Alan-Michael White, a senior at the University of Mississippi, talks about the difficulties of being an atheist in such a religious state:
Ladies and gentlemen, I am an atheist… We number some 30 million Americans and every newborn baby across the world.
Despite our newest members being adorable, ours is a group deemed the second most untrustworthy group by a Gallup Poll in 2008.
My roommate was attempting to establish a Secular Student Alliance on campus. However, when the university wouldn’t recognize it in the same way many religious student organizations are, those who would have been involved decided the fight wasn’t worth fighting.
Frankly, I can understand their fear. Confrontation is scary stuff, and if you come out, you will be confronted about it more than once.
… if we’re able to remain vigilant and remind people that there are atheists in Mississippi, the risk of [backlash] will be lessened a great deal.
Hear, hear! It’s tough enough coming out as an atheist, and tougher still doing it in Mississippi, but realize you’re not just doing it for yourself. You’re making it easier for others to do the same thing.