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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:16 am 
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There are the obvious, but I figure the northeast is the center of reason! Feel free to PM me as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 5:13 pm 
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TSDguy wrote:
I figure the northeast is the center of reason!

Whoa! Now *there's* an unsupported generalization. Having lived in many places and having traveled a lot, I'm not buying it.

  • Californians think they're the dog and the rest of the country is their tail.
    ...
  • New Yorkers think their international, Wall Street view is all that matters.
    ...
  • Those in the "flyover states" smell arrogance on the coasts.
    ...
  • Southerners don't care what others think.

Hmm... I'll bet some enterprising young musicians have even written a song about it.

Image

And another generation echoed the message.

Image

Alright... enough of me being ornery. ;)

Just a suggestion... You might like to check out the Unitarian Universalist Church. There's no allegiance to any specific god. They study all the great faiths, and encourage their practitioners to draw from the journey in whatever religious and/or secular way that makes sense to them. There's a small but significant atheistic community within the UU church.

UVa had a great congregation. I haven't found a decent one outside the academic community of Charlottesville, but I'm sure they exist. My biggest problem with most congregations is they tend to attract a lot of fringe people, and usually uber liberal. I prefer being with an eclectic, heterogeneous, multicultural community. But that's me.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:27 pm 
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I would lay money on the north east having more open minded, progressive attitudes than the bible belt. It's testable! :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:36 pm 
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TSDguy wrote:
I would lay money on the north east having more open minded, progressive attitudes than the bible belt. It's testable! :wink:

Progressive being a euphemism for liberal, well then Duh! Progressive meaning superior? Not so much.

But then the Republican candidate for president is a rich, capitalist, white, anti-gay-marriage, pro gun, Republican Morman from Massachusetts facing a black guy. Go figure...

Stereotypes are just that - stereotypes. Time to get out of your provincial world and travel, dude! The world is a wonderful place.

- Bill

P.S. I went to prep school in New England, and worked for a Boston-based company. Been there, done that.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 4:08 am 
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Stereotypes aren't stereotypes if they're true. Put a flaming gay male atheist in a dress and have him walk through downtown NYC. No issues. Do the same thing in rural Louisiana and he's going to get the hell kicked out of him. You can argue that kumbaya and everyone is beautiful all you want, but we both know what would happen.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 5:10 pm 
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TSDguy wrote:
Stereotypes aren't stereotypes

Noted... :lol:

TSDguy wrote:
Put a ... male ... through downtown NYC ... and he's going to get the hell kicked out of him.


TSDguy wrote:
Put a ... male ... in rural Louisiana and he's going to get the hell kicked out of him.


There you go, dude. Fixed. It just took a little editing. :-P

Violence knows no restrictions. It can happen anywhere, and to anyone.

By the way... I've been in NYC many, many times. I studied martial arts there (thank you, David Finkelstein). My father grew up north of there (New Rochelle) and got his engineering degree there (Manhattan). I speak from personal experience; it most definitely isn't the safest place on the planet. Times Square is better than it was (courtesy the "clean up" campaign of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani), but...

Been to rural Louisiana as well. Have you? I'm the lead scientist on a study of people with diabetes who live in 4 hospital referral regions in LA (Baton Rouge, Metairie, Slidell, New Orleans). I hear they have normal people there. Also people of color; people who speak languages other than English (9.2%); the origin of modern jazz; best party people in the world, and with a flaming flair... Just sayin.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:07 pm 
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Have you checked out the UU church?

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:12 am 
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No, I don't like religion. I want to join and support atheist organizations that are trying to actively dismantle religions, not mingle with them. :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:54 pm 
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TSDguy wrote:
No, I don't like religion. I want to join and support atheist organizations that are trying to actively dismantle religions, not mingle with them. :lol:

You'll have your best bet doing so if you learn from those you wish to take on.

Wikipedia wrote:
Unitarian Universalism is a theologically liberal religion characterized by support for a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning".[1] Unitarian Universalists do not share a creed; rather, they are unified by their shared search for spiritual growth and by the understanding that an individual's theology is a result of that search and not obedience to an authoritarian requirement. Unitarian Universalists draw on many different theological sources and have a wide range of beliefs and practices.

If you want to take on religion from a point of ignorance, then by all means shun those in the know. If you want to know your enemy, these are the folks who happily will take you in and educate you to your heart's content. Just a suggestion.

