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Austin Cline

Help, My Daughter is Dating an Atheist Who's Actually Good!

By January 20, 2007

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Atheists exist throughout society, often where religious theists aren't even aware of them. Sometimes these atheists actually interact with religious theists on a personal level — like for example dating them. This can cause some difficulty for religious theists who are accustomed to regarding atheists as the evil spawn of Satan, unable to do any good and useless for anything except perhaps as a target for conversion efforts.

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.

Comments
January 20, 2007 at 12:17 pm
(1) Michelle says:

I thought it was interesting how one Christian felt the athiest was only displaying an outer show of being good, as if the athiest’s true evil intentions would surface eventually. Is that the only way some Christians can rationalize the possibility of a moral athiest?

January 20, 2007 at 3:11 pm
(2) alvar says:

We as Christians know what God says about an unbeliver, and about us being “GOOD”. We are not to be unequally yoke with unbelivers. I don’t care how moral they may appear, God knows best and God knows what the outcome will be for compromising with such. I can love that person as God loves him but I will obey God. God knows best. And as far as that person being good Jesus said there is none good but the Father. There is none righteous unless God the Father gives him the Gift of righteousnes through Jesus Christ. Works won’t save us but Jesus will. “Stand Christins Stand”, do not be decieved.

October 6, 2010 at 10:36 am
(3) alisa says:

thank you so much for this imput Im so torn I found out bad news about a atheist boy who treated my daughter so awesome, and made her stay away from him iv been sick to my stomach ever sine they started dating but i seen how he adored her. After breaking that bond i now am able to eat again. God does protect usif we will just listen to him follow his word.Still love this kid dearly but he has a bad temp and wont leave things alone. Bless his heart he has issues but all I can do for him is pray hell get over her. We cant risk our children to save him

January 24, 2011 at 2:05 am
(4) Evan says:

Open your eyes…atheists are good people. In fact, I’d be willing to say atheists are more moral than theists.

Check out the percentage of atheists in prison…much lower than the percentage of atheists overall.

http://freethoughtpedia.com/wiki/Percentage_of_atheists

October 25, 2011 at 9:05 pm
(5) Jake says:

You seem easily brainwashed. Why stop them if they’re happy. If your daughter chooses to be an Atheist, so be it. It’s her choice, and a good person should accept that.

May 11, 2011 at 2:45 am
(6) Mike says:

alvar,

Please re-read Acts Chapter 10. You have to read the whole story to get it, but my point comes in verses 15 and 28. GOD tells Peter “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” Jesus warns you against pride and judgment. You also seem to misquote and misinterpret scripture. The full quote that you referenced (Mark 10:28 NIV)

“Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.”

Jesus is denying his own right to be called “good.” If there is none who is good save God, surely you cannot say you are good and someone else is not. In versus 19 through 21 Jesus himself contradicts your statement that works have no part in your salvation.

“You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’
“Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.”
Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” ”

Oh and by the way alvar you have just been given a scriptural smack-down by an atheist. Judge not lest ye be judged.

September 5, 2011 at 5:18 pm
(7) Mark Litnewski says:

As an atheist myself, I would really like to not be discriminated against any more. It’s frustrating. I’m a good person… I sure don’t want to hurt anyone. We are now the single most discriminated against group of people there is. 48% of americans will not vote for an atheist. 50% of even non-christians see atheists in a negative way. That’s leaps and bounds more than all other groups of people that we see as discriminated against, which includes jews, african americans, muslims, hispanics, women, and even scientologists…

Here’s the link:

http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistbigotryprejudice/a/AtheistSurveys.htm

Anyways, onto my point. If you make a bunch of very valid points, and then rub it in that you “just gave a scriptural smack-down” to someone, then you’ve just undone any work you’ve done to show them you’re a moral atheist. Now they’re going to hate you, no matter how right you are. You need to be friendly and kind with them to EVER give them the chance to actually agree with anything you say.

I don’t even want to convert christians. I just want them to stop hating us for being logical.

August 19, 2011 at 11:40 am
(8) Carl says:

you’re really stupid.

January 20, 2007 at 3:25 pm
(9) Austin Cline says:

We are not to be unequally yoke with unbelivers. I don’t care how moral they may appear, God knows best and God knows what the outcome will be for compromising with such.

This is as bigoted as it would be if you were talking about Latinos, blacks, or any other minority. The fact that you believe you religion teaches this doesn’t excuse it or relieve you of the responsibility for accepting it.

January 20, 2007 at 3:34 pm
(10) Badger3k says:

“I can love that person as God loves him but I will obey God. God knows best.”

So, if God says to kill the unbeliever because he is outside of God, then you would do it?

Sick.

January 21, 2007 at 12:48 pm
(11) Tom says:

Her previous boyfriends, who claimed to be christians, have only caused her trouble.

I bet they only claimed to be true Scottsmen, too.

January 21, 2007 at 4:58 pm
(12) mdhåtter says:

“God knows best and God knows what the outcome will be for compromising with such.”

…and I will effect gods righteous will upon thee.

July 31, 2011 at 9:30 pm
(13) ashleypooh says:

This is exactly the same scenario that happened to me. My boyfriend became an atheist, and all my family wanted to do was hate him. However, six years later, he’s family, they love him and accept him. They even talk theology and the bible together, abeit from different points of view. Sure, sometimes it gets heated, they don’t see eye to eye on things, but their respect and caring for one another has overcome that. He’s as much their son as i am their daughter. Anyone saying that they broke up a relationship of their daughter’s (or son’s) because of this atheism thing? Know that before i met my boyfriend, i was drinking and partying, going down a bad road. I got away from all that because my boyfriend wanted the best for me and showed me how to respect myself. One day, one of you might try to break up a relationship like this and find that it’s not the boyfriend your daughter will give up, it’ll be the person who forced them into such an irresponsible and immoral choice to begin with. You’re taking away a very important right from your child; the right to love/ like who they want.

February 1, 2007 at 3:26 pm
(14) GrandmaVickie says:

Sounds like the atheist boy is a few pegs above the christian boys her daughter had dated. Perhaps HE should not want to be unequally yoked with a lowly christian.

February 7, 2007 at 11:00 am
(15) happy_2_b_atheist Adrienne says:

Sure looks as if the daughter has a better grasp on life than does the mother.

September 27, 2007 at 7:41 pm
(16) Darren Gates says:

The religion of one age is the mythology of the next. This courageous young man shows that skeptically-minded young people are not afraid to confront the bigotry and small-mindedness of previous generations. I look forward to the day when we will all be free of the hypocrisy of religion. In today’s society it takes enormous intellectual strength to break free of the brain-washing indoctrination of our religious culture. This young boy should be applauded!

December 4, 2007 at 10:23 pm
(17) blargh! says:

I suppose the relationship wont work out as the atheist boy will ask for her hand in marriage instead of paying for it….

July 16, 2008 at 7:17 am
(18) unequally yoked says:

I have a son who was brought up in a true christian upbrining, but at the age of 21 decided to be a follower of muhammad. He then falls in love with his childhood crush who happen to come from the same christian back ground. they connect aT every level, even spiritually. They start dating, occasionally attend church together only to find out that he is a muslim. Where do i stand as a mom?; and as a christian? should i encourage the relationship as my son has finally found a gal who could lead him back to GOD? or be a true christian and discourage the relationship as his girlfriend is being unequally yoked with an unbeliever?

