Where in IL is everyone located? What do you do to keep from going crazy here?

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I suppose I'll answer this as well because I just joined. I'm all the way out in the boonies. I literally live between two villiages with populations under 250. The two I grew up in, about 15 miles from where I live now, had five churches which were positioned quite near one another and were only ever separated by a bar. All this in a town with only 1400 people. It was nearly enough to drive me up the wall if I hadn't stumbled across several people my own age that were also either agnostic or atheist. Mostly, though, I just rolled my eyes and tried to learn about religion so I could keep with debates. Didn't take long to learn that most of them cherry-picked and didn't really even know anything about their own religion. Thus a history major was born lol.

To maintain sanity I write, read, and keep my headphones on unless it is absolutely necessary that I remove them. I search desperately for like minded people. I go to a community college and it is very difficult sometimes to talk in class because some people aren't so accepting. However, I'm starting to find people that actually are accepting and that softens the blows.
Quincy - I like to focus on my job (juvenile corrections), spend time with my family, play lots of hockey, watch lots of movies, and smoke cigars whenever possible.
The Quad Cities (Moline-Davenport...). Religion seems to be a pretty common thing here. Just bought the Portable Atheist (Hitchens). I will see if that raises some eyebrows or starts some conversations!
I live in Moline, which is located in the Quad cities right next to the Mississippi river where it runs almost horizontally. I am an honors student at Moline high school in my junior year. I plan to study Physics in college.
Im Smack dab in the middle of the land o' Lincoln, in a little place called Christian County.

I believe in time,
matter, and energy,
which make up the whole of the world.

I believe in reason, evidence and the human mind,
the only tools we have;
they are the product of natural forces
in a majestic but impersonal universe,
grander and richer than we can imagine,
a source of endless opportunities for discovery.

I believe in the power of doubt;
I do not seek out reassurances,
but embrace the question,
and strive to challenge my own beliefs.

I accept human mortality.

We have but one life,
brief and full of struggle,
leavened with love and community,
learning and exploration,
beauty and the creation of
new life, new art, and new ideas.

I rejoice in this life that I have,
and in the grandeur of a world that preceded me,
and an earth that will abide without me.
- P.Z. Myers

I saw this today, and it makes me happy to read, so i thought id share.
Isn't Taylorville in Christian county.
I am in Waukegan. I keep busy working and going to school online, both full time. What keeps me from going mad is the idea that, better REAL late than never, several years from now I will have a degree, and finally be qualified for a much better paying job than admin work...and get to move back to New England some day. No offense to Illinois -- I'd be homeless if it weren't for the employment opportunities I relocated out here for -- but I really miss shellfish and hills. My home state is Mass., but I don't care for life there any more, for many reasons. Maine is probably a better fit for me, I want something less populated. Hah, which is certainly not why I am here in Waukegan in an apartment complex with over 400 units (pretty much all believers). HELP ME! Just kidding, I've lived many places, this is actually one of the better...people are fairly polite here, only once have the Baptist recruiters knocked on my door.

I have one boss who makes statements concerning things such as how only those who have found Jesus will be going to heaven. I bet he doesn't share these tiny thoughts with the company owner, who happens to be Jewish (and who thinks I'm a practicing Jew). My last name isn't exactly a Christian giveaway, so it's hard to tell just what level of insensitivity my boss functions on. I have told no one where I work about my atheism. Although I've been really up front about it in the past (in Massachusets), frankly I haven't felt so secure out here that I want my employers to know this about me. I just nod my head and don't say anything when they make comments that assume I have religion, but feel like such a coward doing this.

I am glad to have found this forum. I need an outlet for honesty.
hey, i'm also in waukegan, but i moved out here in june from boston, but i'm originally from NH. i came out here originally a year ago for a change of pace, but i stayed for my husband, tho without him i'd move back for sure. :)

i've had a different experience out here, most of the people i've met are athiests or accepting of. my husband's parents are extremely catholic, but they've been good about my not joining them for prayer or church.

i miss the mountains out east :(
I live in Chicago Heights. It's to late for me. I think I have already gone crazy.
Dispraxis writes: I live in Crystal Lake, a stone's throw from Huntley, IL, married 25 years with twin sons, and live a normal family life. I have no personal problem with religious people, who cross my path mainly via relatives, and I spend a great deal of time on the Internet, slowly making e-friends of all sorts, writing, reading, and learning, which is how I cope. I am naturally rational, reasonable and tolerant, formerly Roman Catholic, and have only lived here for 2 years, foregoing my Indiana citizenship, although I've lived and worked in various places, including MI and WI, though I'm adopted and am originally from ND. For some strange reason I consider myself an atheist historical, biblical and text critical amateur scholar, an interest that began probably around 1975, and am talented in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic. I am a freelance consultant in several computer-related areas, including Biblical translations, varied research for a few published authors, etc., which keeps me busy as well. I'm just glad to be here. Luckily, I'd say that people around the lake are not fanatical in any set of beliefs, and there are many shades of opinion likely to come up fairly regularly. The lake is very nice to swim in, and you meet all kinds of people at community gatherings. My approach to others in non-confrontational, and I feel satisfied only to engage them within their own frame of reference, and when (not if) they question something, no matter how trivial, or doubt, or just think that something else is reasonable other than their programming, I am pleased, I stopped feeling offended by any failure in these areas long ago, always respecting others as entitled to their way of thinking. I'm not a militant atheist, and I consider it my own personal choice, and business, unless I feel the need to add to the general discussions that globally take place in cyberspace. I have no fear about signing my real name to anything I make public. Thank you all for making your voice available to enrich these web pages! -John F. Felix
I am in Springfield Illinois. I am a 32 year old student.

To keep myself from going crazy, I focus on pushing through my daily goals- and dream about reaching my long term goals.
Down here in Southern Illinois. Correctional employee.

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