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Can you be friends with overtly religious people?

I don’t think I can.

A newly-retired acquaintance from work is showing herself to be overly religious, and tonight I told her to stop discussing religion because I’m not religious, and I feel she is pushing her religion on me.

If I were to become religious, I’d become a Buddhist, I told her.

She promised that religion will be off the table as a topic next time we meet. I don’t see this working out.

We meet only casually every couple of months for lunch or coffee. She was kind to me after my mom died, but I really can’t stand her overt religiosity. I feel a bit obligated because she called often after my mom died, but now I wonder if she was just wanting to convert me. It has become a chore to see her.

We are both women, and I also suspect she is a closet case. I am not out to her and do not plan to be. I need to get away from her and hoping that tonight was the first step.

by Anonymousreply 160March 21, 2023 3:07 PM


by Anonymousreply 1February 13, 2023 2:06 AM

You need to give her a chance OP. That fact that she took your comment to heart, rather than getting offended or downplaying what you fell, counts in her favor. See if she keeps her world and also if you actually have a nice time with her. If either of those are a no, politely distance yourself.

by Anonymousreply 2February 13, 2023 2:10 AM

The thing about work friends is that once you leave the job they fade away.

I've had some really good friendships at work but once we're no longer working together I have found that you rarely see them anymore. You can plan to grab dinner or drinks but it just kinda feels weird when you're no longer in the same job.

by Anonymousreply 3February 13, 2023 2:12 AM

[quote]Can you be friends with overtly religious people?

No. Overtly, zealously religious people are totally incompatible with LGBT people. Relationships are impossible because at some point they tell you what they think about gay people and it's never good.

by Anonymousreply 4February 13, 2023 2:14 AM

Ive never had any problem with it. I even had a friend who was a Jehovah Witness. Went to a service with her just to see what it’s like. It was pretty normal. Have a few close work friends who are observant Jews. Lots of black folks I know have been religious.

When I was growing up, I found Catholics to be terrifying. They ran in packs and had weird hang ups. But seems like only the elderly buy into catholic crap anymore.

Anyway, as long as the person isn’t using their religion as a weapon against you, who cares?

by Anonymousreply 5February 13, 2023 2:18 AM

You don't care what they think of you R5?

by Anonymousreply 6February 13, 2023 2:18 AM

If they know you’re gay and want to maintain a friendship with you, how badly can they think of you?

by Anonymousreply 7February 13, 2023 2:20 AM

“I want help you.”

by Anonymousreply 8February 13, 2023 2:21 AM

I have religious people in my life, but I keep them at arms' length. I don't want them close to me because I think they're 'off' for believing that nonsense.

by Anonymousreply 9February 13, 2023 2:22 AM

Thanks for all of the thought-provoking comments.

I sense the woman wants to become friends, but I don’t think I could be more than very casual acquaintances at best.

The fact that I’m gay and she may be closeted is the elephant in the room. I don’t expect it would turn out well other than her trying to save me or tell me to be an old celibate as she is.

by Anonymousreply 10February 13, 2023 2:23 AM

Deep down they think you're a disgusting, repulsive, immoral ,debauched, filthy, corrupted, piece of shit and an abomination and affront to God who is going to "hell" R7.

You don't care about that?

by Anonymousreply 11February 13, 2023 2:24 AM

I can't. I tried. Had a good friend of 30 years who became increasingly more evangelical as his alcoholism spiraled out of control. He replaced one addiction with another. Of course when he went full Trumptard I finally called it a day. "Get help Mike you're in a cult." the last words I ever said to him.

by Anonymousreply 12February 13, 2023 2:25 AM

Be kind to her and continue to be friends for the time being. If she mentions religion again change the subject immediately and firmly. If the situation becomes intolerable then terminate the friendship with her.

by Anonymousreply 13February 13, 2023 2:25 AM

I don’t waste time obsessing over what others think about me. I care only how they act toward me.

by Anonymousreply 14February 13, 2023 2:26 AM

OP here.

I forgot to say that the woman is also an alcoholic (recovered, I think), which makes me really wonder why.

And my mind goes immediately to “closet case.”

by Anonymousreply 15February 13, 2023 2:28 AM

I'm with r13 and feel the same way as r14

I've been able to friends with people who have differing religious beliefs than me, as long as it's not a constant theme and doesn't keep coming up when it doesn't need to. But if they say something like "I went to XXXX event for my Church the other night" and it's really just an informational "this is what I did" type thing, it's not really a big deal.

by Anonymousreply 16February 13, 2023 2:30 AM

No, I don't think I could be friends with anyone who was overtly anything, as far as their beliefs. Shows a lack of respect for other people's decisions.

by Anonymousreply 17February 13, 2023 2:32 AM

I don't understand why you feel this woman is a closet case or why you feel that might be linked to her status as a recovering alcoholic. How did you arrive there? I'm guessing there is more to the story.

I've had good luck with friends and neighbors who are Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, and Hindu. I don't belong to any of these faiths but I like understanding where people are operating from and even if we sometimes disagree I like being able to discuss various faith topics. To me, it's worse if I don't understand where the foundation sits or even worse if there's nothing there.

It seems rare these days for anyone to take a true interest in another human being. Discussing and disagreeing it okay. Or not discussing and disagreeing is also okay. A Hindu couple invited me to an event at their home honoring their guru. It's not something people outside their faith are often invited to participate in and thought it was kind of them to include me. I joined in because they are excellent people and I find all religion fascinating. I can be curious without feeling pressured to convert. Could you do the same perhaps?

by Anonymousreply 18February 13, 2023 2:53 AM

Good points you make about open mindedness, R18. I really need to think about this.

I think she is gay because of the statistics about substance abuse in our community.

Also, she has never been married, has no children, pings from outer space, is in her sixties and has a female “roommate” in her fifties. They have lived together for many years.

