Many of you may have noticed that I am always referring to my state (SC) in discussions. I have realized that I don't see many positive things living where I do and everything I have to say is some-what negative. It isn't intentional, it's just how things are. I feel as if we are decades behind everyone else. Honestly, I am jealous of you all that are able to find other atheists near you. Some people have told me that no one around them even cares if they are atheist or not. In SC, it is a HUGE deal. *Sigh* It must be nice to be accepted :)
I am wondering where you all are from and how your area reacts to freethinkers, etc., and where you think are the best places to live.
I live in Eugene Oregon but grew up in Bend Oregon.
Eugene is friendly to pretty much everything sometimes a little too friendly. Homeopathy, anti-vaccination, not showering for a week or more, being homeless for the hell of it, and too much armpit hair are a little too popular here for my taste but I'll take it any day over what I hear the Bible Belt is like. Plus Eugene and both Oregon and Washington as a whole have a very local culture. It's really easy and cheap to eat and drink local foods in fact you can visit the farms your food is grown or raised on and there are probably a thousand or so little breweries and wineries all over Oregon and Washington.
Bend is somewhat conservative but there are still plenty of atheists, skeptics, and freethinkers and Bend is becoming more and more liberal and accepting of a more diverse population. Unless you venture to the far secluded eastern part of Oregon and Washington you have little to fear in terms of discrimination for being an atheist in the Pacific Northwest. You might get a few strange looks or those oh so annoying questions based off of atheist stereotypes but you aren't going to lose your job or be outright rejected in social circles for being an atheist. I've been open about my atheism since I was 15 and so far I have been party to only one incident of discrimination... I caught some high school boys who were about to key my car when I was picking up my little brother at school.
My partner grew up just north of Seattle in Everett. He says Seattle, the surrounding areas, and most of Washington in general is pretty accepting of atheists, free thinkers and other diversity and that discrimination is unlikely to happen.
As for the weather in Seattle and Portland rainy is the best way to describe it. I swear it rains 9-10 months out of the year. The temp usually hovers around 50 in the winter and 75-80 in the summer in both cities. Portland may get some snow once every couple of years Seattle proper almost never gets snow.
That made me think of something I just found out. My town is beside Clemson, SC and yesterday I was searching online about the Secular Student Alliance and Clemson University has 119 members in it. Clemson is also a small town and I didn't even know the university had this club, so I was surprised to find out how many were involved. I went to USC instead, but I am a die-hard CLEMSON fan. They were just more expensive and wouldn't take my tranfer courses :/
I am so glad that there are people like you out there that organize these groups.
OMD! I had to listen to Focus on the Family when I worked at a christian university! It drove me crazy working there. It was jesus radio all day long. You should put atheist flyers all over their cars :) I found one website one time where you could download really funny ones. I'll try to find it again.
I have googled and searched everywhere for it. I will keep trying. Hopefully the site hasn't been deleted or anything. They were hilarious! One that I remember was on blasphemy and when you read it, it says the words " I deny the existance of God, Jesus, and the Holy Ghost". Then it goes on to say that since you just read those words, you said them in your head. That means you just committed blasphemy and you can never be forgiven for it according to the bible, so "you're fucked". But some of them weren't so harsh :) That one was just easy for me to remember.
Brisbane Australia, as the ad goes "Beautiful one day, perfect the next."
We like it, we have a thriving atheist group and the climate can't be beat!
I have watched movies that made me terrified of Australia and Europe. It seems that all of the killer/slasher movies are supposed to be set in the Outback or somewhere in Europe. The way I imagine it is probably completely different from how it really is. You should upload some pics if you have any :) Thanks for the reply!
Brisbane is quite a lot safer than you might imagine. Here are a couple of sites with all the photos you could want.
There are dangerous animals but on the land in the wild, I have probably seen 4 or 5 in the last 30 years. I have seen sharks, but I'm a diver, we like to see them.
I've also seen wild koalas, roos, wallabies, dingoes and pademelons. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pademelon they are about the size of a cat)
Drop by sometime, we have just said goodbye to friends from California and will soon say hello to people from England and then more from Germany. We love to play tour guide.
As for being safer, I have only sat next to someone armed (outside of the army) in Las Vegas.
I only know farmers with guns here.