Depending on where your group is based, you may experience some prejudice or public backlash just by the very existence of your group in your own community. The more conservative and religious your community is, or isn’t, may have a direct effect on your group and your members, something our group experienced in 2012.
Fayette County, Georgia, is considered one of the most conservative areas in the country but it still came as a complete shock to many of us that some in our community would be afraid of atheists and agnostics. When one of our members was voted on to the local school board, it became a modern-day witch hunt after the editor of the local newspaper took a screen shot of his profile page, on our Meetup site, and began writing about him being a “freethinker.” Editor Cal Beverly writes, “Presberg is an apparent charter member of an organization called the Fayette Freethought Society…And in this Bible Belt Republican county, our new unelected school board chairman is both a Democrat and a member of a militant atheist organization…” Cal Beverly editorial on freethinkers
Public school board meeting where Presberg is chastised for being a member of our Meetup site (2012): David Barlow, “because over 70% of Fayette County worships Jesus Christ…”
Friendly Atheist article: Georgia school board President faces opposition over his religion
Local public reaction: Freethinking school board member leads schools