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 the Atlanta metro area. All I can say is "guh". But I think these days it can depend a lot on your age. When I talk to my 19 year old niece, she makes it sound as if atheism is totally cool and accepted for many in her age group. But in my age group (I'm 50) forget about it.
I've lived in northern Vermont for almost 40 years. Vermont is not only the most rural state in the country, and perhaps the most politically progressive state, and the most educated state, and the state with the most libraries per capita, but it's also the least religious state in the country (in terms of a person's declared allegiance).
This is, by and large, a very good place for a freethinker to be. It has been for me, certainly. No one among my neighbors and colleagues cares much about my atheism. Religion here just isn't much of an an issue, socially or professionally.
Just a few miles from my place, on a large limestone monument (with a sleeping babe on top) in the village cemetery in Lyndon Center, Vermont, there is this epitaph for George F. Spencer, 1908:
Beyond the universe there is nothing and within... the
universe the supernatural does not and cannot exist.*
Of all deceivers who have plagued mankind, none are so
deeply ruinous to human happiness as those imposters who
pretend to lead by a light above nature.
Science has never killed or persecuted a single
person for doubting or denying its teachings, and
most of those teachings have been true; but religion
has murdered millions for doubting or denying her
dogmas, and most of those dogmas have been false.
All stories about gods and devils, of heavens and hells, as they do not conform to nature and are not apparent to sense, should be rejected without consideration.
The lips of the dead are closed forever. There comes no voice from the tomb, Christianity is responsible for having cast the fable of eternal fire over almost every grave.
*The first two lines are taken from Robert Green Ingersoll's
The Gods and Other Lectures (1875)
Amen, can you get a witness? Yes you can lol. I live in the Atlanta metro area and you are correct about they are everywhere.
A neighbor of mine was telling me the other day about her daughter complaining that where she worked the employees said prayer together in the morning and this is a pretty big widely known company.
I live in Long Beach, California, where there's plenty of pockets of both the faithful and the non-faithful (whether they be atheist, apatheist, or believers who don't do much about their faith). So, acceptance isn't universal around here, but there's enough of it.
Yeah, I bet SC is different. In my youth my family would visit Southern California, specifically Orange County, which was a lot more conservative that it is now. I had an uncle there who grew up in South Carolina, and his home-grown politics were right at home in the OC in those days - when there were John Birch and "Get US out of UN" bumper stickers all over the place, and no room for communists atheists. He eventually returned back to South Carolina, I suspect because he found California to be getting too liberal for him.
I live in rural N. Idaho, where I seem to know a surprising number of atheists. There are plenty of the god-fearing, too, as there is anywhere. We also enjoy ATVs and guns. :o)