Reeling from Christian friend's bigotry

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This topic contains 88 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  jason 8 years, 2 months ago.

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    Hi, all. I’m a poly-atheist who has a Christian buddy. By (just about ALL OTHER) accounts, he’s a normal, decent, funny, talented guy. But then, when discussing religion, he changes. I’m certain others know what I mean.

    In our case, we have intense but respectful arguments (some public, e.g., on FBook, others not) regarding how I regard his delusional beliefs in mysticism and the fantasy-based foundational underpinnings of his Christianity. He’s a vigilant and very argumentative, robust debate partner, but he posted something on his FB page after the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling that threw me in despair. He posted: “I love pizza. We’re getting married!”

    I publicly lambasted him for his callousness and degrading comment, reminding him that three of my sons are gay and to please explain to them and me “how your ‘love of pizza’ is like their ‘love for another’?” What a douchebag thing to say, even for him. He wrote that he was just trying to be funny & whimsical, and to lighten up.

    I responded, “I wonder what you would have written when inter-racial marriages were given constitutional protection. ‘I love a goat! We’re goatting married!”?

    Anyway, I’m having an awful time overlooking his religious bigotry…so much so that he makes my skin crawl. I’m not taking the (easy) “I’M SO OFFENDED BY YOUR COMMENT!!” tack, as this is stupid. I just feel ever so heartbroken that his mind is so utterly lost in that smarmy dogma he can’t possibly see his bigotry and prejudice.

    Honestly, it makes my skin crawl. It’s a filthy peek into his mind that makes me viscerally ill.

    Any advice on how to handle this?


    Simon Paynton

    Why are you friends with him if he makes your skin crawl and makes you viscerally ill?


    Well, that’s just it. This sort of thing just never came up. And, when called out on it, he dismissed it as if he was just being “funny.” Y’know, like the KKK accidentally lynching a deeply-tanned white guy would be “funny.”

    It’s as if he uncovered (or I finally accepted?) what was there all along. Can you hate (or disassociate oneself from) the belief but not the believer when THIS is the kind of shit he believes?


    Simon Paynton

    I think it says a lot about his character. Personally speaking I can’t be friends with someone who doesn’t have a good character. You can’t trust them when push comes to shove. I have a deeply religious friend and she would never dream of talking like this. I was so impressed with her character I asked her to marry me and she inspired my project on atheist morality (I realised our morals were the same, even though I’m an atheist and she’s a Christian).



    First thing I would do is remove him from your feed. That way you won’t have to read his stupid updates. If he comments on your or a mutual friends post and they also make you angry..I would remove him from FB and tell him its better you friendship is persona to a person

    Tell your buddy to be considerate during your conversations and if he ignores you..stop hangigout with him.

    I’ve done this more than a few times. Best thing I did a couple years ago was defirend a couple loudmouthed dumbass fuck-faces I knew from school.


    See, I’m ok going head-to-head with a fuck-face Super. I have no qualms or hesitation throwing down with them. I’m (usually, like 99%) quite polite, but I don’t pull punches. I lambasted a FB fuck-face (and still do) over this very issue (he unfriended me, but his mom & sister didn’t, so I hope they’re relaying to him every time I mention his porkface dull-witted “one-man/one-woman” horseshit.)

    And, honestly, I’m not at all shy commenting on my buddy’s posts, questioning his beliefs and how they align with reality. He engages me likewise. It just floored me that he JUST CAN’T SEE how bigoted he is… while maintaining he isn’t – that he “love’s everyone with Christ’s love” and he doesn’t judge (“that’s up to god”) and all the accompanying mind-numbing Christian brainwashed bullshit. It’s as if I see this depravity that has a very personal effect on me (given my gay sons) and I think… “whoa! dude. I want you nowhere NEAR my kids if you think their love for their partner is like your love for a FUCKING PIZZA! For FUCK’S SAKE!”

    I dunno. I’m sure I encounter people of this bend all the time… but to witness it ‘in person’ (so to speak) — from a buddy who is, like, in virtually every other respect, a decent guy — just wiped me out.

    Am I just too fucking judgmental? Am I just behaving like a babybitch and being overly-sensitive to this? Are (some of) my beliefs equally repulsive to him? Fuck all if I know. I just know that … it’s like, he fucking BELIEVES that LGBTs aren’t equal to his Christian heterocracy. Any union other than man/woman is BY GOD “less than” .. Un fucking believable.



    Hi Mr Tag,
    Sorry about your friend, hope you can come to a happy arrangement.

