Talk of the town

mban605lI think I have dealt with this before on this blog, but things seem to have escalated around here at my small Georgia town. My wife and I seem to increasingly be the subject of random conversation with people that we don’t even really know.

To be completely honest, one of the things that prompted me to start RagingRev and move my blog from Livejournal was that the rumor mill was running wild around these parts. My former Pastor approached me at the gas station one day telling me that he heard I was in to “Satanism” and things like that, at the time I wasn’t entirely comfortable with the title of Atheist but once I settled into those shoes I felt the need to dispell some of the ludicrous things that were being falsely derived from my Livejournal at the time. Quite simply put, someone (I don’t know whom) read a few of my entries wherein I express an interest in the Occult, and decided that I must be a Satanist…how silly!

It doesn’t bother me at all that the things I do or say here are causing people to talk. Really, making people talk is the whole point of this blog aside from giving me a venue for self expression. I want to see people that have never even considered the possibility of God not existing think about things a bit, I want to challenge people ideas about society, morality, Atheism, Christianity, and religion. I really really want people to talk conversationally, what I do not care for however is that people are not willing to discuss this stuff with me. Instead they are whispering to our friends and family about the things they hear and read.

For instance; my friend Kevin’s mother was recently approached by another woman in the grocery store (I don’t know whom the woman was) whom asked her if Kevin was still talking to my wife and I…she then proceeded to talk about how we were Atheists (My wife is NOT an Atheist) and may be bad influences (this can be inferred with a tone or a look). I may not even know this person for all I can tell, and they are talking about the kind of influence I may or may not be on grown ass adults? Are you serious? As Guy Vestal would say, “So-Called Christians” really need to get a life.

The thing is, I hear this stuff ALL THE TIME, But rarely do either my wife or myself hear anyone simply ASK US about anything. Folks, if you wanna know, ask me…I think I have made it abundantly clear that I am more than willing to talk about my lack of faith with anyone, my only prerequisite for having an intelligent discussion with someone is that no one makes any assumptions about how I live or think. I want to talk to you folks about this, thats why I make such “in your face” comments on my Facebook status with a link to my blog on it…because I really want to have this conversation. I want the conversation, I just want to be included in it rather than  being the subject of it.

My statement is this; Local folks, despite the awful reputation of my hometown, I love this town of Eastman, Georgia. I can look past all of the political corruption (we are famous for being one of the most corrupt cities in the United States…no lie), religious fundamentalism and ignorant racism to see a place where folks still hold doors for other people, we still say please and thank you,  say Sir and Ma’am, and wave or nod at everybody we see even if it means we might run our car off the road to do so. Southern Hospitality if you will, is one of the saving graces of a place like this but we have got to move past the gossip and assumptions and be willing to have discussion and discourse about relevant issues.

I am willing to sit down with anyone, from any background, and discuss the fallacy of religion and Christianity(or whatever you want). Pastor, minister, theologian, scientist, youth group, youth pastor, missionary, agnostic, pagan, or just any regular ole person that doesn’t mind a calm respectful conversation/debate/discussion/whatever with someone living outside the status quo (here anyway). You folks that read this that know me know at the very least that I respect humanity and love people in a genuine way, don’t be afraid or ashamed to leave a comment here or elsewhere or to ask for my number, heck, you can even come chat with me on the couch (the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the LDS do it all the time, and we usually just agree to disagree in a friendly manner), but let’s stop the whispering and gossip– we aren’t getting anywhere fast and it only makes you look bad.

Before I close,  let me say that a Missionary from Eastman (he is a missionary to the Philipines) recently let me know that he was asked to pray for me…and you know what…that doesn’t bother me in the LEAST…its fine…sure it’s a waste of breath, but I am not easily offended and I see the good intentions behind that–so to those people that have asked this of others, please don’t feel that this is directed at you because I don’t doubt in the least any intentions you may have had.

