I think this is where I should put this.

I tend to lose a lot of friends whenever I debate over their religion, and I was just wondering if this was true for anyone else. I need to know if I'm an anomally, or perhaps it's where I live, or what it is that makes me lose friends, because I don't like it.

-Garrick, aka The McMaster

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I've never lost friends or family over it, but I've rarely known anyone who has been that submersed in religion.
There are good reasons for not keeping it quiet. When I last got together with my mother and one of my aunts, I made it very clear that if anything happens to me, I don't want a funeral in a church, and I certainly don't want some charlatan reading from a bible over my cold, dead body (which is the only way such a thing ever could happen). Not that I would notice or care, but still, I want to get through the only life I have knowing no frauds will profit from my death.
All of my close friends and relatives that I see regularly are Atheist so I can say nasty things about Jeebus without reproach. Although, a very close friend, who died several years ago, was a Methodist minister - we had great debates. He never attempted to convert me.
Its case of losing friends where you live and it is the case of buying enemies in our society. Looks in most of people's eyes tells the whole story of what they think of us and our athieism. Even in the faimly..... Sometimes I get fed up of my athieism thinking that while making no difference, its only the case of making more and more enemies, being cut off from the society. Its one way traffic, says one of my friend's. One can't go back to ignorance, what a pity.
There are times I think ignorance would truly be bliss.
This discussion could also have fit in the Family and Community category, which is for discussions concerning family, friends and community issues.

I don't debate people over their religion unless they bring it up. For the most part, I just want to be left alone to not believe in peace. I had already lost friends during my journey from Roman Catholicism through Neo-Paganism (with other stops in between), finally to atheism, so I wasn't too surprised when a few more people flaked off.

When the topic is raised, I will assert that I advocate a separation of church and state. Most of the religious and "spiritual, but not religious" people I know also support a separation of church and state. I originally came to Nexus looking for new friends, and that still remains my main reason for being here.

Moving around and shifting interests has also caused me to lose friends. People in general don't seem to be able to maintain long-distance friendships.
Ooooh, Family and Community... Why didn't I think of that?
Heh. It's still new. Maybe it hasn't lodged itself into your consciousness yet.
I debate with my friends on this subject a lot, but I've never lost friends over it. I suppose though, they usually are 'on the fence' or are atheist themselves.
My relationship with my mother on the other hand... she isn't a religious person. Church and religion is something she does out of routine rather than out of solid belief, so when I challenge her, it hits her harder because I think she doubts her religion a lot and feels guilty but tries to hide it.
I tend to associate with people with a similar world view. If I wanted to be friends with a religious person, I would simply not discuss religion with them. I would assume there are other things driving the friendship.
I used to be able to do that... I think it's easier for me when I'm a traveller, or living in a metropolis, where if you have 50 friends/acquaintances, you can compartmentalize. But I've just come back to living in a small town from years of travel, and I'm really feeling the pinch... There just aren't enough people you see on daily basis or meet up with to efficiently compartmentalise.

Which poses great a great philosophical conundrum for me, to big city or not to big city. This challenge also poses itself to small island states, such as Bermuda. When I sailed through there a few years back, the smallness was astounded me. Just imagine, say a woman is beaten by her husband, and she just wants to move away and start anew... how do you do that on a island that's only a couple of miles long...that their only passport!

I think that reflects on religious life on the islands and in small places in general: sometimes there's just no other choice than follow the majority if you want to live peacefully.

Luckily where I am now, tho small, has plenty of atheists, we just have to maintain this trend and novel influx of immigrants affect our society.




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