Acts almost giddy and flirty around me at times; I have zero interest in her as anything more than a platonic acquaintance.

by Anonymousreply 19February 13, 2023 3:08 AM

It depends on the religion, OP. Wokeism? Transgenderism? No.

by Anonymousreply 20February 13, 2023 3:09 AM

Here is the problem I have as an adult with making friends with an overly religious acquaintances. I have led a pretty average moral life. I have a lot of friends gay and straight - my dad was an alcoholic - I am terrible with money but we all have something. - and I am non judgmental and easy going. As long as you aren’t hurting someone or an animal it isn’t my business. Other than smoking and finally quitting - I don’t do drugs (I liked smoking too much I was afraid I would be addicted) I can handle liquor - I am open to love again but not hunting. I find that overly religious friends can judge the hell out of a person. Sometimes they have found religion after having multiple abortions or kicking heroin. That is fine - but it makes me crazy when I feel like I have to defend my boring self when I haven’t been out being wild in the first place! It got 100% worse after Trump!

by Anonymousreply 21February 13, 2023 3:41 AM

Overly religious people seem damaged, many are people who are filled with deep regrets, guilt and insecurity and use religion as an emotional crutch and a mode to feel superior, many end up being the biggest bigots and hypocrites around. Then there's people who are really agnostic at the core but attend churches just for a sense of community, tradition and togetherness. Then there's more spiritual people who are fascinated by the supernatural and mystery rituals of religion but these people investigate every faith and are far from legalistic, usually branded "heretics." The first are the ones I avoid like the plague and they seem like a large majority of vocal American Christians. The second and third are usually fine with me because they don't revolve their lives around organized religions.

by Anonymousreply 22February 13, 2023 3:47 AM

I can barely stand to be friends with people who are all about astrology and new age woo woo bs, so there is no fucking way I could be friends with overtly religious people. Hard pass.

by Anonymousreply 23February 13, 2023 6:27 AM

Very likely not. One of the annoying things about religious people is that they see themselves as better, wiser, superior to non religious people. They usually engage with you in a patronising way, that's quite off putting.

by Anonymousreply 24February 13, 2023 6:49 AM

OP, I’m sure you’ll never see your retired acquaintance again and she’s probably praying that you burn in hell.

by Anonymousreply 25February 13, 2023 6:51 AM

I don’t even know where I’d meet them.

by Anonymousreply 26February 13, 2023 6:53 AM

OP - this is not a friend. It's a colleague and you friendly with her.

I have had religious colleagues. I don't like that so much in friends. But I learned that these colleagues are often very "good" people so I just ignore the Bible banging.

by Anonymousreply 27February 13, 2023 6:54 AM

no, the religious people will never hesitate to kill you when their leaders asked them to kill you

by Anonymousreply 28February 13, 2023 6:54 AM

I’ve had two work friends who were super religious & became the closest of friends with each. One told me she’d never had a friend like me, & she meant it in a good way. Right before she passed she called me to say goodbye, & I stupidly ducked out of the call because I was at work & didn’t realize the severity of her illness. It’s truly the one thing I most regret in life.

The other I’ve known about 15 yrs & she used to call me her work husband. She & her real hubby divorced & he started stalking her at work because he was convinced we were having an affair! Long story short, their divorce is final (9 yrs later) but he’s still hung up on her. I don’t work there anymore but her new work hubby is a younger clone of me, down to my exact ethnicity, which is really uncommon where I’m from. People would tease me about being replaced but I’m still the OG, dammit.

Both women would talk about religion here & there & were both ex-Catholics turned born again Christians, they even went to the same church (30 miles away from one of them) & though they didn’t know each other.

by Anonymousreply 29February 13, 2023 7:36 AM

People who are obsessed with anything are a no: Fandom, religion, podcasts, veganism, atheism...

It is extremely off-putting when people have "found the truth" or found "the greatest" anything and become obsessed, even if I generally agree with their views. It suggests a weakness of mind and tendency to fall into magical thinking.

However, if she's not proselytizing and you're able to keep her at arms length, it may be wise to entertain infrequent contact. She's been supportive in the past and you may need a friend in the future, just don't mislead her of your desired closeness level.

by Anonymousreply 30February 13, 2023 10:37 AM

I could be friends with someone who actually followed Jesus’ teaching, but the Xtians we have in America are all frauds and hypocrites who do the opposite of what he taught. That’s the deal breaker.

by Anonymousreply 31February 13, 2023 10:45 AM

To add to my response at r30, I believe it's possible (and preferable) to take wisdom from a belief system or argument and leave the rest. You may enjoy this book, OP:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 32February 13, 2023 11:15 AM

Very thoughtful, R32. Thank you!

by Anonymousreply 33February 13, 2023 11:22 AM

No because it’s like being friends with cult members. Why would you bother?

by Anonymousreply 34February 13, 2023 11:24 AM

If she's a recovering alcoholic, then likely she is very open-minded about what it is that someone might worship. For her, belief in a higher power, which a whole lot of us call "God" because it's a pain in the ass to describe how recovery works for us, is part of her recovery. The fact that she immediately honored your boundary should say something about how she treats others.

I feel bad for her. I also feel bad for you. While I'm sure that there were a fair share of people who didn't "approve" of me, I focused on their behavior, not what I thought they might think of me. Worrying about what other people think of you is a sure-fire way of living your life in misery and she must be in great pain. If it were truly worth it to you, you would simply say to her, "Of course you know I'm a lesbian, so religion is a very touchy subject." Clears up everything. It is clearly not worth it to you to be honest with her (and I don't really understand why you would hesitate to be honest), so no friendship is possible.

by Anonymousreply 35February 13, 2023 11:38 AM

No, but what you described doesn’t sound overtly religious. It sounds like you have conversations about other topics, she stopped bringing up religious topics around you, and it doesn’t sound like she says passive aggressive comments like “I will pray for you”. She sounds like a person who is religious, not like she is trying to convert you.

Lets put it like this: I don’t like football. It has no appeal to me. I would be friends with someone who does like football. I wouldn’t even mind if they mentioned something to me like “I am going to watch the game next week”. What I would mind is if they wanted to have conversations with me about the game (because that would bore me), or told me how I need to watch football and not boring hockey (which would offend me).