  • Ain’t life just pre-approved in alot of neighborhoods, towns and churchs (you had best be in that little click).Gheez what would life be, if people in your town can’t gossip about ya! At least they are talking about something other than, General Hospital. What I do know of you & your wife, I LIKE. You just rocked my world by your love of your animals-kindness. Hey, and animals do not gossip nor judge! Love unconditionally! “AND” THATS WHAT A TRUE CHRISTIAN IS POSE TO DO….Where are those true Christians? Times going to tell soon, Matt!
    Many years ago I was thrown out of my church-PRONOUNCED to be A WITCH(30 some years ago)!. A church I was born & raised up in. WHY? Because at 8 years of age, I had a near death exp. & my life changed. How did it change…. I saw things and spoke over it….IT HAPPENED! I knew then I was special. God, had given me a gift of PROPHESIE! I am a Prophetess…not a Psychic! Although I can read a plain deck of cards…& I have for fun (& BEEN ON WDEN RADIO STATION-AS MADAM GUPTA.) AND THEN THOSE Card READINGS CAME TO PASS. I DO NOT PLAY ANY TYPE CARDS NOW!I’ve had Pastors get in my face & say all kinda ugly things to me. What did I do…..I sat in the corner quiet & hurt. Being hurt by so called Christians makes one question, The book of Genesis thru Revalations!
    I do not debate the Bible. One either believes or not. PLUS SATAN LOVES FIGHTING & FUSSING. I DO NOT–I just wanna love.
    Over a year ago, I HAD A PRIDE BEFORE THE FALL EXP. I could share for hours on hours with you what took place in my life there in a few short weeks. God flashed signs all around me, but as a human..I didn’t listen. I take special times now alone to be with My Lord & I listen. He has shown me alot. I share all he shows me with Joe….what I see is or already has happened. But, if I stood in town & told people about it, I’d be stoned to death. They’d yell at me once again, “WITCH”.
    Matt, be careful in whom you let pray for you. Not all good comes from some people that pray.

    I’ll be watching for your new soap….Eastman’s General Hospital…LOLS…PAM K.

  • Dammit! No one has accused me of being a Satanist, and hell, before I was a Christian I was all into the Necronomicon and the occult!

  • David

    Yeah sounds annoying lol almost like Hazzard County, GA where the Duke Boys are from!

  • Living in Hell, I’ve learned that you don’t sweat the small stuff. I had a friend who lived in Cornelia, and I remember going to visit his folks at it was like 20 miles outside of town and all we could get on the radio was crazy Christian station, one by a Brother Bob, who asked for donations of love to be send to the station and told us to put our ears to the radio and be healed. What a great place to be from.

  • Petunia_Green

    Oh, Eastman. That town takes spot #1 on my list of Places I Do Not Miss.

    It amazes me that in small town the word “atheist” is a synonym for “evil” and maybe even “satanist.”

    Those naughty atheists with their naughty ideas. Atheists… they may influence someone to question the mythology they’ve been taught is “truth.” To think about ideas and concepts in a scientific or natural framework. To decide if one truly believes in the teachings of Christianity, or if one has followed merely because everyone around you seems to believe. Thinking for yourself is a terrible thing.

    I admire your decision to stay down there and actively speak about your beliefs. I hate drama and gossip.
    I haven’t spoken to anyone about my beliefs.
    I just moved!

  • It’s perfect Matt, that you love and respect people are so keen on discussion with them no matter what their background or beliefs. Yours, my friend, is a divine attitude that will take you straight to heaven, here on earth, and hereafter.

    And you will have better luck with other people not gossiping about you if you soon get off the graveyard shift, because it’s terrible for your health and happiness. Better to sleep at night and work/play during the day so more good luck (miracles) will come your way.

  • The reason they won’t talk directly to YOU is that it would take courage.

    Plus, they’re afraid that you might convince them. So it’s better to stab you in the back and try to induce someone to wipe you out altogether (metaphorically or, as these things escalate, sometimes literally) — rather than have to face their own doubts or fears that you might be right.

    There’s nothing nastier than a religious person who feels contradicted.

  • Matt

    Thanks to all of you that commented on this…

    tommorow I am going to work on a post about the problems I see between Atheists and Christians and how they often treat each other which may tie into this…and what FunInFitness and Robin said..

    maybe even a Spin off website or something may come of it

  • Your experience mirrors mine almost to the letter, even if I’m from the other side of the world. I’m not an atheist but I no longer believe in God as conceptualized by Christianity.

  • I love that cartoon! I used it on my blog last week rather than vent about what was going on that day. It’s just crazy how quickly gossip is spread in a small town.

  • So back to you Matt…

    Tyrant and errors… Go!