what does bible belt RSS do?

friendlyagnostic
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what does bible belt RSS do?

so what exactly does RRS Bible belt do?


darth_josh
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Whatever can be done when

Whatever can be done when able to do it.

Do you have some ideas? 

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Nero
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Try to avoid being thrown in

Try to avoid being thrown in a lake with a stone tied to us or burned at the stake.


friendlyagnostic
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could someone tell me please?

Nero wrote:
Try to avoid being thrown in a lake with a stone tied to us or burned at the stake.

 

LOL, point taken. I asked b/c well, I'm trying to learn, and I hope I don't sound ignorant, so I'm just going to be honest. I'm agnostic/deist (go back and forth). I'm in my 20's. I live in a liberal big city on the east coast. And, I'm pretty open about who I am. I came out to my friends, to members of my family, and most of them took it pretty well (yes, that includes the xtians too, most of my friends are quite liberal). In fact, it provoked some pretty cool discussions. I can't afford to buy all the books that have been written recently on religion, so I go to the library and read them. I've heard of people getting harrased for reading those books (like say, the End of Faith) out in the open, but when I did it here, no one seemed to care. We do have the "fundies" here, but they are in a minority. Every once in a while they make some noise, but everyone ignores them-actually they're kind of a joke around here. So around here, you can't exactly proclaim you're a nontheist from the rooftops, but you hardly ever get harrassed for it even if people can tell (unless of course, you happen to come across campus crusade for christ, lol). most people here honestly really don't care, it's very live and let live. this is one reason I'm not that hostile to religion unless it's in my face-and here it hardly ever is. I admit, I am spoiled and I'm sorry if this offends anyone, I'm just trying to give background on what I grew up with. I was raised liberally religious (and taught evolution, I never even heard of creationism till college, I just assumed everyone believed in evolution- and I was exposed to many religions) which around here, tends to lead to usually some weak form of non-theism later in life.

I've lived here most of my life, only been mostly up north to more liberal cities and blue states, and to Europe which is pretty secular, and to the west coast which is pretty liberal, and I admit, I was pretty ignorant of how the south and the bible belt was until I went down there a couple of years ago. I didn't even go that deep in. The first time, on the way back a guy on the train started telling me how awful it was that "those damn black people" wanted jobs just like his. He scared the crap out me (me coming from a city of political correctness!) but the guy I was with managed to find us seats away from this other guy. Later I went to visit some friends down in the bible belt, again not too deep but a bit deeper, who told me to keep quiet about my liberal views (I was Catholic at the time but very liberal Catholic) if any of the neighbors asked b/c I could actually be physically hurt if I said I was, say, a democrat (they are too and they had to keep it to themselves). It really was culture shock and since then they've come up here I haven't really wanted to go back there. Both times I went I was with people who kind of sheltered me from really talking to many people who lived there at length, and I never stayed long. Recently I've been reading about how non-theists (and even theists who try and help them out or don't agree with the majority) are treated in the bible belt and I have to admit it has shocked me. I knew it was bad, but I guess I didn't realize how bad. It's easy to distance yourself from it here and think of it as remote. I didn't realize how they harrassed and black balled people down there just for being non-theists, that you could loose a job or get vandalized, or that your kids could be harrassed in schools. What I want to know from everyone here, who lives or has lived in the bible belt, or who knows about it, is can you tell me what it's like, on a daily basis? both times I went I didn't stay long or interact with many locals, and I could always get away, so I admit it's hard to imagine living with that on a daily basis. I at first couldnt understand why some people from the bible belt were so angry until I started to read some of the stories. I'd like to know how it is, what you who live there have to deal with, how people treat you, how you have been discriminated against, etc. I know it may sound silly to you all, but honestly many of us in the "big old cities", especially in blue states, are sometimes ignorant of what it's really like in the bible belt (especially if we've never been)-it's just something we see on the news every once in a while and make jokes about (the red states are a big joke around here). I was shocked when I heard about poor Nicole Smalkowski (brave girl). If some of you could enlighten me and let me know how it is from your personal experience, or point me to a board that has people talking about it, I'd really be grateful. I'm trying to learn without having to go there again and I know several people who also want to know. Not trying to be rude or put anyone on the spot-I honestly want to know what I've been "missing". Is it really as bad as I've heard? Is it worse? Is discrimination against non-theists allowed and even encouraged? Which states is it the worst in? Is creationsim really taught in schools (that doesn't happen here even in most religious schools, (except for the fundie minority) let alone the public ones)? Is everything really "bible christian" i.e. radio stataions, stores, etc? Is there really a racial component (most white and don't like non-white?) Is it really widespread republican (I guess it would have to be-b/c no one around here I know, even xtians voted for Bush so someone had to vote him in)? Here we have such diversity and people of so many backgrounds that everything just sort of blends together. Of course there are problems-there are in every city-but it's more just normal crime like robbery, gangs, and drugs and stuff. You don't really hear about minorities being harrased a lot and espeically not over religion. So if someone could enlighten me I'd really appreciate it, if you could clue this city girl into what it's really like there. I admit I've been apathetic and not paid much attention until know-but this board has certainly gotten my attention. If you don't feel comfortable posting you can send me a private message. I'm not collecting for anything and I'm not going to show it to anyone this is just for my own knowledge and info. Please forgive me for being so ignorant of what seems to be going on in a large part of this country-I'm trying to change that. I'm glad RSS bible belt is there to speak up for people who seem to be silenced a lot in the bible belt. I hope I haven't offended anyone with this message and I apologize if I have.

