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Story of a Bible Belt atheist from Kentucky - Comments

DavidXanaos's Avatar Comment 1 by DavidXanaos

Try to live in the Internet, you even can get jobs that you do over the web. Living in the Internets have the benefit of being at any place at any time, those you always can find people that hold similar views like you, like here.

Alternatively you could simply move to so other location in the extern world where there are more open minded people.

In any case I wouldn't stick around old friends and/or relatives who do not accept you as you are.

David X.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 19:32:05 UTC | #884640

BenS's Avatar Comment 2 by BenS

I can't answer your broader questions about what kind of people would inflict this but I do have some simple, blunt advice.

Move.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 19:34:53 UTC | #884642

paulmcuk's Avatar Comment 3 by paulmcuk

The advice given to me is to erase my Facebook posts, stop commentating on religion

To play devil's advocate, is the manner of your commenting particularly nasty or mocking? Is part of your alienation due not to your atheism but the way you display it? Not to say it's right to alienate someone but if your line is something like "Everyone in this town is a duma$$ muthaf***** who believes in fairytales", then you might expect some negative reaction.

Being an atheist doesn't oblige you to go out an evangelise about it. Plenty of people take the pragmatic approach and keep their head down, at least until such time as they can move somewhere else. You could always adopt an anonymous online identity to carry on your religious commentary if you wanted.

I'd also say that in a twon of 20,000 + 20,000, you're definitely not the only atheist in the village. Finding the others is the trick though...

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 19:49:20 UTC | #884648

C.Wood's Avatar Comment 4 by C.Wood

I have not been there, so I cannot empathize properly. I won't pretend to know what you're feeling.

But I do know one thing. The world is a big place (even though it seems so small at times), and there's plenty of people out there who share your way of thinking.

Maybe you should start looking for them? You'll find plenty of comfort and help in them, that's for sure.

Focus on studying, learning, improving yourself. Then maybe find a new start somewhere else? It's not like you have to forget the past and move on. It's more about accepting it, doing the best you can for yourself, and try to patch things up further down the road, if you feel up to it.

That's just my view from the outside, though. I'm sure from the inside it looks much bleaker than this. The important thing is, keep your hopes up. It's not the end of the world, and you still have so much to live.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 19:58:12 UTC | #884652

MuddledMuppet's Avatar Comment 5 by MuddledMuppet

what kind of people? I'd hazard a guess that mostly, kind caring people with a few deliberate 'meanies' thrown in.

I think a consideration is, as stated in the god delusion, 'these people actually believe what they say they believe'.

By their own lights, they are probably genuinely trying to 'save' you, and failing that, to prevent your world view from being spread to anyone else, thus threatening their tribe.

As you say, you aren't seeking sympathy etc, so i won't offer any, and certainly I won't offer an easy way out, but perhaps re-shaping the problem may help you decide what your best options are?

Statistically, you'd have to be living in a place made up of an average spread of personality types, and for want of a better word, 'normal' people. Ifthat is accepted, the question may be 'what makes normal people act in manner x?' nles there's something hostile in the drinking water it's a fair guess to say it's the ol' in group morality out group hostility scenario, with the defining factor of the in group, our friend that ol' time religion.

So, options: Change the people? unlikely.Change yourself? Animpossibility. Change the outward manifestation of yourself? A possibility, with subseuent poibility of self loathing.Change your situation? As has been suggested, move, a scaryopionbut from the outside possbly a healthy one, or as also has been said, live on the internet, les scay, ut lss 'real' contact with others who cashare (or atleast accept) your world view.

Good luckmy friend and best wishes!

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:02:24 UTC | #884653

JoxerTheMighty's Avatar Comment 6 by JoxerTheMighty

Wow, if you're telling the truth that your alienation is simply because of your beliefs, those people aren't behaving very Christian-like, are they? At least not how I consider it...They're being very judgemental and inhumane...Hard to believe even your family would behave in such a way. And what about the job thing? Have they actually told you that they won't hire you because you're an atheist?

Anyway, you can move, or you can try to find like-minded people and form a community on your own. The latter is probably more difficult, so I'd say if your situation is like this, just move. Not worth living with a bunch of pricks all your life and be miserable about it.

Best of luck man.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:12:15 UTC | #884662

MuddledMuppet's Avatar Comment 7 by MuddledMuppet

I think I'd have to take the view that being judgemental and inhumane is fairly Christian like :)

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 20:18:47 UTC | #884667

Stevehill's Avatar Comment 8 by Stevehill

Move.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 21:51:49 UTC | #884707

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 9 by AtheistEgbert

I recommend reading some Nietzsche. His words can be of enormous comfort during times of extreme loneliness.

