Christian friends
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05-09-2016, 04:06 AM
Christian friends
So I have sort of an issue/question. I just recently came out to most of my close friends and two of them were very understanding and were interested in hearing about my deconversion process, but one of my other friends doesn't seem to care at all.

I was actually kind of scared to tell her and when I did her only response was well I'm sad and need to think about it. I can understand her being sad but me not believing in God anymore really has nothing to do with her. Anyways she didn't talk to me for a couple of days and when we did start talking again she said she loves me no matter what I believe and then said we don't have to talk about it though, and so we didn't.

Well a week or two later I told her I really don't mind talking about what I believe in and that I actually really enjoy having conversations about religion and beliefs. I also told her she really got the short version about why I don't believe anymore and I'd love to tell her why I no longer believe but she doesn't seem to care at all.

If the roles were reversed, even if I were sad that my friend no longer believed in something that was very important to us, I would be curious to know why they no longer believe.

I don't understand why she doesn't care at all to know what's going on in my life. Every time we talk she always tells me about things god does in her life and what she's learning about him and I even told her I'd still like to hear about that stuff but she doesn't care to hear about the things going on in my life.

Part of me is angry and feels like she's not really a true friend if she doesn't care, but I know how Christians think and how they can live in a bubble sometimes and so I'm sure she's formed her own conclusions as to why I'm no longer a christian so she probably doesn't feel like she needs to hear my side of the story.

She's basically like a sister to me but now I'm afraid this will drive a wedge between us. Has anyone else experienced something like this? Any advice on how to deal with a friend like this?
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05-09-2016, 04:16 AM
RE: Christian friends
Hug
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05-09-2016, 04:44 AM
RE: Christian friends
Hey if she likes you and was possibly thinking of... y'know, getting together with you... then of course it concerns her. Religious people don't like "being unequally yoked" Rolleyes So let's say she thought you were really nice and then you up and tell her you're an atheist. Now she has to decide, do I go after this person or do I do what the church told me to do and leave him/her alone?

My advice, for what it's worth, is give her a bit of time and don't force the conversation to be about your beliefs. If she accepts you for who you are without wanting to probe deeper that's good. She might be scared of being forced to question her own beliefs if you constantly want to discuss your newfound atheism with her.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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05-09-2016, 04:50 AM
RE: Christian friends
I've noticed that most christians tend to get uneasy if i ever bring up the topic of not believing in their god. They don't like having their bubble burst. The idea that someone doesn't believe in their imaginary friend sends them into panic mode. Which is a shame because i enjoy talking about religion.
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05-09-2016, 05:15 AM
RE: Christian friends
I would echo Dark Wanderer in some ways.

When you have something, a belief say, one might feel insecure regarding any perceived attack on that belief.

Even some atheists might feel concerned if an atheist friend saw the light and was enthusiastic about telling you all about it. The more enthusiasm the more the sense of "attack" and insecurity.

"I am happy for you. You have retained your basic personality and I still love you for that. But I do not want to know the details in case it sows doubts in my mind."

Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.
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05-09-2016, 05:25 AM
RE: Christian friends
She's likely a victim of the fears that religions foster to keep them from straying. At the very least it is normal for somebody to be wary of questioning core beliefs. The best thing you can do may be to show her by example that you are the same person and that you are happy and just be open to discussing it when she is ready.

It's fairly typical for new atheists to want to shout it from the rooftops but if your activism is the reason you may lose a friend you should consider if it is worth it in that case. You aren't under any obligation to force others to listen if they are not ready. Remember, you are the one who changed, not her.

Atheism: it's not just for communists any more!
America July 4 1776 - November 8 2016 RIP
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05-09-2016, 06:02 AM
RE: Christian friends
It seems clear that she really doesn't want to discuss this for now. To me, good friends respect each other's space. If I were in this situation, I would not keep bringing up the subject.

Big life changes tend to make many of us a little evangelical, in the sense of wanting to spread the good news, and also in the sense of making it seem--for a while--as if one particular aspect of our lives is the defining one. People do the same sort of thing when they change their diets, stop smoking, go on exercise programs, have children, etc.

It's also possible to read your post as a description of an asymmetric friendship: she wants to tell you all about her life and concerns, but isn't interested in your reciprocating. If she shuts you down when you talk about non-atheistic stuff, then maybe she's not really that much of a friend, and you can shift your energies elsewhere.
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05-09-2016, 08:43 AM
RE: Christian friends
(05-09-2016 04:50 AM)Dark Wanderer Wrote:  I've noticed that most christians tend to get uneasy if i ever bring up the topic of not believing in their god. They don't like having their bubble burst. The idea that someone doesn't believe in their imaginary friend sends them into panic mode. Which is a shame because i enjoy talking about religion.

^^^^^^ This.

I liken religion to a conga line: it is fun when everyone is in line but when people step out, you start to see that conga lines are kinda dumb.

I know that isn't a blanket statement for everyone by any means, but I feel that most christians only want to talk to other christians because they don't really want to know why YOU no longer believe because you might actually make sense. It seems to often fo back to fear.

"If we are honest—and scientists have to be—we must admit that religion is a jumble of false assertions, with no basis in reality.
The very idea of God is a product of the human imagination."
- Paul Dirac
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05-09-2016, 11:18 AM
RE: Christian friends
Thanks for all the responses Smile

I'm not really all that vocal about my atheism, so I know I'm definitely not shoving done my friend's throat or anything, but i agree with Morondog, Dark Wanderer and Gloucester that sometimes Christians can't really handle someone else's doubt. Also, the conga line example is a great one haha.

I was also thinking about it, and my friend is the type of Christian who probably things I'm being attacked by some sort of spirit or demon or something so maybe she is freaked out haha. I also think it's good advice to just keep being me and show her i'm really the same person.

I remember as a Christian I used to think atheists were terrible lost people who were hurt or angry or just in denial about god, and saw them in this really weird perspective, but now that i'm on the other side I see how wrong that is to view people like that. I really wish my friends could have the perspective I have now, but I realize were all on our own paths in life.
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05-09-2016, 11:53 AM
RE: Christian friends
Accept her for who she is. She appears to have done that for you.

It may not be that she doesn't care so much as that she simply can't understand what you're saying. She has no framework on which to hang the concepts that you're talking about. The ones that she does understand may well interact poorly with her beliefs, causing her some psychological distress. If that's the case then she's doing the smart thing by avoiding the topic.

The best thing you can do is to just be a good friend regardless.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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