Sometimes, A Friend Surprises Me

I started playing hockey again and one of the highlights of this is that some old friends have also dusted off their skates and are shaking off years of rust with me. Of course, the icing on this cake is the trip to the bar after the game, picking up where we left off in our mid-twenties and having a good time with the help of cold beer. I have been friends with these people since before I identified with atheism, and probably back to when I identified as a Christian, although I was never a true believer.

One of my friends is a die hard, Reagan worshiping, Republican. This fact is probably what prompted my increasingly inebriated self to challenge anyone in a debate on religion or politics, during a contentious dart game, no less. Another friend of mine picked religion. Fine, I said, go! He proceeded to tell me that religion was a bunch of made up bullshit along with some other things that were not too flattering about belief in general. I was stunned. "Really?" I asked, thinking he was playing a joke.

"Oh, sorry, are you religious?" he asked in all seriousness.

My Republican friend answered for me, declaring that I was an atheist.

"So am I", said my friend. I was so beside myself that I barely registered my Republican friend tell us that we were both going to hell.

Atheists are rare where I am, but perhaps not as rare as I thought. But, this made me feel good and I felt the need to share it with T|A.

Views: 86

Comment by Galen on July 12, 2010 at 9:10pm
That's awesome, Reggie :)
Comment by James on July 12, 2010 at 10:09pm
That's great Reggie! It's always nice to find a like-minded person to converse with. Even better when they are already a friend.
Comment by Mecca on July 12, 2010 at 10:26pm
This is a breath of fresh air - very much a feel good story!
Comment by Apple on July 13, 2010 at 11:31am
It's funny how someone can honestly consider you a friend, and think that you are a good person, but at the same time think that it is fair and justified that you be eternally tortured just for not believeing in a particular set of unevidenced propositions. Seriously, if this guy was actually saw you being tortured, for any reason, his initial reaction should be that a serious wrong is being committed here and he would most likely do something within his power to stop it.

This is part of the mental warping that makes me shake my head when people say, "What do you have against christianity? I mean, even if you don't believe it, it only teaches you good things, and how to be a good person."
Comment by Natasha Kenny on July 13, 2010 at 12:25pm
Congratulations.I hope I have some friends who are atheists.Probably not.
Comment by Reggie on July 13, 2010 at 6:56pm
Thanks for the comments, all!

@ Adrianna - I don't think he was uncomfortable. I have many friends that I feel would identify with atheism except they are busy living their lives and don't seem to care about the question of gods. Not to say that we don't have busy lives, but, they occupy their time with pursuits other than the philosophical.
Comment by Sydni Moser on July 13, 2010 at 7:55pm
Even though most of my friends would state that they believe in god, we live our lives in much the same fashion... God never seems to come up as a topic of conversation, so it has little relevance to us as friends since we share many other significant things in common. But I have found that in my later years, those friends who discuss their religious/spiritual ideas with me (even though they know I am an atheist), I no longer just say nothing and tolerate listening to their beliefs, I confront them head on. I was just so fed up with their lack of respect for me and my point of view, that I spoke my mind and lost a few of these type friends in the process. I do miss them, but I would rather do without than keep my thoughts to myself and my mouth shut.
Comment by Reggie on July 13, 2010 at 8:36pm
Sydni, I notice much the same. I only refute what I know or ask questions about things that I am skeptical of. Most of my friendships never touch upon religion in any deep way. In some respects, it seems like I could be living in a secular society. But it is the fundamentals and the tacit endorsement of the moderates that belie that illusion.
Comment by Sydni Moser on July 14, 2010 at 10:00am
But I am always thrilled to find a fellow Atheist in the 'flesh & blood'... Such a rarity.
Comment by kvnvk on July 15, 2010 at 9:05am
actually I had a similar experience with a friend of mine of nearly 20 years, didn't find out he was atheist until about 3 or 4 years ago. the topic just never came up before. I had assumed he was a weak theist like his wife, believed in god but didn't talk about it with others and didn't bother to go to church, so it came as something of a surprise when I did find out (and I was informed another of our mutual friends was an atheist as well).


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