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← Coming Out Is Fun

God fearing Atheist's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by God fearing Atheist

As the other Limeys have said, non-religious would appear to be the default position in the UK. I also get the impression it is not a topic for normal chit chat between strangers or acquaintances, so I suspect someone announcing to the world they were an atheist would be considered as boorish as announcing they were a Christian. It just isn't talked about. Having said that, of the twenty odd friends whose religious affiliation I do know, only two are Christian, the rest are agnostic/atheist in a variety of strengths. There is also an Iraqi Muslim in our office who I know about because he kisses the carpet multiple times a day. One of my atheist friends is more inquisitive of peoples' religious affiliation and she says that while most people are not religious on the surface, a surprising number still have hidden hopes of an afterlife, or other "spiritual" leanings. So, people are openly disinterested, organised religion in the UK is a big failure, but many still cherish silly secret hopes.

The term "coming out" seems rather dramatic for the UK situation, or at least for mine. In my experience, someone will make a joke, or a snide comment, about religion in the course of everyday conversation, and mutual knowledge of position will naturally flow as the friendship progresses over the years. I'm not sure how far knowledge of my atheism extends from my circle of friends into my circle of acquaintances, but to misquote an English King - "Those who know, don't mind, and those who don't know, don't matter".

I'm not sure what I'd do if I was living in Jesus Land, USA. I'm just glad I'm not!

Sun, 25 Sep 2011 17:39:30 UTC | #875047