Thu, 27 Oct 2011 23:03:52 UTC | #884733

Net's Avatar Comment 10 by Net

this must be what it is like for those poor muslims who want to leave their religion: seems you can barely escape with your life. i imagine packing my bags, picking a direction, and just walking.... i feel so lucky to be in a largely secular environment.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 00:31:29 UTC | #884749

loqueelviento's Avatar Comment 11 by loqueelviento

Go to a developed area / state / country.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 03:19:15 UTC | #884781

rjohn19's Avatar Comment 12 by rjohn19

I too dwell among the Baptist troglodytes but have not experienced what you are going through. I am open about the fact I am an atheist when asked but I only tell them why if they press me on it. And even then, I give them the chance to opt out of the discussion before it begins.

I tell them it will be a detailed discussion for which there is not time at the moment. I tell them we can talk about it over coffee, cocktails or a meal- their choice. I warn them that what I have to tell them might shake their faith no matter how firm it might be.

I have had only one taker so far and she opted out after only 10 minutes. We are still friends but we've never mentioned the subject again. I am treated pretty well because I suppose I engender more fear than hatred. I shake their faith a little without having to say much at all- so I don't. I think they are nice to me because they worry I might be able to take their candy away.

The important thing, I think, is that I never start the conversation and basically only suggest I am able to finish it.

But you seem to live in a university town and that tells me there are more kindred spirits about than you might imagine. Another thing I might suggest is that you seek out the foreign community where you live.

The Bible Belt is very attractive to foreign companies because the region is generally against unions (or anything else that might improve their lives) and these people are as bewildered as you are about the religious obsession they encounter and usually happy to find that a few of us are sane.

You are not as alone as you might think no matter where you are. You just have to be a little more creative to find those kindred spirits. Maybe an ad in the university paper? I don't know, but you cannot keep on as you are. There are only two quick fixes. One is to move but if you are broke that might not be practical.

The other is to lie, admit you were wrong and pretend to be reborn until you get back on your feet and then move.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 05:03:18 UTC | #884790

alaskansee's Avatar Comment 13 by alaskansee

I'd like to echo the "move" meme but in a more encouraging way.

Leaving your small home town is a rite of passage, finding yourself in an new environment is wonderful and enlightening. If you enjoyed discovering reality you will love the rest of the world.

I watched Triple X, the Vin Diesel movie, the other night - it is shit - but I just love Prague! The history, the history.

An exchange student from Georgia, (not US) spent a tern at my university in my class. As we neared the end of his stay we were sitting in a shitty pub surrounded by ugly women when my friend and I noticed he was crying. "everything is so wonderful, everyone is so colourful", we looked around in amazment at his assesment of our world.

Someone from the US probably has no real idea of the strangle hold totalitarianism had on much of our world for so long but unfortunately vast swathes of the US are little better off. You have MacDonalds and free access to guns, so better but why sit where you are unhappy? Go sip mint tea in Marrakesh, gulp real Budweiser in a beer hall in the Czech Republic, smoke a reefer in Amsterdam, live a little as you know we've only got one life. Freedom is an overused misunderstood word in the US, I know so many places that are far freer!

PS I've spent many a fun holiday traveling in Morocco, Prague, Paris and even rainy Scotland with no money at all. Go forth young man get enough money to get the fuck out of dodge and leave, don't wait until you have a comfortable amount - go and do some shitty jobs when you get there and life will be immeasurably better. I met a tattoo artist in Prague, he needs someone to clean his shop, tell him Al sent you. I worked a bar job in Greece for all the drunk British chicks, it was fun.

Your life awaits, and it looks like fun to me.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 05:17:21 UTC | #884794

Random Jerk's Avatar Comment 14 by Random Jerk

I feel sorry for you. Well, I really can't suggest the 'move out of that hell-hole' option. I'm not sure what your age, education background and your dependence on your parents is. If you already had that option, I'm sure you would have moved on. I'm assuming you don't have that option right now and hence your troubles.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 06:35:22 UTC | #884804

SaganTheCat's Avatar Comment 15 by SaganTheCat

I have no one, and I have no one to blame for that but myself.

not true, you can't choose to be born with a critical mind.

being a black sheep is a bad thing in a farm that only wants white sheep. move to somewhere less bigoted as soon as you can. in the meantime, online friends are not bound by geography so feel free to hook up.

alternatively http://www.thinkatheist.com/ is a good social network if you're not already on it

