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.
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!
where are you now? can't locate beginning of this thread
AIF, I like your suggestion of Sonora, with the mountains very near and the ocean with the Bay for activities and entertainment in nature. You are close to Yosemite National Park and the mountains. The weather seems relatively mild, not too hot and not too cold. There is a lot of history in that place and lovely old buildings. It sounds idyllic to me.
I think that any place one looks has strong christian influences. Certainly my part of the country does. I used to get a lot of hate stuff but no longer do in Spokane. I don't know how people will receive me in Newport. The people we invited to our solstice celebration asked a lot of question, i.e. "Why do you call it a Solstice celebration?" Why don't you exchange gifts?" I didn't have any direct questions from anyone, and I think it is because they haven't put two + two = "atheist", yet. I am ready for whatever comes my way; I have been through hate crimes before. I know how to stand confidently and competently in the face of hostility.
Atheist sounds like a terrible word to many people, suggesting the workings of the devil. Is it not interesting that the devil morphed from the Green Man of ancient days.
Celtic mythology tells of the untamed Horned God of the Animals and the leaf-covered Green Man, Guardian of the Green World, but he is much older.
Our prehistoric ancestors knew him as a shape-shifting, shamanic god of the Hunt. They painted his horned image in caves and carved him on cliffs, stones, Homo sapiens sought to commune with him and receive his power and that of animals by dressing in skins and skulls, using feathers and bones. They danced his dance. Yet He is older still.
Masculine and feminine energy created the diversity of life, of evolution.
There is no reason to be ashamed of being an atheist. We developed as part of the human species to a higher plane of existence, to one without mythology to inform us, but to enrich our understanding of what it means to be alive and participating in life. I am not only proud to be an atheist, but I also welcome others to move into a new level of understanding life and living.
Joan, I love the poetic description and it sounds like a heaven on earth(forgive the pun) but he just wants out not a trip around the delights of nature.
Right now, I bet you're feeling pressured to simply get the hell out of there! Anywhere else sounds better than someplace where Christian maniacs take an ax to the friggin' door. I get that. I think Joan is thinking more long term.
As for my little town, it is quite lovely and so far, no one has taken an ax to my door. :) The population is low enough that the Christians here would have difficulty getting away with actual violence. Sometimes I swear my mother knows everyone in the entire county and they're probably all praying for me. XD In a way it's good I have an "in" with the fundies. They dare not do anything too horrible to me or they'll have to answer to my mother, who still loves me in spite of everything.
I did have some road rage directed at me when I put controversial bumper stickers on my car. The stickers sort of disappeared when my car broke down next to the church. :) After those incidents, I decided it wasn't safe to advertise my beliefs via car. I don't hide my beliefs, either. I'm just more careful about picking my battles. Berkeley and the Bay Area are within driving distance for those who don't have fatigue issues.
If you prefer living in a city, Sacramento might be a good bet. The cost of living isn't as high as it is on the coast and there aren't constant fogs / clouds in the summer like there are in many coastal towns. The city itself is fairly diverse--much more so than here in the mountains--and the coast and the mountains are within driving distance. Sacramento gets delta breezes, so it doesn't get quite as hot there as it does in some of the more southern valley cities. "Not quite as hot" is still hot, though. Even here in Sonora, it gets hot in the summer, but even with my severe fatigue, I can usually drive a short way up the hill for relief if I have to. Most California heat can be classified as "dry heat," but once you're in the high 90's and 100's, it really doesn't matter what kind of heat it is, does it?
I'm just telling you what I know about my state to give you more information. That's all. What's best for you is what's best for you.
Yeah, my Darwin fish walked away when I had to leave my car next to a church. XD Evolution is a marvelous thing.
Many of my bumper stickers were mounted on magnetic strips. On the back of each, I put a graphic that said, "Thou shalt not steal." XD
When I came back from an errand circa 2004, my John Kerry sticker had been removed. It was one of the stickers without a magnetic strip, so it left residue on my car. I hate that! I think the thief tried to take more of the stickers, but the "Thou shalt not steal" graphic pricked his conscience. He left the rest of the stickers alone so that people could yell obscenities at me and tailgate.
I finally decided to pick my battles, that having a car accident wouldn't help anyone. I also figured out most politicians have been bribed by billionaires and don't give two shits about the rest of us. But god, I hated W!!! If only I'd had the power of the imp slap.
right on, Joan!
Yes, climatically, Sonora is a great place to live! At least for now. We're in the middle of a record drought that has brought some horrible fires. Recently, I noticed many pine trees on the mountain near my childhood home are dying. This happened once before due to bark beetles. That was a widespread phenomenon that covered vast swaths of forest, including forests near Tahoe. I'm not sure why the pines on my mountain are dying this time.
Fires are the only natural disaster to fear in this area. No tornadoes; no hurricanes; no tsunamis. Rarely, we get very mild earthquakes from the Mono Lake volcano, but we're nowhere near the major faults, so as far as I know, there's no reason to fear the "big one" up here.
As for the fundies, anyone new moving into the area has an advantage over me. I grew up here and went to a fundamentalist school, so people recognize me and expect me to be the same person I was in grade school / high school. They assume I'm a Christian and when they find out I'm not, they treat me like a traitor. Also, new people can probably find places to fit in more easily than I can. I was only taught one way: go to church. I've tried taking classes at the local community college (very nice campus, btw) and other things, but so far, I haven't found a place where I truly fit in, unless it's the jazz class. But that is so very fragile.
We need new blood! That much is certain. :)
Despite my fundamentalist upbringing, I don't understand why people equate atheists with the devil. We don't believe in that guy either. XD Fundies cannot conceptualize non-belief. To them, we're "mad at god" or "possessed by the devil." It never occurs to them that their whole religion is completely made up! :)
Any atheist groups in Sonora? I just started an online closed Facebook group for closet atheists and agnostics in my area. Only 1 other local member so far. Thought there might be safety in numbers..
Thanks for the suggestion about Sonora, CA. I've been checking out real estate in that general area and found a foreclosure I might be able to afford in a town called Groveland, Ca. Stats on the web show 55% "None's" which sounds good to me. Also seems to have a fairly high proportion of folks over 55. If anyone has info about Groveland, CA, I'd appreciate some posts or messages with honest opinions from fellow atheists before I take this further.
Let's hope you get some peace from the religion of peace.