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Anyone else live in the south? I live in TN, and DH is an angnostic, i'm not sure what I am, but EVERYONE around here goes to Christain church faithfully, and we get invited constantly to church functions and prayer stuff, how do you guys deal with it? DH gets mad, and I just ignore it cause I really don't know what to think....
Ashley, pre-RN student, birth doula and busy SAHM to Brianne 6, Colin 5, Kylie 4,
Bryson 2,and our lil man Noah Alexander turns one year on 7/5/10!
I understand -- we used to live in TN and it really was like that for us too! I remember one of my old co-workers actually started to cry when she finally figured out that we didn't go to church at all. She said she thought we were too nice to go to hell.
Now we live in SC, and since I'm a housewife now I don't really hear anything from other people, mostly because I just don't know much of anyone here. Our neighbor, however, is unbelievably rude and snarky with us because we don't go to church, and we've caught her saying nasty things about us to the other neighbors. It's a good thing that just about everyone around here already knows she's either off her rocker or just plain mean!
But yes, long story short, I do understand. It's hard to be in a small, hated minority in the South.
I am from San Francisco, and married into Jackson, Mississippi!
Talk about culture shock!!! DH and I are both atheist, but his family is episcopalian (we call them the laid-back catholics). His sister and her husband are even priests! His brother is ordained as well, but he got internet-ordained as a joke just to beat his sister to it. I haven't ever asked him, but I think he's probably atheist too... He jokes with his mother and says that he's "not feeling superstitious today" which means no, he will not be attending church with them on Sunday.
Anyway, I just don't bring it up. I've had to sit through some church stuff, the most recent being my son's babtism last Saturday. I always laughed when my mom would tell me that I was babtised "so grandma wouldn't b**** about it" and then I ended up doing the same exact thing. Oh well, I get along with my MIL and if not confirming nor denying whether I believe in god and sitting in church once or twice a year is what it takes to keep our relationship good, then I guess it's not too big a price to pay. My close friends around here (who are christians and catholics) know that we are atheist, but outside our circle of friends, we avoid the subject.
Did you know that atheists are the most hated and feared minorities in America? Even more so than homosexuals and muslims combined! (Not that either of those groups should be hated/feared either, but I was suprised that people are even MORE ignorant about atheists than they are about them!) That statistic really shocked me, and also made me hate living in the deep south even more!
where did/do you all live in TN? DH grew up in Jackson, MS and in Clarksville, TN. When we got married we lived in Clarksville for a few years before coming back to Western Washington where i'm from
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The first time someone invites us to "visit" their church, asks me to pray with them, offers to pray for me, or otherwise assumes that I'm a religious person, we get that idea out of their head right then. I usually say "No thanks. We don't go to church or pray, but you're welcome to come visit us for brunch on Sunday so we can talk about current events or something." 95% of them decline.
For a long time I'd just politely decline and not be specific about what we did/didn't do, but they'd just assume it was bad timing and then invite me more often.
I'm never rude about it, I just decline. If I'm pressed for a reason why, I just tell the truth. I say "I'm an athiest, I don't attend church, and I don't believe in God." About half the time they look at me like I have a tarantula on my forehead before uncomfortably changing the topic. About a quarter of the time, the person is polite and says "Oh, I'm sorry I didn't know. Well, maybe we can do something else." Then the other quarter of the time I get what I call the "fun" reaction which is the one in which they tell me I'm going to hell and then they try to convert me and failing that they never speak to me again.