Being a part of a religious society I often find myself socially restricted just because of being an athiest. Unable to enjoy social activities as much as other arround me do. Dou you feel anything of this sort?
I suppose it depends on your location. I am in central Canada which is quite secular. Not many people that I know go to church. My neigbor's mother does but we get along fine. For the most part much of the population has a live and let live attitude.
I did not feel particularly restricted until moving to Mississippi. Even before coming here, my atheism certainly did mean a smaller dating pool, but it wasn't that difficult to work around. Here in the bible belt, I do encounter many social restrictions. But I am still unwilling to pretend to believe something I don't or to sit idly by when atheist-bashing happens.
Word, my friend. Word. What part of 'ole Miss are you in? I'm right over from Vicksburg, in Louisiana and the dating is no better here. :D When I DO meet someone I have to drive an hour just to see them. blargh
Often situation arises in social gathrings that people become conscious of athiest presence. They can't run through their sterotype religious sentences they are in habit of saying. An ackward silence and person of my age thinks perhaps he is restricting others and himself feels bored. The problem multiplies on religious occassions like holidays, funerals etc. And when it happens time and again, you just start avoiding social gatherings and slowly become socially isolated.
It's too bad that you have to self-censor so heavily, Amer. I don't have to do that quite so much, though about half my siblings are very religious. On the other hand, the younger half are mostly atheists, so there's some cameraderie there. But I've always been something of an introvert anyhow, and as I get older, I seem to become more of a recluse. It doesn't really bother me. It bothers me a little that it doesn't bother me, I guess.
But when I was younger and forced to go to church, I never enjoyed the "fellowship" with the people at church. They were so dumb, by and large, and never wanted to talk about anything but religion. Well, Jesus, really. I don't think they were sophisticated enough to think about religion, per se.
I do enjoy our family gatherings, though. There's always plenty to talk about besides religion, so the subject is just avoided. Political topics can get contentious, though.
Problem perhaps is multiplied with personality. I can't hide what I believe in. It feels cheap to me. Some of the friends have adopted a very successful undercover mathod. They are more successful in persuading people with their logic as other person is not at backfoot and willing to listen. I thought a lot of times of trying it but can't. Hiding isn't my nature.
I do, and I was thinking about this just yesterday, I feel like I don't fit because I can't just be myself. Every time a religious topic arises I rather just be somewhere else; it's just that like others have commented, I am not as social as can be and when you add the uncomfortable feeling caused by not being able to express yourself out of fear of being rejected or discriminated what I get is nothing but a lonely feeling.