Being an agnostic is especially challenging when you're surrounded with religion family and friends. Often they will try to convert you to their religion, become hostile towards you or even disown you. What are your thoughts on how to retain a good relationship with religion people?
When they present me with religious literature and books, I tell them that I promise to read them, if they are willing to read my book collection and follow it up with a serious discussion. I have a friend who sends me religious stuff and I reply with atheist philosophy and literature, of which there is more than plenty. Her emails have become fewer for some strange reason.
I have always been an open atheist and usually enjoy getting into conversations about religion with friends and family, most of whom are religious. But some family members can not handle having their beliefs questions and have either stopped talking to me or have cut me out completely. I find it incredibly sad that people are willing to cut people out of their lives out of fear they might loose some part of their faith.
Honestly, the best way--if you're interested in keeping relationships with these people--is to avoid religious discussion, usually at the sake of your own self-expression. Sometimes, even "I do not want to discuss that" is enough for them to be angry. There really is no one way of dealing with their bullshit. The only thing that worked with my family was smiling and nodding, but I grew weary of that. Now, I don't give a fuck about keeping relationships with them, if they don't care about keeping them with me. Why should I? If that's enough for them to not want to deal with me, they do not deserve my company.
My mother has come around, over time. But it took a lot of work, a lot of intense arguments, insults to my parenting (you're just sending your child to hell, don't you even care?!), etc. But she finally got the picture, saw that I was ever becoming a better person, and she eventually stopped. She still prefaces some of her points with, "Now, I know we believe differently," which can be annoying, but we are much closer and more honest now. Though, we do avoid the topic of religion when possible. lol
I kinda lost my point in there. Lol. Hope this helps.
When I arrived in the United States, I was a known atheist. Most atheist communities actually closed their doors on me in times of need. I found a shelter with a United Methodist Intentional Community. They googled on me and found out that I was atheist. That didn't stop them from taking me in. For the last two years, I have observed them praying daily from 7;00am to 8:00am. At first, I pretended that it was meaningful to join them in prayer each day, well knowing that I didn't believe in it. One day I asked them if they will get upset if I stopped attending prayer and church? They all, 12 of them said, NO. We love you as a human being and we are not called to convert you. Since then, I am at peace with myself and them. They never discuss Jesus when I am with them. I never reference to Bible. The love I have received in this community,actually forced me to relax my open criticism of christianity for now. So, it's all about live and let others live as they wish.
All of my religious relatives years ago have snubbed me because I'm different than most people. My Atheist relatives accept me for the way I' am and I'm very happy about this.
After watching a video on Youtube 2 years ago, I became an atheist and as far as religious people are concerned, don't try to convert me and we will get along just fine, and if you do, I will tell you the truth that the bible is nothing but fairy tales.
I don't speak to my family anymore. I do have friends that are religious but they don't push their beliefs on me. They accept that we can have different beliefs and we still get along fine. They are good human beings and we have things in common besides religion. I don't condemn anyone for their beliefs. I can find enough in common with other humans and don't engage in debates about religion.
I struggle with this. My daughter's mother-in-law is very pushy about it. She's always bringing up the Bible, every chance she gets. I have told her on many occasions that I don't believe the way she does and never will, so let's not talk about it. She always looks astounded that I would say that. I never push my beliefs down her throat. I'm tired of having to ward off all these attempts to save my soul. As she's part of the family, I can't just avoid her, even though I would like to most of the time. She has said the most ignorant things about Darwinism and evolution that make me want to scream!
I got some, lived with one, (loved) many, I let them be. Don't try to convert, they know they can not convert me. Boundaries that make us live a civil life. Never been a problem so far. Nobody in my existence can say about me... "I remember when he was religious". I never was and that makes it easier I think.
When we get together all my four siblings talk pretty much only about the religion we grew up in even though they know I left. They talk as if I never left. No one ever asks what I believe. I love them but I find this completely insensitive. So I don't really like the little sibling reunions and try to avoid them. I go when I must, but say very little of course. I wait for the day when one them asks what I believe. They never have.
Yeah It can be very hard to deal with however I just basically tell people that I respect their opinions on religion and I support them and their right to believe what they want but I tell them that I expect the same in return and I don't want their religion pressed upon me or my children of course everybody thinks I'm going to hell which of course me being an atheist doesn't believe in such things it really doesn't bother me and personally if people don't want to talk to me whether it be family friends co-workers or whatever just because I don't believe in some character in a book then they aren't worth my time anyways and I'd rather be by myself in the first place