Why are you Atheist? Are there any obstacles you face as an Atheist?

I come from a rural area in Alabama, deep in the bible belt. My family is very religious. I, on the other hand, think entirely too much to give in to Christianity as they have. I've done my research. I even took a class entitled Survey of the OldĀ Testament because the Old Testament is not often covered in church. I have realized that religion is probably little more than fiction but I still relapse occasionally. I think this may be due to the fact that there aren't too many people here who see the world as I do and many people are very hateful towards people like me, so I feel pressure to conform. As of right now, I claim agnostic, except when I'm around my family. I have tried to discuss my doubts with some Christians, but its like talking to a brick wall. A very hostile brick wall. I need to know why others have chosen this path, and what obstacles they face if any.

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    James Cox

    Yes, sometimes it feels like I see way too many stupid people. Sadly they sometimes don't even know they are stupid.

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      Kevin Napolillo

      I think I started becoming an atheist, (because for me, it was a process) when I first discovered there were many different religions. Being raised Catholic, of course I was taught that our religion was the "right religion". But then I learned that every religion believes they are the "right religion" with different reasons to "prove it". Someone had to be wrong. After a while I realized it was all of them.

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        Rick Yost

        I was exposed to the Baptist version of the art form when I was a kid. I went to church 'several times', and even spent a whole summer in bible school. But it was like a vaccination that didn't take.
        I was a reader of stories as a kid, so the bible stories were interesting to me. But even the stories were certainly not believable, even to a ten year old.
        After a while, it seemed to me that all the adults around me were 'play acting'. It was like they were all in the middle of some strange adult fantasy game. I soon got bored watching them play their game. It just seemed silly.

        Yes, 'coming out' can be a little unnerving. But once you've subtly proclaimed you don't believe in God enough times through conversation, things get easier. Unless you have friends and family that are hardcore religious believers, you can mention it enough times that they'll get used to hearing it. After a while it won't seem to bother them at all. At least that's how it was for me.
        I do have many friends who believe. That's not a problem, I just keep it in mind when I'm with them. I don't think I could enjoy my life as much as I do without being friends with some believers. Just because they believe in something I don't, doesn't mean I can't be friends with them. No matter how I may feel about their skewed mental state, I would never intentionally hurt their feelings.
        I think it all has to do with how you interact with other people in your everyday life. I don't say a word about my atheism unless someone asks or I'm on a forum like this one. If it doesn't come up, there's no reason to say a thing. I'm not a militant atheist, I just don't believe.
        There's no way I'm personally going to rid the world of the malady of 'belief'. So why should I martyr my peaceful life for the sake of trying to change the minds of those who partake in the frenzy?
        If I'm accosted by a book-thumper, I'm pretty quick to let them know my point of view. But unless I'm forced to get defensive, I just leave the room. I pick my battles.
        I feel I've done my fair share of fighting against the robe & cloth in my day. My head still hurts from beating it against the wall. I now live the life of a quiet atheist.
        For me, the best part of not believing, is peace of mind.