Hello everyone i am a strong atheist and the bad thing is i live in the south(full of religious nut jobs).

I am surrounded my christians and all those very religious people and when I try to tell them im atheist they assume im satanic or im a bad person. i just need help on how to deal with people like this.

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Comment by Diana Prince on August 4, 2012 at 1:29pm

I've had to deal with that a couple times in the nonprofit world. My approach is to avoid the topic entirely for a while, and let them assume I'm religious. Let them see who I am as a person -- just as kind, thoughtful, optimistic, and cheerful as the next gal. After a while, I let it slip or finally respond to a direct question, "Yeah, I'm atheist." When they say, "Really!? NO WAY!!! Why?! I would've never guessed!" I respond, "Well, that's a little personal and not something I want to get into right now, but yeah, I'm atheist, and turns out we don't eat babies or run around burning down villages." There's then an awkward laugh, and I change the subject.

You're never going to convince them with your words that we're not satanic or evil; you'll only be able to convince them with your actions and personality. Ironically, I got this advice from Saint Francis of Assisi. He said: "Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words." Christians that agree with this advice have told me that they think Bible-thumping is incredibly ineffective and choose instead, to live as a good person, and when people see that spark of joy in their eye, they'll ask, "Why do you live like this? What makes you so happy?" And then that's when they start their evangelic spiel.

I realized the same approach could work for atheism! Minus the evangelizing part. So far, it's worked really well for me. Granted, it's because I'm usually encountering religious people while we're doing charity work side-by-side; just by the nature of our environment, they're already forced to realize that atheists aren't all evil people. In other environments, it might be tougher.

I don't know if that was helpful or not; it's just what's worked for me. Good luck!

Comment by James Cox on August 4, 2012 at 3:09pm

I normally don't go into it unless they start getting very pushy. Only a few times has it entered the conversation during job interviews. In that context, I mention that they could be in violation of state labor law if they pursue that line of questioning..;p).

As to atheists being satanists, WTF! I joined a local pagan group for a few years, just to get some social connections, I am a 'nerd'...;p(). It did not go very well. Apparently when/if you become an atheist, you get all mouthy and questioney. Theists/polytheists seem a bit thin on this for the most part, questioning all their sacred cows and such, gives them the feeling that their 'stuff' just might be crap. I have to say that running through a bonfire nude was a high point!

I have sort of 'liked' going to church gatherings and singles groups over the years. I see them as a deep training in understanding, paitence, and food sampleing. I have found that most theist/polytheist groups have good cooks, but a few seem to have little interest in 'low fat'. The one moslum men's group I was invited to sent for very good take out from the local curry kitchen!    

If you can get past certain details, you should be fine. I do have to say that being invited to a pentacostal wedding might not be a good idea. One wedding I attended involved 3 hours of speeking in toungs and witnessing, followed by a 45min marriage ceremony! If you got all day, need a meal, have friends, and need a 'memory' this would be my suggested experience. A little like having nails pounded into your head, with no anesthetic.....;p) LOL

Comment by Doug Reardon on August 4, 2012 at 4:16pm

There is no problem, so intractable, as not to be amenable to the judicious application of high explosives. 

Comment by James Cox on August 4, 2012 at 11:41pm

I have been told many times that I did not 'belong there', I just figured that my nerd was showing a little too much. The last time was this last Tuesday! I wife was interested in a multilevel marketing thingy, I just had to disect the whole marketing model in about 35 mins before I could even remotely come on board. Sadly down deep this still feels like crap.

Comment by Unseen on August 4, 2012 at 11:48pm

"Atheists don't believe in or worship any god, demigod, or fallen angel, including Yahweh, Allah, or Satan. We simply believe what science and logic tell us is true"

Comment by Ben Pontell on August 5, 2012 at 12:50am

thank you all for the comments and good advice, i think they will help me out a little bit more thank you guys and enjoy your day :)

Comment by Shark Bear on August 5, 2012 at 1:26am

Ask them if the book of Leviticus didn't tell them not to have sex with their mothers would they do it just because they were allowed to without fear of punishment. 

Once they calm down and stop slapping you for offending their mother's honour they might realize that no they probably wouldn't want to seduce their own mother's even if it was copacetic to do so and it is for the same reason that you probably don't either.

This is one particularly vulgar case study however similar comparisons could be made with other less incendiary ideas such as not stealing and not killing.

Comment by Yahweh on August 5, 2012 at 3:12am

Tell them about the inquisitions that they supported before they tell you're a bad person. The things christians do  fellow human beings are so bad that you can't even begin to dream of it because that's how bad it is.

Comment by Simon Paynton on August 5, 2012 at 3:16am

James  -  a nerd fighter, sir. 

Comment by Marvel on August 5, 2012 at 6:37am

just don't bring the subject into discussion .. if they asked then it's probably because they are expecting an answer other than the usual one "that u r christian i mean" .. only when they ask it means they are ready to know who u really are .

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