I'm a christian living in the UK.  Some people on here have intimated that atheists in the US are persecuted in some ways.  I have no idea what this means, but would very interested to find out.  So the questions is how?  Its a genuine question, and i'm not looking for discussion on whether God exists etc, just the topic at hand.  Thanks.

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I'm an atheist living in California. I don't even know where to start about all the hatred I've experienced from other people for being an atheist. Well, when I went across the country to visit my grandparents in Maine (only my second time meeting them) I told them I was an atheist. I honestly expected them to be understanding because they aren't particularly religious (at least they never ever made it seem that way), but they yelled at me, literally yelled at me for my beliefs. They were asking me question after question without even letting me answer or partake in the "conversation". They told me I'm going to hell and blah blah, you know, the typical theist remarks. After that night they never treated me the same and I felt like they hated me. I no longer talk to them because of this, our relationship is just not the same, plus they abandoned my mother when she was a little girl, so they don't deserve us in their life anyways. When I came out to my second family who is christian(my bestfriend and her family, were just really close) they pretty much just criticized me. They weren't too mean to me, they've accepted it now. They would just tell me things like how their disappointed, that they'll never give up on saving me, they pray for me every night, and other things. Then when I was talking to her mom, and she asked me what tattoo I'm getting now that I'm 18, and I told her about it (it's an atheist symbol kinda thing), she was insisting that I get something else, and begging me not to do it... but she has a huge cross tattood on her arm, so I asked her "Why is it okay for you to have your beliefs tattood on you, but not okay for me?" And she says because god is real and he's our savior and I'm gonna regret it when I come to terms with god and all that bullshit. But I still love them, I'm just relieved that they no longer bug me about it... well at least not as often as they used to. I'm very lucky to have the mother and brothers that I do, my mom believes in some sort of power or force but encourages me to explore explanations for the world, and both of my brothers are also atheists, so no persecution in my home, thank godlessness. When I was working about a year ago I got into an argument with a coworker about gay marriage (it was a very unprofessional environment), but of course it turned into an argument about god. She was the most ignorant person I have ever argued with; she couldn't make any valid points, everything she said was very inconsistent, and she just sounded completely uneducated. I knew more about her god and the bible than she did. But anyways, about being persecuted... she began calling over 2 of our coworkers, who are also christian. So the three of them were basically attacking me (not physically)... yet I somehow still out smarted all of them and made them all sound and feel dumb. (: I love when that happens. But everyday from then on my name wasn't Krystal, it was  Satan girl, fag lover, god hater, pretty much anything that came to them I guess. I ended up quitting like a month later because I couldn't take it anymore. It shocks me that people think we're the hateful, mean, judgmental ones, but look at everyone's stories of religious people harassing and being hateful to us atheists. I think they feel threatened by our intelligence (:

Oh and also, there's a swap meet very near my house that we go to pretty often, and right outside of it these 2 guys stand out there (every single goddamn weekend) and pass out little christian pamphlets and hold these signs that say "the end is coming" "jesus is love" "repent and save your soul" and other things. They also stand out there with megaphones and yell things about god. It's really annoying. But anyways, I went to the swap meet and they tried to give me a pamphlet, but I said "no thanks, I don't believe in god" and he asked me why and stuff and I explained it to him, and we were actually having a nice debate, until I guess I pissed him off... I said something about how god is a murderer, and how he encourages hatred and some other things. He really didn't like what I had to say, and he started yelling into his megaphone "This girl right here hates Jesus, she hates god, that's right, she hates OUR god. Who thinks she's going to hell?" At that point I just walked away. He continued to yell about me and point to me. At one point he said "That girl with the blue hair is an atheist!" So I threw my hands up in the air and yelled "Yes, Yes I am!" with a big smile on my face. It was quite a crowd. 

One thing kind of jumped out at me.... your friends being upset that you want to get an atheist tattoo.  I mean what is god going to do, double damn you?  And if you end up going to Jesus in the end will the tattoo be unforgivable?  In other words, from their point of view I can't see how the tattoo can make a damn bit of difference (pun intended).

I kind of expected her to react that way. But I completely agree. This is no different from anything else she lets spill out of her mouth about religion, it's all hypocritical bull crap.

Leviticus 19:28, "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.

Oh the irony.

Oh I know. The contradictory of it all is so irritating.

Leviticus 19:28, "Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord.

@ Marc - I have always thought tattoos were unattractive on men and especially on women but now that I know about this scripture, I think I am warming up to them lol, just to make a point that you don't have to do what the babble says just because it says it.

I've been thinking about the actual question being asked.

I tend to think of "persecution" as being something a government does.  And so far at least our government isn't persecuting us.  But so many of our christian neighbors will sure attack us when they think they can get away with it.

And so many other Xians don't seem to think this is a common phenomenon.

If not "persecution" then how about "shunning" or even "bullying."

Yes.  Or intimidation or vandalism or physical assault, for that matter.

Not entirely relevant to the original topic but I see alot of other people talking about their own countries too. I live in Australia and openly mock religious fundamentalists. Moderates not so much, they are generally nice people and generally we can live and let live. But the fundamentalists around the world are just too ridiculous to not make fun of.

Matt - we are so frigging lucky to live in a country where religion is no big deal. Generally, we say we are Atheists, with no repercussions. It generally, would not come up. If and when a xian starts talking about their beliefs, I come out and say, Nope, I do not believe there is a god - of any persuasion. Jehovah Witness that come to the door on a regular basis, are very moderate and civilized, and hesitatingly ask do I want a copy of Watchtower, and they know there is no point.  But they leave smiling, probably praying for my lost soul - but there you go.

Can any Australian believe the bullying, name calling and losing a job because of their Atheism, as it seems to happen on a regular basis In America?


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