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Please Suggest Welcoming Places For Ex-Christians To Relocate


free2009
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Greetings,

 

One of the hardest things for me as an ex-Christian (since 2009) is to find a place that is both friendly and not very religious. I welcome any suggestions or experiences that you may have had.

 

I am from Kentucky, and grew up as a Catholic. For about 10 years, I visited and belonged to various churches, including mega-churches, Baptist churches, non-denominational churches, etc. I woke up in late 2008, and started handling my problems on my own instead of waiting for a god to solve them. I moved from Kentucky, and briefly settled in Nashville. There I awaited surgery and planned my next move.

 

As I was recently disillusioned with the church, I tried not to think about it. This includes during my research on where to relocate. I looked at everything, such as crime, cost of living, unemployment, warmer weather, diversity; however, I did not look at religion. Therefore, I wound up in Texas, specifically DFW. ;)

 

I recently finished graduate school, and I go back and forth on whether or not to relocate. I've had some nasty encounters with Christians, and it's annoying to see churches on every block. I have not found many friends or dating prospects who are like-minded.

 

I am considering San Francisco or Seattle for a relocation, given the new field that I will be entering. However, I'm scared of the high cost of living, and I've read that it's very hard to make friends in Seattle. Any thoughts? Perhaps you could suggest other big cities that you have found comfort in. Thanks in advance for your advice.

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Just about any big city will do.  Find one you can afford.  As for finding like minded people try atheist meet ups or free thinker organizations.  There are free thinkers all over the place - even Tornado Ally, Oklahoma.

 

If you don't want to see a church on every block then you might have to move to Europe.

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I recommend seattle that place is pretty chill and even the religious folk there know they are outnumbered so they mostly leave you alone and hell even some of the churches are kinda secular in their messaging and services so I thought that was a cool place =( live in Atlanta now >.<

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As I was recently disillusioned with the church, I tried not to think about it. This includes during my research on where to relocate. I looked at everything, such as crime, cost of living, unemployment, warmer weather, diversity; however, I did not look at religion. Therefore, I wound up in Texas, specifically DFW. wink.png

 

Australia perhaps?  Crime is low and unemployment is low.  Cost of living is high, but so are the wages ($20 per hour for cleaners and barmaids) , so they cancel each other out.  California style climate.  Lovely clean beaches.  More tolerant than the US and religion does not figure on the list of obsessions!

 

 

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Just about any big city will do.  Find one you can afford.  As for finding like minded people try atheist meet ups or free thinker organizations.  There are free thinkers all over the place - even Tornado Ally, Oklahoma.

 

If you don't want to see a church on every block then you might have to move to Europe.

 

Yeah, if landscape with church steeples is a problem...I had been going to suggest places like Toronto and Hamilton in Southern Ontario but then I saw the part about "warmer weather"...I'm in a smaller city about halfway between those two and except for my own family and a few religious nuts, the place is pretty good--most Christians mind their own business. But due to our history, churches and their steeples are part of the cityscape. Also, this is the part of the world where, if we don't get at least six weeks of snow on the ground between December and March, we think something's broke with the system. I love it here and don't intend ever to move but if those things are important to you then you might prefer places like Europe or Australia. Not that some of the most secular countries in Europe don't get snow and severe cold.

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Yay! Another Kentuckian! Welcome, free2009!

 

I live in Louisville, and I second that "any large city" sentiment. As long as you ignore the "Six Flags over Jesus" Southeast Christian megachurch-y types, you'll be fine. There's plenty of us here, and it's a fairly laid-back city. Louisville's just an example, though. In a city, you'll be able to find people who are comfortable with you, and who you are comfortable with. In any smaller town, everyone's in everyone else's business, and the first thing you'll be asked in the Bible Belt is "what church do you go to." You won't be able to escape loud intolerant jackwagons, no matter where you go, though. If someone's determined to get in your face about it, they will. They've got an agenda, after all. But, larger populations change the dynamic. Any big city will have lots of people with lots of different interests and ideologies, so you'll be able to find people you get along with. In a large population, the really intolerant ones tend to isolate themselves, sort of like a cyst. They just sort of sit there and fester by themselves, and everybody else goes about their business.

