17 year old Atheist living in Borger, Texas, just to give you a little background, a town with 3 churches in a 2 block radius of the High school, and many many many more churches in the town. Both of my parents are Christians, and know of my atheism, and have accepted it for the most part, even though they still think it is a phase, even though it has lasted from when I was around 14 and has just grown stronger with each year.

Ok, so last year I moved with my family in the the Texas Panhandle, a place smack dab in the middle of the bible belt. Before this, we had lived in the Austin region (just south of Austin in a little town called Bastrop to be specific). So, the move was a big change. I have always lived with a principle of honesty, so when people here asked me what my religion was, as of course they would, I always answer that I am an atheist. In refusing to lie about who I am, I've actually inspired about 10-20 other kids in the school to be honest about their atheism, and I've created a small group of sorts. Now, I'm always careful that I don't mention the atheism thing around my parents work because I know for certain that it would have adverse affects. I've had people show up at my house to talk to me, and once me and some of my atheist friends invited over some Mormons to talk(we each got a free book of Mormon out of it, yayyy). I have been threatened with violence on a couple of occasions, but luckily, they backed off when I stood up for myself.

My mother was actually afraid when I signed up for Atheist Nexus. I'm not completely sure, but I'm pretty sure that she thinks I worship demons.

So mostly, I just wanted to hear the experiences of other people living as an Atheist in the Bible belt. I know my experiences are relatively good, compared to some of the horror stories I hear from other people. So yeah.... Please share

Mahalo
(I've found that saying good-bye in Hawaiian is the most innocuous parting statement I've found... Getting rid of the whole "God be with you" associated with Good-Bye... ok, I really should wrap it up now...)

Tags: Belt, Bible, Intolerance, Life, Religious, an, as, athiest

Views: 377

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I live in central Texas, so most of the people aren't as bad as they are in other parts, especially because of the influence Austin has even on San Antonio.

I don't have any horror stories of being threatened or anything. Just more that people are very surprised that I'm not a believer. Maybe it's because I come across as a good girl, and that is somehow representative of their faith.
Sounds like you're doing your part to educate people over there. The backlash is just ignorance, and average people too lazy or scared to really think about the world. I keep to myself so i haven't really had any serious situations. I've had plenty of jobs working in groups, and it's hard to escape religion, and that may be why i find myself working alone, outside. I have alot of elderly customers, and I'm sure they'd have a hard time understanding my position. People down here immediately get defensive when they encounter something different. Before this house, i lived next door to an old baptist man. He noticed that i didn't go to church on Sunday. He kept trying to get answers out of me when he saw me, but i always got out of it. His questions were along the lines of "why didn't i attend church", but i'm sure that it never crossed his mind that i didn't even believe. I think he would have short circuited if I told him. Certain situations are good for discussing religion, but if you've lived down here for a while, sometimes it just works to avoid it. I want to talk to my nephew about the whole subject. We were talking about ghost shows or something at a family gathering, and he said that he doesn't believe anything he can't see. I want to ask him some questions, but if my sister found out, she wouldn't be too happy at all.
People around me (Griffin Ga) are usually surprised to learn that I am an atheist as if they expect me to be christian. I even had a guy in a bar want to fight me when he learned of it. (actually he wanted to fight anyone who would cater) He said "go worship your devil". I just said I don't believe in the devil either. His look was as if he totally didn't expect that response out of me. We didn't fight but he exposed his ignorance (and many other's) opinion of atheism. For the most part people are still welcoming of my friendship despite my beliefs.
Cool! I was just glad to hear from other people
I live in Soddy Daisy Tennessee. I go to a school where 98% of the students are hardcore Christians. I will never, ever, hide myself from my school. However, I have to constantly defend myself, from both verbal attacks AND physical attacks. And the worst part is? If I tell the resource officer, or the principal, they call me a liar and say "those kids are nothing but good."

