Majority of my friends are either non religious or of a different faith. It doesn't bother me. I see them for their talents, their support and the many ways they add to my life. But there is a difference between my non religious friends and my religious ones. My non religious friends talk about religion a whole lot more.
I always find it amusing when someone who has made it a point to not believe in any type of God, or follow any kind of religion, wants to discuss religion. But then people generally love talking about what they know nothing about. These discussions aren't sourced in curiosity, where they simply want to learn more about me and my life; they are rooted in a determination to prove that there isn't a God.
Besides this blog, I make it a point to never dicuss religion. It's too touchy of a subject. No one can fully understand why a person belongs to a specific religion or chooses not to believe at all. And those from the same religion always have different viewpoints about the "right" way to practice. So as a personal rule, religion is not something I bring to the table for conversation.
But my non religious friends greatly enjoy talking about it. They can sit for at least half and hour discussing God and why there isn't one and how religion is destroying mankind. I usually remain quiet, and let them repeat over used phrases that most non religious people use when they discuss religion, without joining in on the debate. There isn't anyway I can prove how much I love God to them, and to me our being on this planet is proof enough that there is a God, so arguing furiously the way they do is pointless to me.
However, one day I had had enough. Not only did I find it odd that people who claimed not to believe in God were saying his name like they were close friends with him, but I was tired of the unmasked insult of being foolish for believeing in something "unseen."
When a guy I knew mentioned how he hated people pushing religion on him and the world would be a better place if religion didn't exist I replied:
"I agree that no one should force you to believe in something you don't, but you have no right to persuade someone to not believe in something. To you God is a manmade thing causing havoc, but to many it is the sole reason they even get out of bed in the morning. God is hope for many. He is what they have when all else is gone. Having him, and being able to practice worship, makes them happy and feel a sense of peace. If you don't believe what difference does it make if someone tells you you'll burn in hell. You don't believe in hell; you don't believe in God so the words hold no weight, but to sit there and make someone feel stupid for believeing in perhaps the one thing that gives them strengh is a big deal, because you at least have learned to live without religion; how do you plan to replace God for someone who has known him and was turned away. How do you plan to give someone back their source of strength, hope and faith once you have destoryed it?"
He was quiet and has not brought up religion in my presence again. The point is, regardless of what you believe you have no right to shun, mock, or be insulting towards what another person believes.