I'm in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and I'm starting to feel like The Only Atheist In The World.

Please tell me I'm not alone.

Please tell me that I'm not the only one who feels horribly awkward when my boss and coworkers pray at company lunches.

I'm dying for some community here. Please tell me I'm not alone.

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You aren't alone, Amanda. Though I don't physically live in that area (I live in Rhode Island.), I definitely feel your pain.

I was raised Evangelical Christian my entire life, my parents are Catholic and Evangelical respectively, and I was forced into an Evangelical highschool.

Nearly every single person from my childhood up 'till college is a Christian. The only people directly in my life that shares my attitude towards theism are my girlfriend and a handful of friends I made during college.

You aren't alone. Though we may not be there physically, we are certainly there "in spirit." ;)
Thanks, John.

It gets so hard sometimes. People take it for granted that I'm religious. In my part of the country, they take it for granted that I'm a Christian. They make comments about "the others" that are derogatory and hateful. I'm new to my company--I started as a temp--and I need this job so badly and am so terrified of being ostracized to the point where I'm miserable and can't do my job that I don't say anything that would identify me as one of The Others. I hate this feeling. I'm not an in-your-face kind of person, but I've never been afraid to stand up for myself. Now I am, and I hate that.
I now what you mean. Though I have found more and more individuals and groups in and around winston of an atheist bent since moving here.
Indeed you aren't alone not even in this tail end of the bible belt.
I am an Atheist living in Alamance county, NC. Which is about 45 minutes east of where you are. You aren't the only Atheist living here.

There is an Atheist meetup group in Winston Salem and in Raleigh. They usually meet up once a month. Check out the websites below.

http://www.meetup.com/triangle-area-skeptics/ This is the group out of Winston-Salem. I have only been to one of their meetings due my schedule.

http://atheists.meetup.com/80/ This is Raleighs website. I am active here. We are trying to get a chapter of FFRF started for Central, NC.

Go check out their websites. You might make some local friends.
I know this is very delayed, but thank you so much. I appreciate the links.
Hey Amanda, I live in Welcome which is 20 minutes south of you. I work at a place of around 100 and I think just about everyone is aware of my beliefs. I don't recommend shouting it from the rooftops, it got around my work about 2 years after i had been working here so everyone already knew me. I'm sure there were more then a few conversations behind my back about it, but I really can't say it has hindered me working with even one person. I even routinely have conversations with a few people about religion, and we joke around about me being a heathen and stuff, but it's all in good fun. Nobody hates me for it that I know of, and anyone that did I wouldn't want to be around anyways. I always try to be respectful ( I don't bow my head or clasp my hands when people pray before meals, but I wait to eat until they are done ).

Obviously anyone in your office that doesn't know you well yet, it will instantly alienate you to them, but in my case there was very little drama over it. I see that you wrote this a while ago, I hope that you've gotten through it or used to it.
I can't say I've gotten used to it, but I've definitely found ways of coping. (Well, non-coping, really. I listen to a lot of audio books. "The Greatest Show on Earth" is a fabulous way to get through data entry.)

Thanks for your reply.
Most definately, you are NOT alone, although sometimes it seems so, it you live in an area, when most of us don't come out (as it were) because of work, friends, and relatives. Thas is why places like this are so great to come here and meet like minded foks. Welcome aboard, nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you, too. Thank you.
Dear Amanda

Living in Australia it's hard for me to comprehend the behaviour of the lunar religious right in The US (and how many of 'em there seem to be,as well as how obnoxious and intrusive they can be)

There was only one occasion (several times, same person) in my working life where I can remember a person praying. He was a distressingly pleasant and cheerful Pentacostal (imagine a six foot ,red headed Tom Cruise with an IQ above room temperature) Henry insisted on blessing us all with a loud "PRAISE THE LORD!" when ever he could think of an excuse which was often.I asked him to cease and desist.He ignored me. I solved the problem by taking him aside,in private,,and promising with all the sincerity I could muster,,to punch his ****** lights out if he continued. THAT was the end of THAT! (I was bluffing, but he didn't know that)

My point: Migrate to Australia,you'd be most welcome. Here it's considered ill mannered to wear your religion on your sleeve.Most Aussie have a healthy contempt for clergy,politicians lawyers,journalists,child molestors and other members of the criminal classes. 8% of Australians admit to regular church attendance.Fortunately most of them live in "The Deep North (Queensland),where we have our bible belt and where the ferals* live.That's over 2000 miles from here.

Australia has been the least effected by the current recession of any developed country.

Come to Adelaide,South Australia .Small,beautiful and boring as well as the bizarre murder capital of our great nation.

*'ferals' are hippy-like people who live in the rain forrests and mate with the native animals.Mainly wombats; 'roos are too hard to catch,and koalas scratch, piss on you and give you fleas.


PS if you want a more personal perspective,feel free to visit my Facebook account,which is mainly albums of my city and surrounds made up of photos I've taken.

The account name is Tarquin Shagnasty
I am seriously moving to Australia thats it! done and done! as soon as I am done with my 'year' in this shit hole that is Grand Island Nebraska (its neither Grand nor an Island, they lie!)

Amanda you are not alone at all!
I work at a Catholic hospital where they pray over the intercom every shift, their health insurance refuses to pay for my birth control and I get e-mails every day with my 'daily reflection' (a bible verse to think about). I feel your pain, but hang in there.
I have a cousin that is an atheist and my sister too and at family things when everyone bows their head to pray we make funny faces at each other. I suggest when they are praying make faces at them, they will never know (unless they look up) and it will make you smile on the inside and make everything a little more bearable
*laughs* I make funny faces at them when they pray at work, too.

Thanks for the comment.


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