July 19, 2008 at 2:40 pm
(19) the dude says:

call me up i’ll give her and her boyfriend a secular wedding and they will have a real nice ceremony :p and you could invite all her godless children to do the same :D

September 11, 2008 at 1:21 am
(20) Dave Double-decks says:

should i encourage the relationship as my son has finally found a gal who could lead him back to GOD?
Hate to inform you of this, particularly since I’m an atheist, but the difference between Christians and Muslims is not huge: same god, different prophet.

September 28, 2008 at 8:41 pm
(21) minuteman says:

most all atheist i know (are)good people.just who is it that keeps the nasty in the movies?if everyone who claims to be (christian)would get up and leave any movie that starts dropping the f-bombs and sex scenes,then the folks in hollywierd would start giving us better movies and then maybe we atheist would feel safer about trying to take our children to see more of them.

October 18, 2008 at 8:52 am
(22) Jana says:

It appears from your article and your response to messages that you are looking for negativity from believers. All people are born basically good, regardless of their belief in God or not. However, in any wanted long term relationship (marriage) a union between a believer and a non-believer would be hosting a lot more friction for the married couple. There is no way for either side to completely see how important this issue really is. Not only do they have to figure out about the wedding ceremony (in or outside of church), they have children’s dedications, baptisms, going to church weekly, their moral code, etc.

Marraige is hard. Usually one party gets tired of trying to explain to the other party so both parties quit.

October 18, 2008 at 10:26 am
(23) Austin Cline says:

It appears from your article and your response to messages that you are looking for negativity from believers.

And why do you say that?

The truth is, when a believer expresses bigoted beliefs, I’m not “looking” for negativity, I’m simply experiencing it.

All people are born basically good, regardless of their belief in God or not.

This contradicts orthodox Christian doctrine.

However, in any wanted long term relationship (marriage) a union between a believer and a non-believer would be hosting a lot more friction for the married couple.

More so than other differences? If so, why?

April 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm
(24) Yuko says:

I think the comment about long-term relationships is legitimate. In my opinion, the atheist-theist split represents a very critical difference in epistemological philosophy. Personally, valuing open-mindedness and empirical evidence is an important part of my life. It would be very difficult for me to marry someone who put more value on an outdated authority. There are also some really unsettling beliefs, especially about out-groups, that come with religious doctrine. That’s not to say that agreeing with these beliefs isn’t the result of growing up in a religious family but it’s still something I could see making me less comfortable with my partner.

November 24, 2008 at 3:22 pm
(25) Brett Highsmith says:

I visited the BibleForums Message Board out of simple curiosity after reading through this article.

Hmm…don’t think I’ll make that mistake again. What a weird, scary, infurating place. From my position, it was truly like visiting an alien planet. A sterile alien planet.

Anyway, thanks for an insightful article. Think I’ll try to get some work done and move my attitude back into the positive.

December 12, 2008 at 6:49 pm
(26) Lauren Bell says:

Alvar, I find your comment very offensive, I am an atheist, and I date a Christian. He is the first Christian I have ever dated, and he is a total trouble maker. Of course, I don’t mean to say that all Christian boys are trouble makers, that would be very hypocritical of me; I mean to say that it doesn’t matter whether you are atheist or Christian, we are all human, we all have the same emotions, we are all (or hopefully most of us) decent people.

Referring to the article, when I started dating my boyfriend his parents were horrified that I was an atheist, which quite frankly confused me. Before moving to the US, I had never had so many people fear me and act so aggressively toward me, at one point the bullying I received from my theist peers got so bad that at times I would refuse to go to school. It saddens me to see that so many theists still believe that atheists are bad people, especial in this time period.
I hope that more atheists come out and prove that we are good, trustworthy people so that we can change this false ideology so many seem to have.

March 22, 2009 at 9:00 pm
(27) DLB-Texas says:

My youngest child is living with an atheist. She was raised as a Christian and was baptized. I am not sure what her beliefs are however.

I can not tell you the pain I feel and the disappointment. Religion to him is a crutch and it is obvious that he feels that atheists are more intelligent. He does not seem to be able to turn the light on his own behavior to see some of the emotion that is present in many of his decisions. Meanwhile, in all of the research that I have done it looks like a major obstacle would be if they have children. I can see now that my best approach would be to love any future grandchildren but try to understand the underlying issues. I need to pray now and from afar. If they marry, I do plan on attending the marriage and will pray that it will be successful and happy. I know that my daughter should not be unequally yoked with an unbeliever, but if she has a ceremony there is absolutely nothing I can do but PRAY and hope that they do not have children.

May 17, 2009 at 5:01 am
(28) anon says:

I have been in a loving relationship with my catholic girlfriend for quite some time now and we have been engaged for over a year. I have always respected her religious upbringing and never tried to alter her beliefs. However, whilst organising our wedding she has made it clear that her plan is NOT to have a religious ceremony. I won’t pretend to be upset by her decision as i was quite releived that she was prepared to be openminded and respectful to anyone outside of the catholic faith. Unfortunately though, it has lead to many disrepectful, rude, cruel and bigotted reactions and comments from her family. Some (who would previously have laid their lives on the line for her) announcing that they will not be attending the wedding and will cease to love her if she continues with “these ridiculous plans”. I as her loving partner have managed to keep my reactions to a minimum but am finding it very hard to put up with such vicious verbal attacks and emotional blackmail. When put on the spot and asked WHY i do not beleive in THEIR god, i have tried to explain that my own understanding is that we really have no idea what will happen when the lights finally go out. I may find myself facing Jesus, or it could be Mohammed, or maybe life will simply end. For this reason i will continue to hold a healthy respect and understanding for all faiths, and refuse to dismiss the important feelings of others by following any one religion.
As we continue to plan our big day, it is becoming increasingly difficult. Some of the comments made by those who claim to be good, responsible followers of the catholic faith, have been very hurtful and upsetting. We are considering forgetting the whole wedding if the hostility continues. If anyone can offer any unbiased advice i would be very grateful.

May 28, 2009 at 8:50 pm
(29) horacesungod says:

Of course you realize that at one time Christians were called atheist’s because they didn’t believe in the gods that were popular at that time.
There are a thousand gods, and thousands of religions, the difference between a christian and an atheist is really very small. There is so many other things she should worry about in her daughters relations than atheism.

July 17, 2009 at 4:05 am
(30) mothwentbad says:

Of course she’s freaked out. Why could something as trivial as the only mortal life we have any way of knowing actually exists when an eternity of Heaven or Hell (depending on whether one bows to the Torturer Deity) is at stake to completely trivialize everything else one might otherwise care about? Calling it simple “bigotry” fails to account for the weight of what these people actually believe, or claim/try to believe, about their sadistic “benevolent” (God)father and His Ultimate Offer You Can’t Refuse.

July 17, 2009 at 4:08 am
(31) mothwentbad says:

There should be a “matter” after “exists” in the second sentence of my earlier comment.

August 10, 2009 at 12:53 am
(32) Brad says:

A person that considers theirself christian should never consider having a serious relationship with a non-believer.

Someones values or morality isn’t even a tangible excuse or valid argument. Non-believers are going to hell according to the Bible, and yes it’s that flat about it. Because they have committed the unpardonable sin and can’t be made clean. Actually, the more moral a non-believer acts is more decieving than an immoral nonbeliever. Truth is, all nonbelievers are immoral in the eyes of God. This woman has every reason to be worried. I know that I wouldn’t want my children to be deceived and end up in hell, just because a nonbeliever had good earthly morals.

