I have been slowly coming out to friends and family evryone has been cool so far. The only person in my family I really worry about is my mother. She's not the most religious but she is a strong believer and I am afraid she will feel like a failure, seems funny I'm in my 30's yet this subject makes me feel like i'm 14 again,repeating the I don't want to go to church anymore battle.
Anyways I am going to spend time with my best friend. She's been away for years stationed all over the place. We keep in contact but since she's been stationed out in the pacific the past few years, communication has been pretty much reduced to the occasional email.
Any-who she's coming to town and we are going to spend a day together. I'm really excited, but at the same time nervous. Her last visit I discovered she was not only a believer but she was a hardcore fundie baptist. Which I was shocked, she was the skeptic and I was the believer in superstitions when we were younger. I never had a chance to find out how she came about her 180. She was surprised by my beliefs that at the time were basically pantheistic. She never knew me as a fundie but I always considered myself strongly "spiritual" before. So when I was like Meh she was quite surprised and a bit uncomfortable. I worry about what will happen if I come out.
Part of me is saying don't be silly you guys are like sisters, you'll get past this difference. But part of me is afraid bc I know what can happen with the closest family bonds when an atheist comes out. I can try to avoid the subject but her religion has become so strong that last years visit it was unavoidable. And I'm not the type to keep quiet if people assume my position. I'm hoping she has mellowed but I don't see any sign that she has.
I'm not certain why I'm really posting this. Maybe I'd like to hear some advice or maybe encouragement. Maybe just to get it off my chest. All I know is this is bothering me and I only have a couple more days to work out my thoughts and feelings before our visit. I don't want to go in and responding irrationally if it does come up. Any thoughts?
 

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Well, I'm sure if you're friendship is as strong as you say it is then it will be a non-issue, discuss it if she wants to, but don't make a big deal of it..Don't say "hey I've got something important to tell you" drop it into a conversation...if she brings up god or her religion just say that having faith like that must be a real comfort to her and you really respect that and somtimes you wish people would be a bit more respectful of your own beliefs...and if she asks what they are...well then tell her...she will have to be respectful after that.
oh and if she starts argueing with doctrinal points...just say that you understand her point of view, that you are grateful for her concern but that you have resolved all of those issues with your own conscience and logic and with the evidence available to you and you are happy with your decision. People who support different teams are still good friends, people who support different political parties are still friends. It is merely a difference of opinion.
True. We have almost in every way been polar opposites since the very beginning. That's what I think makes our friendship work. During her last visit she reminded me about a time early on when I chewed her out bc she was acting like her judgmental mother. I forgot all about it but she didn't. She actually thanked me for it. It strengthened our friendship bc I called her on her crap. And she has called me on mine. We helped keep each other in balance.
I think what is making it difficult for me is that we haven't been able to keep in touch like we used to. Granted the last 10 years have put a lot of miles between us. When she was in the US we would call each other about once a month spend an hour or so catching up. Now that she's out in the pacific and there is a lot of issues that make keeping in touch very difficult. I think that's magnifying my worry.
I'm not planning on bringing it up. I try to never share my beliefs unless it comes up. Or I'm in a place that it's appropriate. It's the "what if?" that is bothering me right now. Perhaps I worry to much. If she is still my friend she'll be able to look past it. She somehow became a Young Earth Creationist. She knew I believed in the big bang, evolution and the whole nine yards before. And that hasn't been an issue we just agreed to disagree and moved on.
Oh well...there's nothing I can do but wait and see. Thanks for your reply.
Well hopefully you are worrying for nothing then, but don't shortchange yourself either. Your beliefs are as important as hers, they are not something to be looked past, they make you who you are and are not to be apologised for, don't forget that! best of luck and I'm sure it will go fine.
Thanks. I got to thinking about the situation and I'm not as worried now. I was on a bit of a downer but now that I'm actually thinking I'm doing better.
Don't worry about me shortchanging myself. I grew up in a family that were not afraid to make their opinion known. The main reason why I keep quiet is so that I can calmly bring in different perspectives to people who would otherwise reject them. I'm crafty like that. ;-) Nebraska is a bit more liberal than Texas but I sometimes wonder by how much.
When the majority of the people outside of your group of friends consider Fox News as unbiased and factual you know your there's going to be trouble when you open your mouth. Although the town I live in is relatively liberal compared to rest of it. Diversity is a good thing. :-)
I hope the visit goes well for you! From the history you've given, it sounds like your friend is happy to spend time with you regardless of your religious beliefs. One of the exciting parts about long distance friendships (for me anyway) is seeing how friends change over the years.
Thanks.
It would be great if you could let us know how it goes. I'm curious. I'll keep an eye on this thread in case you decide to share further.

I think you have good reason to be nervous but hopefully, the situation will have a good outcome.

My experience with fundamentalist Christians is they will promptly and without hesitation put their God before anyone else, even a close friend or family member.

I really hope this turns out for you because recently I had a similar situation (in some aspects) and it did not go well. It was very upsetting and I had to come here and unload but I did feel much better after supportive responses.
Well she just left and the subject didn't come up, but I'm gonna see her again so we shall see. She did see my wall paper with the scientist last supper and when she first showed up I had atheist experience playing but I'm not sure if she realized what it was. So who knows. All I know is I can't stop eating the damn dried mangoes she brought. LOL

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