6 Things to Do If Someone Comes Out to You as Atheist

I’ve come out as atheist to college friends, two of my sisters and their husbands, and my parents. All of them were, and are, Christian, but even so, every conversation went differently. Most of these coming-out stories are documented here, and in the big picture, they went alright. They certainly could have gone much worse, but at the same time, I would not want to ever relive that time in my life. I had a list in my head of who knew and who didn’t know, and once I told someone and had that weight lifted, it was only so long until I would have to tell the next person.

If someone you know has just told you that they’re an atheist, just know that it was probably at least just as hard for them as it is for you. But there are a few things you can do that will make this time easier for everyone.

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When Indoctrination Fails

My church had the same pastor from the time that I was about thirteen to the time I was about nineteen. Having bigger things than religion and atheism and the afterlife to worry about as a teenager, I didn’t realize it at the time, but this man really passionately believed and taught the opposite of everything I believe. He is the type that refers to atheists as if they are a group only to be fought with and not a group to make amends with; the type that believes that gays have no place in church and that to be transgender is to be mentally ill; the type who shares a lot of Matt Walsh posts on Facebook. You know the type. Unfortunately.

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