I live in a podunk town with a population of 499.
The outlying towns are generally not more than three or four times as big and they all seem to repeat the same people over and over. About 90% of them are bible-thumping close-minded hypocrites, this grates on my sanity daily. I have to listen to some of the most ignorant and ridiculous views here in the buckle of the bible belt. I can deal, I can just laugh in my head at them; their racism, their bigotry, it's funny. More of a laugh to keep from crying situation I suppose, but whatever works, right?
The part where I take issue is never being able to find a chick that differs from this massively hive minded community. Not one girl that's atheist or, to whom, religion doesn't matter. I'm not asking for much. Just a pretty chick who is funny and smart. Yet, I can't find even one. What's up with that? It makes me sad, not just for the fact that I'm stuck alone, but for the whole human race. That there are this many egotistical bigots in existence. Frankly, it sucks.
What are some of your "horror stories" of living in the bible belt?
Well, I was also "born" as it were into the bible belt in small, textile town, Leaksville (now Eden of all things), North Carolina. As a side-show; how my hometown came to be named Eden may be seen @ www.leaksville.com if you like, and that birth came about exactly one-year before the US Marines planted Old Glory on top of a semi-active volcano at Iwo Jima on Feb. 23, 1945. If there ever was a bible belt buckle it was the Leaksville, and the nearby towns of Spray and Draper of 1944.
I was a skeptic at a very tender age. I vividly remember arguments with cousins about the total unlikelihood of Santa and his sleigh of toys for the world's "good little boys and girls" pulled by flying reindeer lead by a red-nosed reindeer. That was occurring before I entered primary school and it only got worse over time as I learned enough science to back me up.
Although I had already traveled extensively beforehand, I finally escaped Eden for good in July of 1993 when we moved to Fort Lauderdale. When I departed there were, by actual count, 125 churches within Eden or its immediate environs for a total population of 15,000. While I lived there as a kid and adult I never personally knew another skeptically-inclined person.
Before I departed I was a self-avowed atheist and went to Florida in total repudiation of anything having to do with religion, the supernatural, the paranormal, gods, spooks, holy or otherwise and so forth. It was not until I came to know James "The Amazing" Randi and volunteered at his James Randi Education Foundation, the venerable JREF that I found like-minded people and managed to surround myself with them.
In 2003 We moved to Decatur, Texas, deep in "Red State" America and I found myself back in the same type environs as Eden. However, I did not hide my skeptic nature or atheism. By being willing to make my feelings known I found non-believers and otherwise like-minded people even here deep in the big cowboy buckle bible belt; however, most of them are much younger than I, so I've become sort of an elder statesman for the non-believer crowd and hope to found a free-thinkers group here. A few of us go to Denton, 20-miles to our east to meet every other week with the Denton Atheist Meet-up Group and we have a lot of fun chatting with like-minded people; I hope you can find such a group or found one if the personal cost to you is not too high.
The good-bad part is my bride for the past 45+ years is a born again, true-believer, but we have a very successful marriage with enough mutual respect, love and admiration not to allow that 'fundamental" difference to have a negative impact on what we've built together, two children and seven grandchildren, all of whom live just 46-miles to our east in Frisco, Texas.
I hope you can either move or by being open about your non-believer nature to find a few like-minded people. I don't rudely confront believers, unless forced back into a corner and then I can and will fight back against bigotry and a pervasive lack of understanding that the US Constitution makes each person equal regardless of one's belief or lack thereof.
Best of luck mate, and we're here for as much support as we are capable of lending to your quest for equality with the bible-pounder crowd, as outnumbered as we are and likely will be far into the future.
Thanks for the huge reply, it's pretty cool that just the next morning after I post this I get three replies; and this one especially.
I've been intrigued by relationships between atheist and religious people for a while, the religious people can rarely get over the fact that they're with a non-believer. Good job finding someone as open-minded as her.
Thanks for the support, it's definitely appreciated. I only have two atheist friends and one moved to Oklahoma recently, and the other is going to move soon to be closer to his girlfriend.
Also I find it pretty funny that you live in Decatur, cause I live in Paradise and frequently head to Decatur for walmart or to go to college.
Paradise is it? Great, we're only a few miles apart and I want to invite you to come to the Denton Atheists Meet-ups any time you want. It's a fun group and there are a couple of very active atheists here in Decatur. I have a very good friend who lives in Decatur who is as active an atheist as I and we tend to make the Denton meetings at every opportunity, just this past Sunday for instance. Here's the funny part, he also attended and graduated from a seminary and is an ordained minister, so he known all the BS in that nefarious volume and can defeat believers with their own words.
My direct email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll pass along my phone # to a reply to that address.
See, we're increasing even here in Wise County.
Yep, what a coincidence. And, thank you for the invite, I'd definitely like to attend that sometime.
Your friend is awesome, the only good kind of minister haha. Both my grandfathers were also pastors or preachers.
Thanks for the email too, I'll get your info shortly.
Oh yeah, geography doesn't matter, as long as people are intelligent enough to go against the social norm and not blindly accept whatever their peers and elders tell them, we will increase in number. As long as there are people like us, with the will to learn and know more about our world there's always hope that theists won't take over.
I read a really nice article on the steep increase of the non-religious segment of US society, up from 8% in 1990 to about 16% now and steadily growing.
I make every effort to demonstrate that moral and ethical behavior are not exclusive property of the true-believer crapstians and other similar religions. We marched with the Metroplex Atheist in the July 4 parade in Arlington behind their sign that was carried by children and adults.
Google Denton Area Atheists and it will pop right to the top, and s I am one of the organizers, you have my express invitation to become a member; no dues, just participation and the more the merrier.
A mind settling statistic, people get smarter every day.
Exactly what I try to do, I go out of my way to help people. That doesn't change what will happen to me when I die.
Thanks for the invite Ken
Haha I do enjoy rhymes, but not really my road. That sucks though, that you had to resort to bein' a hipster just to avoid questioning. And, yeah there are bible suckers of every shape and size, hipster ones don't surprise me.
Hear-hear, the single best advice I've seen on this forum.
"Make an atheist", better still, make a lot of atheists.
Making as many of us as possible may be the only chance folks like us have to slow down the takeover of all our institutions by the bible-pounders, and cross-wearers.
A good philosophy, problem is believing in Christianity isn't their only huge fault. Most of 'em are still vaguely racist morons, religion aside.
From all that I've seen to date, by far and away the largest percentage are bigots, and that's especially true of all the Tea-stained Repugnicans, as vociferously as they deny the obvious truth.
The way I see it, America is at a dangerous crossroad whether to further deny our basic liberties and freedoms or reassert them loudly and long post 2012.
I'm in Texas, so I've seen the Rickster up close and personal and he's all lies, bullshit and pointless fluff.
Be afraid America, be very afraid.