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 10:11:26 UTC | #884839

JETrue's Avatar Comment 16 by JETrue

Dealing with 'Relusional' Christians is something that you will have to deal with your whole life. Are you sure you may be taking things a little too hard? I live in Virginia, where churches out number street lights! And these people are extremely closed minded about their birth religion. People saying that the way you are being treated isn't very christian like is a delusional statement also. When and where in history has Christianity gained a good name really? The religion only got as big as it is right now because of propaganda and murder. Now today, Christians try to take the name of 'Good Christian'. I think the only good Christian is one who keeps his ignorant superstition to himself and let hat die with him. Don't change and certainly don't back down from no one on your thoughts and your beliefs. Just because you are out numbered right now doesn't mean you will be down the road. I live in a small town and was brought up in a smaller one than yours. Keep your thoughts and opinions out in the open and others will follow suit. Be a good leader in your community and show people that you are a good and moral and decent person without some false supervisor and people will want to talk and learn and be like yourself. Stop Bitchn'! Start a Revolution!

Well, I try my best To be just like I am But everybody wants you To be just like them They say sing while you slave and I just get bored I ain't gonna work on Maggie's farm no more.

           - Maggie's Farm
               Bob Dylan

Good Luck!

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 14:53:33 UTC | #884943

rrh1306's Avatar Comment 17 by rrh1306

Sucks that your family is chastising you. I'll never understand that kind of behavior. But maybe their just following Jesus's perverse commandment to love him more than own family. I grew up in a small town in the south and their were fair amount of religious crazies around but I all ways had a safe zone at home because my parents weren't religious. They thought that having a open mind was a virtue. It's got to be pretty tough to face the scorn of the town's people only to arrive home to face more indignation from the one group of people that are supposed to support you.

I argee with alaskansee. Soon as you get the chance get out and see some different parts of the world. I can just imagine how oppressive an environment like that is. The town I grew up in was more of a drunken red neck than bible thumping town. But I've spent a day or two is some of these small, orthodox town's that are literally in the middle of no where and they bring to mind places like Salem,Massachusetts in the late sixteen hundreds. Or perhaps the Children of the Corn.(Except there Christian) So if that's the kind of place your living in get out as soon as you can and find some normal people to hang out with that aren't such weird ass holes. Until then hang in there.

Best wishes to you.

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:29:06 UTC | #884991

cixelsyd5's Avatar Comment 18 by cixelsyd5

Landon, (I'm assuming that's your name) I am extremely sorry for your situation. It is a crime that people treat you this way. Allow me to offer any help that I can give or that you need. My name is Ben Shelby and I am the president of a student organization for reason and science at Murray State University in western Kentucky. I know I (and I'm sure the other officers and members would be too) am willing to help you out to the best of my ability because I think it is absolutely disgraceful that you are treated the way you are. We would love to be your friends and supporters here in Kentucky and would to try and give you any advice or help that we can offer. If you wish to contact me, you can reach me through the organization's e-mail address at msusors@gmail.com We hope to hear from you and I hope that we can help!

Best of luck!

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 16:45:39 UTC | #884995

laylaD's Avatar Comment 19 by laylaD

I'm sure your not the only athiest in your community...it could be hard to find the others though! I would say move. But if that isn't an option, keep trying to find like-minded, intelligent people like yourself and stay positive! One day you'll be able to get out and will meet people like yourself :)

Fri, 28 Oct 2011 20:32:25 UTC | #885078

legal9ball's Avatar Comment 20 by legal9ball

There's a scene in the movie Rise of the Planet of the Apes, (not recommending it) where a chimp with human level intelligence is captured and placed in a zoo-like institution filled with unenhanced chimps. The unenhanced chimps shriek and jabber unintelligibly and aggressively at the newcomer. I was curious to know, and now I can ask. What's that like? Does it fill one with gratitude and compassion?

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 11:50:09 UTC | #885186

sbrogdon's Avatar Comment 21 by sbrogdon

I can fully understand what you are going through Landon. I am from a very small South Georgia town, population around 25-30 thousand. There are more churches in the town than restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, and motels combined. The kind of town where if someone moves into a home the neighbors quickly come over and welcome you, by asking what church you plan on attending. I have lost life-long friends because over the last few years I have become more open about being an atheist on face-book or other social sites. I moved away from that town about 4 years ago and never looked back. I still consider it my "hometown", but I will likely never again make it my home. Life is too short to stay in an area where you are surrounded by people who "hate" you simply because you do not follow along with the local religious mentality.

My suggestion: stand up and out against people who use religion as a justification for hatred, and when you are able.....move.

