This question is directed at anyone who lives somewhere. So as not to discriminate, those who do not live somewhere, but perhaps live somewhen instead, are also invited to participate, but only if they can explain how that works.
It's pretty open-ended really, but a few things to consider:
Even if you frequently move, or do not live most of any given year at a fixed address, I'm still looking for the same basic things: what keeps you in a state of moving around so much?
N.B. Don't feel obligated to answer those subquestions I asked. Photos, words, videos... whatever; answer however you damn well please. I'm mostly just curious about where other TA members are coming from, figuratively and literaly.
Dude, I've missed you, man. Sorry I haven't been around lately. RL is kicking my ass.
But I saw you up on the hot list and decided that if you were posting, it must be worth it.
Here is my answer:
The places I've lived have been pretty well assorted.
The major religions have been everything from the typical Non-Denom Xtians in California (liberally mixed with new age woo. I swear, if Trader Joe's was a church, all the yuppies would come in for service in their flowered shirts every Sunday. There is an entire culture of CaliWoo here.)
To the Muslim nations in South East Asia (I get along way better with Asian types of Islam than the Arabic types even though I narrowly missed a train derailment and a nightclub bombing in the same year. )
To the Thai/Lao/Malay/Cambodian versions of Buddhism (all of varying degrees of tradition. Some of my best Buddhist friends were prostitutes, actually. One of my good friends also served as a Buddhist Nun -is Nun the right English translation? They shave their heads and eyebrows like Monks but live in different temples, I think.)
To the formally decreed "Royal Church of Scotland" or whatever their national religion is. I mean, my inlaws there are all agnostic/atheists/huh? where no one is actually 'religious.' and if they are, they are almost always Catholic and always considered a little...weird. Asking about religion in Scotland is a little like asking about sex. No one cares if you do it, but whose business is it, again? Though weirdly enough, their religion is divided by football (soccer) teams. There is still a TON of violence and animosity between the Celtics and Rangers and there is still a good lot of death and violence that comes with team support. Seriously. Over a religious ball game. I couldn't make this shit up if I tried.
Every place I've lived, my lack of religion has never been an issue except for while here in America.
That isn't to say Americans are just plain crazier (though I sort of do suspect it.) but it's also because when I'm in other countries, I generally try to play by the social rules of the place that is hosting me. If religion is a taboo subject there, I leave it alone. If it isn't, I pretty much get away with saying anything I want because I'm a novelty. Sadly, in many of the places I've lived, no one cares that I'm atheist, because they assume that I'm already going to be different because I'm white and female and doing abnormal things (to them) anyway. Being atheist is the same as all my other differences, and no one cares.
Here.. oh here.. totally different story.
Part of my family are Mormons. The other part are Baptists. The other part are New Age.
They all talk smack about each other in front of me, and I always say "Wait.. you've got no room to laugh. You believe in XXXXX" (and then I make their most sacred beliefs sound stupid ala Jewish Zombie tone. ) That usually shuts EVERYBODY up, because no one can make an argument against another religion that can't be applied to theirs as well.
I am not bothered by living in places where my atheism is less accepted.
The only time I feel uncomfortable is when I live in places like Provo, Utah (oh folks, have I got stories..!)
Where the minute the public finds out you are an atheist it becomes a living game of social Frogger. People -even well meaning people- believe they are doing you a favor by engaging you at the most inappropriate times and places.
I don't like being an atheist in a place that considers my atheism my only defining attribute.
When folks treat it like a detail that they do or do not agree with, that's one thing.
But when I'm made out to be a target or potential prey for a notch in the belt of some born agains or overly enthusiastic theists in large numbers? Makes day to day life really, really annoying.
I am 22 years old and I have not moved at all in my life. I plan on moving in the near future, but still in the same relative area.
My community is NOT open to very many philosophical ideas, including atheism. I seem to live in a very fundamentalist environment.
It does bother me, but you find the same thing anywhere else really..you could be talking to someone online from a different state and still feel the same awkwardness.
