Bible Belt Atheists
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15-10-2015, 08:24 AM
Bible Belt Atheists
Welcome y'all!

I know there are many here that live in the uber-religious south and I wanted to get a discussion going about our experiences here in Dixie. Myself, I am still in the closet because both of my parents are dying right now and it just wouldn't be the best time to spring this on everybody. Once I do come out it will most likely mean the end of my marriage and then I will be more free to be physically engaged in battling religious entitlement. I would like to eventually start a coalition of southern free thinkers as a place for mutual support, empowerment and action. I understand the south can be a rough place for free thinkers and I hope to uncover what that looks like in each of your lives. Or if you even want to talk about why you choose not to come out. The thread is open to whatever direction you want to take it.

Grab some sweet tea, pull up a rocking chair and get cozy! Big Grin

[Image: super_skeptic_dixie_pic.jpg?w=300]

(22-08-2015 07:30 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  It is by will alone I set my brows in motion it is by the conditioner of avocado that the brows acquire volume the skin acquires spots the spots become a warning. It is by will alone I set my brows in motion.
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15-10-2015, 10:11 AM
RE: Bible Belt Atheists
I'm running on fumes, I worked last night and then drive back to Alavama for a dentist appointment, so I'm pretty sure this isn't going to flow very well, but here are some of my thoughts:

I'm out at work. It's been a positive experience for me. I found other atheists and don't have to listen to as much religious chatter at work. I've found a niche of really cool people. Life is good.

Almost all of my patients assume I'm a Christian. I do wish I could set them straight, but whatever it takes for my patients to trust me and be satisfied with their care - happy patients sue less and don't stress me the fuck out.

The closest I'll ever be to experiencing unconditional love is from my maternal grandparents. With everyone else there are strings attached. For right now, I can't come out of the closet because I need my parents' support with my son, otherwise I would see him even less than I already do. Other reason I can't come out is because it would break my grandparents' hearts. I can't do that to them.

Coming out to my husband was the final nail in the coffin for my marriage

To stay in my closet, I keep quiet on Facebook and can't get in any debates or make disparaging comments or "like" any quotes on positive atheism.

"If there's a single thing that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." - Lev Grossman
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15-10-2015, 11:31 AM
RE: Bible Belt Atheists
Good luck to all of y'all from a former Bible Belter.

I grew up in the Bible Belt but only became an atheist after I moved north and so have never felt that I had to hide that. I'm not a crusading atheist, but if someone asks about my beliefs I can respond honestly without fear that I'm going to ruin my relationship with that person.

With my religious family, I am not exactly closeted, but not open, either. My mother flat-out refuses to accept that anyone doesn't believe in god, and my father remains deeply angry at my lack of faith and my refusal to discuss religious issues with him. Sister and brother could care less, but neither lives in the South anymore. My other extended family are religious and have cut ties, but we were never close growing up and so that is not painful.
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15-10-2015, 01:49 PM
RE: Bible Belt Atheists
(15-10-2015 08:24 AM)Octapulse Wrote:  Welcome y'all!

I know there are many here that live in the uber-religious south and I wanted to get a discussion going about our experiences here in Dixie. Myself, I am still in the closet because both of my parents are dying right now and it just wouldn't be the best time to spring this on everybody. Once I do come out it will most likely mean the end of my marriage and then I will be more free to be physically engaged in battling religious entitlement. I would like to eventually start a coalition of southern free thinkers as a place for mutual support, empowerment and action. I understand the south can be a rough place for free thinkers and I hope to uncover what that looks like in each of your lives. Or if you even want to talk about why you choose not to come out. The thread is open to whatever direction you want to take it.

Grab some sweet tea, pull up a rocking chair and get cozy! Big Grin

[Image: super_skeptic_dixie_pic.jpg?w=300]

Neil Carter! I like his blog, real close to home.

Just about my entire immediate family knows that I'm an atheist, and while only one of my siblings (I have five of them) is also an apostate, he replaced Christianity with some kind of Old World ancestor-worshipping kick. I decided years ago to just stop talking about religion with them. I don't talk about it with my customers, neighbors, or my friends, be they theists or not. I'd like to, but the last time I was open about my atheism around here was in high school. By the time the gossip had spread around town, my atheism was somehow twisted into 'devil-worship' and I started getting harassing calls and death threats. Now, I just don't talk to people much.

Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

Alouette, je te plumerai.
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15-10-2015, 02:39 PM
RE: Bible Belt Atheists
I've had a "don't give a fuck" attitude (as if you couldn't tell) - for a long, long time...

If it comes up - I tell people I'm atheist. If they don't ask - I don't bother.

If they start telling me about how wonderful their church/god/religion is, I tell them to stuff it up their ass sideways....

I rarely have to tell them twice.

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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15-10-2015, 02:56 PM
RE: Bible Belt Atheists
This may be slightly off topic but I have to share because I died laughing when I saw this.

