How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
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21-11-2014, 11:32 AM
How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
I admit, I have it easy as an atheist. I live on the outskirts of Boston MA, and work at a university. I'm not sure it's really the Liberal Atheist Paradise people from outside New England probably think it is, but we do have a pretty strong belief in the whole live and let live thing. Essentially we don't seem to care much about each others religious belief and our population of hardcore, firebrand, bible-thumpin', fundamentalist Christians is pretty small.

I'm wondering how people get along in perhaps the less "free-thinking" areas of the US and the world in general. Is your atheism something you have to keep to yourself? Would you fear losing a job, or being thought of as a pariah in your community? Do you go to church to avoid being seen as some kind of a misfit in your community?

Anyway, my move to atheism started early in my life, and other than some internal tumult, and a very small amount of friends and relatives who couldn't handle it and disassociated themselves from me over it, my lack of belief hasn't REALLY caused me any ill. What I've gained from the freedom of it has FAR out-weighed any negatives. But I spent two weeks in the Deep South this past summer and got to thinking I'd probably have a lot harder of a time if I'd been born down there. It's been well documented that gay people tend to gravitate to large urban centers for the perception that they're more inclusive. I wonder if atheists feel inclined to do the same.
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21-11-2014, 11:38 AM
RE: How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
I live north of Boston and I agree with you, in that, we have it pretty easy here compared to other areas of the US.

" Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous."
David Hume
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21-11-2014, 11:47 AM
RE: How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
Affect.

So many cats, so few good recipes.
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21-11-2014, 12:18 PM
RE: How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
Kansas... where the god squad governor keeps it pretty unreal while trying to keep everyone as retarded as possible. I reside in the boondocks and get sideways looks from quite a few townies, but I'm generally left alone... after all, the town has a somewhat liberal history.

There are more of us than meet the eye. Wink

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21-11-2014, 12:42 PM
RE: How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
"How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism ?"

I pray for waves when I wanna go surfing and that damn Jebus don' make none.

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein God has a plan for us. Please stop screwing it up with your prayers.
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21-11-2014, 01:01 PM (This post was last modified: 21-11-2014 01:20 PM by Bows and Arrows.)
RE: How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
I live the sububs of Charlotte, NC but across the state line in SC. Home of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker.

Charlotte has many nothern transplants. Its seems the people I meet are 50/50 whether or not they moved here from "up north" or were born and raised here.

The Southern folks bring it up more than the northern ones. My husband works downtown, programmer for one of the big banks. He meets people from all over the world, He doesnt have any type of religious discussions at work and everyone is in the "corporate mindset" What you do in your personal life is your business.

I am stay at home mom. I get to know their personal lives, their wives, their children, the school teachers, the neighbors, etc. I get to see the crazy sides. I get to hear the stuff that gets whispered, the neighborhood gossip, the "who does what" stuff.

For Southern folks, church is where they find love, drop their kids off for childcare, find their friends, run too for help, a place to boast and brag, a place to find comfort, and where they make business connections. If I was a small business owner here it would be paramount to belong to a big church. I have watched on neighborhood facebook groups someone ask for a referral to paint their house, three names will be offered up each with which church they attend, and not a damn thing about whether or not they can paint a house in a nice way at a decent price. Same with landscapers, car dealerships, and loads of other things. Its usually the first thing you are asked when you move here, "have you found a church home yet?". And everybody seems to be a pastor. Now these will probably be the first neighbors that will bring you dinner every night of the week when you welcome a new baby in your family, and they call on you when they know you or the kids are sick and might need something fromthe store. Or bake you cookies when you move in.

The northern folks, includes me, don't bring it up much, most don't attend here but if they do, they arent as out spoken about it. To me it just seems like religion was more of a private thing, down here people advertise it.
If they do attend here, its because they are getting some benefit, childcare, youth groups and once that need is met, they stop.

I have connected to a local facebook group of atheists and agnostics, its growing, and a few of those members live in my neighborhood. One has a daughter in the same class as mine. YAY! And many of the kids right around the house that my children play with are either non practicing, agnostic or atheist. My youngest has quizzed them, lol.

But I also live next door to the stereotypical GOP supporter. He was telling me about the neighbors when we first moved in, described them as " a really nice, good christian couple". I was tempted to tell him I am atheist but want to wait till he likes me first. Just because I think it will blow his mind that the nice girl next door is a heathen. lol

Id be glad to answer any questions.

edited to add: I didnt answer the main question, duh

I don't bring it up much, there is kind of a code/dance that non believers do here. It usually comes up when you (or the kids) want to do something on a Sunday. It goes like this:

Me: hey the kids wanted to have a sleepover Saturday night. And then we were going to take them all to the movies Sunday mirning Do your kids need to be home at a certain time to go to church?

