Can atheist have close friendships with the devoutly religious?

Most of my friends have been religious to some degree because where I live has a high percentage of religious people. Seems like a church on every corner. I don’t have any close friends any more that I’d consider devout christians except one very old friendship from high school, and I’m not really sure how close that friendship is. We keep in touch, but if we lived closer I’m not sure we’d see each other that much. I’ve broken off dating people when I realized our views on religion wouldn’t mesh. I couldn’t imagine marrying someone who insisted on filling our children’s heads with that B.S. Most of my friends consider themselves christians, but every devout christian I thought of as a friend has sided with Trump and that was the end of that :slight_smile: , pretty much by mutual agreement. Do other atheist manage to have close friends who are devout christians, or even manage to stay married to one?


Well, my mother was a devout Catholic. All of we four siblings are atheists. We were all very close to mum.

Apart from that I haven’t had devout friends since I was 20 and in a church youth group. It’s not that I intentionally avoid them. I just don’t seek them out either. Perhaps it helps that it’s very hard for me to make friends . I’m very picky and it takes a very special person to put up with me, truly. I hate to feel tolerated. I find that insulting. It’s far more honest to reject outright.

I guess because of the Aspergers I’m a hard person to like… It’s not that I’m all that different on a forum, but there’s so much less of me.

It can happen, I’ve been married to my wife who is a devout christian for almost 39 years.

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My ex wife allegedly had no religious beliefs when we were married. After 8 years she went back to the Catholic church. I think her contempt for me probably started about then. She left 4 years later.

My first girlfriend was chronically catholic, as was I at the time. We met again 30 years later and managed a casual friendship for awhile. By that time each of us had become an atheist. I got very bored with her very quickly. Amazing how different a person can seem when perception is not filtered through rose coloured glasses and lust, not to mention time ----I was so fucking glad we had not married.

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I’m glad being an atheist didn’t hurt your relationship with your mother @boomer47. Mine either. Always felt that unconditional love from her :slight_smile: . One of the many heinous things about religion is that it can break up families. I’m sorry if it played a part in your marriage ending. I’m curious, and you seem a reliable source of information :slight_smile: , how does divorce work in the Catholic religion? I thought it was totally verboten. Jackie Kennedy, a one time much beloved first lady here in the U.S., I think was excommunicated for just daring to marry a man who was divorced. Maybe not excommunicated, because I remember a distinctly Catholic feel to the televised parts of her funeral. I think an archbishop gave her eulogy or something. Did she just get special treatment?

Me too.

Dad was a different story.

First it was about all the money he had spent sending us to catholic schools.(which we all hated, and begged to leave) After that he just sniped, until he went gaga in the early 2000’s.

Dad was an emotional bully and could be a real cunt. Of the four sibs, only the youngest liked him. It was no hardship not to see him. Sadly that meant not seeing mum as often as I would have liked. Saw a lot more of mum after dad went into care, where he eventually died.

The guy I hang out with most here in Yeosu, Soho, is Christian. He prays for me. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, His favorite dig… “What happened to you?” Perfectly okay because I don’t give him an inch when he says stupid shit. I imagine if he supported Trump we would just banter back and fort the same way,… Problem is, there was no alternative to trump. You can’t possibly think this Jackss who is in office now is a step up. America if FUCKED… just get used to the idea’ Our government is going down the toilet. The Police State is taking over. The New World Order is an American Police State.

You are right Cog. Things would be sooo much better if the insurrection had found and executed Pelosi, Pence and those nasty socialist brown people. Then we would have had a pure, right thinking Murica based on ideals of freedom and…oh wait…

Maybe taxing a few billionaires would be a better way to go?

Like anything… maybe.

IMO who was an alternative to Hilary? Hahahahaha. Oh god - disaster or chaos - it was a great choice back then. I rooted chaos! Plus when HAD anyone in American politics broke through the Democratic Republican brown-nosing “boys club” and lobby interests “first”? tRump wasn’t really a Republican and had leaned Democrat before. From an outside view - I thought :thought_balloon: hmmmm - this maybe interesting. And it was (to a degree) - not off to a bad start.

Too bad he himself was a piece of narcissistic shit. A boss. A loser.

One thing… positive as a take away, is someone could again break the “mold”.

Don’t forget - you have a voice. You do get a turn with your local representatives - legislation changes over time.

The vote works as it should. Biden won. But, also we (the world) learnt that the division of powers was one of the most intelligent approaches to any democratic system - it works.

With “Biden” comes a host of new and old legislators. The “boys club” is weakening and there are incredibly intelligent people within government who care for human wellbeing and balancing “rights”.

This a a small step towards positive. That is all any citizen of any country can continually push forward with.

Geeez And I thought I was a pessimist :slight_smile:. I for one am relieved that we no longer have a president who doesn’t even have the knowledge about viruses we’d expect from a 12 -year-old while thinking he knows more than people who have spent their lives studying them. I’m relieved that our new president doesn’t brag about assaulting women and make it seem an okay thing to be doing. I’m relieve that Biden will never send and angry mob after the vice president and other legislators who refuse to do illegal acts for him. I’m relieved that our president isn’t into crack pot conspiracies and/or encourages the people who are. I’m relieved that he doesn’t give every indication of embracing white supremacist. Do I wish we could have better elected officials across the board? Of course, but at least we no longer seem to have elected the worse America has to offer as president.