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 22:23:42 UTC | #885290

jerryn9032's Avatar Comment 22 by jerryn9032

Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake Christians who go to church one hour every week, putting on a show for the world to see, instead of worshipping God. However, there are many true Christians in the world who do not judge people and love God with all of their heart. These Christians are the happiest and most loving people in the whole world. This is what God wishes for all man-kind, but because man is not perfect, thanks to the devil, we have to struggle through life looking for God.

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 22:50:26 UTC | #885299

sbrogdon's Avatar Comment 23 by sbrogdon

I find it comical that every christian I have ever encountered states that other christians must be fake.

Fake christians, true christians, its all the same. They are still delusional and try to "sow the seed" where ever they go.

Sat, 29 Oct 2011 23:50:29 UTC | #885317

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 24 by ZenDruid

Comment 23 by sbrogdon

I find it comical that every christian I have ever encountered states that other christians must be fake.

Fake christians, true christians, its all the same. They are still delusional and try to "sow the seed" where ever they go.

The sociopathy of this "true/fake" business is that every Xian needs to be able to kick other people to the curb on the straight&narrow road to Heaven.

'Most loving', my Aunt Fanny.

Sun, 30 Oct 2011 01:45:03 UTC | #885326

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 25 by QuestioningKat

Best of luck to you. As you stated, you're just sharing your story and my guess is that you know what to do. If I were to offer you any advice, it would be to do whatever you can right now to improve yourself and your ability to be employed. It might require some courses, training etc. Being the black sheep is not what would concern me, it's the financial situation. Winter is coming up, I'd say spend the next few months making a plan and pack your bags come springtime.

Sun, 30 Oct 2011 02:03:58 UTC | #885328

jerryn9032's Avatar Comment 26 by jerryn9032

As I said previously, not all Christians are the same. It seems like the ones that suffer around the world, whether its imprisonment, torture, or murder, because of their faith are more closer to God than those who live in the United States and live comfortable, safe lives. Others who have been leaving comments on this page seem to be lacking a grasp of reality and possibly ignorant.

Sun, 30 Oct 2011 05:44:21 UTC | #885337

RomeStu's Avatar Comment 27 by RomeStu

Comment 22 by jerryn9032 :

Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake Christians who go to church one hour every week, putting on a show for the world to see, instead of worshipping God. However, there are many true Christians in the world who do not judge people and love God with all of their heart. These Christians are the happiest and most loving people in the whole world. This is what God wishes for all man-kind, but because man is not perfect, thanks to the devil, we have to struggle through life looking for God.

Comment 26 by jerryn9032 :

As I said previously, not all Christians are the same. It seems like the ones that suffer around the world, whether its imprisonment, torture, or murder, because of their faith are more closer to God than those who live in the United States and live comfortable, safe lives. Others who have been leaving comments on this page seem to be lacking a grasp of reality and possibly ignorant.

Oh Jerry ...... the last sentence leaves me with just 2 words for you .... POT / KETTLE

PS welcome to the forum. If you are prepared to actually engage in reasoned debate then you'll fit right in. We like many and varied views. However if this is just your "duty shift" haranguing the nasty atheists with a new username then I'm sorry to have wasted my time responding.

Sun, 30 Oct 2011 19:25:08 UTC | #885483

susanlatimer's Avatar Comment 28 by susanlatimer

Comment 26 by jerryn9032

However, there are many true Christians in the world who do not judge people and love God with all of their heart

Q: What's the difference between a "true" Christian and a "fake" Christian? A: Ask a "true" Christian.

Air-tight logic.

Sun, 30 Oct 2011 20:26:10 UTC | #885500

SheerReason's Avatar Comment 29 by SheerReason

I'm from the same general area as you. You wouldn't happen to be talking about Georgetown, would you? Well, the population is closer to 30,000, but it sounds too familiar. :)

I agree with the others who suggested a move. I'm planning one myself. You owe it to yourself and your sanity.

Mon, 31 Oct 2011 01:26:56 UTC | #885583

Dave H's Avatar Comment 30 by Dave H

Comment 22 by jerryn9032 :

Unfortunately, there are a lot of fake Christians who go to church one hour every week, putting on a show for the world to see, instead of worshipping God. However, there are many true Christians in the world who do not judge people and love God with all of their heart. These Christians are the happiest and most loving people in the whole world. This is what God wishes for all man-kind, but because man is not perfect, thanks to the devil, we have to struggle through life looking for God.

You're doing it again. After years of hearing xtians tell me that they use religion to define what is moral, what you are actually doing is using morality to define what is religious. So the bad xtians are "fake" are they? And the nice ones are "true" are they?

Judging from your comment, you can't even decide how many gods there are. I counted two in your post.

Wed, 02 Nov 2011 17:01:41 UTC | #886481