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AIBU to find this slightly odd behaviour from atheist friends?

(435 Posts)
handsandknees Mon 26-Nov-12 10:56:42

I am an Evangelical Christian. People who know me well know that. I am happy to talk about it if people want to, but I don't go on about it.

Last Easter one of my friends posted a long status on facebook basically ranting against the Christian Easter message and saying that she didn't want or need Jesus to have died for her, thank you very much. Up to her what she writes of course, but the tone was very aggressive and I wondered why. I didn't comment but later she sent me a personal message asking me what I thought of her post.

Then this week another friend posted a photo on my wall which said "Proud to say I'm an atheist". I haven't responded but just wondering why would someone do this? I am not offended just find it a bit strange.

Why do you think they would do this?

Wallison Mon 26-Nov-12 11:14:44

How exactly does society do that, FushiaFernica?

handsandknees Mon 26-Nov-12 11:16:49

The 2 friends don't know each other. The one who posted on my timeline (I deleted it) lives in the same town as me but isn't such a close friend, he's the father of one of my dd's friends. The other one is a close friend but we now live in different places and don't meet up very often. We had some discussions about faith in the past. Of course part of me thinks the fact she is so defensive about her atheism says a lot but I would not say that to her. She posts things like that sometimes - a mutual Christian friend wrote "God is so good!" on her profile and the friend commented "What's he done now?" She could have just said nothing.

Being an evangelical Christian does not just mean going on about my faith all the time!

Startail Mon 26-Nov-12 11:19:46

I'm an atheist and sometimes wish there was an equivalent of a cross or a fish symbol to put on a pendent etc.

so I can understand posting proud to be an atheist just as Christians sometimes post brief quotes.

A massive rant about Easter and then pointing it, specifically to Christian friends is weird.

dreamingbohemian Mon 26-Nov-12 11:23:22

Errrrrrrrrr...... writing 'God is so good' on the profile of someone you know to be an atheist is ridiculously rude. I think your friend's response was quite good really, trying to be lighthearted about it.

The fact you think she should just have shut up and accepted people posting pushy religious messages on her FB probably explains why you think her posts are so aggressive. It implies you are okay with people not believing in God, but they should be quiet about it.

SparkyTGD Mon 26-Nov-12 11:23:32

If they have posted on your wall then that is very rude,

but if it is on their wall & has just appeared in your news feed then not really, they are entitled to opinions also.

LessMissAbs Mon 26-Nov-12 11:27:32

I suspect they are reacting in some way to something...

Perhaps if you didn't label people aetheist or not, but simply treated them like people, and say things like "society favourse non-believers", you wouldn't create so much antagonism?

I thought being Christian was about being accepting and non-judgemental, not about considering your views superior to those of others and being intolerant of differences?

DontmindifIdo Mon 26-Nov-12 11:29:13

There are some people who are not actually comfortable with their faith choices and do find it unsettling when they know other people have strong beliefs that are different to theirs. Some people feel the need to reassert their faith (or lack of it) over and over and can't seem to tolerate there are other people who think they are wrong (even if the other people make no attempt to convert them).

I'm Christian, my facebook friends include some atheists, some Hindus, some Jewish people and some Muslims. When my friends from different faiths post about their religion and celebrations, I never feel the need to put on snippy comments about my views. I wouldn't dream of posting a Christian message on their walls. I expect people with no faith to be equally respectful of mine.

These people aren't really your friends, just delete them. Feel free to say it's because they seem to have a problem with your faith if they ask, but they probably won't.

handsandknees Mon 26-Nov-12 11:29:29

The mutual friend posted "God is so good" on her own status, so the atheist friend was just commenting. It wasn't on the other person's profile.

LtEveDallas Mon 26-Nov-12 11:30:58

I have no particular belief either way. I am supposed to be CofE, but in truth I am probably leaning towards Agnostic.

I have one (very good) friend who is very religious, and she posts quite a bit of the "I was able to do XXXX today - thanks be to God" or when she was going through a hard time "I thank the Lord for my friends XXX and XXX, without them and without God I would not have survived this week"

It does make me hmm a bit - because she is thanking God for HER OWN achievements - things she should be proud of and I wish she'd shout them from the rooftops, rather than giving 'God' the credit IYSWIM.

I often want to post "FFS XXXX YOU did this YOU are brilliant, YOU should be proud of YOURSELF" - But I don't, because that would be rude and it would upset her. It does get a bit frustrating though.

