For the better part of my life, I've realized I was an atheist. I didn't know the term, but I always knew I didn't believe in god, or the idiocy I read in the bible. Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I honestly do wonder, NOT what made you an atheist, but what keeps you coming back to the site? I know there's a lot of good info here, but really, in my case, it wasn't the knowledge I've gained...
I came to this site originally when I was taught the term 'atheist.' I had no clue up until that point that there was such a strong following (thanks Morgan), but I did know that I didn't 'fit in' with the rest of the people I hung out with. I've always felt like an outcast...
The reason I came here is solely by the grace of google. I wouldn't expect much more of an answer from most of you. What I do wonder, though, is this:
What keeps you coming back? The sense of community? The people? The incredible amount of credible information? The chatroom (Morgan, what's up with that, man? I loved the chatroom!)? etc...
In my experience, what keeps me here is the 'heart' (I know, the heart pumps blood, and not much more...). It's the friendships, the connections I've felt, and the complete sincerity (or lack thereof, in some cases :P) of the people I interact with here. There is really no other website I hold more dear (not even Facebook, but then again, I'm friends with most of you there, too).
I stumbled upon TA right around the day that I became an atheist (almost 2 months ago). There is so much information on this site that I find myself on here several times a day. I wish I had the words (like others) to comment on a lot of the threads, but I'm still searching for them lol. The people here are wonderful and i'm accepted here. The only people I have in my life that I can truly talk to face to face or over the phone about my views is my husband (with whom I'm not very sure where he stands these days and my BFF who is back to christianity - she went agnostic for a minute but I think she got scared). This is my most favorite site ever, even more than FB :)
I come here for the community and the articles. I like knowing there are others who share my views, and who differ in them as well. Helps me grow and most importantly, THINK.
May I ask when this happened? If it was recent, have you considered contacting FFRF or some other organization that works to protect separation of church and state? I know you would like to avoid any repercussions but maybe you could have someone contact these people without mentioning the source of their information and try to put a stop to this sort of thing.
I worked in MS a long time ago - that was the 99-00 school year. One of the other teachers was Jewish and she didn't like it much either but I'm fairly certain we were the only two that felt uncomfortable. Even if there were any unbelievers in the faculty they were all born and bred in MS and probably very used to the overt religiousness. Or, at least I had the only raised head that I could see. Everyone else had head bowed in prayer. I didn't have any plans to stay in MS and really didn't care at the time. Now, I think I might send an email or two to Americans United or FFRF before I left the state.
I doubt much has changed there.