out from underground caverns and from the sky. Also, some of it would’ve frozen during an ice age.

Hmmm, that doesn’t account for nearly all the water.

Me: So how do you know the Bible is true then? As opposed to some other book such as the Quran?

Steven: Have you read the Quran? I don’t know if you have. It’s ridiculous and inconsistent.

He then says something along the lines of” ‘When you just read the Bible, it’s not going to do much. But when you read it through faith, it all makes more sense’.

Hmm I’m not convinced he answers that very well. Let’s move on.

Steven then tells me that if I have any issues he is happy to chat with me about it. I told him that the main issue was that Christianity relies on faith, things unseen. Whereas what I HAVE seen and experienced in this world doesn’t match up with what Christianity claims.

At one point the conversation turned really bizarre and we started talking about genders. He insisted that I mustn’t believe in genders anymore, and that anyone can be whatever gender they identify with. I insisted that we do have genders, obviously… but that some people, for whatever reason, don’t connect with the body that they were born with. It’s not something I understand too well to be honest, but it has to be biological surely.

Finally, he started to talk about Hell, but I had to go back to work at that point. I was honestly looking forward to continuing our conversation on this though, because I wanted to tell him how ridiculous and inhumane Hell was. But that’s for another time.

So now what?

Well, the cat is out of the bag. There is no turning back now. Me and Steven share a lot of mutual Christian friends, so it wouldn’t surprise me if they find out soon. But I think it’s gone on long enough now, and that the grass will be truly greener on the other side. So now, I’m going to share with you the rest of my ‘coming out’ experiences as they happen. I’m really curious to know how the rest of my friends and family will react now.

– The (Not So) Covert Atheist.

f1

46 thoughts on “I just came out to my best friend!

  1. Thank you, on behalf of the human race, for choosing to reveal your true self to your friend.

    Isn’t it interesting how coming out is so much more difficult and more dangerous the closer it gets to home?

    Anyway, I am absolutely convinced that coming out, honestly and gently, as you have, and are still, like me, in the process of doing, is essential to cultivating true love and harmony in the world… and will inspire millions still trapped in the closet to come out as well…. each in his and her own way.

    One heart and mind at a time.

    Thanks and peace.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, I appreciate you saying that. Yes I hope that my ‘coming out’ stories will inspire others to do the same. For everyone it is different though, and yes I agree it is hard. It is much easier to tell people you barely know your true beliefs.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. So now you are the uncovert atheist? Lol. Hey that shouldn’t be that hard, but you see where he went? His assumptions that you will be an immoral jerk now isn’t how it plays out at all. Sorry, I know he’s your friend and all but it’s interesting in times like this how the many divisions of Christianity come to the surface. Gender, morals, truth, etc, and the general lack of true, endearing compassion which is normally hiding under the surface.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Or I could be called the overt atheist lol. At this stage, I’m still going to be relatively anonymous online, but after I’ve revealed my true self to many of my friends and family, then I will loosen up a bit, and be able to share more about myself here.
      Yes I see what you are saying. He’s my friend but he can be a real jerk at times too. I think much of what he says and thinks is a byproduct of his fundamentalist religious beliefs though. As in, he genuinely doesn’t seem to understand why I believe what I believe. It will be interesting to see how our friendship goes in the future though, and whether our once a fortnight lunches will keep continuing or not :p

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You can stay friends … just so long as a line is drawn to the effect that if he tries to convert you back you are allowed to shoot down his ‘points’~?

        Methinks that perhaps thou shalt not stay friends …

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I’m apparently seeing him again tomorrow, so if he keeps trying (and I think he will), then I will have to keep shooting him down. Lol if he can set our differences aside, then we can remain friends no problem, and that’s what I want. But if he keeps trying to convert me then that’s going to be a problem.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Saw him today and had a big conversation about Hell. Oh boy… I told him how unjust and unloving it was. But it didn’t seem to quite register with him. For him, a God can be perfectly loving and just yet still send those to Hell who don’t worship him. He said he wanted to bring some resources for when I see him next time. Lol any atheism/agnostic resources I should bring along then?

        Liked by 1 person

      4. An open mind, and a willingness to forgive …

        I imagine that his resources will be literature (for which read ‘propaganda’). All anyone need ever do is use the fact (it is a fact, too) that there can be no such thing as a contradiction.

        There can ever only be apparent contradictions, so if you find one anywhere look at the premises … because one of them (at least) is false.

        Understand this point if none other, and you are home and hosed. A merciful omnipotent God, and the existence of napalm? Ouch …

        And when the attempted (pathetic) counter is offered (the usual bleats and whimpers about ‘Free Will’) then ponder for a moment what God’s vaunted ‘omniscience’ does to any suggestion of ‘Free Will’?

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I (when I can spare the time) usually love to accept these challenges … on the condition that we agree to go through any points of contention, together as gentleman (tea and bikkies—no weapons) afterwards.

