I read a lot from my non-religious friends about the difficulty they have in finding like minded people. The folks in the so-called Bible belt south are most troubled by this because it seems like they are the only ones in their towns. They may be subjected to harassment at work because they have been outed. People who work in cubicles decorate their spaces with various religious objects. During lunch breaks, individuals might want to pry into your life by asking whether you have found a church home. The pressure to conform can be almost overwhelming.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation often gets complaints about church and state co-mingling from people in those areas. It is interesting to read these accounts because the people who file these complaints sometimes find support after making known their concerns. Sometimes, they may end up moving after being harassed by their small minded neighbors.
I have been fortunate at most of my jobs not to face that kind of pressure. The experience on dating sites can be disheartening. I became dismayed at the number of women on blackpeoplemeet.com who were looking for “god-fearing men. I saw a comedy routine by a white guy talking about black people and our all day religions. “It was 2PM and the minister was just getting started.
It is so hard to find romantic partners who respect your beliefs. I have read about non-religious people being married to religious ones and the couples are able to compromise and agree to disagree. They decide that the things that united them were greater than the things that divided them. I have tried a few times. After the military I had a wonderful girl friend named Gloria who called me her little heathen. Although we eventually broke up, we had a nice relationship lasting more than a year.
It depends on what kind of boundaries people are able to set and their amount of self-esteem. Are you so insecure that you feel you must disregard my beliefs and force me to adopt yours? So many of the people in the non-believer dating sites talk about their exes who tried to dominate them and convert them. That is a miserable way to live. Let’s respect one another. That is the best way to live and love.
Our beliefs are an important part of our lives. They distinguish us from one another. I am who I am because I oppose war, stand for social justice and I am a humanist. This is who I have been for most of my life. My family has accepted this about me and so should you.