Where in South Carolina is everyone and what are you experiences as being an atheist?

I'll start. I'm in Columbia at USC, and I rarely feel fearful admitting that I don't believe in God. Of course I don't go around just saying it, no more than I go around spouting that I'm a liberal or a humanist. 

Most of the times I am confronted with someone religious, it is in a classroom or (funnily enough) out in the bars. One specific experience comes to mind: one night I was outside killing my lungs with a cigarette and half-intoxicated admittedly. I was with several friends and we were talking when a guy came up and starting shouting that YOU ARE ALL SINNERS, YOU NEED TO ACCEPT JESUS AND GET OUT OF THE BARS AND FIND GOD--I paraphrase of course. I was so enraged, shouting that we don't come to his church and drink and he shouldn't come to our bars and preach God and immediately ranting about the hypocrisy and untruth of religion, especially Christianity. Most of my friends are not outspoken atheists and probably wouldn't call themselves atheists, but I'm sure that most of them don't really believe in God, much less the Christian one. Some of the others outside too were obviously Christian, including one of my friends, and they went to the guy and started saying that he shouldn't preach the word of God like that, with shouts and anger. Soon enough all of them were kneeling in prayer with him. I was disgusted. I did however make brief friends with another critic shouting back at him. I could have handled it a little better, but when you mix an outspoken, loud-mouthed, gay atheist with alcohol, that's what happens, but oh well.

I just wanted to share one of my experiences and hear of some of yours here in our Palmetto State. I was glad to find that even though I was in the minority, no one was trying to suppress my different view. 

So please share.

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Replies to This Discussion

i have the unique ability to destroy your thought... or point.... in just a few short sentances... then make you look like an utter fool for a half hour...
so most christians don't argue with me...
and none of them will debate me....
very few will actually have a conversation with me.

my experiences tend to be limited.
I'll jump on this later when I'm not slammed with work. Good story, Eric.
I'm living in Fort Mill and unfortunately, I am rather on the uneasy side of saying I'm an atheist. I don't hide it if asked, but I don't go talking about it either. Several of the people I worked with (just transferred to a new job this week) were heavily Christian and have made it quite plain in conversations during those rare department meetings that they didn't approve of someone who wasn't a believer. I know that what I read in the papers and blogs and so forth about confrontations between atheists and theists is probably few and far between, it still makes me nervous to openly admit I'm atheist. I'm a scaredy cat on some things, I'm afraid.
No need to call yourself a scaredy cat. Luckily I don't face ostracism if I admit I'm an atheist in most cases. But If knew that I did, I probably wouldn't. Not many people would want to open themselves up to attack from everybody else, so I completely understand that.
I think as atheist we are better served engaging christians and other theist in a more calm rational manner.There is no better feeling than discussing religion with a christian and realizing mid conversation that they are beginning to doubt their beliefs. Its much harder to accomplish that in a more heated aggressive discussion than in a calm rational conversation. Having said that I would have probably done the same thing with a little alcohol in the old system.
I'm from Sumter and I recently had a conversation with a christian that was intrested in my beliefs (or lack thereof). The discussion was very calm not at all hostile and took place in a bar. Then a third party not afiliated with either of us told us in a very angry way to shut up. We continued our conversation until this guy got very loud and obviously angry and began swearing at us to stop talking about that kind of stuff. I invited the "gentleman" to share his thoughts and beliefs. He declined and we ceased our religious discussion. I found it intresting how somebody who was unwilling to defend or even share his religious thoughts was so uterly offended by religious conversation in his presence. I wondered then and still wonder what goes on in some peoples mind when they are faced with questions about religion.
At this point, I've about said all I want to say to most Christians about
atheism and their religion, so I tend to avoid personal conversations
about religion.

I've done my time in the trenches and have just about heard it all.

I just don't see much point in it now.

I will, however, engage believers in online forums, blogs, etc. as their
beliefs relate to current events (such as those Baptist "missionary"
nutcases smuggling children in Haiti).

But, I try to make sure none of those nuts know where to find me.
Greer, SC here (between Greenville and Spartanburg). I actually have such little problem being atheist around here that I don't even think about it most of the time, unless one of our local politicians speaks. You're going to find ignorant douchebags that want to hold their (insert whatever here) above everyone else that doesn't also have (whatever). The important thing to learn is to not bother with people like the guy you met at that bar, and if you do, don't be a preachy dick back. That guy probably had some serious issues, and his turning to Christianity is probably part of his coping with whatever things are going wrong with his life.

I don't bother to discuss atheism or theism much any more, and most people don't ask, so it's pretty much a non-issue around here.

It is funny though, my grandmother said something about I need to find God. My aunt is one of those "Christ Warrior" evangelist pastors who does exorcisms and calls out demons by name and other assorted crazy shit, but we get along fine.
Good advice. It is usually a complete nonissue here in Columbia as well. Of course this guy who was yelling at midnight on a cold street in front of a bar was just a loon. And there are nutcases everywhere haha.
I don't talk about religion except with other atheist friends, because I have a small business and over 90 percent of my clients are probably christian.The few christian friends that do know"family included" have treated me differently ever since.I don't want to lose business over my lack of belief, but if confronted, I will be more than happy to debate them.I get sick of listening to their proselytizing in everyday conversation.
Mitchell, I just moved away from Greenville a few months ago.  I sold advertising there and I totally sympathize with you.  Most of my customers were soooo religious.  I would never tell them my beliefs.  The business community there is so religion-based it's not even funny.  I was a member of a networking group there of mostly small business owners and they often talked about god in meetings.  Even had prayer before large meetings.  Unbelievable.  What is your business?  I wish I had known about you before we left.  I would have made it a point to patronize your business the way the Christians patronize each other's.   (:
I'm a outspoken atheist in Myrtle Beach. I don't socialize often due to having a family.

I've got in a few heated discussions with a new secretary at the office, in the past when she came in proselytizing (She even once threatened to file a religious discrimination lawsuit against me telling her to stop the "god" talk), but after a few months she's become atheist and more outspoken than I am.
We've got a pretty strong "freethinkers" group (~20 members) that meets once a month.




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