I am not what some would call a "Militant Atheist". Having shared that, I must admit that sometimes I find it quite difficult to deal with the shock and disapproval I face when my peers ask me about religious matters and I tell them that I do not accept religion. They do not even wait to hear my reasoning before they begin to condemn my "beliefs". Ever since I have moved back to the "Bible Belt" I have found that nobody will even allow me to speak my mind. Instead, they simply stare at me and tell me why I am wrong. There is no room for reasoned debate. 

How does anybody handle the stigma attached to the title "Atheist"? I feel as though I am alienating friends and relatives by being open and honest about who I am. Any advice is welcome. 

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Nick seems to have good advice here, Donald. I don't have much because I'm treated just about the same way you are. I still have a few people I'm not out to on the atheist thing, but most know. They treat you like you suddenly got stupid or something. Maybe they are waiting for you to get struck by lightning. One believer even told me I needed to produce him some evidence that there was no god. I damned near laughed out loud.
I'm atheist and I'm never going back. I'm learning, but I can tell you the big change in my life since coming to reason. I feel like a black man would living in a world of whites. I feel like the only Chinaman in my small town. Before coming out atheist I was one of them. Now I am not.

How did Native Americans handle the stigma of being Native Americans? How did Blacks handle the stigma of being Black? I guess you could ask them. 

True answers from a "Native American."

"Hey, white man. This is not America. I am not an Indian. You cannot own the land." You have to build all the other "white man things" around this concept to even start to understand a Native American.

I suppose you can do this same thing to try understanding black people.

Too many Native Americans, and blacks (even 1/16 African ancestry was considered "negro" less than 100 years ago....even if you had blond hair and blue eyes) have "handled" the stigma with alcohol.

My late friend Mabel had blue eyes....her mother was a mre of African, white, and Seminole; her father was Irish.  Best article about Mabel:


Nice article about Mabel Fairbanks. She sounds just fantastic.

She was amazing, but we had some horrendous arguments during the OJ Simpson trial...she was sure he was being framed.  I KNEW he'd done the deed.

In the beginning I thought he was framed also. I heard something about dope debts maybe, and Fay Resnick, etc. - maybe a possible wrong party in the murder. I was bothered by a crime that I thought would take more than one man to commit. In the end I think OJ's jealousy got him. I came to believe he was guilty and his constant highjinks involving memorabilia, guns, and assault has led him to where he is now. It looks like life in prison.

There were also color photos taken by the police when he had beaten Nicole while they were still married.  He beat his first wife, too, but SHE lied, and so did her adult children. 

The biggest mistake was to televise that trial...it went to Judge Ito's head...and made the defense team behave like Perry Mason et al.

A remarkable story of a gracious lady. You were fortunate to know her. How on Earth did she do that routine? Amazing! 

You mean the Split Jump?  The same way you get to Carnegie Hall..."practice, practice, practice."

I actually "met" Mabel when I was about 10 or 11 years old when Klaus Landsberg (a very innovative TV producer) invented "Frosty Frolics" as a summer replacement on KTLA....Mabel was one of the stars. 

I'm a native-born Southern Californian, and I had never seen ice skating before....I was HOOKED!

I didn't actually meet Mabel in person till one of my former roommates (Robin) from Holiday moved to Los Angeles, started teaching at Culver, got to know Mabel, and moved into an apartment next door to her big house on Laurel Canyon in the early '60s.

Well, that is close enough to meeting her. Anyway, you have wonderful memories. I am very happy you share them with us. 




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