    I just wanted to say the following: Pizza can’t consent to marriage. THAT is why we haven’t been advocating it (I don’t want to judge your friends unnatural pizza fetish so we’ll leave that safely out of the conversation). Grown men and women CAN consent to marriage, why on earth would we even try to stop them, especially in the US where the central tenet of the country is freedom and liberty? I find this little snippet of logic tends to cover most of the slippery slope type arguments.



    Here’s a suggestion kiddies. Kill’em with kindness!

    Understand, I get the revulsion and the rage towards these closed minded and bigoted individuals. However, representing the rational and intellectual viewpoint with vitriol and fowl language will never bring them over to our side. Take a breath… gather your thoughts… and make a cogent and passionate argument for your position.


    Simon, Davis, Matt & Ben: Thanks. I don’t know where I’ll take this next. I see him differently now, for sure. I know I’m far wiser in this than is he, y’know? I mean that I absolutely KNOW he’s full of shit and that he’s like a Trekkie arguing for me to join Starfleet Academy so I can experience Spock’s wisdom, or a kid telling me of Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men’s adventures in the Sherwood Forest… But this is a grown man raising three kids to fear an invisible monster who’ll burn them alive in a lake of fire forever just for not believing in the fairytale.


    Isn’t it amazing to you? To KNOW that you know how fucked up believers are in this regard? It’s so obvious to those of us who extricated ourselves from it or rejected it from the beginning. Sometimes it fills me with a sense of awe — and responsibility to rationally (if not calmly) try to talk sense into these zealots. Not looking for immediate converts, as I’m certain that coming out of that foggy mess is (most times) done gradually, incrementally, argument by argument, inch by inch, until the tipping point.

    That’s how I view it, anyway. I’m sure my deChristianization came about from assembling numerous atheistic/naturalistic arguments until I realized I’d allowed myself to be duped. That day I saw and valued how important it was believing — and WANTING to believe — what is true vs. what I’d LIKE to be true.

    Thanks, again, for your insights.



    However, representing the rational and intellectual viewpoint with vitriol and fowl language

    But what other kind of language, besides “fowl” will such birdbrains understand?

    (Sorry, I just couldn’t resist.)


    Simon Paynton

    Well, he sounds like a real ass, in his disrespect for your sons anyway. I know that Christians can be deeply wonderful people, but I think his smart-ass ego has taken over his “Christ-like love”.



    You say foul I say fowl…




    Hullo @mrtag,

    Full disclosure. I am/was an occasional visiting theist to the old ThinkAtheist site, and maybe here. I’m a Christian and a Catholic (not a fundamentalist), and a faculty member in the sciences at an R1 university in the U.S.

    I know it’s important to be able to vent to friends about how inane other folks can be, and I don’t want to trespass if that’s your intent. Vent away, I won’t be offended.

    If perchance you’re really looking for feedback, I’d gently suggest that friends are friends. You like this fellow, you have a lot in common. I think friends can have differences of opinions on ideas, and even rousing arguments while remaining friends. It’s a choice to hold our personal ideas so close that we feel personally offended or attacked when others disagree, and that choice is usually a poor one that leads to all sorts of bad things in the world. It’s, dare I say, “dogmatic” in the bad sense.

    My question to you would be, has the fellow ever treated you badly? Ever treated your son(s) badly in person? In other words, have his actions and behaviors toward real, live people been offensive? Particularly out of choice, rather than just unthinking ignorance? In that case, perhaps it’s time to end the friendship. If, on the other hand, the dust-up is just over online postings, go have a beer with the fellow. Online conversations lack verbal and nonverbal cues and often generate more heat than light as a result.

    Personally, I think it’s a good thing to have friends who think differently than you do. Surrounding ourselves with like-minded “yes men” is often a choice of ego and ignorance. Spending time with different people allows us to learn from them, and affords opportunities to change or moderate their ideas.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 11 months ago by  DrBob.


    There are words in a hymn we had to sing at school, “when the Earth will be filled with the glory of God and the waters cover the sea” that gave me nightmares. I’d just seen Krakatoa East of Java on TV, (has a bloody great tidal wave at the end) and this song filled my 8 year old head with terror. The whole religion is based on fear. They call it Love and then threaten you with burning and/or drowning, unless you obey.

    I feel huge sadness for people raised in fear. By the time I was 9 years old I’d waved God off to go attend the starving children, as he was evidently stretched regarding resources. He never came back, presumably still a bit busy.

    Religion is the personification of fear, whilst labeling it love. No wonder its adherents are screwed up.

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 11 months ago by  Strega.

    Simon Paynton

    Maybe he’s just a silly person but he’s OK really.

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