@PB Thank you. I put it on my to do list to try read your "to do" blog...but I'm not probably so organized...it may take a while. Maybe if I made a "to do" blog it would get done...
The closest town is about 8 miles, and has about 2,400 people. The closest real town (over 200,000 people) is about one hour (Tallahassee). I joined a movie club there and a free thought society there. The movie club is very "non-threatening". It's just like, "I'm going to [insert movie] at this time." If you want to watch the movie you go! Simple. I usually see movies by myself, eat by myself, etc. There is a singles group there too, but that seems more threatening.
Also, my hours on the farm increase. It's difficult to get away sometimes.
In addition, I'm not much one to start a group, especially here. I'm not much of a joiner either! Yet, it's the way it is. If I don't exercise that Fe and get out there, then I might as well step onto an ice flow with a small paddle and wave good bye. (Actually, I had a vision I was doing this.)
Yes, "the perfect" is the enemy of the good, but I did go to a few of the churches here. They put me in a small group with about four people. They were similar ages, perhaps. However, they were using a Sunday school booklet middle school age children. When I was about 14, I did the opposite. I started going to the adult Sunday school because they read and discussed books. Throughout high school, I went to the adult class.
Of course, I could try harder and go to more churches!
Yet, this is a long thing to explain. I understand what you are saying about churches. In a way, I've always been different, and have believed in more things. I like to talk about the opposite thing...to build a bridge between denominations or faith. Thus, if someone is against someone else, I want to reconcile the opposing views, if the other person is open, but if their mind is closed, then I just can't do anything about it.
For example, I'm pro-choice, and I have reasons for being so. (I'm sure to tell that story at some point.) Yet, I've also been in groups in which some members picket or sue abortion clinics to force their right to preach, hand out pamphlets, etc. I do not believe men should do this. I do believe, from hearing from the women, that it's not a simple thing emotionally to terminate a fetus. If you want to have an alternative in the same store-front or counseling, then that's fine. But I do not believe any man should molest a woman going there with pamphlets or speech.
I may go to the movie about Darwin another free thought society is showing Sunday, but like with most things, I'm poly-valent (not just ambivalent). First, this movie will make me cry. I want to give the group the benefit of the doubt, but one of the members dissected a South Park episode minute by minute in a critical way. I want open-mindedness and liberal views, generally, but I don't want to remove "in God we trust" from buildings or get too serious. I want the best of both worlds. I want to be tolerant and accept both evolution and the prospects of faith, and I want be the good agnostic-Buddhist-Christian-"own belief system" person that I tend to be. Yet, it seems that most of these groups are dogmatic. I guess I'm anti-dogmatic. I'll react to the film in sadness. It seems they will react with anger: "How dare society be this way! Suppressing these views! This is why we should do away with all this religious non-sense!" Who knows, maybe they are more tolerant that I imagine, but I read what they wrote and watched their youTube videos.
I'm not sure, if there were a completely non-dogmatic...totally perceiving...group how many would go to it. I don't even like RSVP and frequently show up late. Maybe I need to move to a community in a different part of the world where they are on event time rather than clock time.