How to Avoid Uncomfortable Conversations about Religion

Ah the internet. Such a font of fantastic, novel, and often useless knowledge. One of my favorite sites to read for fun is The user-created content there is often worth reading if you need some simple advice on how to handle different situations. Some of these wiki entries apply directly to secular folks like you and me. Do you have a friend who wants to ask you how your spiritual walk with god is going? Is your brother confronting you at an awkward time about your lack of church attendance? Do you just want to avoid debates on religion all together? Check out this bit of wisdom about how to handle acquaintances, family, or friends when they want to talk about spiritual matters:

How to Avoid Uncomfortable Conversations About Religion

[caption id="attachment_1834" align="alignright" width="242" caption="Photo by hovering dog ("][/caption] from wikiHow There is a time and place for everything under the sun, including discussions about religion. Whether you are religious or not, if someone is trying to draw you into a conversation, or perhaps an argument, regarding religion or morality but the timing and situation is awkward and uncomfortable, this article will help you find a way to avoid a heated debate as politely as possible.


  1. Resist the urge to argue. It's difficult to overlook a statement that seems completely ignorant and ungrounded, and you'll likely have the urge to correct the person. Instead, smile and say "Interesting..."
  2. Meet it head on with honesty. Be true to yourself and your own feelings. Say "I'm not comfortable talking about that and I'm just not willing to have this conversation..."
  3. Redirect the conversation.
    • Ask about their children, significant other, health, or job.
    • Make an absurd joke to deflect the seriousness of the situation. For example, try: "Religion? No, I haven't seen that movie." Or: "Religion?! What . . . do you get that at, like, Wal-Mart or Starbucks or something?" Or: "No thanks. I haven't been able to talk about religion since the last time the Cubs won the World Series."
    • Dead pan, "I am sorry. I have a firm rule to not discuss politics or religion with anyone I've not seen naked." That usually ends the discussion rather abruptly, and on a light-hearted note.
    • For people who are insistent on discussing religion, however, they're likely to return to that topic quickly, so keep the conversation flowing at the level of small talk until you can do something else.
  4. (more…)


Tis the Season for Giving… to the Right People

Salvation Army One positive aspect of the December holiday season is an increased awareness and practice of altruism and general good will. I admit I get the warm fuzzies when Christmas nears and feel tender towards those in need when the temperatures drop. It's a shame that my selfishness overwhelms me most of the year. I'm guilty of not giving nearly enough of my time, money, and possessions as I could. One of the most popular and visible American charities during the winter season is The Salvation Army. I remember each year as a child getting one of my favorite toys out of my closet or off of my bed, washing it, and taking it with my siblings and their toys to the local Salvation Army donation center. My father would lead us inside, and we left those cherished bears, dolls, and action figures in a box for children who didn't have what we were fortunate enough to own. It taught me that I should give from my valuables--not my trash--and that I should never forget those in need.

Should we support the Salvation Army?

The wonderful ZJ of, youtube, and twitter just posted a through-provoking video on why supporters of GLBT equal rights should not donate to the Salvation Army. Check out the video! (more…)