Thanks. Smiling Sorry to make it so long

 


darth_josh
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When you're 6'3 260 lbs. it

When you're 6'3 260 lbs. it is a lot easier to be an atheist in the south than if you're a petite high school girl like Nicole.

I have a video on my cellphone of my most recent experience, but I am not allowed to put it on youtube(or any other video host) until after the former employee's unemployment claim is refused. Could be another 6 months from now. This fucker told me after I fired him for verbal abuse of other employees and insubordination, that I 'needed to pack my bags and head on down the road 'cause there ain't no need for atheists around here' and then after clocking out he decided to leave me with a warning that I needed to 'watch my back because he was going to tell every church in town about me'. I laughed and informed him that I was on a first name basis with the pastors of five of the local churches including two church of christ congregations.

One of the women at a local insurance office was blacking out the 5th of December on her calendar when I came in to inquire about a quote for car insurance. She said she didn't want anyone to have to see a "jew day" on her calendar. I mentioned that her desk calendar also had the day as well as the complimentary car calendars that they passed out to customers. She was thunderstruck. Her pained expression about this EXEMPLIFIED one of the reasons that I blame theism for making people bad and not the other way around. I went on-line for insurance quotes after that.

A man declared that he was discriminated against at a local brokerage because he was forced to help customers that were known homosexuals. His national company had a policy in effect that everyone was welcome regardless of race, creed, or sexuality and it offended him that he had to talk to the gay man about his investments. He was fired because he went on a rant right in front of the said customer. He now claims that it was wrong to fire him and it was also wrong for him to have to help the gay man because of his religious beliefs.

I was banned from a restaurant in Mississippi in 2000. I was eating lunch with a woman other than my wife and I admit that I was overtly flirtacious with her in the restaurant. (No touching, just compliments like nice hair, nice dress etc.) A woman that lived two doors down from me went to the manager and informed him that I was married. After assuring him that she and I were just acquaintances, he still wanted me to leave. My wife asked me when i got home what it was all about because the neighbor had told her what had happened and why she thought I was cheating on her. I told her what had happened. She knew the woman I was chatting with and was shocked that someone would even begin to accuse me of it. Please remember: That's still not saying that I wouldn't or haven't, but in this case I wasn't.

All of this and I'm still here in the good ol' south. We didn't see a single snowflake this past winter. When a gunshot is heard in town, it is front page news. And just by being an outspoken atheist, I am helping to change people's mindsets.

 

There are some of my experiences.

I wonder if it would be easier for you to pick a side of the 'belief' equation if you were in a different place such as the deep(dirty) south.

Where would you fall?

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Garrett
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New Recruit?

I live in northern Texas, in a town where it is increasingly obvious that a fairy tale has more sway over matters than the people in charge do. But what started as a small movement is now growing, and I'm actually de-converting people (much to the scorn and anger of the local parentals).  In the high school I go to, I am ridiculed and mocked on a day-to-day basis, but I carry on, knowing that what I do is right.  If they want to be mindless zombies with imaginary friends, and no one can change that, then that's their business.  Mine is with those who would like to think and know for themselves.

I've even started my own blog, theethicalatheist.blogspot.com , where I post news articles (for now, at least) that pretain to the fight against irrationality and theism.  Please visit if you have a chance.

I literally StumbledUpon this site one night, and finally, I feel as though there are people like me who are tired of sitting around and being "so damned respectful."  I'm willing to take a stand and carry the badge of Rationality wherever I see absence.

Yours in thought,

[=Garrett=]

Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?

— Douglas Adams


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Atheism in OKC

I live smack in the middle of Oklahoma, out of OKC and up until I'd seen a link to Rational Response Squad Oklahoma, I hadn't seen anything about atheism in the state.  I'm sure there are more out here than it seems, but I wonder if anyone knows of any other groups or publications that come out in this area that I have missed.