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Greetings,

 

One of the hardest things for me as an ex-Christian (since 2009) is to find a place that is both friendly and not very religious. I welcome any suggestions or experiences that you may have had.

 

I am from Kentucky, and grew up as a Catholic. For about 10 years, I visited and belonged to various churches, including mega-churches, Baptist churches, non-denominational churches, etc. I woke up in late 2008, and started handling my problems on my own instead of waiting for a god to solve them. I moved from Kentucky, and briefly settled in Nashville. There I awaited surgery and planned my next move.

 

As I was recently disillusioned with the church, I tried not to think about it. This includes during my research on where to relocate. I looked at everything, such as crime, cost of living, unemployment, warmer weather, diversity; however, I did not look at religion. Therefore, I wound up in Texas, specifically DFW. ;)

 

I recently finished graduate school, and I go back and forth on whether or not to relocate. I've had some nasty encounters with Christians, and it's annoying to see churches on every block. I have not found many friends or dating prospects who are like-minded.

 

I am considering San Francisco or Seattle for a relocation, given the new field that I will be entering. However, I'm scared of the high cost of living, and I've read that it's very hard to make friends in Seattle. Any thoughts? Perhaps you could suggest other big cities that you have found comfort in. Thanks in advance for your advice.

You've read correctly about Seattle, both cost of living and it being hard to make friends there. Very hard.

CA is liberal in general, diverse. Key word, diversity. Seek diversity. Big cities are good, but Chicago is less diverse than it believes itself to be.

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Why is Seattle considered hard to make friends?  I've never known people there to be particularly cold or distant.  Share a bowl with a few people and you'll be instant friends; and it's legal there now I hear. 

 

Actually, if you want to escape religion and not leave the US, the Pacific northwest is probably your best option.  The WA capital Olympia even has an annual Darwin day where people dress up like dinosaurs and amoeba for a parade and beer gardens. Literally thousands turn up for it and not a single xian protester in sight.

 

But if you really want to get away from the religious, you can't do much better than here in Russia.  You can't hit a christian with a shotgun around here and making friends is pretty much on autopilot; they'll find you. 

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I have relatives in Seattle and have spent many happy days there...scenery and amenities are second to none. However, I've never wanted to live there, because it is VERY expensive, and there is a transient, rootless feeling about it. I need to see the same people day after day and to know my neighbors. Maybe a smaller town in the Pacific Northwest might fill the bill?

 

The friendliest people I've ever met were in Montana and Arkansas. I think you could get by with being a freethinker in Montana, but Arkansas? Probably not. You could always keep you views to yourself, I guess.

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Portland, Oregon is a great place. But like any city, the quality depends on which sections you go to. The NW section is trendy and spendy, but most people dress extremely casually (or not at all on the naked bike day), and many tend to have tattoos and piercings. Really great food & great local beer in The Pearl district (also in NW). Lots to do, depending on what your likes are.

 

There are quite a few kinds of living arrangements, but not much parking (but really good public transportation). Hollywood district in Portland has historic places and gorgeous neighborhoods, and some great entertainment. Lots of quality live music. There are definitely some big churches, and a lot of churches, but since I deconverted 6 years ago, I haven't run into any believers.

 

It is wet or at least overcast during a large part of the year. The trade-off is that everything is lush and green, and the light is easy on the eyes.

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I have relatives in Seattle and have spent many happy days there...scenery and amenities are second to none. However, I've never wanted to live there, because it is VERY expensive, and there is a transient, rootless feeling about it. I need to see the same people day after day and to know my neighbors. Maybe a smaller town in the Pacific Northwest might fill the bill?The friendliest people I've ever met were in Montana and Arkansas. I think you could get by with being a freethinker in Montana, but Arkansas? Probably not. You could always keep you views to yourself, I guess.

Most of Montana is scary redneck, but I haven't lived there, I've only heard things from people who lived there.

 

I've lived in the Pacific Northwest now for 7 years, in a small town. There's character from town to town, some are more conservative than others. I was drawn to Port Townsend for its artist communities and world music scenes, which turned out to be something other than what I expected. I'm not really part of any of that and can't be. Rootless is an appropriate description. A friend also described Port Townsend as un-grounded. It's definitely that. Down right wacky, goofy. Not religious though, it's way too liberal for that.

