In a few weeks, near my Birthday, I'll likely be interviewed by the Bishop of my religious ward. Atheist or no, I'm still on the church registries. This happens annually to young Mormons, they're asked questions about their testimonies in the church and their attendance, and often issues like sexual purity. I'm not sure whether other religions do something similar or not.

I'm not quite sure how to react to this. Last year I sounded like a bored but very amiable Agnostic, and obviously I've fallen farther than that. Mormon culture tends to be a very friendly one, and though their views are sometimes naive or insulting to me, I've never taken the time to really fight back, and don't know whether I should. I'd prefer to be honest but not cruel, but last time I told a religee I was godless it only ended in more church.

So... if you were being interviewed by any religious figure, what would you say?

I thought it would be an interesting scenario for a group of Atheists, because some of you try to debate the religious, others just want to be left alone. Some of you are bitter towards religion, some of you just don't suit it. Thoughts?

Tags: debate, god, interview, scenario

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at this point in my life i'd decline the interview. if this were happening when i was in my teens and / or i couldn't refuse for whatever reason my responses would have been based on what mood i was caught in. if i knew that saying the truth about what i thought would mean more church or prayer or bible for me i'd just say what i was supposed to at that moment. it's cowardly true, but doing what i want my time means more to me than romantically being punished for my thoughts.
To be honest, I'm always tempted to say what I think, no matter who's asking me. You might not want to do that, depending on what type of interview this is (I've never been part of a church or anything, so I have no clue). Mormons and Jehova's Witnesses have come to my door in the past and asked me about my religious beliefs, and I never hesitate to tell them what I think of it rather than just play along. I might decline the interview, though, because I don't really know what good it would do.
I don't lie, and I don't plan to. Trouble is, I can't really say no to things... and I guess this is a good opportunity to use my knowledge, I'm just not sure how to go about it.
I had the priviledge of being interviewed by a religious leader.

I went to meet my girlfriend's family before I proposed marriage. Her father is a minister of the Protestant church in the Philippines. I was raised a Christian and slowly drifted away until I finally realized I was really an atheist at age 15.

My interview lasted about 2 hours and he didn't mess around when asking questions. I knew he would ask about my religious beliefs but I wasn't sure how I would answer. When the question came up I told him I was a Christian as a child but now I don't see any church that met my standard of morality. I explained that I could not, in good conscience, be part of any organization that condoned violence of any kind against other humans. I wanted nothing to do with any group that preached hatred or intolerance and I didn't think any religious organization could be trusted to do what was right.

I was a bit shocked when he agreed with me on many points. I think my stand against violence and hatred allayed any fears he had about me marrying his daughter. We became good friends during many subsequent discussions on various subjects. I was relieved when he started telling me about some geological formations on a nearby island that were millions of years old. I knew then that he wasn't an insane creationist.

I have a lot of respect for him as a person even though our beliefs can be very different. He doesn't use religion as a hammer to beat people down. I think he got involved for the chance to help people.

I'm sure many other religious leaders would not take kindly to my ideas. If I faced one of them I think I might answer the same way and let the chips fall where they may.


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