My gut also tells me that you'll feel politically and socially at home with this group.

Good luck on your journey!

- Bill


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:38 pm 
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Most atheists are far more familiar with the bible than people who identify as Christians, in my experience. At any rate, people who go to church regularly are not the target demographic for "liberating".

You wouldn't believe how many conversations I've had that go like this (stripped of pleasantries to get to the point):

Them: I'm protestant.
Me: Where do you go to church?
Them: I don't, haven't gone in 20 years.
Me: You aren't really protestant are you. Do you believe in god?
Them: well....
Me: It's ok not to, a lot of people don't.
Them: I now recognize myself as an atheist.

A lot of people pretend to be Christians because it's the polite thing to do (one of the neat thing about "Jews" is that it's pretty common for them to be atheists.) Part of stamping out religion is getting the majority of the country that doesn't consider themselves religious to realize that religion shouldn't be a part of their life. You probably saw the Coalition of Reason put out that national ad compaign that stated "Don't believe in God? You're not alone." So perfect.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:06 am 
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Interesting...

I prefer not proselytizing in one direction or another. I have my views... They're my own, and that's fine.

While I'm not a religious person, I deeply value my Judeo-Christian upbringing. Before government took over the role of traditional family duties, families in this country used to live two or three generations in a house. Social security was having kids to take care of you when you got old - the same kids whose diapers you changed when you were younger. The rule of law started with simple teachings like the Ten Commandments. Don't kill, don't lie, don't steal, don't sleep with your neighbor's wife... pretty basic stuff. The concept of a Constitution partially came from The Rule of Benedict. He was a great thinker of his time. Benedict's influence on Constitutions is as powerful as Musashi's or Sun Tzu's influence on strategy.

Born-again Christians sometimes try to convert me. Don't ask me why... :lol: I look over my reading glasses and say "You've got to be kidding!" Nobody converts a former Catholic. I've been an altar boy and the whole nine yards. Did the church thing with the fancy gown every day for years... I don't participate in organized religion now. But I so value the ethics that were instilled in me.

And I so don't want the f-ing government shoving their values down my throat. People need to learn ethics to live in a civilized society. Having a Little Red Book coming from Washington DC isn't my idea of where and how these should be taught either to me or to my kids. I'd rather have Hari Krishnas asking me for money at my door every day. I'd rather get beaten by nuns. Again... :lol:

Your heaven is my idea of bloody hell, TSDguy. Go figure!

The thing is... I'm a great believer in one of the Habits espoused by Steven Covey. I believe diversity is an asset and not a weakness. I believe we as a country are made stronger by the freedom to worship, or not to worship. Freedom from religious persecution was one of the founding principles of this country. It's one of the reason why - as an intern from Emory told me today - I have such a man-crush on Thomas Jefferson. Read the last paragraph of his Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom some time. It's freedom to practice religion, and freedom from a state sponsored religion. The yin and the yang of it is brilliant. It's one of the reason why he wanted that as one of the three achievements to be written on his tombstone.

My childhood friend who remains one of my friends was born a Jew. I was born a Catholic. He quickly became an atheist. But when he went to Rome, he got me a rosary blessed by the pope. It was a very thoughtful gesture, and a sign of the respect we had for each other and our beliefs. To this day he remains an atheist, and is a successful pediatric surgeon in Florida. And I do what I do. And we're better friends for our differences.

Respecting others' opinions is contagious.

- Bill


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:17 pm 
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Bill, somehow you confused the idea of a dictatorship with atheism. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:53 am 
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I agree. UUs are fine, my mother sings in a UU church and enjoys the social aspects, and I've attended on quite a few Sunday mornings, but they're definitely not atheists. They may not generally believe in the judeo-christian god, but they usually do have some other superstitions about unifying forces and energies, purpose, order or somesuch.

I don't know of any atheist organizations that meet in real-life, but I could probably point you at some internet groups (you can probably do that on your own). Where exactly are you looking? I have a Facebook friend from NYC who seems to be a pretty strident guy and might have some suggestions.

And Bill, religion has no monopoly on ethics.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 3:58 am 
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WestBorough Baptist Church. Org....???? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 12:24 pm 
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The CoR meets in person. I'm sure there are others as well.

Stevie B wrote:
WestBorough Baptist Church. Org....???? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


I think that may be a Satanic organization. :lol:


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