But I've decided I'd rather take a beating and stand up for human rights and sudent rights than sit back and have religion forced down my throat. At the moment, I am trying as hard as I can to rally up support from atheist organizations in the area to stop the school's prayer at graduation. This year, I'm graduating, and I just found out they let the salutatorian lead a public prayer DURING graduation. Not before. It's not optional. If you are graduating, you have to sit through this violation of human rights, or you don't get to go through graduation at all.

I've brought this up to the principal, and quoted several court cases to support myself, and he ignored me. I brought it up to the ACLU, but they wouldn't help me because I was underage and couldn't get my parents to support me. My parents refuse to support me on these matters, but I don't think that my parents should be any reason for me not to be allowed to have the same human rights granted to every individual.

Living in the bible belt is hard. Living in a place where you are persecuted, violated, and assaulted because you have a difference of opinion is hard. It's wrong. I would love to leave, and live in a place with nothing BUT atheists. But, seeing as that won't happen, I suppose I just have to stand up for myself and my fellow non-theists and atheists, and help to change this world, even if it's one school at a time.
I am also a smalltown Texas atheist since young teenhood. I graduated in a class of 26 people just to give you an idea of how small my smalltown is. I think the total amount of athiests were about 2 when I started high school and eventually crawled to 3 when I converted my highschool sweetheart from catholocism. Nobody ever tried to pick an honest fight with me about it, and I didn't talk about it with anyone because there were always much more important exciting things to talk about like anime and Terry Goodkind, but I did get passive agressived a few times.
One time a girl told the principle that I had been making bomb threats and also that I had bomb making materials.
Who do you think they believed? The girl who went to bible camp every summer, or the open and out atheist who listened to heavy metal? Ha. Every year this would happen, and every year I got the same speach about how so-n-so is a Good Girl(tm) and she wouldn't lie about these kinds of things, so just to be sure I had better have a week of in school suspension so that I didn't hurt myself or others *big eyeroll*

Now that I'm a grownup I get a lot more death threats for my Gandhi bumper sticker, my veganism, and my hair than my atheism.
I have to use this, it sounds cool > "but I did get passive agressived a few times" :) .. To Alixanderia, record video of this stuff, and send it ffrf.org.
I live in south texas. but i haven't told anybody yet except my parents, but we haven't really talked about it or anything really.but it seems that most people at my school are christan. I do know that at my school their are real rednecks. you know the kind of country that can take apart and build together tractor. who are , bigoted, and christan. if somebody asks i will tell them other wise i keep it to myself. So good luck and NO GOD BLESS. :)
I am an atheist in West Virginia where there is a bar for every church. *rolleyes* My husband and I neither drink nor smoke nor rent pornography from the local video stores. Since my husband has been trying to start business and it would be detrimental to his business if people knew, so we try to keep it under our hats. Our "puritan" lifestyle is almost never perceived as what it is - a health choice, but as dedication to the Man in the Sky. Therefore, we are often mistaken as ministers! A thing we both find hilarious. (Because of course, the real ministers are in the bars!) LOL

However, one time, I was upset about discrimination against atheists and let slip that I was an atheist in a crowded restaurant. You could have heard a pin drop. The next day, a popular church put up a sign, "God loves you whether you like it or not." I asked my husband, "Is that a threat?" and we both had a good laugh.
I live about 3 hours south of Borger in a small Texas town of 10,000 in which there's about one church for every 10 citizens (OK, so I exaggerate only a little...). My basic philosophy on religion is "to each his/her own." As long as it doesn't impede my lifestyle, then I could not care less about who or what others worship - or don't worship.

I don't wear my non-belief on my sleeve - I prefer to keep my beliefs private, as I would having nothing to gain and perhaps some to lose by being vocal about my non-belief in a small-town environment. On the very rare occasions I've been asked which church I attend, I say none right now. And that's usually the end of it - no harm done.

I dislike the negative stereotypes of life in a small town. Sure, like any place, it has its downsides, but it's also a fine place to live freely and raise a family with room to roam, low crime, clean air, cheap living, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and helpful, friendly people. Another upside for me is that Sunday morning is a great time to go to the supermarket, the gas pumps, or a bike ride. With so many folks in church, I have the town to myself!
I am an open atheist living in Hempstead, Texas.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

 

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service