        But it would be a total waste of a lifetime, you have better things to do than argue with a dead fish. Just agree to disagree, or if that’s not possible either move on or get a lobotomy …

        Liked by 2 people

      6. Cheers for the recommendation. I don’t mind discussing things a little more with him, but there will be a point where enough is enough. The thing is, he starts talking to me about hell and everything, so I ask him how he knows his God (and Hell) is real. He couldn’t answer that, so anything he says about that has no credibility. If you take Pascals wager, and replace God with the Loch Ness Monster, it becomes meaningless to wager over it.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Why not just agree to disagree, and simply carry on being friends?

        If, as not a member of the ‘in’ group you are unacceptable, then just accept that fact. If being a member is more important to you than your perception of reality then you can always either sell your soul and go back to them … or cut any losses and embrace Reality.

        Like I said, our dearest friens are utterly devout but neither they nor we push it—they come here, I invite them to say Grace. No big deal. We go there, we accept that they are saying Grace because it’s what they do and they aren’t trying to push anything. So where’s the problem? Accept … or get out, move on; there’s a whole wide world out there.

        When the Berlin Wall came down and Easters drove freely for the first time into the West—they were utterly gob-smacked. They’d had no idea …

        Abrahamics suffer their own walls and would often literally fight to the death to retain their chains …

        Liked by 2 people

      8. Being a member is certainly not important to me anymore. So yeah, I will simply ‘agree to disagree’ at some point. For me to reveal my thoughts on the whole matter is quite releasing for me, and to maybe challenge him a little too, or at least stand my ground. But you’re right, neither of us is going to really convince the other, so it becomes fruitless in the end.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. The Russian/American authoress Ayn Rand makes a good start if you want a thinker—be warned, she was writing in a second language.

        She was also very much a capitalist (having experienced the then alternative) and had a very strong sense of justice. Few today make the necessary allowances, and most are so indoctrinated they couldn’t do so anyway.

        If you can hack the pace, go the distance, and understand the period and mores of the time I recommend “Atlas Shrugged” (be advised that none of the movies can (or ever had a hope in hell of so doing) do it justice. A lot of reading there, I tells ya~!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s a big first step. I still haven’t told my close friends exactly what I believe or don’t believe. I have told them I have issues with both church and the Bible but haven’t told them much else. Why? For one, it doesn’t come up as much as you would think with having Christian friends. They never ask us to go to church or ask when we might consider going back. When we recently had our new baby, they baby-sat our other 3 kids and asked if they could take them to a church barbecue. We said we weren’t really comfortable with that and they never asked why. They just said okay. They think we’re just temporary agnostics who will someday returning to the truth of Jesus. Yeah, not gonna happen.

    One of the hardest things about not sharing my nonbelief is when I think of my brother. We haven’t spoken in at least 5 years because of religion. He’s been an atheist for a long time and I was a Christian. I no longer am but I still haven’t contacted him. Part of me feels weird about it and is worried I’d hear the old “I told you so” line. But another part of me thinks I never really liked him much and that we never had much in common with him anyway. He’s still family, but he’s become a stranger.

    The point is that religion is not the great reconciler that just brings us all together as we’ve been led to believe. It is the exact opposite. It tears us apart and gets family and friends to not speak to each other.

    Good for you for having the courage (even if it was reluctant courage at first) to do what some of us are still struggling to do.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you. Ideally you shouldn’t HAVE to go around telling people you’re atheist or non-religious or whatever, and in your case, what you’ve done is probably fine. Although you mentioned they are close friends so the topic will probably come up eventually.

      In my case though, I was quite involved in church and by extension all my friends were Christian including my close ones. Everyone was wondering why I wasn’t willing to be involved in church anymore. Other than pretending, it’s quite hard to avoid conversations about church and God. I pretended for a few years but now have had enough.

      Telling your atheist brother about your new beliefs might bring you guys closer together lol, who knows? I wish you luck in coming out to your friends and relatives too, should the situation call for it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks. It shouldn’t be tough to do, but “outing” yourself as someone new is tough and I still worry about what others think. We should just be able to be ourselves and not have to slap labels on to be accepted.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. The best thing about being rational is that if you do need to justify your thoughts you can do so with a clear conscience. (Can the religious?)
        It genuinely is a case of ‘honi soit qui mal y pense’ …
        ,,, and if I dislike some bugger it’s because I do, not because I’ve been told to by some slimy bastard trying to slip a hand into my wallet.

        Behind EVERY religion (and there’s thousands of them, possibly even millions) (no?) is the lust for control, wealth, power and unearned income. Anyone out there in blogland like to challenge that?

        I dislike ‘allness’ statements. And that above is indeed an allness statement — so come and get me!

