Literally had the door of my house smashed to bits with an axe by a local Xian couple today! This was provoked by my sitting alone at home, minding my own business, but failing to return a phone call within an hour to the Xian woman. This is not the first time my home has been broken into since people in my area found out I'm an atheist. Police not at all helpful.
As the song goes, "Ive Gotta Get Out of This Place"! Looking for affordable housing in a community, small town, or city where I can feel safe as an atheist and live among tolerant, intelligent, like-minded people. Senior community would be ideal.
Online searches for atheist communities, etc. yielded nothing specific. A place in the USA would be easier, but would be willing to emigrate. Would love to go to Australia or New Zealand, but don't have millions required for long-term visas. Can't find info for permanent resident Netherlands visa online.
Please post names of towns, cities, countries, or links with specific info on where an elderly atheist could live in safety and peace.
The north-eastern part of the Netherlands is quiet, rural and the housing is cheap because of the half used gasfield below it - a danger of earthquakes. The west part is more urban and more expensive. There are xtians here but they are merely annoying about things like bell ringing and shops closing time. I don't know a thing about visa.
Yowie. That's not good. Check out "Daily Kos" for a map of US discrimination (racial, at least) regions. I'm guessing the same map could apply to religious views. Where I live in north central Indiana, I've had a window sign saying "I support secular values and reason", seen by many passerbys, and I've never been bothered or even questioned. I know only a handful of non-christians, so that says something about toleration around here. Good luck.
The UK must have the largest ratio of Christian atheists in the world. They all claim to be Christian just to distinguish themselves from the rest. You certainly wouldn't find the British very religious, the archbishop of Canterbury will assure you of that to his dismay. Mind you It's probably wiser to steer clear of Londonistan. The East coast of Anglia may well suite you Randall. Ipswich or Norwich areas.
That is a cool link Pat. I found it also leads here, with this handy map (it may be necessary to use the "change metric" option to get it to the reiligion-related stuff:
Take a photo of your door and submit it to major newspapers. That's how we dealt with vandalism to our freethought solstice dislplay. Also I suggest moving to a gated community and having their local security protect you. There are great new camouflaged cameras out that photo any disturbance for long peroids. Forgot name - something light Cabusa or Cab...something. Just google it on the web. How old are you. We live in a retirement community where this is much less a problem.
Submitted an article to the local paper, but they haven't printed it or responded. Good idea, though.
Try different forms of media, newspapers, TV, radio, social-activist groups, women's organisations newsletters. Keep seeking public attention until your situation becomes public knowledge.
L Ross, I hate what happened to you. I assume you reported the incident to your local law enforcement agencies. There are Federal Hate Crimes laws that may apply. I worked very hard in the 1980s getting a hate crimes bill passed by the state legislature because of the terrible things happening in our community against non-whites. E WA and N Idaho put the Aryan Nations and other skinhead groups out of business because of demands by the public.
"Crimes of hatred and prejudice—from lynchings to cross burnings to vandalism of synagogues—are a sad fact of American history, but the term “hate crime” did not enter the nation’s vocabulary until the 1980s, when emerging hate groups like the Skinheads launched a wave of bias-related crime. The FBI began investigating what we now call hate crimes as far back as World War I, when the Ku Klux Klan first attracted our attention. Today, we remain dedicated to working with state and local partners to prevent these crimes and to bring to justice those who commit them."
A small group, The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, started in N Idaho and quickly people from other states joined as "Friends". This site describes the process we used to get Federal laws passed.
The first step was grass roots work:
"1. Malicious Harassment Law - In Idaho it is a felony to maliciously harass any person because of race, color, national origin, religion, or creed. This offense is punishable by up to five years in the Idaho State Correction Institution and a $5,000 fine for each occurrence."
Not everyone has the time or skills to get this kind of law passed; it takes people of many different skills. I worked on P.R. (Public Relations). I was responsible for gathering stories from victimized people and getting them in all the newspapers, TV news, radio news, social group newsletters, stuff like that. I arranged victims to tell their stories to anyone who would listen: social, church, community service organizations, etc.
"Hatewatch monitors and exposes the activities of the American radical right."
It will be difficult to prove this crime a hate based ideology.
However, the ax event is a crime and must be seen as such. If you do nothing, nothing will change. If you stand against such offences, gather community support, and work with elderly groups, non-believing groups, and even churches change can happen.
I know of no safe place for atheists or elderly. We had to fight and struggle to get Federal laws to protect the vulnerable.
Thank you for the work you did. It's so sad that atheists and elderly people (among other ostracized groups) often feel so unsafe. (Incidentally, the investigation into my grandmother's death indicated there was no need to give her the Dilaudid that caused her death. She walked in with cramps and never walked out again. :( Unfortunately, she was alone, dropped off by my aunt and uncle and left at the mercy of the hospital.)
I would invite the OP to move to my area, but only for selfish reasons. :) We need more skeptical atheists. I'm the only one I know. If you like wildlife and beautiful scenery, we have it going on. Culture and diversity...not so much. :( (On edit: we're not far from more enlightened areas, but I'm disabled and fatigue keeps me from traveling.)
I've made something of a stand here. Every time I say I'm an atheist, it means the next atheist may not have it quite so hard. This may be the only important thing I've done with my life. Staying among people who don't like you all that much is a tough row to hoe.
Damn. :( What a very "Christian" thing to do. I've only had some bumper stickers and other things taken off my car, leaving no real damage.
So sorry. :( :( :(
Do you guys know that it is now illegal to discriminate against atheists in Madison WI? That is the home of FFRF and may be the best place in the USA for atheists to live.
Oddly, Austin, TX, may be a southern city to consider. It's far more liberal than the rest of Texas and is the home of The Atheist Experience and Matt Dillahunty. That group in and of itself might be a magnet to southern atheists. Then again, it's fucking Texas. They have some very backward laws and some batshit crazy politicians. Don't forget G-dub. *shudder* After eight years of that bastard, I think of him as little as possible. If we end up with Trump, just shoot me now.
The Pacific Northwest is probably a good bet, along with most coastal cities in California, but the cost of living in coastal cities is prohibitive or I'd be there right now. The valley cities in California are a mix. Most of them are terrible places to live. I lived in Fresno for about six years. For someone used to lovely scenery and mountains, it seems horribly ugly. It's also crime-ridden and hot! Sacramento would be a better bet. It's a bit cooler there with its delta breezes and there's more diversity than in the mountains. It won't be as liberal as the coast, the Bay Area or Berkeley, but it's certainly better than much of the US. I would consider moving there, but at this point, I'm afraid I'd miss the mountains. One quick note about the more northern coastal cities in California: They're foggy. Mark Twain wrote that the coldest winter he ever endured was the summer he lived in San Francisco. XD
What I really want is for more liberal people to move here to my lovely county! It's happening, albeit more slowly than I'd like. I've noticed that the demographic tends to be mostly old people and kids under 21. There's really nothing for young people to do here unless they like skiing, fishing, hunting, hiking, etc., so they move as soon as they can. We're going to need people who want to stay here. If you can travel, you aren't very far from Berkeley and the Bay Area. If it weren't for my pain, fatigue and cash issues, I'd be traveling a lot and wouldn't feel so trapped!