She is open that she is religious. It doesn’t sound like she is trying to open you to her religion.

by Anonymousreply 36February 13, 2023 11:56 AM

It depends. Genuinely religious and spiritual people are wonderful. Proselytising types are annoying since they think they know better. But the ones who cynically use religion as a cover for criminal and political activity belong behind bars.

by Anonymousreply 37February 13, 2023 12:10 PM


by Anonymousreply 38February 13, 2023 12:12 PM

No. I consider them weak-minded, which I realize is just the way they're born & there's nothing they can do about it, like being short. So I do feel sorry for them but I don't want to spend time with them because, at best they're boring &, at worst they're irritating.

by Anonymousreply 39February 13, 2023 12:43 PM

They played this "Jesus Gets Us" commercial during the Super Bowl. I figured it might add to the discussion about religious people.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 40February 13, 2023 12:49 PM


[quote]The Jesus of the He Gets Us ads is not the Jesus of the Christian right, which advocates exclusion of marginalized people, or of the MAGA world, where Jesus is inextricably tied with Trump. But the wealthy evangelical families backing the ads come from those worlds. In November, David Green, the multi-billionaire founder of the Hobby Lobby crafts store chain, told former Fox News host Glenn Beck that his family was one of those behind the “He Gets Us” ad campaign.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 41February 13, 2023 12:54 PM

There is an organization dedicated to fighting the christianity the "He Gets Us" backers (link at r41) are really promoting:

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 42February 13, 2023 1:09 PM

I'm an agnostic Jew and my (lesbian) wife is a church-going Christian. Our friends span many religions and cultures. As long as there's mutual respect and everyone is secure in their own identity, it's not a problem. I wouldn't choose to socialize with jerks.

Many of the retirees in my wife's liberal congregation once struggled with alcoholism. Sometimes their sexuality was involved but more often it was early trauma of the usual varieties. Religion works as an addiction substitute for many people because it offers comforting rituals and helps them achieve some form of uneasy acceptance, with the added benefit of providing the structure they might desperately need.

by Anonymousreply 43February 13, 2023 1:25 PM

People you work with are not your friends. Anyone who believes a woman can become impregnated by a supernatural entity needs to be locked up. Faith and sexuality are inherently private, neither should be spoken about beyond your nearest and dearest.

by Anonymousreply 44February 13, 2023 1:34 PM

I guess it depends on what you consider overtly religious. If we're talking about dogmatic conservative people who only tolerate you to "save" you or can't be cool with your lifestyle, no. But I know some pretty religious people ( that go to church every Sunday, celebrate all religious holidays) who are tolerant and accepting.

by Anonymousreply 45February 13, 2023 1:42 PM

And then there's Stephen Colbert, who's been a practicing Catholic his whole life & now teaches Sunday school. Undeniably brilliant and of course I'd love to be friends with him. But he's one of the few exceptions to my rule (based on a lifetime of experience) about religious people being weak-minded.

by Anonymousreply 46February 13, 2023 7:11 PM

Depends on the religion . It is impossible for Evangelical Christians not to proselytize. It is the major tenant of their faith. Which makes them insufferable ,obnoxious and impossible to befriend.

by Anonymousreply 47February 13, 2023 7:35 PM

It's "tenet," not "tenant."

by Anonymousreply 48February 13, 2023 8:24 PM

And I think OP means “overly” not “overtly.”

by Anonymousreply 49February 13, 2023 8:27 PM

Can you be friends with people who overtly correct others' spelling, word choice, or grammar? Same thing.

by Anonymousreply 50February 13, 2023 8:40 PM

I've met Catholics who proselytized too. They have the same mentality as Evangelicals in being stubborn and narrow-minded and feeling superior to Protestants, Jews and atheists. Thankfully they are minority but they definitely exist and are like born-again Christians going to Catholicism after some trauma or crisis.

by Anonymousreply 51February 13, 2023 8:43 PM

Yes, so long as they don't proselytize.

by Anonymousreply 52February 13, 2023 8:46 PM

No. I had no religious instruction in my childhood and decided I was an atheist at age 11. It's not a big thing. Not believing in religion doesn't take any time out of my day; it's genuinely the lack of a belief, not some substitute belief in non-belief which is difficult for some to wrap their heads around, including a few atheists.

I want to hear all about others' religious beliefs and practices about as much as I imagine they want to hear about why I don't believe in such things. It's just bad form to overly or overtly chatty about one's religion or lack of it. There's no reason to keep it a dark secret, there are natural opportunities to explain a bit about yourself when appropriate. But if every day too many of your sentences begin, "Well, as a practicising...."., you're a fucking pain in the ass to one and all.

by Anonymousreply 53February 13, 2023 8:50 PM

You obviously don't really like her, so why are you even asking?

by Anonymousreply 54February 13, 2023 8:55 PM

R48/R49 It is neurotic " cunt" not " kunt".

by Anonymousreply 55February 13, 2023 11:56 PM

A lot of overly religious people are using religion to avoid taking responsibility and owning up to their own flaws. These people will continue to be awful people in their personal lives but proclaim faith and feel it gives them a special pass. They will even claim "the Devil made me do it" when they get caught doing something illegal. I've had so many relatives and associates like this. Evangelicals are the worst because it's a deeply anti-intellectual sect that anyone and their dog can become a clergy member and pastor for. So narcissistic assholes end up having their own churches to do scam people and commit depraved acts but use religion as a shield to hide it. And the worst part is, the church fellowship will turn a blind eye out of some type of fear.

by Anonymousreply 56February 14, 2023 2:10 AM

No. I have zero interest in being around Talibangelicals or similar idiots.

by Anonymousreply 57February 14, 2023 4:57 AM

Are you Queen Liz posting from the grave R24?

by Anonymousreply 58February 14, 2023 7:42 AM

The bright side is while many Evangelicals have kids and try their best to indoctrinate them with regularly attending church and youth groups. Most young people leave as soon as they move out. So Christianity is rapidly dying. Same with Islam in the West. The Christian Right knows this and they want to do everything to make The US a theocracy to maintain their dominance. But it won't work in the long run. The amount of actual devoted people is very tiny to the majority of morally upright bigots who just love to use religion for ulterior motives.

by Anonymousreply 59February 14, 2023 10:43 AM

We live near my evangelical aunt and uncle. I used to enjoy seeing them when I was young, before coming out, but I’ve only seen them maybe twice in 20 years of living here. I’m sure they think I’m hell bound because of my sexuality. They’ve doubled down on Trumpism, so now there’s no way in hell. Still, I think it’s a shame we don’t get together like we probably would have if they’d been normal, decent people.

by Anonymousreply 60February 14, 2023 11:14 AM

R56 nailed it!

by Anonymousreply 61February 14, 2023 11:25 AM

[quote] Ive never had any problem with it. I even had a friend who was a Jehovah Witness. Went to a service with her just to see what it’s like. It was pretty normal.

