wtf. I imagine that's how Priests rationalize it morally when they rape children...'it's in the Church and I'm a man of God...so this isn't evil!'
Perhaps it has more to do with the social stigma...?
My Aunt's the "woo, woo" type of mix-your-own-version-of-Catholicism Christian (her parents are more traditional) and she married an out Atheist. It's been 30 years and they're going strong. Everyone in the family knows he doesn't believe. It's not a big controversy. Perhaps it was several decades ago.
I am just giving this example because not all Christians would expect an Atheist to hide their apostasy and lie to the in-laws.
Totally agree, I've had three relationships end with my Atheism being one of the issues and in one case it was the ONLY issue and her mother screamed at her for dating me in the first place when she found out.
It also REALLY narrows the initial dating pool you can work with. To almost nothing -.-
Thank you for giving us insight into how serious the doctrine is about maintaining division between the holy and the heathen in this sect of Christianity, Dennis. It's very eye opening. I'll share my experience too, for contrast.
In the modern Catholic Church (as opposed to those still pining for the days of the good old Latin mass) the attitude is a lot more lax toward those who are 'of the world' and those who are 'of the body of Christ.' You were supposed to be cautious within secular realms but not to the point of cutting people off. There was always the hope of conversion through exemplifying Christ's grace, and getting from Caesar so to render unto Paul... (wait, I think I mixed that one up--or, did I?) My main response to unbelievers was emotional: deep sorrow and anxiety about their fate...what with being a selfless paragon of grace, and all. ;-)
I might suggest using an online dating service. The good ones will give you an opportunity to
let your atheistic stance be a part of your profile.
You never know.....
Jake--try seeking out more progressive Christians...if they respect people of other faiths, they should be more open to an atheist if you initially frame it as another type of "other" belief system. They're less likely to take every aspect of their faith as set in stone and may have never even heard the "unequally yoked" rule.
I know what you mean. Same thing here. People here all belong to the most ridiculously corrupt churches, yet believe i'm evil because i don't think there's a magical guy in the sky. Luckily, we do have some logical people in and around my town. I found it was best to find either another Atheists, or someone that just doesn't care either way. I've been with my Atheist girlfriend for two years and everything is awesome. You CAN date a religious girl and it not be a big deal, just don't expect that to happen because it's relatively rare.
I've avoided long term relationships here in Texas because that always does seem to be an issue. My friend is an atheist and his girlfriend regularly attends church. Even though he was willing to ignore the religion and not let it come between them she hasn't really gotten over it. On the plus side we've been working on bringing her to the light of realizing the obvious fallacies of creationism. Not that we would force the beliefs on her but she kept bringing it up randomly and getting upset over it. I helped him explain it to her every time and little by little she's seeing things in a better light.
The section of Zeitgeist: The Movie regarding religion was also pretty helpful in the situation.
As for advice? Shit, I don't know man, religious people are crazy for the most part here in the south. Hope for a stroke of rare and gleaming luck in finding an open-minded or straight up atheist girl, or wait till you hit a more "intelligence friendly" area.
The truly amazing thing to me is how many gay men have this same attitude. I have tried the online thing someone else mentioned, and an alarming number of men list themselves as Christian and at least somewhat serious about it. They usually won't reply to an "out atheist" (and I thought being out was a good thing, in both arenas). In any event, I am not really that interested in dating a theist anyway. I'm pretty sure it would get ugly at some point, no matter how "progressive" his cult happens to be.
OK, so your church doesn't say that gays are the spawn of Satan. They do expect you to buy that zombie Jesus stuff though, right? (And then I hear the door slam)