I live in Rome, GA and I was driving to pick up my son. This truck pulls up next to me and there was a grey haired lady wearing a bright pink shirt driving the truck. She looked about 65-70 years old, your standard wholesome grandma. When she pulled forward I lost it. Ten points for the first person to spot it:

[Image: 20151015_145022.jpg]

(22-08-2015 07:30 PM)Revenant77x Wrote:  It is by will alone I set my brows in motion it is by the conditioner of avocado that the brows acquire volume the skin acquires spots the spots become a warning. It is by will alone I set my brows in motion.
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15-10-2015, 03:23 PM
RE: Bible Belt Atheists
(15-10-2015 02:56 PM)Octapulse Wrote:  This may be slightly off topic but I have to share because I died laughing when I saw this.

I live in Rome, GA and I was driving to pick up my son. This truck pulls up next to me and there was a grey haired lady wearing a bright pink shirt driving the truck. She looked about 65-70 years old, your standard wholesome grandma. When she pulled forward I lost it. Ten points for the first person to spot it:

[Image: 20151015_145022.jpg]

Slayer!




Don't let those gnomes and their illusions get you down. They're just gnomes and illusions.

--Jake the Dog, Adventure Time

Alouette, je te plumerai.
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15-10-2015, 03:28 PM
RE: Bible Belt Atheists
[Image: 72_logo.png?1348]

Awesome granny. Prooooobably her grandkid's sticker on the truck.

Me, I'm in SE Missouri, in the "divot" at the NE corner of Arkansas, where it meets Tennessee, at the top of that "Dixie" map... still in BibleThumperLand™.

However, I could not stay in the deep south because of my open atheism, and I get quite a bit of flak from my family about it, though my parents have retreated from trying to pressure me about my beliefs (largely because I'm engaged to be married to a Christian; they think she'll "convert" me, in time, though they don't realize that she's extraordinarily liberal, since that type doesn't really exist in the Bible Belt, and that she couldn't care less if I join the faith) after losing a spectacular series of arguments with me, as well as losing contact with all three of their children until such time as they agreed to moderate their religious fanaticism.

Most of my aunts and uncles, though, and several of my cousins, are wacked-out Believers, and Facebook is occasionally a nightmare for me. Undecided

I'll soon be moving back up to Kansas City which, while still in Jesusland, is a big enough city to have lost some of the hyper-fanaticism that marks much of the South and Midwest.

Edit: Damn, someone beat me to it!

"Theology made no provision for evolution. The biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be that they were not really privy to the thoughts of God?" - E. O. Wilson
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15-10-2015, 03:42 PM
RE: Bible Belt Atheists
(15-10-2015 03:23 PM)Old Man Marsh Wrote:  Slayer!





I spotted the logo immediately. South of Heaven was the only Slayer album I owned. I bought it when it came out. I didn't really like any of their other albums.

I didn't grow up in a religious family but my older brother (4 years older) heard me listening to it. He looked at the album cover and asked if he could take it away to read the lyrics of it. Next thing I know he told my mum who then forbid me to play it in the house because it was Satanic.

How things have changed since then though. I think my mum's now basically either an atheist or agnostic and my brother is a born again Christian.
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15-10-2015, 03:51 PM
RE: Bible Belt Atheists
Only two people that I know IRL are aware that I am an atheist: My wife, who is fairly neutral about the whole thing as long I don't try to deconvert her. The other is a work acquaintance who is fast becoming a close friend.

I told my wife because I pretty much had to for my sanity. There were a few initial bumps but overall has gone much better than expected.

I accidentally came out to a co-worker a few weeks when I got drunk at a conference. He and I had already developed a pretty good working relationship as we just always seem to be on the same page on work projects.

My parents won't freak out and I will eventually come out to them as I get more comfortable.

My in-laws would likely fall in the floor and start speaking in tongues. After that, they will hound me continuously, argue perpetually, will never listen to anything I have to say, and will tell my children that their daddy is going to hell. They will be the last people to ever find out, if they ever do, and probably only after I have successfully deconverted my wife.

Work will be ok. I will experience some bias, though it will mostly be unintentional.

I am most concerned about my daughters. In the small town I live in, word will spread quickly among the adults and my daughters will be bullied and/or ostracized at school. Most of my daughters' closest friends are smart kids that are more open-minded and would likely accept them for who they are (or who their dad is) without any issues. Many of the parents, on the other hand, will fear for the eternal souls of their young ones and forbid friendship and interaction outside of school.

All that said, I do not pretend to be a christian anymore. I do not go to church. I recently ran into the pastor's wife of the Methodist church we used to attend. We had a great conversation. When she politely said she has missed us at church, I simply said "We miss seeing you guys too", which is true. Excepting the god stuff, they really are fun people to be around. I would just rather see them without the god stuff. When she suggested we come back and try out a new sunday school class, I just said, "Thanks." and gave her my sincerest smile. She may not know why, but she knew I was telling her that I am not coming back. She probably just thinks we have converted to baptist or something. lol.

I just wanted to let you know that I love you even though you aren't naked right now. Heart
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