Until you learn that it’s a misogynistic cult that shuns family and leads to people dying from denying blood transfusions. They can’t think for themselves. Kids are told to not to go to police - you go to the elders in the church.

by Anonymousreply 62February 14, 2023 11:43 AM

My best friend is JW (Jehovah's Witness). We get along great. I even attend some of the functions but I'm not at all religious and we are able to separate religion from our friendship of many years. He needs this crutch to be happy and fulfilled. I understand why and I'm good with all of it because it fills a huge hole in his life. If he's happy, I am too. Just make a pact to keep religion out of your time together. If she can't do this then it's on her, not you. At that point, you simply walk away from the friendship with no guilt, no regrets.

by Anonymousreply 63February 14, 2023 11:50 AM

R12 It's pretty cool you were once friends with the Vice President.

by Anonymousreply 64February 14, 2023 11:52 AM

Your friend is pretty cool but I’ve seen JV animated videos discouraging children from making friends with non-JV kids. Also one which aimed to discourage girls from seeking higher education.

by Anonymousreply 65February 14, 2023 12:05 PM

[quote] When I was growing up, I found Catholics to be terrifying. They ran in packs and had weird hang ups. But seems like only the elderly buy into catholic crap anymore.

Nice hate speech, R5.

by Anonymousreply 66February 14, 2023 12:17 PM

[quote] Deep down they think you're a disgusting, repulsive, immoral ,debauched, filthy, corrupted, piece of shit and an abomination and affront to God who is going to "hell" [R7].

You’re full of shit, R11. The rector in my Episcopal church is a gay man with a husband and child. And our bishop is gay. Keep your prejudices to yourself.

So many of you are talking about Evangelicals and fundamentalists.

by Anonymousreply 67February 14, 2023 12:21 PM

Bravo, R67. There are so many unintelligent guys out here who think they know everything.

by Anonymousreply 68February 14, 2023 4:47 PM

No. I can be friends who are moderately religious but absolutely NO fundamentalists. One woman I knew in college (who always seemed kind of off) recently visited the Museum of Creationism in Ohio with her family. I could never, ever be close with someone like that.

by Anonymousreply 69February 14, 2023 4:51 PM

I can be and have been friends with progressive people who practice a faith, and every faith has many of them. I can't be friends with conservatives of any creed, even atheists.

by Anonymousreply 70February 14, 2023 4:58 PM

Why can't you ?

If you keep your friends to those who only believe what you believe in religion, politics, social issues, etc. you will have one hell of a boring life and certainly not grow as an individual in society. You will be caught up in your own bubble.

Your friend's life seems more meaningful and well-rounded if she's willing to meet you for lunch or dinner every so often, even though you are the polar opposite of her in religious beliefs. She seems rather secure in her beliefs, is willing not to bring it up again, and wants to remain friends - kudos to her.

by Anonymousreply 71February 14, 2023 5:09 PM

No. Nor can I be friends with ideologues.

by Anonymousreply 72February 14, 2023 5:23 PM

R71, I hope you are right that she won’t bring it up again.

Thing is, she has found a way to work religion into every conversation we have ever had. It’ll be interesting to see although as R52 correctly points out, I’m really not crazy about her.

I would not associate with her if she hadn’t checked up on me a lot after I lost my mom. That kindness impacted me, and I guess it makes me want to give it a bit more time and try to be tolerant. I could never be close friends with her.

by Anonymousreply 73February 14, 2023 11:27 PM

I should have said *R54* was correct in that I’m really not crazy about the woman.

by Anonymousreply 74February 14, 2023 11:29 PM

R73 After losing both my parents at different times in my life, it's nice to have friends who check up on you regularly after the first week or so. She sounds like a very caring person - someone everyone should have in their life. You don't have to be 'close friends' with her, but she sounds like someone you shouldn't rush to get rid of this year.

by Anonymousreply 75February 15, 2023 1:36 AM

As others have said, see if she is good to her word about not bringing it up. She was kind to you, be kind to her in return.

by Anonymousreply 76February 15, 2023 1:47 AM

Religion in the West is equated with Abrahamic faiths especially Christianity and Islam. There's actually a growing number of Hindus, Jains, Zoroastrians, Sikhs, Baha'i, Buddhists and Taoists due to more South Asians, Iranians, Armenians and East and Southeast Asians immigrating here. Many Sikh in law, education and government now.

These are wonderful people who have faith but do not hold proselytizing beliefs or intolerance. Dharmic and Indo-Aryan religions are far older than Abrahamic faiths and had millennia to work out a lot of kinks. Most were created to maintain unity and harmony and build peace among warring tribes. They maintained a pluralistic and pantheistic worldview. Christians and Muslims persecuted these people because they challenged their monotheistic views.

by Anonymousreply 77February 16, 2023 12:58 PM

No, not even a little bit.

by Anonymousreply 78February 17, 2023 6:46 AM

R30- the knock off jews

by Anonymousreply 79February 27, 2023 4:53 PM

I had an appointment with a Physician's Assistant about scheduling an outpatient procedure & I said that I want to keep my schedule open to help a friend receiving cancer treatment. The PA said that he would pray for my friend -- I said "thank you" because that's polite, but now I think less of the PA's intelligence.