August 18, 2009 at 5:17 pm
(33) AtheistGeophysicistBob says:

Jana (15). I am atheist; my wife is Lutheran. We have been married more than 40 years and, so far, this has caused us no problem. We have several other differences, but none have been important to us. Maybe friction will develop during the next 40 years…

August 18, 2009 at 6:15 pm
(34) Drew says:

First of all, very few teen-agers marry their boy/girlfriend at 15 years of age, so don’t get stressed out.

People who make either religious observance or atheist activism important in their lives should ensure they find a mate with whom they are compatible.

But for people within the edges, it is easier to be compatible with the other view. I guess it’s easy for me to say that, because where I leave that leaves a lot of people to choose from.

A practicing religionist wouldn’t work for me – I made sure my wife was an atheist before I asked her to marry me. That said, given that I was only going to marry an intelligent, educated, open minded person, if I’d married a non-practicing Christian or a fuzzy deist, she’d by an atheist by now, just through exposure to me. And there’s no way that my kids will be religious, unless they suffer some sort of brain damage.

August 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm
(35) A says:

This is prejudice! I don’t like this.

August 18, 2009 at 7:15 pm
(36) bondgrrl says:

Brad @ 24: “Truth is, all nonbelievers are immoral in the eyes of God.”

Of all the bigoted, condescending, self-righteous crap I’ve ever heard, this takes the cake. Why can’t you theists get it through your heads that we don’t *care* what you think is in the “eyes of God” (as if you have some inside track into what god “sees”). Comments like this do nothing but highlight your sense of offensive moral superiority (in your own minds, that is. We just think you’re having delusions of grandeur and talking to yourselves).

September 28, 2011 at 5:12 pm
(37) yes. says:

This is so damn true.

August 18, 2009 at 7:30 pm
(38) Tom Edgar says:

Atheist/G/B.

I knew we had to have something in common even if it wasn’t our intellect.

Until her death, eleven yeas ago, my Quaker wife and I were married for forty six years.

Well we were both virgins at marriage, neither of us drank, drugged, smoked nor played the horses etc., I would add that those “Non Sinning” attributes prevailed in my seven years as a Merchant Mariner, and my wife’s period during WW2 working for and with the U S N.

I can vouch Eileen was the most Quakerly Quaker but didn’t believe in the biblical Christianity nor in the divinity of Christ. Funny mob that lot, they don’t TELL you what to believe. The Australian lot don’t even have Pastors or leaders. Another thing in which they are at divergence with most Christians. They think it wrong to hurt another person no matter what nationality or faith. Not much use on a Crusade in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere.

August 19, 2009 at 1:26 am
(39) Zayla says:

Brad, I can honestly say this is the happiest day of my life as an atheist.

Your words have never made me more grateful that my children won’t grow up to be moronic bigots like you and that I’m an atheist.

Jesus F****** Christ was that just about the most idiotic thing I’ve read here.

August 19, 2009 at 12:23 pm
(40) Linda Turnipseed says:

Brad, what other kind of morals are there besides “good earthly morals’? I’m afraid I don’t understand what it is you mean.

August 20, 2009 at 3:21 am
(41) Tom Edgar says:

Alright. I have had enough of ill educated people trying to make profound philosophical statements. I refrain from questioning the obvious bad spelling, syntax, delivery etc., But BRAD. there is no such word as theirself or theirselves in the English language not even in the American version. Unless you can obtain some degree of education, please refrain from proving your own inadequacies, especially when trying to prove your personal intellectual superiority to those who actually can read and write.

September 6, 2009 at 11:20 pm
(42) Tammi says:

I wanted to feel…I guess not alone. I am a Christian…and please, to all Christians reading this, don’t tell me otherwise. My faith, belief and relationship with God is exactly that- between God and myself. Please don’t tell me that I love, or am less seeking of God than you are. I am aware of what it is says in the Bible between a believer and non believer and am not ignorant to that fact.

I also know that the decisions I make are once again, between my Maker and me. For the past- at least 5 years- I have been praying for someone special…my mum and her prayer group have been praying for someone special, this year that person came along. Low and behold, he IS an atheist. I am not ashamed to say it, but I love him. He makes me smile, laugh, erspects me, is the most honest person…makes me happy…and makes me comfortable with who I am…EVEN who I am in Christ. He supports me and my faith, goes to church with me, and listens to me when I feel so overwhlemed with God’s goodness, or when I feel disheartened towards the Church.

This is everything good. Everything good in a person.

I thank you for re-iterating to me what it says in the Bible, but believe me when I say, I prayed about dating him…and plain simple truth, I would be the ignorant one if I didn’t say yes.

The sad reality is, I almost didn’t date him, not because it would “feel wrong” or what it says in the Bible…like I said before, I prayed to God (as it ALSO says in the Bible to do)- He is the only one I will answer to. Instead, the only thing I feared would be Christians who would talk about me behind my back, gossip about me, call me a bad Christian…make judgement towards me.

I realized- praying to God, seeking His counsel (the One who knows me best)and seeking counsel with the third person who knows me best, my mum- would allow me to see what I needed to see. SMy mum stands behind me…fully supports my boyfriend and I.

My two closest friends support me, and my youth pastor (though he would never recommend any Christian to date a non believer) suprisingly had no arguements against my boyfriend and I dating.

I want to thanks the Atheist gentleman who has been married to his Lutheran wife for 40 years. Thank you! You have written the most sense in all the comments. I know there are things that my boyfriend I will see differently- I am not ignorant to that fact. But they won’t be important enough to break the relationship apart. Everything important in a relationship I believe can be worked out- if love is in the relationship.

I have learned to ignore what other have been saying behind my back…it is not keeping me accountable but instead, embarrassed and ashamed to know that someone bearing the name of Christ would do such a mean a hurtful thing against another Christian. Christ came to this world to love everyone. As someone bearing His name, I intend to show the same action as Christ did…towards those who believe and towards those who don’t. I respect thos who have different views on religion than I do. I don’t appreciate when people are making fun of God and my faith- just as someone of a different belief or religion does not appreciate when others are degrading their beliefs either.

For (29) Zayla- please, to make this comment/blog appropriate it would be apprecited if no one would use the Name of the Lord in vain and with such little regard, insult the God whom I believe. It does not make your arguement any better or more educted, in fact quite the opposite.This is towards any religion or belief. I am more than positive this comment/blog can continue without such uneducated and offensive comments.

Back to my point- I have learned to ignore those who feel they have the right to judge me and my faith. No one has that right but God. It is not keeping me accountable as a Christian to be so condescending but rather, it is presumptious of those Christians to feel that ehy can take the role of God when they feel they can judge me. I am an imperfect human being…this I know. But this is what I beleive, thanks to my God, my Christ- He has died for me and my sins…and to Him I am accountable.

