About a month ago (from this post), my daughter plainly and flatly told her older cousin that we simply don't believe in god in our household.
At first, I got rather worried, but then I came to the realization that her cousin (my niece) probably won't make a stink of it. And so far-- she hasn't.
However, that incident forced the question of whether remaining a closeted atheist has any real benefit.
Summer vacation began and my kids started spending their days at my mom's house. The kids surprised my wife and me one evening by telling us that my mother was trying to make them memorize bible versus.
Now, we're strongly considering putting them in a secular summer program. But, something like that will be hard to find in Jesusland and we don't have tons of cash to spend on summer camp.
The question of whether remaining a closeted atheist comes up again. My wife becomes a bit flustered about having to hide what we really feel; I worry about how sick my seventy-four year old mother will become if we told her. I worry about how our relationship could fall apart just near the end of her life.
Then, both my mother and mother-in-law start really putting social pressure on us to come to church-- at least for Father's day. We didn't make Mother's day . . . my mother-in-law was quite cross. There was no gift, gesture, or convenience that made up for our missing church. Her daughters skipped church to cook her an amazing meal to eat after church service. She almost didn't come over to enjoy it out of disappointment at our absence from service.
And again-- we wonder if staying in the closet is even worth it.
I grow tired of the default expectation that everyone is a Christian. I grow tired of people compelling us to participate in an activity that-- for me-- feels like a waste of time.
I don't want to make other people stop being a Christian-- I just want them to stop trying to make me into one. Ah . . . but there's the problem. The very nature of being a Christian for many believers, is to faithfully spread the Gospel. These ideas are not mutually exclusive and poses a difficult problem for those who want to simply be left alone.
I'm at my wits' end.