If you are atheist, how do you interact with your religious friends?

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hwi2's picture
If you are atheist, how do you interact with your religious friends?

My friends, I have a friend who is a born-again Christian. He is a nice guy, but boy is he annoying. I respect Christians for what they believe in, but please do not shove your religious beliefs down my throat. To the born-again Christians: Please respect my way of life and my beliefs. Just because we do not believe in religion, God, the messiah, etc, it does not mean that we can't be good friends. Let's just go to a football game and enjoy life as friends. Need I say more?

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catandmouse's picture
Its true that people have an

Its true that people have an tendency to always hold their religion superior and prominent over the other religions, In simple words they want to add people similar to them in their group and try to keep an minimal distance from other religions.

mattyn's picture
And that really bothers me as

And that really bothers me as they think they are always right no matter what! They have such closed minds for people who believe in something they cannot see, touch or talk to in person.

Zaphod's picture
I know the feeling and have

I know the feeling and have often thought about it, I think at one point they must have had open minds to believe these religious beliefs but somewhere they learned or decided certain things to be true and wound up closed-minded as they found opposition this only proved to further their closed-mindedness. What really gets me is how they often say I am closed minded when they will not here my opinions but yet seem very opinionated themselves basically they are the ones not open to other ideas and they call me the closed minded one because I do not believe what they do. this really irks me,

SammyShazaam's picture
I know, it bothers me too!

I know, it bothers me too! They're all so high and mighty about this god dude and go worship him for hours every week... while refusing to do so much as even shake my imaginary friend's *hand* or address him openly in public. Hypocrites.

Serjaydee's picture
I know the feeling. Whenever

I know the feeling. Whenever I'm talking to class and some religious student overhears me saying that I don't believe in god, they rush to me quickly and ask why and would invite me over and over again to join them in their fellowship thing as if that would help me believing that there is a god.

atheister's picture
I would tell him or her in

I would tell him or her in the first place to change any conversation revolving around that topic, and if they insist, I would just move on from there..

catandmouse's picture
Its Hard to change peoples

Its Hard to change peoples thinking about religions so better leave the scene.

Mirta's picture
I've got a colleague that is

I've got a colleague that is veruy religious, but luckily she intelligence enough,so we can discuss of any argument without quarreling....

dtommy79's picture
You know, sometimes it

You know, sometimes it happens the other way too. It's not just the religious people that can be pushy. I'm a Christian, but I don't usually talk about my religion. When I do, I usually do it with a friend of mine (who is a hardcore atheist btw). But it's always a healthy argument. So don't think it happens because somebody is Christian, it probably happens because that person has some issues to work out anyway. He would do the same if he believed in the "ManBearPig"

mattyn's picture
You are right, it can

You are right, it can definitely go both ways and it usually does with the hardcore atheists and the "fake" ones as well.

Mirta's picture
Yes, I'm agree.It's not a

Yes, I'm agree.It's not a matter of religion, but of what kind of person your friend is... there are intelligent and open mind persons both between atheist and religious persons...as well as narrowminded...

rider's picture
I'm not an atheist, but back

I'm not an atheist, but back in college I had a friend who is an atheist. We got along fine. We just avoided talking about our beliefs. When you're friends, it doesn't have to mean that your beliefs and opinions should all be the same. You're still two different people. Besides, there are so many things that you can talk about besides religion.

SammyShazaam's picture
I do agree that you don't

I do agree that you don't always have to agree with your friends :) Where would be the fun in that?

However, some people who can't either keep their beliefs to themselves, or at least respect your difference of opinion in any conversations about them is annoying.

mysticrose's picture
I have atheist friends out

I have atheist friends out there. And you know what? They are more understanding and easy to get along with than some of my hardcore religious friends.:-)

Bryan Leow's picture
I personally have no problem

I personally have no problem interacting with some of my religious friends. Just like atheists, there are bigoted ones and open-minded ones. I have this religious friend who knows more than anyone else of my atheism and even of my arguments I pose to other theists online on facebook, and surprisingly she wasn't all that pissed as I expected her to be. In casual conversation she implicitly wanted me to stop all my atheist activities on facebook, and she tried but failed to hide her slight annoyance at me, but her tone and way of bringing across her point was so casual and friend-like that it brought me aback at how even theists can also be tolerant if they wanted to. So yeah, considering the fact that we're both friends and her over-politeness, I toned down and respected her religion. I must emphasise the fact that she was usually outspoken and blunt in conversation, to say the least. The fact that she managed to convey herself in a way that doesn't offend my religion(or lack of) was surprising.

