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Common Bonds, Are They Easily Broken? My Thoughts, Observations And Questions To Other De-Converts.


Eban73
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For a year now, I have been working a part time job at a Jason's Deli in Tulsa. In just the past year, I've come across a lot of people at this place and also while riding the city bus. Saturday and Sunday are the usual days the church and various other groups such as dance, sports, and cheerleading groups show up.

 

I'm usually not one to talk about people in general, but i started to really look at some of the people there, and observed how they conducted themselves around each other, how they talked to each other, how they enjoyed each others company. But, something tells me that many of them long to have something in common other than Sunday morning at the church, more than likely these people have common interests, they have life long friendships, maybe some have been through poverty,war, gang violence, drugs, prostitution, or been affected by some of these issues that plague the world.

 

I had to wonder, what if just one of these people came out and just said that they didn't believe in god?  How would the group react? I have to wonder if those bonds that these people have would be broken. Jesus, God,and Allah to an extent seem to be the ultimate bond between a large amount of people I've come across in my short nearly 28 years of existence. 

 

So, tell me. How did your friends, family, and co workers conduct themselves after you came out to them as an atheist? Did they just stop talking to you? Or did they slowly start to avoid you? Did those bonds that you have suddenly break? Or did you have a much better experience? Inquiring minds must know!Wendyeaves.gif

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Surprisingly, nothing changed for me. Most of my friends know I'm an atheist, and we've had several debates on this issue, but they don't treat me any differently. Since I'm still the cool dude that I was before, I reckon they can't help but like me.

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My best buddy is a Catholic, after years of fundamentalist Charismatic faith, and he knows that I have completely rejected that way. We've known each other for 30 years, and have been through each other's emotional hells. Those kinds of friends are hard to find. We usually stick to stuff we both like. I tolerate his belief, he tolerates my non-belief. I don't flaunt my thoughts or occasional pagan leanings to him, so we get along well. I don't expect him to change and likewise.

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I'm not completely "out" yet, but the people I have told have had mixed reactions. My immediate family (mom, dad, brothers) are all fine with it, although I think my mom believes that eventually I'll "come around". she doesn't push anything, though. My husband, on the other hand, had an extremely negative reaction which we sorta smoothed over, but we haven't talked about it since then. It's kind of the elephant in the room, so to speak. I don't know if I'll ever tell my inlaws, because they're extremely judgemental and I don't feel like dealing with their comments.

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How did your friends, family, and co workers conduct themselves after you came out to them as an atheist? 

 

If church was the common bond, then our friendship was over - there are very few exceptions to that statement. As far as my friends from other areas of my life, nothing really changed. My family has never been one to completely break with other members of the family - but certainly not as close of a relationship as in the past. 

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I'm not completely "out" yet, but the people I have told have had mixed reactions. My immediate family (mom, dad, brothers) are all fine with it, although I think my mom believes that eventually I'll "come around". she doesn't push anything, though. My husband, on the other hand, had an extremely negative reaction which we sorta smoothed over, but we haven't talked about it since then. It's kind of the elephant in the room, so to speak. I don't know if I'll ever tell my inlaws, because they're extremely judgemental and I don't feel like dealing with their comments.

This is my exact situation. Seriously. Almost word for word.

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I have almost no bonds with people I grew up in a fundigelical environment with, but the reasons aren't as black and white as *I deconverted and they rejected me*, although Christian culture does have a part in it. 

 

I'm divorced from a fundamentalist ex-husband and 4-5 people I thought were friends were ugly in rejecting me, but for the most part, the way I drifted from people I grew up with isn't really different than how we'd probably have drifted if religion wasn't a factor. I live halfway across the country from my hometown and most of them live in the same state. I don't have children by choice and most of them have multiple children and most of the women are SAHMs. Only one other woman from my Christian school class has a STEM career. Even in small things like music or TV, there doesn't seem to be much overlap. But it's not really different from how most people drift away from people they were friends with as teenagers when their adult lives don't have much in common. There are a few people whom I still consider friends, but we give each other occasional updates about our own lives and then don't have much else to talk about.

 

The thing that was hard was discovering how little my mother and I have in common. It's very hard for us to find anything at all to connect over.

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