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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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.

I work in a hospital. Same deal.

 

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.

 

Dear Tom, Right here in our beloved Tennessee, we have tabled a law that would allow the introduction of the "alternate theories" ID and creationism in public schools. Yes what a sad day it is for us in the country. I hope it hasn't passed. I would love to know how to follow that on the internet. The news outlets aren't reporting. For me, it would be headline news. Does that remind you of something? Ah yes, here are my friends in Knoxville discussing ID in Dover and the resulting lawsuit, as well as a brief history of the Scopes Trial and its result. (hint: 40 something years later...)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7BePGbEtrc&feature=mfu_in_order...

Oh, they're also trying to pass a law that would ban school representatives from using the "gay" word, ever.

Pangea Girl, you won't believe what this lunatic political junkee did. I googled "tennessee legislature" and found its URL: www.capitol.tn.gov

On the main page click on Legislation.

On the next page click on Browse by Subject

On the next page click E (for subjects whose names start with E)

On the next page click Education, Curriculum

On the next page you'll see a long list of bill numbers and short descriptions.

Near the middle of the list are senate and house bills that limit sex education instruction to heterosexuality.

At the bottom of the list are a house bill and a senate bill with all the code words that creationists use when they want to fool judges into thinking a law isn't about evolution.

 

For the sheer hell of it, I registered to be sent actions taken on one of the sex ed bills. I made up a user name, a password and entered my email address. Now I wait and see if I did it right.

When my wife and I lived in Austin, Texas, the schools had a comprehensive sex ed program for the grade she taught. That was before Roe v Wade and before the fundies dreamed up abstinence-only sex ed.

 

Wow! You are the techno/info man! Thanks! Oh dear. I did forget to mention part of the sex ed here is inviting guest speakers who talk about their drug and homosexual past until they were saved by Jesus or God. The students were sitting in the auditorium: a captive audience.

I think these are the little jewels we're speaking of:

HB0368 Dunn and SB0893 Dunn:

 Teachers, Principals and School Personnel - As introduced, protects a teacher from discipline for teaching scientific subjects in an objective manner. - Amends TCA Title 49, Chapter 6, Part 10.

and depressingly this:

Passed H., Ayes 70, Nays 23 04/07/2011

Welcome to Nexus, Pangea Girl.

First, about closets. I try to chase Xians into closets where Matthew tells them to do their praying. They don't want to go; they just have to do their praying/preying in public.

Second, I love Tennessee. I was nine when my dad, mom and two sibs drove down from Cincinnati to visit the bee-uuu-tiful Smoky Mountains. Six years later my dad, my brother and I were driving from Cincy to Florida when we stopped for lunch in Dayton and heard a waitress enthusiastically tell us "Clarence Darrow sat at over that table and William Jennings Bryan sat at this table!" She was, of course, talking about the famous 1925 Scopes trial of a high school teacher who'd been charged with violating Tennessee's law that prohibited teaching evolution. I'm eighty now and live in California. It was in Tennessee, in 1947, that I first heard of that famous battle between evolution and that silly story that so many believe.

Many Xians are okay; they don't try to save me and religion seldom comes up. If it does, I twll them that if my dad hadn't sent me to Catholic schools I might still believe in a god. They aren't fond of Catholicism and understand.

Xians who try to save me? If I feel a need for distance, I tell them religion is the biggest fraud that's ever been perpetrated on humankind. It blows them away.

Anyway, welcome again to Nexus.

 

Thank you, Tom, for doing the chasing work. I'm sure you're taking up the slack of those of us who are still stuck in the closet. Bravo to you, bravo.

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