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Thread: I would like help regarding a persistent religious friend....

  1. #1

    Default I would like help regarding a persistent religious friend....

    First of all, I would like to state that my intentions are not harmful. Therefore, please do not invade this thread with preachings from the Bible condemning me to Hell. We'll leave that for another thread, if necessary. I mention the fact that my "friend" is a hard-core evangelist only because it helps to provide better context for my situation.

    Now, I cut to the chase.

    I have this "friend" I met a couple of years back. At the time, I was emotionally vulnerable because I was exploring my place in the world and contemplating the meaning of life. We thought it fun and intellectually-engaging to discuss these things. However, I'm basically an agnostic atheist--no God, no religion.

    To humor her, I've made a point of going to her services a few times--to show that I do respect HER. However, I've also made it clear to her that I have no intention of ever following a formal religion--hers particularly. Yet, every time she visits, she tries to guilt-trip me into her religion. She usually ends the conversation with something along the lines of "it's too bad you don't want to be saved" before (literally) walking away.

    How can I deal with this? She can be a fun person otherwise, and she has much worth respecting. I've tried telling her that I respect her beliefs and that she doesn't need to worry about me--but this is where I get stuck, logically. I don't really have a good reason to provide, since our belief systems seem (or are) incompatible. Do you think you could help provide me a better reason, without getting into a debate as to whether God exists or not?

    Otherwise, I am seriously considering breaking off with her completely because she consistently fails to respect my own beliefs--particularly by trying to guilt-trip me into her religion. The worst part is that she tries to manipulate me because she knows I care about part of her (though that part is shrinking faster and faster!) and that she knows I know she cares about me (she seems to think we are supposed to be God-given soul-mates or something...she evidently thinks about me quite a bit. Besides that, I'm not interested in women.) I will NOT, absolutely NOT, allow myself to be manipulated and guilt-tripped by her, and I wish to find a good way to make that clear to her without making her my enemy.

    After all, she is a very smart person, and the last thing I want is an enraged (or disappointed) Evangelist at my back. I don't want to be friends with her, but I don't want to be enemies either. At least she lives a hundred miles away while I'm at college.

    How might I best approach this?

  2. #2


    Tell her that she needs to respect your religious beliefs (or lack thereof, as the case may be), and if she can't do that, then you can't be friends. There's really no way to predict how she'll react no matter what you say, so your best course of action is to be firm but polite. If you make it clear to her that this is a line in the sand, that means the choice is up to her whether or not to cross it.

  3. #3


    I guess I am looking for a more specific answer on how I might go about it "delicately"? I've asked a few friends, as well, and I feel like maybe a more specific answer would help. Thank you, though!

  4. #4


    Blunt is best.

    "Look, your religious talk about trying to 'save' me is making me uncomfortable, and I want you to stop. If you can't respect my religious choices enough to leave me alone about them, then we can't be friends anymore"

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by Kif View Post
    How might I best approach this?
    the same way as with anybody who thinks they've found their god-given soul-mate: run like hell! :P
    agreeing with whatshisface as i am, and being honest, the relationship you described, and with a thinking of how you would convey your concerns and wishes to her, remindeth me of the saturday-night squabbles that follow too much beer, too much immaturity and too much time together.
    i'd say it's a no-win relationship, while she's drunk on her religion. if you maintained your level of closeness or involvement with her, it'll only end in tears or worse; probably best to just keep your distance from her for a while and see if she gets the message. if she asks, just tell her the truth about how you feel; or if there's a network of family and friends (the old grapevine), you could just let it be casually known how you feel, in a way that will get back to her.
    generally speaking, 'dropping the bomb' on someone only works in one of two ways: a big, banging confrontation (any drunkeness will nullify the desired effects) or with a gentle, indirect approach. the key is for them to think about what you mean, or meant, and they may need a bit of time for that. given your distance from her, i'd go for the gentle approach; at least she'll have time to mull things over and ask around [for advice].

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by bgi39jsjw0ggg View Post
    Blunt is best.

    "Look, your religious talk about trying to 'save' me is making me uncomfortable, and I want you to stop. If you can't respect my religious choices enough to leave me alone about them, then we can't be friends anymore"

    or you can always lie and say that you discovered religion and it happens to not be hers.

  7. #7


    Belief is a major sticking point in friendship and if she not only doesn't respects what you believe, but tries to convert you in the most pathetic why possible, she doesn't deserve to have the friendship dropped "delicately".

  8. #8


    I think you have described how you feel very well to us in your opening thread. This is probably what you should tell her. If she can't respect that, then your friendship is in trouble. I believe she is doing this because she likes you so much, that in her belief circle, she really thinks you will go to hell if you don't become a believer, and so she is committed to "saving" you. Let me be clear that though I am a person of faith, I am not at all like that. I'm just explaining what I think her motivations are.

    If she can't accept you and your belief system, then for the sake of your sanity and well being you will have to distance yourself from her, sadly. I hope she will respect your belief, and your wanting some peace from the endless discussion, and that you can remain friends.

  9. #9

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Kif View Post
    How might I best approach this?
    This may be too deep but, I suspect this is where you are going. Do not commit to a relationship with this girl. You should not have to belong to the same church to be partners. This statement is idealist, reality is very different.

    My personal experience is, as an atheist I married an Anglican who then converted to the Jehovah *astards cult. For whatever problems / issues we had, they were nothing to what transpired next.....When the usual car mishaps, accidental poisonings and dangerous objects did not work, we settled on divorce (truth). Amicable, just like Kramer v Kramer (sarcasm).

    The only thing I can offer you here is that, you are accepting of her warts and all. This is not reciprocal, she does not respect you as an equal with your own personal beliefs.
    As a friend; the problem here is that if you are not harsh enough in asserting yourself, she will think she has room to manoeuver. This is to say she thinks you will be converted, given time.
    As a partner; Further do not delude yourself by thinking…that you as adults you can sort your differences, the behind closed doors of her church may disallow that. If you want to know what hell is, have children in this equation.

    I am sorry this is not what you would have liked to hear. Just accept that you are entitled to happiness in life. You need to make informed decisions, so be very - very careful here. Hell is my domain, welcome to it.

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