It's sort of an interesting predicament I find myself in. On the one hand my coworker (we'll call her Jane, for the purposes of anonymity) is a perfectly lovely girl, and I rather enjoy her company. On the other, some of the things that come out of her mouth well and truly offend me.

The problem with being secular is that every time I find myself offended by a non secular comment, society makes me feel as though I don't have a right to be offended. But when someone literally says "I feel sorry for people who believe in evolution," or "Can you believe those freaks actually believe in evolution?" or even worse, "He could change the fact that he's gay." It's hard for me not be offended. These comments ARE offensive. Not only, are they offensive, but they're meant to be offensive. Yet, for some reason, I'm not really supposed to be offended because it's my choice to be secular. So I try not to let her know that I'm offended.

But you know what? I AM offended. I am no more a freak for believing in evolution than she is for believing in an invisible entity in the sky. But somehow, because she believes in this entity, she is generally more accepted by society than I am.

But again, it's an interesting predicament. As many offensive things as she says (I'm not entirely sure that she understands that she's offending me, as she's been so brainwashed her whole life), she still accepts me for who I am. Face value. Lack of faith and all. Does she think that I'm just going to die? That I won't have a chance in the Witnesses perfect paradise? Yeah, that's what she thinks. But she knows I'm okay with that, so she is too.

It's so refreshing that someone so involved and so surrounded by her religion, could look at me, someone surrounded by just the opposite, and accept it. Just let it go, and still be my friend. Because that's what we are. We are friends. I accept her, everything that is her, and she returns the favor.


Why is it that more people can't figure that one out? It would make for one hell of a better world.

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Comment by Jānis Ķimsis on February 5, 2011 at 7:42am
I'm a bit confused. What do you mean by "the problem with being non secular is that every time I find myself offended by a secular comment"? Because it seems that you are secular and your coworker is nonsecular.
Comment by Denise W on February 5, 2011 at 9:31am

*ponders* Being friends means honesty, honestly. I have friends of all faiths, and they know I am atheist. At one point (I think because of age), the desire to challenge belief was pervasive - and while I have never been particularly inclined to start a debate, I generally don't back down once engaged. Most of my believer-friends know exactly where I stand...and tend to avoid the topic of what they believe in terms of their respective faiths. I'm cool with that because the respect is mutual. Do they pray for me? Sure...and while I privately cringe at "intercessory prayer" for any number of reasons...I also know that it is more a comfort for them than anything to do with me, so when they say something like "god bless you", I respond with "you, too" or "sameatcha" or something along that vein. I don't get ruffled by it...usually. Exceptions would include my mother, who tries to find ways to circumvent my non-belief to press her beliefs to my kids. THAT gets me testy, and I pull no punches with her - this has led to some extraordinarily ugly confrontations - which I make no apologies for. I can love my mother...or my dad...or my close friends...and still be ruthlessly honest with them when the situation demands. When the *trust* is established, honesty is a necessity. Tempered with tact and respect, of course...and only brutal when absolutely required...but utter honesty. *nod*


*wishes you well*

Comment by Heather Spoonheim on February 5, 2011 at 10:00pm
For the most part I can't be friends with religious types.  "Spiritual" people are one thing, but the ones who can't think their way out of a wet paper bag just have nothing to offer me in terms of friendship.  For me, friendship is a meeting of minds, and if your mind isn't answering the phone then I really don't even know who you are.  When people feel inspired to offer me a 'God Bless' I usually responds with, "May the force be with you".


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