Of course there are religious people everywhere. There's an entrenched Mormon community. I did a small construction job for one Mormon man. Driving onto his farm was like driving through a teleporter to Utah. Haven't seen anything of the Mormons beyond that though, they seem to keep to themselves.

Sequim comes across as the most religious and conservative. Lots of fluffy sheep jumping over flowers in storefront displays, which have a comforting affect on the people and drive sales.

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I lived in Montreal and it is one of the more multicultural cities in the world. The drawback of Quebec is that many many Quebecquois are obsessed with the sins of English people. I don't mean murder - I mean the sin of speaking and writing English. As a news junkie whose mother tongue is English it was tiring to read about "Les Maudit Gross Anglais" (Damn Fat Anglo - an actual headline 20 yrs ago) every 3 months. However, if that is not a controversy you care about, Montreal is a good place to be yourself and they have the best smoked meat and bagels in the country, possibly in the continent.

 

Ottawa is a really great place to be yourself. Lots of youngish educated women working in the government in Ottawa. You have access to fantastic outdoors choices and Montreal is a 2 hour drive so you can enjoy the culture and escape the politics. Lots of educated and 'cultured' people if you like the snooty stuff and lots of regular folk like me. Excellent educational facilities nearby.

 

I prefer the water so I'd go back to Halifax and actually prefer Moncton which is near home and near water. Vancouver has water, diversity and is very expensive.

 

Maybe I'm misreading but Canadian xtians have had their end-times bubble burst with Y2K and failed Hal Lindsay predictions as well as Bush Jr. being such a disappointment for them. Probably more telling is that fundy xtians these days are highly materialistic and more sexually charged than I remember. On the odd time I cross the threshold of a fundy church, I see a surprising amount of chest and leg. What I'm saying is that these days I find they are more humble than between 1990-2010 and they are less strident than they used to be.

 

Consider analyzing the Buddhist populations and where they are concentrated. Halifax for example has a higher concentration and I know a Buddhist in North Sydney Cape Breton. Their presence helps remind the annoying fundamentalist populations that there is more than xtians on the planet. This is also true in Toronto and Vancouver that have very high Asian populations and bring in several other non-fundamentalist religions into their areas. The thing about Buddhists is that they will congregate in the damnedest places giving you interesting choices. I'd live next door to a Buddhist any day.

 

I hope this is only one factor in your location choice. Getting away from fundys is just not possible and I'd rather put up with fundys and live in the country than have to live in a city just because it was more tolerant.

 

Good luck!

 

Mongo

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Welcome free2009! While you probably can't escape the sight of churches everywhere in DFW, you might check out local atheist organizations to find some friendly people while you're still there. Also, meetup.com is a great resource to find people who are into the same stuff you are, including atheism, humanism, freethought, etc.

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Loved your geography lesson on my country, Mongo!

 

Just for kicks....this jumped out at me:

 

Getting away from fundys is just not possible and I'd rather put up with fundys and live in the country than have to live in a city just because it was more tolerant.

 

Good luck!

 

Mongo

 

If you're from Nova Scotia, I'm sure you're familiar with the Bay of Fundy. It's just not possible to get away from Fundy if you're Canadian.

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You might consider Austin if you like some aspects about Texas. Being a university town, state capital, and having a large gay population, Austin is not usually considered to be part of Texas by most Texans. I lived there for several years and thought it was a great town.

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Iowa's a blue state. Same sex marriage was legalized here in 2009. I'm not sure about the smaller towns here, but you might have some luck in the larger cities.

 

Also we have a really good atheists and freethinkers group. I've met some great people through it. They're taking part in the Capital City Pride Parade, though i haven't RSVP'd yet. They're gonna have a float, and a booth.

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Greetings,

 

One of the hardest things for me as an ex-Christian (since 2009) is to find a place that is both friendly and not very religious. I welcome any suggestions or experiences that you may have had.

 

I am from Kentucky, and grew up as a Catholic. For about 10 years, I visited and belonged to various churches, including mega-churches, Baptist churches, non-denominational churches, etc. I woke up in late 2008, and started handling my problems on my own instead of waiting for a god to solve them. I moved from Kentucky, and briefly settled in Nashville. There I awaited surgery and planned my next move.