 

As for personal experience I find that religious dedication is color blind around here.  Even the threads of racism that I see between different ethnic groups fall by the wayside in the face of atheism.  Then again, I associate with a lot of people who hold a more benign hostility,..lol... toward my views.  They want to argue against atheism, but they don't hate me for it.

 *chuckle*

 In some cases I really think it's not because they just want to 'love their neighbor' but it's because deep down they understand the points I make, but are not ready to give up the dogma of their childhood yet.

"The hardest thing in life to do is to see things as they are, not as you want them to be."

"I do not despise believers. I find then neither rediculous nor pathetic, but I lose all hope when I see that they prefer the comforting fairy tales of children to the cruel hard facts of adults. Better the faith that brings peace of mind than the rationality that brings worry - even at the price of perpetual mental infantilism."
~Michel Onfray in Atheist Manifesto


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StandardCitizen ,

StandardCitizen , yeah

I am in love yet again

so many girls, so little time, Tongue out

I love this earth, I spell M A N

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt8lKCJ0McA

   .... just saying go girl atheist power .... thanks.

 


granunic0rn (not verified)
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point of view!

hi everyone

i 'm not from america, i'm german.... but i lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan due to an exchange prgramm.

i stayed with my hostfamily for about 10 months... my hostfamily was Christian and i was forced to go to church every weekend and i was praying to "god" once in a whille before lunch or dinner... because my hostfamily wanted me to...

well anyways... i'm not very religious... i'd say i am not religious at all.

i always was convinced that religion is creating problems rather then doing any "good" to mankind

and the 10 months with my hostfamily proofed me to be right...

 

i was shocked when i visited an american chruch the first time

i never saw anything like it: it was crazy... people screming Jesus and stuff, it was sooo strange

 

what you should know is that i am form Hamburg (a big city in nothern Germany)

as you may know Martin Luther, disagreed with the chruch and the Pope back in the days and divided the church in catholics and protestants... well all people here who do believe in god are either Muslims (as you know they beleive in the same god as christians) or Protestant...

there are really more muslims here, because people immigrating from Turkey or other countires are more likely to go to church than the Germans living here... churches are empty here... and all of them are struggeling, because nobody is visiting them... i am hoping that the Vatican is bankrupt in a few years and can't afford to keep up the churches here anymore...

due to WW2 and its aftermath pretty much everything concerning German culture was whiped away... (including religion)

religion stayed only in south germany... not in the north...

all people going to church here regulary are above the age of 70!

 

so when i am comparing church here, to america, i have to say that american churches have a lot more influence then they do have in Germany and that it's visitors are either mental or afraid to be burned on a cross! becasue their neighbors would accuse them of being Satan himself...

in germany you'd probably more sympathic if you'd say i hate god... my hostfamily would have killed me if i said that... Church is more a thing that you have to do to please your grandparents, rahter than a thing you do because it's fun or important for you... it is boring... and it's an old stupid ritual... repeating itself every sunday... no christian rock bands... just a boring quire.... no Christians TV shoes... no Christian radio....

there is so much pressure on americans to go to church it's crazy...

and i find that american christins are quite ignorant concerning other cultures and religions... that made me wonder, because america is supposed to very open to any kind of culture...

i was suprised, because they were basically discrimiating each other... i don't know how it is in other areas, but thats just how i experienced the united states most of the time. of cause i met very open and awesome people (actually most of them were atheists), but most of the time i experienced different types of discrimination...

i never had any problems with that in germany... i'd say 90% of the people in my school are atheists and 5% christian 3% muslim and 1% jewish and 1% buddists... to give you an impresion of how it is here...

and never heard of anyone being discriminated about his fing religion... i mean one of my friends is a jew, and i know a lot of muslims, too... of cause some of my friends are christians... and my ex-girlfriend was a buddist... but basically all of us are doing stuff together, bacause religion is not a topic, when we are togther... we are not divided in groups or anything...

 

in america it was very different: everybody was seperated: Christians in this corner, muslims in that one, but it wasn't only splitting the different religious groups it was also splitting: African Americans from whites, fat people from thin people and so on... and i think this is very pathetic, because everyone can see it, the problem is right in front of anybodies eyes, but the only thing the church does, is denying it... the church is not backing them up eventhough the 10 commendments would usually draw the conclusion that they should help... but still at any type of event: america claims to be the land of the free in it's national anthem... no we are a melting pot... everything is fine here...

another element is the war on "terror", it's hillarious in my point of view!

terror is actually a term for: a goverment putting pressure on its own people through force!

and i'm asking myself: is this Bush saying: hello of cause it was us blowing up the twin towers?

and then of cause you can't win the war on terror, it's impossible, the only thing it does is pissing of the muslim world       the most ridiculous thing is Bush argument of why he declared the war, after the senat was going stop it:

God came into one of my dreams and told me i was doing the right thing!!!! ARE YOU SHITTING ME??!?!

at this point America should have done somthing, because Bush is obviously MENTAL!

