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6/28/13 3:22 P

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I live in the bible-belt, Branson MO which is dying because it is run by mormans. Branson is the laughing stock of the nation. Just got back from Alaska, whenever someone ask where we were from and we said Branson we got the eye roll. Such a shame, that with lakes here the powers that be concentrate on old tribute shows and "Steal Your Dollar City" instead of improving tourism for biking, hiking, fishing and water-sports, which can all be done year round here (with a wetsuit for the water) I keep waiting for someone to slash my tires because of my Darwin fish...

Edited by: CMBRONSON at: 6/28/2013 (15:25)
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6/12/13 11:06 P

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I live in a very conservative district and have talked about the church I went to and about a few of the churches around me, but some people I won't come out and say that I don't believe in God unless they ask directly. I have this lady I have started to walk with in the mornings and I'm not sure how she's act if I told her directly, but she hasn't really asked probably because I have talked about churches.

I'm kinda scared of the Michele Bachmann district I'm in (yes, it's that district, I could only vote against her once) because people can act that way. Politics and religion are things you don't really talk about around here.

An excuse is just a challenge to figure out how to do something different.

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CHRISTY0615 Posts: 64
5/26/13 9:24 A

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I live in GA, have Mormon in-laws and half-assed Baptist parents. My brother is also agnostic, which I just found out in the last year. It's funny, because my stepmother (his mom) always asks him to say the blessing. I caught him rolling his eyes. Neither of us feel the need to tell them, though I've been tempted to blurt it out in response to some of the ridiculous things she says and sends me in emails.

My MIL is one of the nicest people I know. I don't think I'd even tell her, because as others have said, it would permanently change the relationship and the way they see me. Sad, but true.

My brother is in AL, and has gotten the "what church do you go to?" question from a colleague. Eek. I think he said he had been trying a few, and hadn't found the right one yet.

But as SOTHIS(?) said, I don't wear it on my sleeve. Only a few like-minded friends, and my brother know. Life in the Bible Belt...

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5/23/13 5:17 A

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No I haven't ever felt any discrimination anywhere I have lived for not being a believer of God.
I've mostly lived in places where its fine to be nonreligious. Even when I lived in the South I was vehement about not discussing religion unless people wanted to discuss why I am atheist. I made it clear nothing would change my mind and they were welcome to pray about it and I declined offers of bibles and a minister coming to my house etc....

Amusing times in Seattle when this Mormon lady invited me to church and I said plainly no. She asked why not and I said I would rather burn in hell than be a Mormon or belong to any other cult, lol.

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11/16/08 2:28 P

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Zaita1, why not read the Bible your friend gave you? Just get a notebook and write down your own critiques of the Bible and interpretations and give it back to your friend. That way you both might learn a thing or two.

One time a Christian friend gave me a copy of McDowell's "Evidence that Demands a Verdict" and asked me to note any logical inconsistancies in the margins. The next time I saw him he asked me if I was able to do so. I said, "no." He said, "because you couldn't find any right?" I replied, "no the margins aren't big enough for all the fallacies."

JPGR69 Posts: 27
11/4/08 10:47 A

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BlackFalcon, dang, that was an insane story.

I consider myself a life-long hardcord gnostic atheist (meaning I'm positive there is no god). I'm fairly upfront about my atheism. I have a couple of atheist shirts that aren't really fitting too well right now emoticon .

I can't think of any times i've been discriminated against personally. Sometimes I get tired of the fact that practically every community activity in our midwestern town has something to do with religion. It either takes place in a church, is sponsered by a church, or mentions Jesus. To me, that does feel like a sort of discrimination, even though it's not directed at me.

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10/25/08 6:49 A

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Here's a funny thought: at the top of this discussion board was a message that Jesus loves you. Great! I can use a little love, but he's cold. I like my men warm. wink wink
About discrimination: I have never hidden my atheism and everybody who discusses religion gets to know that about me up front. About 10 years ago I was undergoing treatment for cancer and my bible-thumpin' Baptist buddy put me on her group's prayer list. At one point I over-nighted at her house (too far to commute for a visit) when she informed me that the next evening she'd invited all her prayer buddies to meet me. Side show? It was pretty obvious that I was her pet heathen. I made my excuses and left the next morning.
The next thing I knew, she sent me a "good" bible with interpretations--how the reader is required to think--in the margins. She told me that if I had a "good" bible, I could find faith. I thanked her kindly, gave the book to a neighbor, and let the friendship fade. Here's my thing: I spent a good number of years coming to the conclusions I've come to. I didn't wake up one morning and say, "Gee, all the people around me believe one thing. I think I'll be different from them." My belief system reflects a great deal of meditation and the Constitution guarantees my right to pursue it. And pursuing it I am: My new label is Secular Humanist. We'll see what the group does with my latest donation to the cause.

Life is short. Don't spend it all in one place.

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10/4/08 12:49 P

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One trip I made to Tulsa when my ex- was antique shopping I was sipping some coffee and started a conversation with a woman having her cup of Joe. We talked about various things. Somehow we got to the subject of religion and I mentioned that I was an atheist. Amazed she leaned over and told me that she was one too. She looked around and when nobody was close by she told me that in a city like Tulsa Christianity is so pervasive that she fears letting anyone know she doesn't believe in God. When she saw her husband she waved him over and told him about her new firend who doesnt' believe in God but doesn't hide it. I always wondered how many closet atheists there are out there.

