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Atheist Community of Austin
I want to move to Austin, Texas ...but ???

Hello,

I will make this short:

I live in an area of Michigan that is heavily Christian. All of my relatives are either Christian, Baptist, Catholic or of some religious faith. My "friends" are all gone, meaning... I have none. Because I am an Atheist, all of my "friends" have chosen to ignore me, or have simply... well, ignored me! It's that simple. My choice was either convert ...or else, basically.

There is no one here in my area that shares my views. It just doesn't happen in my area. There is a church practically on every corner and people are so comfortable with religion here that everyone prays in restaurants before eating, their meal discussions are religious and it goes on and on...

So, as with all of my 5 siblings and my 100 plus relatives who are all extremely religious preachers or sunday school teachers, there is nothing left for me here in Michigan. I have decided that I am better off living my life alone without any of them, as though I was left with the option of chosing to remain in thier lives.

Q: Is Austin, Texas a decent place for a person like myself, who is absolutely utterly alone, to move to where I might stand a chance to find like-minded friends... where I can begin my Life again, so-to-speak, believing with a reasonable assumption that when I do find friends in Austin, Texas that it will be suited for an Atheist like myself?

My disposition and personality?

Well, without making this sound like a dating profile, I am easy to get along with, actually (says me). I am not a hothead, nor a trouble maker. I would give the shirt off my back, or the last dollar in my wallet to someone who would ask for those things.

Unfortunately, if I move to Austin, Texas I will still be dealing with the trauma of letting go of the situation where I currently live. The horrific losses of attachment I once had here in Michigan is enough to make anyone reasonably grieve. So, it just seems reasonable to move to a place where I believe it is better for me to live and mingle and to find new friends.

Am I correct about Austin, Texas? Does anyone know what it might be like there? Can anyone tell me about things that I can look forward to there? How about things I need to be careful of?

I love to golf! (but not alone).

Any help would be appreciated. And... if I sound like I am whining, please try to have a bit of compassion, ok? You have no idea what I have been through and what I have lost here where I have lived for the last 45 years of my life. It's unbelievable. I am still trying to come to terms with all of it. Eventually, I will. I believe Austin, Texas would help tremendously, but I cannot know for certain. Any respectable feedback would be helpful and appreciated.

Thanks!

I'm surprised you've not received a reply in the month that your post has been here. Hope you see this one.

Austin is definitely a safe place for misfits of all sorts. Even though we're on an island in an ocean of ignorance, it's a large enough city that it accommodates a wide range of types and is highly tolerant of those who are shunned by the American heartland.

HOWEVER, you often have to seek out the people with whom you wish to associate. It's not like you can walk down a random Austin street and meet strangers wearing "I'm a progressive Atheist" t-shirts. The vast majority of people in Austin, as in virtually every other American city, are mainstream American theists. The city leans toward the progressive side politically and socially (e.g., Travis County was the only one in the entire state of Texas to vote against defining marriage as between a man and woman), but most progressives harbor at least some vestiges of religious belief.

What I can say with great confidence is that you would feel more at home in Austin than in nearly any location in the Great Lakes region, excepting Ann Arbor, Madison and Chicago. Y'all come on down and enjoy our mild winters! And plan your vacations northward for July or August.

I just moved to Austin from California, and the atheist community here is going gangbusters. The place is very atheist-tolerant, and you should find friends among ACA, the various atheist Meetup groups, Center for Inquiry-Austin, and other outlets. With that said, you should check the Michigan state page of the American Atheists website (michiganatheists.org). There may very well be an atheist group near your home, and maybe you can find like-minded people in your own backyard. In fact, Google "michigan atheists" and see what you find.

Or you can start your own atheist group in Michigan. I was so inspired by the Atheist Community of Austin, I started my own group. The Society of Edmonton Atheists. It takes a bit of work but now I have a whole bunch of new friends that are all atheists. The ACA even wrote about it in their newsletter, http://www.edmontonatheists.ca/pdf/2008-07.pdf

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