"Please allow me to introduce myself" sang the Rolling Stones
And I would like to do just that to the forum.
Hi, from a Scotsman in Bavaria, I'm an artist, father, atheist, occasional writer and terrible singer.
I work as an artist (www.derekbeggs.com if you're interested, if not, sorry for the blatant self promotion) with my lovely wiccan wife and six year old, whatever he will grow up to be, son and live in an idyllic village in the heart of rural Bavaria in the shadow of the Alps.
I've been here six years now, and before that lived in Spain and Scotland where I grew up.
I found Atheist Nexus through Pharyngula, so cheers PZ for that and it is so refreshing to find so many like minded people in one place, cant wait to explore it further.
A wee bit about being an Atheist here in Germany.
A few years ago, the bells rang out and German newspapers proudly proclaimed "Wir sind Papst". (trans: we are pope)
I am, and have always been, a fan of reason over faith and so as an Atheist living in the ÜberCatholic world of Bavaria, the frequency of "those types of discussions" which we all know and love were and still are a daily occurance.
Whilst a constant honing of my meagre debating skills is appreciated, it does wear thin after a while, but I would rather debate constantly than accept for one minute any of the myriad of mind numbingly dogmatic and innane counterarguements which class as justification for Beardy Junior, spooky or any of the other sky fairies.
I think one of the theist's own put it best,
"Reason is a whore, the greatest enemy which faith has" Luther.
The full quote is a lot more vehement, full of scabs and blood and brimstone, but shows the character and nature of the blinded fervancy of feeling here.
With recent events, my pious believing neighbours are less proud of their Pope now and many are now refusing to pay their church tax (yes, in Germany unless you opt out, you have to pay tax to the already tax exempt church of about 1.5% of your wage) in protest.
But despite the difficulties here, it is very beautiful, and there are many wonderful people here not the least my family and son, so I do enjoy myself thoroughly,
Nice to be on board