November 18, 2009 at 2:23 am
(43) sorry but says:

Here is list of gods born on dec 25 this has to do with the tilt of the earth and the seasons ……the shorter the day less time of the sun is shinning on our side aka winter…now the shortest day on our the top side also known as the side with most land is dec 21 or 22 this year is 12-21-2009 and by the 25th it looks like and is coming back to us and life comes back >>>>>>the birth of the sun >>>remember Jesus doesn’t magically keep us all alive well I guess HE does
him and water +soil =plants= animal=cheeseburger thanks jesus ……… amen-ra

*Jesus(c. 4 BCE)
* Horus (c. 3000 BCE)
* Osiris (c. 3000 BCE)
* Attis of Phrygia (c.1400 BCE)
* Krishna (c. 1400 BCE)
* Zoroaster/Zarathustra (c. 1000 BCE)
* Mithra of Persia (c. 600 BCE)
* Heracles (c. 800 BCE)
* Dionysus (c. 186 BCE)
* Tammuz (c. 400 BCE)
* Adonis (c. 200 BCE)
* Hermes
* Bacchus
* Prometheus

March 7, 2010 at 3:16 pm
(44) reignmond says:

Of course the Atheist Boyfriend is good. That’s probably what drove him to be an Atheist to begin with. That’s what happened to me 30 some years ago! There are FAR fewer Atheists in the news or jails because of crimes than any other “religious” group, except Buddhists. Just 2 days ago another sex scandal at the Vatican was on the news. Locally another a married preacher was found in an illicit affair with a married woman from his flock, and another evangelical was misappropriating money from the coffer to have a nicer lifestyle. This lack of morality even hit me personally when I discovered that my devout Christian girlfriend of 6 weeks was actually married to a missionary (who apparently was abusive & cheating on her). Christian morality? What a joke. They use a make believe god and devil (and angels, saints) as a smokescreen / scapegoat / excuse for their own sins. Atheists believe that are responsible for our sins, and no one except, those we transgress against, can offer forgiveness.

April 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm
(45) its not all black and white says:

Really refreshing to read everyone’s comments. Tammi, I’m happy for you. I just started dating an atheist, and have been looking to hear from others who have had good experiences. I also have my Mom’s support. I’ve always dated Christian guys, and there have been good ones and bad ones. I assume the same is true of any group. I’m not sorry. I’m happy. Thank you very much for asking :)

July 1, 2010 at 6:22 pm
(46) khn2ilm says:

It’s funny that the religious people see atheist as moralless sinners. Christians/Muslims/etc only do things out of fear of hell or the reward of heaven. There are no moral guidelines there. Atheist know why they shouldn’t steal. Know why they shouldn’t rape and don’t kill people based on some stupid idea in their head that’s not shared by another person. So who’s got the morals now? Oh, your jealous, murderous god has all the morals…. got ya… ;)

July 16, 2010 at 5:18 pm
(47) Sarcastic Atheist says:

“This woman has every reason to be worried”.

This is very true. Since all the Christian guys her daughter dated will probably also go to hell, there seems to be no way out for the poor girl.

September 8, 2010 at 2:20 am
(48) Proud Atheist says:

There are good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things. This statement is true and it transcends any geo-political or socio-economic boundaries. However, for good people to do bad things – it takes a religion.
I had always found it comical that the basic argument between so called “believers” and “unbelievers” is who is good and who is bad, as if it was possible to make such a superficial judgment based solely on faith. I never thought about it much growing up, because these types of old arguments were a battle-ground of my grandparents. Yes, I am a third generation atheist! Both sets of my grandparents were atheist and so are my parents and their siblings, and consequently so are my sister and I. And to me good people were good because of their deeds, and religion never had anything to do with it. I fully appreciate that this is almost unheard of in America, not because the generations of atheists don’t exist, but because for some reason it is considered an untouchable and unspeakable subject. But in Europe, where I grew up, especially among intellectuals and academia, people often proudly trace their atheist connections to the times of Voltaire, Thomas Paine, Friedrich Nietzshe, Mark Twain and thousands of other atheist thinkers, writers and philosophers of the Enlightenment. Today, in most European countries it is the atheists who are proud, and the religious who are apologetic. An unrelated, but curious fact that I thought to mention, is that country by country, statistically speaking, health, infant mortality, life expectancy, level of education, and general satisfaction with life, always stands in reverse proportion to religiosity; while statistics on violent crime, abortion, relative percentage of jail population, and inequality between races and gender stand in direct proportion to religiosity.
To me a true atheist is someone who is not an “unbeliever”, but someone who is simply beyond belief. To be religious requires blind faith, and many religious people are conditioned to think that faith is a virtue, but no-one can explain why (at least no-one could ever explain it to my satisfaction). To have faith and believe in absurdities without any logic and reasoning, because the logical explanation does not exist; or even more often, to keep faith in spite of the perfectly logical explanations that do exist by denying the obvious, is simply something that the atheist refuses to do. An atheist would never say “I believe that there is no god”, instead we say “I don’t believe there is a god”. The difference between these two statements is huge, because if you say “I believe” – it is an affirmative statement and it requires proof. When atheists says “I don’t believe” – it requires no proof, because you cannot prove negative. This simple and basic definition of atheism is also why most true atheists are pacifists. Atheists will very rarely engage in name-calling, insults, emotional blackmail and other underhanded tactics. I would argue that an average atheist has read not only the bible, but other religious books as well, and knows far more about religions then an average so called “believer”. We accept people of all religions with equal respect and a healthy doze of pity and humor, and if we are engaged in a theological argument, we can easily stick to our convictions because we have logic on our side, while our opponents have only insults abuse and emotion.
I find it fascinating reading a blog like this, because you can always identify the “believer” from the “unbeliever” by the rude, crude, insulting, pathetic language that these “godly good” people use. With all their “love” of god and neighbor, their messages are toxic and radiate hate and intolerance. In contrast to them the “unbeliever” clearly and politely expresses their willingness to accept everyone for who they are, their color, creed, religion, and all. We just won’t tolerate you pushing your beliefs on us or trying to re-make your beliefs into our laws.
On the subject of “mixed” marriage. When a religious person marries an atheist, they will have a union of relatively less friction then when two deeply religious people of different denominations, or of different religions marry. The reason for this is obvious, and clearly explained above. There can never be a compromise between two incompatible and unreasonable faiths. The atheist, on the other hand, does not hate religion, but views all religions as academic curiosity and a great big part of our history and culture. An atheist parent will most likely encourage his/her children to study all religions, not just one. I personally believe that this is the best antidote we can offer against religion, just like serious reading of the bible/koran is the best cure for christianity/islam, etc. The children will not only benefit from such education, but will have complete freedom to choose what religion, if any, they will adopt for themselves, and not because they have been indoctrinated into their religion by their parents. An atheist parent would always be more willing to accept their children’s decision if they choose to become devout christians, then the religious parent would be willing to accept a child who decides to switch to a different religion from their own, or will declare that he/she is gay, or some other thing they are so sure will offend their god. In other words, there will be very little friction caused by the atheist partner and that side of the family.
The problem, in my opinion, will always come from the religious side of the family. However, if the religious partner values love and family and knows how to compromise and respect the other partner, then the mixed couple will do just fine. The greatest problems will come from the family of the religious partner, and as hard as it may be, it is up to the religious partner to set the very difficult rules and conditions on his/her part of the family.

September 8, 2010 at 7:03 pm
(49) The Proud Atheist says:

There are good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things. This statement is true and it transcends any geo-political or socio-economic boundaries. However, for good people to do bad things takes a religion (or possibly a political conviction equal in power to a religious belief).

