Have you ever hurt a friend talking about their religion?

First of all: Hey, I'm Mike. This is my first post on this website. After being agnostic for many years having not given religion much thought, I recently decided to live my life as an atheist - and I feel good about it. I was really thinking hard on it for awhile and it occupied my thoughts at all times. Now that I'm an atheist, I feel quite liberated. But to be honest, all my Christian friends still think I'm agnostic and I'm hesitant to tell them the truth.

 

Hearing some opinions on this situation is what brought me to this website. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

 

Last summer, I met this Christian girl and we quickly became best friends. We started talking about religion one day and she asked me to go to church with her. At this point I was still agnostic (but still leaning towards atheism). I decided to go because I was curious about it. I saw things that really bugged me and she would ask me what I thought as we were leaving each time. Well, I didn't blow up on her but I was frustrated and I didn't shy away from telling her.

Then for months I barely saw her or talked to her. I tried making plans with her but she wouldn't see me. And the times I had seen her since I avoided talking about her faith. I've been really trying to mend our friendship though - I really do appreciate the friendship we... used to share, at least.

I invited her out last night to a big show in my city (I had free tickets) and she did come, to my surprise. She tagged me in a Facebook 'places' post later that night. This guy (who I think was her pastor at one point) comments on the post "Mike?" and later "THE Mike?"...

So I guess she was talking to him about me, but fine, I understand - it bothered her and she had questions about the things I said (I assume).

But I wonder if he told her not to hang out with me any more... Do you really think someone would do that? That's so... wrong... so... evil. It makes me so sick thinking about it. It makes me even more sick that someone I called a friend would follow an order to avoid me from someone like that without question.

 

What do you think? Any similar experiences?

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I have - but rightfully so. If anyone is too hurt to having to critically analyze themselves and as to why they believe or claim to believe in the things they do - and take offense, especially on facebook to what you post - they weren't your real friend in the first place - especially to Muslims when instead they should look inside themselves and ask themselves why they claim to be Muslims when in fact they are not religious and never practice their faith in the first place.
My experience in the Christian fold was that anything or anyone that made you doubt your faith was the work of the devil and should be avoided.  It is part of the cultish charm that many Christian sects possess. Don't blame your friend because she is a victim in this, too.
I know she is and that's why I'm not angry with her. I wish I could say something but I feel like it only pushes her away when I do.
Don't let religion, or the lack thereof, be the ingredients of your relationship.  If she forces it, then you'll either have to endure it, move on, or turn the friendship into a contentious one.  Sometimes life isn't fair, I guess. Just be a good person and friend and let the cards fall where they may.  Often times that is about all you can do.

If I had a friend who avoided me for being an Atheist, I would probably do one last thing before giving up entirely. I would tell her that you respect her as a person and you don't see the need to argue or even bring up the fact that you believe in two different things. Tell her you miss spending time with her, and that what you believe has nothing to do with your friendship, and it shouldn't ever, because Atheists and Christians have gotten married before, and if those people can set aside their beliefs for love, why can't two friends set aside their differing beliefs for friendship? If she can't accept you, then forget it. If she don't care, then there is no need to care either. As much as it sucks, as long as you two can make a clean friendship break, you will be able to move on.

I'm 62, been married twice, had a 10 yr. relationship plus half a dozen others. Believe me when I say, "Atheists and Xians together will not work out 99% of the time."

not any friends, but one coworker.  I REALLY try not to bash anyone about their religion - even if they like to talk about it once in a while, but I couldn't help myself this one time.

 

I had known she was some sort of monotheist before hand.  fine, whatever.  But somehow she got on the topic of her deeper beliefs, and she said she considered herself "Both jewish and christian".  I thought she must have been joking, so I laughed awkwardly just trying to avoid falling further into the discussion.

 

but i quickly saw she wasn't joking.  she then asked why i don't respect her beliefs.  Despite my better judgement, i thought "well, she DID ask..."   She could not understand how being Jewish and Christian are mutually exclusive.  Her best defense was, "Jesus was a jew, so I am too".  What really pissed her off was when I asked how she could believe in something so whole-heartedly whilst lacking a fundamental understanding about what it means to be either christian or jewish.

 

Then of course she asked what faith I was, and I told her I have no religious faith.  Therefore (of course), in her opinion, I had no right to critique her beliefs.  I just "don't understand".  

 

"Fine by me. I guess in the end it's no more idiotic than picking one or the other.  Except you have to deal with synagogues on sabbath AND church on Sunday..."

My best friend and I constantly argue about my lack of faith. He honestly doesn't believe that a moral compass can exist without a celestial authority.

 

 

Mike, Religion hasn't killed just friendships, it has a bloody history going back millennia.  I have good friends who are still 'believers'.  We just don't talk religion.  They know I'm an Atheist, & I know they aren't about to share my DISbelief. She wants you to go to her religious services - would she be willing to go to an Atheist / Agnostic meeting with you ?  (Rhetorical question - ignore it.  You can agree to disagree, & that's about it.     I wish you good luck.

This boy at school told me that I had missed chapel service, so I said "phew, so I don't have to take part in that indoctrination session" or something along those lines, (i thought he was an atheist) and he stood up and said "Well it appears I'm already indoctrinated", very sarcastically, and walked off.

 

I tried to apologise and I haven't seen him since, it was on Friday though, I guess, in England, people get a lot of stick for being religious in places like my school and he didn't appreciate it...

Lol.  Don't sweat it.  I once had an old friend make the comment : God answers prayers, but not always like you'd like.   I answered :  You can pray to a stump & get that kind of response.  We remained good friends, but we just never talked about religion after that.
My best friend was Christian. We would often have (civilised) religious debates over our beliefs, and it was something we both enjoyed doing. We respected each others' opinions for a good year and a half, but then as she got more deeply involved in her religion, she was more adamant on trying to change me. She even said that my congenital heart condition was because I refused to accept Jesus. It got out of hand and we lost all respect for each others' beliefs, and our friendship went to total hell, and we ended up hurting each other over it.
So in response to the thread's question, yes.

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