I recently called a longtime christian friend, to wish him and his wife a happy holiday. His 2 children are both about the same ages as ours, and they played and all grew up together. I’ve known this guy and his wife for almost 25 years; back when I first met this guy, and after him and his wife, had gotten over the shock, that they were living next door to a family of atheists, (we were the first atheists, that they had ever met) we all became good friends. He became the kind of friend that you talk shit with when you guys were alone with each other – the kind of friend that when he see’s you working around house, or fixing something, he always has to put in his two cents worth – he always has a better way of doing things; and the kind of friend that if you overheard us talking to each other in a hardware store, you might not think that we were friends at all.
In the summer, we would load up the children, camping gear and the ATV’s, and then convoy to the Ocean together – both of our families were very close, and we had a lot of fun together – but then came all of the invites to attend church with them, and all of the proselytizing. Both he and I were making a hell of a lot of money back then, and despite the fact that I was out of town a lot of the time, him and his wife believed that we were excellent parents, and had great children, and that the only other thing that we needed, was “jesus” in our lives. This guy and his wife were also real close friends with their preacher and his wife, at the church where they attended. There were times when his proselytizing would put a great strain on our friendship, and I would unload on his ass about his deluded belief in a ghost raped, little virgin-born bastard-savior, named “jesus” – I never attacked him personally, but to him, attacking his fucking “lord,” was the same as attacking him – his wife would always say: “he’ll come around to jesus.”
The last two times that I had talked to this guy, I didn’t even notice that he didn’t come at me with his christ-speak and deluded christian-talk – so I asked him: “you’re not trying to save my heathen soul anymore, you fucking asshole - so what gives here?” he then told me, that after their children had dropped by the house on their mom’s birthday, and both of them were proclaiming that they were now agnostics, and parroting a lot of the stuff that I used to say (I never talked to his children about their beliefs) he and his wife started thinking about what they believed in as well. He told me that neither he nor his wife, still believes in all of that made up bullshit in the bible, like the talking-snake, and the virgin-birth of jesus, and all of the other magic and bullshit about christ’s life and death – he said that today, he can’t understand just how he ever believed, that all of that bullshit was true; however, he said that both him and his wife, still consider themselves christians. He said that they now only follow, the christian teachings – like do unto others, help the poor and other stuff like that… he even apologized to me, for all of his past proselytizing.
I didn’t even know what to say at that point; I thought that I should have felt something, or even started gloating, and talking shit or something – but the only thing that I said was again, enjoy the holidays – he then invited me and my family to his home for a New Years Eve party.
I’ve never been religious – even as a young child, I found the story of christ simply ridiculous – the ghost raping the little girl, all of the fucking magic – walking on water, turning water into wine, raising the dead – a dead for 3 days, stinking and rotting corpse arose, and then walking among the living – and simply believe all of this silly and mindless bullshit, and you’ll live forever somewhere in the fucking sky. So I just can’t get a grasp on what this guy and his wife are going through. And can someone still be a “christian,” without believing all of the supernatural bullshit? Or is this just the path that some christians take to avoid the atheist stigma? What do you think about this?