I have a coworker who is an atheist. I’ve known that or at least had a strong suspicion of it for awhile now. She’s looking for a new house and was asking today about different areas I was familiar with.

It’s sad how many of the things she deals with are similar to those I deal with:

  • she doesn’t want to live in certain areas because others won’t accept her or her family
  • her son just needed the signature of a religious leader for a certain recognition which of course she couldn’t get in a traditional sense
  • she is limited in where she can search for a home because certain areas will not welcome her family unless they are born there or are very close to the community…

And a couple are opposite of what I’m used to but so very similar as well:

  • she’s looked down on by her ‘highly educated’, atheistic extended family for associating with people with different views on religion and politics than she has, while I was told too many times not to associate with people who weren’t Christian (or weren’t a certain type of Christian) unless I was trying to convert them,
  • she is very cautious about admitting she’s an atheist… She said she and her husband were nondenominational and when I raised my eyebrows she ducked down and whispered, “sort of… more atheist — well, agnostic, no actually atheist but we don’t say that…” I’m cautious about discussing Christianity because I am concerned that most people I know in person would be resistant to my thoughts on some things.

It was interesting to hear her observations. It was also interesting that she was actually interested in knowing there are groups out there who consider themselves Christians but do not view the Bible as completely literal and see many of the Old Testament stories as stories, some taken from other cultures, many that should be studied today with the intent of seeing the Israelites’ development of their concept of God. Mostly it was just weird to see how much the person who’s never really been to church has in common with the one who spent hours upon hours there. I’m a believer, she is not. I don’t have a problem with faith, she resists it. It isn’t my belief in God that separates me from other Christians, but my lack of trust in those who call themselves Christians and my willingness to listen to and even accept a variety of ideas. We have those things in common.