In the discussion thread: Red State Atheists: What's it like living in a red state? [View all]
Response to Taverner (Original post)
Wed Mar 14, 2012, 02:31 PM
OriginalGeek (6,519 posts)
10. Atheist in Orlando Florida
Last edited Wed Mar 14, 2012, 02:35 PM - Edit history (1)
I have lived in my current house for 25+ years and I only have one neighbor who has been here longer than that. None of the neighbors know my religious beliefs (lack thereof) and I think the couple across the street who have lived there since my wife was a little girl are semi-church going folk. The only people who absolutely know where I stand on religion are the occasional door knockers who come by to try and sell me their brand.
Or as my dear late grandma used to call them "Those goddamned JW's!" (it didn't really matter to her what denomination you were - if you knocked on her door to talk about the lord you were a GDJW...and you were REALLY gonna hear it if you interrupted her M*A*S*H reruns)
I grew up in Texas though - but I was just coming into my atheism as I left there so never really had to experience anything in that regard. I can tell you that the fundie church in which I was raised considered atheists to be the spawn of satan though so I imagine it would be tough to be an out atheist there...at least in the 70s, early 80s when I was there.
A couple years ago I went back to Dallas for my mom's funeral and it was just like being in church - hell fire and brimstone for them of us what didn't believe (none of those people know me other than as the "son who lives in Florida now" so I can't say the service was directed at me - I think they just assume everyone is hell-bound until they put the fear of god into them and unless they have known them as saved children of god for years.) They were kind of smug about the fact that they would get to see my mom in heaven but any unbelievers there would not.
I was NOT prepared, however, for the after party. And I say "party" because that's what it was - a going home party with banners and balloons and food and punch (lol, no alcohol!). They got themselves a nice little delusion going on there. I decided not to make that party my Alamo. I just nodded at sincerely expressed sympathies and got out as soon as I could. I couldn't stand seeing my POS stepfather basking in all the attention for any longer than the minimum necessary.
So the point is that other than close family (and not all of them) and a few close friends, I don't advertise my atheism.* My closer co-workers know but there are now close to 2000 employees across the state so very few of them know. Although I think I can safely say there would be no institutional repercussions - my boss is one who knows and we are pretty good friends - as we are a large not-for-profit and there are clearly defined and liberal anti-discrimination rules in place. They are a pretty inclusive company that I love working for.
However, I'm starting to get more belligerent about it and I can imagine me getting sick and tired of all the religiousosity I see every where every day and maybe getting a very anti-religion tattoo or something lol...I suppose THEN I'd find out who my friends were.
*ETA: I don't advertise however I have no problem talking about it if anyone asks.
My pain may be the reason for somebody's laugh. But my laugh must never be the reason for somebody's pain. Charlie Chaplin
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|Rob H.||Mar 2012||#6|
Atheist in Orlando Florida
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