After 30 yrs in the Washington DC area, my husband & I are considering moving back to western MI (his family is in the Grand Rapids area). We are both professors and are used to the usual liberal Eastern attitudes on social issues. As is the case with many of our friends here, we are atheists, Democrat/Independent, and have no kids, but we certainly have friends who do believe in a god or supernatural being, vote Republican and have children. We want to trade the traffic and congestion out east for closeness to family, great outdoors and an active lifestyle, but we want to be in a community that will still be diverse and tolerant of religious views (including atheism), political viewpoints, sexual orientation, etc. Any suggestions on (1) which communities might fit the parameters, (2) how to search for such a utopia, and (3) how to meet like-minded people would be much appreciated.
You might start by looking up places that have active freethought groups. Check out the websites of CFI, the American Humanist Association and Atheists United. (see below) That would give you a hint about where groups of freethinkers live and congregate. A University town such as Ann Arbor might also be more to your liking. Other than that, you might consider another area that has an active community in place. Such as Minneapolis or Milwaukee.
Many Unitarian Universalist Churches also have Freethought groups and programs (though not all do.)
Location for Center for Inquiry | Michigan
Women’s City Club, 254 E. Fulton Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Center for Inquiry | Southeast Michigan
Various Locations - please see Southeast event listings for details.
Email CFI | Southeast Michigan
Center for Inquiry | Grand Valley State University
Meetings are held at Padnos 261, GVSU Allendale Campus, Allendale, MI
Center for Inquiry | Aquinas College
Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Center for Inquiry | Michigan State University
Meetings are held in Room #119 (1st Floor), Psychology Building, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI
Here are three American Humanist Association groups.
Humanist Association at Wayne State University * Detroit MI
Grand Traverse Humanists Suttons Bay MI
Universal Life Church of Kalamazoo
Michigan Atheists is a statewide, open invitation organization with no membership application or dues required to participate. Over the years several thousand Atheists have added their names to our mailing list and support our efforts with donations and/or regularly attend our events if they are in the area.
Phone: (313) 938-5960
P.O. Box 0025
Allen Park, MI 48101
1) Meet the First Sunday of every month at Denny’s in Plymouth Township for food, friendship, reports and announcements
2) Meet the Third Sunday of most months for dinner, friendship, reports, announcements and a speaker program.