I Feel Almost Like A Cheat.I happened to be lucky in respects to being born to a secular family who already were at best lapsed Catholics to full on Secular Humanists. I've heard the horror stories from my fellow brothers and sisters and my heart goes out to each and every one of you.
I Am An Atheist, but that's like saying a plank on a political platform and not stating what party you belong to. I am a Secular Humanist, one of the side benefits is that I also happen to be an Atheist, a Freethinker, and generally a person who has to think out the big issues because I don't have a book to just tell me, holy or otherwise.
Although I was raised in a secular home, it took a while for me to come to my status. Like the rest of you I grew into my position but I didn't have the backlash of religious family aspects close to home. Sure I had the social stigma of it I live in Texas after all and not in the completely sane areas either.
Too Answer some question posed (which inspired my story to begin with)
1) Does Being An Athiest Make You Happy?
No more or less it does for another person who has chosen a different path.
2) Does being an Athiest serve you?
I like to think it does. Although it doesn't give me an answer, it does allow me to pose the question and then find out for myself.
3) Does it give you a feeling of contentment in life?
No, it makes me hungry for knowledge for my questions to be answered and that is fun.
4) Does it reduce your suffering?
No, but it doesn't need to.
5) Does it help you relate to others?
Here on the Internet - I like to think it does. However out in the area I live in I feel more and more like an outcast. Again, I don't need to be comfortable.