I have friend who is several years younger than I. Since we've become friends, I have always viewed him as a little brother. I would give him family, friend, girlfriend ect advice and I feel as if I've helped him grow as a person in several aspects. A few months ago, without provocation from me, my friend confided in me that he no longer believed in god. My response was of congratulations. Since then, we have many, many conversations about religion. I often share blogs and discussions from here with him. He seemed to agree with everything that we talked about and I felt as if I was teaching him stuff. One day, I asked him if he told anyone that he was an atheist. He didn't feel as if he should and he had all ready admitted to himself (and to me) which was good enough for him. A few weeks ago, his grandfather died. Both he and his mother were very close with him and it has been a very sad time for their family. My friend has never wanted to discuss it and I was not going to bring it up. However, since then, we have had our religious conversations & he continued to send me funny "atheist" emails.
Note: A lot of our conversations take place in an xbox live party. It's a lot easier than on the phone and usually there are several people in the party
So today, I joined a party with a mutual friend of ours. We began to talk about Stephen Hawking saying that heaven does not exist. Friend #2 is a Christian and, as I soon found out, not educated in his faith. He basically follows what his Christian family has told him and hasn't really looked into things for himself. (I'm sure he will now though)
Shortly after, Friend #1 joined along with his cousin (from his grandfather's side). By then, the conversation had morphed into a religious discussion. Noticing that Friend #1 wasn't getting into the conversation I said, "Usually you get into this with me. What's up?" He somberly replied that, "I used to but not anymore." I asked why and he said, "I don't like talking about religion because of my grandpa and I'm having a really hard time with it so I don't wanna talk about it anymore."
It was odd and definitely threw me off. It has been weeks since his grandfather died and this was the first I had heard any such remarks from him. I didn't really know what to say so I didn't say anything. I think it confused me more than anything.
Was he hiding his thoughts because of his cousin? (You know how some people change their persona around certain other people? This happens to my friend when his cousin is present)...or is something deeper going on here.
Hopefully, I'll be able to talk more with my friend tomorrow. I'm really concerned about him now. I would hate to see someone turn back to religion because of emotional reasons but let's face it, it happens...but on the other hand, I don't want to see someone label themselves as an 'atheist' if they are only angry at their god.
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