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I have a friend, who I bowl with. He often tries to convert me to Christianity. Today, he sent me a video about a bible quote narrated by Mike Huckabee. He told me to "take a good look at this, and consider what it means" in my life. When I told him I told him what I thought, he called me closed minded. I told him that if he's so concerned with people being open minded, he must at least consider the idea that HE is wrong. Otherwise he's just as closed minded as he says I am. He didn't respond, but instead proceeds, for some reason, to talk about how there are many atrocities committed in the world, "but none by Christians"...

I'm tired of being nice. But I bowl with him every week. I don't want a bad relationship with anyone, certainly not a team mate. I'll probably change leagues after this, but the season doesn't end until June. I also work at that bowling alley as the bowling league coordinator, so I will continue working with him, in some capacity, and I don't want to do anything to anger my corporate overlords.

I've tried to explain to him the issues I have with, not just his religion, but religion in general. And I've asked him to just not try to convert me. I'll respect his right to believe what he wants, if he respects my right not to.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

RundioII 5 Nov 15

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31 comments

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11

No atrocities committed by Christians !!??

What's he smokin' ?

I'd tell him - with a smile - that I enjoy the bowling thing with him, but I'll not partake in any more religious discussion - at all.

8

He digs Mike Huckabee? Really?

That dude is so deluded I don't think he'll ever stop unless you lie to him.
Tell him your boss at the bowling alley overheard you two discussing religion, and if you continue to do it with patrons he'll have to fire you. πŸ˜‰

7

Wear a yarmulke one week and then the following week whip out a prayer rug and ask which way is east. Try to convert him to the religion of the week in the interest of being open minded. Go all in and shave the head when it is time for Buddhism.

Also, be sure to thank him for helping you start searching and finding Allah.

You've got style. I like that.

7

You should have pointed out that being closed minded would have been simply refusing to watch the video, or dismissing it as soon as you watched it without giving a reason. Instead, you provided your honest opinion. Other than that, you responded perfectly. He himself is closed minded and therefore a shameless hypocrite.

Agree. I would also say/ask if you value our friendship you will put this matter to rest. If your religion doesn’t allow room in your life for friends who have differing beliefs and it’s important for your own salvation to abide then we’ve reached an impasse.

5

I make rational arguments for rational people, to let them know they're not alone. As to people of faith, I have no objection to their faith, I have no interest in it either, I merely point out that "FAITH" (unlike science for example) is based upon BELIEF, not EVIDENCE, therefore to try to twist the evidence to try to prove their faith, ironically serves only to demonstrate a lack of confidence in that faith!

Excellent comment!! Any ideas why I'm unable to "like" it?

4

Rather than ttelling your friend to respect your beliefs, you may want to consider asking him to respect YOU. (I do not respect some peoples' beliefs but try to respect them.)

I will try that. Thanks. πŸ™‚

However, I have told him more than once that I consider his attempts insulting not only to my inelegance, by to myself as a person. His response is always, "I'm sorry bud, but I feel super strong about this." (paraphrasing)

4

Tell him "your god made me an unbeliever. Who are you to question him?" πŸ˜›

OK, seriously, either you nip it in the bud and tell him no more religious talk, or you take him down the rabbit hole.

Example:

If there's significant evidence that the 1st five books of the bible are fictions and there is (known for decades) then there was no need for atonement, hence, Jesus has got a lot of explaining to do.

Since you are always adding interesting pieces of information I thought I would add some of my own.
There is a priest/historian named John Dominic Crossan who has written several books on the history of Jesus, 'The Essential Jesus', 'Who Killed Jesus' and 'Jesus a Revolutionary Biography'. He is an evidence based historian and offers a lot of interesting details. These books proved a turning point for me. For instance: I was in the military and stationed in a site at Sinop Turkey (it was considered a hardship tour and we named it the 'Sexless Society of Sunny Sinop by the Sea' -Black Sea). The base was called 'Diogenes Station'. I knew nothing of this philosopher until I read Crossan. Diogenes is considered the father of Cynic Philosophy (to experience true life one must life in a barrel with the dogs). He believed in rejecting societies mores to live the true life; basically being a hermit. Another amazing, recent book "The Stranger in the Woods' talks about the hermits life and philosophy. According to Crossan, John the Baptist, Jesus and Francis of Assisi were followers of Diogenes.

