Alabama atheist, born and raised in the Bible Belt.
I'm a 40 year old graphic designer from deep in the Bible Belt. I was raised by a lapsed Southern Baptist and a lapsed Presbyterian in a community where being Christian and Protestant just meant you were breathing. The Catholics had been driven out of town by the Methodists, Baptists and Presbyterians long before I was born. Unlike most of my friends, I didn't attend church. My mom and dad were both forced to attend church as kids, every time the doors were open. As a result, when I and my brother were born, they decided against going to church. Although my parents still consider themselves Christian, they are Christian in only the widest of senses.
By the time I hit high school, I considered myself a Deist. By the end of college, I was firmly in the atheist camp.
Living here in the land of raving fundamentalists, I take any opportunity I can get to speak with other like-minded folks. I'm on about a half dozen atheist, freethought and skeptic forums, and I'm considering starting a "Skeptics in the Pub" or "Drinking Skeptically" group in my community, because there just aren't any groups around. The nearest group to me is almost an hour drive.
To complicate matters, I'm married to a wonderful woman who happens to come from a deeply religious, evangelical Southern Baptist family. She's much more liberal than they are. Think United Church of Christ. Still, we spend a lot of time with her family, because they are very close-knit. I find myself biting my tongue clean off.
I work both freelance and an 8-5 M-F job, both doing design work for advertising. At my company, they still say grace before company-provided meals.
Yeah, I know.
Anyway, I hope to be able to contribute something of worth to the forums. I'll answer any questions and receive condolences now.
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