 

well anyways i really hope you get support breaking this strong church influence... well at least bush is not going to be reelected...

you have my full support!

i think it's sad that most americans are not backing up their own values...

especially christians aren't eventhough their countries values are christian....

 

i don't wanna offend anyone... so please don't be offended... that's just what i experienced in 10 months...

i hope you can understand what i wanna point out...

 

my spelling might suck... but nobody is perfect...

 

there is a movie that i wanna mention: it's called ZEITGEIST... and it's a very good movie about stuff that is going on!

it also mentions religion and what it does... but that is not it's main topic... well you should watch it... it's really worth it!


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me and mine

 I live in North Texas, grew up around Baptist theology, got "saved" at 11 years old.

After the death of my father a few months afterwards became very angry at God and "fell away". Later on as a 18 year old I got "saved" again in jail and it stuck for about 10 years. I got very involved in ministry and Christian theology. I read the bible several times and through it began to question the morals of the God of the bible and inherancy.

I am now an agnostic/deist/atheist or a "soft atheist".

I chose to apostasize publicly before my church as I an unashamed as my views and desire to help educate others to the snares of superstition and irrational belief. Irrational belief leads to irrational behavior.

I have since met with many Christians, mostly ministers in regards to my objections to Christianity. These meetings have only served to strengthen my convictions and shown me the frailty of their faith and arguments.

I also (very recently) started a blog site at www.Angelwire.net where I have written several articles, and posted videos and links to other articles and sites. I try to update it several times a day. Check it out!


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Good job, angelwire. Thanks

Good job, angelwire. Thanks very much. I added that site to my Atheist Site folder.  


aiia
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angelwire wrote:I am now an

angelwire wrote:

I am now an agnostic/deist/atheist or a "soft atheist".

 

But a deist cannot claim to be an atheist.

People who think there is something they refer to as god don't ask enough questions.


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aiia wrote:angelwire wrote:I

aiia wrote:

angelwire wrote:

I am now an agnostic/deist/atheist or a "soft atheist".

 

But a deist cannot claim to be an atheist.

Perhaps angelwire is in a state of flux with regards to identity.


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How high does the ladder go

How high does the ladder go , umm?

To a conscious realization of no "separatism", seems a step on my primitive wisdom ladder.             *

                   _

          _    

 _

             


Kapkao
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darth_josh wrote:When you're

darth_josh wrote:
When you're 6'3 260 lbs. it is a lot easier to be an atheist in the south than if you're a petite high school girl like Nicole.

That's funny. I've been an atheist since 10, when I was a teen I actually made an active if amateurish effort to deconvert people I came into contact on a daily basis (meaning, for the most part, teachers and students at high school), and I squirmed intensely when in one of my highschool classes we, as an imaginative mental challenge, picked hypothetical crewmembers for some sort of voyage across the cosmos, and most of my classmates said they would bring the pastor along, for a reason or reasons entirely inconceivable to me. I'm 5'8 and usually between 130-170 lbs, depending on longterm mood and eating associated with mood. I've also heard second-hand accounts of of bigotry against roman catholics and in one case of a particularly narcissistic woman, racial bigotry, but I've never run into or heard about any of the things you describe. Nor have I encountered anyone exhibiting symptoms of theistic mental illness, although I did exhibit a theistic hysteria early last year in private thanks to psychiatric symptoms of steroids I took to keep myself alive (I've since switched.)

I would think that I would have at least a little experience since I live in one of the trashiest state in the south, next to one the most urban decay'd cities found in America. We have record rates of obesity (I see it everytime I'm out in public), and record low scores on SATs. You would think that in my shitty corner of the south, I would have at least run into some of the religious intolerance some people here have encountered or spoken about, but alas... I have not. You could argue that I don't have as much contact or experience with people here as some of the other posters, and you might actually be right. But even more than that, the general area I live in is pretty upscale and middle class, often upper-middle class. Where are all of these stupid, intolerant, redneck jerks and wackos that many people here come into contact with? I'm not seeing it, even when I travel to some of the more rural areas like Lake Weiss.

Of course, you're not going to meet many prideful, pompous individuals in the south who act like their shit don't stink either way. Like yourself, for instance, and me as well often. 4 years too late my reply is, unfortunately.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)