Hi Kelsey, and welcome to this wonderful world of rationality, truth and peace.
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Ooh, cool deconversion path. I wish mine had been so well-informed. I rejected Catholicism more off of "Wow, these silly stories they're telling us are so unbelievable," or something along those lines. I was a bit too young to read the Bible straight through, although I've done so since.
So, what the heck do you do to find other atheists, in rural Mississippi? Does the local junior college have an atheism group? I know the Secular Student Alliance is working on getting organizations in colleges all over the country, but a college that small is probably pretty far down the list.
Heh heh heh heh heh. Yeah, I don't think that many Christians even read the Old Testament. There's some stupid line about how the Old Testament doesn't matter anymore, because Jesus came and changed all of that ... oh, except for the part about gay people being evil ... and about girls being worthless if they're not virgins ... and ...
Uh, no. It does matter. It matters very greatly. The Old Testament is the history and definition of your god. And he says, himself, that he's a jealous and vengeful god ... and he demonstrates that he's a major asshole, on top of that. I just wish I could get more Christians to realize that.
And you became more well informed, by reading the Bible. My break was more of a knee-jerk rejection of the silly stories they told us, when I was 5 or 6 years old. I never even got to all of the horrifying parts, until after I was a firm atheist.
Aww man. You've never met any atheists in person, aside from your father? Ouch. I thought there might be a couple, in a college town like that. Where are you planning on going after you finish with college? Looking into a more urban, liberal area or something?
Ugh, yeah, everything is different now that Jesus came ... and then they pull out the apologetic arguments and talk about how the universe had to be created by an eternal, unchanging being. Consistency is not their strong point.
Cool, how old is your little sister? Is it a huge gap, so you get to be the big sister coming back from college and being worshiped? Do what you can do shore up her skepticism, while you're at it, so she isn't just disbelieving religious claims because you say so.
And ... holy crap. Both biology teachers pulling the sort of "only a theory" stupidity? Christ. What are people doing teaching science, when they're so ignorant of basic scientific terminology? Meh.
You don't necessarily have to move north very much. Moving further east might help a bit. Atlanta is a fairly liberal city, even if they're brought down a bit by the rest of Georgia.
North Carolina has two major liberal centers: Charlotte and the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill). Hell, the Triangle apparently has the second-highest concentration of PH.D's in the country, behind Silicon Valley. Of course a large part of that is probably the fact that there are 3 major universities in about a 15 mile radius. Add in Research Triangle Park, and that's a lot of eggheads.
The Virginia Beach area is decent.
I don't recommend South Carolina, though. They're a bit of a fundie backwater.
Ohhhh, yeah, I've heard of the Gay-Straight Alliance, but I haven't heard enough about it to to recognize the acronym on site. I can imagine the blow-back you get against that sort of thing, in rural Mississippi.
Ohhhh, yeah, your father has helped you two with the critical thought and skepticism then, huh? I was going to suggest tossing a couple of books at her, like Sagan's 'Demon Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark' or Paulos's 'Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences'. Those are some good books on basic skeptical thought. Sounds like you've already got that under control, though.
Wait, how long ago were Mississippi teachers forced to teach Evolution as fact? How long ago was that exactly? The answer is going to make me cry, isn't it?
Yeah, let me know if you end up checking out North Carolina. I can introduce you to the mob of local atheists. There are a lot of us here in the Triangle. We've had a couple hundred at some of the bigger events. We get 60 or 70 people to some events, on a monthly basis.
I've heard about the contraception issue. There are several states having that problem. After they get finished attacking abortion, most of the fundamentalist Christians will start in on condoms and birth control pills. It's freaking scary. The Personhood Constitutional amendments that the fundies are trying to get passed in several states would ban birth control pills, because of the way they work. It's psychotic.
We had an open atheist elected to City Council in Asheville, NC. A bunch of assholes tried to get him removed from office because the state constitution does have a religious test in it for all officeholders. Never mind the fact that it's been struck down by the US Supreme Court as unconstitutional. It's still written in there, so they were trying to use it.
So, here's a plan. Become a lesbian, marry a girl, and then kill her. That should get the governor on your side, right? I'm sure he'll happily overlook the homosexual component. ^.^
Holy crap. 2010? So, the material was there before, just not mandatory? And in rural Mississippi (wait, is there another kind of Mississippi?), that pretty much means that no one was teaching it, I imagine.
Yeah, even with a governmental mandate, I can't imagine a fair treatment of the subject by most teachers. When most of them don't really understand it fully themselves, how can they teach it? Sucks when you get a self-perpetuating problem like that.
