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Importance of friendships.

When growing up I had a group of high school girlfriends I was very close to. We all went our separate ways after graduation and didn’t really keep in touch, but when I was going through my divorce, we started reconnecting on Facebook. They are now my rocks and I love each of them dearly. They are all religious to varying degrees. One of them just got her doctorate in theology. They all know my views on the subject and it has never been an issue with us. I have had religious discussions with some of them, but it has never gotten heated or hurtful. Luckily we love each other regardless of how each of us thinks. How important are your friendships and have you lost any friends over differences in beliefs.

Alliegirl 7 Feb 4

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17 comments

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1

So good to hear.

0

I haven't lost any relationships over my unbelief. But I'm pretty lucky that way. Extended family is very unconditionally loving despite many of them being fundamentalists. My late prior wife was unperturbed by my deconversion when it happened; our relationship was based on mutual interests and mutual respect, not on ideology. My siblings haven't given me any grief about it and my parents died before my deconversion but they would not have been problematic either. I have one set of friends I hang out with who had already accepted another atheist into their group without incident, so no problems for me there. My customers are simply unaware of my beliefs (as they should be; telling them would be TMI anyway). Other casual friends are also uninformed, and probably will stay that way, based on the general taboo against discussing religion or politics in polite company.

My friendships aren't super deep, I make friends slowly and am not very social or much of a joiner, so it's fair to say that the only relationship I would not want to lose is with my current wife, who is a lifelong unbeliever. So I have no real risk exposure, other than that I'm getting old, and would like to not be the guy they find dead in front of the TV after 2 years only because his auto bill pays quit working or something. For this reason I've been making more of an effort to find committed, "meaningful" community; my existing friends are all older than me. It's slow going. You're fortunate to have committed friends.

1

That is really great that your group can hold different beliefs and treat each other with respect about it. It reminds me of my son, when he was about 10, canoeing at summer camp with kids with different beliefs. He talked about how 3 of them - a Catholic, a Jewish kid and himself (atheist/agnostic) had a deep discussion about religion, listening to eachother and treating eachother with respect. He wondered why adults can’t seem to do that..

Sad that kids have more maturity than adults.

1

My friends and I give each other grief over what we believe, or do not believe, but that topic has never been the source of a friendship ending

1

Friends. Either they were always moving away or my family was. I was always making new ones only to lose them. Consider yourself fortunate that you have these friends in your life. Then as an adult I lost friends because I made connections outside of what was acceptable in the 1960s, '70s, '80s. Black friends, gay friends, Judaic friends, foreign friends, Hispanic friends. Now I see that my pain at losing has resulted in a shift in acceptance of diversity . Except for the President.

1

I went to an all girl Catholic High School, graduated in 1973..Between politics and religion I cannot discuss much.

1

I always had a core group of friends and in middle and HS we did a lot together. I had one very close friend in HS and, after a 20 year period of disconnect, are still friends. He hates religion and feels pretty much as I on most subjects. Living in Seattle and being a part of various organizations I made friends and am still somewhat in touch.

Now I am here on an island. Fortunately it is not just any island but one with a tremendous, active, concerned eclectic community. I have so many friends I don't even know all their names. I have a couple of friends with whom I am very close. None are religious and the few who are are mildly so.

1

I have one middle school friend. She's religous. We don't agree on religion, but we don't talk about it either. She's in Oregon, where we grew up. The rest of my friends are from my young adulthood years. One high school friend is on my Facebook now.

1

I am an open book and i expect my friends to be open as well or we well never really be friends

2

I've made a few friends in the last couple of years, or so. Two of them are very important, supportive friends. One of them is currently going through chemotherapy. She is a candidate for stem cell therapy. My experience seeing my wife lose her fight with breast cancer causes me concern for this friend's condition. The cancer shows up in an x-ray all over her skeleton. I keep in touch through cell phone text.

5

My friends are my sanity. They saw me through the darkest moments of my life. I am closer to them than I am to my family.

4

Great post 🙂 Although I love my family dearly, I've always felt my close friends are the ones that I can truly connect with, share my secrets and innermost feelings with. My friends are the ones that I turn to when I go through emotional hardships. I've been blessed with many amazing friends over the years. As far apart as we are and as rarely as we see each other, we know our friendships are always there. I don't let religion and politics get in the way. I have several loving and kind Christian friends. I almost wanted to stop talking to a friend when she told me she's glad trump got elected. But as I said, religion and politics can't devide us. What's more important to me is good characters and a kind heart and believe me, those can reside in any religion/belief or non-belief and political group.

You probably heard of this many times but since we are both women here it goes again: "A friend is like a good bra: hard to find, comfortable, supportive, always lifts you up, makes you look better, never lets you down or leaves you hanging, and always close to your heart."

Cheers to friendship 🙂

3

My friends are also family as far as I'm concerned. When I need something I am much more likely to call one of my friends than one of my siblings. I know they'll be there for me. Most of them are not terribly, or not at all, religious. The few that are also respect my point of view and we get along fine. I generally don't stay close to someone who tries to shove their crap down my throat.

5

Friendships are important to me, and I have lost friends when I deconverted. It was a bitter pill to swallow, but I know my situation is not unusual, especially where I live. I'm glad you have enriching friendships with believers. I find that cultural Christians are less judgemental and more accepting than conservative Christians who believe that they shouldn't be "unequally yoked" with unbelievers according to the book they worship. I do have one conservative Christian friend who didn't dump me. But she talks about god a lot and always wants me to pray with her when "asking the blessing" before a meal when she visits from out-of-town, even at restaurants.

Are your friends conservative, moderate, or liberal in their beliefs?

3

those are some fine friends

2

I don't keep in touch with anyone from school .. and ive never gone to a reunion..
No interest on my part.. ????

2

I'm an extreme quality-over-quantity, socially-anxious introvert: I have a whopping 3 friends, and I'm totally fine with it. Never lost any friendship over beliefs. I thoroughly vet people before considering them a "friend"; I'd be surprised if any deal-breakers slipped past me.

Totally agree. Very poignant, described my modi operandi to the T....But was surprised recently when one of my closet friends advised his daughter to think back about 'what jesus would do?' In regards to a lost teenage tennis match. Had to do a re-adjustment, what would the Easter bunny do? ug...the whole thing was so backwards from an individual that has a degree in history from a major uc university that I am still a bit at a loss of the failure in one's understanding. The unlearning kids have to do from their parents sets the world more than a few steps back.

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