I had always found it comical that the basic argument between so called “believers” and “unbelievers” is who is good and who is bad, as if it was possible to make such a superficial judgment based solely on faith. I never thought about it much growing up, because these types of old arguments were a battle-ground of my grandparents. Yes, I am a third generation atheist! Both sets of my grandparents were atheist and so are my parents and their siblings, and consequently so are my sister and I. And to me good people were good because of their deeds and because they were nice to me and to the people and causes I cared about, because assessing if somebody is good or not, after all, is a very subjective thing. Religion has never had anything to do with it, not even a remote philosophical connection between human goodness and religion has ever entered my mind – I just wasn’t taught that way. Religion was never a measuring stick in assessing somebody’s inner nature. Moreover, any person who claims that he or she would not be “good” if it wasn’t for the fear of punishment in the afterlife, I find a suspect and beneath contempt; and any compassion, sympathy or good will expressed by such a person seems to me hypocritical, hallow and untrustworthy. I don’t deny that such people are capable of good deeds, but I seriously doubt their innate goodness and sincerity. I fully appreciate that these sentiments are almost unheard of in America, not because the generations of atheists don’t exist here, but because for some reason it is considered an untouchable and unspeakable subject for discourse. But in Europe, where I grew up, especially among intellectuals and academia, people proudly trace their atheist connections as far back as they can, perhaps even to the times of Voltaire, Thomas Paine, Friedrich Nietzshe, Mark Twain and thousands of other atheist thinkers, writers and philosophers of the Enlightenment. Today, in most European countries it is the atheists who are proud, and the religious who are apologetic. I am thrilled to see this trend of advanced thinking is progressing nicely and finally hitting the mainland America in force. I just cannot help, but wish that this progress had more momentum and speed. How much nicer this world would be!

An unrelated, but curious fact that I thought to mention, is that country by country, statistically speaking, health, infant mortality, life expectancy, high level and quality of education, and general satisfaction with life, always stand in reverse proportion to religiosity; while statistics on violent crime, abortion, relative percentage of jail population, poverty, poor educational systems, domestic abuse, and inequality between races and gender undeniably stand in direct proportion to religiosity.

To me a true atheist is someone who is not an “unbeliever”, but someone who is simply beyond belief – grew out of it, matured in mind and will, surpassed the need to beggar and has shed the slave mentality, someone who will no longer be led as just another sheep in the flock of blind followers, someone who has evolved and broke free to live and wonder, to question and explore.

To be religious requires blind faith, and religious people are conditioned from their infancy to think that faith is a virtue, but no-one can explain why (at least no-one could ever explain it to my satisfaction). To have faith and believe in absurdities without any logic and reasoning, because the logical explanation may not exist yet; or even more often, to keep faith in spite of the perfectly logical explanations that do exist by denying the obvious, is simply something that the atheist refuses to do.

An atheist would never say “I believe that there is no god”, instead we say “I don’t believe there is a god”. The difference between these two statements is enormous, because if you say “I believe” – it is an affirmative statement and as such, it requires proof. When an atheist says “I don’t believe” – it requires no proof, because you cannot prove the negative. This simple and basic definition of atheism is also why most true atheists are pacifists. Atheists will very rarely engage in name-calling, insults, emotional blackmail, threats and other underhanded tactics in matters of beliefs and convictions. I would argue that an average atheist has read not only the bible, but other religious books as well, and knows far more about religions then an average so called “believer”. We accept people of all religions with equal respect and a healthy dose of pity and humor, and if we are engaged in a theological argument, we can easily and calmly stick to our convictions because we have logic on our side, while our opponents have only insults, threats, abuse and emotion.

I find it fascinating reading blogs where conflicting opinions on all matters of religion clash. How easily one can identify and separate the “believers” from the “unbelievers” by the rude, crude, insulting, pathetic language that these “godly good” people use. With all their “love” of god and neighbor, their messages are toxic and radiate deadly hate and intolerance. In contrast to them the “unbelievers” clearly and politely express their willingness to accept everyone for who they are, or claim to be: their color, creed, religion, and all. We just won’t tolerate the unsolicited and unwarranted infliction of their beliefs on us, and we won’t allow them to re-make their beliefs into our laws. “Live and let live” is the motto of most atheists.

On the subject of “mixed” marriage… When a religious person marries an atheist, they will have a union of relatively less friction then when two deeply religious people of different denominations or of different religions marry. The reason for this is obvious, and clearly explained above. There can never be a compromise between two incompatible and unreasonable faiths. The atheist, on the other hand, does not hate religion, but views all religions as an academic curiosity and as a great big part of our history and culture. Most likely, an atheist parent will not stop anybody from attending church, but instead will encourage his/her children to study all religions, not just one. I personally believe that this is the best antidote we can offer against religion, just like serious reading of the bible is the best cure for christianity. The same, of course, can be said about every religion and their corresponding sacred texts. The children will not only benefit from such education, but will have complete freedom to choose what religion, if any, they will adopt for themselves, and not because they have been indoctrinated into their religion by their parents. An atheist parent would always be more willing to accept their children’s decision if they choose to become devout christians, jews, muslims, voodoo, or anything else, then the religious parent would be willing to accept children who decide to switch to a different religion from their own, or will declare themselves to be gay, or some other thing their religious parents are so sure will offend their god. In other words, there will be very little friction caused by the atheist partner and that side of the family.

The problem, in my opinion and experience, will always come from the religious side of the family. However, if the religious partner values love and family and knows how to compromise and respect the other partner, then the mixed couple will do just fine. The greatest problems will come from the family of the religious partner, and as hard as it may be, it is up to the religious partner to impose the very difficult rules and conditions on his/her part of the family, and hold them in conformity.

September 21, 2010 at 11:18 am
(50) Nina says:

I am a Christian dating an Atheist. To be quite honest sometimes it can be a little difficult. I used to be an atheist and he a Christian. Circumstances in out lives brought us to where we are. Now he keeps me grounded and I keep him open minded. I love him very much and we are perfect for eachother. Sometimes life is funny like that.

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion. I have shudder’d at it. I shudder no more. I could be martyr’d for my religion. Love is my religion and I could die for that. I could die for you.”
-John Keats

October 10, 2010 at 9:43 am
(51) Incredulous says:

So, alisa, you’re telling me you “happily” broke your daughter’s apparently successful relationship, simply because he didn’t believe in your god?
It’ll take a lot for me to find something more arrogant and closed-minded.

October 15, 2010 at 12:49 am
(52) Peter says:

I will cry for all of you, like i mean, in this day and age love should no know boundaries and if you realy have a problem with interacting or having a close person interact with someone who doesnt beleive the same way as you then it means you lack confidence in your own beliefs…lthink about it people.

September 3, 2011 at 9:12 pm
(53) andanon says:

Huh? Say what?

October 20, 2010 at 3:05 pm
(54) Julie says:

You cannot change what someone believes or judge them for it. I am a Christian. My boyfriend is not. It is a struggle but we make it work. There are going to be many issues when we decide to get married and have children as far as deteriming how to raise our children. He treats me better than any other guy ever has…by far. He is an awesome guy with great morals. Yeah it is hard because I don’t understand why he doesn;t believe, but on the other hand..he is in the same boat. We just try to work around it and not offenc each other if at all possible. it can work, and you can be happy. Sometimes we just have to let go of all the things we learned and use our own judgement. And as far as your daughter goes….You can’t make her decisions for her. She will never learn that way. Every choice, mistake, or successful adventure is a lesson learned. Let her make her own path.

