It's all relative. I live in Vancouver and enjoy my neighborhood and some of the places to go True it's not San Francisco.
As for Vantucky I assure anyone that it's not Kentucky. I say that only as one who lived next door to Kentucky in Indiana for 5 years and one of the reasons I moved to the Northwest was to get as far away as possible.
The meetup group is great. It's definitely a way to feel not-alone. Currently the meetup is at Round Table Pizza, which interestingly has only rectangular tables but does have pizza.
I agree with you 100%. Those who complain about Vancouver or Portland being too religious, maybe have never lived anywhere else. Having lived, like you, in Indiana (Evansville), Greenville SC (now THERE'S a place over-the-top with religious nuts), and Akron OH, I find Vancouver and Portland quite a nice reprieve when I visit there!