By Branden Lee
Living in Atlanta, you will find many gays that think of religion as poison and associate religion with bible thumpers who have made it their life mission to make gays’ lives as miserable as possible. There are also many gay men that grew up religious and have a love for God that no hateful so-called “Christian-valued” zealot can take away. It’s not uncommon for an atheist to meet a great guy, and then find out that man is religious. Can an atheist and a devout man make it work? Here are some tips.
- Respect each other’s beliefs.
If one partner can accept the other doesn’t believe in god, and the other plans to be in church every Sunday, it’s still possible to not let religion tear your relationship apart. Don’t try to force your beliefs on your partner, even if some of their thoughts on religion are deeply oppositional to yours.
- Avoid the subject.
Although it’s not good to ignore core issues you and your partner may have, there’s no point in constantly getting into arguments about evolution versus creation. You know how you feel, and your partner knows how they feel. Nobody wins when you’re fighting with the one you love over something you know neither party will change their minds about.
- Support each other.
Even if you’re an extremely adamant atheist, you will not burst into flames by stepping foot in a church. Perhaps there’s a big event going on that’s important to your partner at church, and they want you to accompany them. Go with them and show your support. Just like how you would want your man to support you at an event that’s important to you (regardless of the venue) support them by accompanying them to church. Just make sure you make it clear it’s not going to be a regular habit.
- Compromise is key.
The power of love is a magical thing. A Democrat can marry a Republican. A Muslim can fall in love with a Jew. An atheist and Christian can make it work. In all cases, there is the possibility that it won’t work out. If one person wants to get married in a church, and the other wants no religion at their wedding at all, that’s a significant issue. If a couple can’t agree to send the kids to a religious school or a secular school, that’s a major issue too. It’s possible to find a middle ground and compromise for the greater good. But if a couple isn’t willing to compromise and put aside their thoughts on religion for the sake of the relationship, then there isn’t any hope.
Branden Lee is a writer and actor now living in Atlanta. Follow Branden on Twitter and Instagram @Brandeness.