At 10:50pm on September 14, 2010, FernWalker said…
My family never talked about religion when I was growing up. My sisters and I were not baptized and my mom let us go to church with our friends if we wanted. I went to Lutheran, Methodist and Catholic churches until I got bored at about 12. Our little town was literally divided by a railroad tracks with the Catholics on one side and Protestants on the other. They didn't get along, but I could play with all of them because I wasn't connected with either one. Kids would tell me I was going to hell, but they played with me anyway. Go figure. I eventually learned not to talk about religion. Then at 13 or 14 I went to a Billy Graham sermon and got saved. That lasted about two weeks and I've been non-religious ever since. Now my mom says she was always agnostic/atheist but chose not to talk about it back in the fifties and sixties because it wasn't tolerated. I don't really know what my dad believes, but I've been meaning to ask him. I don't see him very often since he's back in Minnesota. I think part of my anxiety and self esteem issues are related to having to hide who I really was for so long. I didn't "come out" as an atheist until I was about 35 years old.
The reason I moved to Oregon from Minnesota was because it was more liberal. I was 26 and felt a little different from midwestern people, but didn't connect it to the religious angle at the time. I just knew that on the west coast people could be themselves and not be looked down upon. Interesting that my son is an atheist married to an atheist whose parents also relocated from Minnesota when they were young. My sister chose to be baptized and have her children baptized because her husband wanted her to. Now she is divorced and remarried, her kids are atheists, but she keeps going to church because "it's the right thing to do."
Good question. The matter hasn't really came up. As I said, I don't date often and when I do, I don't consider it a qualifier. Only IF a guy was to start proselytizing would I consider that a deal breaker. I was talking to a muslim for a long while and he was always interested in why I am a non-theist but only as a matter of curiosity. He never attacked my views and his religion didn't bother me.
Last resort-- instead of all these "Don't Believe In God? You're not alone" ads, we should just have magazine ads that parade classy, half-naked women with "Atheist" at the bottom of the page in fancy italic letters. At that point, it really doesn't matter what you're selling.
Earther I'm not sure why Oregon is liberal; but, coastal regions are usually more liberal than inland regions. This is a phenomenon notable throughout history. Anyplace that experiences a lot of interaction between people of different backgrounds, such as large cities or places involved in sea trade were usually more liberal than rural farm regions. Actually, this phenomenon plays out in Oregon too. Portland and the coast are pretty liberal. But, outside the city, particularly Eastern Oregon, is much more conservative. We have a Bible belt here too.
Hello Earther. Welcome to this friendly meeting place with freethinkers who recognise that religion is a huge deception aimed at controlling vulnerable superstitious people, including defenceless children; and
how tragic and inexcusable it is that women and minorities have been oppressed these last two thousand years and even longer.