I had the same reaction when the janitor at my regular supermarket suddenly started wishing me "a blessed day" & telling me about Jesus, instead of our usual chitcat about the weather. I've never thought he was a mental giant but we used to joke around & he seemed fairly quick on the uptake -- now I figure he must be kind of dim, since he's apparently "found religion".

I know it's prejudice on my part, but it's based on my belief that superstitious people are lacking in intelligence, which I view as a disability.

by Anonymousreply 80March 10, 2023 3:15 AM

I was close coworker-friends with a woman who was raised Catholic, sent her kids to Catholic schoo simply because it's what she knew to do, and she attended services every Sunday.

She was always enraged about abuses of the church. We talked about it for years. She was upset about what the Catholic school taught her kids—LGBT people are sinners, for one thing—and always afraid her son would be molested by priests. She learned over several years that three male childhood friends had been raped by priests. Two of them are alcoholics.

I always told her that my opinion is that anyone who claims to oppose those abuses ans still gives money in any way to the church is actually underwriting serial child rapists' evils and giving the central church money they use to protect those rapists.

A couple of years ago, she told me she hadn't been to church in a year because she can't condone their crimes and abuses. I was shocked because she was so deeply indoctrinated. She still feels that local churches do important charity work, and she calls herself Catholic because she is culturally Catholic. But she won't attend church services or give them any money anymore.

So yes, I can be friends with religious people as long as they are open minded enough to acknowledge and contemplate the frequent abuses of religious organizations.

Could I be friends with a typical Republican Christian whose interpretation of Christianity is hating people? No.

by Anonymousreply 81March 10, 2023 3:46 AM

I have 2 friends who are really religious or at least raised to be that way. One of them dates an atheist.

It’s not an issue. I respect their beliefs on Christianity and don’t question it just like they don’t question my atheism.

Usually when religion is brought up, there’s always an understanding of differences and I always listen to them and they listen to me.

It’s never a hot topic or a big deal.

Not sharing the same values and good relationships can co-exist. If they can’t, someone is being an asshole and doesn’t respect the other person.

by Anonymousreply 82March 10, 2023 3:55 AM

I think not.

I am interested in hearing about the faith practices of others but I wouldn't want to be friends with anyone who so frequently touts something, whether it's religion or Pampered Chef...

by Anonymousreply 83March 10, 2023 4:01 AM

R43 “Religion works as an addiction substitute for many people.” Spot on. I had a few child clients whose parents substituted addiction with religion. They were at the church multiple times per week for AA/NA meetings, bible study and other activities.

by Anonymousreply 84March 10, 2023 4:03 AM

I couldn’t do it. I have a second cousin who’s attending a “Bible college” and it was all I could do not to remark that the science curriculum must be a breeze.

1. Is reanimation of a corpse possible?


2. Virgin birth, too?


3. How long does it take to form a habitable planet?

Seven days.

by Anonymousreply 85March 10, 2023 4:33 AM

What’s your problem, R85. You don’t got faith? Such a narrow-minded view such as yours is what’s wrong with the world today.

by Anonymousreply 86March 10, 2023 8:01 AM

Maybe she was kind to you after your mother died because of her religious beliefs. Got to take the good with the bad, OP. Maybe you can’t get one without the other.

by Anonymousreply 87March 10, 2023 9:16 AM


by Anonymousreply 88March 10, 2023 9:48 AM

I actually think you sound like an asshole in this situation, OP. I think this woman would be better off without [italic]you[/italic] in her life.

by Anonymousreply 89March 10, 2023 10:10 AM

Well, at least we have people like you to bring us happy little rays of sunshine, R86. You’re everything that’s right with the world.

by Anonymousreply 90March 10, 2023 1:58 PM

No and I can’t be friends with the deplorables, either

by Anonymousreply 91March 10, 2023 2:01 PM

I can with Jewish people. The Jews don't proselytize. You'll never open your front door on a Sunday morning to find two Jews standing there, wanting to recruit you

Xtians, on the other hand, feel it is their duty to "testify" and "witness." If they could keep their mouths shut, maybe, but half the time Jesus comes up in every other sentence.

I worked with a woman who constantly was talking about Jesus, then would sit at her desk reading the Bible, and not working. Thou shalt not steal, bitch.

One day she overheard me talking to a friend about the fact that my sister was back in the hospital due to a recurrence of her anorexia. She proceeded to come over to us, tell me that it was "the Devel tormenting her" and that she needed to turn to Jesus to heal her. I told her to get the fuck away from me. She complained to HR, and I filed a complaint against her in return.

Shortly after, she quit to go work for the mega-church that she attended. Last I heard, she left because "the Devil was there."

by Anonymousreply 92March 10, 2023 2:14 PM

If that co worker indicates that she or he is christian conservative, of which there are many in my office, then the answer is a big fat NO. I avoid the ones with smug bible quotes they add to their email signature. Here is one amongst many that I get to read every day: “Fear of god is the beginning of wisdom.”

by Anonymousreply 93March 10, 2023 2:56 PM

For the Christians, it isn't enough that THEY believe in Jeebus - YOU have to believe in them too. You MUST respect their religious beliefs, but if you aren't on the Jeebus bandwagon, you must be led to him. It's very cult-like.

That is why they are so afraid of gays "recruiting." They recruit, and in many cases, were recruited to the loaves and fishes luncheon, and gave themselves over to a charismatic (long dead, and likely fictional) leader.

by Anonymousreply 94March 10, 2023 3:00 PM

Most of the old style mainline religious folks were far more subtle about their Jesus freak flags.

It's the new evangies that are over the top.

by Anonymousreply 95March 10, 2023 3:18 PM

I know a couple of Christian people who post about “the enemy.” For example, she didn’t get to visit her grandchild because “the enemy” was trying to keep her away. The grandchild had a cold. Who is “the enemy?” Satan? One is a licensed therapist who believes “the enemy” is the cause of her anxiety.

by Anonymousreply 96March 10, 2023 6:01 PM

[quote] I always told her that my opinion is that anyone who claims to oppose those abuses ans still gives money in any way to the church is actually underwriting serial child rapists' evils and giving the central church money they use to protect those rapists.

