As Atheists and non-believers in general, we each have our individual & unique stories of how we came to be such.
It is said that we are all born Atheists insomuch as none of us are born with an inherent belief in any deity. All belief is learned though outside means and then intepreted inside one’s mind. It is then up to each individual whether or not to keep these beliefs to themselves, or expose this interpretation to others. And in doing so we either find acceptance, or we open ourselves up to the possible scrutiny and judgement of those who do not accept our choices. Friends, family, co-workers, and society at large all have their personal views on how to react & behave towards each individual’s belief system.
This makes “coming out” about certain things that we feel may not be “accepted” by those that matter to us difficult at times. Be it one’s sexual orientation, one’s political views, one’s cultural views, or where you stand on a variety of issues. But there is one issue in general in this 21st century that seems to be the most difficult for some to admit…where do you stand on the subject of religion?
For Atheists, the most “distrusted & feared” minority in America, the answer to this question can be as easy as just admitting you are an Atheist, but far too often it is as difficult as feeling the need to remain “closeted” for fear of reprisal, chastisement, discrimination, and literally exile by those that supposedly love & care about you. In many parts of this great nation even in this day and age, there are those that feel they can not be who they are because they fear the repercussions of “coming out”.
This is a travesty…and we would like your help to help those that also want to be…FREE!
We would like as many of you as possible to write us your story. We would like to hear all your “coming out” stories about how you finally decided to admit to the world that you are an Atheist, and are proud of it! We would like to see as many testaments to the freedom that admitting your Atheism has brought you in the hope that not only others will read your stories and feel comfortable enough to take that step, but our hope too is to also let those who “distrust & fear” us be enlightened to the fact that we are good people just like they.
We have families, we have jobs, we are productive members of our community…just like theists and people of all beliefs and we deserve to be treated as such, as well as be just as accepted for who we are as much as any other positive member of society.
So please, send us your story on how YOU became free. Share your story and help others feel comfortable enough to finally take that step and to let others know they are NOT alone and that there are others out there like us willing to help. Let them know we are here to make them feel welcome, comfortable, & respected.
Let them know they have a home and people who care about them, and help us make this world a better place where all good people can feel comfortable in their beliefs.
SEND US YOUR STORY! EVERYONE’S STORY IS WELCOME!!!
All stories will be read & considered for publication. Sending us your story and picture gives us permission to use it for publication. Depending on the number received, all may not be used & content may be edited due to limited space. The “Free” Campaign will be published once completed and posted to our website among other places. And we look forward to reading all of your interesting, enlightening, and moving stories! I have begun a group where you can check out the stories at http://www.facebook.com/groups/246962185398697/.
Send your story along with a photograph to Flash.Kellish@usanap.org
Bernard “Flash” Kellish
Treasurer, Executive Board member, & Fundraising Chair