Rant on overly religious friends
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09-03-2015, 11:42 PM
Rant on overly religious friends
I bet everyone here in one way or another had this problem before.

I knew long time friends (10 years) who were absolutely great friends up until they found out about my lack of believe. I've never really advertise that I am an atheist. Everyone in my workplace (I'm a molecular bio PhD student) automatically assumes that I am. My long time friend however had a big problem with that. I came from a Muslim country where we had to declare our religion and have that printed on our ID. I was a "Christian" something that was just stuck on my ID from my teen days of trying to find my identity. I wasn't a devote Christian in any sense. I came from a Buddhist family, I went to church once in a while, and I thought the Revelation was a pretty bad fantasy short story. Back then my behavior is often overlook because I identify as a Christian (or maybe we were young and God is not as important as that cute guy that sits next to us).

However, lately the evangelizing have gotten pretty bad. What started off as a mild you need to start reading the bible or go to church has become you are being tempted by Satan and you'll burn for eternity if you keep it up. They have obvious problems with my career choice. Scientist are Satan's minion. We are there to deceive innocent human and lead them away from God.

I got into an argument with one of my said friend today. I just felt really offended and lost my cool. I shouted at her, telling her that I do what I do purely because I enjoy the thrill of being in the forefront of discovery. I felt alive being in the lab late at night knowing that I'm the first person to unravel the mystery of life however insignificant it might be. Identifying as an atheist doesn't change who I am. I'm still the same curious person that I was 10 years ago. The same person that gets excited at the thoughts of dissecting a frog in biology class 10 years ago.

After that she just broke down and cried. She truly believes that I have been led astray and that I will suffer the eternal torture in hell. Seeing her cry is just so hard to deal with especially when she actually genuinely believes that I will end up in hell. I just wonder what am I supposed to do? My relationship with her and the entire group of friends had just became so tiring and full of drama. How do i even get my point across. Can we ever just care for each other current well being without involving religion? Is it not enough that I am currently living a happy and fulfilling life?

If you are me, what will you do? Is there even a way to save this friendship?
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10-03-2015, 01:05 AM
RE: Rant on overly religious friends
(09-03-2015 11:42 PM)ari-019 Wrote:  I bet everyone here in one way or another had this problem before.

I knew long time friends (10 years) who were absolutely great friends up until they found out about my lack of believe. I've never really advertise that I am an atheist. Everyone in my workplace (I'm a molecular bio PhD student) automatically assumes that I am. My long time friend however had a big problem with that. I came from a Muslim country where we had to declare our religion and have that printed on our ID. I was a "Christian" something that was just stuck on my ID from my teen days of trying to find my identity. I wasn't a devote Christian in any sense. I came from a Buddhist family, I went to church once in a while, and I thought the Revelation was a pretty bad fantasy short story. Back then my behavior is often overlook because I identify as a Christian (or maybe we were young and God is not as important as that cute guy that sits next to us).

However, lately the evangelizing have gotten pretty bad. What started off as a mild you need to start reading the bible or go to church has become you are being tempted by Satan and you'll burn for eternity if you keep it up. They have obvious problems with my career choice. Scientist are Satan's minion. We are there to deceive innocent human and lead them away from God.

I got into an argument with one of my said friend today. I just felt really offended and lost my cool. I shouted at her, telling her that I do what I do purely because I enjoy the thrill of being in the forefront of discovery. I felt alive being in the lab late at night knowing that I'm the first person to unravel the mystery of life however insignificant it might be. Identifying as an atheist doesn't change who I am. I'm still the same curious person that I was 10 years ago. The same person that gets excited at the thoughts of dissecting a frog in biology class 10 years ago.

After that she just broke down and cried. She truly believes that I have been led astray and that I will suffer the eternal torture in hell. Seeing her cry is just so hard to deal with especially when she actually genuinely believes that I will end up in hell. I just wonder what am I supposed to do? My relationship with her and the entire group of friends had just became so tiring and full of drama. How do i even get my point across. Can we ever just care for each other current well being without involving religion? Is it not enough that I am currently living a happy and fulfilling life?

If you are me, what will you do? Is there even a way to save this friendship?


