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"There are definitely a lot of atheists spread throughout the Bible Belt. They tend to be the more active, aggressive atheists, too, since they're surrounded by so many nuts. It's hard to get atheists in Portland, OR or Seattle,…"
I've been an atheist for two decades, since I was barely a teenager. I've lived in the Bible Belt that entire time and can't wait to meet others, like myself, who enjoy logic and reason over superstition and myth.
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There are definitely a lot of atheists spread throughout the Bible Belt. They tend to be the more active, aggressive atheists, too, since they're surrounded by so many nuts. It's hard to get atheists in Portland, OR or Seattle, WA as worked up, since they don't see as much religious activity, outside of the occasional faith-healing cult in Oregon, which needs to be slapped down.
Organization is always the issue. You need a decent-sized urban cluster. Even then, for whatever reason, you only get things going in certain urban clusters.
Take North Carolina. We have large groups in Charlotte and the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill). For some reason, none of the other urban areas seem to be able to get anything significant together. We even have people who drive over to Triangle events from the near side of the Triad (Greensboro/Winston-Salem/High Point), because that group is freaking dead.
I think the issue with the Triad is that it's so spread out. The cities of the Triangle are crushed right up against each other, with a huge commercial center (RTP) between them, making it actually kind of hard to tell when you've left one city and entered another. The Triad has buffers of 5 or 10 miles between the edges of the cities that make it up, so no one wants to drive to another one of the cities in the cluster.