I'm glad you said that it was your "opinion" because what you believe is not factual. My Catholic parish does amazing work. We have a great LGBTQ+ group in the parish; we have a group of parishioners who collect food every Sunday both from parishioners and who also do "food rescue" each week from local supermarkets including Whole Foods and Trader Joes—and then bring all that food to a local food pantry. We are sponsoring Afghan refugee families. We help subsidize a parish in Haiti. We have parishioners in the dental and medical field providing free care for parishioners who are experiencing homelessness. We collect 2,000 Christmas presents for children from struggling families. We are making 100 Easter baskets for children who otherwise wouldn't get one. And we have spent nearly $90K on parish wide training to help us become an anti-racist parish.

Are we "actually underwriting serial child rapists' evils and giving the central church money they use to protect those rapists?" No, we are not.

I think it's easy for people to say all sorts of things that are not true. It's offensive to read someone above say that religion is "a dangerous addiction based on unprovable bullshit."

Many churches do a lot of very good work in the world. And the Catholic Church, for the record, does not proselytize. The Catholic Church also does not believe in Creationism and does state that evolution is a proven fact.

by Anonymousreply 97March 10, 2023 6:33 PM

People like that shouldn't vote, own homes or be allowed to drive a car.

by Anonymousreply 98March 10, 2023 7:03 PM

Who, R98? All the people mentioned in R97?

by Anonymousreply 99March 10, 2023 7:15 PM

I grew up in an overtly religious family. I was always made to feel like I was a bad person growing up. I was an honor student who was an awkward social outcast, and did get into any "typical teen troubles." All I did in my free time was watch anime, Buffy, and play video games. All "demonic" activities and "the reason for my depression." I could never do anything right because of how I chose to entertain myself...alone. With no friends.

I've made a point to avoid religious people like the plague due to the trauma.

by Anonymousreply 100March 10, 2023 7:17 PM

[quote]Overtly, zealously religious people are totally incompatible with LGBT people.

That’s not true at all. Religion is totally compatible with LGBT people, well more the BLT but we don’t judge. So what if someone is gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that, lol) that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve to bask in the warm afterglow of God and Jesus afterwards. Love the sinner, hate the sin and all that jazz.

by Anonymousreply 101March 10, 2023 7:21 PM

Certain religions are very welcoming and compatible to LGBT people.

The evangelical ones and the hardline Catholics, not so much.

by Anonymousreply 102March 10, 2023 7:23 PM

Do you all never see rainbow flags hanging outside of churches? You need to get out more.

by Anonymousreply 103March 10, 2023 7:26 PM

R103, some people just love to be among the persecuted. They are victims and love to be. "Poor me! No church wants me." Not the case.

by Anonymousreply 104March 10, 2023 7:27 PM


by Anonymousreply 105March 10, 2023 7:28 PM

[quote]and did get into any "typical teen troubles."

This should say "didn't" get into any typical teen troubles.

by Anonymousreply 106March 10, 2023 7:28 PM

Every time I’m around overly religious people, they keep wanting to grill me on my religious beliefs: “Has your heart been washed in the blood of the Lamb?”

I really don’t think they understand anything else.

by Anonymousreply 107March 10, 2023 7:34 PM

I still remember watching some dumb cunt from the South in the early days of COVID say she was going to church no matter what, and she was safe because she had been "washed in the blood of the lamb" or whatever the fuck THAT means.

I wanted to kick her in the cunt.

by Anonymousreply 108March 10, 2023 7:37 PM

[Quote]“Has your heart been washed in the blood of the Lamb?”

Lamb's blood is great for your skin.

by Anonymousreply 109March 10, 2023 7:41 PM

My partner's family are all devout Scottish Roman Catholics from Nova Scotia. The ones I've met are all lovely people: extremely supportive of gay rights, vocally anti-racist, volunteering to teach new immigrants and refugees English, great people all around. Those are kinds of friends one would want and I certainly have no problem hanging out with them, even though I'm not religious at all.

by Anonymousreply 110March 10, 2023 8:07 PM

And my Catholic diocese has sent a lot of money to Ukraine 🇺🇦

by Anonymousreply 111March 10, 2023 8:43 PM


by Anonymousreply 112March 10, 2023 9:10 PM

the navy veteran calling the high school girl hot

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by Anonymousreply 113March 11, 2023 8:53 AM

I wouldn't be able to hold back my general contempt for them so, no, i don't think i could be friends with them even tho they may be decent people otherwise.

by Anonymousreply 114March 11, 2023 9:12 AM

I recently met a man whose wife attends mass daily, and he seems embarrassed by it

by Anonymousreply 115March 17, 2023 7:14 PM

Agree r114. Even if I liked them initially, I think I would grow to resent them

by Anonymousreply 116March 18, 2023 11:52 AM

I've been surprised in life by people I've met who are extremely active in parish life. Surprised, because had they not casually mentioned that they belong to the Catholic Church, I never would have known. The ones who've become friends have never offered to pray for me, tried to drag me along, or instigated any religious discussion. Their faith seems to be something they enjoy but not something they need to perform. That's really what it boils down to I think - you can be friends with anyone who has differing opinions, as long as they don't bang on about them ad nauseum.

by Anonymousreply 117March 18, 2023 12:33 PM

I wonder if it's different with evangelicals r117

by Anonymousreply 118March 18, 2023 12:35 PM

It's the belief in something which is so palpably false. The anti-LGBT stuff, the group-think, self-righteousness, the obvious charlatanism, conservative politics and kid-fucking priests that so often go hand in hand with religion aren't a help either.

Have at it whoever wants it, but I seek out other things from friendship.

by Anonymousreply 119March 18, 2023 12:49 PM

R103 My partner's family is Presbyterian, and their church flies the rainbow flag outside during Pride. They have one inside their vestibule year-round with the words "All Are Welcome Here". His parents attend services every Sunday. They're perfectly normal, yet I would say they are overtly religious, but not OVERLY religious. They like me well enough, and I'm a Jew.

I have zero problems with people being religious. It depends upon their beliefs, and behaviour.

by Anonymousreply 120March 18, 2023 2:00 PM

[quote] It's the belief in something which is so palpably false.

