How backwards is your local backwater? For myself, I am currently residing in Lethbridge, southern Alberta. If there is a place in Canada most dominated by religiosity, southern AB would be that place. There are no less than 3 creation 'science' centers within a two hour drive of my house, while a national television network dedicated to Christian fundamentalism films out of studio 6 blocks away. We have churches on almost every other corner, including 2 that practice snake-handling (I really wish I was making this up...). The mayor holds an annual televised prayer breakfast with the sanction of the city government, while Alberta as a whole can boast that it launched the political career of the infamous Stockwell Day, a former provincial politician who actively sought to restrict abortion rights, proclaimed that dinosaurs once lived with people and who, in his 2000 campaign to become Prime Minister refused to campaign on Sundays. Because that would be sinful. Oh, and then there is are the Mormons. If you stay in Lethbridge for more than 24 hours, you WILL be accosted by well dressed young people seeking to spread the good word of Joseph Smith - any time, any place, any weather. I was once stopped while walking to the store for a pack of cigarettes - at 2 in the morning, in a blizzard.

As an aside, it is not just the Christians who bring the crazy. The local Jewish center had to close due to ongoing threats and harassment from Muslim exchange students at the University.

Southern Alberta: Religious? Batshit? Then come on in....

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Replies to This Discussion

HAHA!! I think I've got you all beat. Maybe not in the horror story department. But if you all live in the "bible belt", then I'm way down in the ass end. SW GA here. I know only one other Atheist out of all the people I know. It's never really been an issue before. I don't hide the fact I'm an infidel, if I'm asked I'll tell. So maybe now that I think about it, not too many people know for sure. Most just know I have an adversion to 'church'.

Though it has caused some problems with my fiance of 4.5 years, who just recently asked what I believe. But thats a story for another time....
UGH! Church of God *rolling eyes* My grandparents belonged to that before they died and my grandfather was some sort of lay minister. Let's just say getting a Wet Ones lid stuck on my finger as a little girl and my grandmother coming into the Sunday School room to yank it off because the teacher couldn't get it off was the best part of the whole thing.

My grandmother died almost 2 years ago and it was the first time my older son, who was 17 then, had ever been to an Evangelical church. We went to the funeral, the preacher preached on "the Path of Salvation". Afterwards, my mother and aunt wanted us to go to church with them the next morning. I told them we had to get back to feed our cats. When I asked my son after we got in the car to go home, if I was speaking for him, without giving him a chance, and then asked if he wanted to go, he said, "NO!" then he backed it up with, "I mean, no, it's ok. I didn't want to go." lol That is how bad it is. Neither of my sons care for such churches and now understand me better after that.
I told my sons, no matter what others say, when I die go find a Humanist celebrant and celebrate my life. Even if I die before my mother, they are not suppose to allow her to push them into some bizarre Evangelical funeral. I think they will be far happier if they do as I suggest.
Wow! Another WWCG survivor! I was raised in that horrible cult until I was 18 and ran away from home to get away from the madness....didn't work. I married a religious nutjob ('s all I knew) and spent several years secretly studying and finding answers to my questions before divorcing his crazy ass and learning how to live the good life as a heathen. lol I started to question when I was very young, but soon learned to keep my mouth shut. As you no doubt remember, independant thinking wasn't exactly incouraged.

Been out of the scene for about 40 years or so now. I'm happy to say that without undue influence from me, my 11 year old granddaughter has decided to be an "amythist" like her Granny. I took her to the OKC monthly social gathering last month and she had a ball. She keeps asking me when the next meeting will be. Welcome to the group!
I live in Greenville, South Carolina. There is literally a church on every corner, which means that at an intersection on a quiet street, you have FOUR churches. It makes getting anywhere on Sunday morning or Wednesday night a bitch.

My parents are Catholic, maybe? They both went to Catholic schools their entire lives. Then they rebelled. Then they had me and two brothers. Then the divorce. Then my mom became an alcoholic. She was the first one I told about my atheism because I figured she didn't believe that crap either. She says she does, but I bet if I poked her a bit she would side with me. She's not mortified by my atheism the way my dad is. I used to try and save my mom when I was little because everyone told me she was going to hell because she didn't go to church. I tried to save EVERYONE. My dogs, my fish, my neighbors. I just wanted my life after death to be filled with everyone I knew. I didn't really get the religious part of it. My dad thinks he has failed at life and that makes me feel like shit because I'm a really good person BECAUSE of the way he taught me. Even though he's a little racist, he made sure his children didn't get racism forced on them because of his views. He's homophobic, too, but he made sure his kids knew that you don't judge someone because of their way of life or color of their skin. I volunteer for different places, I donate to places I think worthy causes, and it's all because of him. But he failed, apparently, and can't see that I'm an okay person. He loved my husband until he found out he was an atheist.

Around 5th grade I was having to attend these dumb puppet shows about god in our Sunday school class and I looked at my younger brothers and started laughing. My youngest brother laughed with me because he didn't understand and the middle brother elbowed me to shut up. That's when I stopped believing in god. I didn't tell ANYONE. Now my little brothers are atheists as well. They don't tell anyone either. I am still scared to tell people because every single person I know is religious. I know my husband who is an atheist, and I have an acquaintance who is agnostic, but that's it. My best friend is religious because someone with my exact views is hard to come by.

My best friend accepts me and does not try to convert me. She's awesome and I love her, but man. I went to church with her once because she was having a hard time in life and I thought, "I'll be there for her, whatever she needs!" She goes to something called Christian World Outreach Center or something and I nearly crapped my pants. This place is nuts! The pastor was talking about how they just got this light display from Bon Jovi and it was $200,000 or so. I'm thinking, "All it's doing is blinking in the background of your sermon..." but whatever. She thought the message was great. I thought I would probably never go back there again. Has anyone else heard of this place? It's crazy!
Hi Stephanie,

Sounds like we have a lot in common. I live in SC, the only other atheist I know is my husband and my best friend is Southern Baptist. Luckily she doesn't try to convert me either. At least you have other family members who are atheist, even if they aren't open about it. My family is a mix of Catholic and Baptist.

I am pretty much "out" as an atheist to family, friends and immediate co-workers. My husband is mostly in the closet, except for a few friends. So far, I don't have any horror stories. I even have an "evolve fish" on my car and no one has messed with it. I have an atheist t-shirt, but I haven't worn it in public yet. I might have to experiment with that and see what happens.
On the up side of everyone being in church on Sunday morning--they aren't in the grocery store, Chuck-E-Cheese, etc. I have found that is the best time to go anywhere (well, anywhere that is actually open in the Bible Belt).
December 22, 2006
My brother has just returned from his first semester at Blue Mountain College, a Baptist College in North Mississippi. He's decided my beliefs aren't kosher, and keeps yelling at me that I'll go to hell. I tell him I'm not interested. He becomes enraged, grabbing me by the collar of my shirt. I inform him I certainly wasn't going to listen anymore. He runs off in a fit of rage. It's midnight. Two hours later, he returns, crying.

"This was the first time I've ever witnessed to anyone," he says.

"Yeah, well, if that's going to be your attitude, good luck with that."

Wasn't like this before. Used to be fun, possibly homosexual. Must investigate further.
I live in rural Alabama, where you can still get killed for being either black or atheist. If you are a black atheist you are totally screwed. The nearest town is 8 miles from me and has less people in it than the apartment building I lived in growing up in NYC. Everything here revolves around Christianity. And I mean everything. Businesses close on Wednesday evenings, the county is dry and the preacher drives the school bus and substitutes at the local high school. There is no escape unless you move.



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