Neighbor: no thats ok, we don't attend church.
Me: thats cool, we don't either.


Now I don't know if they are non believers, atheists or agnostics, but I take what I can get. And these are usually the people we hang out with regularly. If they start saying their kid cant do these things because of church, we usually see less and less of them and I think its mutual.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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21-11-2014, 01:44 PM
RE: How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
I live about 30 minutes from the Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee. That's probably all I need to say.

To be honest I have told less than 20 people that I am an atheist. It hasn't caused any issues yet, but I have told only people that I know will accept it.

Asking someone where they go to church at is just as normal as asking them where their kids go to school. It's a given. Everyone goes to church here. The big question is what denomination you are.

Other than the health of my mom, one of the main reasons I haven't been completely been out in the open with it, is for my kids. I don't want my children to be the kids that no one is allowed to play with. I know several other parent's that would take issue with my non-belief. People here aren't very accepting of lifestyles that go beyond what they declare normal. Not going to church on Sunday mornings is definitely not normal.

Needless to say we have been in between churches for 2 years now.
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21-11-2014, 01:53 PM
RE: How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
I live in Portland Oregon. Everyone here does their own thing and no one cares. It's a live and let live attitude.

Shakespeare's Comedy of Errors.... on Donald J. Trump:

He is deformed, crooked, old, and sere,
Ill-fac’d, worse bodied, shapeless every where;
Vicious, ungentle, foolish, blunt, unkind,
Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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21-11-2014, 02:18 PM
RE: How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
I live in a senior complex of 45 residents .....all Christian.
I am pretty much bound to just this little area because I am in a powerchair, but in the winter I am totally confinded to my apartment.
I get lonely...no one comes to see me...they all think I am some kind of Satanic worshiper. Hobo They are sort of friendly when I get my mail or something like that....they say 'Hi" and that's about it.

My son (who is also an Atheist) says it is my fault because he says " you always tell people how stupid they are"...well I don't do that, of course, but I do mention some things about the bible when they start spouting bible verses at me. My best friend here, called me a couple months ago and said, "I don't want you to come over here anymore." and I asked her why, she just said that I talk to much....then hung up. I think I had her looking at some of the things in her religion, and she got scared....now doesn't want to talk to me anymore. So I guess it is my fault.Huh

One lady this past summer said, "You can't be an Atheist, you're too nice".....well, that really did set me off and I let her have it with both feet. I have to admit, I do have a wicked temper. How do we get people to learn about us if we don't talk to them? I was a Christian for over 60 years, and I know how much better I feel and I want them to be free from all those Christian bonds also.

I'm just glad there is a place like this where I can be myself and not have people telling me I am going to hell all the time.Big Grin

Please remember the Native American Indians Heart
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21-11-2014, 02:30 PM
RE: How Does Your Environment Effect Your Atheism?
(21-11-2014 11:32 AM)Mr. Boston Wrote:  I admit, I have it easy as an atheist. I live on the outskirts of Boston MA, and work at a university. I'm not sure it's really the Liberal Atheist Paradise people from outside New England probably think it is, but we do have a pretty strong belief in the whole live and let live thing. Essentially we don't seem to care much about each others religious belief and our population of hardcore, firebrand, bible-thumpin', fundamentalist Christians is pretty small.

I'm wondering how people get along in perhaps the less "free-thinking" areas of the US and the world in general. Is your atheism something you have to keep to yourself? Would you fear losing a job, or being thought of as a pariah in your community? Do you go to church to avoid being seen as some kind of a misfit in your community?

Anyway, my move to atheism started early in my life, and other than some internal tumult, and a very small amount of friends and relatives who couldn't handle it and disassociated themselves from me over it, my lack of belief hasn't REALLY caused me any ill. What I've gained from the freedom of it has FAR out-weighed any negatives. But I spent two weeks in the Deep South this past summer and got to thinking I'd probably have a lot harder of a time if I'd been born down there. It's been well documented that gay people tend to gravitate to large urban centers for the perception that they're more inclusive. I wonder if atheists feel inclined to do the same.

My disbelief doesn't affect much fer me; Aside from the more zealous people whom I rarely meet, I've found religion to be a fairly individual thing here in South Aus.
Add that to the fact that I have a greatly limited social circle with which I interact sparingly and that few seem to espouse deities and vola; little impact on my life.

The people closely associated with the namesake of female canines are suffering from a nondescript form of lunacy.
"Anti-environmentalism is like standing in front of a forest and going 'quick kill them they're coming right for us!'" - Jake Farr-Wharton, The Imaginary Friend Show.
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