How Honest am I Going to be about being an Atheist?

I don’t remember when I finally decided to be an atheist, but it probably happened toward the end of college. I always had questions about religion even when I was young, but right now my main question is, how honest am I going to be about being an atheist? Do I have to out myself to everybody? Will I be endangering myself? Will I open myself up to being discriminated? Am I ready for that reality?

This entry is the most direct admission that I’ve done in my blog, but you could have guessed based on the hint of blasphemy in my entry When I Die I Want a Glass Coffin and a CellphoneMy mother knows and she accepts and respects my beliefs. My best friends know. Some of them don’t accept or respect my beliefs, but they still continue to talk to me and just ignore the fact that they are against my beliefs. I actively post atheist articles on Facebook, and I am friends with my relatives on that social media site, but I have never “come out” with my relatives, so I can’t tell if they “know”. But I do notice that when there’s a family gathering and it’s rosary time, I am never volunteered to lead it.

When strangers or acquaintances ask me if I am Catholic, I automatically say yes, until I mentally kick myself saying, shocks, you forgot, you’re an atheist now. I still feel Catholic in the way that I like the traditions like Christmas, some mass songs I love, some prayers I find beautiful because they are written well. I was brought up as a Catholic, so many of the traditions are so ingrained in me that I forget that I’m not Catholic anymore. But of course, in terms of beliefs, it is clear that I no longer share the main beliefs of Catholics.

For my first job application, I think I still wrote Catholic in the application form, but for my second job I wrote Humanist, which is a less known term for atheist. I did those things because I was afraid that I won’t get jobs if I wrote atheist, and why the hell do they ask your religion anyway if discrimination is disallowed?

I am currently in a precarious situation because I am protesting loud sounds coming from the church in our village. They are being played at an abnormally loud volume that even we who are a few streets away can hear it clearly, and worse it is played for 15 minutes twice a day, one very late at night and one near the crack of dawn.

I know there are laws against noise pollution, so I am confident that there is basis for my complaint, and I have raised the issue to the Homeowners Association. But when they asked the inevitable question, “Are you guys Catholic?” My mother, who was with me, said “Yes,” and I didn’t say, “She is, but I am not.”

So in the event that I am directly asked this question, will I answer honestly? Will I pay for my honesty? Will what I am fighting for suddenly be deemed unjustified just because I am an atheist? Will I take the risk and choose to live free?

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Note: For some entries in this blog, a few names and details have been deliberately and willingly changed by the author. This is a personal decision made by the author for specific reasons known to her and is not an endorsement for censorship.

All the opinions expressed in this page and in this blog are my own and do not represent the official stances of the companies, institutions, and organizations that I am affiliated with.

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