Does being an atheist affect your relationships with theists?

I was born and raised an atheist, I'm twenty now and still happily and proudly without religion. However, after becoming involved with a born again christian I've noticed my ability to co-exist with religion is not what I assumed it was. Do you feel a similar conflict of interests applies to yourself? How would you characterise your relationships with other theists and what do you do to overcome any difficulties?
Atheist Answer: 

Since I don’t have a means in which to get a video on the net at the present time, I guess me writing a small book will suffice.

Let me first say that only recently did I even think about something like this. I am 30, and started a new job about a year ago. Shortly after starting the new job, I was approached by a young lady who was interested in me. After a few uncomfortable conversations of getting to know one another, she stopped talking to me. I asked her co-workers about it and was told that, she knew that I was an atheist, somehow this was gossip for the pipeline, and did not want to be associated with that. I later found out that she was heavily involved in the church and basically looked down upon me for my beliefs, or lack thereof. I had never really thought about this before happening. I never thought once in my life that someone would look down upon me, and think that I was less of a person or beneath them somehow, because my views and belief on God.

Do I feel there is a conflict of interest, yes, but the conflict is not coming from me it is coming from the other party, of course that is the not the case for everyone. My boss would say that I am wrong, and I would say my boss is wrong. However I do not think any less of him because he chose to believe in Christ, but he chooses to do so with me because he feels that I am denying absoluteness and a book 1500 years in the making.

My boss, who is also very close friend of mine, is a devout Christian. Not only does he attend a church that his father ministers, but he preaches himself. He and I have built a very strong relationship that has come completely out of our conversations about religions, God, Richard Dawkins, Jesus Christ, Greek Gods, etc. Through these conversations we argued, we butted heads, we agreed and disagreed, and we somehow built a friendship which exists to this day.

Let me go back and correct myself on something that I said earlier. I said he looks down on me, I am not sure if that is the correct statement to make here. He does think that I am confused and uneducated when it comes to Jesus Christ and he feels that it is bold of me to pretty much call him a wrong for his beliefs. I can understand why as I get upset when people would rather not listen to me and just call me an idiot for my views.

Having said that though, I have never once looked down upon someone, or even thought of them as being stupid or become angered, because they chose to believe in Christ, God, or whatever deity they so chose. I don’t even consider them uneducated. (however if someone tells me they believe in God and tell me I am wrong and do not have an argument ready to back up their claims other than “because the bible” I would have a few choice words for them and ‘ignorance’ comes to mind)

Choosing God over science to some people is ignorant and absent minded, likewise when someone chooses science over God. But that is free will and we cannot do anything to change that, we can only offer our words and our arguments as a reason to sway from one side to the other and see what happens.

I do not present my beliefs to people, unless they ask. I am not hiding it, nor am I ashamed, quite the contrary, I am very proud to speak my mind and love debating and talking about religions with all walks of life. I think the reason I do not tell people outright is the same reason someone would not tell another person, whom they voted for. It is just a bomb waiting to be dropped so that someone can argue with you for no other reason than to try and prove you wrong or call you stupid. I take this with me into every new relationship and every new person I encounter. What is the point of getting off into a heated debate, right off the bat, when there is probably no need for it?

When dealing with Theists, I find that it is only difficult to maintain a relationship with them if they are oblivious and blinded with ignorance and just hide behind it. I have NO problems with someone that believes in God. I personally feel it takes more faith to believe in a nonexistent being of “it”, and how “it” created us, than it is to believe in evolution, the Big Bang, and the primordial sludge. But I do have a problem if a person believes in God and doesn’t know why they believe in God, or do so because they know nothing else. To hide behind “Because the bible tells us so..” is my least favorite argument period, and I will immediately walk away from a person that even tries to invoke it as it is not even worth my time and my energy. The lack of knowledge or maybe it’s the resentment of knowledge, will sour me on trying to deal with, or maintain a relationship with someone that believes in God, or whomever. Ignorance may be bliss, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t piss me off sometimes.

I took a long way to answer it but I guess to answer it short and sweet:

No, me being an Atheist does not affect my relationship with a person of different faith. However, the same cannot be said for someone trying to maintain one with me, in regards to my Atheism. I guess there are some conflicts, as I am prone to walk away from someone that I feel is not educated enough to argue their own beliefs.

Looking back over what I wrote I am not even sure I answered your question correctly, but I tried. :)

- mrz3r0