I live in a small town in Idaho. Idaho is not known nationally for it's open-mindedness or acceptedness, but I'm in the middle of nature and I don't have to play well with others if I don't want to, so it's never bothered me. My husband is disabled so he stays home with our two daughters (and snowmobiles!), and I am a full-time nursing student. By full-time, I mean I have no life except nursing school. It's the toughest thing I've ever done.

I love my fellow students, who are compassionate, intelligent, and fun. And Christian. Every one of them. I'm the one with the heathenistic views and the tattoos. So, sometimes I feel like an outsider looking in, even when I'm just as compassionate, intelligent, and fun. I recently purchased an atheist necklace so I could "represent" amongst a tangle of little crosses. We'll see how that goes.

I chose nursing because I get bored easily. I also have a difficult time with employment where I am a tiny minnow lining some big shark's pockets while I make minimum wage and don't even believe in the message being preached. Hospitals and healthcare is an expensive and vast corporation. I understand that. Nurses have little to do with it. Our job is to care for each person as an individual. It seems as though we are just in there poking and prodding and causing grief, but in school I am learning to comfort and listen and nurture. I need a job where I make a difference every day, no matter how small. My life is brief, a blink. I want it to mean something, if only to me.

I don't hide my atheism. I am very respectful of others' beliefs. So respectful, in fact, that people are often surprised that I am an atheist. I believe very strongly in representing atheism with personal responsibility and action. I give a damn about my fellow man. I love this earth. I love science, art, literature, etc., too. I am moral. I live ethically. But I am human, a biological being, and it is more comfortable to me to accept that and work with it than deny it and wallow in guilt.

I grew up in a home where I got to "choose my own religion." (This is much like a choose your own adventure, no?) My dad is agnostic, which basically means he is humble enough not to know for sure, but he isn't down with organized religion. His girlfriend seconds this notion. My mother is "spiritual." I'm not sure what that means. I don't have enough interest to ask, I'm afraid. Her husband is a good southern Christian of military background. My lone (younger) sister's only real path to rebellion was to go hardcore born-again Christian at the age of eighteen. She is married to a police officer/youth pastor, they spend all their time diong the lord's work and going to church and hanging out with church people, and she homeschools her children. You would think we would have this horrible divide between us, but we are the best of friends. She also happens to be a spectacular human being. She is one of those rare Christians who really does try her darndest to love everyone without judgment, and I respct that quite a bit. When I told her I am an atheist she only said in wonder, "I don't know anyone who doesn't believe in the story of Adam and Eve." Apparently, she forgot about Dad or any of our childhood friends, who are also nonbelievers or self-proclaimed pagans.

I teach my little girls about evolution and what other people believe and why I don't agree with that. We have lots of fun books on evolution. My oldest, who is nearly seven, wants to be a paleontologist. My youngest, who is almost five, can't decide. Right now she would like to be a chef/artist/nurse. I tell her to go for all of them! I encourage lots of science, math, reading, learning, and asking questions. Last summer, one of my husband's aunts asked if the girls would like to go to Bible Camp with a little cousin so she would know someone there. My husband replied, "Oh, I don't think M will allow that. She doesn't believe in god." I can tell you, that caused an uproar! I still get looks of grand suspicion at family gatherings. The thing is, my husband doesn't believe, either. He just likes to put the blame on me. I don't mind.

I'm an "annoying optimist." If things are down, I always assume they will get better. I am perpetually hopeful. I have never been like anyone else I've ever met. I suppose we are all like that. It made high school pretty difficult, but adulthood has been blissful. And interesting. I have recently begun to truly embrace my not-so-inner nerd. I am also characteristically sarcastic.

I started running about a year ago, and it is very love/hate. I am, however, a junkie to my own endogenous opioids and so continue on. It's my stress release and my happy place.

I also read like other people breathe. I read all different kinds of things. I don't know how I manage to sneak in books amongst nursing texts, but manage I do.

I have been married for seven years. He is a big, loud, opinionated, true-to-self sort of person. At his worst, an asshole. At his best, an unbudging individual. People love him or hate him. There is no in between. He loves snow and nature and his little girls.