My usually strategy is what most people said; I don't wear my atheism on my sleve. I generally let people get to know me a while before I tell them that I'm an atheist. That way hopefully instead of my atheism making them think less of me I can make them think more of atheism.

Anyway, my daughter plays with some girls from a very religious family. We all get along. The few comments religious comments they made to me I handily shot down so now they avoid the subject. We allso complete disagree on politics and other things as well but somehow we all get along.

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9/15/08 11:09 P

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I live in Fresno, CA where there is a right-wing church on nearly every street corner. In the Valley, to not believe in the God in the bible is blasphemy.

When I was in high school, I had a "friend" who was a very conservative Christian. She would often try to persuade me to convert to her viewpoint. She went as far as to find information on the Internet that states that Unitarian-Universalists(the viewpoint I was raised with) were devil worshippers in decades past. She gave me the printout, and told me that she was really scared for me. I should have run for the hills when she did that, but I stayed in this clique for Buddha only knows what reasons. She also enjoyed putting me, and others, down behind their backs (very Christian of her, right?), as she felt that she was a superior being.

Years later, I wrote her an email to see whether she might have changed or opened her mind just a skoshe. To me, she replied, "Please never write to me at this address again." That was it. I had written a rather lengthy email to her, and all she could say was "Leave me alone." What a wonderful person emoticon

Right now, I have a couple of friends who talk of their religion, trying to convince me to convert. I try to change the subject, but it doesn't always work. I'm trying to expand my friend base. In fact, if I get the job that I will be interviewing for in in about two weeks, I may have a chance to move to a more open-minded locale emoticon

A Fellow Agnostic,

MAHHCHU's Photo MAHHCHU Posts: 65
9/4/08 9:06 P

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I put it off most of the time, until a person gets to know me.

I live in Utah, the bastion of Mormonism. Having grown up Mormon, served a full time mission and all that, I understand where most of them are coming from: closed mindedness.

Once they know me for me, there is not usually a problem. To my face, anyway. Plus, I can be very intimidating when I want to be.
Seriously though, I sometimes use my agnosticism as a way for me to test the openness of others. If they have problems with that, then I don't associate with them if I don't have to. if they do, then I'll be there waiting for them in whatever hell they imagine I'll end up in.

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8/14/08 8:57 P

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I just try not to bring up religion. Even if you're not an atheist (or other non-standard belief), religion is a conversation topic that almost always ends badly. Until you know the person well enough to be sure they can philosophize without just reacting with emotion, there's no reason to get into it.

Sort of like politics, although that's not worth discussing with anyone ever for any reason. ;)

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8/11/08 5:02 P

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The only discrimination I experienced so far was in High School when I was kept out of the National Honor Society because I was an atheist.

Other than that I haven't had a problem with any of my jobs, housing, etc.

I generally don't tell people that I'm an atheist until they know me and have already decided if they like me or not. I figure that way I'll avoid their prejudice until they know me as a human being then after that when they learn I'm an atheist hopefully it will raise their opinion of atheists.

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7/22/08 3:49 P

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One thing happened to me once. I was at Starbucks with a friend of mine, and he told me a story that sounded so crazy and odd that I could do nothing else but say: "Oh my God".

Suddenly the lady on the table next to me turned around and started shouting at me. "You can't use God's name like this!", she yelled, before she continued calling me all sorts of names. When I tried to apologize for it - she started slapping and hitting me.

Starbucks' Personnell notified the Police, which arrived on scene shortly after and took that lady into custody. While they were dragging her out of that store, she yelled at me: "You will go to hell!".

At that point I just replied: "Allright, I'll meet you there."

Simple fact is: You can't really expect and await the reaction of others to something. So I decided not to worry about other people's feelings anymore, because if somebody wants to be insulted, they'll look for insults with a magnifying glass.

7/16/08 12:39 A

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I put off telling my family for a long time because I knew it would permanently change the relationship I have with my parents/siblings. We come from a church community that considers the question of whether or not you are "saved" to be the single most important question in life! I can remember plenty of sermons on "if you died tonight, do you know where you'd be?" If you couldn't immediately answer "heaven", then you were encouraged to come forward to the alter and confess your sins to Christ as soon as possible, lest you end up in hell.

It makes for a rather uneasy social situation now when I am around them, but I prefer that to always keeping my mouth shut when the family gets into a discussion about spiritual matters and I'm with them. I'd rather have the freedom to just speak my mind, even if that means they now regard me as a "lost soul". And I used to be a true believer in Christianity myself once, so it's not like I don't know where they are coming from. But sometimes I wonder if they will ever truly understand where I'm coming from!

"For me, it is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring." --Carl Sagan

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7/13/08 1:22 P

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I lost my job over just asking (a co-worker who is a bible teacher) while we were at dinner together (i.e. off the clock) how she handles questions in her class regarding the inconsistencies in the bible.

I never even claimed to be a non-believer, I knew better then do say such a thing I was working for a Christian owned company.

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6/13/08 6:33 P

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I have alot and its disturbing that people look at me like I'm sort sort of evil demon come to take their soul when I say I'm an athiest. Or simply not believe me and think I'm kidding. I actually lost my best friend from high school because her husband couldn't handle the fact I was athiest. We can't even speak to each other any more. Its sad cause we had a really great friendship.

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5/5/08 2:09 P

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Have any of you ever experienced discrimination for not believing in some kind of higher power? I'm not talking about removing 'In God We Trust' from the dollar or changing the pledge of allegiance. I mean, have any of you avoided telling someone or discussing your beliefs because you were concerned about the reaction you might get?

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