Hello! In the way of an introduction; I'm so glad to be here. I have explored the site a little and can't believe there are so many members!

As I said in the title, I AM stuck in the closet in the bible belt of Tennessee. I support myself and would suffer at the local level if I came out at this point in my career. It's kinda that risky suffice it to say...

 

That being said; that's why I've joined here. I want a place to come, make friends, meet people, discuss and commiserate, and vent about my situation. If there's anyone on here in Tennessee, please give me a shout. There are a few other people I've met in Memphis/Knoxville/Chattanooga so I know I'm not alone but it's a very small percent: but growing!

 

I happen to be an oddity here. I was brought up in an atheist home and am really grateful to my openminded parents for bringing me up that way..waaaaay back in the 60s and yes, right here in the BIBLE BELT of the south in the good 'ol US of A. Furthermore, if there were anyway to find out exactly how many churches are say in 'my town' I would bet money we beat anywhere else in the country for the number of churches per capita.

 

Anyway; so glad to be here! Looking forward to the forums at the nex!

The website really looks great and has lots of good links to other sites which I love.

I saw some way cool double helix earrings that I just got to have. :)

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How, if I may ask, did you manage becoming "out"? You must not still be in that small rural town; but that is my life atm. And thank you for your support! I hold all outspoken atheists in great esteem and occassionally I get a chance to be one. It is truly liberating; I have tasted the sweetness of liberation! Before I lived here, I lived in a large city. I came here for the job a few years back. I know of about three other people in this town like us.
I live and work as an attorney in a small rural town in the Southernmost tip of Illinois - a few miles from I-24 and about a 3 hour drive to Nashville. I finally got sick and tired of all the religious BS being paraded around(especially with a former prosecutor who is an evangelical that wears it on his sleeve). Everyone had a pretty good clue as to my leanings, and after I came out, in large part because of the over reaching prosecutor, over half the lawyers around here did and most of the judges admitted it privately. I've successfully made arguments in Court against a harsher sentence for stealing from a church than from a business - comparing the two in terms of raking in $$$ and arguing that the businessman was of greater worth to the community because at least he gives something of value in return. I guess it helps that I have a pretty good reputation as a lawyer around here, as it does not seem to have hurt my business. Plus, I have the advantage of working for myself. As an aside, I had a judge laughing out loud one day, when the prosecutor was wearing a tie that showed a graphic depiction of the crucifixion, and I had mine which simply said "This is What an Atheist Looks Like." Everyone got the point.

You're one of those "out there"! atheists. Grats to you, too. When I become independently wealthy; I bet I'll join you. Just not yet. 

Good that the judge agreed with you on that, wasn't that taking a risk?

Well, anyway, love the tie.  

Makes a great Father's Day, Birthday, or other present.

 

http://www.zazzle.com/look_atheist_tie-151255331394237112

Hello.

 

I just wanted to invite you to a church per capita challenge. :)  I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Our town has been known for decades as "The City of Churches" later changed to "The City of Churches and Stoplights", Lol!  It has been said(with no proof of course) that we have the most churches per capita.  I will try and research this and get some statistics.  

Man, I'm here to tell you that Buffalo, New York, once full of Polish, Irish, and Italian blue collar workers, has a crapload of churches.  The diocese has had to close dozens of them in the last decade for lack of audiences.

Hey! I recognize that hat!! How are you, god?!! :D

 Churches closing; good thing.

Okay, how do we do this? Go to the city hall of each prospective city? Call the census bureau? I'm very keen to know because I think I'll WIN! Haha!
I'm curious, what profession are you in where your career would suffer if you were known to be an atheist?  I'm an engineer and am happily surrounded by atheists.
I would like to be surrounded by atheists, too, and am trying to achieve that virtually. I am an educator. This is where church and state violations occurr with regularity. I'm in the closet by my choice because I don't want to deal with recrimination and more. There are plenty of stories of which I've heard about having grown up here and being quite familiar with the 'good ole boy' mentality in the bible belt. I am fully supported in my decision to remain this way by other atheists who are familiar with my situation.
Exactly, if we walked around with atheism on our sleeves like christians wear crosses we would probably be asked to leave. I mean, if we even wanted to have an atheist club like the christian/ bible clubs, we'd get our cars keyed or worse! I just think it's a shame but I don't want to stir up trouble for myself. We have a university near us, and there is no club there for our students but we did start a facebook page which I hope continues to attract the students from campus. (So far we have 2 or 3 university students). I think our numbers will continue to grow.

You're right, Pangea Girl, about educators having to be careful, although science teachers have powerful allies such as the National Council for Science Education (ncse.com).

I follow Americans United (au.org) and of course the ACLU (aclu.org); they are constantly warning school boards against putting religion into public schools. A few school boards ignore the warnings, lose in court and have to pay the winners' legal costs, often as much as several hundred thousand dollars.

 

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