"Don, I'm lucky that I work in a pretty mainstream school, at least where religion is concerned. "Mainstream" meaning there's a good mix of faiths - I even had a student this year (5th grader) who claimed (very bravely, I might…"
"Excellent, Marci. You must be a wonderful teacher. That's exactly how I hope I would handle such a situation. A grade-school teacher must have to work hard sometimes to keep a lid on the evangelizing, depending on what kind of community she is…"
"As an elementary teacher, I find it hard sometimes (especially when a student begins to proselytize in the classroom) to NOT share my beliefs. Although I do look at it as a benefit to my kids - because I understand how important nonbelief is to me,…"
"Approaching this from the student side (from long ago...) I can say that I cannot recall whether any of my teachers were atheist; however, I can say that many of my teachers did teach me the skills to identify fallacies and question authority.…"
As for serial killers, that's a tough one. My favorite site is CrimeLibarary.Com. Granted, Tru TV has taken it over and you have to ignore a few ads, but it's totally worth it. It's a wealth of information on anyone you'd want to know/read about. :D
My parents threaten the same thing, pretty much. Except there's also an emphasis on another branch of that.
"How are you and Raj going to raise your children? Atheist or CATHOLIC?" *dum dum DUM DUM!!!*
"...why would I raise my children to a system that I feel is not only wrong factually but is wrong to indoctrinate a child with?"
"Oh, KAYE, you won't understand until you have kids. They NEED a foundation of morality! They NEED to be scared a little, like the boogey man or santa."
"So that was how you taught us morals? Scaring us shitless? Morality stems from the natural wiring of the brain, Ma."
"That's about right, yeah [the scaring]...oh, KAYE, you cannot POSSIBLY know that about the brain. You were an ENGLISH major. *laughter*" -_-
She actually taught guitar to my brother patrick a number of years ago (who couldn't get past the fact that she looks like snow white as a porcelain doll) and I haven't been able to get enough of her music. :)
Girls in general...? It's rare to find women in general for me to hang out with. Especially atheists. They aren't as intrigued to talk about the philosophical and political effects that atheism can have. (hard to talk about ted bundy and cartman in those conversations, too) Then again, I have 2 brothers and no sisters, most of my neighborhood had boys so it was like being raised like mowgli with the wolves. Never really got on with girls very well in general (there are a few exceptions, of course).
You're lucky to have that you have a community nearby! I take it that it's a bit more accepted where you are. Gah, I think I would have gone out of my mind without Raj (my husband) to exchange ideas with. It's a beautiful thing to find someone who shares your values like that. :)
LOL yeah, my brother's fallen into the "spritual" category, too. He's pretty much of a sterotype of a hawaiian-shirt-socks-with-sandals-java-hippie sort of guy. My dad also drops hints about how blessed he feels and how lucky god has given it all to me.
That was when I was a teenager and being deep in the bible belt it's hard. the "a" word is really horrifying down here so no one really talks about it at all. There are underground social networks but since I'm under the age of 45 I don't really fit in. My mother's still hoping it's a phase. Luckily I met a man originally from India who was an adamant atheist while I was in my shell when I was 19, no apologies, nothing. We married about a year later. :)
Atheist friends are really hard to find. Even the ones down here will claim agnosticism at the most scandelous so that people won't bother them (there's still a chance!)
The most ironic thing I find about door-to-door bible thumpers is that they're trying to "save" us, right? The general idea is that there is 1 truly unforgiveable sin, right? Suicide. Nope. If you renounce the holy spirit there is no forgiving. And yet they're still a'knockin'. :P
What sort of atheist communities are local to you?
*fwew!* wow, that was an interesting experience...one sibling doesn't seem to be too religious, the other staunchly. It seems to be a family secret, which doesn't bother me because I'd rather not kill off the elderly in the family. My father, even years later, wishes to ground me in some way and my mother is hoping it's just a phase. :P