OK, you’re obviously going to hell🔥 . What makes you so sure it’s all false? My, won’t you have 🍳 on your face when you’re standing before the pearly white gates and begging to cum in. Nope! One ticket🎟 straight to hell in a hand 🧺 for you.

by Anonymousreply 121March 20, 2023 7:48 AM

I am friendly with many overtly religious people but friends with none of them.

by Anonymousreply 122March 20, 2023 8:16 AM

Didn't Dante dedicate a circle of hell to those who overuse emojis?

by Anonymousreply 123March 20, 2023 8:19 AM


by Anonymousreply 124March 20, 2023 8:40 AM

I can't be friends with anyone who is overtly anything.

by Anonymousreply 125March 20, 2023 8:51 AM

Many churches are proselytizing types or evangelizing types. (Both mean trying to persuade others to join). I think most non-religious people shy away from anyone belonging to those churches. That would include Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, and various fundamentalist Protestant groups, including Baptists, Seventh Day Adventists, Nazarenes and Churches of Christ, among others. There are also cult Christian sects, such as The Way, which both try to proselytize and "kidnap" adherents. In general, Catholics do not proselytize except in missionary settings. (That's in 2023 - of course it was a far different situation in 1492, when the rule was conversion by invasion). Anglicans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, and Lutherans are also not much into proselytization. If someone wears his church on his sleeve, he is likely to be evangelizing. Among Eastern Religions, Islam in proselytizing, chanting Buddhism (nam myoho renge kyo - nichiren), Moon's unification church, Fulan Gong, and a few others, but Hindus don't do much of it, with the possible exception of the Hare Krishnas, nor the non nichiren types of Buddhism, and some religions actively avoid it, such as Sikhs.

by Anonymousreply 126March 20, 2023 9:12 AM

^ By religion and proselytization I think we are talking about the monotheistic Abrahamic religions. They are the most toxic and egregious, talking about the infidels, the one true god, and being the chosen.

What makes them think they know better than everybody else? The arrogance, the idiocy.

by Anonymousreply 127March 20, 2023 9:24 AM

^ By religion and proselytization I think we are talking about the monotheistic Abrahamic religions. They are the most toxic and egregious, talking about the infidels, the one true god, and being the chosen.

What makes them think they know better than everybody else? The arrogance, the idiocy.

by Anonymousreply 128March 20, 2023 9:27 AM

"What makes you so sure it’s all false? "

I literally can't believe, even if I wanted to. It's just so obviously false. It's like someone saying, "What makes you certain Zeus isn't riding a unicorn in your bedroom closet when you close the door?" I guess I can't prove to you that that's NOT happening, but I'm still certain that it's not.

Recent studies have shown that religiosity, the very capacity to believe, has to do with the structure of the brain. My brain is structured for non-belief. I can't. It's simply not possible.

by Anonymousreply 129March 20, 2023 9:27 AM

"OK, you’re obviously going to hell"

.... and yet you remain puzzled why so many people aren't interested in having religious friends.

by Anonymousreply 130March 20, 2023 9:40 AM

I have friends who are Presbyterian, Episcopalian, and Methodist (not the conservative one), and I’ve been to visit all their churches. Very LGBT open and affirming. People did leave all those churches when the congregation voted to be open and affirming, but they gained a lot of members as well.

by Anonymousreply 131March 20, 2023 10:36 AM

^^ That's nice, r131, but for me it goes beyond whether a place is LGBT-affirming or not.

To put it briefly and bluntly: At the end of the day, they still believe a load of malarkey, even if they're nice people, even if they're LGBT-affirming.

And the churches may be affirming, but most religious people, no matter how progressive, still believe heterosexuals are superior imho.

by Anonymousreply 132March 20, 2023 11:13 AM

I once knew a lay minister in an Episcopal church who told me that she and the other lay ministers didn't believe very much of the Church's teaching. They just loved the Common Book of Prayer and the traditions as well as the community.

by Anonymousreply 133March 20, 2023 11:27 AM

I think we'd all be surprised how many "religious" people are like that, r133. Many don't admit it to themselves, much less to others. It's surprising your firends were so candid.

by Anonymousreply 134March 20, 2023 11:31 AM

[quote]Here is the problem I have as an adult with making friends with an overly religious acquaintances.

The topic was about *overtly religious people*, not *overly religious people", Emily Litella at r21.

by Anonymousreply 135March 20, 2023 12:07 PM

Meh. His post and his point still stand imho, "overly" or "overtly." The mistake doesn't change the gist, as it did for Ms. Litella.

by Anonymousreply 136March 20, 2023 12:15 PM

I called out “overtly” v. “overly” at r49. Posters are responding as if they are synonymous but they mean completely different things.

by Anonymousreply 137March 20, 2023 12:34 PM

Sure- if they don’t require I he like them or believe what they do. I don’t require people to be like me- same thing.

by Anonymousreply 138March 20, 2023 12:36 PM


And it’s not like an “I HATE YOU AND CAN’T STAND YOU” thing like with most. I don’t begrudge religious people. I can always meet them on SOME level.

It’s just we wouldn’t have much in common to sustain a friendship. Cordial acquaintances, sure. Friends? Nah.

by Anonymousreply 139March 20, 2023 12:47 PM

[quote] I wonder if it's different with evangelicals [R117]

Do ya think??

by Anonymousreply 140March 20, 2023 4:19 PM

[quote] In general, Catholics do not proselytize except in missionary settings.

Menluvinguy, Catholics do not proselytize even in missionary settings.

Pope Francis has said:

[quote] “Never, never bring the gospel by proselytizing. If someone says they are a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, they are not a disciple of Jesus.”

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by Anonymousreply 141March 20, 2023 4:22 PM

r141 Greg, I enjoy your posts.

by Anonymousreply 142March 20, 2023 4:52 PM

[quote] [R141] Greg, I enjoy your posts.

Thank you, R142. Nice of you to say so!

by Anonymousreply 143March 20, 2023 5:58 PM

You make it sound like none of us are already friends with those who are religious.

by Anonymousreply 144March 20, 2023 6:02 PM

And how does one define "overtly religious?"

