Friday, May 4, 2012

Poll: Have You Ever Ended A Friendship Because The Other Person Was Too Religious?


It's not uncommon to hear from atheists that they have lost friends and family members due to their godlessness. What is not commonly written about in the atheist blogosphere is the fact that some atheists terminate friendships because their faith-based friends become too much to bear. Now in complete honesty I have never stopped being friends with someone because of their faith. However, one can easily imagine where an old friend repeatedly preaches to a newly out of the closet atheist too much. Or perhaps a religious friend holds beliefs that are simply too barbaric for you to handle. I have friends who are religious and we get along well -- partially because they are willing to have honest conversations about faith or they avoid the topic altogether. But I have ended friendships because there are some personality characteristics I just can't stomach. For example, there is a certain amount of narcissism I can handle in another person, but when my own narcissism becomes totally eclipsed, well, there is trouble. 

Have you ever broken up with a friend because of their faith?

The poll is in the top left corner of the blog.

If you have a story to relate, then feel free to do so in the comments.

-LiP

9 comments:

  1. Have I ever specifically ended a friendship? No, but I can think of quite a few friends who I've drifted away from because their creationism or excessive ostentatious piety makes it hard to relate to them these days.

    I also know a sad story of a couple of close Christian friends who sort of dropped each other when one came out. All things considered, the newly out one was treated quite well, with no huge rows over it, but a combination of the one feeling unsettled that he hadn't been trusted to understand, and the other feeling a suspicion that he was constantly being judged, meant that the friendship ended quite suddenly and painfully.

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  2. I have ended friendships, not because of their Christianity, but because they failed to respect my atheism. And, I use a simple process.

    Out of our respect for their belief, I send them Christmas cards and wish them a happy holiday. If they persist in sending me Christmas cards, even when they have been told by me that "I don't celebrate Christmas!", I conclude that our so-called friendship does not include their respect and acceptance for my "non-belief". I don't look at receiving Christmas cards from business and professional associates in the same way, but friendship implies knowledge of the other person's belief and I don't appreciate a lot of disrespectful Christians going around saying that they are my "friend".

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  3. Not a friendship but I ended a marriage because I could tolerate no more "pray for me that you will let Jesus in your heart and know Him as you personal Lord and Savior" We both, my ex and myself went in to this marriage with both of our eyes wide open, she know full well when I proposed and on our wedding day that I am Atheist, but while dating, she never broached the subject. But after getting married, it started immediately, trying to "save my soul so I can see you in heaven" and referred to me not simply as Atheist but "calls himself an Atheist" I let it go in one ear and out the other for nearly 10 years, but she got progressively worse, until I could tolerate no more. I even went to church with her a few times, to placate and try to get along, but when it came to the point I wasn't getting laid, had no sex for 18 months because she thought that would convert me. It didn't work (by the way I never cheated,) I made a promise on that wedding day and I am a man of my word. That just goes to show being Atheist does not mean I don't know right from wrong.

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    1. Tim, I am really sorry to hear that you had to go through that. I had a crazy girlfriend who was really in EST and I really tried to make it work to no avail.

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  4. I have ended a friendship after a religious discussion, but I had no problem with the religion of the person. I had a problem with the fact that I could not discuss anything with this person without having to jump through hoops of the person making up definitions of words that were very off and sometimes the exact opposite of the meaning of those words. It came down to, I could not communicate with this person and have the same conversation that they were having. The person did not stop attempting religious conversations with me (trying to show me the light or whatever) but it was not the conversation that was the problem, it was the inability to adhere to a communication standard that was representative of the English language. I have many very religious friends which we either can discuss religion while being respectful to each other, or just do not discuss it.

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  5. I haven't ended a friendship, but I don't start friendships with overtly religious people. And by overtly, what I mean is people who seem to define themselves by their faith, or more accurately, their religiosity. If someone explains to me how Christian they are (esp when discussing parenting issues) or makes decisions about businesses they patronize or sports coaches and clubs they use because they are "good, strong christians," then I just avoid developing a relationship with them. I have plenty of good, authentic friends who are involved in their churches, who are bringing their children up in a church, even a few who are ministers, but none who have to prove to me with words how saved they are.

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  6. My last relationship ended for religious reasons. Before I became as aware of my atheism as I am now I went out with a Polish girl. When I met her she was a closed minded, mildly racist and homophobic. For the first 3 years of our relationship I just did my best to act a a decent human being. She changed a lot and became tolerant and open and some of her new best friends were gay or coloured. For me seeing the growth of a person like that was amazing. I fell in love big time with this girl who showed a capacity to learn. Then her dad got ill with cancer and died. At this point the Catholic church stepped back in to her life. She's reverted back to this parody of the faithful. Constantly reading the bible, praying and giving money to the church for priests to mention her dads name in services. She's fundamentalist, never questions what the church tells her to do or questions the abuses and cover ups. It's the most astounding selective thinking I have ever seen. She wants to be my friend and I was for a long time (holidays and constant communication as if we were still a couple) hoping that being a good guy without god might just spark some questions in her mind. Until she started seeing someone else. That really fucking broke my heart. It's been a few months since and I've been close the the edge of mental breakdown. More recently as I've got to grips with life again I look at myself and realise that my hopeful delusion that she might turn away from faith is not much different from her delusion that there is a personal god and that her dad is waiting in heaven for her. Aside from seeing and talking to her being too emotional for me, I also can't see her because seeing me is what she wants, and giving her what she wants despite the awful ignorance of what she believes seems like some kind of undeserved reward. I drive myself nuts trying to work out the most humane thing to do. Should I turn the other cheek?

    Paul T

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    1. That's something I failed to mention in my comment from 05May. She was giving far too much money to the church. Her ordinary tithing I could tolerate, the 10% (of MY money, she had no income) but when she began to "contribute" to each and every little "cause" and one month gave $250 for a fund for window shades, I stopped payment on the check which, of course, let to a big, well, let's call it a disagreement. Before that, the previous month it was $100 for a 'special collection' for tires for the church van. That one I let go. But the church is by no means struggling:the Pastor earns $4,000 a month AFTER tax. I don't begrudge that. Whatever. I am not a steward of the church's money. They can spend as they see fit. But not with MY money above and beyond a tithe.

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  7. Had a relationship with a devout Catholic spectacularly terminated when I 'hanged' her Virgin Mary statuette by the neck from a bookshelf.

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