In the BibleForums Christian Message Board, a mother expresses concern over her daughter dating an atheist. She is particularly vexed by the fact that this atheist boy is not only so good to her daughter, but is in fact much better and more moral than any of the Christian boys she's dated:
I would be angry but, that boy has done a lot of good for her. Since she started dating him her grades have improved, she's been a much happier person, and she hasn't gotten in trouble at school for about 7 weeks. Plus he seems like a really good kid.
Her previous boyfriends, who claimed to be christians, have only caused her trouble. One of them almost got her to try smoking. The last one she had before Chris broke up with her because she wouldn't have sex with him.
Chris has been the best thing that ever happened to her, but still I'm worried about his atheism. What should I do?
Some of the Christians responding are saying that this may provide the mother with an opportunity to convert the atheists — indeed, that perhaps this is God working through her daughter to bring another soul to Jesus. That shows no small amount of arrogance for presuming that the mother has any business trying to convert someone merely because he daughter is dating them. Imagine how unseemly it would be if people told a liberal Democrat that they should take advantage of an opportunity to convert a conservative Republican who is dating their daughter.
Looking at this from the other direction, however, we can see that some good may be coming from this. It's unfortunate that the mother has developed such bigotry and prejudice towards atheists that she's actually surprised that not only is this atheist boy good, but in fact that he's so good for her daughter. Imagine if she had written the same thing about a boy being Jewish, Latino, Catholic, or black — wouldn't she obviously be demonstrating prejudice and bigotry? Who but a bigot would be surprised that a Jew could be a good person or that that a Latino could be a good companion for their daughter?
What is fortunate is that his open, unapologetic atheism is forcing this woman to confront and, I hope, reconsider some of her prejudices. If this boy were in the closet about his atheism, he'd never be able to set a good example as an atheist and prove, by example, that atheists can be good people. This is thus a great demonstration of why it can be important for atheists to come out of the closet and live openly as atheists, refusing to apologize for what they are or for the fact that they don't share others' religious and theistic beliefs.