I'm not sure how they explain away the dinosaurs, either. I'm sure there's a lot of insane rationalizations on Answers in Genesis, though.
North Carolina is good, if you stick to the urban areas. If you head more that 10 or 15 miles outside of a major city, it gets a little scary, pretty quickly. We've become a purple state, in the last couple years, because of all of the immigration from more northern states. I moved here from the Chicago area, myself, while I was in middle school.
The atheist town-councilman was up in Asheville. It's a small town, but it's overrun with hippies. Very liberal for such a small town. It's a bit of a tourist destination and has a lot of things like a number of art studios, which you wouldn't expect to find in a small, mountain town.
Alas, we've got a constitutional amendment up for vote in the spring, banning gay marriage and nullifying domestic-partnership health-coverage that lots of corporations offer.
The Republican congress that swept into both branches of the state congress immediately went to work on social legislation, as soon as they took office. "We're going to focus on the economy and get our state working again." Lying pricks ... not that I voted for any of them in 2010. I went straight Democratic, as usual.
What sort of contraception bill is it that's going through the Mississippi state congress right now? Are they trying to get rid of the morning-after-pill, with their usual line, calling it an abortion pill, or is it even more wide-ranging than that?
Hmm, yeah, I knew there might be a few issues with my plan for you killing your wife. You've got the lesbianism thing covered though, huh? Just no open lesbians for you to hook up with? ;-p Heh.
Yeah, I've heard from so many people who hadn't learned the first thing about evolution until after they got out of high school. It's so sad. It's such a central aspect of biology that it should be taught in elementary school when we start teaching basic biology ... middle school at the latest.
What about the larger college towns in Mississippi? Are any of those even vaguely liberal?
Well, the NC politicians are grabbing what they can get away with, for the short time that they have control of congress. They know they're going to lose it after the 2012 elections. What's pathetic is that once the issue gets pushed up to the Supreme Court, we'll have nationwide gay marriage. It's inevitable. The damned fundies just have to run around and crap on what they can, like they're doing with the anti-abortion laws they're passing right now.
Hmmmm, about the Mississippi bill though ... uhhhhh, yeah. That's not going to fly. Without the power of a state constitutional amendment behind it, it'll be destroyed by the first court challenge to it. What the hell is wrong with your state congress? And I thought mine was insane ... ^.^
Ah, so you are bisexual. Well, the joke doesn't work then. Heh. Your boyfriend is just so closed-minded on the issue.
Oh, and with that last thing you said before you had to sign out. Yeah, you mentioned the Funeral Services thing earlier, didn't you? I had the vague memory that I had asked you previously, but I couldn't remember what the answer was. Or am I just thinking of someone else I know who's going into the field?
Hmm, I can sort of see the coast being more far more liberal. Does New Orleans nearby have some influence or something? Where's the delta that you're referring to? I'm familiar with the Mississippi Delta, but that's in Louisiana, isn't it?
Yeah, gay marriage passing the Supreme Court is damned near guaranteed, unless we had 2 or 3 of the more liberal judges replaced by someone like Santorum. It certainly wouldn't be unanimous, but it would pass. There are a few judges like Scalia. That guy is such an insane piece of shit. If he got his way, he would take the vote back away from women.
I guess there's something to be said for running a con that allows you to continue in a cushy position, passing laws that you know will be struck down in the courts, but which you know will get you re-elected. What makes me the most sad is the electorate that falls for this every other year.
Heh, are you responding in kind to my joke, or is your boyfriend actually very close-minded and would freak out if he knew you were bi? I don't know how to take your response, without facial expressions and tone of voice. Is he a bit of a religious sort with very conservative values, since that's the only kind of guy available around you, or are you just extending the joke of my 'close-minded' comment?
I can understand not just randomly throwing it out there. "Hi, I'm Kelsey, and I'm bisexual." ^.^ It's not something to specifically throw into conversation, unless it comes up through conversational tangent-hopping.
Which sort of weird looks do you usually get? I can see how either extreme would become obnoxious. You'd get one sort of look from the conservative gay-haters, which I imagine is the more common reaction from those around you. Definitely something to keep to yourself, since you don't want attention of those sorts focused on you.
Then there are the perverts who will be fascinated with your open sexuality and will obsess and slobber over you, in a creepy way. That might not creep out some women, but I can certainly understand how it would bother most. Which end of the scale is it that becomes so tiresome?
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