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Hey, Ben, I know this is a bit off topic, but it’s too important not to put in my two cents. I echo the Overt Atheist’s thought that “telling your atheist brother about your new beliefs might bring you guys closer together”. It’s the only way to know for sure where things stand… and will eliminate all doubt and future regret about not opening a possible door. Who knows, maybe you can both laugh about the whole thing over a beer or two. Peace, man,

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks Frank. It’s been weighing on my mind more and more. That probably means it’s what I know is the right thing to do. I don’t know how much we’d have in common to talk about now but he is still family and life is very short. I certainly don’t want regrets for not at least opening the door to reconciliation. The last time we spoke he was divorced with two kids and I was married with one. I know he is now remarried with stepkids and I now have 4 kids of my own. Much has changed since we last spoke and I’m sure we would have much to discuss. We’ll see. I would have to write to him as I don’t even have his number anymore. I don’t even know if his last address is still where he lives. I’m sure I will write to him. I just don’t know when. Sooner is probably better than later.

        Liked by 3 people

    3. Hey, Ben… Max number of nested replies reached on this thread, but wanted to say, in response to your comment dated September 27, 2018 at 9:59 pm: We need more people like you in the world, man. All the best to vyou and your brother. Peace.

      Liked by 2 people

    4. If brother does come out with “I told you so” … so what? If it were me I’d give a rueful grin and that would be the end of it, no big deal.

      As for children attending Christian bunfights—so long as they are grounded in how to think for themselves, and well versed in when to keep silent, I see no problem.
      Hell, on occasion I can join in a rousing chorus of “Onward Christian Soldiers” (or whatever) with the best of them—some of our dearest friends are deeply devout; when we go there we cheerfully say ‘grace’ (I think Americans call it The Blessing)(you know, just before falling tooth and claw upon the meal?) and when they come to our home we invite them to do their thing (it costs nothing—courtesy/hospitality rarely does—and lets everyone be comfortable in friendly surroundings).

      Why ascribe meaning to the meaningless?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good for you. I still don’t usually have the courage. Sounds like it went a bit like when I talked to my wife. Good luck when the other friends start questioning you, but it sounds like you did very well. When people start asking me hard questions in real life, I become speechless quickly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you. Is your wife and friends Christian too? To be honest, I was speechless at times, but I mean he was asking me questions which no one really knows the answers to, like ‘what is our purpose in life’? or ‘why have morals’? The thing is though, I would rather admit I don’t really know, then to pretend I do know like the religious do.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Strictly our purpose in life is that of all nature: to reproduce.

        Morals are merely the minimum basis for successful social relationships.

        Man is a social (lives in groups) animal. As a herd we can pull together for the benefit of all—and this is where the parasite religion scores, by trading a non-existent product for the fruits of other folks’ labours. (Not bad if you can banish conscience and get on that wagon too …)

        Liked by 2 people

    2. The other friends don’t question our beliefs, or lack of them. In NZ such are mostly considered personal anyway—it seems to be only (R) only the religious who are so insecure as to test the grounds in that respect.

      I think I’ve just put a finger on a pulse, there … no?

      Liked by 4 people

    1. It took me a while to draw up courage, but let’s just say it got to a point where it was probably easier to tell others than to hide my unbelief any longer. Part of the reason I started this blog actually was to help clarify why I don’t believe anymore, and what I actually believe now, so that when I do get asked tricky questions I will be able to explain myself.

      Have you told any friends and family you’re not Christian anymore? If so, how did it go for you?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. As one who lives in a semi-rational country with a more genuine approach to ‘freedom’ it’s difficult to appreciate the problems some folks have.

    Here we quietly practise Freedom of Belief with no big meaningless song-and-dance about it. Sure, we have our nutters too, but so long as they leave us alone we leave them alone.
    It’s good, being able to say what you like almost anywhere in the land.
    Sadly Americanism is creeping in even down here as American ‘evangelists’ come down seeking fresh meat. But so long as we have freedom of speech here it won’t matter too much.

    The answer will have to lie in the teaching of ‘How To Think’ to our infants—teach ’em the rudiments of thinking for themselves—after which the Jesuits and other perverts can go suck eggs.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I agree that here in NZ we are much more laid back when it comes to others beliefs. For me though, I did attend a brethren style church which embraces much of the fundamentalist beliefs that are present in America. Since almost all my friends were Christian (many of them from this church), coming out to them is kinda a big deal for me. The more you immerse yourself in religion the harder it is to leave. But hey, I guess we will see how much of a deal it is in a years time, perhaps I’m just over thinking it. At least I ain’t going to be shot for being atheist, on the bright side, and being honest with my friend felt awesome afterwards.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I used to have a lot of fun with ‘American-style’ religious imports. Then I realised that one cannot have a rational discussion (much less argument) with an automaton; so now I sneer politely and carry on about my lawful occasions.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. NOWHERE:

    We find on the web that “Stress is when your mind overrides your natural instinct to choke the living shit out of some bastard who desperately needs it”.

    Why stress, when you can simply flush?

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s