Does anyone else assume when they're talking to someone new that they're a right-leaning, uber-Christian with whom you will have no connection? Or is that a symptom of living in the Buckle of the Bible Belt?
I don't ever lead into a conversation with religion or my lack thereof, but I tend to assume the opposite... that everyone believes like me. I try to treat everyone with respect and finding out that someone is religious isn't an issue unless they have a problem with my atheism or try to force their beliefs on me.
Yes, but I live in Louisiana. If I make a political statement in front of strangers (or among friends whose political views are unknown), I keep it about a specific issue and not about the party or even the politician (beyond their support/antagonism of the issue at hand).
I don't think all right-wingers are bad. Does being agnostic mean you have to be left wing? I'm a middle-of-the-road agnostic with left leaning tendencies but have plenty of Christian and conservative friends. In a relationship it's probably less important to share the same beliefs and more important to respect each others individual beliefs. After all, everything changes with time.
I honestly couldn't tell you, I live in the NC mountains, so...more or less almost everyone I meet IS a right-leaning, neoconservative, undereducated, Trump voting southern Baptist or Methodist who genuinely believes women, Blacks, Mexicans, and/or homosexuals are the cause of all the world's problems.
I rarely assume anything.
But to honest, I don't really care if they are believers or not. As long as we keep it civil, and not try and convert each other I'm fine.
In fact some of my best friends are believers and we've been getting along for years. We just simply just talk, laugh, joke, etc. like I would around other non-believers. Although to be fair, most of my believer friends are not really religious at all. and they all understand things like Evolutionary Biology, Big bang theory, Physics. etc.In fact, other than being that a god exists, we pretty much agree about everything. Then again, I am very picky about who I am friends with.