 

As I was recently disillusioned with the church, I tried not to think about it. This includes during my research on where to relocate. I looked at everything, such as crime, cost of living, unemployment, warmer weather, diversity; however, I did not look at religion. Therefore, I wound up in Texas, specifically DFW. wink.png

 

I recently finished graduate school, and I go back and forth on whether or not to relocate. I've had some nasty encounters with Christians, and it's annoying to see churches on every block. I have not found many friends or dating prospects who are like-minded.

 

I am considering San Francisco or Seattle for a relocation, given the new field that I will be entering. However, I'm scared of the high cost of living, and I've read that it's very hard to make friends in Seattle. Any thoughts? Perhaps you could suggest other big cities that you have found comfort in. Thanks in advance for your advice.

You've read correctly about Seattle, both cost of living and it being hard to make friends there. Very hard.

CA is liberal in general, diverse. Key word, diversity. Seek diversity. Big cities are good, but Chicago is less diverse than it believes itself to be.

 

cost of living in seattle was high but not ridiculously high its pretty manageable. Its so easy to make friends there though. Get a dog and go to one of the countless dog parks where its easy to strike up a conversation. Join hiking meetup groups join atheist meetup groups go to a bar. Just get out of the house and youll meet someone seattlites are shy not cold you just have to be the approacher not the approachee

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I live in Austin. It really is a pretty badass town. You've got religious people, but most of them are pretty live-and-let-live. There are enough places to go and things to do to avoid them if you wish, and if you've ever heard of the Atheist Experience, the organization that created the show is based here. Texas in general is becoming a lot more moderate, especially in the cities. I'm thinking in another decade it'll be a battleground state. 

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I am not an expert in US or Canada as I have only been to a few places. Over in Europe most of the protestant countries are largely secular and there is evidence that organised religion is on the decline, even in largely catholic places like Poland. Perhaps the best countries to avoid fundamentalists are Sweden, Denmark or even France. Although France is very traditional in many ways, the evangelical church as many in the US and UK would have experienced is seen as a cult by the government and is treated with suspicion. As a Christian I can remember pray sessions as a student praying for "god to lift the darkness over France..." bleyuk.

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I've found that Denver has been a very atheist-friendly place to live, but I think that ultimately the most important thing was moving somewhere, anywhere where I could have a totally new start on my own terms.

 

The cliche is that you can't run away from your problems, because you can't run away from yourself - but for me, it turned out that a lot of the difficulties in making a clean and drama-free break were resolved by moving to a new place. Being part of Christian life was just really tied into that location for me.

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My neighbors in Nebraska, USA, get along with me fine and they know my history of leaving xtianity. I thought I may have problems moving to 'conservative central', but I was pleasantly surprised. Most in my hood are not church goers, some are but keep it to themselves. One of my neighborhoods greetings for those looking at real estate in our neighborhood, is that if they are thinking of purchasing a home in the expectations of spreading their religious propaganda to their neighbors, they really want to look in another neighborhood. We've actually had some church-going door-banging folks drop by looking for a home in our little heathen community. They always change their minds. And, we intend to keep it that way.

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I've found that Denver has been a very atheist-friendly place to live, but I think that ultimately the most important thing was moving somewhere, anywhere where I could have a totally new start on my own terms.

 

The cliche is that you can't run away from your problems, because you can't run away from yourself - but for me, it turned out that a lot of the difficulties in making a clean and drama-free break were resolved by moving to a new place. Being part of Christian life was just really tied into that location for me.

 

That sounds so much like my own situation. Sometimes it's the other people who are the problem. So long as they are there to make waves you're going to have problems.

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My neighbors in Nebraska, USA, get along with me fine and they know my history of leaving xtianity. I thought I may have problems moving to 'conservative central', but I was pleasantly surprised. Most in my hood are not church goers, some are but keep it to themselves. One of my neighborhoods greetings for those looking at real estate in our neighborhood, is that if they are thinking of purchasing a home in the expectations of spreading their religious propaganda to their neighbors, they really want to look in another neighborhood. We've actually had some church-going door-banging folks drop by looking for a home in our little heathen community. They always change their minds. And, we intend to keep it that way.

 

I love that. Way to go! 3.gif

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