It was sometime in high school that I decided I was an atheist and started telling people that I was whenever religion was a the topic of conversation. Everyone I knew had accepted it except one friend of mine. This girl and I had been good friends since kindergarden and had spent a lot of time together growing up. When she discovered I was an atheists, she disowned me as a friend and refused to talk to me. I have never forgotten this because it still confuses me to this day. I don't understand because I have always been a very accepting person and she is the only one who has reacted in this way. Because of that one reaction I have always been very careful about who I tell or talk to about being an atheist. Can anyone offer me some understanding and has anyone else experienced this?
You know..I've never actually written it down before... but this is my story.
I lost my best friend for being atheist.
This guy and I met our first day of school in biology class. He and my boyfriend were both captains of our hockey team (I was a vicious little bitch, even back then.) and we all did everything together. We slept over at each others houses when we were too drunk to drive home. We roomed together for away events and took road trips. He got me my first job as a pizza delivery driver.
His mom treated me like one of her own and even taught me to cook. They were Hispanic, so for my first twenty years of life, I could only cook Mexican food. Go figure. I helped him in Spanish class (His parents integrated to American life so totally they quit speaking Spanish in the home by the time he was born. He was the only Mexican I knew that couldn't even order at the local roach coach without help.
He was my best friend and I worshiped him.
I loved this guy like a brother. He held me when I was 15 and pregnant and I talked a knife out of his hand when he tried to slit his own wrists a few years later. We got through a lot because we always had each other's backs. No matter what.
And then religion happened.
We lived in a rural town in Fuck-All Nevada. It was predominantly Mormon for the white folks (part of my family included) and Catholic for the brown. His family wasn't overly religious. The women went to church every few months or did some 'good work' stuff every once in a while, but since I was best friends with one of the boys, I got to stay home. His mom gave me a Last-Rites-On-A-Rope or something. She gave him one, too when he left the church. I was later told it might not work for me because I wasn't Catholic but she'd prayed, so it ought to be ok.
Left the Church. That's Catholic talk for bad juju.
Somehow he got it in his head that there was more to god than what the Throne was offering, so when my best friend went along on his spiritual journey (Though it was more like a terrifying mountain climb of doomz) I got to go along.
It was cool at first. We visited some trendy, young ager type Christian places that were more coffee-shop hangout than anything else.
We also had dinner with a group called The River of Life International, who are quite frankly the scariest fucks on this earth and that's coming from a person who used to regularly shark-dive with South African hit men. (True story, actually.)
Eventually my buddy settled on a spiritual community in a city a few hundred miles away, where he was going to school. They seemed like normal, nice people and I was happy for him. At that point in my life, I was pretty much under the assumption that bullshit was bullshit but if you go to bed with a smile, who cares? At any rate, he moved away, and that was fine.
But then my invites to visit came less and less. And then one day he told me that I it made him look bad when an unmarried woman stayed over at his house.
Things started to crumble from there.
He met a nice girl and married her within a matter of months.
Before I left the U.S, he had a baby on the way.
It wasn't like he just turned on me or did something horrible. There was no mighty betrayal or anything.
He just quit answering my calls. He just quit replying to texts.
And then he was gone.
It's been a few years. I've looked him up on Facebook but he wasn't there.
I was thinking about stopping by his parent's house but I've never, ever been back that little town I was trapped in for high school.
Not even to see my own parents.
It wasn't even so much atheist as just 'lesser Christian.'
That's the sad thing.
I never really even considered the A word.
We had pretty much quit discussing religion when some preacher guy tried to drive demons out of my leg, quite unconvinced with the diagnosis of pulled muscle. (Again, sadly. True story!)
It was that he knew I was doing other un-Christian like things and felt it somehow... reflected on him? I dunno. I'd hope it was because he honestly believed I was going to hell and it bothered him too much to physically face me. I think I might feel that way if our places were changed. But maybe that's just my own ego talking.
At any rate, that's the only time I've lost someone..like, really lost someone. Religious Facebook un-friendings aren't a huge deal to me, personally