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Desperately Wanting To Reach Out


vitani88
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I have been an atheist for about 6 months. Having grown up in an extremely religious home, I know the affect religion can have on the mind. I want so badly to do something in my community to help educate people. Living in the bible belt makes it difficult. There aren't really any groups here. I feel like there's nothing that I can do. Anyone else feel this way?

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Yeah. There's no real support structure or community in most areas. And there's such institutionalized distrust of atheists in this country that's it's hard to find a niche.

 

Sorry, I don't have any answers. I just know what you mean.

 

 

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Yeah. There's no real support structure or community in most areas. And there's such institutionalized distrust of atheists in this country that's it's hard to find a niche.

 

Sorry, I don't have any answers. I just know what you mean.

 

 

 

Welcome vitan! Good to have you with us. I have to agree with Max on this one. There is not a lot of support.

 

There is a 'freethinkers' group in my city - I just need to call the number and meet up. EX-c is my sanctuary. I come to visit my friends everyday. I would not have made it, if it weren't for the people on EX-C. Stay with us, do lots of reading. We're her to support you my friend. :grin:

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Welcome Vitani88. Anchorage is in the babble belt now?

 

Most larger cities even in the south now have atheist/agnostic groups. And ex-c is always here.

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I know how you feel! I live in Nashville, TN. There is a fucking church on every corner! When I try to talk about the things we have learned, people look at us like we have two heads. I don't know what to do.

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I have been an atheist for about 6 months. Having grown up in an extremely religious home, I know the affect religion can have on the mind. I want so badly to do something in my community to help educate people. Living in the bible belt makes it difficult. There aren't really any groups here. I feel like there's nothing that I can do. Anyone else feel this way?

 

People believe what they want to believe. Fundies will see you as the devil. I know because I was one. "Religion" is a cult. If you influence anyone, they are either just telling you what you want to hear or they were sitting on the fence, anyway. Sorry to be so cynical, but I lost all faith in churched humanity.

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I have been an atheist for about 6 months. Having grown up in an extremely religious home, I know the affect religion can have on the mind. I want so badly to do something in my community to help educate people. Living in the bible belt makes it difficult. There aren't really any groups here. I feel like there's nothing that I can do. Anyone else feel this way?

Here in Nowheresville, Indiana, it's pretty much the same. I get by because my fiancee and her son are freethinkers and her daughter, while dabbling in religion, is not particularly serious and certainly not a Fundie. My own two grown children are freethinkers as well, as is my fiancee's brother. I have a guy working for me who is Catholic but he keeps his mouth shut as he knows better than to bite the hand that feeds him.

 

Beyond that, none of us are particularly social. I have a semi-close friend back where I used to live in Arizona, who is nominally Catholic but of the relatively liberal, Jesuit-trained persuasion; I have colleagues who are all over the map but given my profession (software development) tend to be agnostic / rationalist in orientation. This seems to meet our needs. We fantasize about joining a freethinking-oriented retirement community to live out our twilight years but I don't know how realistic that actually is. We are researching and planning a move a year or two down the pike that will hopefully at least plant us in a college town or someplace more stimulating than this, but who knows where it will lead in terms of friendships. You can't predict stuff like that.

 

I don't know why freethinkers aren't more community-oriented. Maybe we're still enough in the minority that we tend to attract fed-up introvert-ish types, I don't know. It seems to be a problem that extends all over the place. Recently in researching non 12-step alcohol addiction self-help / support groups for a freethinking friend, I found that the quasi-religious 12-step system is so dominant that you can only find scattered secular groups and empirical inpatient programs at major universities that have addiction research centers, so if you want affordable outpatient programs you pretty much have to put up with 12-step centered programs where you have to confess to being a lowly helpless worm who needs a Higher Power ™. At least it's ecumenical, but still ...

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Many christians have no clue what an Atheist is or what an Agnostic is.

 

Worse, most think they know, but in reality, they have an inaccurate definition and believe such things as that atheism is a "faith-based position" and a "religion," every bit as faith based as their own.This extends to people of faiths other than xtianity, too.

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I think you'll get over that feeling you need to "educate" people. One of the perks of being an atheist is having no agenda, no need to make others think as you do. People usually have to find their own way out of religion; the more you try to "educate" the faithful, the deeper they dig in to the security of their faith.

 

Church life teaches us to exist in a group of people who all think alike. When we leave, we still feel a need to surround ourselves with clones. We need to get over that part of the religion, too. Having a variety of friends and acquaintances with many divergent viewpoints is more stimulating than being a sheep of any stripe. At least that's been my experience.

 

Also, if you are openly atheist (not preachy!) you'll be surprised how many people you already know will confide in you that they don't believe either. Of course some will be offended, hurt, scared, or run away, but that's their problem if they can't handle a different viewpoint.

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