I remain here because most of my family lives close by. I cant afford to move just yet, but like I mentioned already, I plan on not moving too far away. I like my home town. I live in a small town with a major river flowing less then a mile away. I live in a very historical town. There is a certain beauty to this area, that I think you would only notice if you were raised here. I love to ride four wheeler...there are abandoned strip mining sites close by that are perfect for that hobby. I love to fish the river that is closed by. I learned how to swim there.
the only other thing i dont like about my hometown is that it's nearly impossible to find a job...I have to travel.
I'm going to post a few pictures if that's ok... also a few links.
I live in a pleasant sea side resort in South West England (N Somerset). Most of my friends and colleagues are atheist or agnostic. I am under the impression that despite a recent visit to the UK from the pope church attendance is dropping.
I was born here. Never really had the urge to leave as I know it well and I like it. Only religious pressure I had was at primary school where it was forced down my throat and if you questioned the faith you were punished and also at college where a bit of a crazy bunch heard I was a non believer and pestered me to join their silly club.
There are a lot of churches around here. 3 that I know of within a 5 min walk. I expect that number to drop over time even with the increasing and unmanageable population within the UK.
Attached is a pic of the sunset from my window. One of the reasons I like my little flat overlooking the bay.
I live in midtown Manhattan, NY. I really love it here. My commute is a 12 minute walk, which is hard to beat, although it took me about 15 minutes when we had the blizzard here last week haha. My community is very open to atheism, and just about anything else. I suppose it's a factor in why I choose to stay, but mainly it's the overall awesomeness of the city. Everything is at your fingertips. However, most of my friends and family are not, so I hesitate to be too open about this.
No my community is not open to my atheism.
I remain because I was raised here, my kids went to school here, my husband and I have jobs here and my family is here. And they need a few token atheist liberals here.
It bothers me sometimes. I have had to quit reading the local paper as it is not good for my blood pressure. However working in a library gives me access to like minded liberals at least.
I live in the Ozarks of north central Arkansas back in the 'boondocks.' Totally isolated from the rest of the world for the most part. Rural or backwoods life suits me just fine. As a Lone Wolf with a type A personality this is where I am most at peace.
I love the outdoors and being amongst the critters and trees and all that. Very rewarding simple lifestyle. Definitely not for most.
I have a woodworking business that I operate out of a small shop on my property. Shameless promotion: Mister Ed's Woodworking (misteredswoodworking.com). Because of my business I have to be careful about my religious beliefs or lack of them. Most people around here are your stereotypical 'go to church each week faithfully' type. They have no tolerance for unbelievers and would be very reluctant to do any business with you if they can get the same thing from Joe Christian. You can easily be blacklisted by the local communities as word spreads fast these days. If I didn't have the business considerations I would be more vocal about my atheism.
So I would say that my local communities are DEFINITELY not open to atheism and I try to not let it bother me. As theism declines in popularity I see these rurals areas being the last strongholds for Jesus. Maybe in another 4 or 5 centuries we'll see a noticeable change around here. :^ )
I have never understood why people who grow up in a certain environment never question their belief system. Because mom and dad, and grandma and grandpa, and great grandma and grandpa worshipped Jesus I should. That is nonsensical to me. Alot of pressure is placed on those who might waver from the "truth." Sometimes it is a hard thing to reach the point to make a stand. It can often times fracture family unity. But one must let their conscience be their guide.
To be true to myself I cannot pretend to believe in something just to placate others. I used to feel quilty about taking that position but not anymore.
I just found this discussion! I posted one similar to this a few days ago but if I had found this one first I would've just contributed :) I love this pics of the different places. I am from Norris, SC. We have a population of around 800 and I am sure they are all 100% Christian :(
I love my family so I stay. Norris has nothing but one gas station and 2 stop signs. No businesses or restaurant chains, definitely no stop lights. But there are lakes all around and we are next door to Clemson, SC (home of the Clemson Tigers) and, although it is also a relatively small town, Clemson has some beautiful places to visit.