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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Hi, I'm in Yemassee, SC.  I'm 70 and a retired blue collar worker with a new computer. I'm still basically in the closet. I've been atheist for 50 yrs., agnostic for 10 yrs before that, was baptized and saved at age 10 but nothing happened. Raised by strict Southern Baptists I kept my entire family in the dark until the deaths of my parents. I knew early on that something was wrong but was not allowed to question God's word. I got my dad in trouble with his pastor by asking questions that he would relay. I was not allowed to question after that. My Dad told me with tears in his eyes about the love and trust of Abraham who was willing to slay his son on the alter at God's command. I got the message! I learned to stay quite on the subject with every one. I'm not by myself. Politicians and professionals all profess a belief in God at a higher rate than the general population. I am interested in why any of us become atheist. The answer could be earth shattering. Education itself is obviously not the answer. Maybe targeted education in specific areas as I suspect was the case with me. I was interested in stone age people, fossils, taxonomy, animals, the natural world, National Geographic Magazine and probably above all the old Charleston Museum before it burned down. I'm glad I'm finally in touch with you all.



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