May 24, 2009

Friendship

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.  

6 comments:

  1. I agree. Accepting and ignoring something that important makes a relationship seem shallow. I want to be able to discuss and even argue about the most important things in life without worrying whether the friendship can last through it.

    Of course most (not all) of the "religious" people I know actually don't want to talk or think about their religion in any critical, searching way.

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  2. Awww, you're so cute :) And, you're right. We've got a great group of friends. And, it just doesn't matter when the person is more important than the issue. See you tomorrow...

    Mo

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  3. Wow, what a great post. You're right about our friends, and SO right about the overall point- I never thought that about "acceptance" before, though I've felt it. There are so many issues that this touches, and I wish more people just didn't care.

    Well, you know what I mean!

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  4. Yes, I agree real friendships transcend many things. There is not much you could say or reveal that would keep me from being your friend. Mainly because I like you! I feel lucky to have our homeschool group - I'd be a sad sack without you guys. See you tomorrow.

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  5. Great post! I have frequently had that same nagging feeling that you described. It's not that people accept (or don't) that I'm an atheist, or that I accept that someone else is a fundamentalist Christian. It's just that it doesn't matter.

    When I'm watching a zombie movie with friends, nobody is thinking about religious beliefs. When I take my daughter to Build-a-Bear Workshop, I'm not thinking about whether stuffed animals confirm my atheism. It just doesn't matter.

    Nice to hear someone else has that same feeling. :-)

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  6. Rolfe- I've found the same thing with religious people not discussing their beliefs seriously. One reason my fried Mo and I set out to read the bible was because we felt we were going to be able to discuss it with very devout people that were comfortable enough to handle our criticisms and questions. Boy were we wrong!

    Mo, Kit, and Grace--I love you ladies with all my heart! Sorry Tuesday didn't work out but I'll see you all soon, I'm sure!

    Dan- thanks for the comment and the compliment. :)

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