Someone who is a committed member of a faith community?

Or someone who talks about their beliefs all the time?

by Anonymousreply 145March 20, 2023 6:16 PM

No and that includes new agey folks and even Buddhists I've met. Those preaching the loudest are the biggest hypocrites and the most manipulative and shady.

by Anonymousreply 146March 20, 2023 8:54 PM

We better learn to get along with religious people. Agreeing to disagree is fine thing. Stomping around and hating everyone who doesn't agree with you is childish.

by Anonymousreply 147March 20, 2023 8:58 PM

[quote]OP/R73: I would not associate with her if she hadn’t checked up on me a lot after I lost my mom. That kindness impacted me, and I guess it makes me want to give it a bit more time and try to be tolerant. I could never be close friends with her.

Don't be impressed. IMO, by checking up on you after you lost your mom, she was working an angle. Conservative Christians like to move in on people when they're vulnerable or have experienced loss; it often makes them more susceptible to being proselytized. They only ape compassion. It's highly unlikely to be genuine. That she's still checking in on you means that she thinks you're still a possible mark.

by Anonymousreply 148March 21, 2023 6:52 AM

[quote]R141/Greg: Menluvinguy, Catholics do not proselytize even in missionary settings. Pope Francis has said: “Never, never bring the gospel by proselytizing. If someone says they are a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, they are not a disciple of Jesus.”

Hmm. Really?

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by Anonymousreply 149March 21, 2023 6:56 AM

the homophobic guys can not stop thinking about what a gay boy does in his private time

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by Anonymousreply 150March 21, 2023 7:45 AM

Mother Teresa said, "There is something beautiful in seeing the poor accept their lot, to suffer it like Christ's Passion. The world gains much from their suffering."

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by Anonymousreply 151March 21, 2023 7:47 AM

does anyone have the link of that gay news boy talking about the gay church members who were set on fire by locking them inside their meeting room

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by Anonymousreply 152March 21, 2023 7:55 AM

RIP Georgina Beyer

by Anonymousreply 153March 21, 2023 8:02 AM

drop dead, op

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by Anonymousreply 154March 21, 2023 8:58 AM

R149 PoisonedDragon, yes—really.

You see, there is a distinction between proselytization and evangelization. The Catholic Church forbids proselytization and encourages evangelization. Proselytization is regarded as coercion. In the Second Vatican Council's 1965 decree on missionary activity, "Ad gentes" ("To the Nations"), it says:

[quote] The Church strictly forbids forcing anyone to embrace the Faith, or alluring or enticing people by worrisome wiles.

In his 2019 visit to Morocco, Pope Francis gave a speech wherein he said, "Conversion is not your mission."

Following Vatican II, the word 'proselytism' has changed its meaning in theological circles. It is now considered a pejorative term. Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, explained the new definition as follows:

[quote] This meaning includes using any type of pressure to convert someone, whether it is moral, political or economic. It means caricaturing with unfair criticism the beliefs of others. Put simply, when Church leaders speak of proselytism, they mean a mission that seeks power and influence and robs people of their freedom.

While in Morocco, Francis also said,

[quote] Our mission as baptised persons, priests, and consecrated men and women, is not really determined by the number or size of spaces that we occupy, but rather by our capacity to generate change and to awaken wonder and compassion. We do this by the way we live as disciples of Jesus, in the midst of those with whom we share our daily lives, joys and sorrows, suffering and hopes. In other words, the paths of mission are not those of proselytism. Please, these paths are not those of proselytism!

by Anonymousreply 155March 21, 2023 1:39 PM

[quote]R155: You see, there is a distinction between proselytization and evangelization. The Catholic Church forbids proselytization and encourages evangelization.

That strikes me as simply more of the semantics to which Catholics so often repair in order to be able to dodge criticism and keep doing what they were doing (i.e. worshiping saints, venerating idols, etc; 'dulia,' 'latria' and 'hyperdulia' are invented categories). There isn't a meaningful difference between evangelization and proselytization, and you can bet that somewhere in the world, Catholics who are not on board with the new rationalization are still doing what Christianity has done from the beginning.

The way you cite Francis is drolly amusing to me, since there's a really large contingent of Catholics worldwide who despise him, and despise Vatican II (I'm actually surprised that Francis is still alive, and hasn't yet been passed a fatal cup of tea) much the same way Republicans and Trumpists hate Biden. And I never cease to be astonished at the amount of time and energy is wasted cultivating cognitive dissonance, pretending to harmonize the Church's contradictions and irreconcilable differences.

But by all means, carry on.

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by Anonymousreply 156March 21, 2023 2:31 PM

[quote] The way you cite Francis is drolly amusing to me, since there's a really large contingent of Catholics worldwide who despise him, and despise Vatican II .

Yes, of course. The same is true with any pope. There will always be a large contingent of Catholics worldwide who don't like the pope. It's a big church. Francis is beloved by many and there are many very conservative Catholics, including bishops, who think the pope is ruining the Church. Similar to how Vatican II is seen by a certain type of Catholic as having watered down the faith.

witnessing with our lives, he notes that “words come”—the gospel must be preached by word and not just by action.

by Anonymousreply 157March 21, 2023 2:53 PM

American Catholicism skews conservative, especially in recent years

by Anonymousreply 158March 21, 2023 2:55 PM

I have friends who are very devout Christians who do a lot of charity and ministering type work. They know I have no use for religion. They never proselytize to me and I keep my true hatred of religion to myself around them.

We have been friends for many years. They were churchgoers when we first met but have become much more church oriented over the years — while also becoming more and more socially liberal. They voted for Bush, then Obama twice, and hate Trump as much as I do.

by Anonymousreply 159March 21, 2023 3:05 PM

[quote]R157: witnessing with our lives, he notes that “words come”—the gospel must be preached by word and not just by action.

Mmm. However one tries to spin it, the 'Great Commission' has always been/always will be a mandate for atrocity.

by Anonymousreply 160March 21, 2023 3:07 PM
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