Gao_bo_han, this thread is directly specifically at you. In another thread you mentioned that you, living in Alabama as I presume you do by the text under your avatar, were interrogated “about a million times in the past year” about your lack of Christian faith. To wit:
[quote=“gao_bo_han”]Exactly. And I think that’s what the essence of the OP’s rant. I have to deal with it constantly. I have had the following conversation about a million times in the past year.
Somebody: May I ask you a personal question?
Me: Sure. Fire away.
Somebody: Do you go to church?
Me: No. You?
Somebody: Yes I do, most certainly I do. Would you like to visit my church this Sunday?
Me: No, thank you for the offer.
Somebody: Are you a Christian?
Me: I was raised Christian, but no, not any longer.
Somebody: Why not?
Me: I just no longer believe.
Somebody: But why?
Somebody: Are you an atheist?
Somebody: (Gasp). So what do you think of believers? Do you think we’re all stupid and deluded? Is 94% of the world stupid and deluded? Is that what you atheists think?
That inevitably how it ends in one way or another. They ask me if I’m religious. I say no. They get offended and demand to know why I look down on them for their beliefs, even though I’ve made no such comment or suggestion.[/quote]
This exchange astounds me, as does the religiosity in the United States in general. My limited experience in various parts of the U.S. suggests to me that it’s not limited to the “south,” either. Still, stereotypes abound about the “Bible Belt,” and your anecdote only seems to confirm them.
My question to you is: How can you live in a place like that? Does that kind of thing not bother you? Or, do you feel like you have something to “push against,” that living in a place like Canada, say, would be unfulfilling because it would be “too easy,” because no one would ever feel the need (or dare) to question your personal beliefs?
Aside: Yes, this post smacks of Canadian self-congratulatory smugness, but it’s unavoidable in this particular respect. No one here would ever, ever in a million years come up to me in any social situation whatsoever and ask about the state of my “spiritual” situation. Oh, sure, we have people prozelytizing on the street, but the idea that a co-worker, relative, neighbour or acquaintance would conduct the type of conversation quoted above, which you say is so commonplace for you in Alabama, is absolutely and utterly preposterous (at least outside of the Bible Belt in Alberta and Saskatchewan, anyway). I shudder at the notion of living in a place with a critical mass of religious people such that the type of conversation quoted above might occur even once, let alone often.
But do the family ties win out in the end? Or does the fact that you’re living in a region where they have 10,000-strong Baptist congregations not really bother you? Maybe you get off on being an iconoclast in a masochistic sort of way? What’s the deal? Enquiring minds want to know!