November 28, 2010 at 3:55 am
(55) Austin says:

I am in love with a good Protestant girl, she likes me back we get close all the time. I am a atheist I guess. I don’t believe in god but I do respect him. I told her how I feel and told her I have no intention to change what she believes. I respect all religions cause its nice to have things to believe and inspire us but love is what I believe in and it inspires me. We still are not dating cause we don’t know what to do. I actually went to church with her one day just to get a glimpse of her life and believes I told her its not for me but my feeling for her not change. Every time I see her I like her more and it make it only harder for me and her…. I’ve asked my family I’ve asked her priest, she’s asked her friends… now I’m asking you… I am a good person but F*** all you who say I will be in hell cause I refuse to get down and pray and warship for something I can neither touch, feel, see or smell. I respect what you believe and I expect you to respect in what I believe too.

November 28, 2010 at 6:46 am
(56) metal-fan-666 says:

“….Atheists will very rarely engage in name-calling, insults, emotional blackmail, threats and other underhanded tactics…”

“…We accept people of all religions with equal respect and a healthy dose of pity and humor…”

November 28, 2010 at 11:55 pm
(57) jres says:

i have recently been thinking about religion and atheism. the real facts are that it doesnt matter what you believe because everything you believe is just a continuation of mankind’s consciousness. It is the decisions we make as individual’s to further mankind or delineate it that makes us “good” or “evil”. The quotation marks mean that the concept of good or evil is just merely what a collection of people has defined it as. My feeling is if I have done my best to help people then I have done what is right. Christians or Atheists are not bad people but people as individuals are. We all try to please ourselves and for most people it pleases them to know that they have not been lied to or mislead in any way. Once we hold onto an idea as a truth we tend to never let ourselves down by realizing something is a lie. God is not real but people do not want change their view of this because the lie is to great for them to accept. here are a few truths i discovered for myself.
1. If god so loved the world then why did he create the possibility of sin. He chose to let us choose sin and is therefore the greatest sinner of all.
2.All religion is based off of a previous idea created by the thought of a human. Christianity can not be the right religion because its a copy and paste of Judaism.
3.The Mystical becomes explained as people become more educated. Although many people do not realize it the term “bless you” which is used when people sneeze was used to ward away spirits which is what people thought attacked them when they sneezed or became sick. When the mystery that god, or the universe, holds become known there becomes less of a reason to believe in something that is based solely upon mysticism. more examples include weather, the origin of man, the earth being round, the solar system, the stars and pretty much everything that man has achieved thus far.

November 29, 2010 at 5:54 am
(58) Austin Cline says:

i have recently been thinking about religion and atheism. the real facts are that it doesnt matter what you believe because everything you believe is just a continuation of mankind’s consciousness.

So it doesn’t matter that you believe this.

According to you, there is no difference between truth and falsehood.

My feeling is if I have done my best to help people then I have done what is right.

And it doesn’t matter if you believe this, right?

December 1, 2010 at 12:46 pm
(59) jres says:

no it does matter what i believe because i chose to believe it the first statement is just there to challenge your thoughts. and what i meant is that most of peoples thoughts are solely based on what someone said in the past. are my ideas original probably not but I didn’t believe in something just because I was told to. i hold my truths to be self evident just because i believe in something that others don’t doesnt mean i should change my mind i can admit when I am wrong but other people won’t examine their beliefs fully because they are afraid to discover that what they believe is false. most people never examine themselves or their beliefs and just accept what other people or things have taught them. to me that is thoughtless. everything in life we view as individuals just remember that you have to decide what is right and what is wrong not someone else decides but we as individuals must live with the consequences of our own actions and therefore the only person we have to own up to is ourselves or anyone that we love or hold our greater ideals too. therefore christians who wish to be good christians should not go to church or a preacher to absolve their sins with but in their own mind must come to grips with any evils they think they may have committed. again maybe im not right about everything but i discover for myself what i believe is good and bad not what someone else has told me is. sure my thoughts are based off of others but in the end we must make our own choices.

December 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm
(60) Austin Cline says:

no it does matter what i believe

So, only your beliefs matter but no one else’s?

because i chose to believe it

Beliefs aren’t chosen.

the first statement is just there to challenge your thoughts.

But your thoughts don’t need to be challenged?

December 13, 2010 at 7:44 pm
(61) christian_phillippines says:

well i believe on alvars comment. alot of people dont really understant the meaning of bein a christian. non-christian dont usually understand the meaning of bein a christian if they are not really a christian at all…. read your bible and learn the ways of the true GOD of this universe then give a comment later if you have studied all the KJV bible….. please atheist read the KJV bible and learn the ways of the True GOD. the Lord JESUSCHRIST the LORD of LORDS and the KING of KINGS.
amen!

December 29, 2010 at 10:34 pm
(62) Casey Pittman says:

Personally I think the best thing to do in a relationship with a christian is at least promote some skeptisism like questioning to at least make them less dogmatic because according to their holy book it required you date a believer as yourself as it says
“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? (2 Corinthians 6:14).”

Though this isn’t a problem as christians don’t read the bible it seems or at least read the whole thing. Too provide better skeptisism study it on the skeptics anitated bible website or at least actually study it and let them tell you what they think.

January 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm
(63) Julia says:

I was born, raised, and remain a practicing Catholic who organizes youth group events and cantors at mass, and I’m dating an atheist (in fact I sent this article to my boyfriend, so if you’re reading, hello honey!)

Christian individuals should not date atheist people as a means to “inspire them” to come to God’s love. That’s essentially arguing that Christians can seduce men or women to love God, which is sick and terrible.

Should we share with our atheist boy/girlfriends the passion we have for our faith? Of course. My boyfriend is a regular staple at my Catholic student center’s events. But our significant others need to reevaluate their religious convictions of their own volition, not ours. And we, like God would no doubt tell us, must love them regardless of their conclusions about their faith.

January 7, 2011 at 10:41 am
(64) Boandie says:

Hey Alvar,

The bible was used as a guidance, for people who didn’t have the ability to use common sense. I take it, you are one of those people.

Word of advice, don’t live by every written word in that book…if you did, I would assume you have sex with your children and you have slaves. :)

January 27, 2011 at 2:57 am
(65) Joe says:

For a second, I wondered if the mother in question was my ex-girlfriend’s. I dated the daughter of the most fundamentalist Christians I’ve ever met. At the beginning, I didn’t mention that I don’t believe in God; I kept it to myself. They actually liked me. I just evaded their religious questions which was tough to do for long, because it is ALL they talk about. The minute she let it out of the bag that I was an atheist they HATED me.
But I took VERY good care of her. I helped her move out of her apartment twice, got her to quit smoking pot, took her on a cruise to the Bahamas, constant fancy dinners, gifts and all the other crap they tell men not to do unless you want to spoil a woman. I taught her how to be better with her own money, even how to play the ukulele. I think any rational parent in the world would adore having me date their daughter and be such a profoundly positive influence in her life. But the last 5 months saw her parents manipulating her against me, until she was demanding that I go to church with her parents.
In the end, we weren’t compatible, which is fortunate. If we had been on a course for marriage and children, and I would have had to deal with her parents’ bigotry for the rest of my life, I would be a morose bitter person for it. Not to mention the poisoning that they might have done to my own children against me!
Obviously not everyone gets along with their in-laws. Maybe a parent thinks that their daughter-in-law is using their son for his money. Maybe a son-in-law is an alcoholic, or beats their daughter. Fine reasons all. But to be such a positive force in their daughters life, and to be shunned over religion has no place in this day and age. That’s the barbaric thinking of our great-grandfathers. Any parent that would prefer their daughter date a guy who abuses her but is Christian, rather than date an atheist who treats her right, is going to have their genes unapologetically weeded out of existence. And good riddance!

