how to deal with Christian friends?
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22-01-2017, 01:52 PM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
(22-01-2017 01:28 PM)JHaysPE Wrote:  
(22-01-2017 12:15 PM)annie123 Wrote:  I don't think you understand my problem...I do not want to debate them. I want them to stay friends, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings and I don't want to cause them to lose their faith. I KNOW I am right, and I COULD debate them just fine , but there has to be a better way to deal with this?!
If they are your friends, they will remain friends if they are Christian. And I can understand your discomfort with them if they directly engage you about atheism all the time.

But, in my most humble opinion, if you are going to be uncomfortable about their habituated expressions of gratitude (i. e., thank God for mother's good doctor visit), then I find that to be a bit ego-centric. I would ask them to respect your decision to be atheist, and you should show them respect for their Christian expressions regarding their own personal experiences.

Again, just an opinion.

I do respect them. I just don't know how I should respond. Just say nothing?
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23-01-2017, 08:03 AM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
(22-01-2017 11:38 AM)annie123 Wrote:  So how does one best deal with Christian friends after you are no longer a Christian? Or coworkers, or neighbors or anyone else around you?

When I left the church I stayed in contact with plenty of people who were - and still are - believers. Some of them I still count among my closest friends. One in particular is a young-earth creationist. Thing is, I don't mind that he has those views because they don't impact me, he's not teaching children (both his kids are young adults now and living on their own) and he doesn't proselytize.

Religion and his belief in God simply isn't something we discuss. We talk sports, music, family, travel, vacations, cars (he races in the Canadian GT4 series), motorcycling... a thousand other interesting things.
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29-01-2017, 01:32 PM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
(22-01-2017 11:38 AM)annie123 Wrote:  I am a new atheist, but just about all my friends are still Christians, so are most the people around me. How do I deal with this? I have told my friends I am no longer a Christian, and they didn't really stop being friends.
And presumably you didn't want them to. This speaks well of them. Often you find out how few real friends you had, when you deconvert. You are fortunate.
(22-01-2017 11:38 AM)annie123 Wrote:  They just told me they will "pray for me" that I will "see the light' and return to Christianity.
Very common. Doubt and unbelief are so taboo and unthinkable that they will see it as a passing phase. Also deconversion is unthinkable, particularly if they know you as a devout believer.

This can go on indefinitely for some people; others may eventually be annoyed by it because you aren't coming around. My guess is you'll still have some of them as friends even then.
(22-01-2017 11:38 AM)annie123 Wrote:  But, their constant reference to god now bothers me, where before it seemed normal. How do I responds to them saying things like "please pray for so and so, she is sick" or " thanks be to God my husband got back ok from his trip" or " I will leave it in God's hands and it will work out".
Unless you are bothered because you correctly perceive this as a way to draw you back into participating in their shared illusions, you shouldn't be bothered. None of this is any skin of your back. They tell each other the same things and no one really expects prayer to change anything; it's more of a wan hope.

Personally I would play along or deflect, it's no skin off your back.

If they are being pushy or obnoxious then you are within your rights to just say that you prefer not to discuss such things anymore. But be sure you're right about that, and pick your battles wisely. As you say, you should be respectful of your friend's personally-held beliefs.
(22-01-2017 11:38 AM)annie123 Wrote:  What I want to say is " I don't pray, it doesn't work" , god had nothing to do with your husband's safe return, and god has nothing to do with anything working out, because he is not real.
This sounds like a carried-over need to be "right". Consider that fundamentalism is less about DOING right than about BEING right, and strive to remove this emphasis from your thinking.
(22-01-2017 11:38 AM)annie123 Wrote:  When I meet new people that are asking about my faith I mostly chicken out and tell them " we used to go to church until we moved' in a non committing way, and leave it at that...I really don't want to debate them.
Nothing wrong with that if you're not into it. It's none of their business. This is another likely carryover from your former faith: the compulsion to be hyper-transparent, to provide Too Much Information for fear of lying, at least by omission. After spending your life in an authoritarian environment, the notion that your private business is not other people's business takes some getting used to. Get used to it.
(22-01-2017 11:38 AM)annie123 Wrote:  Funny, my family is not much of a problem, my adult kids laughed and told me they stopped believing in all that some time ago, and just didn't say anything because they didn't want to upset me.
Join the club, my two kids did the same.
(22-01-2017 11:38 AM)annie123 Wrote:  My husband says he sort of misses church sometimes, and still believes in a creator, but he is not making a huge issue out of it. My father was always an atheist, and now I feel like an idiot having to admit to him he was right all along...Blush
There is no reason to feel like an idiot, literally. You're human. Here's yet another carryover from fundamentalism: you aren't used to the notion that you're allowed to be human, flawed, imperfect, even shitty now and then.
(22-01-2017 11:38 AM)annie123 Wrote:  So how does one best deal with Christian friends after you are no longer a Christian? Or coworkers, or neighbors or anyone else around you?
In practice I have found that one just carries on pretty much as before, they are no special problem. It is just a special case of the human condition, everyone harbors dumb ideas and has hang-ups, hot buttons, neuroses, compulsions, and generates emotional cross-currents and undertows that you have to navigate if you want to be part of their lives.

Over time you should strive to make new friends, some of whom can now be unbelievers. That way you don't have all your eggs in one basket.

Good luck!
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03-02-2017, 01:46 AM
RE: how to deal with Christian friends?
A quote that may or may not be from Dr. Seuss: "Do what you want to do, say what you want to say, because those who matter don’t mind, and those who do mind don’t matter."

In my opinion, life's too short to keep company that won't accept the true you!

If the pope went to Zumba class, then he may be eligible to spend eternity in my special unicorn mountain kingdom. Cool
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