Vjack of Atheist Revolution has a good post up today. As an atheist who lives in the South, his experiences are very different than mine. Here in suburban Long Island, it is rare for anyone to ask you about your religious beliefs and affiliations. But in that region of the country known as "the Bible Belt," apparently being asked by strangers what church you go to is as much an ice breaker as "did you see the game yesterday?" is up here.
If I were to find myself living in a community where neighbors or parents at the Little League game asked me point blank almost from the outset what church I went to, I am not sure how I would respond to that knowing what ramifications my answer could potentially have. For those of us who are atheists, we reflexively find such questions annoying and intrusive, though the person who asks the question likely does not intend to be rude.
Maybe the best way to respond in a polite and measured fashion would be to turn the question back on the asker. "I am new here, thank you. What church do you go to?" Ask the person to describe the services there, what the pastor is like et cetera. With any luck, the person will get so caught up in singing the praises of his or her church, that person might forget that you never said which church you go to.