Zaphod's picture
I agree with Sammy above, but

I agree with Sammy above, but no you really should not need say more!

efpierce's picture
The "born again" people are

The "born again" people are the worst. It's almost like it's their sole mission in life to convert everyone else and most people who are born again have done so not for religious reasons but because they have messed up so much in their lives that they want to hit the restart button.

SammyShazaam's picture
I'm pretty sure that is

I'm pretty sure that is exactly their sole mission in life, lol.

I see where they're coming from - if they honestly believe that hell is as bad as they spend all day talking about, then it would be a pretty dastardly thing to let your friends "sin" and have to suffer through all that fire and brimstone for eternity. Really, they're just trying to help you out.

Of course, those of us who don't really believe in eternal damnation find it terribly irritating.

ginamoon's picture
I also know that feeling when

I also know that feeling when a friend or someone you know tried to convince you to believe on what they believe in. I also encounter some who try to question our own religion's beliefs and practices but when you throw back the question to them, they will feel irritated and take it against them.

Zaphod's picture
Interesting this must mean

Interesting this must mean then that they know they are being offensive and for some reason think it's OK to ask these questions of you, but don't feel the same when you disrespect them in such a manner.

ginamoon's picture
I am just not sure if they

I am just not sure if they know they have been offensive. :P
But quite sure that doing the same questioning to them make them feel disrespected as they are firmed that what they believe is the only truth.

mysticrose's picture
Sometimes we just want a

Sometimes we just want a friendly debate about religions and beliefs but due to the complexity of the topics we tend to find ourselves debating endlessly. For friends, it would be better if they discuss something relevant to their friendship or other things in life than discuss the difference in their opinions in terms of religions or something like that.

SammyShazaam's picture
I hear what you're saying

I hear what you're saying about just wanting a friendly debate. However, are you sure that your *friend* wants a healthy debate?

I've been such a friend on many occasions, on many issues. People constantly want to test their beliefs against mine, for the sake of "healthy debate". While I'm sure they're just intellectually starved, I've had much more than my fill and find it so annoying talking to them sometimes. Especially because they want to debate the same topics over and over.

I have one friend in particular, who in casual conversation, if anything even remotely related to religion comes up, will derail the entire conversation entirely and focus solely on religion, ruining any use of the conversation up to that point. It may look like a healthy debate from his side, but to me it looks like obsession. One that I, being totally over religion aside from a passing interest in the sociological ramifications, do not share!

Same goes with race, sexual orientation, gender issues... those healthy debates have become stultifying redundancies to me.

Zaphod's picture
I tend to beat dead horses as

I think you forgot politics people with those particular hangups tend to also get hung up on politics, trust me I know! I tend to beat dead horses as the term goes, but I ma trying to work on being more aware of the interest level of continuing the conversation the person I am conversing with has. the more I care about the opinion of the person I am debating with, the harder it is to let the debate go for me. but when people loose interest in the conversation their minds tend to close up and therefore there is at such a point no point in really pursuing the conversation forward. I still need to work on my observation and respect of others interest in the subject at hand.

SammyShazaam's picture
Lol, no I didn't forget

Lol, no I didn't forget politics :) I'll debate that until the end of the day, night whatever, and I don't care who's bored with me! j/k :)

ginamoon's picture
I believe that all are

I believe that all are entitled or have the rights to believe on what they believe in as long as you are not hurting others for your beliefs and be a good person. I just cannot understand why some could tell straight at you that what you believe is wrong and that all they know are the right ones. Maybe that is what we called brainwashing. :P

SammyShazaam's picture
That's pretty much why I

That's pretty much why I stick with agnostic over straight up atheist... I could never tell someone that they're wrong, because I don't definitively have the answer yet!

I can say what I believe, and why I believe it (and why reasonable evidence would indicate that I'm right, lol), but I would never do that disrespect to true logic by saying that I absolutely know that I am undeniably right, and therefore those that disagree with me are wrong.

mattyn's picture
That's a very good point,

That's a very good point, neither side really has any proof so it's best to leave it up in the air until we are sure. I usually just choose to avoid the subject of religion altogether unless I am feeling argumentative that day.

Zaphod's picture
Wow, that a very good point!

Wow, that a very good point! I think I am going to switch to the agnostic label myself.

mattyn's picture
I tell you Zaph, Sammy has an

I tell you Zaph, Sammy has an answer for everything and I usually learn something from her every time I'm here.


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