Thanks to all who replied to my Atheists: Get Out of the Damned Closet! blog. I truly appreciate the thoughtful stories and reflections everyone contributed. vjack's blog from a year ago seems to be prototypical of what everyone feels.
I'm somewhat disappointed, but not exactly surprised, that most replies were about discrimination and fear of reprisal. The Intolerance Meme is clearly alive and well in America. We don't hang 'em, burn 'em at the stake, or throw 'em in the river any more, so I guess that's progress, but we have a long way to go before Atheists aren't an oppressed minority.
One misperception I'd like to correct: Several writers hinted that I was a bit naïve to suggest anyone could do what I did. But in fact, I understand that many Atheist bloggers can't "come out." It was relatively easy for me – my customers are scientists, and my friends and family are mostly atheists or agnostics and are tolerant, open-minded people. I understand that for some, it's just not realistic.
Yet ... I find it hard to believe that only 20% of Atheist bloggers can blog without fear.
So I reiterate my challenge: Get Out of the Closet If You Can! It's important. And no, it's not risk free, but ending discrimination never is. Women's suffrage, civil rights for people of color, gay rights, these things never would have happened if some of the oppressed hadn't taken a chance. And the more who do, the faster the momentum builds. If those of us who face less of a risk keep hiding, the discrimination will never end.