January 31, 2011 at 7:22 pm
(66) George says:

Some of the comments from religious (mostly christian) people on this article are terrifying and sickning, how can people in the 21st century think like this….and think they are doing nothing wrong! I will continue to steer clear from relgious arrogance and will think twice before visiting the USA

February 19, 2011 at 3:42 am
(67) A Good Man says:

Here is the million dollar question:

You have two guys. One is an atheist who treats your daughter with love and respect. The other is a Christian who treats her with rudeness and hatred.

Who is the monster and who is the man?

August 18, 2011 at 1:46 am
(68) Loren Million says:

I have never yet met an honest self pro claimed Christian. Over the years I’ve found non religious people to be more trust worthy and up front with me. I’m an Atheist and very proud of saying it. I will never apologize for such and will never change. There are no gods or hidden beings in my world. I do not suffer from the disease known as religion.

September 5, 2011 at 1:27 pm
(69) Grandpa_In_The_East says:

Loren,

Would it be appropriate to call religion an STD–Socially Transmitted Disease? I’ve often wondered about this?

Grandpa

P.S. If a person lives in accordance with a myth, how can they know when they are being honest, or why? And is that (living the myth) the reason they often resort to violence when their greed (privelege) is questioned?

September 16, 2011 at 9:13 am
(70) Drakq says:

These Christians babykillers only know and preach hate!

October 6, 2011 at 5:46 am
(71) Aaron says:

Wow America sucks! When will the US leave the kids table it shares with Nigeria, Iran, Ecuador, Romania, Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia and move to the Adults table to join the UK, France, Denmark, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and Sweden?

Man religion damages the world! The US is a prime example

October 9, 2011 at 11:52 pm
(72) Producer says:

It was pointed out earlier that the prisons are populated with a majority of Christians. I know where I’m from a majority of people convicted of child molestation have strong ties to the church, or are in fact church leaders. I don’t mean to be rude but I think that should be taken into consideration when judging the morality of Atheists.

December 14, 2011 at 1:07 pm
(73) Marc305 says:

In America where over 80% of the population is religious it is only natural that people would respond in this manner. They have taught to believe in their imaginary friend since childhood and many of them have remained children.
I know I will not see this while I am alive, but I know someday (and it may take a few thousand years) we will study the current religions the same way we study Greek and Roman mythology.
We are the minority that keeps growing, the smarter the human race gets, the larger we become. Australia elected their first Atheist Prime Minister, we maybe the last country in the world that follows those foot steps, but it will happen.

January 1, 2012 at 7:34 am
(74) MarkMark says:

As our understanding of the universe expands exponentially, a great number of superstitious people cling even more desperately to their fairy tale, unwilling to let go of a Bronze Age myth that has been passed on through indoctrination from generation to generation. I have read the Bible, several times. I see nothing there to recommend it. Sure, there are passages that one can cherry-pick to point out so-called moral behavior. There is far more in that book that is disgusting, disturbing and should turn off those whose minds already grasp the concept of social good. The depths to which the religious will go to rationalize their beliefs (“that’s the OLD Testament, we use the NEW Testament” in one breath and “Look at the morality of the Ten Commandments” in the next, for example) is symptomatic of a broken mind. If someone is unable to think for themselves then we will have nothing in common that will allow for a meaningful relationship. Interesting to see that the myriad cults of Christianity, who until recently were engaged in sometimes bloody conflicts based on differences in interpretation of their “holy book” have banded together under the one blanket of “Christian” when their fairy tale is threatened by secular humanists who actually bring a cogent argument against their thought-control experiment. The fact that atheists are less likely to commit atrocities than theists makes me deeply distrust those who claim religion. You can point to Stalin and Kim-Jong Il all you want…they used the tenets of religion to create their own religion with themselves occupying the godhead. They disallowed religious practice so that they themselves would be viewed as a God. They mastered the brainwashing techniques that religion has fine-tuned over the eons to establish themselves firmly into power. There is no way I could ever bring myself to enter into an intimate relationship with someone who has allowed themselves to remain so brainwashed.

January 17, 2012 at 2:03 pm
(75) The Great Alexander says:

@ Christian Philippines – sorry… Can’t tell whether trolling or serious…

I have read the bible, as a lutheran, then a catholic, and now an atheist. Here’s a few things I found that god told the Isrealites to do.

Commit genocide
Enslave other free people
Pillage
Destroy entire cities

So, violence. Being an apostate, and being one because of the injustice and issues that religion utterly fails to resolve, I think I can safely say that reading the bible is not going to turn ANY true atheist. Now, people are free to change their beliefs as they see fit, but the way I see it, sputtering a lot of incoherent Christian psychobabble at us is not going to change anyone’s mind. Especially since you are espousing your psychobabble and the book, the bible.

January 22, 2012 at 7:10 pm
(76) steve f says:

Sorry but if you in god Ibelieve can’t believe in you

February 29, 2012 at 10:35 pm
(77) dave says:

You should kill him, because that is what the bible says to do, you ignorant f**k

March 15, 2012 at 12:44 am
(78) AB says:

It’s really up to the person’s choice if they want to marry an athiest. It seems on here there is a wide point of view of what an athiest is! I personally would not marry an athiest because I would want someone that is some type of Christian denomination. But that’s just me and my rights just like everybody else here has the right to date any type of person they want. An athiest I dated was rude, judgemental, didn’t take care of herself, was never thankful. So it sounds like there is idea on this site that “athiest” are better. There are Christians that have good manners and morals and athiests that have good manners and good morals. So don’t put people in a box!

March 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm
(79) Spiritual Atheist says:

I met a cute and interesting woman the other day and found out she was Christian. I’m a strong atheist and could never join any religion, unless by some divine intervention. I know all relationships are hard because everyone is so different, which is great as well, but I was wondering if the differences between a Christian and an Atheist is any worse than other relationship problems people encounter. Your opinions??

April 18, 2012 at 12:17 pm
(80) BETH-KY says:

to Mark Litnewski, I want so much for you to know that some people just can’t get past the way they were raised.

In church, it is drilled in your head, scriptures, indoctrination, and a basic “hate” towards unbelievers. Most christians would say that isn’t true and never happened, but it is.

I am a Christian. I love God, I believe he is real and whole heartedley love an ATHIEST. I am getting married next year and have been reading up on possible trials to come for raising children. I do know one thing, as a christian, I will unteach the negativism towards unbelievers and try to help them understand.
We are to love as god loved. Jesus didn’t stay with his own kind, he went out with the “unclean” and stayed.

I’m not saying anyone is unclean, because I am certainly not perfect. My fiance has been such a wonderful man, better than any “christian” I have ever dated. That says alot. I know we can Coexist, I am there, we have been together for 2 years as of march this year and it has been a wonderful ride. I don’t ignore his status, nor does he ignore my religion, loves me just as I am. That is what is important.

