Without friends no one would choose to live, though he had all other goods. --Aristotle
I wrote this this morning.
I realized last night while at our first annual homeschool PTA BBQ, that I had thrown out the word "atheist" a couple of times to no reaction at all. I'm pretty open about my non belief, but it really struck me last night that I have the greatest bunch of friends in the world. Although our beliefs (or non beliefs) can be very different, it's not what defines our friendships.
But something was bothering me. I couldn't seem to convey what I was trying to say. One problem is that many people know I am not religious and I am still accepted. The other problem is that it sounds as if I am always aware of atheism and how it plays out in my relationships. So I've been sitting on this post all day, trying to figure out what I don't like about it. Sometimes I write things that never get published because getting it out of my head is good enough. This one was nagging at me though. It's important for other non religious people to know that there is acceptance. And then it hit me. It's not about acceptance. It's that it didn't even matter.
My family still loves me and wants me around, but they don't understand. I have friends that have known me for years and we just don't talk about it. I also have some friends that I only met because of atheism. Those are all different types of acceptance.
Acceptance is a good first step, but it's usually not enough. When the color of your skin, your gender, your sexual orientation, or your religion, don't matter anymore because your relationships transcend them, that's what I felt last night. And that's what I wanted to write about this morning.