Hello! In the way of an introduction; I'm so glad to be here. I have explored the site a little and can't believe there are so many members!

As I said in the title, I AM stuck in the closet in the bible belt of Tennessee. I support myself and would suffer at the local level if I came out at this point in my career. It's kinda that risky suffice it to say...

 

That being said; that's why I've joined here. I want a place to come, make friends, meet people, discuss and commiserate, and vent about my situation. If there's anyone on here in Tennessee, please give me a shout. There are a few other people I've met in Memphis/Knoxville/Chattanooga so I know I'm not alone but it's a very small percent: but growing!

 

I happen to be an oddity here. I was brought up in an atheist home and am really grateful to my openminded parents for bringing me up that way..waaaaay back in the 60s and yes, right here in the BIBLE BELT of the south in the good 'ol US of A. Furthermore, if there were anyway to find out exactly how many churches are say in 'my town' I would bet money we beat anywhere else in the country for the number of churches per capita.

 

Anyway; so glad to be here! Looking forward to the forums at the nex!

The website really looks great and has lots of good links to other sites which I love.

I saw some way cool double helix earrings that I just got to have. :)

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The place I grew up, Cullman, Alabama, has always made the same claim. LOL
Man, I'm here to tell you that Buffalo, New York, once full of Polish, Irish, and Italian blue collar workers, has a crapload of churches.  The diocese has had to close dozens of them in the last decade for lack of audiences.

Hey! I recognize that hat!! How are you, god?!! :D

 Churches closing; good thing.

Okay, how do we do this? Go to the city hall of each prospective city? Call the census bureau? I'm very keen to know because I think I'll WIN! Haha!
I'm curious, what profession are you in where your career would suffer if you were known to be an atheist?  I'm an engineer and am happily surrounded by atheists.
I would like to be surrounded by atheists, too, and am trying to achieve that virtually. I am an educator. This is where church and state violations occurr with regularity. I'm in the closet by my choice because I don't want to deal with recrimination and more. There are plenty of stories of which I've heard about having grown up here and being quite familiar with the 'good ole boy' mentality in the bible belt. I am fully supported in my decision to remain this way by other atheists who are familiar with my situation.

I work in a hospital. Same deal.

 

Exactly, if we walked around with atheism on our sleeves like christians wear crosses we would probably be asked to leave. I mean, if we even wanted to have an atheist club like the christian/ bible clubs, we'd get our cars keyed or worse! I just think it's a shame but I don't want to stir up trouble for myself. We have a university near us, and there is no club there for our students but we did start a facebook page which I hope continues to attract the students from campus. (So far we have 2 or 3 university students). I think our numbers will continue to grow.

You're right, Pangea Girl, about educators having to be careful, although science teachers have powerful allies such as the National Council for Science Education (ncse.com).

I follow Americans United (au.org) and of course the ACLU (aclu.org); they are constantly warning school boards against putting religion into public schools. A few school boards ignore the warnings, lose in court and have to pay the winners' legal costs, often as much as several hundred thousand dollars.

 

Dear Tom, Right here in our beloved Tennessee, we have tabled a law that would allow the introduction of the "alternate theories" ID and creationism in public schools. Yes what a sad day it is for us in the country. I hope it hasn't passed. I would love to know how to follow that on the internet. The news outlets aren't reporting. For me, it would be headline news. Does that remind you of something? Ah yes, here are my friends in Knoxville discussing ID in Dover and the resulting lawsuit, as well as a brief history of the Scopes Trial and its result. (hint: 40 something years later...)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7BePGbEtrc&feature=mfu_in_order...

Oh, they're also trying to pass a law that would ban school representatives from using the "gay" word, ever.

Pangea Girl, you won't believe what this lunatic political junkee did. I googled "tennessee legislature" and found its URL: www.capitol.tn.gov

On the main page click on Legislation.

On the next page click on Browse by Subject

On the next page click E (for subjects whose names start with E)

On the next page click Education, Curriculum

On the next page you'll see a long list of bill numbers and short descriptions.

Near the middle of the list are senate and house bills that limit sex education instruction to heterosexuality.

At the bottom of the list are a house bill and a senate bill with all the code words that creationists use when they want to fool judges into thinking a law isn't about evolution.

 

For the sheer hell of it, I registered to be sent actions taken on one of the sex ed bills. I made up a user name, a password and entered my email address. Now I wait and see if I did it right.

When my wife and I lived in Austin, Texas, the schools had a comprehensive sex ed program for the grade she taught. That was before Roe v Wade and before the fundies dreamed up abstinence-only sex ed.

 

Wow! You are the techno/info man! Thanks! Oh dear. I did forget to mention part of the sex ed here is inviting guest speakers who talk about their drug and homosexual past until they were saved by Jesus or God. The students were sitting in the auditorium: a captive audience.

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