Why do you think a hobby so rooted in technology is such a hot bed for Christianity? You can't look up HF nets without getting 100 or so hits for these people. That, or the hate groups that seem to love hanging out on 80 meters.

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When I lived in Salt Lake City, the Beehive Net was the ARRL traffic net. Has that changed?
I am not convinced that the technical fields have any higher proportion of believers. Indeed, there is an inverse relationship between education level and belief. The highest proportion of believers in the U.S. (according to Skeptics mag) is found among incarcerated felons (94%) and the least among members of the National Academy of Sciences (14%).

I think we will have to look elsewhere for why there is such a high proportion of believers among hams. One theory that has occurred to me is that it becomes a self-exclusionary phenomenon - non-believers get driven out of the hobby by the omnipresence of references to God. The same thing seems to me to be true of people of a left-of-center political persuasion, such as myself.

When I get that popular signoff blurb on PSK31 from the Christians saying "When you get the call from Jesus, be sure to answer it!", I respond with a macro of my own: "When you get the call from Osiris, be sure to answer it. He is just dying to hear from you!" So far, none of them have commented. If they ask me about my "faith" during the QSO, I tell them that I don't do ancient Semitic sky gods. Or Greek mountain gods, or Mayan rain gods, either. That usually gets the message across.
Oh believe me, I know that! I wouldn't bother with a freethinkers or atheist radio net. It would definitely be jammed and attract idiots. What gets me are some of these white supremacist types that have their little hate fests on the air. No one bothers them. But I guess most people do the same thing I do when they hear them and just change the frequency.

73, Kevin
The Freethinkers have a really bad name on 75m.

When I was first licensed in the early '70's, there was a group call the Freethinkers Net that occupied 3955 continuously, engaging in what was essentially broadcasting, trying to convince the believers that they were mistaken. It went on for decades, and I heard it as recently as 1990. It was as hate-filled as anything you hear the Christians doing, and frankly, it was an embarrassment to me to listen to, as well as being constantly jammed. Fortunately, they are not around anymore.

But I would not mind being part of an honest discussion group. But I don't think it would last for all the jamming it would be subjected to. As the U.S. has drifted to the right politically, the Christian community has become ever more virulent in its hatred for and persecution of non-believers.
You guys are going to force me, kicking and screaming (about how little time I already have) back into my radios, aren't you?

What Hesiodos said. It has been said that this "illusion of complexity" or designer concept must appeal to the Engineer mindset. Somehow, I don't yet buy that, but it must be attractive to some.

I have Engineer, Photography and other technical field buddies that are Atheist and the strong Religious I know are not much more than adequate PC people. I don't think I get around as much. Oddly however, when I was married (26+ years ago), it was an All-Ham event (Talk-in on .135!) at a friend's house who was both a preacher and ham, presided over by a ham and a third preacher/ham in evidence as well. Kind of sad now when I look back on it.

The funniest bit though was when the guy that married us came over after church one day, dressed still in his Baptist garb - complete with huge pewter crucifix hanging from his neck - and walked my roof with a nice, large Yagi attached to his Yaesu 2m rig looking for the best signal for the repeater. It really looked.... odd.
Yes - he was pretty hardcore, probably more ham than Baptist for certain - but in deep no matter what really.

Oddly enough, I messed around with Packet back when it was just starting - and have been an observer of some of the Sat work - but never actually DONE anything with any of that. Just lazy, I think. HF was never my thing - all my contacts were mostly jokes - I finally got a 7 call once from my home made dipole in my back yard in roughly mid-state NY - town called Beacon. I found out the guy was visiting relatives - literally about 4 miles from me. 2M would have been better!

Since getting involved with Cellular Engineering about 18 years ago, I have let my radio work lapse - sold all my HF gear and my old 2M rigs (old Yaesu FT-290 beasties - with C-cell batteries even!) fall into disrepair. It is all very sad.

I will get back into it someday, I am pretty sure. The new digital stuff is interesting and I always think of doing something about it when the power goes out and I lose my house fibre!
Yes, that is so true. They are such a pain - they're all you hear down here in Costa Rica. The locals refer to them as the "finqueros cerdos" - the pig farmers. They're stereotyped as being hicks living in Arkansas, living on pig farms. And about as educated as you would expect a pig farmer to be.

Of course, it isn't just the pig farmers. It is the reactionary conservatives who seem to be so far to the right they're falling off the end of the political spectrum. Obama can do no right, progressives are the enemies of humanity, and those brown-skinned folks who talk funny are great for talking to on the radio - from their home countries, of course. Some of the conversations I hear down here make me outright embarrassed to be a U.S. callsign owner.

