I'm new to this group, so I'm not sure if this subject has been discussed here before.
I'm curious how others deal with a problem I've faced most of my life, being an Atheist in the bible-belt.
Here's the scenario: You meet someone for the first time (a friend, a coworker, a potential love-interest, whatever) and you "hit it off" right away. You have similar interests, compatible senses of humor, you like the same food, etc. so you start getting to know them. At some point, a situation comes up where you reveal that you're an Atheist/Agnostic/Freethinker/etc. and suddenly, they either freak out, start avoiding you, or at the very least treat you differently.
So the question is, what do you do? Avoid mentioning your non-belief? Lie about it? Limit your friends, lovers, etc. to the few non-believers you can find in the bible-belt? Other ideas?
If they start preaching, this becomes an easy answer for me. I'm out! But I'm talking about those people who just don't understand how you can be "such a nice guy (or girl)" and not believe in their sky-daddy.
Your default answer might be that you don't care or that you don't want to be friends with religionists anyway, but as most of you probably know, they're just about the only game in town (most southern towns, anyway). Plus, many of them are good, fun, interesting people that you'd enjoy spending time with. It's not their fault they were brainwashed at an early age to have an automatic negative reaction to certain ideas.
What do you do?