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I Didn’t Start The Conversation

For some reason, because I am a pretty outspoken atheist, religious people (even not so religious people) seem to go out of their way to start a religious conversation with me. That’s fine, I have no problem with that and always enjoy a good conversation about religion. The problem comes in sometimes when those people, particularly those who are not as religious but still believe in God, get offended.

What did they think was going to happen? I am an outspoken atheist who has studied the arguments for and against religion. They generally have barely even studied their own religion and certainly can’t defend it because they have read none of the arguments either way.

Then they get angry that I am “pushing atheism on them.” But I didn’t even start the conversation. In fact, aside from my blog, I rarely if ever start a conversation about religion. I certainly wouldn’t start such a conversation with mainstream religious people who don’t really center their lives around their religion, but simply believe once a week for an hour or two and/or on holidays.

Sometimes these mainstream believers even go a step further and claim that I am just as bad as the fundamentalist religious people as far as pushing my atheism. That of course is absurd too. I certainly don’t go door to door telling people about atheism. Nor do I even bring it up in conversation. While it is widely known that I lack belief in deities, I don’t really talk about it unless someone else brings it up first.

I always find it funny that casual believers feel that they have it all figured out when they really have spent so little time and effort thinking about the issues and reading up on the arguments for and against their position. They seem to start the conversation in a way in which they think they can convert me and then when I refute their ill thought out attempt, they jump down my throat with claims that I am trying to de-convert them. It is just so bizarre.

Some members of my family who are casual believers even warn me not to discuss religion in certain settings or around certain people. As if I have ever even done that. I don’t start religious conversations. But if someone else brings up the topic and religion… and people do love to brag about how religious they are and assume that everyone else is religious too, then I will jump into the conversation.

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