Last night we had several very good friends over for dinner, all of whom are devoted and conscientious participants in various forms of Christianity. During the course of a wonderful evening of food and conversation, I was talking with a woman who’s the mom of two sons: one in college, one in high school. Speaking of her older son, she mentioned that with regard to his relationships, she was pleased that in each case he’d chosen a “good, intelligent, Christian girl.”
I was, of course, happy that she was happy. At the same time, I found myself uncomfortable with articulating my immediate thoughts regarding my happiness with my daughter’s current boyfriend: I’m extremely pleased that she’s chosen a good, intelligent, atheist boy.
In the last couple of years I’ve overcome my hesitation about voicing my lack of religious faith; I’m ready and willing to reveal my atheism and discuss it with anyone if the topic arises. But for some reason, in this context, with this particular friend, I was overcome by my old unwillingness to state something that I knew she’d find shocking and, perhaps, incomprehensible.
Today I wish I’d spoken up, not to shock my friend, but in the interest of promoting awareness. Yup, I’m an atheist, and so is my daughter, and so is her boyfriend — and so are a lot of other people. With Huckabee and Romney leading the Republican pack, I need to be part of spreading the word that America is not a Christian Nation.