Christianity

Atheists and Christians Should Be Friends

[caption id="attachment_2646" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="photo by Clare & James"]Friends[/caption] How diverse is your circle of friends? Are you surrounded by people of one belief system? Do you ever avoid getting to know people with vastly different opinions and convictions---even without consciously doing so? Why or why not? I don't understand why someone would choose to discount an entire group of people because of their belief or non-belief in deities. Unfortunately, I see this happening on both sides of the theism debate. (more…)

Christianity

How to Get Past the Anger

On reddit, droosa asks: I got to thinking about anger towards religion and religious people. I’ve had periods of vindictive, spiteful anger and other periods of peaceful disagreement. The angry times tend to drain all areas of my life and unfortunately it seems to be cyclical. So, redditors: How do Read more…

Christianity

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 WikiHow.com. 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 (flickr.com)"][/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.

Steps

  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…)