I have lived in the bible belt all my life. Since my decision to become an atheist, I have had several discussions with people, My age and younger about their beliefs.

I am surprised that MANY (almost all) of the people who are brought up with religion, weather they are currently going to church or not, realize that there are alternatives.

Most believe it their current denomination a couple other christian denominations and usually the "wrong religions"... like Hindu and Muslim.

When I try to explain agnostic, atheist or even pantheist they will usually end the discussion.

Anyone else have this situation or am I on my own...

If you have had this... how did you handle it?

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Come to a major city, man.  The Triangle and Charlotte are full of atheists.  Almost my entire I.T. department is.  The Triad is a little less liberal than the other major urban areas, but still better than being out in the middle of nowhere.
Also, you should work on your terminology a bit.  Did you really decide to become an atheist?  At most, I'd say that most of us realize we're atheists ... that we're unconvinced by theistic claims.  You were probably an atheist long before you adopted the label.  It's just a matter of acceptance.

I would have to say it was a decision... I was a bible belt thumper for close to 5 years. Prior to that I was more of an agnostic.

My "conversion" to the christian faith was very dramatic. After 5 years of it it was hard to accept the fact that I was wrong.

I felt foolish for ever believing, however my emotional ties to the "story" were very real.

It took me some time to finally say.. I have been a fool... but no more.

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