Hi, I live the beautiful Caribbean island of Jamaica. White sands, turquoise seas, exotic birds and fauna, beautiful people, we are fortunate people. But as we all know, having too much of something is a bad think; and when you're an atheist living in country with the most churches per square mile on earth, it sometimes feels like a nightmare! EVERYWHERE you go there's a church, or a religious gathering. In the tiny community of Windsor Castle where I live, there are more than 5 churches within a 1 mile radius of my home. And many times at night, I hear church services (better known as conventions) blasting the noises they call preaching or gospel music. As a light sleeper it drives me crazy!!! Cause it keeps me up (and I mean well after midnight). And as if the loud churches and street gatherings weren't enough, when you're on the JUTC buses in Kingston, chances are, you'll come across someone 'preaching/singing the gospel' to the passengers (then asking for money of course), even though preaching on buses, IS BANNED!
I'd like to hear your take on what you think it would be like for you to live in such a wildly religious country.
Although you live in Jamaica, it sounds as if you have something in common with Refugees from the Bible Belt.
I second Ruth's comment. I'd bet that here in the US Southeast we have more churches per capita, or at least a greater proportion of churchgoers. A majority around here actually think that it's incumbent upon the US to foment middle east wars to bring about biblically prophesied end times. I can sleep through all the church bells if I have to, but that kind of "thinking" keeps me awake at night.
There are a lot of churches here too - why is there one on every corner? Why so many? I always ask that - and nothing changes - obviously all those churches are just wasted space.
There are a lot of churches in this area but it's such a large area, milage wise, they're not close together. All inhabitants seem to belong to one or another of them. Most are Church of God. Some Baptist. Most are nearly empty during services. There are so many here because when the flock have a biblical disagreement nothing short of leaving the original church, and beginning your own, will resolve it. I lived in a town of 2,000 and had six or seven churches in a two block radius. Short blocks at that.
ok seriously now? I used to live in a building near a church that played hymns through their tower 24/7. although it wasn't loud enough to hear indoors myself and a few other people in the neighborhood made a noise complaint and they had to stop.
Otherwise, you just have to move. If such things don't bother the majority and there isn't a fundamental human rights issue you either have to tolerate it or move somewhere else.
That sounds awful. Living in a beautiful place, and not being able to sleep because of the noise-pollution! I would wear ear-plugs, like Ruth advises, but it would be nice if you could just hear the quiet of the night!
Two to-be-remembered-all-my-life events in Jamaica:
About 45 years ago my wife and I visited the island. Being night people, we enjoyed the late-evening steel drum music, which I assumed was party music. I'd been agnostic for ten years; religion played no part in my life.
We took a tour bus trip to the famous waterfalls and on the way saw signs warning of road repair work ahead. The first two signs, like those I seen often, stated the distance to the work area. The third and final sign was memorable; it read "You have been warned!"
What would happen if you told people you're an atheist?
Here in the USofA, most people I know ignore my atheism. One teases me, saying I will return when I'm near death. A very few xians have seen my atheism as almost a personal insult. I ignore what might be refusals to make eye contact when I see them.
A few days ago I announced to my Toastmasters club that I will give a talk on the six kinds of atheists. A few are curious; no one reacted negatively.
Cool Tom! Let us know how the talk to the Toastmasters Club goes! I'd love to hear what, if any, the reactions were!
Thanks. I'll save your email as a pointer to your post so I can reply.