I live in NE Kentucky and also homeschooling my 15 year old son. It's very lonely at times as I literally go out about once a week to the supermarket with my MIL (with whom DH, DH and I live until my residency comes through and I can get a job so we can MOVE), every second Monday evening to DH's paternal grandparents' place so I can make dinner for everyone - his maternal grandmother sometimes attends as well. Then we might go to a movie once every two months.
We are in a VERY Christian community where the only things to do are church-based, apart from baseball. DH swims but there is nowhere to swim within an hour's drive (we cannot afford YMCA fees and they don't have casual swim sessions anyway there).
So yeah, I am feeling isolated and it really gets to me at times.
I can relate to your feelings, and I live in California, which is considered a more open and accepting place. I don't know any atheists, either, just a few people who call themselves "nonreligious" but who don't declare themselves to be atheists (or who are just chicken to use the term). I have thought about checking out some of the local freethinker groups, but honestly, I would rather meet and hang out with people who share my interest in cycling, yoga, golf, and books.
You might want to check out some of the Kentucky groups on A/N—go to "Groups" and search for Kentucky. Looks like there are a few groups in the Bluegrass State. Who knows, just stepping up to the plate and introducing yourself could be the first step on a path that contains more than you ever imagined.
That does sound isolating, but you'll be *moving* eventually, lucky you!!
What sucks is that church has a stranglehold on everything social. There are definitely loads of other atheists out there, only they're stuck with the church-or-nothing option when it comes to interacting with their community.
I also feel there are tons of "latent" atheists out there as well- people who just never thought out-of-the-box, but if they questioned their beliefs, would probably end up as atheists as well. Chances are, most people go along with the God concept our of superstition and lack of options. This is why I've considered joining our local church and changing things from within.
You could always start your own atheist group, maybe a Sunday school where kids could learn about other religions, or just life skills like how finances work, how to be moral (from the secular perspective), the importance of fixing pets, etc.
I live in a very liberal city, yet I'm still surrounded by christians at work. I'm no longer quiet about it, though, and if one of them brings up their church-related activities, they hear my honest opinions (but THEY have to bring it up first, I never do.)
Thanks for the responses, everyone. Good to know there are others 'out there'!
Yes, I will be moving - once my residency finally comes through and I get a job that is AWAY from here. LOL
If you have a Facebook page, there are hundreds of Atheist groups to 'like' and/or join. When in your facebook site, search for: kentucky atheist or kentucky humanist or consider starting a yahoo meetup group that you oversee a weekly meeting at a public coffee shop. Be aware that religious activists (i.e. dangerous and violent in the 'name-of-god') often toll non-theists groups and can infiltrate meetings and/or follow non-theist meeting attendees to their homes. A lot of non-theists are 'closeted' because of possible retaliations. You might consider starting a faux (no personal information) facebook page or other social media page to better connect with fellow non-theists yet protect your identity and safety....ESPECIALLY if you're a female!
This post got me thinking, so I found a local atheist group and joined through Meetup. The first get-together I'm attending is a casual picnic in a few weeks, so I'm looking forward to meeting some like-minded people and maybe making some new friends. Here's hoping that there are a few golfers in the group I've joined, or at the very least some people who appreciate my baking skills or my ability to quote famous poems.
It can be intimidating to just take the plunge into a new social situation, but when things work out, it's just like plunging into a swimming pool—there's the initial shock of cool water enveloping the body, and then before you know it, you are comfortable and feel as if you could spend all day floating around without a care in the world.
I went to a get-together for local atheists last weekend and had a great time. It was a little awkward meeting new people at first, but everyone was really welcoming and we shared quite a few laughs. I found the group through meetup.com, and there's a pretty active calendar in my area. It may take a while to really get to know more people and find others who have similar interests, but so far it's a nice start.
I checked out meetup.com to see if there were atheist groups in places such as Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I lived for a few years when I was younger. Turns out that there's a pretty sizable group in the area. I sure wish I had that kind of support 15 or 20 years ago. Better late than never, eh?
I know that situation really sucks. I'm in a small town and the only other atheist I've found around here is the young guy building the apartment units next door. Discovered accidentally, I think our common belief is why we get along so well, and his wife is a theist.
Hang in there because you will be moving soon. It sounds like a lot of this might involve Homeland Security the way I read it, and HS moves at their own pace with everything documented. They are slow but efficient.
Hello Fiona, here are two links to atheist/freethinker groups in Ky. Hope this helps
Thanks, John. Unfortunately, we're about two hours' drive away from Lexington and 2.5 hours' from Louisville. So a no-go, I am afraid.
I hear you. I live in a town that is also very religious and the religious people who live here tend to be the crazy kind. The worse part is if I had enough money, I could move to a town only a couple of hours away from here and not be in this predicament. I don't have enough money. Or enough health. I often think of a song Bette Midler sang: "Only in Miami is Cuba so far away."
Yesterday, I went into two stores. The proprietor of one store was "interpreting" the passage in the bible where Jesus tells his followers to turn the other cheek. I was too busy trying to tune her out, so I didn't hear her interpretation. Basically, I don't give a shit. The other store had a Christian message on full display in the window. A normal day out on the town is being constantly subjected to religious and right-wing bullshit.
You are in the middle of a vast sea of such people. And it's sofa king hard. :( I don't have any advice for you. I'm not really the best person from whom to receive advice right now, anyway. All I can say is I am sorry you feel so isolated and that at least here you are not alone. There are many here who feel as if they are swimming in a sea of Christian pod people. I am one of them. Right now I really need a life preserver, but there's nothing but me and the sea. Maybe this place can function as a life preserver for both of us for awhile.
Any atheist-type groups near you on meetup.com?