@JackPedio

A Cynic sage. Makes perfect sense.

Israelites.

4

I'm usually one for spirited debate, but I think your best bet might be to avoid engaging with him whenever he starts up his proselytizing engine. I'd just say something, with a friendly tone, like, "you're barking up the wrong tree," and refuse to talk about the specific points he's bringing up. It's clear he doesn't care for the discussion or have any interest in understanding your perspective, only the potential for conversion, so I'd recommend you steer the conversation away from anything that feeds his hope you'll change your mind and give him nothing to work with. I suspect he'll give up eventually, and you can keep your employer happy.

4

Tell him that you will not discuss religion with anyone, and put him on notice. If he starts remind him directly of that. If he persists, tell him directly that he is being disrespectful of you and your wishes and that you expect better of him. I have had to say that to a friend of over 50 years who has become a religious zealot in his old age. It finally stopped the conversion attempts.

3

Tell your manager and corporate overlords (well stated) about his harassment of you. You've done a fine job in your responses and his religious harassment is out of place and bounds. I would make it clear to the manager that if he isn't talked to and barred, should he continue, that you will be forced to personally address the issue. I would respond to any further harassment, by your team mate (he is not a friend), by falling to his feet and feign a retching attack. Do this every time he brings it up. Make it as real as possible so that it scares Hell into him.

And have it all in writing and signed. Document, document, document---- lest it be Rundio's ass out of a job and onto the street

3

He must be very thick,just look at the inquisition, crusades and the battles between the Catholics and Protestants. Then there was the new world and the Indians that were killed in the name of christ. Actually , you could go on& on about the Christians and the devastation they have caused.

2

I usually kindly say, "Sorry, I don't believe in blood sacrifice. I'm more at peace in my life without religion." If they continue, I smile and say, "I'm good," and walk away.

I often say, given the subject arises (thankfully, not too often), the 'bible' was never meant to be literally translated, the 'new testament' was put together by Constantine's Council of Nicaea in 325...at that point, they usually walk away confused or irritated, and if that doesn't do it, I tell them that one of the beliefs retained until 550, was the belief in reincarnation. They're pretty much speechless...lol
BTW too bad you don't reside in the NW; I'm in Portland OR, nice place. Just like great smiles....wishing you the best

2

Stop bowling with him. You have asked him to stop and he won't. He has the right to his beliefs but so do you.

2

I just got back from a bicycle ride with my friend, Joe (his real name), who is very conservative and goes to a Bible Church. He asked me today, "What would it take?" (By this I understood converting to being a political conservative, and probably, religiously as well.) I told him I don't know; "I'm an old fart set in my ways. I did not fall far from the trees (parents) that raised me and they were the most stubborn people I know." You won't win any "discussion" with this person, so don't try. Trying to explain your issues with religion won't get through. Insist on your right under the US Constitution to your pursuit of happiness which doesn't include being a Christian. This is how I communicate with Joe, "This is me. I see things differently." Religious are convinced that there is nothing better than being a Christian (I know. it's more like misery loves company, but you won't win that argument, either.), and they don't seem to be able to tolerate the differences in other people. They believe in a "one size fits all" religion. Yes, they are the closed minded. Let the corporate overlords know what you are up against. The devil makes me think of you telling your acquaintance that, due to his efforts you have decided to convert to Islam.

2

Well, to begin with Huckabee is a nut !!!

1
  1. You've made it clear to him that you are not into religion and you say that you are tired of being nice. 2. And, you say you'll respect his right to believe what he wants if he respects your right not to. 3. You are concerned about the reaction of your corporate overloards.

Is it possible in your corporation for you to talk over this situation with one or more of the corporate people? It would be good to know how they feel about what's happening to you. Some may see the guy's behavior as inconsistent with their purposes and goals for the corporation and disruptive to the achievement of their goals.