I am without theism. I started reading the Bible so I could start going to church and join a religious family. I was so appalled by the Bible and had such difficulty making it "work" with what I knew to be scientific fact... Let's face it, the Bible is ridiculous. It's bizarre, full of hypocrisy, ugly, vicious, rambling, erroneous... I was truly floored to think that people take it as fact. Or why, upon reading it, that they wanted to worship such a horrible, horrible god. I am an atheist/humanist. I have some agnostic tendencies. Perhaps there are powerful beings out there somewhere. I would, however, suppose that they are simply a different species as opposed to a "god." I don't think the classical version of a "god" exists. I think there are mysteries. Mysteries can generally eventually be explained. Have I mentioned that I LOVE science?

In conclusion, that is me and mine. I am ever so happy to be amongst others like me. I wish I had a group or a center near me to join, but alas, I do not.

Views: 5

Comment by B. on February 28, 2010 at 11:12pm
I always find the population of Christians within the healthcare community. Quite a few of my friends are nurses and/or doctors, and the ones that believe in God.. well, I don't know how they do it -- especially since we sat right next to each other in the very same science courses. I find the population of believers practically non-existent amongst scientists, I don't know why. We could have gone to med school (I may even consider the option in the future). It might just be because when you're forced to look critically at evolution every day, eventually you realize it's legit, and there's no tangible argument against it.

Good luck to you & being strong enough to thrive in an environment of theists! Welcome to ThinkAtheist, and best of luck in your studies.
Comment by B. on February 28, 2010 at 11:13pm
*meant to say "I always find them BAFFLING" not just "I always find them".

sorry brain lapse there
Comment by Eric Smith on March 1, 2010 at 1:14am
I'm generally not a very active participant on this page and am actually a relatively new member myself, but I couldn't pass up this opportunitiy to greet someone else from Idaho. I don't know what small town you are from (there are a lot of them, after all), but I would guess that most of the residents are highly religious, thus making open atheism a difficult lifestyle (I was raised in a Mormon family, so it was very difficult for me to come out godless; most people still don't know because I just don't want to cause too much of a scandal until after I have my degree and have moved away). I'm glad to know, even though our numbers are still very low, that there are like-minded people in this overly-religious state. Good luck to you in your studies, and have a wonderful, god-less day.
Comment by Mario Rodgers on March 1, 2010 at 1:24am
"I was truly floored to think that people take it as fact. Or why, upon reading it, that they wanted to worship such a horrible, horrible god."

Yeah I have difficulty grasping that concept, but truth is often stranger than fiction because I've heard people say that they would embrace the Bible wholesale over anything published in the name of science. The Bible is one of the most difficult pieces of nonsense garbage I've ever tried to read.

But when the propaganda starts young, it's difficult to break from religion's spell. Even when I was a believer, I rejected the Bible's Old Testament but not the New Testament. Then I started thinking a little deeper and figured out 1) you're not supposed to do that 2) I was doing exactly to the atheists as a believer what I now resent the believers for doing and 3) nothing about religion or belief made any logical sense.
Comment by Reggie on March 1, 2010 at 6:44am
Welcome to T|A. I think you'll like it here.
Comment by Shine on March 1, 2010 at 12:13pm
Welcome! I am the lone non-Christian in all of my classes at school, too. It is really hard sometimes to relate to people who can carry on these really far-flung delusions; sometimes, you just want to scratch your head and stare at them. People will start talking about speaking in tongues or some other nonsense and it takes all my willpower not to laugh out loud. But at least it makes for some interesting stories to come home and tell your husband...I know that I never want for comedy material at the end of the day. :D
Comment by Mario Rodgers on March 1, 2010 at 12:39pm
"People will start talking about speaking in tongues or some other nonsense and it takes all my willpower not to laugh out loud." Funny how speaking in tongues because they're possessed by the devil and speaking in tongues because they're possessed by the holy spirit often looks the same.

Hmm. Maybe God IS the Devil. Maybe Satan is really in control and he's playing one mean trick on the whole of the human race.

Let's see somebody Pascal's Wager themselves outta THAT. XD
Comment by Shine on March 1, 2010 at 3:31pm
Lol, Mario. :D I mentioned that once, but the eerie similarities of "speaking in tongues" and "demonic possession" were not appreciated by the faithful.
Comment by M on March 1, 2010 at 8:22pm
Thanks for all the sharing of thoughts and support. I am ever so happy to be here!

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