Speaking Your Mind vs. Holding Back

I’m sure you’ve heard, “there’s a time and place”, said at some point but I’m pretty sure people mean, “never and not here”, when it comes to my atheism. I retreat to my closet.

Here come the good Christians with their steamrollers. Why is my (dis)belief so offensive that you feel the need to squash it?

I hold back way more than speak my mind. I wish it wasn’t that way but unfortunately, I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I know there are others in the same boat.


7 Reasons I Don’t Speak Up


  1. to avoid confrontation
  2. so I don’t have to explain myself
  3. because we still have to work together and I don’t want it to be awkward
  4. to avoid discrimination
  5. so I can survive Thanksgiving dinner
  6. because you won’t take me seriously
  7. because I was told not to


I know it’s necessary to speak up to help others and I feel this blog is giving me that opportunity. I just wish I felt more comfortable being open in my everyday life living and working in Toledo.


How about you – do you hold back or speak your mind?


  1. publicola says

    It’s nobody’s business what I believe, and it’s none of my business what others believe. I come from New England where no one asks you about your religion. If somebody dislikes me for some reason, who cares? It’s no skin off my nose! I refuse to give them that power over me. We have no obligation to tell anyone our private lives. In fact, most people reveal way too much about themselves. Remain strong within yourself, and when you find someone you feel you can trust not to judge you, then maybe you can share. Good Luck.

  2. suttkus says

    “No God, no peace. Know God, know peace.”

    The fundamental pretense of religion is that you NEED it. Without a religion, you have no purpose, no morality, no chance at happiness. Existing without religion and not being an amoral unhappy mess points to the central lie of religion definitively and absolutely. Existing publicly without religion and not being an obvious amoral mess is a threat, a corrupting message, a fundamental slap in the face to their most central presupposition.

    How dare you!

  3. TGAP Dad says

    I (now, at least) see the “time and place” admonition as another variation by which to suppress minority voices. Colin Kaepernick was told to “shut up and play.” Muhammad Ali was told to shut up and fight. School children are told to stand and recite. As for me and my immediate family, we practice our disbelief openly, and candidly explain when queried. My wife, raised in a devout catholic household, will still bow her head patiently when we attend her extended family holiday gatherings, but neither our kids (now grown) nor I ever did.
    Lately, when my wife and I are out on the weekend, we seem to be getting approached by panhandlers in whatever cheap place we’ve stopped for a bite, and almost always with religious infusions. I’ve taken to shutting those down by interjecting the inappropriate co-opting of religion into an interaction with someone who may not share that belief. So far, that’s been sufficient to shut it down.

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