I'm a 40 year old graphic designer from deep in the Bible Belt. I was raised by a lapsed Southern Baptist and a lapsed Presbyterian in a community where being Christian and Protestant just meant you were
breathing. The Catholics had been driven out of town by the Methodists,
Baptists and Presbyterians long before I was born. Unlike most of my
friends, I didn't attend church. My mom and dad were both forced to
attend church as kids, every time the doors were open. As a result, when
I and my brother were born, they decided against going to church.
Although my parents still consider themselves Christian, they are
Christian in only the widest of senses.

By the time I hit high school, I considered myself a Deist. By the end of college, I was firmly in the atheist camp.

Living here in the land of raving fundamentalists, I take any opportunity I can get to speak with other like-minded folks. I'm on about a half dozen
atheist, freethought and skeptic forums, and I'm considering starting a
"Skeptics in the Pub" or "Drinking Skeptically" group in my community,
because there just aren't any groups around. The nearest group to me is
almost an hour drive.

To complicate matters, I'm married to a wonderful woman who happens to come from a deeply religious, evangelical Southern Baptist family. She's much more liberal than they are. Think
United Church of Christ. Still, we spend a lot of time with her family,
because they are very close-knit. I find myself biting my tongue clean
off.

I work both freelance and an 8-5 M-F job, both doing design work for advertising. At my company, they still say grace before company-provided meals.

Yeah, I know.

Anyway, I hope to be able to contribute something of worth to the forums. I'll answer any questions and receive condolences now.

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My condolences. I live in anti-Alabama, also known as Massachusetts. Stories like yours might as well be from a different world, let alone a different country. I've been following your Facebook discussion in the Winning Arguments group. It's made me look and join other debate forums where I can beat my head against the wall and just maybe plant a seed of doubt or two.

Thanks, and Welcome to A/N!
Thanks! Yeah, Massachusetts might as well be the Moon. I've traveled a lot, so I do get to see how people live outside the Protestant States of America.
Texas born here, saying welcome welcome to the fold! =D I've also noticed (and followed) your posts in the Winning Arguments group (though I am not a member), and I have to say, Touche!
Thanks! I'm glad that thread has attracted some attention. I've handled my in-laws (outlaws?) with kid gloves, but I feel like I did a decent job of defending my lack of belief and pointing out the holes in their arguments. It's a good exercise.
Oh yes, definitely. =)

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