I have a friend I have known for 46 years, she is a Christian, she knows I am an atheist yet she continues to pray for my soul, gives me religious icons for my Birthday. This has been going on for 42 years. Now she wants me to pray with her. She feels I will find Jesus if I pray. I have about 6 friends who are praying for me at any given time, one is a born again Christian. Nothing worse than a born again Christian, they think they made some marvelous discovery and their conversations tend to be mostly about religion. One friend has said that I have no hope to be saved! My question is how do I find some normal friends and stop all this praying stuff :)
Dear Happy Atheist,
I think it is important to note that what your friends are doing is rude and you should call their attention to that fact. Sometimes, religious believers don’t realize that their continued religious harassment of atheists is actually impolite. My old roommate had a religious father who always sent him a super religious birthday card knowing full well that he wasn’t Christian. On the other hand, some Christians just don’t care if they are being rude or impolite.
Even though I am an atheist, I still have many religious friends and while I don’t hide my atheism and I certainly don’t shy away from discussing religious issues, I also don’t send Evolve Fish merchandise to them as birthday presents. In fact, I don’t know a single atheist who would be so rude as to tell a Christian friend that, “we will reason for them” except within the context of an ongoing joke or a vigorous religious debate in which the Christian prays for us first. Please know that they are the ones in the wrong here and you are a victim of their religious harassment.
I don’t think anyone should end friendships because of religious differences; however it is always nice to find a group of rational people to have intelligent discussions with. For you, Victoria, Australia is not far from the Global Atheist Convention in Melbourne, Australia. It’s almost a year away, but I am sure there are plenty of atheists in the area already. You might want to contact the Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc. and see if there are any meetings in the area.
For atheists in America, there is the United Coalition of Reason. Atheists can go to the UnitedCoR website and pick the city closest to them. That will take them to their local Coalition of Reason page. Each Coalition of Reason is made up of several local groups. These are great places to meet other atheists and humanists.
And if all else fails, there is always the internet. Atheists dominate social networks. :-)
If you have a question for the “Atheist Advice” series, send me your letters at [email protected] and put “Atheist Advice” in the subject line.
Please check out the Atheism 101 series for frequently asked topics.
If you enjoy this article, please share the link on facebook, twitter, reddit, and others. Be notified by e-mail about the latest articles by the National Atheist Examiner using the “Subscribe” button at the top of the page. Also consider hitting the “like” buttons at the top of the page.