Atheist/Christian Relationship: A reflection and realisation
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27-05-2013, 12:19 PM
Atheist/Christian Relationship: A reflection and realisation
"There are some word that strike deeper than any sword could cut."

At the moment I post this, I am heartbroken. But in this moment, I begin to understand how warped the concept of love becomes when viewed through the prism of religious faith. Love becomes and obligation and a duty rather than an expression of true compassion. Through fear, religion monopolizes the emotional market and utilizing guilt as a catalyst it creeps in and replaces our human empathy with the cruel Machiavellian world view where threatening others with eternal violence because they don’t believe in your religion is loving kindness of the highest order.

It teaches people that those who don’t think exactly as we do are missing something that only our God can give them. Instead of getting to know people for who they are and accept them, it must always be a goal to convert that person to Christianity. After all, if you love your fellow man, why not give them the truth that will save their eternal souls? In fact, you should feel it your duty.

I remember sermons where the preacher would tell of people who had the chance to share their faith and didn’t, only to realize that the person they could have reached for Christ had died and perished into eternal damnation without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is such incredibly horrible manipulation and to this day I doubt many of those who speak such things from the pulpit do so with any sense of irony or facetiousness. It’s all one big game of fear and guilt driving you on as you sing happy songs about love and goodness, spreading fear and control as unconditional love.

I don’t even think the religious truly understand what it is to love. They are so preoccupied with saving souls that they never stop to look at the people that they say they care for. They don’t care about our dreams or desires or who we want to be; they have to save us from the fires of Hell. That’s what matters. That is love to them.

But Human love is so much more than this perversion. It is nothing more than accepting people for who they are and not needing to make them like you or feeling the need to save them from some imagined eternal punishment to earn points with a celestial dictator.

Love is a simple thing and it is a very human trait that no man-made God has ever truly emulated, and something that no religion can ever help you understand because what they offer isn't real love; it's just a cheap version of something that should have always been inside you. It is sadly, not so. The love they think they feel is hollow, an imitation that they are too blind to recognise as.

I see now that true love can only be understood once you understand this is our only chance to make it right. This is all we get. I was fine with her believing but she forsook our love in favour of her delusions. If she cannot accept me for all that I am, then she is not deserving of the love I had for her. In the end, it all comes down to three words. Words I have long known but foolishly chose to ignore in the pursuit of love.

Religion Poisons Everything.

So tell me, what are your experiences with relationships between Atheists/Agnostics and The Religious? Do you believe they can work as I once did? Have they ended in disaster an screwed you over as badly as mine has?

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27-05-2013, 01:52 PM (This post was last modified: 27-05-2013 01:56 PM by Peanut.)
RE: Atheist/Christian Relationship: A reflection and realisation
(27-05-2013 12:19 PM)Omega Gamma Wrote:  "There are some word that strike deeper than any sword could cut."

At the moment I post this, I am heartbroken. But in this moment, I begin to understand how warped the concept of love becomes when viewed through the prism of religious faith. Love becomes and obligation and a duty rather than an expression of true compassion. Through fear, religion monopolizes the emotional market and utilizing guilt as a catalyst it creeps in and replaces our human empathy with the cruel Machiavellian world view where threatening others with eternal violence because they don’t believe in your religion is loving kindness of the highest order.

It teaches people that those who don’t think exactly as we do are missing something that only our God can give them. Instead of getting to know people for who they are and accept them, it must always be a goal to convert that person to Christianity. After all, if you love your fellow man, why not give them the truth that will save their eternal souls? In fact, you should feel it your duty.

I remember sermons where the preacher would tell of people who had the chance to share their faith and didn’t, only to realize that the person they could have reached for Christ had died and perished into eternal damnation without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. This is such incredibly horrible manipulation and to this day I doubt many of those who speak such things from the pulpit do so with any sense of irony or facetiousness. It’s all one big game of fear and guilt driving you on as you sing happy songs about love and goodness, spreading fear and control as unconditional love.

I don’t even think the religious truly understand what it is to love. They are so preoccupied with saving souls that they never stop to look at the people that they say they care for. They don’t care about our dreams or desires or who we want to be; they have to save us from the fires of Hell. That’s what matters. That is love to them.

But Human love is so much more than this perversion. It is nothing more than accepting people for who they are and not needing to make them like you or feeling the need to save them from some imagined eternal punishment to earn points with a celestial dictator.

Love is a simple thing and it is a very human trait that no man-made God has ever truly emulated, and something that no religion can ever help you understand because what they offer isn't real love; it's just a cheap version of something that should have always been inside you. It is sadly, not so. The love they think they feel is hollow, an imitation that they are too blind to recognise as.

I see now that true love can only be understood once you understand this is our only chance to make it right. This is all we get. I was fine with her believing but she forsook our love in favour of her delusions. If she cannot accept me for all that I am, then she is not deserving of the love I had for her. In the end, it all comes down to three words. Words I have long known but foolishly chose to ignore in the pursuit of love.

Religion Poisons Everything.

So tell me, what are your experiences with relationships between Atheists/Agnostics and The Religious? Do you believe they can work as I once did? Have they ended in disaster an screwed you over as badly as mine has?

