How do you handle the disappointed looks and guilt trips that people give you when you say (or they find out) you're a non believer?
I guess I'm just weird because this has never been a problem for me.
The closest I ever came was that my older brother, who is still a fundamentalist, asked me point blank if I didn't believe in god anymore. I said no. He said that's too bad. And never brought it up again and did not treat me differently. He's an unusual fundamentalist -- belongs to a fairly diverse inner-city church for example which is rare in fundamentalism which is normally suburban,rural and very white. He's also a
slum lord -- er, Section 8 landlord -- and deals with gritty reality of poor people's lives and so is far more "street" and not as naive and bubble-ized as most fundies. I would say that the way we were raised (unconditional love from our parents) means we were protected from the most unsavory qualities of fundamentalism.
Beyond that, I deconverted well into adulthood, and never lived in the Bible Belt.
I remind them that in our country people are allowed to believe or not believe anything they want. Say for instance you wanna have an imaginary friend in the sky who you think controls your life rather than taking responsibility for the choices and actions you have chosen. Well then do you boo but stop telling me I have to do the same. 💁
I feel no shame or guilt in being a non-believer. What irks me is when people of faith think that I can be "sold on" their beliefs, like I am undecided on religion. Which always reminds me of this quote:
"As a philosopher, if I were speaking to a purely philosophic audience I should say that I ought to describe myself as an Agnostic, because I do not think that there is a conclusive argument by which one can prove that there is not a God.
On the other hand, if I am to convey the right impression to the ordinary man in the street I think I ought to say that I am an Atheist, because when I say that I cannot prove that there is not a God, I ought to add equally that I cannot prove that there are not the Homeric gods."
Bertrand Russell, Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic?, 1947