Internet Goosing the Antithesis

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Question of the Day #21: Christian Friends

I'm probably going to answer my own question here, because I've been thinking about this a lot, but I might as well post it anyway.

For those of you who have Christian friends, where do you draw the line at being nice? For those of you who don't have Christian friends, where would you draw the line?

From my point of view, since I have some Christian friends, I really try to be nice. I truly do. I mean, some of them are pretty good people, despite their own theology. But what I absolutely won't do is I won't give them the pleasure of thinking that the whole "agree to disagree" thing means that I accept their worldview as though it's equal in stature to mine. I do not surrender to special pleading, and I consider it an insult when Christians try to treat atheism and Christian as though they are equivelant in any way.

I refuse to help them play pretend.

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At 1/14/2006 3:19 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

My first girlfriend was Christian, but she deconverted a couple weeks after we met. I couldn't possibly stand the company of a Christian. If I did, I would remind them of their silly beliefs at any opportunity, and perhaps try to deconvert them, or simply stop being their friend.

Same applies to any other belief system, by the way, not just religion.

At 1/14/2006 9:04 AM, Blogger vjack declaimed...

In general, I agree with your stance. I suppose it differs a bit depending on the nature of the friendship, but I usually find myself acting in a similar way to what you describe.

At 1/14/2006 4:49 PM, Blogger gonesavage declaimed...

I have one or two Christian friends, but we don't talk about the validity of religion. One of them is a neuroscientist at Stanfod (he barely talks about religion, period) and the other one is an art teacher (he doesn't talk either, with me). One of them knows where I stand, the other I just talk science and medicine with, exclusively. How one can be Christian and scientist, I have no idea, but the mind is complex and there are scientists trying to study it.

One may think that I "give up" my values, thoughts, and ideals when I have Christian friends, but I don't think so. These are recent friendships, and they have never expressed any conversion tactics on me. They know it won't work. In addition, by being friends with "liberal" Christians, I can show that in living my life godlessly, rationally, maturely, AND happily, they can see it and be cruious about the reasons why I should do so. Subversive deconversion tactic? Perhaps.

But here I'm talking about the mildest of Christinanity. I cannot get along with any dogmatic, fundamentalist of any kind, whatsoever, whether it's religion or animal rights activists. I'm way too independent thinking, stubborn, and individualistic. I only feel comfortable in situations where free thought is expressed.

In any case, it should definitely be pointed out that the deepest relationships I have in my life are with the "faith-less", or, agnostics and atheists, who actively use their mind and express curiosity about the world around them.

At 1/14/2006 9:16 PM, Blogger gate declaimed...

EVERYONE I know is a Christian so I don't/can't discuss religion with them at all. They have no idea that I'm a "non-believer". If so I would probably have a lot less so-called "friends". It gets really old keeping my thoughts and feelings hidden but where I live I am better off. I would probably be run out of town!

At 1/15/2006 3:27 PM, Blogger Boelf declaimed...

As a rule I don't initiate religious discussions. If challenged on something I believe in I'll warn them they might not like what I have to say. Then I tell it like it is.

When discussion policy issues I will tell it like it is.

At 1/17/2006 11:02 AM, Blogger Daniel declaimed...

Being married to a Christian, I think I stand out amongst the commenters. My wife and I were both Christians when we married. I had "deconverted" before (at 16) but "rededicated" after a bout with drug abuse from my weakened state of critical thinking. I spent 14 months in a residential, "Christian rehab" you can guess that they sure helped reconvert me.

At any rate, my wife and I have had some deep, interesting, sometimes angry conversations...but now we have reached a place where we never argue anymore. She is not quite "liberal", but far from "conservative, fundie, etc."

I think she maintains a rational enough position so that it doesn't cause me any problems. I also think she has never given serious thought to some of the most irrational of christian doctrines, but is beginning to.

Although she still prays for me, she says she just prays for me to have peace. It is an interesting situation.

At 1/17/2006 11:25 PM, Blogger George Hasara declaimed...

I take a pro-active approach concerning my views. Anyone that I would consider a friend (not merely an acquaintance) is going to know my opinion of religion in fairly short order. So, when the topic of god comes up, there isn’t a need for sidestepping the issue or worrying about stepping on toes.



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