Well, just a short piece I wrote in response to something on ThinkingAloud.
I remember when I first got my apartment in the US. It was a crappy one, but had a shedload of land on it for walks, and relaxing, not to mention it was safe for my ferocious Mr Schmo to go out and sort out the local wildlife. My apartment was in a row of three, and next to my gaff was this weird redneck fellow who was a bit of a drunk, and an arsehole. His gaff was an utter pit, but I used to sit out front and offer him beer, and we'd chat away about sport, the weather, and just chew the fat. Anyway, one day we were chatting about something, and I mentioned I was an atheist. Well fuck me with a broom sideways, the guy changed instantly.
He accused me of being the reason America was going down the tubes, and was on the verge of getting fisty, (not in an anal way, in a knuckle-face interface type of way). Anyway, I managed to calm the inbred freak down, (I'm not a small fella), and the guy stormed off kicking stuff, etc. I never spoke to him for over a year.... PURELY because I never happened to believe in whatever faith he had. I think it was made worse because I had no faith at all. Is that worse than simply being with another religion? In the US, it would seem so.
From that moment on, I seldom told people I was an atheist, unless I knew them well. I think some folks in the US are a little backwards like that, and I must say they do tend to be the far right, staunch republicans, (not all, just some). I think their ideal land to live in would be a theocracy based entirely around Christianity, and yet their sworn enemies that all they prattle on about is Saudi Arabia, N. Korea, etc, which are the antithesis of what they want, isn’t it? Do they want to live in a country where intolerance is utterly mainstream, and it is essentially a dictatorship? That seems very un-American. I remember a poll that mentioned that Atheists are the most untrusted group in the US... That to me is scary indeed. Are Americans that shallow? Being a European, I had never felt the anger like that purely because of my belief, or lack of. Peculiar people.