So umm..... Hello then :)
No I'll add a bit more to it than just that - My name is Wayne and I'm a Brit now living in NYC - been here about 18 months now but have lived abroad a lot (Holland, Germany and Belgium). I was never really religious and had the luxury of a fairly secular upbringing (we did go to church with school on occasion and apparently went to church for a year though I only remember going a few times). But since certainly my early 20's I was agnostic and a few years ago promoted myself to full atheist, debunking all theories that there was a supernatural of any sort.
A couple of things have happened since moving to the states. Firstly I became a Dad not so long back (my son Paul - named after a true saint - my own Dad) and also I discovered how fucking scary religion in the US is - although the government is based on Secular values (as opposed to the government of my country of birth) religion is EVERYWHERE - and not just polite Church of England vicars on bicycles - I'm talking in your face get down on your knees and redeem yourself - scary - religion. Fundamentalist religion. Preposterous magic underpants religion. And it genuinely frightens me that I am going to have to ensure my son will be taught at school the earth is 4 billion years old and not just over 5000 like half of the population of this country are taught and genuinely believe.
In Europe religion was around you but on the whole, mostly harmless (with exceptions to the rise in fundamentalist Islam) yet here being an atheist is like being a social outcast for many.Sadly in the US I hear too many stories of violent backlashes against minors against their conviction when opening up to the truth and that makes me very sad. I see politicians openly attack LGBT communities, people of different faiths and proudly state that Darwin was wrong and what is worth I see thousands of people voting for them.
Don't think for a minute I don't like the US - I love it but there is fundamentally a lot wrong with it and I genuinely fear for my son growing up here. And whilst I am unable to vote to change, I can be vocal in the support of the many atheists I have met online and at the reason rally who do want to change this country. Besides my son, partner and job the wonderful thing the US has given me is the opportunity to really embrace my atheism and for that I will always be thankful
I am a proud and vocal atheist - I think some of my colleagues for example see it as a quirk of my British personality but I also see in others a twinkle in their eye when I talk about it. Their questions I see fuel a little fire inside that makes me believe they too are doubting what they were brought up with. Some have been more open and admitted to their complete lack of faith and I am persuading them to be not just open with me but with everyone - they are reasonable, thinking people who trust fact over faith and they should stand up and be counted and be proud!
Atheism is something I get very passionate about - I write (albeit not so eloquently) about it on my blog at www.waynster.com and look forward to discussing it a lot on here (I hope). I've read obviously Dawkins and Hitchinson a lot and am looking forward to more recommendations. I've read (and responded) to a few posts today and you all seem like the wonderful reasonable people I hoped to find in such a place. I also hope to team up with some of you locally in NYC if events occur in the future.
twitter: waynster69 / blog: www.waynster.com
Welcome Wayne! Cheers for the intro! Hope to see you around soon and often. :)
Also new here. Hope to see more of your writing. :-)
Hi Wayne. Welcome! I am a Brit and did not realise how entrenched in every aspect of culture Christianity is in America until going onto Yahoo Answers. It is very scary! At least you're not in the bible belt and you are not being given a hard time about your atheism. As you say, maybe you can get through to a few people? You may get away with more differing opinions being a foreigner and whilst you're at it something may sink in.
A big welcome to you from California.
You are from my favorite country on earth, I love all things British and hope to one day visit.
Both my kids have been to London and my daughter went to school in Oxford attending Oxford Brooks.
Religion here in the U.S. Is the last refuge of idiots who want to be thought of as scholors, imercing themselves in greek and latin in order to become expert in the subject of zomie gods and talking livestock.
It also allows people who have never opened a book on astronomy or science to speak on such topics with authority..."god did it"
I think we got the bastiches on the run and they know it... though the Bible Belt is so saturated it is going to be a tough nut to crack.
Hello Wayne. I've been living in the US for about 8 years now and I'm still having trouble coming to terms with just how pervasive religion is over here. Hardly a day goes by without someone I know asking for prayers for something, or praising god that something good has happened (although I've yet to hear anyone blame their god when prayers don't get answered, or when something bad happens!)
Unfortunately, the same applies to most of the people in positions of power and authority and this is what I find really scary. Hopefully sites like Think Atheist and events like the Reason Rally will help to make a case for atheism in the wider community so that eventually the voice of reason will prevail.
All we need to do is persuade people that they can live their lives happily, comfortably and safely without having to resort to superstition...
How hard can that be?!