I never had this problem to be honest, a lot of my friends are Atheists, some are not but they know what I am and don't really mind. Those that tend to make it a big deal out of it I usually kick out of my life but I try to at least explain to them why I have that mindset. You could try to explain to your friends your not different than before, your the same person and try to have a friendship and keep religion out of the conversation. Find something you have in common, like maybe a band or movie that you like. Show them your not a Satan minion, your just a person who views the world in a different way. Try to get them to understand. If that doesn't work though, the friendship may not last long. For religious people they are pretty much brainwashed to have these certain beliefs that are hard to get rid of and they are taught these evil things like someone who doesn't believe in the same thing is evil and they should not associate with these evil people so their mind is set on these beliefs which kind of closes their minds to other viewpoints and make it hard tolerate people of other faiths or non faith.

tl;dr If you can't convince them to tolerate your world view and find some common ground and keep religion out of the friendship then it's probably best to move on because it's not easy to fix and you won't keep putting yourself in a situation where you feel bad over and over again, you'll be happier.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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10-03-2015, 09:50 AM
RE: Rant on overly religious friends
Obviously science is the Devil.

I think at some point they will come to grips with your non-belief and you can still be friends or they won't and your friendship will slowly dissolve because you'll get tired of hearing about hell and they won't listen to your opinion that hell isn't real.

Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.

-Carl Sagan
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10-03-2015, 10:04 AM
RE: Rant on overly religious friends
whats that phrase? Friends for a season.

it was good while it lasted, but just because they have been there the longest doesnt mean they are worth keeping.

people grow, hopefully mature, and learn. Sometimes friends do those things and end up in a different place. it happens.....even when you are in your forties Wink

it hurts to say goodbye but usually we know deep down when its right.

[Image: ce621b80a6ffdf98d224d43a026c5216.jpg]


surprisingly, sometimes they find their way back into your life after a twenty year hiatus and are in someways an old friend and some ways a new friend that you genuinely like.


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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10-03-2015, 10:08 AM
RE: Rant on overly religious friends
Hi there ari,
Funny enough I have just written a post about my issues with the church when it got personal in ways it appears that I'm having similar concerns to you. I wonder, do the people that are showing concern for me have genuine heartfelt concerns that I'm going to be off to hell - I guess it really bothers them.
I don't feel I have any advice for you at present but I can tell you that you're not alone.
I guess that the people I've had run ins with of late will soon enough move on to the next soul that needs saving and is more responsive to having it done, madness!

Good luck with it all though Big Grin

- Talking lions, magic wardrobes, witches with Turkish Delight - GOOD - Muggles, Quidditch and Dark Arts Lessons - BAD -
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10-03-2015, 10:13 AM
RE: Rant on overly religious friends
Just try to remember it's not your fault. It's the faulty beliefs yours friends have that are causing the problems.
I have many long time friends who are believers, the main reasons we still get along are simple.
I don't bring religion up unless asked, they don't either.
They are not fundamentalists, that is to say, they are not entirely devout in their beliefs. They are capable of being flexible.

Unfortunately, sometimes devout believers cannot be at all flexible and they will choose their god over you.
Try to look at it this way, do you really need friends who would discard you to keep their imaginary friend happy?
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10-03-2015, 03:23 PM
RE: Rant on overly religious friends
I have mentioned to such a friend that she was overstepping her bounds and if she doesn't wish to respect my choices, the friendship will have to end. That put the ball in her park. She opted to honor the friendship and remain mute about her beliefs.
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10-03-2015, 08:22 PM
RE: Rant on overly religious friends
Thanks for all the support. I was on the phone with her today. I did mention some of the points that were pointed out in the replies. Just like another poster (Takelababy) said, I make it clear that we should just care for each other well being without going into religion and learn to respect each other's believe.

She said she will pray about it and consult her church leaders about it. I'm actually rather frustrated and sad about it. The rest of you might be right. Maybe this friendship will end. How do you even get your reason across to someone who live her life based on a book? [/quote]
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10-03-2015, 08:46 PM
RE: Rant on overly religious friends
(10-03-2015 08:22 PM)ari-019 Wrote:  How do you even get your reason across to someone who live her life based on a book?

When it comes to religion, it's not easy, most found their own path out of religion. They don't usually teach reason, they teach that their religion is the one true system and everything else is lesser than them. They don't really listen if it doesn't agree with the beliefs planted in their minds. You can try your best and maybe she can learn to accept it but it is tough.

"If you keep trying to better yourself that's enough for me. We don't decide which hand we are dealt in life, but we make the decision to play it or fold it" - Nishi Karano Kaze
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10-03-2015, 09:31 PM
RE: Rant on overly religious friends
I could understand her wanting to pray about it- it's her default. BUT the fact that she has to get the ok from a church leader is fucked up. She has known you for years, she knows the kind of person you are.

Until she is willing to make her own decisions about who is or isn't in her life and on what terms, she will never be in charge of her relationships. Your friendship is being controlled by someone else whether imaginary or not.

You got plenty of new friends here though. Smile


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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