I am 47 and live near Memphis, TN. Middle of the Bible belt.

 

I am not sure when I actually became an atheist. For a long time I thought of myself as an agnostic, but now realize how totally irrational it is to believe in any religion.

 

I would like the group’s thoughts on keeping your atheism a secret. Only a couple of people actually know I am an atheist. When someone asks me about my religion I usually say I am Catholic. This can actually be a problem sometimes due to where I live since I didn’t reply Southern Baptist. I rationalize this by saying to myself that I don’t have time to get into an argument with someone over a subject that they have an irrational belief in and don’t want to always have them trying to “save me”. I am also concerned about how it might impact friendships and working relationships.

 

Recently though I have started to think that I should be more open about my atheism and actually challenge the believers. I also wonder how many others are actually like me and just going along to get along.

 

Would enjoy getting some perspective from others on this.

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It's difficult for us Brits to appreciate the potential for conflict between believers and non-believers in the USA. Here, no one cares what you are or believe. However, we all agree that living a life, your only life, pretending that a man lives in the sky and watches you, just to satisfy deluded friends, is crazy. If we are ever going to stop this nonsense, we have to be counted......so don't force it on them but tell the truth, when asked. Remember if you tell lies, you won't go to heaven. ;0)

Thanks for the reply. I do intend to start saying I am an atheist when asked what religion I am. The hardest part for me will be my parents and family. My dad actually teaches bible study at his church and his half brother is a minister. It will make for some interesting discussion.

I stopped believing over 20 years ago, but have only recently being proactive about it. I changed my facebook to reflect it, I am not afraid of 'liking' things relating to Atheism and am actually considering getting an atheistic tattoo. My mother is a devout Catholic, and she is the only one I'm keeping my belief hidden from. I think it would ruin the great relationship we have and I don't want that. I am getting as much information for my side of the argument, so to say, as I can so I don't look stupid in an argument. I am Canadian, and religion is not as big a deal as it is in the States. As for work, religion has no place in the workplace and discrimination because of a lack of religion is against the law.

Thanks Marc for the reply.

 

I have been researching the various arguments to use when talking with theists also.  It is true that religion has no place in the workplace and I don’t worry about it causing me problems with the owner of the company. All he worries about is making money. It is more about how the other employees will respond and working relationships.

If you deal with customers, watch out.  If it's a small company or a small town, watch out...because your reputation may lead to discrimination from customers which would affect your performance and then the boss cares.  Or employing an atheist may hurt business/community relations.  Just consider these things as well.

Good advice and true. Fortunately I am the accountant and it’s a retailer with lots of locations so the customers don’t have any idea of who I am. I have heard about that being an issue.

 

Personally, I don't point it out but I don't lie about it either.  My normal answer when asked is "not really religious" unless the person is annoying. 

 

I'm more than willing to challenge anyone on it.  I do it anonymously on the internet all the time and I've gotten good at it.  Someone not used to the debate gets shredded.  There are pleanty of places to do that if you want a release valve without letting everyone know.  It's pretty funny on the internet to get where there are larger numbers of us and just watch how the fundies react.

 

https://godlessconservative.com

Great I will have to try that.

 

Also glad to see another conservative on here. But don't the religious right conservatives make you crazy. I am a fiscal conservative, but the religious ones are actually totally nuts.

 

There aren't many in Arizona.  It's mostly libertarian here.  We do have a few Mormons, but you can't have everything.

 

Our state got slammed by the housing bubble worse than any, but we probably have a surplus this year because they actually made the cuts.   But at the same time, they killed the restrictions on alcohol sales on Sunday, allowed permit-less concealed carry, and killed off the speed cameras.  The state really stays off your case.

 

If you want to argue with / laugh at fundies this is my favorite: http://answers.yahoo.com/dir/index;_ylt=ArdsxKYRrbkquCrQXTccEn_d7BR...   I use a different, less trackable name there since I do tend to pick up a few stalkers.

 

http://godlessconservative.com

Thanks for the link.

Unfortunately all the conservatives here in Tennessee don’t seem to understand the concept of the separation of church and state.

Yeah....here they are just happy that we don't have gunfights in the street too often anymore.

That's supposed to be real.  It is in the very real cemetery in Tombstone.  We wear our history proudly....

I recollect the one that read :  Here lies the body of Gary Moore - who liked to shoot with a forty four.  He fought many battles & didn't lose, 'til he met two guys with twenty twos.

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