Today I was having cocktails with a friend, and she started to rant about how bad religion/ the bible is. I felt comfortable at that moment to tell her that I didn't believe in god. This (to her) seems very different than her negative assertions about religion and proceeded to ask me, "So you don't believe in anything?" I told her there may be something out there but I don't think there is a god. She wasn't mean, and didn't treat me different after that but I felt a bit of a condescending tone in her voice when she asked if I believed in anything. It bothered me and I wish it didn't. Any advice how to deal in this type of situation?
to be quite blunt, stop caring what others think about how you live your life, it is the only thing you have and you are the only one who needs to live it... as a culture we are way too concerned about what others think about the choices we make and it paralyzes us into doing and saying nothing..
if that seems harsh, it may be. the fact is, she really should have no bearing on what you do with your life and until we as a culture stop relying on 'public opinion' to give us affrimation, religious nuts will have power to shame and guilt society into submission. stand for who you are and live by what you have determined to by your path, if your friend feels threatened enough to appear condescending, which she may not have been as we perceive so much emotion in every word others say when in reality there is probably very little there... then your friend has the issue not you. if what you are saying causes her to think about more than herself, then you have done all you can for her at that moment. live you life and do no harm to others.. not much to argue with about that lifestyle!
Just continue to be yourself and show her that you don't need an entity outside yourself to figure out what's right and what's wrong. I think that if she is a good friend she will see that you are a good person, regardless of your lack of belief.
It is one of life's great sadness's that religion can cause an instant division amongst people who would otherwise be friends. Our similarities far outweigh our differences, on a basic human level, and it's too bad that an external force can hold such dominion over otherwise good, rational people.
I hope this all works out for you. Know that you have friends here in the atheist community, and that you are not the only one going through tough times with friends and family who are believers.
To clarify, be "external force" I meant the church. Not a god. :)