I live in NE Kentucky and also homeschooling my 15 year old son. It's very lonely at times as I literally go out about once a week to the supermarket with my MIL (with whom DH, DH and I live until my residency comes through and I can get a job so we can MOVE), every second Monday evening to DH's paternal grandparents' place so I can make dinner for everyone - his maternal grandmother sometimes attends as well. Then we might go to a movie once every two months.
We are in a VERY Christian community where the only things to do are church-based, apart from baseball. DH swims but there is nowhere to swim within an hour's drive (we cannot afford YMCA fees and they don't have casual swim sessions anyway there).
So yeah, I am feeling isolated and it really gets to me at times.
That does sound isolating, but you'll be *moving* eventually, lucky you!!
What sucks is that church has a stranglehold on everything social. There are definitely loads of other atheists out there, only they're stuck with the church-or-nothing option when it comes to interacting with their community.
I also feel there are tons of "latent" atheists out there as well- people who just never thought out-of-the-box, but if they questioned their beliefs, would probably end up as atheists as well. Chances are, most people go along with the God concept our of superstition and lack of options. This is why I've considered joining our local church and changing things from within.
You could always start your own atheist group, maybe a Sunday school where kids could learn about other religions, or just life skills like how finances work, how to be moral (from the secular perspective), the importance of fixing pets, etc.
I live in a very liberal city, yet I'm still surrounded by christians at work. I'm no longer quiet about it, though, and if one of them brings up their church-related activities, they hear my honest opinions (but THEY have to bring it up first, I never do.)
Thanks for the responses, everyone. Good to know there are others 'out there'!
Yes, I will be moving - once my residency finally comes through and I get a job that is AWAY from here. LOL
If you have a Facebook page, there are hundreds of Atheist groups to 'like' and/or join. When in your facebook site, search for: kentucky atheist or kentucky humanist or consider starting a yahoo meetup group that you oversee a weekly meeting at a public coffee shop. Be aware that religious activists (i.e. dangerous and violent in the 'name-of-god') often toll non-theists groups and can infiltrate meetings and/or follow non-theist meeting attendees to their homes. A lot of non-theists are 'closeted' because of possible retaliations. You might consider starting a faux (no personal information) facebook page or other social media page to better connect with fellow non-theists yet protect your identity and safety....ESPECIALLY if you're a female!
I know that situation really sucks. I'm in a small town and the only other atheist I've found around here is the young guy building the apartment units next door. Discovered accidentally, I think our common belief is why we get along so well, and his wife is a theist.
Hang in there because you will be moving soon. It sounds like a lot of this might involve Homeland Security the way I read it, and HS moves at their own pace with everything documented. They are slow but efficient.
Hello Fiona, here are two links to atheist/freethinker groups in Ky. Hope this helps
Thanks, John. Unfortunately, we're about two hours' drive away from Lexington and 2.5 hours' from Louisville. So a no-go, I am afraid.
I hear you. I live in a town that is also very religious and the religious people who live here tend to be the crazy kind. The worse part is if I had enough money, I could move to a town only a couple of hours away from here and not be in this predicament. I don't have enough money. Or enough health. I often think of a song Bette Midler sang: "Only in Miami is Cuba so far away."
Yesterday, I went into two stores. The proprietor of one store was "interpreting" the passage in the bible where Jesus tells his followers to turn the other cheek. I was too busy trying to tune her out, so I didn't hear her interpretation. Basically, I don't give a shit. The other store had a Christian message on full display in the window. A normal day out on the town is being constantly subjected to religious and right-wing bullshit.
You are in the middle of a vast sea of such people. And it's sofa king hard. :( I don't have any advice for you. I'm not really the best person from whom to receive advice right now, anyway. All I can say is I am sorry you feel so isolated and that at least here you are not alone. There are many here who feel as if they are swimming in a sea of Christian pod people. I am one of them. Right now I really need a life preserver, but there's nothing but me and the sea. Maybe this place can function as a life preserver for both of us for awhile.
Any atheist-type groups near you on meetup.com?
Luara - no. None at all. And I don't particularly want to pay to form a MeetUp group. TBH, if I did start one up for this community, no-one would join - they'd be too afraid to do so. People are disowned by their families here if they do not adhere to the same beliefs and lifestyle as their parents and grandparents before them (even fashion and attitudes as a whole are around 1950s here LOL).
I was actually asking Atheist in Fundyland about that. It's worth looking, anyway. Nonbeliever groups might go by names other than "atheist". Freethinkers, maybe Unitarians.
There are people besides you living nearby, with the same concerns as you. The problem is how to find them, and in a culture which is hostile to them, they might gather under non-obvious names.
Some Unitarians consider themselves Christians, some don't. Many but not all are believers. I understand Unitarian churches vary tremendously. If there's a local congregation, that might be a group where you could be honest, and still be seen as a "good, upright churchgoer" in the larger society.
"Humanist" might be another useful label to look for -- some folks consider themselves religious humanists, finding value in god-language and rituals even as purely human creations.