I think an important part is not talking about religion in a very bashing matter, i do however question and explain the mistakes in the sermons every time i go with my girlfriend. After that i don't think there is a major problem (yet, as i'm still young and no children).
I pretty much avoid it, unless I know they are somewhat like minded.
I have a problem with my girlfriend at the moment. She is also a non-believer, however, she is uncomfortable about my 'outspoken' atheism. Does not like me posting stuff on social web sites... which is what brought me here. To be honest, when I think about it, it really pisses me off. I don't know what will happen if the problem gets worse... but in the back of my mind I am thinking that no-one has the right to stop me or even make me feel that I should stop. I think the atheist message is far too important to let anything get in it's way. That includes my relationship.
I remember reading about that in the forums, sorry, i don't know what could be the best in that situation.
religion should be as open to discussion as any topic. if people can talk about their politics with such passion, they should be able to talk about anything. there is no logical reason why religion should be off the table.
having said that, know your audience. if your boss is born again, it may not be a good idea to start espousing the inaccuracies of the bible. you could get fired. if your significant other's family is highly religious, you can observe their ceremonies and not feel like a hypocrite (in as much as the ceremonies mean nothing to you).
but you should never hide that you don't share their religious beliefs.
amongst my friends, i speak plainly about anything. people who are your friends will accept your nonbelief. those who leave, let them. i've got friends who are born again, hindu, muslim, mormon, and atheists like myself. people come and go from your life, but you shouldn't compromise your integrity to avoid offending someone. people do not have the right to not be offended.
I dont talk about it.
My dad became a pastor late in life, I was brought up assuming there was a god (sort of how I thought Santa Claus etc was real) but never having it jammed down my throat. About 7 years ago we started going to church, and I always hated it, be it the stuffy smells or the annoyingly cheesy church goers.
Anyway he learned a year or two ago that I am an atheist, during a shouting match with him mocking my premarital sex and unsure nature of my relationship with my girlfriend. Normal stuff, but to him I was a pretty terrible person. I told him to never try to talk to me about religion again because I asked him if someone could disprove god, would he give it up and he said no... therefore no reason to go further.
About half the time he ends up bringing religion into the conversation somehow... I never do.
If people bring it up I will debate them, but I keep it to myself.
Why cant the religious people know do the same?
Well, two things I can tell you from experience:
1) If your best friend is a Christian, and you egg him on enough, he will punch you.
2) If your girlfriend is a Christian, and she is waiting for marriage to have sex, you are waiting for marriage to have sex.
So I guess... don't talk about it, and tolerate it? Not sure what kind of message that sends, but. C'est la vie.
my wife is Catholic but doesn't go to church, and rarely talks about religion. but i made the mistake of taking up the atheism/theism debate with her once, and made the further mistake of getting angry when she wasn't persuaded by my logic.
it may not be worth starting an argument with somebody who isn't causing a problem, and doesn't really care about the question, just to try to "prove you're right".
I've never met a theist with whom I really wanted to have a close relationship. But then I'm not much of a people person in the first place.
Well, It really depends on both parties. Children may cause a serious issue. I'm the product of a religious mother and an atheist father (very outspoken). they get along fine, but politics and religion are rarely discussed among the two of them, but in the house itself since my brother and i have grown to agree with my father we discuss it frequently away from the ears of my mother. As far as how we were raised my brother and i were baptized, sent to catholic school during elementary, public school in high school. while growing up we got both views and eventually picked one. my mother is fine with it, its never been an issue but it really depends on both your comfort zones. does she want kids to be raised with her beliefs and you dont? thats the only big issue i see there.
I have a friend who is highly religious and dated an atheist who made a joke about her and she got upset. it stemmed into a long argument and eventually they decided it would never work out, but i mostly believe its because of his arrogance and her hypocrisy and selfishness. it was doomed from the start in that way.
You just can't get all upset and tell them: god doesn't exist!
Talk to them about evolution, the universe and historic facts. Most people love to learn new stuff without having to research or read about it.
Truth is the most fascinating story a person can hear of.
Talk to them as if they were 6 years old. From an adult to child perspective. Don't debate them, explain them scientific facts and leave the bible and its god for the end, that will be the cherry on the cake!.
That being said, I don't associate with religious men. Nothing good (for me) is going to come out of it. I don't like feeling censored, while being forced into hearing or agreeing with primitive concepts.
I prefer someone who shares my interests, and atheism is one of them.
I've adopted the strategy of keeping things casual and polite with the believers in my life, just as I learned to do with the bigots and political extremists (Bonus points when they're all three! Oh, family.). Superficiality bores the hell out of me. It really, really sucks...we end up talking about celebrities, the dog's psychiatric history, and alternative "medicine."
I have realized that belief in a deity may help some individuals. Religion, as adopted by the masses, has resulted in a downward spiral for the general welfare of humankind, but on an individual basis may very well help people cope and give them hope. I am a staunch atheist and firmly feel that religious belief is similar to the Celestial Teapot. The problems that I face with personal relationships with theists is focused on when belief trump reality. Insert numerous examples here from creationism, civil rights (sexism, racism, anti-gay), etc. As I do not enjoy theists passing judgement on me based on my non-theist beliefs, it is hypocritical to do the same to them. Similarly, I have friends that are Republican and we get into occasional arguments, it is the same with religion. Neil deGrasse Tyson said "labels are mentally lazy ways to assert you know someone without truly knowing them." I judge people when I get to know them, not on religious beliefs even though I challenge different beliefs.