I have never really quite understood why it is that hams are almost universally überChristian hyper-conservatives. What is it about the hobby? Could it be that exposure to radio fields causes some subtle, unrecognized brain damage?
>> I have never really quite understood why it is that hams are almost universally überChristian >> hyper-conservatives. What is it about the hobby? Could it be that exposure to radio fields >> causes some subtle, unrecognized brain damage?

I think part of the answer is that religious people and to some extent, hyper-conservatives, tend to be more aggressive in their belief that they are right and need to convert the world to their views.

I think it also has a lot to do with maturity and the willingness to self-examine and grow as a person. You look at very young adults (an oxymoron if ever there was one) and you can see strong opinions that are mostly due to outside influence. They are not reached by thoughtful examination of all sides of an argument or situation.

It isn't until much later in life (for the most part) that as a person gets more life experience and has more understanding of human nature, evolutionary processes and group psychology that they begin to form more thoughtful opinions on weighty matters.

This is one of the reasons I like CW so much more than sideband. On 75 meters up here we have a lot of hateful bigots who think they own the band. You can't help but get worked up and angry if you listen long enough--so I don't.

It's have to have a good racist rant net in Morse code! :-)
Well, the whole "old people" are more religious argument I think only really applies to those who are already believers but just haven't been too serious about it until faced with their impending death. It's hard to imagine "nothing" and never seeing your friends, loved ones, pets, etc. ever again.

We evolved with a survival instinct that makes us want more time no matter what. The exceptions being when one is in terrible pain or situations, then even many religious folk look forward to death as an escape, but still can hold on to their hopes for more life, even if it's after dying, aka after-life.

I try to keep in mind that I only feel sad about such losses when I'm awake and conscious. When I'm sleeping and don't have dreams then I'm basically dead and nothing really is going to matter to me any more.

Consider funerals and final wishes. When I'm dead it really doesn't matter to me what people do with my body. You want to have a religious ceremony because it makes you feel good? Fine, I'm going to be dead and it isn't going to make any difference to me either way.
Darrin wrote:

It's rare to find a religious blowhard there, and I've never understood why. Perhaps being able to use a computer+radio combo is too difficult for them? I think it ties back to old people and religion though...

...Well, I have been quite active on PSK, and I do encounter them there from time to time. I occasionally see a signoff macro that says "If you hear the call of Jesus, be sure to answer it. He's been waiting to hear from you." But I have one of my own - when I get that one, I reply with this: "If you hear the call of Osiris, be sure to answer it. He's just dying to hear from you." Most don't know who Osiris was, but the few who do understand usually get a laugh - and get the message - I'm not on the ham bands to be preached at. As if I hadn't heard "the call of Jesus" all my friggin' life, over and over and over again.

I've met folks who, as age dragged them more deeply into less than commodious living, decided that there couldn't be a divine hand so mean as to make someone go through all the decay & degradation. And I knew of one RC priest who, as cancer took him out, became depressed, despite a life spent in the faith of eternity with his lord and saviour. Thus I am not sure about the correlation between age & resurgence of faith.

As for disbelievers on the air, I know of plenty. 3675 every Friday, 10pm Ohio time. We don't discuss belief as a constant thread. We get on the air and boggle each other around, just as we've been doing for the past 40 years and some.

And yes, we have made our enemies (or maybe opponents). That's why we all ended up in Extree land. Too easy to find in the General sections of the RFS. But since it isn't a group that discusses why & how many or which and whenever, we don't get noticed much. Interesting version of fellowship, however. Something like the letters section of the FFRF's "Freethought Today" quasi-monthly.

You don't end up feelin' alone. Not that my recent experience after coming out arms wavin' and feet a-stompin' has proven how few of us there are. (Good place for the subjunctive, that one . . .) Just discovering this group & its foundation on the web speaks to that one.

3s

Nils/W8IJN

Hmmm..... 3675 at 10PM Central... Too bad it is so late at night. I'd love to check in, but I am usually in bed cutting Zs long since by then.

Otherwise, I am at a quandary as to why to even bother putting up a decent antenna for 80m, when the only people I am going to talk to on it are a bunch of reactionary bigots that leave me embarrassed to be a gringo ham in Latin America.

If there is any other good reason to put up an 80m antenna, (other than maybe working DX) I'd sure like to hear about it.

73,
TI3/W7RI

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