It's the northern part of Indiana, but I've lived in a small town most of my life and they were not overbearingly religious. There is a bit of discrimination, but most of it is towards age, gender, and sexuality. I haven't revealed my atheism to many, although I don't keep it a secret, so I cannot say if it is really a "big deal" where I live. In education, theism plays a big part. God is brought up often in class and evolution was not taught until it was forced to (AP Biology- this year because it is a core standard). That really bothers me.
Well, I lived in California for all of my 20s and a few 30s :) I grew up in Michigan, Kentucky and West Virginia. California was a move made because I was dating (and later married) a sailor. My mom isn't an atheist but her intention with the book was more of just exposure, she has great respect for Dr. Dawkins. She even said that it would scare me if I was not confident in my beliefs (which I obviously was not confident). We have a lot of protestants in the family but we were raised up catholic. I even taught CCD for a couple of years. I liked going to mass because I enjoyed the ritual, songs and comfort of the familiar. Listening to the priest was not very memorable, I loved the smell of the incense and the sense of community from being there and reciting the creed together. Once I actually realized that what was being taught by the church was very different than what I practiced in my true beliefs, I was very disappointed. The issue with priests and all the sexual abuse makes me absolutely livid. I can't fathom how it was all just covered up and hushed... In an effort to remain spiritual, I sought out Buddhism and it was very interesting. In fact, I still enjoy yoga. However, I was still seeking answers and wanted to find something more concrete and less faith-based. My mom has since become a very liberal christian. It would really be something if she gave that all up because it has been so ingrained into her core. She is a smart woman and can stand behind my love of science and reason so I don't feel any pressure from her.
For me the idea of no god was so freeing! As a matter of fact, it was a major catalyst in my decision to move back to be near family. There will be no grand reunification in the clouds after we all die, what we have now is all we will ever have and I need to make the most of my time here. The fact that I am responsible for my decisions and how I handle the hiccups of life was a bit overwhelming but also a wonderful chance to take charge of my life and what direction it takes. My last few years in So Cal were spent trying to work on a marriage that I had always thought of as "meant to be" for many reasons. Now I can just take that in as a learning experience and move on.
I am in complete agreement about the "silly stories" that are regurgitated over and over. It has become a new hobby of mine to listen to the audio bible because the stories are so messed up (the version with the dramatic reading is the only way to listen). They are entertaining at the very least and certainly have a big dollop of ridiculous mixed in. I remember saying to my mom that she was a smart person who works in the medical field and then I asked her how she could listen to a virgin birth story with a straight face.
The least appealing part of the small towns is that the people assume that everyone believes the same things. The looks I get just from being a vegetarian makes me cringe at ever being found out as a nonbeliever :0 Of course, small towns exist everywhere and even in So Cal the people are very similar in their attitudes toward anything viewed as different.
Yes, I grew up here but lived in So Cal for the last 16 years. Living in that area certainly helped nurture my already skeptical mind. Ironically, my mother gave me my first Dawkins book (The God Delusion) a few years ago and I was hooked! Breaking away was easy but it is not something I discuss with family. I already miss the access to lectures and meetings. Do you find a lot of fellow atheists in NC? Does anyone near you host get togethers/lectures?
Thanks for all the information! I would probably start with FAAST. Working in evolutionary biology myself, I am in a sort of perpetual skeptics society even in my daily life, and it's fabulously awesome. Gotta count my "blessings." But I could definitely use the chance to meet people with similar beliefs who are in other fields and walks of life. I hope the protest goes well!
Hi there! I live in the Triangle and am very much an atheist. I haven't been active in any local groups but now that I've graduated, I have a bit more free time and would love to get involved. What are FAAST & TAM like? (What does TAM stand for...?) How many people show up to events? What do y'all do/talk about at events? I am interested in "atheist activism", i.e. showing the world that atheists can be the nicest people around.
