Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Are you "in" or "out"?
Recently, Slate.com ran an article by Julian Baggini called "Atheism in America: Why won't the U.S. accept its atheists?" (It looks like the article has since disappeared from Slate, but is now available at richarddawkins.net.) It described the prevailing attitudes of society as they relate to atheists. The author interviewed several atheists in the Bible Belt who described being ostracized and isolated by family and friends when they "came out" as atheists. The similarity to the struggles of gays and lesbians was pretty striking.
So what do you think? Is it better to be "out" or "in"? I'm out to some and in to others, but at this point I tend to avoid the topic unless I know it's safe - where safe means I can be sure to remain in to family who would be heartbroken or angry and to those who I fear would be able to discriminate against me.