Today in Human Sexuality, we explored the Filter idea of mate selection. We jotted down a brief list of "I want this in a partner" and "I don't want this in a partner." People volunteered to share bits from their lists. Usually thing popped up: confidence, sense of humor, beauty etc.

One (white) woman said she preferred black men. No special reaction, and I wouldn't expect one. The discussion was about personal preference, and there were no judgments on anyone's list entries. (Aside from some inevitable chuckles to shake off the nervousness of a sex class)

I shared that religiousness was on my "I do not want this in a partner" list. This brought shock and gasps from maybe 4 or 5 people, possibly more, in the class. The professor tried to correct me by saying something like "you mean strong religious beliefs?" I said "No. If I were to select a life partner, I would want one who didn't have religious belief at all."

I am thankful that we live in a culture that (fucking finally) accepts interracial relationships. But I was a little irritated at the shock and gasps when I said I would prefer non religious life partner.

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Comment by Cara Coleen on April 24, 2009 at 7:18pm
Wow... how strange. It's funny because, when I was a Christian, I got flack from non-religious people for not wanting to date someone who wasn't a Christian. I guess people don't like being discriminated against at all... because I really think that they take it personally. If someone said "I don't wanna date someone who's short" the short people would be offended.
Comment by Chelle on April 24, 2009 at 7:56pm
When it comes to dating I think we can be as selective as we want, if we limit ourselves on silly things like eye color, then we are the only one that misses out. As far as how others view a couple from outside this is where there should be no prejudice. But religion is a hugely important factor to agree on in order to have a successful partnership if a long term relationship is the goal of the relationship.
Soon after my partner and I got together he joined a church and it caused issues immediately but since he was early in he did not yet have fixed views. I soon followed and became a Christian anyway (after I began to think it was right myself) and we could see that us both being Christian was pretty important since it affected our whole view of life and what was important for how we made decisions etc. We got married in a lovely church and had a great Christian relationship.
Lucky for us we both began to doubt and lose our religion at about the same time so we are now able to be a happy non-religious couple. I think that if my hubby had continued to be religious (he is still a theist or agnostic, but non-religious) it would still have worked as we are both rational people so would have respected each other. But he could not have been a minister as he had planned say for instance. He would have had to compromise and as for kids well neither of us were keen on indoctrination of kids even as Christians, but I do think we would have had some issue along the way.
Being involved with someone of another world view especially if they take it seriously is like being involved with someone who is desperate for children when you hate kids. The point of a long term relationship is to move through life in some sort of partnership and to my mind the world view is pretty pivotal. I mean if one person is religious but it doesn't affect their world view strongly, say they believe in god but live there life without it affecting them then this is ok but if you use the bible to decide on what is right and wrong or are devoted to god well it is gonna be a challenge. If you like the drama maybe it could fulfill you but seems to me that non-religious should be close to the top of your list.
Comment by Rev. Tom Hicks, D.D. on April 24, 2009 at 8:00pm
Eh, I'm not prejudice to race or belief. They're all pink on the inside, even the theist. I know.
Comment by baddy on April 28, 2009 at 11:13am
I find that rather surprising. Coming from someone who's been in a long term interracial relationship before, I've experienced an equal number of gasps in comparison to my religious beliefs (or lack thereof). I think they both have the same amount of "shock value." Maybe people in your class were subduing their reaction because of the closed environment they were in?

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