Ever lose a friend?

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2008
Ever lose a friend?
10
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 6:30pm

I've lost a couple of friends due to being atheist. I'm probably about to lose another.

A core value of mine is to be honest with my friends. I never lie to them. If they ask a question, I answer it fully.

Today my friend and I had the day off work so we decided to ride bicycles together. About an hour into it we decided to take a brake. We were sitting at a picnic table and I said, "Well as you know I'm not religious, but it is like what the preacher said yesterday..." when suddenly I looked up at her and realize what I'd just done. She apparently didn't realize that I was not religious.

So then she asked me a barrage of questions and I answered. Oh wow... That did not go well. I was quoting scripture from my past and explaining why I felt the God of the bible was evil and unworthy of worship. Telling her that was gut wrenching for me because I KNOW how dearly and deeply she holds her religion. I just wanted to shut up, but she asked the questions and my core value of full honesty wouldn't let me bite my tongue. I kept apologizing for what I believed. I kept hoping she'd see how much distress I was in and say, "It's OK, you don't have to answer."

Then she asked, "Well why'd you go to church with me yesterday?" and I said, "Oh. Just to hang out with you."

I hate losing friends for this reason. I lost one in college over ten years ago and one at work about six years ago.

Past friends and family members have told me I need to stop being so honest. They say I should tell people, "I'm Southern Baptist." I just can't stand lying.





iVillage Member
Registered: 05-11-2007
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 7:54pm

but why should you lie? why should you have to? You don't expect your friends to lie about or downplay their beliefs do you?

I accept and understand that some of my friends are religious and that their faith forms part of who they are. I don't ridicule them or cut them out of my life for that and I would be very very disappointed and sad if they did that to me.

I think it plays into what I jokingly said on another thread. There's a misconception about atheists/agnostics not having a moral compass which means we're somehow dangerous (or something like that) to be around.

I'm sad that you will lose a friend over this and that you have lost friends in the past.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-06-2006
Mon, 07-05-2010 - 11:50pm

AW, I'm sorry!
It's sad if this friendship ends as you two seem to enjoy some of the same things and enjoy one another too.

I have lost friends over this and it always makes me sad. I know I could be angry about it. But, usually I just feel sad to have lost something so precious to me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 8:44am
I hope she gets over the initial surprise of your well thought out answers and sees that you're still the same person she was always friends with. How long have you been friends with her?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-1999
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 1:41pm

I was raised an atheist and so have gotten pretty good at reading people and knowing those who I can have a positive relationship and those who are too insecure to have an atheist friend. I keep the insecure ones at arms length and welcome in those the secure ones. It's been a very, very

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-10-1999
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 4:36pm

Ugh, I am so sorry your friend reacted so badly. It was a nice thing for you to say you went to church with her because you just wanted her company, I hope that is one of the things you said that stays with her.

I dont know how your conversation went or what details she asked for so I cant begin to judge how you handled it-besides, you didnt ask for that judgement anyway. I do know, though, that I have had friends in the past who described themselves as "being honest" but they were being more than that. They expressed opinions I didnt ask to hear...usually followed with "I can't help it, I am just honest."

So my point is, honest is "Yes, since you asked how that skirt makes you look, it DOES look a bit trampy." but not "Hey, Bertha, that skirt looks really tacky on you." when Bertha never asked.

Again, I have no idea how it really went and if she did indeed ask what your feelings were about God and Religion then she should have heard your answer just as only you can give it. If that's what she did, I really hate that she'd put you in that position only to potentially turn her back on you for your answers.

I am so sorry and I hope this works out for the best for you. Sending positive thoughts!

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Lisa
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2008
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 10:54pm
Maybe, but I'm doubting it. She canceled our bike ride today. We'd been friends for almost four months. I don't make friends easily so I cherish those who do accept me and want to hang out. Oh well...




iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2008
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:04pm
Quote: "I would never have told this woman that I thought the god she believed in with all her heart is evil. What is the point outside to hurt?"



Simple. She asked. I answered. She asked me, "Why aren't you religious," so I went into my entire religious background from the time I was an active member of the church in my teens to my current state in my thirties. I really hate telling the story to religious folk. :(




iVillage Member
Registered: 08-15-2008
Tue, 07-06-2010 - 11:15pm
Quote: "Again, I have no idea how it really went and if she did indeed ask what your feelings were about God and Religion then she should have heard your answer just as only you can give it. If that's what she did, I really hate that she'd put you in that position only to potentially turn her back on you for your answers.



I am not a closeted atheist so I assumed everyone including her knew I wasn't religious. I mean, I've always been very supportive of her religious beliefs. She's going through a hard time and it brings her comfort so of course I want her to be happy. I attended church with her just to hang out and take notes. Still, I didn't realize she thought *I* was a Christian.



*I* slipped up when I said the phrase, "Well as you know I'm not religious, but ..." She then asked me specifically, "Why aren't you religious?" at which time I gave her the full truth about my past and how it ties into my present.



Hearing what I had to say may have been disappointing and painful for her to hear, but it was equally disappointing and painful for me to say while looking at the look on her face. Making friends is very rare and difficult for me. She canceled riding bikes today so I think it is highly likely I've lost one of my two friends.




iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-1999
Wed, 07-07-2010 - 10:00am

If you hate it, don't tell it. Believe me, the majority really DON'T want to know even if they ask. Just say it's a long and very personal story. Being an honest person doesn't mean you spill your guts to everyone who asks. Personally, I don't want to know why every individual is religious. It's fine that they are but I don't need the dirty details. I've heard it enough. They don't really want to know how unbelievable I find their religions, how silly, how totally unphathomable. How many people really have the ego to hear that about something they have shaped their whole life around? How does it help them or you? What they want to know is that you don't look down on them for their beliefs and once that is expressed, they are satisfied.


Going to church with her without her knowing was likely the most betraying. She's

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-12-2006
Thu, 07-08-2010 - 6:31pm

I'm sorry that you may have lost a friend for simply spilling your heart.

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