I strongly suggest you follow @atheistworld and @rooney4030 for discussions on religion from an atheist point of view, they are pro-atheist pages that dont threaten against religion but teach about positive atheism and the use of evidence
Hey. Thanks for the welcome. The people in my town and my own family can be extremely hostile and almost like a pack of wild dogs jumping on a rabbit when it comes to their religion. I've challenged some of the things they have said, but I've never "outted" myself. It's so strange, everyone just assumes that everyone in this town in a christian. Because of this, they say the most outrageous things.
Hi! Thanks for the welcome. Being an ex-Apo is a lot of stinging regret mixed with bitter disappointment with myself. But that's a lot better than actually BEING Pentecostal. Then you're stuck with self-righteousness with a side of God staring over your shoulder waiting to set you on fire for something you're not aware is a sin yet.
I take it from your comments that my offer to "walk you through" is not appreciated? Do you think you already know everything I would say? Or that I'm so obviously wrong and it would be so easy to dismiss my comments that the effort would bore you?
That's cool - not sure you're going to like me much.
I'm sorry, in the light of what Huxley explained about his philosophy your link is absurd. If you like I will walk you through the various quotes, but not tonight it's late. If you don't think that Atheism (my comments we not intended to reflect all atheist) doesn't speak in terms of certainties, on subjects like, life after death, I think we should try a poll and see what others think.
Regarding Einstein, I've been at this for 30+ years, I don't think you have anything I haven't seen - I know of quotes where Einstein says he is Agnostic, where he is NOT Atheist, where he mocks Atheist but I would like to see where he supports Atheist.
Your statement "If someone asks you if you believe in a god, and you can't say, "Yes," then you're an atheist." Is why Einstein said he believed in the God of Spinoza, Again if you want me to walk you through that, I'm willing. That shit gets deep!
Hey, thanks for the link and suggestions. Much appreciated. I hadn't thought to search "secular" for some reason. I kept searching atheist and finding things that say atheists can't recover. Ugh. Religious people do not get it. It's so crazy how so many people can be so delirious with finding god that rational thought is completely out of reach. I'm really glad I joined Atheist Nexus, now, if for no other reason than having you see my new profile and reach out. Thanks, man.
Hey, you asked about the IV addiction...heroin and cocaine. Which I am terribly naive...and everything I'm finding for NA/AA/12 Step stuff is...all god based. There's a chapter in the big AA book called We the Agnostics and I thought, 'Oh, good. Sounds promising.' It's not helpful. It basically says you have to agree to accept a higher power or you're doomed to never recover. Tha fuck? Anyway, if you have some insight...
And I am so sorry for my extremely long delay! This semester has started crazy.
Yes, the situation is similar, that’s why I told it, a sympathetic reaction from across the World is nice. Of course we have a firm constitution, and we have some articles whose alteration isn’t possible by law, related to secularism and indivisibility of the country. They mentioned the possibilty to change even them, of course it wasn’t well received so they just let it go. We have a prime minister who has the leading role in legislation and a president who isn’t subject to any of the parties and considered impartial and he is the one for the final say in case of any alteration, but he has no say during the process, just the final. However the present president was a member of the religious political party currently dominating the assembly. They still have kind of invisible ties, turning the situation into a more complicated one.
Also, trashing the economy here too is one thing, which they can easily deny as it is going hilarious for large companies (but small and medium scale enterprises are suffering and unemployement is increasing), they also messed it up with the neighbours so the electric and gas bills have become impossible to pay for most people, I personally prefer to sleep at home in order to not use the gas. Above all they stabbed the judicial system in the heart with an amendment package and now it is biased. The ridicilous thing is that, as an answer to the negative responses, they held a referendum for a whole amendment package, and their partisan voters gave yes just out of love.
I totally get what you’re saying about the Republicans. I just cannot come to terms with the fact that the most genious strategy politicians can come up with is bullying.
I haven’t considered myself a politics nut even once in my life. Turkey is a young country, so I guess we are a little obsessed with what’s going on. This is like breakfast talk here. My Messenger address is firstname.lastname@example.org. But it probably won’t work to chat bc of the time difference, maybe e-mailing.