(Oh and OP, unless these are VERY good friends I think I'd just block them. Do you really need people that are passive aggressive in your life?)

CaramelisedOnion Mon 26-Nov-12 11:31:06

She posts things like that sometimes - a mutual Christian friend wrote "God is so good!" on her profile and the friend commented "What's he done now?" She could have just said nothing

or she could have deleted it, or responded to it more aggressively (ie "please do not post your superstitions on my wall again, thanks" ) or indeed, rightyl, got very cross.

People ar enot on their FB all the time, and someone might have perceived this God is so good thing as being something she somehow was involved with, and I for one would be unhappy if my friends were given the false impression, even for a second, that I was involved in evangelical christianity.

I think YABU. If you think it is ok the other way around, then it should be ok when you are on the recieving end.

dreamingbohemian Mon 26-Nov-12 11:32:37

Ah, that's different.

I still don't think what your friend wrote was so bad. Just a bit tongue in cheek really. But no, probably not really called for in that case.

TheWave Mon 26-Nov-12 11:33:02

Agree that they should not have been rude to you personally, that's weird.

If it was the other way round would posters been saying "spoiling for a fight" and "aggressive" though?

PeggyCarter Mon 26-Nov-12 11:33:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArkadyRose Mon 26-Nov-12 11:33:54

There are evangelical atheists as well as evangelical Christians. Personally I'm quite happy to let them seek each other out, then they're not bothering the rest of us! wink

With regards to the ranty post & PM, I'd have replied "You're entitled to post what you like on your own FB," and just left it at that, refusing to be drawn further. With the person posting on your Wall, just delete the post then you should be able to go into settings and revoke their access to post to your wall in future.

LtEveDallas Mon 26-Nov-12 11:35:10

(ie "please do not post your superstitions on my wall again, thanks" ) or indeed, rightyl, got very cross

It wasn't on the Atheists wall Caramelised, it was on the Christian's OWN wall smile. The Atheist posted the 'What's he done now?' on the Christians wall, which I agree is very very rude.

FredFredGeorge Mon 26-Nov-12 11:35:31

I thought as an Evangelical you had a requirement to share the gospel?

Either way, there are some very firebrand athiests who feel it's incredibly important to convert people to there vision - like the most extreme evangelical christian groups - but they're clearly bonkers and should be ignored just as much as any one else who wants to change your thoughts.

hellsbells76 Mon 26-Nov-12 11:35:59

startail how about this?

handsandknees Mon 26-Nov-12 11:37:15

Caremelised onion it wasn't on someone else's profile, it was on her own. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

These people are my friends, the one who I don't live near to especially. I won't delete them. As I said, I am not offended, just trying to understand.

Wallison Mon 26-Nov-12 11:37:59

Errr, how can an atheist be described as 'evangelical'? Atheists don't believe.

handsandknees Mon 26-Nov-12 11:39:29

Sharing the gospel is not aggressively ramming it down people's throats.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 26-Nov-12 11:40:53

"just trying to understand. "

Maybe understand this way.... When on FB - same rule as for a dinner party - avoid all references to religion and politics if you don't want a fight to break out.

Hopeforever Mon 26-Nov-12 11:41:16

"Preach the gospel, and if necessary, use words". (Possibly a saying of Francis of Assisi.)

Maybe the OP chooses this way to share her faith, through love and action, only talking about her faith when directly asked. If so this an evangelical faith in my book

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 26-Nov-12 11:41:59

"Sharing the gospel is not aggressively ramming it down people's throats. "

Yes it is. hmm It's exactly like these terrible people who come knocking on your door asking if you've heard the good news. If you're not interested you resent the intrustion.

handsandknees Mon 26-Nov-12 11:42:54

Cogito that is pretty much what I do....

dreamingbohemian Mon 26-Nov-12 11:43:08

But what's to understand? It's not that complicated, surely?

Some people do not believe in god and are perturbed by either A) the influence of religion in modern society and/or B) people's attempts to push religion onto them. So sometimes they express their views very strongly. Or sometimes they just feel like expressing their thoughts.

You seem to it's normal for a friend to write 'God is good' on her profile, but not for another friend to write about how she doesn't believe in Jesus.

They're two sides of the same coin. You perceive the latter as more aggressive because it contradicts your beliefs.

I do think it was rude for that guy to post something specifically on your wall, but are you sure there's no context to that? is it possible it's his awkward way of telling you that he's not interested in hearing you talk about god? (i.e., not trying to be aggressive)

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