Don’t tell me you’ve just realised that?

Imo Trump is a symptom not a cause. He or someone like him was inevitable.

The US was fucked as soon as it ignored Dwight Eisenhower’s warning against the Military Industrial Complex.

If you haven’t seen it, I recommend the excellent documentary on Gore Vidal “The United States Of Amnesia” (2013)

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Seen it and agree. //////

I stay in India, and as far as I know most people around me don’t even have an idea as to what atheism is.
I dunno about “devoutly” but everyone I know is religious, I always make it a point to ask them about their beliefs.
So…yes. Atheists can have close friendships with religious people. I have dated religious people. It’s slightly annoying at times, but thats all there is to it.

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Can’t comment about those around you.

However, I once came in contact with an Indian man on an atheist forum. He was adamant that he was both a Hindu and an atheist.

Hinduism is staggeringly complex, at least to this westerner. Seems to me it can vary enormously depending on who you ask. On one hand a person might revere the cow and worship say Vishnu, Ganesh and Krishna, plus personal minor god(s) . Or be a strict monotheist who insists that all gods are but a reflection of the one god, Brahman.

I have been interested in Indian history, culture and religion for over 40 years. Even spent a couple of years at university studying aspects of the caste system. I remain stunningly ignorant. (Gee, I wish I could read Sanskrit)

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In the Hindu faith, you are god, , or , god is within you. There is no escaping this. So if you do not believe in God or gods, it is God playing hide and seek with himself.

It appears to me that the man was in fact a walking contradiction. If his lot in life was to be an atheist and that was how God was unfolding within him, why would he know about it? Either the God within him was not a very good Atheist or he was not very good at being a Hindu.

Wow this has been up awhile and I missed it.

Most if not all the people I smoke pot with are all Christians.

All my friends would say that they are Christian, most of them aren’t really.

We have very close family friends with whom we spend a lot of time. They take their religious views relatively seriously and our late night discussions tend to gravitate towards religion, my atheism and their Christian views.
It is awesome to have friends with whom you can openly disagree and debate without either party taking offence.

I know that both , especially the husband of the couple, experiences extreme discomfort when confronted with evidence in contrary to his believes. I can see in their body language and in their eyes that they often cling to their views only out of what they were taught and not what they think.

It does pain me to see this, but I will not be dishonest when asked my opinion. If you feel uncomfortable discussing religion, then don’t.
You are not uncomfortable with my views, you are uncomfortable because of your cognitive dissonance.

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Yes it’s possible to be a Hindu and an atheist but you have to believe in things like karma and past lives for it to have any connection to Hinduism.

Oh, it’s complex to everybody. We have family deities, ethnic deities, personal deities, personal or family philosophies and traditions, a bunch of other stuff. My family deity is supposed to be an incarnation of goddess Saraswati so we just pray to Saraswati instead (on most occasions). Stuff like this adds more and more gods to worship.

40 years is a long time- that’s really amazing.
The caste system oof…it’s a massive mess.
I assure you I might be even more ignorant than you on these things…I always questioned Hinduism and thought it wasn’t worth my time. Like half my life (I’m 18). Talking to most hindus about their faith is an extremely touchy thing in the first place (the older generations especially).

No true Scotsman fallacy.

Being say a Christian or Muslim is about belief, not behaviour.

An unfamiliar person might make that claim of Aussies because it’s considered rude to question people about their beliefs. It’s not a matter of being uncomfortable, more matter of being indifferent.

I think Australian my have been one of the first christian nations to decide christianity (at least) was and is irrelevant to their lives.

The catholics use the Nicene creed to determine if a person is a catholic. A person attests to believing the contents of the creed. It was composed and ratified in the fourth century.

"We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God,] Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds (æons), Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;
By whom all things were made [both in heaven and on earth]; by whom all things were made;
Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary, and was made man;
He suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered, and was buried, and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. from thence he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead. ;
whose kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Ghost. And in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.
In one holy catholic and apostolic Church; we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
[But those who say: ‘There was a time when he was not;’ and ‘He was not before he was made;’ and ‘He was made out of nothing,’ or ‘He is of another substance’ or ‘essence,’ or ‘The Son of God is created,’ or ‘changeable,’ or ‘alterable’— they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church.] "

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Yes, you are correct, but let me defend my reason for the statement. (even though it is still wrong)

I just always thought that believing in something changes my behaviour to reflect that believe. If I believe I will burn in hell because of whatever silly reason, I would avoid doing that silly thing.

I understand that it is considered rude, even here it would be considered maybe not rude, but definitely intrusive.
It does not come up in general conversation, but with good friends discussing the ‘depth and meaning of life’ it pops up.
We do not consider it rude in such circumstances.

In most South African churches the Apostles creed can be heard.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Holy Catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.