*Cracks knuckles and stretches neck*

I was going to make a longer post than this, but I figured the members on this wonderful forum have heard enough of my drama with this same issue. I will make a shorter response and focus on YOUR problem Drinking Beverage

People have had this experience and it hurts. I know how you feel and I had to come to the realization that I shouldn't invest in a relationship where the other person seriously thought I was going to go to Hell. He would be up in Heaven, fishing with his buddies and loved ones (he thinks) while I would be burning in Hell for eternity. I got fed up with his little comments that he wished I "would one day come to believe." It wasn't going to happen.

When the religious person in the relationship is so used to most everyone they know believing as they do or simply believing in some higher power, they really CAN'T see that the one they say they love just doesn't believe and will NEVER believe. It's selfish (although that's "all they know.") to try to convert their boyfriend/girlfriend to believe as they do. To hold out hope for something that is never going to happen is delusional and not fair to the other partner.

Not all of the religious people are super over-bearing and go to church every Sunday. But there's still those comments here and there over the years that really get to the non-religious partner. And it's also true that the atheist in the twosome won't always try to "de-convert" the religious partner.

It CAN work out and some people I know have made their relationship/marriage last for decades and that's truly a beautiful thing. But that's not always going to happen for people. There needs to compromise and understanding in a relationship like these. Once either side realizes it's just not going to work and they can't handle the fact that the other won't bend, it's going to go downhill from there. For some couples, the love and bond they share is in no comparison to other couples. It just works for them and that is wonderful for them; I'm glad they can find happiness and a common ground.

You're right: If she can't accept you for who you are, despite your difference in beliefs, then she doesn't deserve to have your love. You need to keep reminding yourself of that. You are strong and you deserve happiness.

Take this heartbreak as a lesson and as something to make sure to avoid later on down the road. Make sure your beliefs are known from the beginning and make sure whether or not you think the other is capable of not trying to change you (or you, them.) into something you're not.

A relationship is about trust, acceptance, honesty and love. We must love who the other person IS, not who we WANT them to be.

I hope you find peace and can move on sooner than later. It hurts your heart right now, but just know that you deserve to be happy. I hope you are able to find a partner that is right for you. You will get through this. You just need time and people with whom you can vent. Hug

"It was life, often unsatisfying, frequently cruel, usually boring, sometimes beautiful, once in awhile exhilarating." -Stephen King
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28-05-2013, 06:26 PM
RE: Atheist/Christian Relationship: A reflection and realisation
OG, sorry for what you're going through. I'm in a relationship with a Christian, but he does not try to convert me and loves me for who I am. He respects that I can't make myself believe. It's not easy at times, but we have other things in common and focus on that. It can work, but it takes acceptance and respect.
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31-05-2013, 08:44 PM
RE: Atheist/Christian Relationship: A reflection and realisation
Religion Poisons Everything.

Hi OG,

Just wanted to retain that part of your post because I wholeheartedly agree. That said, I'm sorry you had to go through that and I applaud your steadfastness with regard to your principles. You are right. If she does not love you enough to respect your beliefs then that is a superficial kind of love. One that cannot penetrate to the truth and your true self. For all their rhetoric and their scripture saying Love is Patient and Love is Kind they seem to so easily discard that when it comes to their beliefs.

Thanks a lot for sharing this and just reading your post has helped a lot and gave me insight to my own situation. I am married to a believer and it was only yesterday that I admitted to her that I have totally lost my faith/belief. The argument that followed wasn't so bad, at least it wasn't as bad as previous arguments about other topics, so I take it as a good sign. Yet I still fear the damage this has caused to our relationship and marriage.

That's why I agree: Religion Poisons Everything. And it looks like it is the most insidious of all poisons. Because it comes with a built-in rationalization to the believers. You don't need a Rev. Jim Jones to shoot this cyanide down your throat. It's there when you are born, when you are raised, all the way until you grow up. Infesting your being a little bit each day.

The best we can do is live our lives as best we can.

All the best.
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31-05-2013, 09:14 PM
RE: Atheist/Christian Relationship: A reflection and realisation
OG sorry to hear about your problem. I agree that she does not love you enough to scratch through the surface of your true self. It's amazing that the Christian's "love" only goes so far. I applaud your steadfastness and could only say: keep it up! You'll find someone of like mind soon.

I just want to say also, that your post helped me a lot. You see i'm going through a similar situation but I'm married to a believer. It was just last night that I admitted to her my unbelief, and I am afraid it may have damaged our relationship. I'm still optimistic though that her rational though would prevail, but the sliver of fear is there. Religion is an insidious poison. Perhaps the most insidious of all.
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07-06-2013, 09:56 AM
RE: Atheist/Christian Relationship: A reflection and realisation
(31-05-2013 09:14 PM)ivaneus Wrote:  OG sorry to hear about your problem. I agree that she does not love you enough to scratch through the surface of your true self. It's amazing that the Christian's "love" only goes so far. I applaud your steadfastness and could only say: keep it up! You'll find someone of like mind soon.

I just want to say also, that your post helped me a lot. You see i'm going through a similar situation but I'm married to a believer. It was just last night that I admitted to her my unbelief, and I am afraid it may have damaged our relationship. I'm still optimistic though that her rational though would prevail, but the sliver of fear is there. Religion is an insidious poison. Perhaps the most insidious of all.

Best of luck to you, glad I could be of some help. Hope you come out of your struggle better than I.

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