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.
There *is* a UU Fellowship about 25 mins away from us, but the links on the page for most of the information takes you to a sign printing business LOL.
If there's a Craigslist for your area, you could ask about how to connect with other atheists in one of the community forums (Groups forum, say).
FL, I so hear you too. It's frustrating, to say the least. I am perfectly willing to BE a part of the local community, but if they know you don't attend church - and you can call yourself Christian but you will be considered NOT one if you don't attend one of the frigging churches around here - then you are not welcome to any community events. The fact ALL events are run at churches and it's apparently signing a death-warrant if you decide to attend and reveal you're not a "believer" is worrying to me.
So much for the "open arms of the American South"...
And yeah, this sort of place is definitely a life-preserver!
Try calling yourself "agnostic" and see if you can meet people of like mind. I met another atheist the other day only to find out he believes in spirits, demons, conspiracy theorys involving the government, and othe "supernatural" type stuff. He says the Illuminati controls the world. Yikes! I'd better find another atheist friend.
Hang in there! Social ostracism is a very powerful influence and can be very difficult to bear. One thing that has helped me in the past is to get atheist podcasts and listen to them when things get less tolerable.
I just attended a meeting of the Northern Ohio Freethought Society (NOFS) this past Saturday. Not a big group, but they are clearly aware of what's going on as regards serious church vs state issues in the area and want to do something about them. They are also associated with the Freedom From Religion Foundation - a big plus in my mind, and they are not just about social events, as apparently at least one or more NE Ohio atheist groups are.
I haven't sent in my $40 to FFRF just yet, but there's a fair chance I will ... because I like the idea of doing something more than just tossing my $0.02 worth in here.
I don't think I know an atheist in real, day to day life. I'm not sure how i'd react:) I just chug along with no plan. I can't see myself going to any kind of group by myself. Too scary; not my style. Jerry Dewitt's congregation in my state does interest me though.
Your reply made me smile. I guess it's like anything else: do you judge how you react to someone based on their faith when you meet them? I do not. One's faith is important but it's not the whole person. When I meet someone for the first time and they immediately and only talk to me about some form of faith, I think, "Uhhh... okay..." Then again, if they talk to me about veganism and nothing else from word go, I think, "Uhhh...okay..." LOL.
If you meet someone who is of a different race, do you judge them on that before you know who they are as a person? If they are a different sexual orientation, do you judge them? I hope the answer is a resounding "No, of course not!" to both.
We are all just people, and the fact that the majority of the community in which I live use my atheism as a reason why they are too scared to talk to me and tell their children my son is an instrument of the devil (if only they knew that atheists don't believe in the devil...that's kinda the point of atheism)...well, I wish people realised that everyone is the same, in essence, and that postulating there will be some kind of "weirdness" as a result of a person of faith and an atheist meeting for the first time is something one should not do!
Guarantee, damian, if we randomly met and talked, you'd not realise I was atheist - then again, what would it matter?