Regarding points 1 and 2 above, simply repeatedly tell him that you are not interested in religion. Do so in a simple manner, and repeat it like a broken record. Avoid discussing the issues with him. Avoid elaborating. Look him straight in the eye and stay completely calm and firm. Most likely he will recognize that he is getting nowhere with you and he will give up. But you need to be simple and persistent.

Consider the book titled, "When I Say No I Feel Guilty" at Amazon. It's excellent.

Good luck with this.

1

Live and let live, probably a good idea to set a some boundaries and not discuss religion or spirituality with him. Your co-workers or team mates and not friends... keep it simple!
I’d rather have a mind open by wonder then one closed by belief!
What do we all know really? People just walk around dead convinced of their truth, actually it’s more like we are all pretending. Religion is one of the biggest human dividers, next to politics and governments.

1

Suggestion: Stop bowling or go to a different alley.

You read the part about it's a 32 week long league, now 16 weeks in, right? Or the part about my being employed there?

Also, not sure you're a bowler, but typically bowlers don't stick to 1 center. We move around. I would see him at other centers.

You took it seriously. Sorry about that. Carry on, but if it begins to affect your average, I'd think about taking up golf.

1

Drop a reference to the crusades?

I instead dropped a reference to Catholics slaughtering the natives of Hispaniola (Modern day Haiti) in 1492 and the years to follow.

1

I was brought up Catholic and went to Parochial school all through my elementary years and was even an altar boy (very lucky I wasn't molested-it's called Black Collar crime). I still remember some important lessons: Pride is a sin and wearing one's religion on one's sleeve is a sin of pride. Jesus supposedly said to go to a town and preach but if the town does not accept you knock the dust off of your sandals and go to the next town. One that few hear of is the importance of 'Agape' love (love of god must not be for reward/punishment but because of pure love - it is about altruism).
Even though I live on a mostly liberal island there are religious people here. I once received a 7th Day Advocate pamphlet at my door. I took the pamphlet attached a copy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation newsletter and took them to the meeting hall. I left a message thanking them for their information and am including some of mine. That was a couple of years ago and have not heard back from them.
One additional thing most don't know is that the bibles in hotels are put there by the Gideon's group. One can buy warning stickers from FFRF and even 'steal' (a God will forgive you!) the books and dispose/hide them.

1

You cannot reason with certain people. The Spanish inquisition, The crusades, are just two of the atrocities committed by Christians in the name of god.

History is full of Christians committing atrocities in the name of God. It's easy to find justifications. One lasting atrocity--slavery--was justified via the Bible.

1

I am not sure whats worse, the Bible Quote, or the narration from Huckabee!
I think you should tell your friend to respect your beliefs and stop sharing material.
I have to deal with this a lot from my crazy Baptist relatives. Just tell your friend that you
would prefer not to discuss religion and politics for the sake of the friendship.

1

Don't talk to him anymore, find any way you can to shut him down and let him know you are not interested in that conversation, but don't try to convince him he's an idiot. Get away from him, change leagues the moment you can.

0

I've found the best way to deal with people like that is to gently mock them. When he says no atrocities were committed by Christians, you can reply, "Yah, that whole Dark Ages thing was just a Liberal Coverup." When and if he gets belligerent, you could ask him, "You pray to Jesus with that mouth?" You could make jokes, "If Jesus were alive today he'd tell you to knock it off." Or, "Oh, Mike Huckabee, yah, he's the guy who defends incest and child molestation."

Reason and logic doesn't work with these people. If it did, we'd be in a different place. So the best thing to do is turn their statements against them, gently, and humorously.

0

Surely your friend knows that US dropped an atomic bomb on Japan, sorry 2 that didnt just kill signed up soldiers - and the guilt it caused made many of the flying crew eventually take their lives. Plus Hiltler was a Christian and i don't blame churchgoers today for his wrongdoings. Its difficult. I used to tell all my friends about new music that I'd heard and therefore was evangelic about songs. Tell him you respect his private faith and his right to hold his belief, but you have rights too.

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