As for Spiritual Athiest, My opinion is that it is no different, The only problems my fiance and I have are our future plans with raising children, otherwise, he respects the way I do things, even goes to church with me (for his fun, I know-he doesn’t think I do) But as long as she knows you are not a bad person first, a good man, and loving man first, then she can cope with your ‘status’. I was fortuate enough to have known JIM for years before ever knowing he was an athiest… he may even be better than me, in fact I know he is. I still have this judgemental mindset I am trying to kick from my upbringing (in church, not parents fault)

April 30, 2012 at 10:09 am
(81) Irving says:

When I first started dating my my present wife, we considered ourselves to be good little Christians. Our young life was filled with the kind of indoctrination you would expect at a Nazi soldier training camp. We eventually got married and got away from all that. We are now very strong Atheists, freethinkers, humanists, philanthropists, naturalists, rationalists. Whatever you’d like to call us. Growing up in the Southern U.S. is very difficult for a rational being. Its like growing up in Afghanistan and expecting yourself to become anything but Muslum.
We are very good people. We use our passion for living to make the right decisions. To do good because people need help. Not because of a particular scripture. Or the fear that god is watching. Or because we would like to be rewarded in the eyes of god. We do good because we are good. We have no one to impress but our own hearts and minds.

May 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm
(82) Shanna says:

When I turned 18 in 1993, I was dating this nice 21 year old guy who was Catholic and my coming from a Methodist background was hard. I secretly dated him during my senior year of high school. One day my mom found out and she packed my clothes and personal items and told me to leave. I called him and told him what had happened and he came and got me. He let me stay with him and I was able to finish up high school and work part time. My aunt claimed legal guardianship over me and my boyfriend quickly became my fiance. A month later we were married in front of a judge and he treated me well. Still I was married and finished high school in a different town where he and my aunt lived and here my mom received a lot of flack from the family. In the end, I got away from a bigot of a mom and had a better lifestyle. I live much more comfortable life with my husband and we have a house and a great life together. My mom finally stopped being a bigot and showed love towards my husband and now things are much better for us. I still love my mom, but she had to learn a hard lesson about being prejudice.

June 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm
(83) Trevor says:

Thank you for this article! I am an athiest living in middle America – A.K.A. the Bible Belt, and deal with this issue all too frequently.

People are amazed when I tell them I am an atheist – its like you’re the antichrist or something. The last person actually said “…oh I’m sorry…”, to which I replied “Dont be; I’m happier than ever as a born again atheist!”

Indeed, I am an ex-Christian, finally educated enough to know better. For petes sake, at least convert to agnosticism! Amen for science! Evolution is basically a proven fact nowadays – widely accepted among any respected academic institution. Research biblical history: its fiction.

And for morallity: Has anyone out there ever heard of Secular Humanism? It trumps the all too often hypocritical “Christian” way of morals and virtues any day of the week!

October 29, 2012 at 9:59 am
(84) shandi loving the lord jesus christ says:

I wish people would stop please!! we all have our belives lets try to respect that we are to love everyone no matter what. Dont force anything on anyone. No matter what u are or what u do or dont belive in dont matter we all are still learning i know i am so please stop judgeing people only god can judge me. Love all of u all. Oh and by the way what am i cause i need a lable too i guess i belive in differant things not just one thing and some things i dont belive in but i know i belive in the lord jesus christ. Come on people i need my lable now… thats all people do is judge and lable people now give it a break love to all dont care what u are as long as your not the anitichrist or the devil

December 18, 2012 at 6:58 am
(85) Ron Reality says:

It’s Truly Amazin to me, How amazingly Dumb some people can be. “Help my daughters dating an Atheist thats actually Good?! I mean where do these Dumbasses live in a Fish Bowl?! That statement obviously suggests that Atheist are generally bad. Why?! Cause they dont continuosly try to pump new life into Dead christian Fairy tales?? Atheist dont go to war or discriminate over personal unproven Idiotic “beleifs” or pass Judgement based on them.or bulk money from the Gullible Stupid poor and call it “sowing a Seed” the Majority of crimes commited in this “Christian Country ” are commited by ” Christians, The jail cell’s are full of “Believer’s” This is just another prime Example, of the Overrated Unrealustic & Phony opinion “Believers, have of themselves.

February 18, 2013 at 3:17 am
(86) ElenorLi says:

As a Daoist, a tradition which precedes and stands apart from the ridiculously totalising and counterproductive Western dichotomies of Reason/Faith, Atheism/Theism, Good/Evil, etc., I really have a tough time when I stumble upon this sort of nonsense. There are some good posts here. A few. A few people who responded to the (incredibly condescending) post above with thoughtfulness and kindness. Some of these people were Christians, some from the spectrum of Humanism. All seemed to share that their earlier fanaticism was tempered by the LOVE they shared for someone in their life who disagreed with them. THAT wisdom they showed has helped me. Thanks!

But for the rest? A pox on both your houses. The holier-than-thou Christians… The more-reasonable-than-thou atheists… This debate, like most debates, eliminates the subtlety, wonder, and nuanced contradictions immediate to all lived experience. It helps no one. It does nothing for anyone. Some of the most judgmental bastards I’ve ever known were atheists. Others were “religious”. The commonality was the refusal to explore in their minds, to paint their minds with the colours of others’, to REVERE the freedom of the IMAGINATION as they LEARN from this WORLD.

I pray, to the eternal gods who I revere, They who are powerful in existance because they do not exist, that these dichotomies are healed in the fullness of this world’s transformation in evolution. For these asinine dichotomies are but anthropological mechanisms of opression and control which have no place in a world crying out for the Great Peace.

Thanks to the thoughtful, forgiving, considerate, and respectful commenters, of whatever confession of conscience, telling us of your experiences. You showed me what I needed to learn. Thanks.

June 29, 2013 at 5:45 pm
(87) Sebastian says:

I’m a 16-year old guy, I am an Atheist. As of now I’m dating this girl who I am very fond of. She’s very nice, she’s lovely, she has a fun family and I don’t think I will ever have a problem with them. We’ve been dating for a solid 4 months. I treat this girl very well. The problem is I don’t have a good grasp on her religious beliefs. She’s very athletic and has some type of sport event every weekend so she doesn’t go to church, I guess that is what made me think she’s was not a firm “believer”… We were talking on the phone the other day, she asked me why I didn’t believe in god. I trust this girl and I felt I could be honest with her, I told her what I honestly thought of God & Religion (I would share what I said but there is character limit) I did not say anything offensive. I said I didn’t take comfort in the idea of a god. I went on about what I thought of certain things. In response all she said was “oh” and then I could hear her start crying, she hung up and I wasn’t able to say anything. I called back but she didn’t anwser. We have not talked since then. I know she was hurt by what I said. I personally am not dealing with this to well, I feel as if our relationship is on the line. Yet, I have no way of knowing because she won’t communicate. I do have great feelings for her, if our relationship is on the line, I want to find any possible way to save it. I’m asking for advice, on how I should handle the situation. Does anyone have experience with this? Is there any way we can compromise? This girl means so much to me, I would be so upset if I had to part without her. I guess I don’t have any particular question, but I would appreciate some feedback on the situation or at least some advice.

August 1, 2013 at 12:42 am
(88) andy says:

@sebastian
i have girlfriend, once a catholic and converted to islam and now she’s… well she’s not sure as well since she’s no longer praying but she told me she still believes in god. we sometimes talk about my belief as atheist but she gets upset whenever i reason out why. she asked me if i there is a chance for me to believe again, i said no. she gets upset and tells me that my atheism may lead us to breaking up. now regarding your question..talk to her personally, tell her what you feel. yes you can try for a compremise by respecting each beliefs. if she doesnt accept it you may want to think twice on this relationship. she obviously cant accept who you are. as for me im already thinking twice….she expressed some postive views with atheism lately..which made me happy. i will not ask her to be an atheist, like i told her atheism is found uniquely,its not preached to people …you find it.. see it … by experience.

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